Sunday, April 14, 2013


I love going to tile stores.  It's just fun walking around and
imagining all the possible combinations for various imaginary rooms.

It seems like every time you go, there's something different.

I wish I could say picking out the tile was as much fun as the Bathroom Goddess
made picking out the fixtures.  At this store, the salesperson sucked every bit of joy
out of the process.  No creativity, no suggestions on alternatives for the tile I wanted
that was $60 per tile.  I felt like I was just the next person she was stuck dealing with
and she couldn't wait to get my order taken care of so she could move on the next victim.

My next bathroom tile will come from Home Depot or Amazon.

Anyway, back to the tile.

There seems to be a lot of subway tile variations right now.  I think
the crocodile pattern is great but many of these seem juvenile.
And who's going to clean all those little bumps?

My favorite are the marbles.

Hexagons, basket weaves, greek keys...I love them all.

One of the most unique things I saw was this "braided" marble tile.   Each of
little pieces is about one inch by two inches.  Really, really beautiful.

I decided to go with a 4-inch by 12-inch subway tile on tub surround.
I think it strikes a nice balance of a classic tile in a more modern shape.
And 40% off.
It doesn't hurt that bigger tile = less grout to clean.

On the rest of the walls, I'm going to be doing a horizontal planking
of some kind capped off with a chair rail. 

In the tub/shower surround I continued that chair rail with a Greek key mosaic.

The floor.

I was planning to use wood on the floor to provide continuity of
color and material but once I started talking to Sam, my contractor, about
radiant heating in the floor, I quickly changed my mind to tile.

So I chose this faux wood porcelain tile in 9x36 inch "planks."
This is Ergon Wood Talk in Beige Digue.

It's incredibly realistic and it's apparently quite popular because it's
backordered a little bit.

I have to admit, I'm a little nervous about this choice.  I'm usually VERY
definitive about my choices and I'm a little ambivalent about this one.

I just joined the 21st Century and got an iPhone.

If you already found me on Instagram, you'd know my
Greek key border arrived yesterday.  Follow along if you'd like!

I'm really enjoying Instagram.  It gets me out and about a lot more and
makes me pay more attention to my surroundings.  I think Instagram is best 
to show details, textures, shapes and contrasts.  Close up and personal.  It's amazing
the things you can find when you're really paying attention.


  1. So great that you've joined Instagram - I am addicted - and for just the same kind of thngs - details, patterns, colors etc. Wondering if the tile at the very top of the post is the expensive one you liked - its beautiful - but I think you made some great choices. We used subway tile (in the shower) and beadboard elsewhere with matching chair rails in wood and tile to keep a continuous line throughout the bathroom and it worked really effectively. Made our small NYC bathroom seem larger as the line was unbroken all the way around the room and through the glass doors.

    1. Jacqueline,

      The tile at the top is in the same line as the one I fell in love with that's $60 per tile. I see if I can find it cheaper but I thought it would look great on the kitchen backsplash.

      That was my exact thought about carrying that line all the way around the small bathroom. I'm glad to hear you think that was effective.


  2. i like the marbles best too. the walker zanger tiles are so gorgeous. and i'd be nervous about the floor tile too. if that's what you're nervous about. we had that wood look tile in one of our other houses and it always bugged me.

    i probably should get a cell phone one day.

  3. I am very envious of the Greek key border. I feel like a kid in a candy store when I am in a tile store. You are smart to remember cleanability when it comes to textured tile.

  4. The tiles are stunning and you're going to love the porcelain tile floor. A friend of mine just put it in and she loves it and it looks like it's easy to clean. I have you beat Steve I don't even own a cell phone no reason to since I have so many phone lines to my home and business and I can't get reception where I live half the time.


  5. Fun post. Tile is amazing to look at, but all those choices just get me confused. Thank goodness my husband is better able to make decisions. He's also great with color so I rely on his expertise. Sorry the sales person wasn't helpful. You should let the store manager know. I'm sure they would be horrified to know you went to another store because of the sales rep!

    Hey, I don't have a smart phone yet. I may not be the last person on earth, but sometimes it feels that way! I have no idea what Instagram is. I have my hands full with the blog, Pinterest and FB.

    Can't wait to see your bathroom progress. I love your choices!

  6. I am not a great fan of faux wood porcelain floors... but I am sure yours will look great ;)

  7. First off, I love everything you do, always. Secondly, I think you might be feeling ambivalent because tile is so permanent. It's not something you can change in a few years because of the expensive. Go with your gut Steve, you have great taste.

  8. Do not question the flooring choice. It will look fabulous and I love the simple, clean lines of the subway tile.

    It is going to be fabulous.

    This goddess can't wait to see it.

    xo Jane

  9. We did the same thing using an oversized subway tile for our kitchen splash back, thinking it would be a modern take on a classic style. After explaining carefully to my tiler, I went next door for a coffee and returned to find them all laid vertically! I didn't have the heart to make him take them down. We grew used to them and the small amount of grout is great but I still yearn for a horizontal subway tile. Once again I will live vicariously through your decor!

  10. Love your choices. Should be gorgeous.

  11. Oh boy! This is going to be beautiful. Excellent choices all around.

    I would love to hear what you think of the "wood" tile if you go that route. We're looking at a house that will need new flooring throughout and because of the open floor plan there are no good starts and stops. And Colorado winters don't allow for real wood at the front door and garage entry.

    P.S. I worked at a high end tile showroom right after college. The difficult part about tile is there's very little product in the middle price range. True then, true now. It's either big box junk or Ann Sacks $$$.

  12. Congrats on your Iphone! Love that Greek key border. Drooled when I saw you post that on Instagram!!

  13. I'm enjoying vicariously shopping with you, and I agree that the less grout, the better. I have those tiny hexagonal tiles (original to my 1948 house), and they're the bane of my existance. I think the wood tile is a bold choice, and should it accumulate a little "patina" in its grooves, I think that too will look natural.

  14. Applauding all your choices. My neighbor back in TX has that wood-look tile throughout his entire home. It looks fab( his is darker, more walnutty).

    I love the marble tiles. Honestly, that woven look was ah-mazing.
    Cleaning it would be a real fun fest, but still.

    It's time programmers came out with ONE platform that transcends all visual electronic media- InstaFaceBlogTwit-o-Gram. Take a pix, write something, post it one time, etc.

    How long until your tile makes it way home?

  15. I love all your choices. I love the flooring choice the most.
    -Suzanne in Illnois

  16. not quite in 21st c yet, have yet to check out instagram....did i just admit that?!

    great choices steve, clean and classic. crazy for the floor tiles, cannot wait to see that installed. but if money were no object and i had staff, braided marble would be the obvious choice

  17. I'm with you all the way on the marbles! I'm excited to see your project come are on the perfect track!!!

  18. Like the subway tile and luv the marble. Love love love the iPhone

  19. Ps finally figured out why I had to email you vs. comment. Had to do with something I did on my settings... Duh...

  20. Love the greek key and subway is always so classic. I used a very pale gray grout for my marble/subway tile combo in two baths and love it.

  21. Love your choices. I am redoing my tiny guest bath too. I chose a wainscoting of crema marfil marble tile in 6 x 12" tiles installed in subway tile fashion with a listello of carved marble. My sink vanity is the one with glass legs that you show in one of your images. Your greek key border is beautiful and I am crazy for the braided marble tile you pictured. I cannot wait to see your vanity in place. Have fun.

    1. Victoria,
      That sounds beautiful. I had to look up listello though. That's the vanity from RH, right? I love that!

    2. Yes, it is the vanity from RH, and I am happy to hear you are okay. What a terrifying world we live in.

  22. I love tile stores too! Love the choices you made. Aren't you loving the iphone. I put off getting one for a long time but don't know how I lived without it now. I still have not set up an Instagram account....I really need to. But I'll check your's out when I do.

  23. Tiles are fascinating, the worst part about looking at them is having to choose one. Your subway tiles are going to look gorgeous, I think it's the perfect choice.

  24. Hi Steve

    Just touching bases to be sure all is well...figured you might be downtown for Patriot's Day..

    1. Thank you everyone for the e-mails. We're safe at home but it's certainly a sad a scary day in Boston.

  25. Relax about the "wood" tile flooring choice. I have seen it installed in several homes and it looks marvelous and will be the perfect counterpoint to your other choices. The wood looking tiles have a reserved look which is perfect for your house. Margaret

  26. I adore that basketweave thing too! I can't wait to see the ceramic planks I have been dying to try that somewhere...and you can never go wrong with subway tile, cheap, classic, and fabulous!!

  27. You can't go wrong with marble I love it too. I'm glad you're getting a heated floor. My hubby wimped out at the last minute. GRRR. After the floor was in he regretted it. Nobody ever listens to me. Can't wait to see everything all put together!

  28. First, glad you are safe and weren't in town today. I am LOVING the horizontal planking you're going to do. Uh! Genius for your house. And the greek key is killer. It will be so beautiful. And I'm with you, tile stores are dreamy.

  29. From your pics I know where you were - I've had a rotten sales person there, too. Down the same street there's a friendlier place, albiet smaller showroom. My sister in law has a basketweave tile surrounding her fireplace, darker in color. Stunning.
    You've managed to put that beautiful home back together so well... trust yourself. The bath will be lovely when you're done with it.
    Karen (formerly from Watertown ;)

    1. I was sure many local people would know without my saying their name specifically. I didn't even tell the full story. I wished I had the foresight to look at their Yelp ratings before buying anything there but I've hopefully learned my lesson to do that first.

      Thank you for the compliment too. It's much appreciated!

  30. That faux wood floor tile is insane. Gorgeous. Love all your choices. Classic...
    xo Terri

  31. I've seen that wood tile down before and LOVE it!! Great selections of course.....duh.

  32. Glad you see you are ok on instagram after yesterday's horrific attack. P.S. the bathroom is going to be incredible!

  33. 4 x 12? Whoa!
    I have a tile cutter and I could cut down 12 x 12's and save BIG money!!! LOVE the Marble. Your bathroom will be Fabulous and I can't wait to see the flooring done. Super Cool.
    I'm working on re-doing my bathroom too.
    I will never ever ever post photos.
    It's not even in the same league as yours.
    Mine is...Eclectic, Multifarious, Artistic...ok,it's cheap.
    But when I win the Lottery, I'm calling you to help me redesign it!
    About the iPhone. Almost everyone I know has one and it's killing me.
    Mostly because I want to Instagram
    (and goof off at work)
    anyway...glad you're OK.

  34. love the marble tiles the best as well. Fun shopping with you Steve! I love the wood porcelain tile for the floor, it will be GREAT!!!! can't wait to see it all together. Love your taste and plan.
    xo Nancy

  35. Where did you find the Woodtalk tile? Did you end up using it? I love the rustic look and am considering it for my master bath shower.

  36. Which of the colors of tile did you choose? Gray or beige? We are trying to choose and would love to know what you think of yours!