I'm remodeling the downstairs bathroom. I have a raised ranch and on
the lower level at the foundation top we have a very wide windowsill,
about 8" or so. The walls will be porcelain tile up to about 5'. The
present sill is wood so I'm thinking of either a marble or granite piece
Is either of these materials not suitable for some reason? One better
than the other? Cost is not going to be a big factor, when spending
thousands of dollars already, forty bucks either way won't make much
Marble is fine.
I have a few marble windowsills in this house.
Even have a few doorsills of marble.
I like them so much when I had the bathroom remodeled
I got new pieces of marble for he new room.
A little, non-pretentious touch of class.
I especially like the look of marble doorsills slightly
worn down by time.
The only real differences are that marble is a tad softer and it will
absorb stains a little more but these are usually not an issue with
window sills. I have them under every window in this house and 50
years later they look fine.
The other thing that may be the most important is what they look like.
You have different choices with granite than you have with marble.
If this sill is gonna be in a bathroom, I'd definitely go with granite.
That's because marble is really nothing more than metamorphed limestone,
and limestone is readily etched by acids.
And, when you think about a bathroom, there's acid used all over the
- toilet bowl cleaners are typically either phosphoric acid or
hydrochloric acid based
- general bathroom cleaners use phosphoric acid as the active ingredient
because it cuts through soap scum without attacking chrome plating.
So, if it was my bathroom, I'd go with granite because it's less
susceptable to damage caused by acids. Some good intentioned person is
going to put a bottle of phosphoric acid based bathroom cleaner on that
sill and cause some damage. If it were a granite sill, there'd be
considerably less damage.
A few of thoughts:
Marble will probably be a lot cheaper, but neither
will be as little as $40. I had to buy a 5 1/2" x
3/4 x 8' awhile back and I think that was $70. But
it was also a stock threshold. Custom pieces cost
more and often you have to pay for the whole sheet
if the stone shop doesn't have a scrap.
Marble is more typical in baths. (Downright common.)
It looks nice with something like white tile. Granite
would give you more creative design options.
If you use the marble, try to set it in a fair amount
of thinset. It's very brittle. I cut it on a diamond blade
tile saw easily, but it tends to snap off as it gets close
to the end of the cut. (You may have noticed that it's
not uncommon to see broken up marble thresholds in
bathrooms when people have made the mistake of just
setting it on the underlayment.) Granite, by contrast,
has a large percentage of quartz, which is hardness 7.
That may be its main down side, in addition to cost: A
child running or elderly person falling is a lot better off
hitting their head on marble than on granite.
Also, a side note: You can get a grinder fairly cheap
and tile places will sell different grits of grinding wheels.
Grinding finished edges and roundovers on marble, should
you need to, is actually fairly easy. It's so soft that there's
actually a risk of overgrinding. You have to do it carefully.
| I'm remodeling the downstairs bathroom. I have a raised ranch and on
| the lower level at the foundation top we have a very wide windowsill,
| about 8" or so. The walls will be porcelain tile up to about 5'. The
| present sill is wood so I'm thinking of either a marble or granite piece
| 3/4" thick.
| Is either of these materials not suitable for some reason? One better
| than the other? Cost is not going to be a big factor, when spending
| thousands of dollars already, forty bucks either way won't make much
| > Is marble more sensitive to water damage/staining/dissolving? can't
| > believe dissolving, since marble was heated at one time. but still have
| > to ask.
| Water damage is a consideration as my wife may put a plant on it. Of
| course, I can always protect it by putting a couple of coats of paint on
I hope that was a joke. :)
Marble does stain very easily, but I've never seen
anything like acid damage. I was just in a bathroom
where I put in a marble window sill in the shower 5
years ago. It looks like new, and I live east of the
Mississippi where the water is soft and perhaps
slightly acid. But if you have something like rusty
metal that drips onto the marble it can ruin the look.
I'm guessing the windowsill in question is not in the
shower, so it shouldn't be a big problem in terms of
staining, but if it were me I'd put something like a
glass dish under the plant.
Really!? When my father fell in the bathroom and hit his face on the marble
threshold he was dead rather quickly. Though the autopsy did say that
clogged arteries had something to do with it.
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
Thanks for the condolences. He was a month shy of 94. He very much did not
want to be intubated or have other life prolonging procedures that would
have kept him from having an active life. He made sure he had a copy of his
living will every time he went to the hospital. So he got that wish.
But my mom will never forget the site of finding him on Christmas morning
dead on the bathroom floor.
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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