Ensuite tile and finish help pls! Decision overload

ontariomomApril 13, 2014

Hi everyone,

I am finding choosing tiles for our ensuite bath to be very difficult. I know I want blue of some shade in our master bedroom. I prefer cool colours and don't like tans, earthy colours, etc. Can anyone suggest a good tile that would speak to the blue in the master bedroom? As per counters, I was thinking of Cambria Parys which has nice blues in it. Below is the Cambria Parys counter and the floor plan. I also plan to have the vanity painted off white (SW Alabaster colour).

To complicate matters, we will have a small corner fireplace in our master bedroom that we want to have a timeless surround for. That fireplace surround needs to speak to the ensuite finishes (tile, counters, paint colours, etc). I have included a picture of the fireplace when it was installed in the store. The brick surround was just what the fireplace store chose.

Any ideas of good tiles? I need a main floor tile, shower wall tile (could be the same tile), shower floor tile and back splash tile around vanity. Also, any thoughts on the fireplace surround material that would speak to the hard surfaces in the ensuite? Both the ensuite tiles and the fireplace surround must go well with blue as there will be blue in the master bedroom and likely on the ensuite walls as well as the counters.

I would be very grateful to any help you can provide on this bathroom. We are remodelling a whole house and finishing an addition and I am beyond burnt out with decision making. Thanks!!!


Counter possibility:

Here is the fireplace that will go into the ensuite. I need a surround that speaks to the finishes in my ensuite. Ignore the surround shown in the picture, that was just how they had it installed in the store.

Here is a rough floor plan of the bath. We have made some minor changes (e.g. no sink in toilet room, linen closet opens now to master bedroom), but it gives you an idea of the space we are dealing with.

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You might look at Emser St. Moritz in Gray. It's a darker gray but not as dark as it is on their website. I saw it in person Saturday and actually picked that to go with our Blue Pearl granite for our bathroom. We are using that for the shower as well as a glass and stone mosaic accent with blues, grays, silvers and black in the shower and on the vanity. Our cabinets and trim are white, the walls will be a silvery blue color.

St. Moritz also comes in silver. It had a brownish undertone to it and did not go with the blue pearl sample at all. The picture on the website is misleading. You really have to see them in person to get the true color.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 5:18PM
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I really like the Blue Flower Granite. That would make an awesome fireplace surround. Although limestone would be calmer and nice, too.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 5:39PM
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Not the right shape, but you get the idea.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 5:47PM
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Thank you very much for your tile suggestion. I will take your advice and go and find a place to see the tile. Online pics are also misleading. It sounds like you have a nice plan put together. What silvery blue paint are you using?

DreamingoftheUP: Thank you so much for all the suggestions and pictures. I think stone is a very good idea. Yes, we could use the same stone for the fireplace and ensuite counter (I don't have to use that Cambria sample). I like Granite Blue Flower and Limestone Gascogne blue the best based on photos. Our granite yard is somewhat limited. I will drive into a bigger City and see if I can locate some of those options. Can you tells me what material is on the last photo you kindly posted of the fireplace.

Today, I went back to the ceramic store, and brought home several Marble look alike tiles that were porcelain. That might be a good option. I think I need to nail down this fireplace surround at the same time. So maybe a trip to a bigger stone/granite supplier is the next order of business.

Later tonight I will post pictures of my favourite tiles from today's haul.


    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 6:03PM
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Sorry, I don't know. I just did a google of "blue granite fireplace surround". The picture is from this fabricator's website. Maybe you could call and ask?

Here is a link that might be useful: Fireplace surround gallery

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 6:43PM
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Here are three possibilities. Tile A and Tile B come in more than one tile size which is helpful since I would want to use the same tile on both the floor and shower walls. Tile C seems to match the proposed vanity colour the best as it is creamier in colour. However, Tile C only comes in one tile size (rectangle). We have not placed our cabinet order yet, so I could opt for a whiter colour for the ensuite vanity to match better with tile A or tile B.

What do you think?


Tile A

tile B

Tile C

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 6:44PM
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Also, here's a thread from the decorating forum with two pictures of blue stone fireplace surrounds. Blue Louise is pretty wild!

Here is a link that might be useful: Garden web - blue fireplace surrounds

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 6:47PM
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I think on closer examination, I need to change the paint colour on the vanity to SW Snowbound which is much whiter. Here are the three tiles again with Snowbound. The last picture shows the three tiles together so you can compare colours.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 7:17PM
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Hard to say. From the last picture, I prefer tile B. Tile A seems more yellowish while C is gray (opposite of what you said in the earlier pictures.) Are you snapping this under incandescent light? Flash? Might want to compare in strong daylight, in the bathroom. Or does the bath have no windows?

The vanity color in the first set has a brownish tinge and works better with B. In the second set, the vanity color has more of a grayish tinge and seems to work with either A, B or C.

Sorry, not helping much. :(

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 9:21PM
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I think I need to retake the photos, in the framed bathroom (which is a south room with a window and Sun Tunnel). I took them late yesterday afternoon from the north with some artificial light. I think the poor lighting is impacting the accuracy. I do think tile A or C are our favourites. Tile B seems to have some green colours in that don't look that good with the counter.


P.S. If we go for Snowbound for the vanity, which is a brighter white, are we still okay to carry the warmer white trim into this bathroom (trim to be Alabaster SW). In other words, is it okay for the vanity to be a brighter white than the doors and trim?

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 10:00AM
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I don't think you'd be making a mistake with any of your choices. But, if I were you I would either paint a swatch of your vanity colour on wall or pin/tape up your large sample on wall of the actual BR under the lighting you will have (assuming it is installed already). Then place tiles on floor, so that you can see them in the planes they will be installed, ie @ 90 degrees or perpendicular to each other.

I have the same wall colour on all the 'public' areas of my upstairs, hallways, entryway, LR, DR, kitchen, and it really looks quite different in each setting since the lighting varies so much from location to location.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 12:51PM
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Thanks for your input. I will do some more testing in the framed in bathroom using the proper orientations for the samples There is no lighting installed there, but we will use the natural light.

What kind/colour of accent tile would you put with the fake marble tiles shown? What colour for the shower floor would you suggest? What about a bench top (maybe the counter material here?).

As per the fireplace, I think given the rustic look with the metal curve we are thinking brick might be our best option. We are going to search for a light warm grey brick. The important thing is the fireplace has to go with blue, but does not need to be blue.


    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 3:20PM
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you may have decided on the porcelain marble tiles already, but since you mentioned wanting blue originally, I thought I would post. This is the tile we are doing for our master bath. It is a very pale swirling white and soft gray and blue. I love it. It is porcelain and is prettier and lighter in person. I couldn't find any pictures online but once I saw it I knew. It is Tesoro Stone Onyx in Silver. Under $3 a sf.
Just a thought.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 11:55AM
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What flooring do you have in your Master? What kind of design/decorating theme do have going on in there? Is this a reno in an existing house, or a new build?

You sort of have two different themes going on with the marble in BR and more rustic brick in Bedroom. I wouldn't worry too much about accent tile until you've decided on floor tile and wall tile in BR. Do you have an inspiration photo?

I know what it's like to be at this stage, you're juggling several different things all at once. Personally, I think you either have to pick a counter material, and start from there...or a floor tile and start with that. I started my present BR looking at tiles, but when I picked my granite, things had to change, and I went in a completely different direction.

As for your FP surround, I don't think it really has to tie in with anything in your BR, but if you're looking for continuity then tell us what your style is, and perhaps an inspiration photo or two...
I actually have a very similar problem in my LR. I have Butterfly Blue granite on my pony wall and currently have a temporary Oak mantle and surround (that I bought off Craigslist), and some slate looking floor tiles laid down temporarily as a hearth. We have been looking at this unfinished hole with a non-working FP for oh about 7 years now...So, maybe I'm the last person to be giving advice, I seem to have no issue with waiting until the perfect solution magically appears! LOL

You can see that I like Blue too!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 12:07PM
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That is one gorgeous tile. Do you know what sizes/sheens it comes in? I will definitely try to locate it as well as the one suggested by gold above. Thanks for posting the picture.


Good questions. Our massive project is a kind of a re-build. We added an addition to our home and gutted and are renovating the rest of the house. Right now we are living in a house down to studs and trying to move forward. We are GCing the project and DIY the second half of the build.

As per my style, I tend to prefer transitional style. I don't go for rustic style normally. However, the fireplace that we bought looks a bit rustic to me with the arch and metal above it. I am having a difficult time imagining that fireplace with stone, marble etc as a surround. It just seems to lend itself better to brick in my limited imagination. Am I wrong? Will this fireplace look good with other surrounds other than brick? What does everyone think?

As per flooring in mater bedroom, it will be a speckled (variety of colours: dark grey/light grey, blue grey, cream colours). We have not chosen our bedding. We have darker cherry coloured dresser and head board.

I will put "look for inspiration photos for ensuite and mbr on my list -- that would be helpful.

Here is my fireplace again (the surround was what the fireplace store had on it). What material would you put on it? Can brick be transitional for a fireplace?

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 6:55PM
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So, Master flooring is a speckled ? Tile, carpet? If it's tile, is there any reason it can't continue into BR?

I did a google search for fireplace surrounds for arched gas fireplace, and have posted the link here. There are lots and lots of choices, you could even do a cherry surround to match your furniture!

Hope this helps!

Here is a link that might be useful: Images of FP surrounds

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 7:22PM
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Hi raehelen,

Sorry, the master bedroom will have a speckled coloured carpet. Thanks very much for the link. It has given me some more ideas. I might like a stucco surround (not sure if it is stucco in the images but it looks like it). I don't think I would want wood as I tend to gravitate more to hard surfaces around a fireplace. I might need to find a way to photo shop different options into the fireplace. I am still intrigued by the idea of granite, but I will say the brick that the fireplace store used (not that colour) seems to accent the shape nicely.

Any more opinions anyone on surrounds materials that work with the fireplace?


    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 7:55PM
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It is a satin finish, smooth but not polished. Sizes are I believe 20" x 20", 10" x 14", bullnose, and 2" x 2" mosaic for shower floor.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 11:01PM
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