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mollykelley80

I need help on how to finish the zellige in my shower

mollykelley80
2 months ago

I need help on how to finish the zellige in my shower. Because we have a pony wall, my tile guy doesn’t want to put the zellige on the shower dam or the pony wall edge. He says it’ll be too many cuts and look bad. He wants us to use left over marble slab. I don’t want to do this. but how do you finish zellige’s edge?


Comments (33)

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    The top of the pony wall and the to pf the curb, should both be a SOLID surface, leading edges with a Scluter trim. You don't put porous on flat surfaces that will be wet.

    Find a solid quartz or corian toned to the shower walls.

  • PRO
    CDR Design, LLC
    2 months ago

    I agree with the tiler. Solid surface is better on any horizontal plane in a shower. It will look great and pull in the marble (which I presume you will be using on the countertop).


    What is the reason you do not want to use your countertop material on the shower curb or pony wall?

    Courtyard || Remodel || Austin, Texas || Bathroom · More Info


    mollykelley80 thanked CDR Design, LLC
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  • RedRyder
    2 months ago

    I also think your tile expert is right.

    mollykelley80 thanked RedRyder
  • dmac1108
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Most tile professionals prefer to install a solid piece of quartz/marble/granite/Corian/etc. instead of individual tiles on horizontal surfaces in wet areas. Less grout lines = less water penetration. Over the years, there have been MANY shower curbs/niches that have had to be ripped out after becoming a rotted mess.

    I am in the middle of renovating my master bathroom also. When the existing tiled shower and built-in tub were removed, there was ZERO water damage on the curb/tub deck - both had been finished with 4x4 porcelian tiles back in 1996. So, not all tiled horozontal surfaces will suffer water damage - only those where inadequate/improper waterproofing was done to the substrate.

    Zellige tile can be mitered for use on curbs/ledges:





    I am currently renovating my master bathroom. I will be using solid pieces of marble for the shower curb/ top of pony wall/niche ledge.. That was an easy choice for me - I’m using marble field tiles on the shower walls and marble mosaic tiles for the shower floor. However, my tile setter will be be using mitered corners on the side edges of the pony wall. If you have a good tile setter, it can be done.

    I understand why you’d rather use your zellige tiles instead of marble as suggested by your tile setter. Introducing a different material affects the overall look of your shower.



    I also think that using a metal edge material (like Schluter) looks too contemporary/modern against the old world look of handmade zellige tiles as in this photo below where it was used as trim around the window:



    However, using a natural stone that coordinates well with the zellige tile can look nice:





    If you’re using a different tile for your shower floor, you coukd also coordinate the curb/ledges with that material:





    Note that in the above photo (this is Emily Henderson’s own bathroom), while she chose not to use the zellige tile on the shower curb, she did use it in the niches:



    I think Emily Henderson’s shower is beautiful! FYI - she planned to use the zellige tile on the backs of the niches. However, when the tile was being set, she realized it was too thick - so, she switched it out to a porcelain tile that matched her curb.

    Using a solid piece of material is definitely the SAFER choice!

  • mollykelley80
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Wow!!! Thank you so much for all this! The pictures are so helpful too. I love the old workd feel of the zellige and I agree, the shleuter just doesn't seem right. And as you said, I’m hesitant to use the marble on the pony wall amd dam because it just wasn’t what I was picturing and adding another element changes the design. BUT I just got the quote for labor to do it my way (using the zellige everywhere with mitered edges) and its $3,000 more in labor alone! So back to drawing board I think 😖. My slab for counter tops is calcutta umber… a mostly white marble with light grey & a tiny bit of gold veining. Maybe it won’t look too bad next to my zellige. It’s hard for me to picture. my zellige is “snow” from Riad tile.

  • mollykelley80
    Original Author
    2 months ago



  • mollykelley80
    Original Author
    2 months ago




  • mollykelley80
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    So hard to get a good pic of the snow zellige bc it looks different in every picture. But its whiter than the natural white but still has variation in tone.

  • mollykelley80
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Im also wanting to put the zellige on the back of the pony wall and extend it on the wall behind the bathtub under the window. Not sure how to edge that either. My contractor suggested a white shlueter piece but I dont know!!


  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    2 months ago

    Schluter comes in a host of colors....


  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Leaks through porous surface and grout affect "the look" too..............

    The most advantageous places for this tile hand crafted tile is between walls. No edge issue whatsoever.

    Vertical install or horizontal . Spell "advantage": )

  • mollykelley80
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    My tiler wasn’t concerned with it being porous… he just said it would be too many cuts and wouldn’t look good. And also said the zellige is too hard to cut & miter bc its so uneven.

  • mollykelley80
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Thank you so much!!! So sorry you have covid! Hope you feel better soon 🙏🏼

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    2 months ago

    The tiler is right that it is harder....he is wrong not to mention the need for a non porous surface. I hope you SHOWER is adequately water proofed. .....................just sayin : (

  • PRO
    CDR Design, LLC
    2 months ago

    It is important to design an entire bath ahead of time, so that all th elements come together.


    1) You are concerned that the Calacatta Umber counter will not work with the snow zeligge. Do you have samples of both? Do they look good together? If not, you probably should not be using them both in your bath. I would use your countertop for the shower threshold and pony wall top.


    2) Make sure your bath is not choppy. I highly recommend your shower tile extend to the ceiling. Makes your bath feel larger and higher end.

    Courtyard || Remodel || Austin, Texas || Bathroom · More Info



    For the tub area, I'd also either extend it to the ceiling or not at all.


    3) Freestanding tubs: How close is this going to be to the wall? I see the faucets, so I presume fairly close. What advantage do you see to a free-standing tub? No right on wrong answer.....just wondering why you bought one and it is being placed against a wall. I see this all the time and, in my judgement, it doesn't work well.


    I am sorry you are this far in and I know it is disruptive, but anything you can correct now is to your advantage later.

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Your slab isn't cut, right ?

    Here's what you said:

    "My slab for counter tops is calcutta umber… a mostly white marble with light grey & a tiny bit of gold veining. Maybe it won’t look too bad next to my zellige. It’s hard for me to picture. my zellige is “snow” from Riad tile."

    It's hard for me to picture..............

    As CDR is saying above,

    If it is hard to picture the two materials that close together, pony and curb with the snow? They shouldn't share the room. At all.

    Re select is your answer. Because whomever is doing your shower glass, will be just as happy as your tiler setter. Not only is porous an issue,,,,ditto the "wavy , un even tiles where flat and solid is a better route for glass install

  • mollykelley80
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Yes I have samples of both. But putting it right next to each other is a completely different look than it being across the room on a counter. I just dont want the shower to look too busy by adding another element in.


    And Id love to go to the ceiling with the tile but the ceilings are vaulted & I cant afford that. I also think it would look overwhelming having 15’ of tile. So I had to choose a stopping point. Same goes for behind bathtub.

  • PRO
    CDR Design, LLC
    2 months ago

    It looks like the calacatta umber has areas that are rather nonbusy. But, I still don't know how well it works with the snow zelig.


    You might want to reconsider the countertop material.


    Do you have a backsplach on the counter. What are you using for that?

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    2 months ago

    if they don't look good close together? they don't look good in the bath- together. That's the real point. No vanity is far enough from a shower or a tub.....to be otherwise, ninety percent of the time. Re select. : ) the top

  • Erika McConnell
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I am using cle sea salt zellige on the shower walls paired with calacutta marble on the floor. i personally felt like the riad and zia white zellige (I can't remember their specific names now, but I ordered all the white ones) read as too gray in the light i will have in my bathroom — north facing. i think the calacutta picks up the warmth of the zellige and the white in the calcutta complements the zellige. i am using calcutta bullnose edging as well and a ”calcutta” looking quartz for the curb and bench seat. I think the Riad and zia look better with Carrara, but it may have been the light in my bathroom. The zia was actually my favorite before I put it next to the Calacutta in the light. I am tiling the niche in the zellige. I wanted to ask my tile person about mitering the zellige but think the calcutta bulllnose was best after reading all these comments, and the cost you described!! We are already about 15K over budget so i think my husband would object, haha!!


  • Erika McConnell
    last month

    Here are some examples to show you what I mean. The squares are the Riad and Cle. The cle is the super white one. Then the zia is the subway tile. Then I have them up against Carrara, thassos, and Calacutta. I love the thassos but felt like any staining on it would stand out like a sore thumb and that the variations in the calcutta would be easier for stains, etching, etc to blend. I also live in a 1930s house where almost everything is aged so I don’t mind that the marble will stain and etch, but some people would hate that. I wanted to just go for a white quartz with the cle tile because I am also tiling the bench with it, but I felt like the whites didn’t match, and the cle looked better with a calcutta looking quartz. I suppose you could also do marble for the curb and bench, but I am guessing it would have been cost prohibitive for me so I didn’t even consider.

  • Erika McConnell
    last month

    Whoops pics didn’t post

  • Erika McConnell
    last month
    last modified: last month

    And I personally LOVE Zellige and marble — I collected pics before starting this process which is my inspiration so will share! I can’t tell you what all of them are but I recommend following #zellige as well as cle, Riad, and zia on Instagram for inspiration!

  • Erika McConnell
    last month

    Here are a few…

  • Erika McConnell
    last month

    Few more!! These aren’t all marble or white Zellige but maybe you will have some inspiration! As a side note, I did not go with a metal edging because my house is so old and the bathroom is traditional. But I prefer the look of it so I say do metal if your house is more contemporary. Hope this helps! I’ve found these forums extremely helpful with my remodel and prevented me from huge errors!

  • mollykelley80
    Original Author
    last month

    Thank you so much, Erika! (I'm not sure how to respond to a single person- is this the right way?) I have a lot of these pics pinned as well! Finding the right white Zellige is so hard because I find the same tile looks completely different in several pictures!!! I was set on getting the Riad snow (not natural white as it's so grey- is that what you have in your picture next to the Cle... was it natural white from Riad?), but then a local designer was telling me why pay so much for true zellige if it's going to just be white with barely any variation. So then I got stuck again questioning whether I should really pay for zellge if its going to be just white as many ceramics can give the same look. Or if I should switch back to the more varied natural white of Riad. I love the color of the last two pics you sent... I can't remember which these were. It's just in some pictures the snow looks pure white with no variation. But in some pictures the natural white looks SO GREY! This tile is so hard!!!


    After meeting with the local designer, I wrapped my head around doing marble on my shower dam and ledge of pony wall. I also found a very skinny sleuter piece that matched the color of the grout and thought this could work as it would possibly look like a grout line and not stand out as a third element. I still LOVE the look of the mitered edges and this is the "proper" way to do it if you call Riad or Cle, but it's SO EXPENSIVE.


    All in all, I feel back to the drawing board a bit since I'm now confused about which color zellige I want. But I feel I've made some progress in knowing how to finish the edges! Now it's just choosing the right coordinating colors!!!

  • mollykelley80
    Original Author
    last month

    Also, I want to say that what you chose, Erika, looks really good! You did great research beforehand! I didn't realize I needed anything more than the zellige so I wasn't coordinating multiple pieces in advance for my shower. Lesson learned! Zellige is so beautiful, but not the easiest to work with!

  • mollykelley80
    Original Author
    last month

    Also, also... your white zellige is lovely. The desgner I was working with was simply trying to save me money & that was her two cents about me using a pure white!

  • Erika McConnell
    last month

    Molleykelley80, Thanks! I would say if you are looking for lots of variation, the Riad white had the most of all the samples I had and is what my husband preferred. I did not get a sample of the cle weathered white, but it is supposed to have lots of variation so you may want to look at that as well. Also — I was worried about how the zellige and marble looked right next to each other. But I am not sure if you said what you are using for the floor — if it’s not calcatta marble, I wouldn’t even worry about it and think the Riad is fine for the shower because it is a warmish, grayish white that complements the calcatta of the vanity. I hear what your designer is saying, but I think the white Zellige will have lots of variation that will depend of course on the brand and particular white. Like the sea salt cle is the whitest, but it reflects so much light — it is so unbelievably shiny— that in person you will see so many colors in the tiles and it will still have all those tiny blemishes. It shimmers in the light. I also love the contrast between that level of shine with honed marble. I am glad you could find a white edging! I personally prefer it and think it looks totally fine next to the zellige. If you are thinking about doing another zellige besides white - I love the blue and am thinking about it for the kids bathroom when we do it. I also wanted to show you how different the zellige looks between the cle weathered white (supposed to have lots of variation) vs the sea salt. In some pics, I can’t tell the difference!

  • Erika McConnell
    last month

    The first pic is Emily Henderson’s bathroom in weathered white. The second is sea salt. If I didn’t know EH’s was ww, I would think it’s sea salt! Her ww in her bathroom and kitchen did not have as much variation as others I’ve seen.

  • Erika McConnell
    last month

    Here is a weathered white with a lot of variation. The only thing I can think of is that light makes a difference, flash, etc.

  • Erika McConnell
    last month

    Here it is

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