Need to brainstorm some ideas for bathroom floor

katie8422March 6, 2011

We have an early 1900s transitional Victorian. All the floors are hardwood except the 3/4 bath, which has square, white porcelain tiles. We're in the process of finishing the 2nd bath. It has no floor right now and we're not sure what to choose.

Here's some info on the style:

-Fixtures will be some shade of chrome or nickel.

-There's no trim yet, so it can be either stained dark or painted white; we have both in the house.

-This is the vanity:

-I really want leafy green walls.

I was thinking of b/w octagon and dot, but that won't match the vanity. I want it to go with the style of the house, so most of the colored tiles I see are too modern.

What would you do?


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Hex tiles would work very well...rather than a dot, how about a border around the edges? Or a flower made up of six colored hexes around a center white?
Think earthy tones for colors to go with the white. Look up Minton tiles if you think colors were pastel back'll get a surprise.
As for the woodwork, I'd go with stained to match that vanity.

Here is a link that might be useful: Minton Tile Site-nice pics!

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 12:29AM
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Here is another site similiar to the Minton link. They are nice because the edges are rectified. I ordered these for a back hallway - should arive this week!

Otherwise maybe check out Daltiles Keystones shapes. You can design an pattern and pick out your colors and they put it on meh sheets for you to install.
A local church put these in as part of a restoration project and it looked nice.

Here is a link that might be useful: encaustic tile

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 2:20PM
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Those are some gorgeous tile links!

I have a tile kitchen counter in our 1905ish Victorian that is coloured but doesn't look modern, maybe because it's a matte tile? It's a 2"square tile with a bullnose. I agree that some sort of a border around the room would give it a very period feel, even if you don't go with a strictly period tile. If you were going strictly period I guess the fixtures would be brass, so if it's not going to be all authentic anyhow, I'd say to let yourself be guided mostly by what you like and what works with the vanity.

Wood can also be made to work in a bathroom; that's actually what we have; and it's original. It was painted wood when we moved in, but we stripped and refinished it - unfortunately with a water-based finish that has not held up, but if you made a smarter choice on the finish, it should be fine.


    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 3:33PM
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Thanks for the tips! We're doing it ourselves so I'm not sure I'm brave enough to do the border myself. How hard is it? I've only ever done square tiles in square rooms!
As for the trim... when we moved in, all the trim upstairs was white and all the trim downstairs was stained, except the bathroom. So if I stain the trim in the upstairs bathroom, it will be like the bathrooms are on the wrong floor because they are the only room with different trim. Is that too weird?

I suppose if I want to do an off-white tile, I'd have to do stained trim, right? Otherwise white trim would not match the off-white tile?

What do you think about 'Block Random Almond D335'?

Here is a link that might be useful: Block Random Almond D335

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 10:27AM
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I really like the distinctive hex mosaics in pictures 3 and 5 of the link below.

I'm doing something a bit similar in my bath, except the background will be white hex, field in carrara hex, and it will be a central medallion surrounded by a field pattern and then border, kind of like an oriental rug.

I wouldn't worry about the stain. I've even seen stain and paint mixed in the same room--not recommended, but can be pulled off.

Here is a link that might be useful: some hex and mosiac tile floors

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 9:18AM
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I don't mind the block random at all, but I think it too will be more challenging than "square tiles in square rooms." However, the edges might be forgiving enough to just be covered with baseboard, if your baseboard is thick enough. Each type of tile probably has its inherent installation challenge, and I think in that case it would be to keep the lines straight through the room because you could go off kilter a bit without noticing it as you work. Then it would be really random :-)

I haven't tiled for a long time, but my recollection is that it's all about layout and measuring (well OK other than the glueing, leveling, and grouting!), and you could maybe see how the sizes of various pattern repeats compare with the size of your room. You're certainly wise to think through the installation process when you pick your tile. Challenging yourself a bit is often a good thing, but a really wrong choice could be a real nightmare, which most old houses already have in abundance!

Oh, and mixing painted and stained trim? I think variety is the spice of life, so it sure wouldn't bother me. Especially if you're consistent within a room, which I'm not even always - with respect to style or colour (if I have original trim for an opening I use it, but if I don't, I use new or other salvage and it doesn't match). I think if the trim works for the room it's in, it doesn't matter if it matches the rest of the house. The only tricky question I run into is how to do the jamb when you make a colour transition. Sometimes the answer is easy, sometimes not.


    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 11:45AM
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Just my opinion, but I don't care for the block random--it looks too much like linoleum or those vinyl tiles.
Hex tiles aren't that hard to install, they come in sheets, and they make half-hexes to fill in at the edges so you still have a straight line. For the age of your house, hexes would be most common for tiles.
Whenever you add trim, I'd opt for stain, as that will make less work for the next owners; at one point, I started to strip my bath trim, and discovered it was never stained! Removing paint from bare wood is not easy, so I eventually gave up--I still think of trying again--off the wall this time--but for now, it's painted a mahogany color.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 5:34PM
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I put VCT tiles (kind of vinyl tile) in my bathroom , a blue and white checkerboard design. I wished I had never done it, the white gets dirty very fast and stains; and the blue shows every bit of dust and hair and water spot.

I'm tempted to go back to wood like what was there before, except the wood was not in good shape in some areas.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 11:07AM
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I did the vinyl tiles in my kitchen and pantry twenty years ago--can't get replacements now--and some are damaged and are coming up. There were two layers of linoleum in there, the latest from the 70s, so I am going to take it all up this spring to see what the wood is like. I have no illusions of hoping for nice wood, but I may get lucky and find no water damage--not sure what will go over it or if I'll refinish.
I know the look I want is a 6" black and white checkerboard, but I have seen pics of early 1900s linoleum that is a spatter-effect in various colors--that sounds very tempting to do in paint!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 11:14PM
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My blue and white checkerboard tiles are 12" X 12". Hope this isn't hijacking katie's thread but who else has a checkerboard tile floor in their home, a dark color with a light color? As I said before, I find it terribly hard to keep clean. Bet I use a box of Swiffer cloths a week; no, I'm exaggerating a bit there but you get the idea.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 7:39PM
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I'll hijack further to the issue of cleaning, which is actually not a bad thing to consider when choosing interior fittings.
Just as the kind of landscaping you choose has to reflect the kind of gardener you are, the kind of cleaner you are should probably be considered in flooring. At least insofar as considering whether you prefer to sweep, mop, or vacuum in the bathroom.

Schoolhouse, it is obvious that you hold to a pretty high standard of cleanliness - my house would probably give you conniptions right when I think I've just finished cleaning :-) But honestly I can't imagine anything so bad that it would induce me to clean that much!! And although I'm clearly not an expert at this, maybe there is something that would do a more lasting job of the task - does the swiffer leave the surface prone to collecting dust or water spots or something? Maybe it leaves it static? Might be worth trying something different?

And it is one of the best things about the forums that we get to learn from each others' mistakes, so (since none of us will live long enough to make quite all of them ourselves!) I don't really think this was a hijack at all.

For bathroom surfaces, things like whether it will be slippery when wet or whether a mat will be secure (mine sometimes slide rather easily) might also be considerations.


    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 9:07PM
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I've been changing my mind left and right the last couple days, but now I'm leaning towards Rialto white from Lowe's, possibly 6", and I decided to stick with antique brass finish for the lights and faucet. (Hopefully we'll be the only ones who know that the shower has brushed nickel fixtures inside!)

Check out my poorly made collage in the link. :-P

Top left: Rialto white tile
Top middle: antique dresser we will use for storage
Top right: supposed to represent the cream marble of the vanity top

Bottom left: close up of the detail on the dresser
Bottom middle: brass lighting for over the vanity
Bottom right: our vanity, and a close-up of the wood color above it.

Green in the background is what we hope to paint the walls. Should be a leafy green but doesn't look quite right on my screen.

Does it look cohesive? It's totally not what I pictured when we started this project in August!

Here is a link that might be useful: collage

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 9:52PM
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Oh my KarinL, I'm certainly no clean-freak, but I do like my floors to be clean MOST of the time. The whole house has old wooden floors except the bathroom with the checkboard tile. I saw it in a magazine once years ago and fell in love with the look.

It could have been the type of material I chose - VCT I believe it was called, the type used in shops and hospitals I think; because that's all I could find in 12" X 12" dark blue tile (within a 100 miles). It hasn't had a coat of polish since I put it down, so that would help some; but every bit of dust, dog/cat hair, my hair is visible. Plus I'm always forgetting and walking straight from outside gardening into the bathroom with dirty shoes. The white tiles stain easily - again, the polish would have helped.

Maybe that should be a goal during Spring cleaning this year, stripping and putting polish back down.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2011 at 11:25AM
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