chose my bathroom tile but now wondering if it has enough oomph

illinigirlFebruary 6, 2014

We are trying to design our master bath right now. My vision has black countertops, white cabinets with straight furniture legs, palladian blue walls (or similar)......and I'm pretty stuck on the tile for the shower and floors. Here's what I chose yesterday but I'm wondering if the floor needs more oomph:


here is the display: we chose 12 by 24 tiles in a 1/3 offset pattern with a grey grout (forgot which exact grey). satin finish.


here are the subway tiles: they are a polished finish in ice white (which has a bit of a grey undertone). 4 x 12 size also in a 1/3 offset pattern with the same grey grout as the floor.

(no nebraska logo, lol)

we are undecided on the shower floor at this time.

I don't see any photos on houzz that show this combination so I'm wondering if my counter color is wrong. I'm wondering if the floor needs more oomph, maybe a stronger tile, etc.

Our vanities are very large (2 6 foot vanities) so there will be a lot of countertop showing.

We have selected chrome fixtures.

Any advice please?

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I found a number of photos at houzz with that combination right off the bat. Here are a few:

Traditional Bathroom by Beaufort Design-Build Firms WaterMark Coastal Homes, LLC

Transitional Bathroom by Dallas Home Builders Ellen Grasso & Sons, LLC

Traditional Bathroom by San Jose Architects & Designers Arch Studio, Inc.

But what difference does it make if you find photos somewhere or not? If you like the combination, that's all that matters.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 8:59AM
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catbuilder, thank you!

i felt that those photos had floors with more oomph than mine. I guess maybe more pattern or more grey than white and I was wondering if my floors need to shift a little in that direction as well. I am going for a clean look, but not overly washed out or boring.

The last photo is closest, but continues the marble tile into the shower, where mine would be plain polished white.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 9:08AM
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Are you sure that the first tile is actually a floor tile? Check the COF for it first before settling on it. I think it might be a wall tile that would be too slippery on the floor. Unless they have two versions with one suitable for a floor.

And, oomph is overrated. "Oomph" and "popular" are two things that quickly becomes "dated".

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 10:24AM
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I'm doing something similar (white marble or do great counter,why vanity, marble look flooring) and i'm having the same issue. My bath is small and totally without architectural interest.

So many white bathrooms stand out because the have a unique tub, great windows, high vaulted ceilings or something that elevates the room.

I know I could pick the same materials and not get the same effect. I have a 50's ranch. I have a designer coming the 17th and I feel for me I need at least one thing in the room that seems unexpected otherwise I'll end up with a new but hohum bath.
Does this help?

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 10:31AM
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And, oomph is overrated. "Oomph" and "popular" are two things that quickly becomes "dated"

What live_wire_oak said. I've found over the past twenty years or so that the tile that I most admired at the time usually became the "what can we do about that?" problem faster than you would be believe possible.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 11:00AM
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illinigirl do you think my floor tile looks cohesive with my vision as described above? The tile is satin/matte finish and im pretty sure the website described it as being appropriate for floors. Is there a certain specification in looking for to know that it won't be slippery? It doesn't feel slippery when I run my hand across it but I haven't gotten it wet yet (waiting for a second to take home).

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 11:45AM
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illinigirl ... the "COF" (coefficient of Friction) ... higher is better.

It should specify suitable for wet areas.

Matte finish is no guarantee of non-slip.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 11:53AM
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thanks lazygardens,
here is the spec sheet: I'm not sure which specification is the one I need to look at. What is considered acceptable for bathroom floor?


    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 12:52PM
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If those are hard to read, this is what it says:

Static Coefficient of Friction:
UPS Dry >/= (greater than or equal to) 0.7
SAT Dry >/= 0.6
UPS Wet >/= 0.6

Wet Dynamic COF:
UPS 0.42- 0.52
SAT 0.31-0.41

how does this stack up for safety?

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 12:55PM
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"The United States ANSI method (ASTM C1028) gives, through the use of a force gauge (horizontal dynamometer) pull meter method, the static friction coefficient of the surface.
Equal to or greater than .60 -- Excellent friction.

Equal to or greater than .50 -- Adequate.

Equal to or less than .40 -- Caution necessary.

The USA Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) currently recommends that the static COF be at least 0.5 for all walkway surfaces under both wet and dry conditions. The Americans Disabilities Act (ADA) recommends the dry static COF of 0.6 on any flat or horizontal surfaces both wet and dry, but 0.8 for any inclined or ramp areas.

COF is defined as the friction force opposing sliding motion divided by the force normal to the surface."

Another source:
"Coefficient of Friction: Wet/Dry
The skid resistance scale is used to determine the degree of slippage on a tiled surface. While assessing different tile surfaces, wet and dry conditions along with the speed of the subject are monitored. Also, the required force to move that subject and the angle of the tiled place are considered too. The Ceramic Tile Institute identifies tile in the following three categories:

Slip Resistant: Coefficient of friction is 0.60 or greater (wet). Meets or exceeds general safety and health regulations, ADA and OSHA requirements.

Conditionally Slip Resistant: Coefficient of friction is 0.50 to 0.59 (wet). Meets or exceed general safety and health regulations and OSHA requirements.

Questionable: Coefficient of friction less than 0.50

One important fact is that the more textured a tile is, the less slippery it is. And that�s why, polished or highly polished tiles are not recommended for high traffic areas or for residential sites with children and the elderly. Also, as a rule the greater the anti-slip finish on the tile, the harder it is to keep clean."

It can be a little confusing, as it appears that COF alone is not enough information. What you want to know, is the COF dry and wet. I would interpret both the above sources as saying that your Wet Dynamic COF is on the borderline of acceptable or even questionable, which sort of is intuitive on a large flat marble-like surface.

My own experience is that any tile can be slippery when wet. I am a swim coach, and the deck at my pool has circles ground into the tiles after several falls happened when the pool was first built. I still walk with caution, and have come close a few times to having my feet fly out from underneath me (that is when wearing deck shoes). I cringe when I see the kids running on deck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Useful article on how to pick tile

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 2:24PM
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Per the Crossville website: "The satin finish is not recommended for wet areas where standing water may occur."

I think your choices will look great and that there will be enough interest in the floor tile.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 5:03PM
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i don't expect there to be standing water on my bathroom floor......I took that to mean that it shouldn't be used inside the shower.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 6:43PM
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Just a warning on the black granite counter tops. They show water drops and must be dried off after every use. We have it in a powder room and it is hard to keep looking nice. I would never put it in a much used bathroom, unless you are neater than my family!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 9:09PM
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You will have to install something smaller on your shower floor, so consider introducing a "wow" mosaic tile there. Anything interesting that you install there will really pop against the simplicity of your subway shower walls. You can carry over the shower floor material in subtle ways to your main floor, perhaps as a border around the room or as a mosaic tile "rug" under your tub or in front of your vanities.

Those "wow factor" tiles cost a pretty penny. I'm pretty sure my shower mosaic was more expensive than my entire bathroom floor! But like you, I used simple subway on the shower walls - an economical choice.

Not everything in the space can be a wow item...the eye needs a place to rest.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 9:36PM
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Agree re. "oomph". You can always add that with wall paint, art, accessories.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 12:54PM
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thanks everyone! I see what you mean about the oomph :) I feel more settled now, except for my interpretation of the tile being ok for a bathroom floor and the standing water bit----I still assume that means it's ok for everywhere except IN the shower. A few splashes on the bathroom floor now and then doesn't count as "standing water" does it?

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 7:37PM
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Sophie Wheeler

A bath is considered a wet environment . The tile you chose is too slippery for the floor unless it comes in a small enough size where the grout can help provide traction. That would need to be 4x4 or smaller with that COF.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 8:34PM
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Have you had black granite before? Our last house had it everywhere and, although beautiful, I can't tell you how much I despised those things in the bathrooms. They look dirty unless you wipe them down constantly. Hairspray shows on them so bad and any water drops leave a gray film. I consider myself an overly clean person when it comes to my home and these were a constant pain in my side, because they never looked clean.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 1:33PM
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I agree with the PP, the thought of straight black granite strikes fear in my heart. We have "blue pearl" granite in our basement kitchen and I think that might be something to look at. Some online pix do look a little blue but ours does not at all, it has some silver mica chips in it which obscures prints but It's essentially black while not straight black.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 11:34PM
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You could also go with white counters and vanity.

Or dark vanity and light counters

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 2:31PM
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