One question I get asked a lot is can you use natural stone in a shower? And how durable is it? Easy to care for?
Natural stone is a great choice for a stylish, one of a kind bathroom. Each stone is unique with its own veining and character. Yes, it does require a little extra care, however, we love incorporating it into our designs to add an element of natural beauty. The most common natural stones used in showers include marble, limestone, travertine, and slate – each bringing its own style.
Natural stone does require special care and maintenance to keep that “like-new” luster. The most important step – sealing. All natural stone should be sealed regularly when used in a shower – ideally, once a year. A sealer will help repel water and prevent the stone from turning darker. Your supplier/fabricator will be able to provide you with the correct steps to do this, or you can simply hire a professional to do it for you. I have found if you add this to your yearly home maintenance schedule, like furnace maintenance, window cleaning, and set up a reminder to schedule it then it becomes part of the routine.
Regardless of finish, polished or honed, frequent cleaning is going to be the best method to maintain the gorgeous look of natural stone on a day to day basis. Having said that, consider a smooth finish with smaller grout lines for an easier upkeep.
For the highly sought-after bright and fresh look in a bathroom, white marble is a popular choice for showers. Something to keep in mind when selecting light marble; choose a higher grade marble which consists of less veining and inclusions. Lower grade marble tends to have more veining which makes it more susceptible to discoloration and even rust if not properly sealed.
Another important element to consider when choosing natural stone for your shower is to plan an efficient drainage and ventilation system. Proper ventilation – like air vents and fans – will help dry the shower to prevent mold and mildew.
Don’t be afraid to go natural! As with anything, always consult with your installer or local experts to make the best informed choices that work for you.