by John Byrd
SUSAN CASSELL, of Great Falls Design Build, recalls the chain of events from which she concluded that some of the fundamentals of bathroom design were about to change. “We were remodeling a bathroom with a lot of cracked grout that had opened the way to serious leakage,” Cassell remembers.
“This is a common occurrence, so I contacted Shawn Daghigh at Euro Stone Craft who had developed some ideas for dealing with this longstanding problem.”
Cassell had worked with Euro Stone Craft—a marble and granite importer/fabricator—for many years. But she’d heard that the firm had a new brainchild—a custom-made solid marble shower floor—that they were introducing under a new division, Verona Showers.
Daghigh set up a demonstration; Cassell liked what she saw, and heard.
“The shower floor pan, which we call MarbaFloor™, is a solid stone slab custom-made to your shower width… so there’s no water-exposed grouting, no cracking, no leakage,” Daghigh explained. “This eliminates mold build up, and any need for time-intensive maintenance.”
“It struck me as a breakthrough,” Cassell says, adding, “I’ve found this to be a really effective solution for bathrooms. I’ve been regularly introducing it to my clients.”
Moreover, Cassell is comforted by the quality, which she sees as a logical extension of Euro Stone Craft’s already well-honed milling capabilities. “The owners have concentrated on a process that liberates the natural beauty of stone, granite, and marble, making it the aesthetic centerpiece of a new interior,” Cassell observes. “The portfolio’s range of colors, textures, and tones creates a lot of design possibilities. Everything they offer is one of a kind.”
But the best part, Cassell says, is the firm’s skills at shaping natural stone, granite, or marble to fit surface specifications—thus, eliminating any need to sectionalize, the usual reason for applying grout.
HOMEOWNER LEISA SCHULTZ is similarly pleased with the Euro Stone Craft/Verona Showers design advantages, which allowed her to really distinguish the interior of her spacious Colonial while greatly reducing maintenance needs. Schultz selected an array of custom-fitted surfaces for strategic parts of the house throughout an extensive five-month remodeling process, ultimately finishing the master bath in contrasting shades of Verona marble hand-picked from the Euro Stone Craft showroom.
“The vanity, shower floor, and tub surround are stunning—a very original dark brown,” Schultz says. “The floor, tub facing, and shower walls are a kind of mocha. It’s a very symmetrical presentation and feels really restful.”
The bathroom’s “invisible shower” consists of a custom-made MarbaFloor™ pan, with two solid marble walls converging in one corner and dual sheets of unframed glass forming the other. Schultz says the new interior seems substantially larger than its previous incarnation even though the footprint is mostly unchanged. And the ambiance is so presentable that Schultz added a prized oriental rug, just for effect.
After 15 years at the same address, Schultz says the changes have reinvigorated her enthusiasm for her surroundings. “It feels like a whole new custom house, which is exciting.”
Describing personal benefits accruing from her own recent master bathroom makeover, Stacy Smith is especially pleased at the relief from perennial grout-replacement duties. “After years of predictable problems of mosaic tile—cracking grout, mold build-up, grit—there’s just no substitute for a solid stone surface.”
Smith explains that in previous homes, she and her husband had routinely spent hours repairing tile and re-grouting—so, when the couple purchased a partially finished new house recently, they undertook a serious search for ceramic tile alternatives.
As luck would have it, Smith, who is particularly attracted to natural materials, wandered into Euro Stone Craft’s showroom one afternoon and was immediately struck with the range of granite and marble and the exceptionally well-equipped stone fabricating operation.
“When I started talking to Shawn Daghigh, it was obvious that he could accommodate any design I could dream up. Since the process eliminates surface seams, it was as though the countless hours I usually spend on shower maintenance had been given to me as a gift.”
Smith was also impressed with the aesthetics of granites and marbles cut to reveal their signature color, texture, and strain. “No one could have designed a more compelling backsplash or vanity than what I selected for our master bath,” Smith says.
As a final nudge toward a personal satisfaction nirvana, Smith had Daghigh fashion the MarbaFloor™ shower base as a French drain. “Why not? This is really a revolutionary bathroom concept,” Smith observes. “It replaces grouted ceramic the way the computer replaced the typewriter.”
LONGTIME HOMEOWNER DAVID PRAKKEN was, likewise, impressed with both the functional and aesthetic outcome resulting from Verona Shower upgrades to his 25-year-old bathroom. “The variety of choices is impressive. The color, texture, and patterns in natural granite or marble yield a design statement that only gets lost when there’s too much cutting and patching.”
Prakken notes that his remodeled bathroom, which includes a spacious shower and a Jacuzzi embedded in a marble platform, is “completely cohesive…a lovely place to just relax.”
And he is equally thrilled with how well solid slab materials precisely fabricated to specification perform. “There’s no leakage, cracking, or molds ever. This is a whole series of aggravating maintenance concerns that has been completely removed from my life.”
John Byrd is a contributing writer for Chesapeake Home + Living.
Euro Stone Craft: eurostonecraft.com or 703-435-5551