tile transition from shower wall to ceiling - need ideas!

boymomMarch 30, 2009

First of all, my shower has two windows, one that's high up and long, another that's clear leaded glass (encased in tempered glass) looking to the tub area.

So there's already stuff going on.

Which is why we're doing 16 x16 limestone tiles on the walls (same as our flooring, except not diagonal) and one inch squares floor and ceiling.

My contractor suggested transitioning to the ceiling by bringing the one inch squares down into the wall about 5 inches, with a pencil line at the ceiling/wall corner and a chair rail tile between the lowest row of one inch tiles and the 16 x 16 tiles.

I'm pretty sure this will be too busy for me.

Any other ideas besides just having the 16 inchers on the wall and the one inchers on the floor and ceiling, with no other trim pieces?

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Could the chair rail be used as a crown moulding right at the ceiling line? Or, is there a crown moulding that comes with the series? I agree that what he is suggesting sounds busy with the windows.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 6:35PM
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Here's why I don't want busy. This is the leaded glass panel we just had specially encased in tempered glass, so we could use it in the shower.

And here is the tile, top portion of wall (ceiling will be one inch) as proposed by the bathroom contractor. I'm thinking just one inch on the ceiling and floor, and for the walls, stick with my clean simple 1616"". Because the glass is enough interest, right?!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 7:16PM
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I agree with you. I'd go with just the plain tiles.If you want to do anything, maybe do the mosaics around the center of the walls, with the pencil liner above and below.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 8:31PM
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That's really nice tile and a beautiful window. Going to be lovely. I agree, keep it simple.

Hi Bill! Hey, how does one transition from shower wall to ceiling when one is taking the tile up to the ceiling, but not actually tiling the ceiling?

I was thinking a simple quarter round or half round? But Joel says he can just butt up a regular tile to the ceiling and caulk. Would that look unfinished? We're just not sure. We'll be using bull nose to finish the side wall edges (not the inside corners), so seems to me we should do something at the ceiling edge too. This is the first time we're taking the tile all the way up, because it's a basement bathroom and shower is only 7 ft. In the other two bathrooms we either did a tile ceiling (the famous steam shower sloped) or just didn't take the tile all the way up. Thoughts??


    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 10:03AM
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I agree with Bill, but knowing your vision from pics in another post, I think the mosiac stripe in the middle would interupt the overall design. I'm actually not so sure about the 1 x 1 mosaics, those are really small and the smaller the stones in the mosaic, the busier they look. Of course it depends too on how much variation of color the mosiac has, but you may want to consider sizing up to a 2 x 2 for the floor and ceiling if they have it available.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 5:31PM
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Yes, keep it simple. I would put a pencil tile at the junction of ceiling and wall if necessary but the window should take center stage, no bands of differing tile on the floor.

Tile setters love tile, so they often want to do elaborate designs, which is fine some of the time. but the window should stand on its own.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 5:50PM
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the mosaic is now in the ceiling, and it looks fine. Not too much difference in shades.

And yes, we decided to do plain 16x16 on the walls, no pencil line, nothing else on the walls. But a hiccup today. The installer showed me that if he starts his rows with one 16" tile in the center of the skinny window wall, I'll end up with a 2.5" inch cut strip going up and down both sides of that wall. Waiting for the head dude to come by and see what, if anything, will look better.

Thoughts? Help? Maybe I should swap the 16"x16" for something smaller. But with the thin grout line and butter cream grout, it's a very sleek look, which I like.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 5:58PM
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Hey Ivette!! Actually, there's no "transition" so to speak, needed. You can just cut in the ceiling and caulk it. You CAN, if you like, use something like a 1/4 round, or chair rail. I've even seen one bathroom where they did crown molding all the way around the bathroom, including into a neo angle shower, and then tiled up to the crown molding.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 8:02PM
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BTW-- tell Joel I said hi!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 8:03PM
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Bill, that shower wall below the long skinny window is 52" I think. And three 16 x 16 tiles leaves four inches total. So there really isn't another option besides the 2" pieces running up/down along either side of that wall, correct? Even if I went down to 12 x 12, it would still be basically the same thing.
At least the grout line is thin and the grout matches perfectly.

Too bad I can't slab the shower wall!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 8:05PM
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Could you possibly arrange it so that the 2" pieces were at the outside edge of the walls in a sort of finishing border, vice in the inside corners? Would that make it look better? grasping at straws here.

Thanks Bill! Since we'll be going with the pencil and bullnose finish on the vertical ends of the walls, we'll either do bullnose on top, or just butt up a regular tile, since both you and Joel say it's fine. Works for me, and saves me some buckage on 5 ft of finish tile.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 7:40AM
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Joel says "Hi!" back and says to tell you he wishes he was retired so he could come up and help you work on your house. He's in love....(with the house).

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 7:42AM
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Lo and behold, I had the measurements wrong, and it looks fine anyway! Sometimes you just get a bit too crazy! Sorry for bad exposure, too much light coming in that window!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 5:04PM
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    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 5:08PM
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It's a little late now, but if you'd centered the middle of a tile instead of a grout joint, you would've eliminated that skinny little piece on either side, and still stayed centered. That aside, it looks good so far!

Ivette-- I'm getting an education right now with respect to balloon construction! The one thing that almost stopped us from buying the house was that back side of the house bows (I would guesstimate) about 6-8" from the middle to the two corners. When I first saw it, I thought the house was getting ready to collapse until someone explained that with balloon construction, that's SUPPOSED to happen! Boy didn't I feel stupid!! I'm learning, though!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 9:45PM
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Yes, Bill, you are correct, but that would've created a funkier look around the window, where the inside and outside hole are not quite the same. I forget now, but they showed me the choice, and this was better.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 10:22PM
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