A house’s bathroom can be one of the most adored rooms in the house if cared for appropriately. There’s nothing more relaxing than running a warm bubble bath with bath salts and essential oils or running a powerful hot spray shower that eases the tension from your muscles and replenishes the body ahead of a busy day.
While we all enjoy these perks, we dread cleaning days. No one wants to have a filthy bathroom with hard water residues and soap scum. Onyx showers make cleaning days less tragic because their texture is easy to clean.
An onyx shower is a shower that is enveloped with onyx stone from the walls to the shower floor. Onyx is a natural stone that originates from dripstone deposits of limestone caves. When water evaporates from these caves, it leaves calcium carbonate, which explains the stone’s colorful swirls and patterns.
The onyx from popular manufacturers; Onyx Collection is made from a combination of alumina trihydrate crystals and a special polyester resin they developed over 25 years. This article is dedicated to exhibiting ways in which this stone can be cleaned and cared for to ensure its longevity.
Prepare the Shower
This is a no-brainer, but some people tend to leave shampoo bottles, combs, razors, and other items lying around, which gets in the way of cleaning up.
To smoothen the process, you may steam the entire shower by running hot water in for a couple of minutes, which will loosen the hard water stains and grime on the walls and floor.
Mix Equal Parts Water and Vinegar
Cleaning products are a big industry with multiple products on the market, each claiming superiority over the other. Onyx may be a hard stone, but it is very sensitive; therefore, the majority of these commercial soaps damage it.
If you can’t choose the right cleaners for your shower, then go for white vinegar, which is approved by most manufacturers. You will not go wrong with a good-old 50-50 mixture of water and vinegar.
To dissolve soap scum and kill mildew, wipe down your onyx wall shower in circular motions using a soft wipe having the water-vinegar solution. This should be done regularly; otherwise, you’ll attract hard water deposits that need more time to come out.
If you are already facing a shower with these hard water deposits, then spray this solution onto the walls or floor with a spray bottle, and wait up to 20 minutes before rinsing the surface with water.
If it’s a teenage boy’s bathroom—the most dreadful to clean, then perhaps a little more time should be given. Leaving this solution for up to 2 hours with an added soft cleaner in the mix will help get out those stubborn marks that form white streaks. The shower door can be wiped with the same solution.
Soft Cleaning Soap
Since onyx is precious, manufacturers advise against using highly abrasive cleaners that would typically be used on tile. These cleaners harm the material over time, thus limiting their durability, plus it loses their shine, making your bathroom dull and uninviting.
PH-neutral stone cleaning products are recommended for cleaning this stone, and also, the cloth used to wipe down the shower should be non-erosive.
Microfiber towels or soft tissue will do the work; therefore, steer clear of rough scrubs or brushes, often paired with abrasive cleaners suitable for cleaning dirty marks in tile grout. It’s also advised to spray the cleaning solution into the towel and not directly onto the onyx surfaces because their porosity nature will absorb the solution.
Homemade Onyx Cleaner
Since onyx is fragile and could get damaged by plenty of commercial soaps, it’s advisable to mix your cleaning solution, ruling out any possible scenarios that may damage the stone. Take one tablespoon of Epsom salt and one tablespoon of baking soda into a cup of water, and stir the solvent in a bowl.
Mix this solution till it forms a paste, and then use a cleaning cloth or soft-bristled brush to apply the paste to the stain. Let it settle for about 15 minutes before you rinse the area with warm water.
Use Onyx Polish or Squeegee for Daily Shine
Hard water will make an onyx shower dull over time and so to keep this stone glossy, you may use gel gloss periodically, which should bring back that glossy finish and also reduce the number of cleaning times in a year since it makes the water bounce off and not stick to the wall.
To make your cleaning process that much easier, use a squeegee after every shower. This might be a time-consuming method, but it will minimize the need to use cleaners and vinegar in the first place. Place the squeegee in a visible and prominent spot so everyone can see it and use it every after a shower.
Advantages Onyx Has Over Tile Showers
These easy cleaning methods may have amazed you, making you reconsider installing tile in your bathroom or visit the idea of remodeling the showers in your house from tile to onyx. If this is the case, the information below highlights the upper hand onyx has over traditional tile, easing your decision to make the switch up.
Easier to clean
As mentioned above, because onyx isn’t installed with grout, showers lined with onyx stone are far easier to clean.
Installation of tiles takes a mighty long time. This includes putting up a heavy cement board underlayment, cutting the tiles, placing the tile onto the wall, and applying the grout.
Whereas with an onyx application, all that is needed is a dry moisture-resistant wall, where adhesive is applied, and the solid stone is hanged up and sealed. You can even apply this in your shower by yourself if you are a DIY master.
Saves on Time
To some people, there aren’t enough hours in a day. Imagine getting the kids ready for school, dropping them off, getting to work on time, all the while running errands and tidying up the house. This will make anyone value their time that much more.
Consequently, cleaning the bathroom should be eased to complete the process in a limited time. This is onyx’s most selling feature because cleaning out the dirt in grout involves hour-long sessions, consuming time you don’t have.
Relatively Cheaper Option than Tiles
Like tiles, onyx varies in strength and quality, and this reflects in pricing. The biggest disparity between the two in pricing will certainly come through in installation. Your professional contractor will probably bill you more than they would with an onyx fix.
Grout joints absorb moisture and can leave a wet and spongy shower wall that will eventually need to be reinstated. That’s more money coming out of your pockets that you didn’t plan for. This is not an issue with onyx since it’s a solid stone that is secured on the wall without spaces for moisture to infiltrate.
Perfect for Moving Bathrooms
If you have a houseboat or perhaps an RV, you’d have better luck with onyx because it simply doesn’t involve an exhaustive process in the application.
With all that said, there are certain aspects to a tile that make the experience of having it worth the while. For instance, tiles are far more prominent in the market, making it that much easier to source for a tile you envisioned for the design in your bathroom.
Also, the manufacturers and suppliers are in abundance, limiting their bargaining power in pricing and delivery, which is a plus for a homeowner building or renovating. To further make its case is the ease in installing it on curved walls that is very difficult with onyx.
Choosing between the two will essentially come down to your preferences, the functionality you seek, and what you are willing to spend, both on the initial purchase and maintenance.
Where Else Can You Use Onyx in the House?
Though onyx is not as popular as granite or tile, it is becoming a new favorite alternative for kitchen countertops. While this glossy countertop is appealing to the eye, it needs a lot of care to maintain its charm.
You can’t spill drinks such as coffee, red wine, and lemon on these countertops. The porous nature of this stone will absorb it right away, making it a nightmare to wash out. They also need to be sealed every 1-3 years to maintain their shine, and also emphasis is needed in choosing the right sealer because picking up any sealer, probably meant for granite, will destroy it.
Onyx can be used to make bathroom accessories such as shower caddies and seats, towel bars, robe hooks, sinks, and plenty more.
With all the information summed up in this article, you should be able to care for your onyx shower correctly. For those without onyx showers, this guide should enlighten your choice to apply the stone in your new house or add the feature to your house’s remodel plans.