mrsshayne_gw

Anyone NOT like onyx showers?

MrsShayne
January 25, 2015

I'm getting ready to redo my master bath. I already bought shower tile for the walls. I just assumed I would get matching shower tile for the shower floor but then my contractor mentioned getting an onyx shower base. I didn't know you could order just the base so I never thought I would use it. I'm getting quotes around $600 for the onyx base. Contractor says tile shower floor will be about $600-$800 more. Although cost is only about a 25% factor, I just don't know if I like the looks of onyx. I feel like its superior in the sense of not having to work about grout on the shower floor but grout doesn't really bother me...

Does anyone love or dislike onyx or reg tile floors in showers? Please share any thoughts or comments.

I'm doing dark charcoal tile in the bathroom and I found the same little matching tiles for the shower base... If I go with onyx the only color I like comes in gloss (no matte) so I'm wondering if it will work...

This first pic shows my tile floor and you can see the onyx color is pretty close. I'm wondering if it will clash though. I don't want lighter because the lighter clashed with my shower wall tile.

Comments (98)

  • drfrn40

    We had an Onyx shower installed last year and our base is a darker gray and our walls are white. We have very hard water where we live too. We only use vinegar to clean ours as well. We have had no issues with ours. Hope this isn't something we will see in the future! I would definitely pursue the issue!

  • Melissa Little

    I also chose a dark base but my walls are a mid gray color. Have had white forever so looking forward to the change. @drfn40, did you ever apply car wax to your walls? I have had several people tell me this.

  • enduring

    Wipe shower down daily with large towel or microfiber and you never need to "clean" your walls again.

  • Melissa Little

    Did you ever put a wax on your shower walls?

  • drfrn40

    No I have not applied anything to the walls. I have heard of applying rain-x to glass to make the water run off of them. Sounds like the same concept.


  • Melissa Little

    It's just like what you'd apply to your windshield to get the rain to just run off, same idea, yes. I am definitely going to apply the wax to the shower walls and bottom so soap scum doesn't adhere. that's an issue I have now.

  • drfrn40

    Do you have the shiny or the matte finish on your shower walls? I haven't noticed any hard water spots on our matte finish. Just read you have soap scum issues..may I ask if you use bar soap or shower gel?

  • Nancy in Mich

    Switching to a liquid body soap gets rid of soap scum, I have heard. Be careful about making the shower floor potentially slippery.

  • Melissa Little

    @drfrn40, we don't even have it installed yet. I have it all picked out, though. I really like the matte finish but it is more expensive. I use bar soap.


    @nancyinmich, I actually use bar soap and sometimes liquid body and I asked about the slipperiness of the floor and was told that that shouldn't be a problem. That came from not only a person who sells the cultured marble surround walls and the person who sells the onyx collection. I know on my frameless door I will definitely be doing the Rain-X, that's a no brainer.

  • drfrn40

    Melissa, We did do the matte finish because we have extremely hard water....I have a husband who is faithful to Irish Spring bar soap so that did play a factor as I understand bar soap is the cause of soap scum where shower gel isn't as much a problem. We also decided on the rain glass to cut down on the clear glass water marks. We did have clear glass and it was hard to keep clean. When we put it in, they said you can get some type of coating placed on the glass before installation to help with the water penetrating the glass (I had no idea that glass was so porous) but the glass company we used said he had it on his own shower at home and it isn't really worth the $$ you spend. He recommended the Rain-X.


  • Melissa Little

    I wasn't told anything about a glass coating and to me it would seem like something that could peel off down the road. I will definitely do the Rain-X. And even if I didn't do the wax on the base, I would definitely do it on the walls. I doubt I will ever get my husband to use a liquid soap instead of bar. lol

  • dawnlittrell

    Housequester - what color is That? I am trying to find colors. I like that.

  • drfrn40

    Melissa it is a coating similar to the Rain-X that is put on before installation....an expensive alternative...

  • Melissa Little

    @drfrn40, then it sounds like the Rain X would be a better alternative..albeit,cheaper. :) I will do that. The expensive one hasn't even been offered to me.

  • PRO
    Advance Concept Construction

    We have been installing products from the Onyx Collection for years. Their products come with a lifetime warranty. This is not the thin cheap stuff you buy at box stores. We have never had a complaint! The variety of colors, trims, and inlays give the customer many choices. Architects and interior designers have all commented on how nice the product is. Their low-profile shower pan with or without a ramp makes ADA compliance and aging in place a reality.


  • PRO
    J-Max remodeling

    The best thing to clean onyx material is vinegar and lemon juice. It keeps from scratching the surface of the product.

  • Ash Rah

    I have used Onyx panels in two bathroom remodels so far - one is a tub surround, and one is a shower. One was a redo of an old tile surround, and the other was a brand new bathroom shower. My experience is the quality of their products is really good- I ordered the gloss finish panels and IMO they look sleek. No grout lines means they are very easy to maintain and clean. I have a masterbath with a large tiled shower, and it is a pain to keep the grout clean - I did not want to worry about it for the other bathrooms. I have attaching some photos, for those that might be curious.


    This tub surround uses Lace color Onyx panels in a gloss finish

    :








  • Remodel Bathroom

    Does anyone have issues with mold growing in wall seems and joints between walll and ceiling?





  • Nancy in Mich

    Not yet, mine is new. I wanted to tell you about this cleaning system I found. I kept seeing the ads on facebook, and read up o the process it uses to kill mold and other things. It is called Force of Nature and consists of a little countertop machine that plugs in, a bottle where the reaction occurs, (with help from electricity) and little capsules of vinegar and salt. They also include a spray bottle for it. It turns those ingredients into a couple of non-toxic chemicals that mechanically break down the cells of those bad organisms. So they cannot develop immunity to it. Plus, it does not have residue or soap, so does not need rinsing. It is so safe they show a mom spraying off a baby's pacifier with it when dropped on the floor. The solution smells a bit like a pool enclosure does, but it is not chlorine. It loses its effectiveness in 14 days and so can't be bottled for store sale. It is used for cleaning or disinfecting in industrial and lab settings because it is so effective and easy to work with. No one has made it for home use until this company came up with a small countertop way of making the stuff, which requires an electrical charge.


    So check this out, it will show up if you google Force of Nature. If you spray it regularly, you won't have mold growth.

  • goneriding

    I am appreciating the comments about Onyx, I am considering it for a shower pan and can't find many consumer reviews about it.


    I want to comment on the idea of using wax on your surround. This was recommended to me by my plumber for an acrylic shower for the WALLS, and it worked great. But please do not wax your tub or shower floor, it will make it dangerously slippery.


    There is a product that can be applied to shower glass by the manufacturer. It impregnates the glass to fill in the pores. Water spots on glass are minerals that have gotten into the pores of the glass, that's why they won't come off.


    The best cleaning and prevention for any kind of shower and glass is to squeegie it after every use. It sounds like a pain but you get used to the routine, and it almost eliminates water spots and scum.

  • Derek Lauro

    Thinking about white subway tile from the Onyx Collection. Anyone have experience with it? I'm curious how it is to clean since it is not a smooth surface like all of their other products.

  • enduring

    I know this sounds like a lot of work, but its not. I use a large auto detailing microfiber towel to daily wipe down the shower. the last one to shower in the morning does the job...me. I don't bother with the floors for the daily clean. I just wipe down the walls and fixtures and doors. It takes 70 seconds for my 3x5' shower. I never have to "clean" my shower with this routine. I do periodically clean the floor though, because of soap build up. I have tile shower, and not the Onyx, but I would think any surface would stay clean with daily wipe down. The squeegee routine was too tedious for me, but others like it. I keep all my caulking wiped down with this method too, and I don't get any mold growing. I hate cleaning showers, so this prevents that dreaded chore.

  • GreenDesigns

    It’s just nothing special cultured marble. You can find that everywhere, and for less. There’s plenty of local sources that don’t involve shipping heavy stuff around.

  • HU-496949851

    Is an Onyx shower base very slippery? Is it highly polished?

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC

    HU:


    You've got to find the coefficient of friction to answer that question.

  • beaniebakes

    HU: the shower bases come in matte and polished finishes. The Onyxcollection website is very informative. Here’s a link to the coefficient of friction test.

    https://www.onyxcollection.com/pdf/SLIP_test.pdf

  • coloradorider

    How long does it take to install the entire shower? Walls, base, door and fixtures?

  • Nancy in Mich

    coloradorider, The time for install depends on the shower system you buy. Most solid surface showers are glued onto drywall or onto existing tile walls if they are in very good condition. If starting from scratch, there is the time to build the shower stall with 2 x 4s, then to drywall. Solid wood backing for grab bars also has to be done at this stage.


    If the base can be set on the existing floor, it will take one day to install it into a bed of mortar so that it does not flex (all the voids under the base are filled with mortar). If the base needs the extra height taken up by the layer of subfloor, then the existing subfloor is removed and individual pieces of subfloor are installed between the floor joists so that they are flush with the top of the floor joists. That gives you 1/2" to 3/4" lower than the rest of the room's floor. We did that with mine.


    Then the shower itself depends on how many pieces it is made of. Mine had three sections - the basic shower stall around 7 ft tall, then the extension that took it to the ceiling, and last, the ceiling itself. I used solid surface for even the ceiling. So each section was installed and then braced to hold it tight over night as adhesive dried. Someone doing single sheets of Swanstone or Corian for each side and who has full-height panels could take a day to scribe every wall and dry fit them, and another day to put them in place with adhesive and then brace them. It depends on level of skill and comfort in working with the materials. If all the walls are built square or if the installer is good at scribing and cutting the edges to fit, then it might get done the same day that the walls are glued. Then there will be another day for trim pieces and plumbing. If plumbing lines had to be moved, add another day or more for doing the plumbing lines and drains back at the building the walls stage.


    It is probably just a bit faster than doing tile, since you do not have to waterproof the shower stall after the drywall stage. A fast tiler maybe could get the walls laid as fast, depending on how much and how involved tile cutting is. The tiler has to grout, too, though.


    When you have the floor in or the walls in and braced and are waiting overnight for them to dry, you go about doing other parts of the remodel, so it is not like each step I outlined above takes up the entire workday of workers on site. Once the shower floor is in place, the room floor can be dry fit with tile, or sink plumbing can be done, fans installed, or any one of a few hundred other tasks can be done.

  • Diana Bauer

    My husband and I (ages 71 and 63, respectively, and very experienced DIY-ers) are just now starting to put up the Dreamline shower door enclosure (two sides of glass for a corner shower, 36 x 60) on our new Onyx shower that we're installing. The boxes were delivered to us in mid-April, but we have not been able to work on it continuously due to alternating indoor/outdoor projects, my work, and family obligations. I would highly recommend that you seriously consider hiring out the installation of this shower system. Every piece is EXTREMELY heavy! The shower pan alone must have weighed 150 pounds. The two of us (healthy and strong for our ages) could not lift it. Needed a third person, and even then it was a struggle. The three 3/8" tempered glass shower door panels weigh almost 100 pounds EACH. We're getting too old for this kind of heavy home improvement!!


    But this is our long-planned aging-in-place shower, and I chose carefully to keep maintenance as easy as possible, long term. I despise cleaning tile grout, and made up my mind to avoid it, whatever the cost. The Onyx Collection product itself is simply fabulous. We chose a low double threshold base in Constellation (dark gray with speckles), and Icicle walls (pale, pale gray-white with speckles and sparkles) in subway tile pattern. We wanted a stripe of Constellation near the top, but couldn't get that option with the subway tile pattern. So we opted for a 3" flat trim piece of the dark color at the very top of the shower walls to abut the soffited ceiling. Crown molding would have interfered with the shower walls, in our application. It looks wonderful! His and hers toiletry shelves between the studs are Icicle to blend in better with the walls. Polished chrome faucets and shower door trim really set off this combo. Ours is an 1880's house, and although I adore the look of classic white with black accents hexagon tile and everything else about period bathrooms, the prospect of keeping all that grout clean just made me shudder. This charcoal and almost-white subway tile look does a great job of mimicking the vintage bathroom look, while at the same time earning top marks for ease of maintenance. A win-win.


    "Enduring" - you are absolutely right! Taking a minute to wipe down the shower (last person's job!) keeps heavy cleaning to a bare minimum. That's my plan. Our Dreamline Enigma shower doors are clear glass, but came with a ClearMax coating inside to prevent spotting. Someone else asked about ease of cleaning the Onyx Collection subway tile pattern. With no grout, a sponge just glides into the recesses, and a bit of finger pressure wipes away any grime. Our other bathroom has a 15-year old BathFitter tub and square-tile-patterned enclosure installed by the previous owner, and it still looks brand new. I just clean it with Clorox GreenWorks bathroom cleaner and a sponge. This will be just as easy. Don't hesitate! We spent about $4000 on the shower and doors. A lot of money for us. A challenging, but doable, install. We also replaced all the rough plumbing with new PEX. Had to shim some uneven walls. New low-profile very quiet exhaust fan and recessed lighting. But in retrospect, I would gladly have paid a team of experienced installers to put this in and have it done quickly. If you're up for the challenge, AND have the time, tools, skills, and strong helpers, go for the DIY - it's quite satisfying in the end!

  • PRO
    Advance Concept Construction

    We commend your choice of Onyx! We love their product, in fact, it's our top choice for bathroom repairs and remodels. Too bad you're not in NM, we'd love to come install it for you!

  • Wendy

    Is anyone's shower pan feeling "sticky"? I noticed that in one of the two shower pans we had installed it is feeling very sticky when dry. I don't have this issue with the other one. I keep these showers impeccably clean so I'm not sure if maybe the finish is coming off on the surface? Is that even possible ?

  • Chisos

    Following

  • Wendy

    We absolutely love our onyx collection showers they are incredibly easy to clean and beautiful to shower in. Ihighly reccomend



  • PRO
    Advance Concept Construction

    I'd like to reply to Wendy about the sticky shower pan. We've installed a lot of Onyx and never had this problem. I'd get with the installers and see what they used, or I'd call Onyx, they are very helpful folks.


  • mary44

    We are considering the onyx collection to replace existing tile in our shower which includes the ceiling as well. Nancy in MI do you happen to have pictures to post of your shower with your ceiling done as well? Has anyone else done their ceiling? Diane mentions the pieces are extremely heavy which now I am considering getting quotes for installation.

  • Nancy in Mich

    Hi Mary, my shower is not Onyx Collection, but is a solid surface material called Transolid. I bought a piece of their 1/4 inch wall material and my contractor cut it to fit. Then he installed the corner trim and the front trim pieces. Here is a picture:


    You are seeing where the basic shower kit ends at the half-round molding below the shower head, the wall extension kit for bringing the walls up to the ceiling, and the ceiling panel, with all of the trim pieces that cover the seams. Transolid sells their wall kits in two forms. Mine is the "remodeling" kit that you glue to drywall or existing tile. They also have "new construction" kits that do not require a drywall behind it. That kit has a dome kit that extends the walls to the ceiling and then makes a dome ceiling with built-in LED lights. I could not use that kit because I was going to drill so many holes through the walls and ceiling for my already-purchased shower heads and valves. So my contractor had to do the ceiling and lights from scratch. If you want a simple shower with one head and one control, this "new construction" kit is less work if you are going back to the studs. You simply have to put the studs in the right positions for this kit to work.


    Oh, and Transolid 1/4" material is not heavy. I would say it is the same weight or lighter than drywall. Solid surface means that the material is the same through-and-through, with no gel coating or other shiny top finish. That means that it can be repaired in place if it is scratched or scuffed, using 3M plastic scrubbies or sandpaper. Make sure you know whether Onyx Collection can say the same about their materials.

  • mary44

    Thank you so much Nancy for all the information. We are in the research stage now.

  • PRO
    Advance Concept Construction

    I'd just like to add that transolid has a 10 year warranty, Onyx has a lifetime warranty.


  • Nancy in Mich

    That is an excellent point, AAC. It was something I considered. Transolid was the one I chose for one big reason - it was the only shower pan I could find that was not a custom size in a wheelchair-accessible pan deeper than 34". It is 37.75" deep. That is what sold me.

  • PRO
    Haulotte Construction Services

    We have professionally installed Onyx products for well over 20 years now. Great products & have personally witnessed that they stand behind their warranty. How about a custom built one piece shower floor over 8' x 8', they made it and the one piece walls for a special project involving a handicap client. Heavy, yes, over 900 lbs. just for the base, but the client has continually told us how much they appreciate and utilize this shower unit. Onyx actually sells and recommend a cleaning product called 'Eliminate'. It can be ordered through Onyx, Amazon, or found at retailers and home improvement stores like Home Depot, etc. The cleaner works on the faucets and glass as well. We provide this cleaner to each of our Onyx clients.

  • mary44

    Thanks Haulotte for the post. I am looking for as much feedback on onyx products as I can.

  • Mary Beth

    Hi Mary, I have an onyx shower base in my accessible shower. I love the look and ease of keeping it clean. I will warn you that it does get a little slippery when wet especially if you have mobility issues. I just make sure I dry it off real well before I get out of the shower. I plan on using it in my next bathroom remodel. Hope that helps.







  • mary44

    Thanks Mary Beth for the review and pictures ....Your shower is beautiful:)

  • Amy

    Building a new house and considering an Onyx shower. We wantto go with white onxy, however or designer told us that the color changes over time to a shade of light pink. Anyone experiencing this?
    She is recommending us to go with a light brown or gray.

  • Nancy in Mich

    I would ask the Onyx Collection if their "guaranteed forever" warranty applies to discoloration and if this is stated in the warranty. Yes, it would be a PITA to have them come into the home and demolish the shower, but if it IS covered, you might be more willing to chance it.

  • drfrn40

    If you are referring to Onyx Shower Systems out of Kansas, we have had ours for two years and it is still white. No pink at all...

  • PRO
    Advance Concept Construction

    Advance Concept Construction has been installing Onyx for years and we've never had a complaint about any discoloration or color change. In fact, we like the product so much, it's the only thing we recommend.


  • leighanne01

    So, this is not rel onyx? I’m asking because any natural stone has to be sealed and also certain cleaners can’t be used on them

  • drfrn40

    This is a manufactured product. Not natural stone. It does not require sealing.

  • Nancy in Mich

    Real onyx is used only by those who have many tens of thousands to spend on a shower. It is translucent and you can light behind it and make the stone glow. Here is a thread on it:

    Placing a backlit Onyx slab...

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