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In a perfect world, every bath would consist of a dip in a nice natural spring, accompanied by waterfalls in a mild climate. In the real world, of course, it doesn't work out that nicely. However, there is a way that you can still design your dream tub with natural stone and have it feel and look luxurious and soothing. Of course, your first decision will be to choose what kind of stone you want.
White limestone is a good choice for your bathtub but isn’t the best choice overall. Limestone can come in a variety of different structures depending on how it was formed. It can be crystalline, granular, dense or clastic. Limestone is usually formed by pieces of marine organisms, such as coral and mollusks. However, it can also be formed in areas of water, such as lakes and rivers. It’s a popular sedimentary rock that consists of calcium carbonate, calcite and aragonite. This type of natural stone can be used for buildings, as a raw material for creating cement and for many other industrial purposes. It can also be a great choice for your bathtub depending on your style.
Granite is a very sought after natural stone due to its beauty and strength. It’s an extremely durable stone and will stand up to all but the toughest of abuse. Granite consists mainly of felspar. It’s popular for countertops, bathroom vanities, bathtubs and pathways. It’s scratch resistant, doesn’t stain easily and has a very good tolerance for heat. It’s a wonderful option for a sleek and luxurious bathroom. However, it might not be your first choice since it’s no longer as exclusive as it used to be.
Quartz is another wonderful choice because it provides beauty and uniqueness without an expensive price tag. The cheapest and most widely available form of quartz is called dolomite. Its clean white appearance mixes well with the decor of most bathrooms, and it is so tough that blocks of this kind once covered the outside of the great pyramid. The absence of color makes it easy to verify that the facilities are clean. You can also choose onyx or agate, which are incredibly beautiful with their patterns of swirling colors. However, these stones aren’t cheap, and the more attractive they are, the more expensive they tend to be. They are the most luxurious choice but are only well-suited for those who have a large budget.
One of the best choices available is marble since it provides durability and luxury with a pleasing appearance. The cost is also not much higher than our other potential choices. In fact, some varieties of limestone are more expensive, and marble is almost always cheaper than onyx or agate. In ancient times, marble was a luxury stone reserved for special projects and society's elite.
You’ll need to decide how large you want your rocks to be. For most purposes, you want them to be about one square foot in size and with the smoothest edges possible. You will have an easier time using stones that are pre-cut into blocks or slabs, though you won't get the same natural look.
So, do you want to decorate the inside of the tub, the outside, or both? For most people, it’s not recommended to line the inside of the tub with stone because you’ll want a relatively smooth surface to lay on, and it’s not easy to achieve that with natural stone. To achieve a truly uniform surface, you will have to do quite a bit of grinding. Your job will be made more difficult by the fact that the basin interior has curves that must be maintained. You're looking at hours and hours of stone grinding with an angle grinder before you get it right.
Decorating the outside of the tub with stone is much easier. While you still want to create a nice, even surface, you have a much larger margin for error because you aren't going to be laying on these rocks. You also don't have to worry about preserving those curved spaces. For a standing tub, one of the easiest ways to achieve the desired look is to simply stack your rocks all around the outside of the tub. You can then use your nicest-looking blocks (white marble is a great choice for a facing stone) to create an outside wall.
For a standard bathtub, the method is similar. In fact, the job is likely to be easier because you’ll not have to build your stone wall nearly as high. Whichever kind of tub you own, you should take advantage of some smooth, flat pieces to create corner shelves where soap, shampoo, and other items can be stored. You may even wish to build the stone up higher than the rim of the tub itself to create extra depth. Of course, you won't be able to fill the tub any higher unless you mortar the inside surface as well.
A waterproof mortar should be used to hold the rocks in place, as you already know they will get wet on a daily basis. One little trick is to attach each stone to the one below it with a daub of bathroom caulk. If you put the blob of caulk right in the center, it will not be visible once the wall is completed. However, it’ll be strong enough to hold the stones together, since you probably won't be putting a whole lot of pressure or impact against them. This also creates an impressive effect as your guests wonder how the whole thing is held together. This method will also make it easier to detach and re-use the rocks for another project if you so desire.
Once you’re done designing your tub with natural stone you’ll love your new bathroom. Your bathtub will have a cozier as well as more relaxing appeal to it that it didn’t have before.