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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Help me with my Master Bathroom -- Calacutta gold marble tiles and ceramic white tiles

Yelda KazimiFebruary 9, 2013
I am in desperate need of expert opinions on how to salvage my master bathroom renovation. I have installed Calacutta gold 3x6 marble tiles on all walls (4 ft. off the floor), and to be cost effective I installed daltile ceramic white 6x6 tiles in the shower and 3x6 daltile ceramic white tiles in herringbone pattern on the floor. I also felt that Calacutta marble tiles in the shower and floor would look too busy.

To tie together the marble and ceramic tiles, I am considering using a light brown grout color-- but I am not convinced by that choice and welcome suggestions. I am actually not thrilled about the outcome of this project--as it looks currently-- and am hoping to get ideas to improve the aesthetics of it! I'm open to anything (even replacing the ceramic tile, although I would like to avoid doing so).

Also, to give you a better sense of the look I am going for, I bought two of these mirrors to place above the vanity (http://www.hayneedle.com/sale/hovanmirroredframedwallmirror205wx435hin.cfm). And I plan to install a crystal clear chandelier in the center of the room.
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Jacqueline Hall
I love the look you've created with the basket weave floor and marble subway tiles on the walls! I would use a white or very light grout color on both the floor and walls. Brown grout would be very busy and draw the eye to the floor, detracting from the beautiful marble.

If you're thinking brown grout because you're concerned with cleaning, I've actually found it more difficult to clean the light brown grout for the Light Emparador marble on my master bath floor than the white grout in my children's bath. I can spray a little Chlorox Clean up on the white, scrub with a toothbrush and its sparkling clean, not so with the brown.
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 11:55PM
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Jacqueline Hall
I just retread your request and noticed you asked for expert opinions, I'm in no way an expert! I'm just a serial remodeler! (I spent the day installing a new stainless backsplash with warming shelves above the range. It's a never ending process!). ;)
1 Like    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 11:58PM
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Barbara Stock Interior Design
Love the herringbone pattern. I believe you will find that white grout is what will tie your marble and tile floors together, as well as mellow the variations in the Calacatta Gold. Personally, I dislike grout that is darker than the tile-you want to admire the tile, not the grout. I think your wall color will tie it all together- I would either pick up the beige/caramel colors in your vanity top and the Calacatta, or go with a mushroom/taupe/dove gray range on the walls that would warm up the space and set off the white (actually, a slightly darker shade of your drywall gray color would look nice!). Here are a few baths with elements similar to yours and I think the wall treatments/colors tie everything together:
Zuniga Interiors · More Info

1512 Dolphin Terrace · More Info

Lake Residence · More Info

I hope this helps!
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 1:17AM
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Yelda Kazimi
@ Jacqueline Hall, a serial remodeler definitely makes the cut for an expert opinion! :) Thank you for your feedback-- very much appreciated. I had originally decided to use white grout because I tend to prefer grout that is the same color as the tile, but then I second-guessed myself and sampled grout in the color, "linen", from Home Depot. Luckily, it was only a sample and my contractor did not fully grout the bathroom. Also, thank you for the tip on cleaning grout. I presumed light brown would be easier to clean, but now I see why white grout would be easier. Do yo have any thoughts on using epoxy grout?
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 6:46AM
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Yelda Kazimi
@ Barbara Stock-- thank you for your suggestions. White grout it is! As I mentioned to a previous Houzz contributor, I also tend to prefer grout that is the same color as the tile and had originally decided to use white grout. But I second-guessed myself and thought that perhaps light brown grout would tie together the ceramic and marble. However, I see your point about white mellowing the variation. I also agree with your ideas on paint color-- I think a taupe/gray color would be perfect! I can't wait to try. Also, do you have any thoughts on using epoxy grout?
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 6:52AM
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I've had three installers tell me how much they hate epoxy grout (more work to install), but it's so much easier to keep clean...especially in a bathroom.
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 6:55AM
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Judy M
Discuss a product called "grout once" with your tile person. Maybe that is just a brand name for an epoxy grout, but that is what my tile person is using on my job. Lucky you, yours is more finished than mine.

Also, I have read that bleach can turn white grout yellow, so read up on the topic online and ask your tile person best method of cleaning.

Be sure the wall tiles are sealed once a year or the marble can etch.

I think you've made great choices, the bathroom look good!
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 6:55AM
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I think for the Callacata gold something like Alabaster ( mapei ) would look good . Not to light , not to dark but I wouldn't go with any brownish shades .

The same color can be used for the subway tile and it is easier to maintain in the long run , rather than white , not to mention that the herringbone pattern will be more visible . I have one question for the subway -- I am sure it is not the wall subway tile , right ? And for grout , the tiles get the epoxy vote , but regular grout for the marble . Make sure your installer is comfortable in using epoxy grouts 'cause there is no turning back if done wrong.

Over all it looks very good and on top of the curb you can use Callacata marble from 3/4 inch slab .
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 7:19AM
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Yelda Kazimi
@ Eurocerob, thanks for the suggestion-- I will check out Alabaster. Yes, the wall is a 3x6 subway tile with a small spacer in between each tile. When you say curb, you mean the shower curb, correct? I have actually decided to continue the subway tile from the floor. Do you think I should get the curb cut from Calacatta marble? If so, do you have any suggestions as to where in the Northern Virginia/DC area I should try?
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 9:42PM
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Yelda Kazimi
@ Judy M. I will check out that product as well, thanks! I purchased Spectralock epoxy grout. Have you dealt with that at all? I am thinking of using the epoxy on the ceramic tiles (floor and shower), as I'm afraid it will damage my marble tiles (subway tiles on the wall).
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 9:44PM
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Judy M
I don't know the Spectralock. Each tiler seems to have their own preference as to brand used. I asked mine about the no staining grout and they say they are using it. My material list calls it Grout Once.
Guess I'll read up on that brand, before they put the tile down.
We are ready for the tile, but the Blizzard has stopped work.
    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 4:43AM
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@yelda. Yes I mean the shower curb and I would use pieces of a Callacata slab on top for it . I don't know anyone in the Northern Virginia/DC , but I would check for stone fabrication shops in your area , locate them and inquire about pricing .
As for the 3x6 subway tile -- not the marble - used on the floor I think is rated only for walls . I think you should verify it before you go any further.

@Judy M . Spectralock is a great epoxy grout . Different than Mapei's epoxy grout -- which is another great one -- and both are stain free .
    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 6:10AM
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I'm in DC and have used R Bratti in Potomac Yards for counters and curbs with great results.
    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 3:32PM
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