Statuary Marble Surprise – Defect or Asset?
by Chris Bardt
As can happen when working with natural materials, we faced a last minute design challenge during the construction phase of a bath and kitchen renovation project. We had specified 12″ x 24″ honed statuary marble tile for the master bathroom floor and east wall. The stone distributor sold the contractor 200 sq. ft. of tile that looked vastly different from the sample they had sent us from the same lot. When the marble arrived on site, the tile setter immediately began installing it. He was promptly halted after the clients saw the first three rows; the laid marble exhibited unusual figures and incoherent patterning. Although the marble was not what anybody had expected, the clients and 3six0 decided to frame the marble’s “defects” as assets, and together we proceeded to use the interesting shapes to form a cohesive design.
View of master bathroom floor as seen from master bedroom. Tiles on floor were glued down by tile setter before we designated arrangement. Lot sample is leaning against wall.
We took all of the tiles out of their boxes and moved them around on the carpet to see which kinds of arrangements worked best.
We discovered that by book matching the large figures we could avoid an abrupt interruption between a white edge and a gray edge while also creating an interesting pattern climbing up the wall.
View of a mature version of floor design.
Drawing of floor tile installation plan, given to tile setter as set of instructions.
Drawing of wall tile installation plan, given to tile setter as set of instructions.
View of south end of east wall in master bathroom.
View of north end of east wall in master bathroom.
View of final marble tile floor installation from master bedroom.