Creating kitchens and baths for finicky customers since 1993

backsplash features inset metal tiles for accent and texture

Thursday, February 12, 2009

DIY Tile Pic of the Week: Natural stone shower walls

Walk-in shower uses natural stone squares in 6 by 6

natural stone shower walls in 6 by 6

This 44" by 32" shower, completed just before the New Year, features slate tiles from Home Depot. Grout lines are 3/16", to showcase each tile.

Natural stone is one of the more difficult products to install. Each 6" by 6" piece is unique. Thickness, especially, varies quite a bit - from nearly 1/2" to barely more than 1/8". Some tiles aren't exactly square, and others have one or more "missing" corners. Proper installation calls for careful attention to sizing, spacing, orientation, and color/texture.

This is a great way to express your individuality. No two installers will put these tiles together the same way, so even "identical" projects won't be. Some slates are very jazzy, while others much less interesting. Deciding how to showcase the fancier ones makes all the difference.

This wall material should be sealed prior to installation, for best results. Grout loves to stick in the nooks and crannies of any natural stone tile. For a wet area like this, sealer is even more important. Because they don't have the typical glasslike finish of ceramic or porcelain tile, stone tiles are more difficult to keep clean.

Are the results - a beautiful and unique design - worth the extra effort and maintenance? That's a personal choice; only you can decide for yourself.

DIY tile pic for week of Feb 12 2009

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If you have a DIY tile pic that you'd like to share, please leave a Comment here. If I use your picture, I'll link to your blog or website.

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