February 20, 2012

#138- Bathroom Floor Tile

From the very beginning, our plan for the Downstairs Bath floor tile was to use the tile that was leftover from Bath Crashers.  They left us plenty to tile at least one bathroom, if not two, and as I mentioned before I like the idea of using the same or similar elements throughout a house, albeit in different ways, to bring it all together.  While the 12” x 12” beige and gray ceramic tiles aren’t super unique or eye catching, they are thick and of great quality, and we came to find out pretty expensive (like $9.50 a square foot.)  It seemed like such a waste not to use them.  Plus, I liked the way Bath Crashers cut these into different sizes and used two different colors to make an otherwise boring tile interesting.

Our only problem was that they left us far more beige than gray, but our wall tiles and paint so far definitely work better with the gray hue.  Our vanity top is beige in color though, and there’s definitely a little brown in those wall tiles, so the hope was that the floor would pull it all together.

Are you sensing that something is going to go very wrong here?  You would be right.  But before we get to the shouting, first let me tell you about how I first planned out my pattern.  I figured by bordering the floor with the gray, and filling the center with the beige, my gray tiles would come right up against my paint, and the colors would work the best.  I didn’t want any strange half tiles in my center, so I had to measure the width and the length of the room, figure out how many full tiles I could fit, and then how wide my border pieces would be to make it all seamless.  I was a math nerd calculating for my 3/16ths grout lines and tiles for hours before I finally produced this masterpiece. 

Click to enlarge and view measurements

But then I had to figure out how to cut my pieces from the tiles I had on hand, since I only had 24 gray tiles.  So another hour or so later I completed this triumph of nerddom.

Each of those colors was a designated size.  And there was a chart, a glorious color coded chart.

And then it was all over but the cutting.  I dry fit the first few pieces to make sure I had my math right, and then spent about 2 hours straight cutting the border pieces from my gray tiles.  In the end I had 2 full gray tiles to spare.  Hooray for math!

But there was a problem.  Or maybe more specifically, someone had a problem.  That someone being my bald better half.  He didn’t like it.  Let me just say that in most cases it has been a fun surprise that the Hubs has really taken to this home improvement and home design stuff.  I mean, when he sends me an email with a photo of some potential art for the Dining Room, it’s like he’s sending me a love poem.  But on a few occasions when his opinion gets introduced into the situation, I can’t help but think, “can’t we go back to the time when you didn’t care and I made all the decisions?

But what killed me even more than his halt in my plan, was the fact that he was right.  The beige floor tiles were just too brown/orange for the space, and it was messing up the look of the whole room.  We even assembled and pulled in the vanity to see if the colors worked together.  And no surprise here, they didn’t. 

So we went back to a bunch of tile stores, and came back with 2 more options for the center tile.  The lighter white/beige at the top seemed to be more what we had in mind, while the light gray on the bottom left looked purple in the room.  That orange tile on the bottom right is our original- aren’t you glad we changed it? 

But our problems weren’t over yet, because we came to discover that our Bath Crashers tiles, were somehow 1/8” shorter than every other 12” tile on the market.  Anywhere.  I swear we looked at every 12 inch tile within 30 miles of our home, and every single one was bigger than the pieces we had already cut for our border.  At first we tried to fudge it, but if your first grout line is 1/8” off, your next one is ¼”, the next is 3/8”, etc… and our grout lines and pattern were a hot mess.  So after a evening of going through the full 5 stages of grieving- denial, anger, bargaining, depression & acceptance, we went back to the store to pick out a new gray tile for our border that was the same color, but a size that would work with our new center tiles.    In the end we didn’t use a single Bath Crashers tile, although 24 gray tiles were completely ruined since I had already cut them into my border pieces.   Remember when I spent 2 hours cutting those?  I do.

In the end though, we’re happy we stuck with the same pattern idea, because it allowed us to use relatively cheap tiles in an interesting way.  And we’re definitely glad we changed the colors.  Not happy we had to do it, but grateful that we did.  Aint’ she purdy?

This photo is the best color representation.

We learned the trick of using your tile as your base boards from Bath Crashers.  I love that the continuation of the floor makes it look larger and seamless, but more importantly everything is so easy to clean and mop up this way, with no worries about wood too close to a wet floor.

And here she is after the grout, (although still hazy since this was before we buffed that out.  We’ll have to get you a good up close shot of the finished product soon.   


Speaking of finished product, we’re almost done!  All that’s left is putting all the stuff back in, and we’re so excited to call this project dunzo.  How about you guys- did anyone else work on their home this weekend?  Anyone ever have second thoughts on a choice in the middle of a project and have to redo the whole thing?  


  1. Your bathroom is looking so nice! I love all the tiles - especially the shower! You definitely did make a good decision switching out the orange ones. We do stuff like that all the time (at least it seems like) and we're changing our plans mid-execution.

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