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Fun with Subway Tile

by - Friday, November 07, 2008

Though I love renovating - all of the demo, the planning, the decorating, the shopping - one thing that exhausts me is shopping for tile. Tile is a finicky creature. You can't just pick one tile and be done with it. Nooo, sirree. The tile has to mix well with other tiles, its colours working with other colours in the room, and the texture has to fit too. Not to mention that there are more tile options out there than all the toilet, tub, and vanity options put together. Its mind boggling.

HandyMan and I and found tile for the floor fairly easily but figuring out tile to surround the bathtub was a bit more difficult. Going for a slight vintage look, you'd think classic white subway tile would be the logical choice for the walls. But I'm finding that look - subway tile with maybe a line or two of glass tiles as an accent - very common and a little boring. So taking note of what Sarah Richardson did in her "low" cost bathroom, I decided to mix different sizes of tiles. We lucked out at Lowe's and found a variety of ceramic tiles to create something interesting, yet classic. Here's a little sample board HandyMan put together:

The different sizes create interest, the rail piece adds texture, and the grey bands add colour. Awesome! We're planning to use moonstone 1x6 strips (the same strips we'll use to surround the basketweave tile for the tile carpet) instead of the grey ceramic tiles in the mockup, provided the heights are the same. If not, the grey ceramic bands will work just as well because they are in the same colour family as the moonstone. Best thing: this pattern works out to less than $4/sq ft. Sweet.

So now we have the basic pattern, but how is it going to look laid out? Watch for the next post where HandyMan has pulled out his AutoCAD bag of tricks and created some pretty cool renderings.

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  1. Eeee! So pretty, I'm envious of your imaginations! I could've never put that together.

  2. Love it! Love it!

    Gray is a great accent without committing you to a color scheme forever.

  3. Anonymous11:17 PM

    Perfect! You are going to love it when it's done. And I can't wait to see progress pix.


  4. I cannot wait to see the final product! I love all that you have picked out so far!

  5. Anonymous5:04 AM

    nice idea!

  6. Anonymous6:34 PM

    Saw your tile and absolutely love it! I would like to do something similar in our master. Could you tell me where you found those gray tile strips you show in the mock-up?

    Thanks so much! Your rooms are beautiful, and you have exquisite taste!


  7. Thanks Kate! All the tiles shown in the mockup were purchased at Lowes. You may have to look at more than one Lowes though... we found that not all Lowes carried the gray strips (though they had it in other colours).


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