Carrara Marble Vanity and Floor Tile

QUESTION:

I am considering a Carrara marble vanity bathroom countertop. Must I also incorporate marble floor tile? Could you think of any tiles that might compliment carrara marble and also warm up a color scheme? My vanity wood is sandalwood, kind of a pinky wood?


ANSWER:

No you don't have to install marble floor tile although a light colored or even pinkish travertine or marble would look nice.

I could give you names, but these are largely irrelevant. You just need to go to a stone warehouse or tile shop and look at samples to see what you like.

Of course, you have endless colors of ceramic or porcelain tile to choose from and plenty of marble floor tiles too.

To warm it up you'll want to stick to earth tones, but white marble can work with a wide range of colors.

I wouldn't get a busy pattern though. Maybe a texture, but keep the pattern subdued and let the carrera marble vanity be the centerpiece.

Have Fun!

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Carrera Marble Bathroom Floor Tile

by Diana
(longwood, florida)

QUESTION:

Do you recommend Carrara marble floor tile for a bathroom? Are there any pitfalls I should be aware of in having this installed ?

ANSWER:

A Carrara marble bathroom floor will perform very well without any real problems.

You should use a honed finish instead of polished marble floor tile for safe footing.

Really, marble is only an issue when installing it as a kitchen countertop. etching and marble polishing is the main problem. Etching is chemical corrosion that occurs upon contact with acidic foods and drinks... and the wrong cleaning products.

Kitchen countertops are in constant contact with acids, so it is impossible to prevent dull and discolored spots from etching on a marble kitchen countertop.

Etching doesn't affect the performance of marble. It's just a cosmetic issue, which wasn't much an issue in past decades and centuries when marble kitchen countertops were very common.

These days people want their expensive marble countertops to be a show piece and look perfect always.... function is a secondary concern.

So, for most people the extra marble cleaning and maintenance hassle required with a marble kitchen countertop becomes frustrating. Even more so when they didn't know about this issue before installing marble.

But for bathroom floors, bathroom countertops and just about anywhere else in the house.... marble is a great choice.

You don't get much etching in a bathroom and when it does occur it is most often on the countertop, not the floor.

So, go for it! Carrara marble floor tile will look fantastic!

Be sure to use only products safe for cleaning marble especially around the toilet where nearly all cleaners will damage and etch the marble if (rather when) it is dripped or spilled on the floor.

We recommend using this Non-Acidic Toilet Bowl Cleaner.

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White Carrara Marble Kitchen Countertops

by Sandi

QUESTION:

I am considering using Carrara marble for kitchen countertops in the condo I am currently having built - is this product going to be really high maintenance? Thank you.

ANSWER:

Ha Ha... I get this question about once a week. Everyone loves Carrara marble and wants it in their kitchen.

Will it be really high maintenance?

The short answer is... Yes.

Compared to granite or quartz countertops, marble maintenance requires more time and effort, thus marble countertops in the kitchen usually become a source of frustration rather than enjoyment for most homeowners.

Here's why:

Marble is a calcitic stone. Calcite based stones (like marble, travertine, limestone, slate) will corrode and "etch" upon contact with acidic foods, drinks and from too caustic cleaning products (which are most of the common cleaners people use).

Etching is the most common question about cleaning marble and the major marble maintenance issue.

Etching creates dull and discolored spots often called "glass-rings" or "water-spots" because they look like a ghost stain.

Staining (substances absorbing) is not much a problem. Marble is dense and not very porous despite what you may have read. People mistake etch marks for stains and assume marble stains easy... it doesn't. Yes, it can happen as with most stone and even quartz, but not quickly or easily.

And polished marble can be virtually stain-proof. But marble does etch easy and there is little you can do to prevent it except avoid contact with acidic substances, which is impossible in the kitchen.

The reaction and damage occurs in seconds. The longer the contact the more severe the etching.

People often think sealing will prevent etching. Not true. Sealing only helps prevent staining. It doesn't do a thing to prevent etching, which is physical damage to the marble.

A "honed" Carrara marble countertop surface finish can help to hide etch marks since etching makes the marble dull and a honed surface is already matte and non-reflective. Dull on dull doesn't show up as much, but you'll still have plenty of etch marks all over a honed surface.

However, a honed surface is more susceptible to stains than a polished surface and will need sealing.

A polished surface may not need sealing, but etch marks will readily show.

Luckily, etching on polished marble can typically be easily removed using SCP: Marble Polishing Paste, but it will be a constant battle cleaning marble in a kitchen.

Marble maintenance for removing etch marks on honed Carrara marble is different as explained in the Removing Etch Marks Manual and in the more comprehensive guide Cleaning Marble Secrets.

Also, marble is softer and scratches more easily than granite or quartz.

It's a much better idea to put the Carrara marble in a bathroom where it won't get nearly as much exposure to acids and the marble maintenance typically isn't an issue.

Whatever you decide you must also be sure to use only products safe for cleaning marble & granite.

granite countertop cleanerGood Luck,
Ryan

P.S. Get all the facts and simple step-by-step solutions to any problem with our Granite & Marble Maintenance Manuals.

Find the recommended best product brands for cleaning marble, sealing, cleaning granite countertops, quartz and all natural stone.


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Marble Countertop With Ceramic Floor Tile

by Donna Morabito
(Yorktown, NY)

QUESTION: I am installing a marble countertop for my vanity in my powder room. Do I also use marble tile on the floor, or could I mix it up with ceramic tile?

ANSWER: You can mix it up with a marble vanity and ceramic tile floors or travertine or slate whatever works well together.

There's no set rule about combining stones. You just want to make sure that the colors and patterns compliment each other.

What you want to avoid most is competing patterns or colors. In a small space like a powder bath, that could get cluttered real quick and look too busy.

Using the same color marble tile on your floors as your countertop can achieve a bold, coordinated and possibly dramatic look (depending on the color and pattern of the marble).

Personally, I like the idea of using the same marble on countertops and floors in bathrooms.

Here's the rub though... in a bathroom (or any room really) you typically don't want polished floor tile. Repeated foot traffic will wear down that polish. Also, polished floors are slippery when wet.

Now being a powder bath, the above points may not be much an issue if the bath doesn't get much use.

But most likely you will want a polished countertop (most prefer to honed) and if you use the same marble on the floors except honed, it will look different. Polishing brings out the color more.

Just some angles to consider.

If you prefer to mix it up, then I'd make your marble vanity top as the center piece and choose your floor tile color to simply blend well without having too much pattern or a very subtle pattern on it's own.

Hope this helps. Send in a picture when you are done!

Have Fun,
Ryan

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Carrera Marble Vanity Top Too Short For Cabinet

by Dee
(Texas)

QUESTION:

I purchased a carrera marble counter top for the bathroom. It is 49 inches wide, unfortunately my cabinet is 50 1/2 inches wide.

What can I use to fill the 1 1/2 inch gap against the wall?

ANSWER:

I'm assuming that you ordered and purchased a pre-made marble vanity or an old marble slab that is too short and not that you hired someone to install a marble vanity top and they cut it too short.

Of course, the best solution in mis-cut or mis-measured installations is to start over and install a piece that fits correctly.

I suggest that your time and money would be best spent if you simply returned the current too short piece and get one that fits as it should.

But perhaps you can't return it. In that case...

You'll have to just wing it and jury-rig it somehow.

You could consider installing the backsplash on top of the cabinets, so the vanity top butts up against the backsplash instead of the backsplash sitting on top.

This would work if you have a wall/backsplash on both ends and could use a 3/4 inch backsplash, which wouldn't look too odd.

You could try to get a fabricator to cut you a strip to fit the gap, but then you'd have a seam and almost certain color mismatch.

This is really something a creative fabricator or handyman would have to look at to determine the best solution if replacement is not an option.

But even if you have to re-purchase a brand new marble vanity top (and essentially pay double) you'd likely be much happier in the long-run than having some obvious, make-shift install.

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