Granite v. Marble v. Tile

What should you install on your bath / shower walls?  Don’t search for the one correct answer because it doesn’t exist.  You’ll probably get a different answer depending on who you ask. Here are some popular choices:

  • Granite.  If you walk into any showroom, you’ll probably see granite installed on the shower / bathtub walls, either in slab or tile form.  Granite is a great stone to use and is very durable.
  • Marble.  Marble tile is a popular choice for shower / bathtub walls.  A bit higher maintenance than granite.  Definitely needs to be sealed.  If you don’t understand why, ask for a sample and smear some lotion, toothpaste and other wonderful items commonly found in your bathroom, and watch it stain.
  • Porcelain Tile.  The plus is that you don’t have to seal porcelain tile and it comes in a wide variety of colors.  The downside is that if it chips, it won’t react like natural stone.  The color of porcelain tile is only skin deep.  That’s why you also have to buy trim pieces for porcelain tile.  With granite or marble, you can cut a piece of stone and polish the edge.  Doesn’t work the same way with porcelain tile.
  • Cultured Marble.  One large slab with few grout lines for mildew to grab hold.  But, the surface is not impenetrable and will deteriorate if you allow water to sit, like if you have a cultured marble soap dish.
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