Wednesday, March 9, 2011

You down with OPP?

Yeah you know me.

We've been hiring out the mister to work on 
other peoples' projects. (OPP)
And now they have questions that 
I don't know how to answer.

Is marble tile hard to clean?

Here's the project.
A small basement bath 
used daily by the man of the house
 They are re-vamping the entire basement
and will most likely so some 
entertaining down there

She wants dark blue walls and white tile
and likes marble
but is concerned about durability and 
how to keep the price reasonable

He wants whatever she wants as long 
as the price is reasonable.

So the question to you readers is where to put the marble?
An accent in the shower with less expensive tiles filling in the major space?
on the vanity?
on the floor?

maybe I should steer them in the opposite direction?

your thoughts please.


  1. Jeannine at Small & Chic in C'ville has the answers.
    I'll ask her to come read and give her two cents.

  2. Hi!

    My bathroom is actually the one in the second picture! It's been two years since I had all that marble put in and I have plenty to share!

    First of all, as you can see, I used marble basketweave on the floor and marble subway, baseboard, and chair rail tile on the walls. I originally ordered through a big name tile chain, but despite their displays showing beautiful, white tile, they tried to give me yellow, discolored tile. I wound up turning to a Canadian tile supplier that I found on ebay. I was able to get all of my tile for the price that I would have spent just getting basketweave and subway from the chain (so, I sort of got all the trim tile as a bonus). I recently noticed that Home Depot is carrying carrara (cararra?) just like what I have, so that might be a good source if you want to save money. I didn't realize this, but you can turn in frequent flier and hotel points for Home Depot gift cards and my credit card has a similar points program.

    Okay, back to the tile. The marble itself is easy to clean. My tile looks as good today as when it went it. There's a reason kitchens and baths in Europe have had marble in them for centuries! It lasts and it holds up well.

    My cleaning routine includes using Bona marble floor cleaner on the basketweave and not much else. I banned bar soap from the bathroom after reading that bar soap has a fat in it that creates soap scum. We squeegee after each shower, too. Once in a while, I use a hand held steam cleaner on the shower walls and once in a very great while, I'll use a little marble cleaner on the shower, too. In two years, I've only dusted the walls (the baseboard and chair rail have crevices) in the rest of the room.

    Now, the grout is a totally different story. The marble cleaners don't do much for the grout and most grout cleaners probably aren't safe for marble. I sometimes regret using the basketweave on the floor because there are so, so many grout lines to clean. However, I used gray grout in the first place, which looks nicer that bright white next to the marble and also hides a little bit of dirt.

    Last year, I was a little frustrated by some pink spots that were being left by my water (there's some naturally occurring algae in the water here) and I found two ways to clean the grout:

    1. Make a paste out of OxyClean (the laundry powder), smear it onto the grout lines, and rinse after a while. It shouldn't be in contact with the marble for too, too long.

    2. Use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser on the grout lines.

    I personally like using the Magic Eraser and now keep on in the bathroom. I think it's pretty quick and effective.

    The next time I redo a bath (which won't be any time soon since the one above is my only one), I'll probably use the largest cararra tiles I can on the floors and subway on the walls. If I still want the basketweave, I'll use it as an accent on the wall (shower niche or a large square on the long side of the shower). I wouldn't put it on the floor again.

    Well, that was probably a big more info that you needed, but I hope it helps! I really don't think anyone should be afraid of marble unless they have someone particularly sloppy to deal with. In that case, put the marble in and add some simple floor rugs in strategic locations. Target has some surprisingly chic bath mats. I got a few for my bathroom just in case my fiance breaks my "no shoes" rule when I'm not around. :)

    If you're interested, here are all the posts about my bathroom on my blog. I took a lot of pictures during and after the remodel. :)

  3. Jeannine: Thanks for all the info and so sorry I didn't credit your photo, I'm a naughty blogger.