If you’re new around here, welcome! I’m Alisa Bovino and I’m an interior design blogger + student, full-time marketer, serial DIYer, and secondhand furniture stalker. Grab a glass of (bo)vino and follow along as my husband and I renovate our main bathroom over the next few weeks for the Spring 2020 One Room Challenge™ . Stay tuned for the final reveal on June 25th!
Before getting into the bathroom progress, I thought I could share some important things that we had to consider when choosing our bathroom tile from The Tile Shop. I learned (the hard way) during our master bath renovation that choosing tile isn’t as easy as picking something pretty and calling it a day…although I wish it were that easy. This week I compiled a few key considerations and tips based on what I’ve learned to help you with your next tiling project!
.01 // DECIDE ON THE MATERIAL: CERAMIC, PORCELAIN OR STONE?
Not all material is made equal, and there are definitely some pros and cons to each:
Pros: durable, budget-friendly, easy to install, low maintenance, stain-resistant, lightweight
Cons: Not as moisture-resistant as porcelain
Pros: durable, easy to install, low- maintenance, stain resistant, moisture resistant
Cons: usually a bit more expensive than ceramic
Pros: higher-end look/feel, unique veining and color from piece to piece
Cons: more maintenance than porcelain/ceramic and usually more expensive
.02 // PICK A COLOR PALETTE
I recommend choosing no more than 3 colors for a bathroom, and sticking to those 3 colors when making tile selections. One of the reasons I love using marble is because of the variation of colors and pattern from piece to piece. You can pull out colors from the natural variations in the stone and use those colors throughout the rest of the room.
.03 // VARY SCALE AND PATTERN
If you’re using a small scale hex on the floor, you could use a larger rectangular format tile for the shower, and vice versa. I chose a small-format herringbone with a 4×12 tile for the shower and used a similar herringbone/rectangle for our master bath (2 different sizes). It helps to visually break up the floor and the shower area. I considered subway tile for the shower, but it would have looked way too busy with the small herringbone on the floor.
.04 // GROUT CAN MAKE OR BREAK THE TILE
I’ll admit that grout is not something I really stressed about in our master bath, but I wishhhh I did. Grout makes such a HUGE difference in the way your tile will appear. A few things to consider when choosing tiles and grout:
– how far apart your tiles will be spaced. I like to space tiles super close, between 1/16″ and 1/32″ as small grout lines look cleaner to me
– The color of the grout. Do you want your grout lines to contrast or blend with the tile? I personally like the grout lines to be almost the same color as the tile.
– Make sure you buy the right type of grout. Unsanded grout is for marble tile and small grout lines, and sanded grout is for wider joints.
.05 // CHOOSE THE RIGHT MORTAR
This is specifically for porous tile, like stone. If you’re using white stone, use white mortar. If you’re using gray stone, use gray mortar. And don’t freak out if your freshly laid tiles turn a different color – they’re just absorbing the water from the mortar and will go back to their normal color in a few days. I took the below photo a few minutes after we tiled the first few rows to show how much grayer the tiles look once they absorbed all that water!
The largest (and only) update this week is that we started TILING! I waterproofed the shower and immediately spent quite some time picking and choosing each individual tile from different piles so that there was a good amount of color and pattern variation from tile-to-tile and row-to-row.
It sounds a little crazy to lay out the tiles, but the extra upfront work pays off once all the tiles are on the wall and the pattern looks amazing.
Since the first row took so long to get *perfect,* we barely made it halfway up the wall before calling it a day. But we got a system going and feel confident that the remaining rows and walls won’t take as long as the first few rows did. Only have about…50 or so rows left before the rest of the shower is done? We’re fine. Everything is fine 😀
Here’s the full to-do list, which I’ll be sharing each week to keep track of what we’ve accomplished thus far and how much more we still have to go:
- Take measurements and before photos – DONE
- Gut bathroom – DONE
- Rough in plumbing + electrical – DONE
- Install mold-resistant sheetrock on walls – DONE
- Install bathtub – DONE
- Close seams, spackle, and sand – DONE
- Install hardie board on floor and around tub – DONE
- Frame out shower niche – DONE
- Waterproof shower walls – DONE
- Tile shower – in progress
- Prime walls – DONE
- Build and install tub apron – plan for week 5
- Waterproof tub apron – plan for week 5
- Dry fit + install tile on floor
- Install tile on tub apron
- Build and install recessed linen cabinet
- Install 1×6’s and molding
- Prime molding
- Grout shower walls, floor and tub apron
- Seal all stone
- Fabricate vanity countertop
- Install vanity, vanity top, sink and faucet
- Install toilet
- Install flush mount, sconces and exhaust fan
- Build & install open shelving
- Install door
- Install shower fixtures
- Cut and install vanity mirror
- Paint 2-3 coats on walls, ceiling, doors
- Prime vanity
- Paint 2-3 coats on vanity
- Wallpaper inside linen cabinet
- Install curtain rod and hang shower curtain
- Install roman shade
- Add finishing touches
- Photograph room
- REVEAL: June 24th!
Be sure to follow the other featured designers below and check back next week for more progress photos and design details!