Marble Condo Tub Surround, San Mateo, August, 2020

This is a good example of ‘better ingredients, better pizza’, as Papa John’s famously says. The client obtained about 70 square feet of 6″ x 12″ marble tile that was to be installed in a subway/brick pattern around the tub; there was also to be a mesh tile that would cover the entire bathroom, floor-to-ceiling.

We broke the job up – declining to install the mesh/mosaic tile on the non-tub-surround portion of the bathroom, because of the pattern. It’s not rectangular, but diagonal. This means, in a corner, where you cut a tile and set the perpendicular tile plane over the first portion, you won’t get diagonal alignment. One wall’s tile goes behind the other wall. If you have rectangles, they match up. But not with diagonal tiles.

Franklin Park — Ray Tile & Bath
One tile wall goes to the corner, behind the other. With a diagonal tile, the lines will not match up – unless you cut entirely new pieces.
This was their chosen mesh tile product.

One happy upshot of us foregoing tiling the entire bathroom is that it would make the space less busy. It’s a small bath; tile everywhere was too much. We recommended a very light gray – in the hue of the textured vinyl floor – and bright white gloss trim paint.

The carpenter had installed new wallboard – not concrete backer – which was an issue for us. It’s not standard. The surface cannot flex if it is to have tile. Also, you want a layer of waterproofing. In the end, the client accepted liability for any water penetration, and said there was a waterproofing layer behind the wallboard. We insisted on RedGuard, additionally. We used an acrylic mortar for the best adhesion.

Some progress… The tub will ultimately be resurfaced by another contractor.
Final product.