"tile rug" on bathroom floor

home4all6March 7, 2013

We are right in the middle of building a master bathroom addition, and I'm in major decision-making mode (my head hurts...)
I thought I had the floortile figured out, but my GC is trying to talk me out of it...We are planning 12x12 marble tile floor, and were planning to do a 6'x3' tile rug, made from marble baseketweave, in front of our 6' double vanity. I have loved the basket weave for years, but don't like the look of the entire floor done in it, so this seems like a good solution.
My GC says this is a very trendy decision, and he recommends against it with something as permananent as tile floors. We have been trying all along to make design choices that aren't too trendy, but still fit in our 1916 home. We will have a stand alone soaker tub on the opposite side of the tile rug from the vanity.
We also will have a walk-in shower, but it is walled, with a glass door, and not really visible from the main bathroom area, so if I only use the basketweave in there, it won't be seen in the rest of the room. We are only tiling the floor of the bathroom, not the walls or backsplash.
What are your thoughts on tile rugs in the bathroom? Do you think I will regret this decision is a few short years? I will say that I love it, and my husband loves it, and we are the only ones who will use and see this room on a daily basis.

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First and foremost, I would say that if both you and your husband love the idea, I would not substitute your GC's opinion. I don't think of tile rugs as trendy, especially if they are done with classic basket weave.

One thing to consider though, is whether you will want to keep a "real" rug in front of your vanity so that you're not standing on the hard tile. If you do, much of that 6' x 3' tile rug could be covered. Is there enough floor space to center it in the room so that you can see and enjoy the whole thing?

If you haven't already, check houzz.com for some beautiful images of tile rugs. Here are a few....

Contemporary Bathroom design by Toronto Interior Designer AM Dolce Vita

Traditional Bathroom design by New York Kitchen And Bath True Leaf Kitchens

Traditional Bathroom design by Other Metro Interior Designer Fiorito Interior Design

Traditional Bathroom design by Boston Design-build Feinmann, Inc.

Traditional Bathroom design by San Francisco Architect Gast Architects

Traditional Bathroom design by San Francisco Architect ACANTHUS Architecture & Design, San Francisco, CA

Of course, none of these staged rooms show any rugs. If you love the look and potentially covering part of it wouldn't be an issue for you, I'd definitely go for it... as long as you promise to post pictures!

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 2:18PM
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Thank you treasuretheday! I have almost all of those saved in my houzz file already--and I love them! The first one is one our main inspiration pics--we also ordered that chandelier from overstock.com!
I appreciate your point about an actual rug--I hadn't thought about that! But, we are planning to heat the floor in that area, so I am hoping we won't need an actual rug.
We don't have a master bathroom now, just the bath we share with our 4 young kids, so I am having trouble anticipating how we will use it once we have it! I like having rugs on our current floor, because I hate standing on the cold tile floor, but I'm hoping that after our new floor is heated, I won't mind standing on it.
Is it ok to have a rug on the heated floor? I never even considered this!

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 2:34PM
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If you're getting your own bathroom after sharing with 4 young kids, you are really going to feel like you're in a luxury retreat with all that you have planned! I love our heated floors and appreciate them every cold morning. We have them timed to come on in the early morning for a few hours and we don't use them during the rest of the day or night. I keep memory foam rugs in front of our vanities and the shower and there's no problem having them on the heated floor.

You mentioned that you're going to heat your floor "in that area" of your vanity. Do you mean that some of your floor would not be heated? I only ask because you'll be amazed at how very cold an unheated section will feel compared to the heated area. You'll want the entire floor heated, particularly under the toe kicks and a few inches back from the front of the toilet. (If you just take the heat mat back to the toilet flange, you'll be all set.)

I love the chandelier in your inspiration picture. It's very similar to the Pottery Barn Clarissa that we have over our tub.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 3:12PM
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I had a "tile rug" in a closet ... it had been part of a bathroom in a house built in the 1890s. A house down the street from that one had a tile rug in it's original master bathroom built in the late 1880s

So much for "trendy". It's actually authentic and "period".

ADDING: the men's room of an early 1900s train station had a "tile rug" in front of the urinals.

This post was edited by lazygardens on Thu, Mar 7, 13 at 16:24

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 4:22PM
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Tell your GC that when he builds HIS house, he can do it the way he likes. In the mean time, live by the golden rule-- the one with the gold (YOU) makes the rules! If you like the mat, demand it, and if he can't do it tell him you'll get someone who can and take it off his contract.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 5:56PM
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Exactly. Stick to your guns. Properly proportioned, those insets look stellar.

Ask him if his concerns are that the inset is beyond his installer's skill level.

It's either that, or your GC has no design sense whatsoever. Could be both. ; )

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 6:03PM
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I love a basketweave inlay. We are doing one in our current master bath remodel. I was going to wait until it was complete to post pics, but here are a couple of just the floor. Ignore the wall color, it hasn't been painted yet. I am so thrilled with how it turned out. We cut square tiles in half to get rectangles to go around the inlay. Originally we were going to do square, but I think the rectangles look better around the rectangular "rug" area.

I'm not planning on using any rugs in this area. I'll have one in front of the shower which is in the small adjacent room with the toilet. I'm going to get a towel like rug - the kind you use in hotels - for in front of the tub just when we use it.

I ordered that same light from overstock and it arrived today. I guess great minds think alike. :)

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 6:03PM
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Lazy gardens, I thought they were more of a period thing. I know our old house had original basketweave on the floor under the crappy vinyl floor we pulled up (why was it ever covered? Must have gone out of "style" at some point...

Bill Vincent, I actually really like our GC, he is just more budget-minded, and was warning against something too trendy. I just didn't think of it as trendy, but then started thinking it might be one of those things, like subway tile, that can be called trendy or timeless, depending on your point of view.

Tsg1104, our bathrooms will likely be very similar :) We have a charcoal gray double vanity with a carerra top. I am planning on carerra tiles for the floor, but I was thinking 12x12's...yours aren't squares, are they? I love yours! And then can you tell me more about your rug tiles? Is the dot in the centers black or gray? I was thinking of going with gray...and then can you tell me a little more about the border? I love it, but haven't seen any squares in that size to cut down to rectangles. I'd love any info you could share.
Did you do a shower, too? May I ask what tiles you used in it? I'm still stuck on the shower tiles. I like carerra subways, but can't decide if I'd like 3 full walls of that. And maybe the basketweave on the floor of the shower, too? Not sure yet...
And the chandelier should be arriving here tomorrow according to the tracking number--can't wait! Did you choose any coordinating lights for your vanity area? I am still trying to make decisions there...
Like I said, my head hurts:)
Mongoct, he said we can do it, and he has been doing it around here in other homes. He just said he thinks it'll be one of those things that says, "this work was done in 2013." And we have been trying to avoid that...

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 6:24PM
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The marble surround tiles are 9x18. We purchased 18x18 and cut them in half. I shouldn't say we - our brother in law who is a professional marble mason did the floor for us with my husband's help. They are honed. The basketweave is white and black tumbled marble. Because it is tumbled the black is softer and not as stark. It doesn't have the sealer on yet so it may appear darker once it is applied. The border is 1x2 tumbled grey marble. They came on a mesh back as a mosaic and they cut the rows apart to install as the border.

How we found the tile is a long story. We had tile picked out from a discount tile store, but when we went to actually buy they didn't have enough and none of their stores in the state had anymore. Our bathroom was already gutted and our BIL was here from out of state so I spent hours calling tile places and went to several with no luck. Then our BIL mentions has a friend near here that he used to work with in New York (a very strange coincidence) and called him for a recommendation. He recommended a place not five miles from our house that I didn't even know existed, but they don't sell to the public. He was nice enough to go with us and buy it using his contractor's account. I kind of stumbled across the 1x2 grey border when we were there picking out the other tile. Originally I was planning on a grey glass tile, but it was going to be problematic to install because it wasn't as high as the rest of the tile so he was going to have to try to build up with thin set to get it level. This was a better solution. Finding everything was a huge headache, but in the end I'm so much happier with this than what we had originally chosen.

The shower is subway tile. I wanted the entire shower to be ceramic or porcelain to make it easier to clean, but we couldn't find anything we both liked for the floor so the floor and the back wall of the niche are the same 1x2 grey tumbled marble as the border. I don't have any pictures of it yet.

The cabinets and tub front look very black in the picture. The color is called graphite which I thought was a very, very dark grey in the sample, but now that it is in I think it looks more like a softer black. Either way it was a compromise because i wanted another lighter grey that my husband didn't like. The countertops are super white.

The lights are another story. The overstock light is a last minute addition. I saw it in a bathroom here (I think it was beekeeperswife's) and loved it. I'm not even sure exactly where we are going to put it yet. I don't know whether to center it in the room or between the vanities or over the inlay... I'll probably have to hold it up a bunch of places. I'm just thrilled to finally have it as it was out of stock for weeks after I first saw it and I was worried they might not get any more in. The vanity lights were the only thing in the room from before that I wanted to keep. Unfortunately, my husband recently broke one of the shades and I haven't found a suitable replacement. So, I may be in the market for new vanity lights too. If you find something that works well with the chandelier, let me know.

Sorry to be so long winded. I think I answered your questions and then some.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 8:29PM
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TTSG1104, I really appreciate all of your specifics! You have no idea how hard this has been to figure out these details from my computer--I just can't pack up the kids and bring them to a new store to check out a new product. So, I read and research, and then the most of my trips to the stores, knowing exactly what I want to see. And sometimes I just order, sight unseen, and hope for the best!

So, is your entire floor honed? The 9x18's and the "rug," too? I hadn't even considered honed for the floor, but I like that idea!

I also was pushing for subways in the shower, but my husband is really pushing for marble subways, so we might go that route, with the basketweave as the floor? We will have 3 solid walls of tile, plus a bench on the back wall, so I can't decide if I should do another "tile rug" of the basketweave on the back wall, above the bench, just to add some interest? Or if we should use a bigger marble tile, maybe the 9x18's on part of each wall, or on the lower portion of the whole thing? I like the idea of fewer grout lines in the shower, but i cant figure out how to combine the tiles without making it all too busy? I am just confused!!

Our vanity was a compromise, too. I wanted a rich dark wood, but my husband wanted painted, either white or gray. So gray it is! I think it will be beautiful!

I've loved that chandelier for a long time, but now I feel like I want my vanity lights to coordinate, with glass on them somewhere, too. We have to do lights above the mirrors, and I'm stuck on those, too. I love these form Quoizel, but they cost more than I was hoping to spend...and I can't decide if we should do a 2-light or. 3-light...they will be on dimmers.

All I know is I have to make this tile decision quickly--or else the project will be stalled...

Thanks agin for sharing your input! It is so appreciated :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Possible vanity light

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 10:55AM
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home4all6-- this is not trendy at all. I've been doing mats for a long time, and I'll be doing them until I retire. It's actually more classic than anything else. Now, if he's watching for budget concerns, that's a different story. He may have a point.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 12:04PM
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