Backlighting Onyx In A Shower - Kitchens & Baths - Contractor Talk

Backlighting Onyx In A Shower

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Old 11-16-2011, 12:16 PM   #1
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Backlighting Onyx In A Shower

I have a project whereby the owner would like to backlight an entire wall in a stand-up spa/shower. I have consulted a few 'experts' and am not satisfied that solutions offered are best in terms of uniformity of light dispersement, maintenence/access, intensity, (would potentially like to control intensity of illumination--will rheostat work with LED's for example...).
I live in Evergreen, CO.
Any input is appreciated! Thanks.
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Old 11-16-2011, 03:17 PM   #2
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Re: Backlighting Onyx In A Shower

I have no experience in this, but here is a good discussion on the matter Hope that helps.


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Old 11-19-2011, 11:23 AM   #3
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Re: Backlighting Onyx In A Shower

Backlighting Stone in a Shower Stall

There are not many examples of back lit stone in showers and pulling it off in the field must be tricky.

First and foremost does this project have city inspections and permits pulled?

How will you attache the the stone?

I have found that you need to keep a light source at least 2" - 4" away from the back side to remove hot spots. We have been working with laminated glass as a diffuser and tying this into our shower builds with Kerdi Fix or Liquid waterproofing as a way of tying in the white lami glass to the shower's waterproofing.

Can you post a drawing of the space and perhaps a solution will come to light - sort of speak.

We are doing a new project in China Town that is tying in commercial grade windows into a steam shower. The process is difficult and we still have not found all the solutions. So far we have got the linear drain installed and all the walls and the ceiling waterproofed.

The next step will be setting the glass panel in and ensuring that it is sealed to the showers waterproofing. This will also be a steam unit and extra care is being taken.

Here is a fine example of even light on an ACO linear drain installation. Something like this would be a great light source for your project I would think.
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Last edited by JohnFRWhipple; 11-19-2011 at 12:08 PM.
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Old 11-19-2011, 11:35 AM   #4
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Re: Backlighting Onyx In A Shower

Back Lit Stone in Bathrooms

Here is a killer bathroom I found on

Is this the look your after?

The picture was taken by Elad Gonen & Zeev Beech of Perhaps you could email them and track down the builder for ideas??? The Architect on this project was Linenberg Rozen Architects: their contact information can be found here --->
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Old 11-19-2011, 11:53 AM   #5
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Re: Backlighting Onyx In A Shower

Choosing your light source for back lit stone

Nu World LED light panels look like a good option. Here is a little information on them;

Nu World LED light panels may be mounted to the wall, ceiling or floor by several means. Mounting clips and fasteners such as “mirror clips” or other similar hardware may be used to secure the LED panel. Be careful not to apply too much pressure on the acrylic panel as it may crack or break under stress.

Nu World LED panels are designed with unique heat sinks which dissipate the heat generated by the LEDs. This allows the panel to be directly mounted to walls by drilling holes at locations on the panel that are away from the sides where the LED lights and heat sinks are located. A minimum distance of 2” from the edges of the panel is recommended.
* Source

Notice the talk about the heat build up. Regardless of the type of the light source you choose I would think you need to address the heat that will build up in the assembly. When I designed my side lit feature in Yaletown we left 1/2" spaces top and bottom for air flow. In a shower project this of course will need to be done in the lighting cabinet. So then the question is how you supply heat to escape and also stop the light as well from shining out of the cabinet.

Can't wait to see your project come together. This job of yours and building a glass block wall all lit with LED's are on my two "Wish List" projects and I pitch them to all my clients. So far no takers.

This feature was built with White Lami glass and T5 bulbs but gives little light.

The light feature next to the mirror used a double LED strip and where very bright.

We are building a LED side lit niche shelf in West Vancouver right now but that pales in comparsion to a back lit Onyx shower.

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Last edited by JohnFRWhipple; 11-19-2011 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:44 PM   #6
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Re: Backlighting Onyx In A Shower

I realize that this an older post but I did exactly this for a client back in 08.
It's still holding strong.
The slab was 3' x 5' and was affixed to the same.size sheet of plexiglass.
It was quite involved so I would advise anyone looking to price this out to not cut yourself short.
Here is a link to the series of pics.

If anyone else needs any advice, let me know. Is be happy to help. Since I have already spent all the time researching the technical aspects, you can jump right in with less time upfront. I think I've handled factors such as expansion and contraction, moisture sealing, etc.

Hope things worked out for you Monica. Sorry I missed your post at the time you needed it.


Last edited by briandegravegc; 03-05-2012 at 09:10 PM.
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:09 PM   #7
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Re: Backlighting Onyx In A Shower

Hi Brian,

Awesome information in your photobucket! Thanks. Did your building department care that you'd never have access to the lights again ....or did you have a plan for that?


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Old 09-09-2015, 05:43 PM   #8
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Re: Backlighting Onyx In A Shower

Forwarded on from the boss:

Hey John

I know its very late but thanks for the mention


Mathew Barlett
Nu World Distribution Inc


John P
Custom Stone Guy
Reseller and installer for Nu World Custom Lighting
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