What Are The Pros And Cons Of An Onyx Shower?

Onyx Shower Pros And Cons

Onyx is a natural stone considered to be a semi-rare gemstone. Classified as a chemical sedimentary stone, onyx forms in limestone caves from dripstone deposits. Often used in jewelry, there are several ways you can incorporate this beautiful black stone into your home!

Often translucent, this stone, while widely known for its deep black hue, can come in a vast array of colors depending on the amount of iron deposits within the stone itself. You can get onyx in green, white, yellow, pink, or brown. Many high-end homes will add onyx to their fireplaces or countertops. But what about the shower?

The bathroom is often one of the most overlooked rooms in the whole house, yet we spend a lot of time there! If you’re looking to give your bathroom a gorgeous, decadent feel, springing for an onyx shower will definitely fit the bill.

There are a few pros and cons to consider when installing an onyx shower.

The pros of an onyx shower include its general affordability, it lasts a long time, and comes in a wide variety of colors and finishing options. The cons of an onyx shower are that it is quite fragile, has a sensitivity to stains, and can be high maintenance.

Read on to see if an onyx shower will fit into your bathroom.

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What Are The Pros of An Onyx Shower?

Using onyx in your bathroom remodel will not only set your bathroom apart visually, but will also go a long way in upping your real estate value.


Given that it is an extremely rare stone, you might think that onyx by the slab is quite expensive. The answer is both yes and no. For homeowners who want the dazzling look of marble but maybe don’t want to spend as much money, onyx is a great substitute. It runs around $25 per square foot. Depending on how large your shower is, that’s pretty reasonable all things considered.

If you’re an avid DIYer, there are several online tutorials you can follow that detail exactly how to install an onyx shower base and walls. Because you don’t have to mess with grout lines like you would when installing tile, installing onyx in your shower might just be a little easier, saving you some money by doing it yourself.

How To Cut Onyx Shower Panels

If you’re looking to save some money on labor, you can easily cut your own onyx shower panels. By following these simple steps, you’ll save yourself both time and money:

Step 1: Get yourself a standard wood cutting saw.

Step 2: Place your onyx shower panel on a suitable work surface where it won’t be scratched, dinged, or dented. If not supported properling during the cutting, you’ll find that your onyx slab can easily crack or break.

Step 3: Using a set of sawhorses with 4-by-8-foot sheet of plywood set across provides an ideal surface for the onyx slab during the cutting process.

Step 4: Be sure to wear a dust mask or respirator to avoid breathing in the dust when cutting your material.


Because it’s made from natural stone, onyx can last up to 100 years when cared for and maintained properly. You read that right— 100 years! Because it is made of a natural stone instead of a synthetic conglomeration of ingredients, onyx is more likely to last a long time in your home even with significant use. And we all know showers get a lot of use!

If you properly take care of your onyx shower, you’re looking at an investment that will be in tip-top shape for you and the next homeowner.

Colors and Finishing Options

Gorgeous swirling patterns and colorful veining make onyx an absolutely stunning stone to use in your shower. There’s really no comparison between onyx and other natural stone alternatives like quartz or granite. While these stones are heavy-duty, onyx has the added benefit of not only being sturdy but also aesthetically pleasing.

If you’re looking to set your bathroom apart, maybe in a master suite, onyx is a luxurious stone that is going to elevate your space with ease. Generally pastel or light in color, you can get onyx in a wide range of shades from blue to green to yellow to red. More neutral colors are also available.

Onyx also comes in a glossy or matte finish, depending on what you’re looking for specifically. If you’re a fan of impressionist artists like Monet, using onyx in your home is like stepping into a painting every time. With its intricate swirls and veins of color, onyx brings to mind the fuzzy, dreamlike quality of impressionist paintings.

What Are The Cons Of An Onyx Shower?

Even though onyx is a great material that many contractors and homeowners love to work with, there are a few cons to keep in mind when using it to remodel your dream bathroom.


Unfortunately, onyx can be quite fragile. Quite soft and brittle, this natural stone doesn’t have the same level of indestructibility as quartz or granite. Being from the limestone family which isn’t known for its durability, onyx doesn’t hold up well under intense use or pressure. It’s prone to scratching and cracking if not properly maintained over time. Onyx countertops are going to need to be replaced quite frequently, but an onyx shower will hold up a little longer. Lots of onyx slabs come with a fiberglass backing to give it more strength and durability.

If your shower is going to be used for pet washing, kid shower / play time or any other household cleaning duties, you may want to consider a material that will stand up more fully to hard knocks and scratches.  Granite, tile, or quartz may be a better choice if your shower will have high traffic.

Sensitivity to Stains

Onyx is a material that is very susceptible to corrosive products. If you’re someone who takes haircare very seriously, you’ll want to make sure that your shampoos, conditioners, masks, and scrubs aren’t left to spill over onto the onyx stone in your shower. Products with a lot of acidity will stain your onyx and marr the surface in a way that could be permanent.

It’s a good idea for you to use a soap dish for your bar of soap— even soap can stain an onyx slab given enough time. You’ll want to make sure that whatever products you’ve used in the shower are rinsed completely away so they’re not left to sit on the tile for extended periods of time.

High Maintenance

If onyx is cared for properly, it can be long-lasting with little to no problems. The key, though, is that you have to make sure you’re actually taking good and proper care of your onyx shower. Do not use any cleaner or cleaning product that is going to be really abrasive or acidic. In fact, you can clean your onyx shower with a simple mixture of warm water and mild dish soap! Or you can always spring for a specialized stone cleaner specifically designed for stones such as onyx.

You’ll also want to have someone come in and seal your onyx regularly to prevent staining or extensive water damage.

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Related Questions

Is onyx an expensive product?

Yes. If you’re looking for luxury, onyx is definitely it. While more affordable than other materials, like marble, onyx is definitely going to be a little more expensive than tile.

Is onyx good for bathrooms?

Yes. Onyx is great for shower or bathtub walls and backsplash. Because of its fragility, it’s not going to make a great countertop but will work really well in bathrooms.

Can you clean onyx with vinegar?

In a small, water-based concoction, yes. You can clean onyx with vinegar.

How do you remove water stains from onyx?

A homemade mixture of vinegar and water will remove even the toughest of water stains. As long as your cleaner is classified as non-abrasive, you should be able to remove water stains from your onyx shower panels.

Our Takeaway

Onyx is a breathtaking natural stone that will give your bathroom an aura of luxury and decadence without completely breaking the bank. Long-lasting and decently affordable, you’re sure to love your onyx shower. With a plethora of colors and finishes to choose from, you’ll be able to find an onyx that matches your decor no problem.

Keeping in mind that it requires a bit of high-end maintenance, your onyx should easily last a long while, giving you a beautiful showering experience every time!

Paige Hanawalt

Paige is an elementary school librarian with a passion for writing. Her hobbies include reading an exorbitant amount of fantasy, slowly teaching herself to draw, and home decor. While she isn't the most talented artist or interior designer, what she lacks in skill she more than makes up for in enthusiasm. When she's not curled up with a book, you can certainly find her curled over the keyboard.

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