Subway or square tile for 1937 bathroom?

gardenia13May 29, 2010

Greetings! I own a 1937 English Tudor cottage in Portland, Oregon. I've been renovating the bathroom with its 4" salmon pink hexagonal tile floor, bordered in 3" x 6" jadeite green subway tile. The original tile in the tub/shower surround is long gone, courtesy of previous owners, replaced with large 90's rectangular tile that should not remain another month. I've poured over Jane Powell's Bungalow Bathroom book, among other research, and the pictures seem to show, almost exclusively, that colorful Deco bathrooms have 4" square wall tiles as opposed to 3x6 subway tiles.

My color scheme is jadeite green painted walls with glossy black trim and black & white everywhere else. The shower is calling for a crisp black & white tile scheme. I lean toward white subs with palest grey 1/16" grout, and black tile borders and liners. My husband feels we should go with the example set in the books, with square tile.

To me, vast swaths of square white tile (even with the accents in black) just seems so generic, and like it could be from any period up through the '80s. There is so much green already in the room that I'm not interested in more green tile (and salmon pink is NOT an option, too limiting). I know, ultimately, that I have to go with what will please me (and my husband says he's not opposed to subway tile, just that he leans toward what is more period appropriate).

What do you guys think? My home looks like it could have been built in the '20s in most of its original features, with both Tudor and Art Deco details. My house has been on the local historic preservation foundation's tours more than once, and may be again when the bathroom is finished. If I go with subway tile, will renovation/preservation experts think, "Well, that looks nice but is not quite accurate for the 1930's"...?

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Square tile would probably be the most appropriate, but since you have the subway shape in the border, you could use that.

However, my real concern is that you are going to have four colors of tile: salmon, green, white, and black. (Which is at least one too many IMO)--and there is no relationship between the paired colors from the horizontal to the vertical. I think you will find it more limiting to have four tile colors than you would if it were all salmon and green. I have seen this work in the reverse when the floor was black and white basketweave and there were two wall tiles, but that is a bit different.

I can understand not wanting to do the walls in either salmon or the green field tile but if you are going to do white with a border or pencil liner it should probably either be green or salmon--not black.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 9:15PM
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