Bathroom – tile…

Can you believe we lived with only one bathroom in our household for 15 years?  We had been dreaming about a second bathroom for a long time – 15 years to be exact.  Finally, we got a second bathroom when we added on to our house.  It was exciting times!  Before and afters below.

Bathroom before

Bathroom before 2

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I had been seriously thinking about decor choices for about a year (since the planning and building had started ).   As mentioned previously, I can be a bit of a procrastinator.  That is sort of what I do – I formulate a plan in my head  for a while – then, the plan seemingly comes together quickly at the last minute.  This design plan was no different.  I had sorted through hundreds of options in my head.  I finally narrowed it down to soft/spa like or white/clean/classic.  I was leaning towards the white/clean/classic look.  It was safe.  I already had an older version of the white/clean/classic in our other bathroom (see picture below.)  I liked it.  You hear so much about keeping things timeless.  That is why I kept going back to the safer option.

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At the last minute – on a Saturday – we went tile shopping.  We found a floor tile and shower floor tile that we both liked – and it wasn’t white.  Our softer, less safe, spa like (non-white) bathroom evolved from those floor tiles.

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The starting point – our floor.  We chose a soft charcoal/grey 12X24 porcelain tile for the majority of the floor including the adjacent laundry room.  It has a bit of a subtle striated pattern that adds visual texture.  For added interest the tile is laid on a flat angle (like 17 degrees or something close).  I feel like the flat angle also helps to widen the long, skinny space a bit.

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The shower floor is a volcanic stone mosaic.  It provides texture but still feels like a more modern take on the river rock mosaic thing.  It is also in the same soft charcoal/grey color family as the floor tile so that helps to keep things calm and unified in such a small space.

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What goes with soft charcoal/grey floor tile?  White does work with grey quite nicely – so I thought about white again.  Then, I remembered sea glass green.  I love sea glass green and it works perfectly with soft charcoal grey.  The tile I eventually chose was glass (you just can’t match sea glass green in a ceramic tile.)

Wall and Floor tile

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I was nervous about using glass tiles.  I once toured a bathroom in a bazillion dollar house.  The glossy white glass tile installation was completely ruined by visible chipped backing.  Ever since then I have been cautious about using glass tiles. I intentionally chose a matte finish.  I think matte finish glass tiles are better at disguising water spots in the shower than their glossy counterparts.  As well, the matte finish tends to be more forgiving in the install process.  The cut pieces look cleaner because the back of the tile can’t be seen – where the backing can chip off during the cutting process. It worked out quite nicely.  There are only a few places where I can see the chipped backing on cut pieces – if I look really closely.

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The only other issue with this glass tile is that it didn’t come in a bullnose so we had to figure something else out for the edges.  Schluter metal edging was the answer.  I love this stuff.  I will probably never use bullnose tile again.

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An unexpected feature of the glass tile is that is glows in the sunlight!

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What could be better than 12X24 soft charcoal tile, pale sea glass green tile and Schluter metal edging?  I am going to say turquoise tile!  Yes, real turquoise tile!

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We ended up with a small bump out wall with a shelf behind the vanity.  It houses the plumbing for the sinks on this exterior wall – this wall was required to be 6ish inches wider than the standard exterior wall – so the water doesn’t freeze?  This created a small backsplash area to problem solve.  I initially thought I would just use some of the sea glass green tiles over there.  It seemed kind of expected but maybe a little boring.  So, I started looking for some sort of a unique mosaic tile instead.  That is how real turquoise tile made it’s way to our bathroom.

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It was definitely a bit pricey, but I only needed a few square feet so it didn’t totally break the bank.  I love the vibrant color and I am told that we are the only ones in Colorado with this tile.  Of course, that makes me feel a little special.

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If I ever come upon lots of money, I would start a tile company and make beautiful, handmade tiles at affordable prices.  I feel like tile is one of those things that makes or breaks a bathroom design.  Our new bathroom has 4 different kinds of tile.  For me, tile choice sets apart an amazing space from every other average space out there.  I still love a nicely done white bathroom, but I am sooo happy with our non-white, softer feeling bathroom.  It is exciting to do something a little different than expected and still love the results months later.

 Shower tile