Tile homework

The deadline for completing all our tile selections is February 4 and we’re not going to make it.

A couple months ago (when plans were still with the structural engineer), we were told to make an appointment at a tile showroom and select all our tile and all the designs for it everywhere in the house. Sounds simple enough, but at the time, we were also working on exterior selections, plumbing, lighting, hardware, flooring, appliances and counter tops. We put it on the list but didn’t make it a priority because we were plenty busy already.

Master bath floor tile: 12-inch white porcelain paired with a one-inch blue ceramic.

Master bath floor tile: 12-inch white porcelain paired with a one-inch blue ceramic.

To minimize time away from work, we’ve been visiting tile showrooms on Saturdays. If you’re lucky enough to find one open on the weekend, better get there early because most close at noon or 1:00. If you’re efficient, you can visit two per Saturday.

Also, we lost ground during the holidays when we had time off work, but found many of the showrooms closed until after the first of the year. Do we at least get credit for trying?

One thing we learned after visiting the first showroom was that we were not going to have a one-stop shopping experience, which adds time to your decision making.

This little tile is packed with character: it has a beveled edge which starts out white, moves into a light blue and graduates to the rich blue on top.

This little tile is packed with character: it has a beveled edge which starts out white, moves into a light blue and graduates to the rich blue on top.

The other issue with cherry picking from three different places is figuring out which tile rep is responsible for creating your designs when she won’t be selling all the tile for them.

Rhonda came to the rescue, offering to help us solidify our tile designs. One of the things that makes us so compatible is that we’re both detail people; we can talk at length about all things minutiae with no fear of judgment from the other person.

When we got settled in her office yesterday, she and I reviewed some tile photos she’d pulled off the internet to get the creative juices flowing. Then I showed her samples of the blue and white tile we’d picked for the master bathroom. I knew exactly what the floor design would be but wasn’t sure how to incorporate color into the shower.

First, though, were the questions:

How tall are you? This relates to niche height (placement) and she marks this on the side of the layout.

How tall is John? She marks this on the side of the layout.

Have you picked your shower heads? She draws them on the big wall.

Do you and John mostly face the water or have your back to it when you shower? This relates to niche location.

One niche or two? One.

What will you put in your niche? This determines the size of the niche.

Have you picked your tub? She pulls the CAD drawing of our make and model off the manufacturer’s website into her drawing.

Have you picked your sinks? Two more CAD drawings pulled into the layout from the manufacturer’s website.

How high do your want the seat? This relates to ease of tile placement and minimizing cuts.

Where do you want the faucet on your tub? This relates to the overall appearance and balance of the room.

One of the photos we’d seen earlier and liked a lot featured a shower floor with a colored border, so she drew it. Even though Rhonda is a highly proficient CAD user, drawing multiple layout options always takes longer than you think because you run into more questions: two, three or four tiles in from the edge? Border size two, three or four tiles wide? How best to turn the corner around the diagonal wall?

Master shower color band and floor border will be made with the darker blue set in the middle left. The 2-inch white porcelain tiles (top right) will go on the shower floor.

Master shower color band and floor border will be made with the darker blue set in the middle left. The 2-inch white porcelain tiles (top right) will go on the shower floor.

In addition to drawing the room, one thing Rhonda did that really helped was to draw all six shower walls.

In the shower, we decided to run a band of the blue glass tiles along all the walls and inside the niche; those same tiles will cover the small, diagonally positioned wall you see in the second diagram below. We liked both the size and color contrast of the small blue tiles with the large white tiles.

shower walls

Next Rhonda drew the floor: 12-inch white tiles set on point with a one-inch blue tile set at every corner.

This is the second layout for the floor. In the first one, she had positioned a blue tile on the center line between the edges of the doorway. It looked good, but we liked it better with the two blue tiles resting along the edge of the threshold:master bath floor layout

Four hours spent on the master bathroom and we were done with tile for the day. You can only do so much and it’s one of the reasons we will miss our tile deadline. Good thing we’re not being graded on this homework.

These are samples we’ll likely be working on next weekend:

Kitchen backsplash. I like the uneven edges.

Kitchen backsplash. I like the uneven edges.

John wanted us to consider hexagons for the shower floors upstairs. The other two colors are maybes—still thinking it through.

John wanted us to consider hexagons for the shower floors upstairs. The other two colors are maybes—still thinking it through.

At home, I showed the results to John. Studying it some more, I thought, WOW. If it looks this good on paper, what’s it gonna look like for real?

Time to get together with my not-so-dependable friend, Patience.

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2 Comments

Filed under house

2 responses to “Tile homework

  1. Ross

    Hopefully there was A+ tile positioning this time!

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