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Shower Dilemma…Need Help. Cultured Marble vs Porcelain Tiles

Got a shout from John yesterday to come downstairs.  He saw water staining on the downstairs bedroom drop ceiling tile. When he removed the tile water just poured out, and the insulation was soaking.  After testing various scenarios,,, leaking pipe, where is it coming from?  We determined the master bathroom shower was leaking.  This shower is a large step- down open shower.  I love it.  It was built in 1998 and tiles with cream 4 in tiles.  We have had to clean and replace the grout a good few times, especially in the lower level of the shower.

So now what to do?.  I need my shower.  The other upstairs bath has a jet tub, and the only other shower is a small fiberglass shower off the downstairs bedroom.  I do realize I will have to use these substitutes for the immediate future.  SO now, how to get the shower rebuilt.  After speaking to local DIY stores from the cheapest to the high-end people.  I learned that the DIY companies would do the work with their people and it will cost a fortune.  First, they have to tear out all the old tile, maybe replace cement board, check out all the piping and then reconstruct with new tiles or whatever.


The dark stuff in the corner and above are actual places where the grout has disappeared.  The one on the floor seam the floor may be the leak!

The grout discoloration on the floor is actually grout that needs another cleaning- scrape out and replace.  A lot of work

Someone, a family member, told me it costs about 2 thousand to build a  tile shower.  Ceramic tile is cheap, and most of the cost is in labor.  If I am going to do this I want to upgrade a bit to have a built-in spa dish and a bench seat.  I am getting older so a grab bar might also be a good idea.  I have inflammatory arthritis and sometimes have problems with an ankle or knee or hip; where ever the wandering arthritis decides to go when it comes.  The tile is cheaper, I could buy larger tile than the small squares in there now,  BUT I still have to worry about leaks from grout. And of course, I will have to pay for the demolition and inspection, replacement of any problem areas, etc.

One local higher end store is coming out to give me an estimate, but they have recommended using a product called CULTURED MARBLE.  It is ground up stone, in this case, marble added to a polyresin which can be molded into any shape. They will also give me a quote using larger ceramic tiles.

The one greatly appealing feature with the cultured marble is that there are NO GROUT SEAMS.  I will not have to worry about cleaning or replacing grout ever again.

Los Altos Bathroom traditional-bathroom


This shower would look great in my bath.  I have a gold granite countertop with white porecelon sink and toilet.  The walls area light gray with a navy trim accent around the shower stall.


Now the store did warn me that demolition, inspection, replacement and the adding of the faux marble shower would cost about $8,000 to $10,000.  But the shower replacement with the tiles will cost in a similar range and one big problem is in the execution.

I have used the two local DIY stores in the past and have been unhappy about the finished product and/or the response to problems.  The high-end DIY place is well known for doing good work and for standing by their work. They do cost more>


Anyone have any ideas?? I am at my wits end and have to make a decision. I would really appreciate any help or advice you have to offer.

Thanks , guys

Talk soon


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