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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tile Scheme | Diagram Worksheet | Subway & Marble Hexagon

I'm headed over the house this morning to meet the tile installer.  Tile was more of a beast than I expected.  I went to a fancy tile place initially and picked out everything I wanted.  The total was $4,500 and I about fell over... and that didn't even include installation.  It is easy to get swayed and distracted when shopping for tile - there are so many pretty options, I see why people can go overboard.  I almost did!  Well, I didn't "almost" because that wasn't anywhere near where my budget was.  When it came down to it, I referenced back to my inspiration board and realized that I really just like simple and clean and I needed to stick with my original plan.

At the beginning of the project we were really clear on our priorities and keep revisiting that.  I knew that my priorities were kitchen cabinetry, fixtures, hardware and trim.  I kept reminding myself that if we went over on everything there would be nothing left for extra fun at the end in finishes and fixtures - where the fun stuff really happens.  Things happen during construction (hello, replacing water main and sewer line...), but for the most part our contractor (Noblit+Didier) was prepared for everything and our budget seemed to be padded for those unexpected problems.  So, what we thought seemed high on the initial bid were just realistic.  I'm so glad we decided to use a contractor that is a straight-shooter.  Our trim and fixture budget is also thankful : )

 This is the inspiration for our shower.  I almost went with marble subway tiles for the walls, then I came back to this photo and remembered how I loved the clean look of the subway.  That little reminder saved almost $1,000 : )   If it were something I really wanted I would've just gone ahead with it, but at this point in the game I have found that we really have to keep our priorities to keep us in budget.  $1,000 is a drop in our no-yet-overflowing bucket, but 10 drops could add up to no furniture or landscaping when we move in!

We are doing a simplified version of this - no seat, no window, but it will feel very much like this.  

We bought most of the tile from Home Depot, except for the floor hexagon because they didn't carry a 2" marble in a honed finish.  By hunting around for tile and ordering the bulk from Home Depot we saved almost $2,500+ on tile.  Adding that to landscaping and furniture budget : )

I made a diagram of each area for the tile installer.  There were a lot more complexities when ordering that I wasn't expecting, like where I'll need a bullnose edge, what should the curb be made out of, how will the cornice merge with the wall...

This diagram makes sure that he will know exactly what goes where, vs. just assuming, which I'm finding out is always the wrong answer.
I've made a Blank Template for those of you who are in the same boat.  You can download the template, here.
Walls : Biscuit Daltile Subway (Home Depot)
Floor : Hampton 2" Hexagon in Honed (The Tile Shop)
Shower Heads (we'll have two) : Danze Opulance in Polished Nickel (

Did you notice the Shower Bottles from the spring collection slipped in there ; )  For those of you that have emailed, I hope to have the out-of-stock items restocked by the end of the week - stay tuned!

This is the inspiration photo for the tub, but again, we are doing a simplified version.  We are using 12x12 pieces of marble to create the deck (top of tub) and the splash.  I think the larger pieces on the splash (wall area) will actually be a cleaner look vs. subway tiles.  We are using a cornice trim piece on the top of the splash and on the front of the tub deck to create a finished look and ad a little fancy.

I'm obsessed with the fixture from Signature Hardware.  It took me a very long time to find something that looked classic and simple without being fanciful.  It is in a chrome finish, but since it is not right next to all of the polished nickel finishes it will be ok (hopefully!).  We've compared them in person and they look very very close.  It was $268, which was a relief after looking at $800+ polished nickel tub fillers.

Deck & Splash : MS International Grecian White in Honed (Home Depot)

This is a similar layout to the world smallest bathroom that we squeezed in our old walk-in closet.  The shower will be in the corner, and the vanity to the right.  We are doing the same scheme as in the master bathroom.  Because it is such a small bathroom, I wanted the prettiness to overshadow the size.  
There you go!  All of my exhausted tile and shower fixture research in one tidy post.  There was a lot of running around town and comparing tile swatches to make sure ordering from various sources would work out ok, but the savings was hugely worth it. 


  1. This is going to be beautiful! I love all of your choices. So classic. Thank you for doing all the leg work. I'll use this as reference for future bathroom remodels.

  2. What kind of tile are you using for your floors? The same as the shower floors?

  3. I quickly read your post and will read in more detail tonight. Your taste is beautiful. Be sure to check Amazon for hexagon tile. We were able to get it $10 sq ft with free delivery (prices in Birmingham for the same thing ranged from $80 sq ft -$30 sq ft).

  4. Jenny,
    I love your choices. I renovated our guest bathroom a few years ago and found the same thing, it was easy to get off target, but then I reminded myself of what the goal (and budget) was and I was thrilled with the results. We purchased a lot of our tile from Home Depot and was very happy with the look and the quality. I love your style and am so excited to see the remodel as it nears completion.

  5. Jenny-
    As always everything looks great. It's so funny that you say that because I remember when Eric kept going overboard with things that were boring to me (lumber and concrete) and I just knew the $ was going to be gone by time it got to my "fun" stuff... Way to think of the big picture. Can't wait to keep seeing more progress. I am getting excited for you guys.

  6. Anonymous4:30 PM

    I love your designs. I can't wait to see photos of the finished bathrooms. Do you have templates for the tub and corner shower?

  7. I love these posts! I'm working on a bathroom project right now using similar materials, can't wait to see how yours looks with fixtures in place.

  8. I just love your renovation posts! I wish these were around during our Reno! We actually had to cut budget in similar areas of the bathrooms too. We had to use smaller tiles around the tub top instead of a slab & it turned out nice even though I was so against it at first. I'm glad to know someone else is doing that too. We went for a little more impact on our vanities with Carrara marble tops. I had never heard of bull nose tile either. It was a great learning experience though!
    I just LOVE your design plans & your idea to give them to the tile installer! Genius! I'm curious what program you use to do your design plans if you don't mind sharing? Best of luck Jenny as your project keeps moving along!

  9. Anonymous11:02 PM

    Thanks so much for all of the very helpful resources. You have great taste. I hope you enjoy your newly remodeled home!


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