OT - Kateskouros Please Come In!!

hobokenkitchenMay 19, 2012

Hi Kateskouros,

I saw on the bathroom forum that you did your bathroom with Mother in Pearl tile, but I can't seem to find any finished bathroom pics or details of where you got the tile. I would love to see pics and get some ore details if you wouldn't mind sharing.

How has it held up? Is cleaning an issue? Where did you source your tile?

Thanks so much!!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

hi hobokenkitchen! my tile is not mother of pearl. the manufacturer calls it "troca" shell. it's warmer than MOP and while it has quite a bit of dimension to it, it doesn't give off the same "rainbow" effect that MOP does. i was looking for something special but a little less glitzy than MOP. it was sourced from the philippines by a man named john romain. his email is exclusivetiles@gmail.com. he does carry mother of pearl as well as other varieties and is very good about sending samples.

my tile is set without grout lines and was sealed with a water tight coating at the factory. each tile is 12 x 12 and cost about $79 each, if i remember correctly. we tiled a large panel in the shower as well as two more panels beside the bathroom doors and the backsplash sink wall.

to purchase the tile in the US would have cost over $400 per sq ft. it's expensive for sure and i now know why. any type of genuine shell tile typically comes as border pieces, so they are much smaller than my 12x12 tile. i found out rather quickly when i set out on my search that if it were to be, i'd have to acquire a custom order from the source. so with the help of google i started sending emails to every overseas tile manufacturer i could find. i spoke to a few leads but ultimately went with john since he speaks perfect english AND he contacted me by phone more than once.

he is honest so you will have no trouble with your order. you will find however, that once it arrives in the US your problems have only just begun! john phoned to let me know they were shipping my order out and customs would notify me when it arrived. and that they did. i was told that in order for me to receive the tile i would need to obtain a permit from the department of fish and wildlife. the customs agent helped me get the forms and i filled them out and sent them off -with $100 fee. a couple of weeks later the permit arrived in the mail. so i was off to get my tile!!! ...but not so fast. it turns out the shipment first must be cleared by US customs. unfortunately it was received over a long weekend, so needed to be held over. fine. sounds reasonable. until i learned that customs charges a $50 fee BY THE DAY. and silly me, i thought an officer would simply go to work on the next business day and i'd be a couple hundred dollars poorer. but no. it took over THREE WEEKS for an agent to approve my shipment and send it out to dispatch! so my boxes sat there accumulating fees for weeks until i was allowed to pick it up. when the day finally arrived i was over it. i shelled out (no pun intended) much more than a few hundred dollars. it's been a while so i'm trying to remember ... i think they gave me "a break" and charged me $1700 to take possession of the tile.

i had NO IDEA what a hassle it would be trying to import a little tile from another country! i had no clue i would need a fish and wildlife license nor did i know anything about how customs worked. and now that i do, i can't say i'd ever try anything like this ever again. but then again, i will never build another house again. never. not even with a gun pointed to my head!

that said, it's total gorgeousness. jaws drop when people walk into the bathroom. some day it will make me smile but for now i'm too exhausted and emotionally drained. of course it's not all from The Tile Drama. the whole experience has sucked the joy out of our lives.

but we're moving in NEXT WEEKEND. oh joy.
good luck hoboken. let me know what you decide and i can't wait to see. you always do such a lovely job i know it will be perfect!

all the best to you and your family!!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 5:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

OMG Kateskouros, I am so sorry to hear it was such an ordeal - not just the bathroom, but it sounds like you had a tough time all around and now are moving! : (

That must suck having to move from such a stunning place - if the bathroom is any indication the rest of the house must be to die for. I know if I were house shopping I would take one look at that tile and fall madly in love. It's so bold and unusual, yet so classic and elegant.

Based on your experience we won't risk the same issues you went through, but I'll see what we can find here in the States and look at alternative options. If I could I would do it in a heartbeat - you did an amazing job. Possibly one of the most beautiful (and biggest!!) bathrooms I have ever seen.

I wish there was a 'finished bathrooms blog' so it could be kept for others to see - from my brief search it would appear that you are the gardenweb resident expert! : )

I hope you enjoy your next home and it helps to breath the joy back in!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 8:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

hoboken--I think she means she is finally moving into that gorgeous home next weekend!

Congratulations to kateskouros!!! WooooHooooo!!!! How many years has it been?

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 9:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am lusting...
when can i come over to shower?

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 9:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Kate, I hadn't seen the rest of the bathroom, only your shower panels and a shot of the floor.

OMG. That is seriously THE most beautiful bathroom I've ever seen.

I can't wait to see your new home of the cover of House Beautiful.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 10:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

thank you so much guys. and yes, after 3+ years we are finally moving in. but that doesn't mean it's finished or that we have a CO (we don't). still trying to get the GC to finish up what little electrical and masonry is left.

and when we are finally finished i will reveal the name of the criminal who has caused us such a horrific experience. ...am i "allowed" to do that here??

hoboken: i don't think i ever mentioned, i lived in hoboken (w/BFF) after finishing college for seven years! best days EVER. i found this old PATH station roll sign on ebay and it made me cry when i saw it. it wasn't cheap and dh thought i was crazy but i had to have it! i traveled hoboken to 33rd every day to my job downtown. fyi: hudson terminal was the path stop BEFORE WTC was built. -yes, the sign is very old!

thanks so much for your very kind words. you're all welcome when we're done (to shower or whatever else...)!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 12:03AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You are just moving in!!!! Ok, I am shocked it's taken so long, but that is better! : )
Now you get to enjoy the fruits of all your labors.

I don't think you can slander people online, but I do think you can post your experiences with a specific contractor/ company - that seems very fair to me and helps other people avoid the same experiences. Also it might be worth joining Angie's List and posting there and any other online review sites you can find. If someone has done particularly well I try to make a point of leaving online reviews and the same should apply to particularly poor experiences.

Another question - do you have enough extra room for myself, my husband, a small well behaved dog and soon a baby? We could just live in the bathroom? ; )
Our house is a building site and right now our GC is not in our good books. We could all use a break and that tub looks comfy! Lol.

Hoboken is great isn't it?! We're not there any more, but we were up visiting a few weeks ago and made it to some favorite haunts (Amandas in particular!).

Do you have photos posted of the rest of your house? It's obviously been an ordeal for you, but you should know that if that bathroom is anything to go by then you really have created a spectacular home. Actually I'm having house envy and that doesn't happen a lot.

It seems between beekeepers wife and you we have a lot of the same taste!!

Would just LOVE to see more rooms and congrats again. With luck you'll get in and be able to put the ordeal behind you and enjoy it to the fullest!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 5:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Kate, I always love that floor. Congrats on moving in!

Hbkn, Anne Sacks makes a glass tile called "ice" that looks like MOP. I used it in my girls shower room. I liked it because the MOP I found was all a small format, which was busier than I was looking for. The Sacks' online photos look pink not MOP. The link below shows where CP used it in his kitchen and is a truer representation.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 7:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Kate, I second the opinion that yours is the most beautiful bathroom I've ever seen! Wow. Great job.
Do you happen to remember the thickness of the tiles (pearl) you used? Did they come on a mesh backing?
thanks so much.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 8:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Kate, Gorgeous bathroom!! Congrats on finally moving in, can't wait to see finished photos. Can you give the details for that gorgeous chandelier?

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 8:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

thanks everyone for the kind words. i have to admit, this nightmare has really taken a toll on my health; mental and otherwise. i'm grateful to hear such nice things.

hoboken, you can come over and nap in my tub any time!

snbtwins: the chandy is the gianna by murray feiss.

threeapples: i'm not sure what you mean by "thickness". the tile is 20cm troca shell, no grout lines and is factory sealed for wet areas. it's like it's ceramic or any other hard tile and they are 12x12. it's typically sold on mesh but since i was using it in wet areas it was delivered with the backing and heavy duty sealant. hope that answers your questions!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 7:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Kate--hope you don't mind one more question. Your doorknobs and rosettes?

Love your bathroom as well.


    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 8:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

not at all red lover. all our door knobs are by emtek. i used the parma knob and oval rosettes in bronze except for the master bed/bath (and dd's room!) where i switched to the hampton knob. i love these since they aren't cut ...like perfect glass eggs. i'm not sure which finish the rosettes are in the bathroom. i think pewter, although they look much nicer in real life.

Here is a link that might be useful: hampton glass knob

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 10:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Kateskouros - I understand on a certain level the pain you endured with this build. Our building woes are not near as longstanding as yours. However, when we put our trust and money in a person that will become an intimate part of our lives and they fail to live up to their end of the contract, it can suck the life out of you. When we asked our long time friend to build our house, he replied, "I promise you it will be fun." Well, the fun stopped within weeks of breaking ground when we found out he was financially unstable. Fortunately for us, we refused to give him any more cash and we made him sign papers that we would pay all bills from that point forward. He was to pay for several subs with our down payment. He walked away with our money more than two months ago and is declaring bankruptcy. We are moving forward and should be in our house within 6-8 weeks.

I am delighted to read you will soon be in the new house.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 11:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have obviously missed the story, but I am sorry it has been such a nightmare for you. : (

I wish you all the peace and happiness in the world when you move in and put all the negativity behind you. Maybe you need to do some kind of cleansing ceremony! Lol.

When you are settled and feeling up to it I for one (and I bet I'm not alone) would love to see more pics of your beautiful home to drool over.

Have you posted kitchen pics? The search function here isn't that great.

Lots of luck with your move which will be another stressful few days, and then you'll be done and finally be able to relax and enjoy all of the hard work!! : )

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 6:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

motherof3sons: it made me cry to read your post. while i realize we are fortunate to be able to undertake such a project at all, i wouldn't wish this on anyone. it does indeed suck the life out of you.

we've been "almost finished" for two years! i have no idea how much longer it will be or how much more i can take.

peace and positive thoughts to us both.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 12:02AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Did you ever post pics of your finished house? I am so sorry that your project went on for so long. No wonder you are drained!

It makes me a bit worried for my sanity...we are starting a new project and sold our old (beautiful) house. I have been living with all of the stuff that makes us crazy: stove not working, windows jammed shut, etc. I hope I can survive two projects in four years!

Post pics soon--hope the scar tissue has mended and you are now just HAPPY!!! :)

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 12:00AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Baker Cherry Shaker doors vs IKEA Laxarby doors
Please advise on Baker doors. I am going to get IKEA...
Help with galley kitchen layout ... please.
Hi everyone! I am hoping you can help me with my layout...
New to Kitchens? Read Me First!
Welcome! If you are new to the Kitchens Forum, you...
Can you look at my kitchen layout and tell me what I'm missing?
Sorry I posted this once previously, but I wanted to...
Quartz or Dekton/Neolith?
I know all about the wonders of quartz countertops...
Sponsored Products
Brett Orange 18 x 18 Stripes Throw Pillow
$57.95 | Bellacor
Lemon Maze Settee - YELLOW
$1,399.00 | Horchow
Turbopump 110
$87.95 | FRONTGATE
Purple Three-Section Collapsible Lunch Box Set
$8.99 | zulily
ELK Lighting Chadwick 66159-1 Pendant - 8W in. - Polished Nickel - 66159-1
$222.00 | Hayneedle
Home Decorators Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug: Home Decorators Collection Rugs Omega
Home Depot
Arteriors Home - Stephane End Table - DD2007
Great Furniture Deal
Woodbridge Lighting Anson 1-light Satin Nickel Mini Pendant Light
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™