Hexagonal floor tiles-classy or cheap looking

nerdNovember 14, 2012

We are remodeling the bathrooms in our 1940s era home. We are considering replacing the gray and maroon 2 inch hexagonal floor tiles with bone or off white hexagonal tile from Adex (we are looking at a beleved subway tile for the walls). Our designer has said that the tile we like is from the 1970s era and we should be looking at "rounded edge tiles" v straight. She also also given us the "installation will cost more than the tile " speech and is trying to steer us towards more expensive brands--sonoma tilemakers for example. What has been your experience with adex tiles? C They are very reasonably priced which is a plus.

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Your designer probably gets a bit of money for steering you toward certain companies. It is your project since you pay the bills, so get what you want.

By the way, tiling is something you could do yourself if you have the desire and skill.

One question first: why pick a tile color that will show off dirt so nicely? If the original tile is in good shape, it fits better with the style and era of the house, so why change it for something which isn't as well made? Guaranteed that the old installation is better than the job you will get now, at least at a sane price.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 2:36PM
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If it's possible to keep the original floors, do it. Gray could be really cool.

Adex has been making tiles since the 1890s in Spain, relatively recently expanded to the USA. I'd be comfortable with their stuff.

Yes, the installation costs more than the tile you chose, but so what? As long as the tile is suitable for a bathroom floor (non-skid, well-glazed or full-color porcelain) the price doesn't matter.

I paid $1.29 a square foot for the tiles in my tub surround ... it was the right color, the right characteristics, and it was just as suitable as the stuff costing 10-15 times as much.

Tell the designer to shut up and give you what you want.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 5:31PM
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Looks-wise, I'm with the designer.
Cost-wise, it's up to you.

Instead of looking at it as "this tile is 10x more", compare each in terms of fixed cost/#years of enjoyment.

Or if you do the math for the entire job (labor, etc.), then the difference in the tile cost, as a total percentage, is tiny.

When I explain it this way to my clients, I never hear regrets afterward. Of course, not everyone has that luxury in their budget, so there's no right/wrong answer. Just don't lose sight of the bigger picture.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 6:16AM
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I'm curious about your thoughts regarding the "installation costs more than tile" speech. You didn't seem to appreciate it, yet in general it does serve to keep folks grounded, esp. those who are more cost-conscious (not a bad thing). Nothing worse than burning a few hours only to find out what someone is willing to spend is half of what it would take.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 6:36AM
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Fori is not pleased

If installation costs more than the tile...well, that doesn't mean you have to spend so much on the tile that it costs more than the installation!

I think straight edged tile is very old school retro and NOT 70s retro. As far as what's appropriate for and what dates a remodel, beveled subway is where I'd have a problem. That's sort of a recent trendy thing.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 5:01PM
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All I'm saying is don't settle for what seems inferior (dated) just because it's cheaper. And if you do like the look of the squared edges, great, go for it.

But that good feeling of the good deal has a way of wearing off quick if it was the wrong call, and you'll be looking at it every day.

Don't get me wrong about designers, either. They have their expertise, "eye", seletion, etc. but I'm not trying drum up business for them. Sometime they annoy me, too, like when a client bombards me with hundreds of emails that go something like this: "the designer said....but what do you think?"

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 6:53AM
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If you have a chance, how about posting a pic of the area in question?

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 6:56AM
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2 inch sounds a little large.

1 inch is more common.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 10:02AM
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Circus Peanut

Squared edges were the norm until the 50s or so -- I'd personally stick with the squared edges rather than the rounded ones as they would be more period-authentic. The beveled ones are the result of more modern machine-production, as I understand it, and take larger groutlines that don't look as sharp and crisp.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 11:09AM
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Send us pics!

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 6:23PM
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My 3x6 tiles are square edged and were installed before they were used in the New York subway stations so it is a misnomer to call them subway tiles. They were the equivalent of today's inexpensive 4 1/4 x 4 1/4 tiles of their day.

Before I would use eased edge 3x6 tile I would use standard 4 1/4 x 4 1/4 in a staggered common bond pattern. There are many inexpensive ways to dress it up.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 6:29PM
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If you aren't using marble, doesn't installation always cost more than the tile? Ours certainly did. But I see the point of the tile installers. We tried our hardest to save money on our bathroom, but when push came to shove, it made sense not to try to save a little money on the tile. It was the same way with choosing a cast iron tub rather than a cheaper fiberglass. Sure, we might save cash now, but in 10 years when we have to pay someone to install a new one, it will cost way more than what we paid upfront.

But if the quality of the tile you are contemplating is good (i.e. you won't have to rip it out in 20 years because it chipped), then don't let them sway you.

For what it's worth, I like 2 inch hexagon. We went with 1.25 hex in our new bathroom, but that's because we live in a 1920s home. For your home, I think it would be nice and 2 inches equals less grout lines to clean.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 7:53PM
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I ordered Adex for our bathroom update just a few weeks ago. The tile has not been installed, but will be in a week or so and I will post pics at that time, if you are interested.

I selected Adex 2" hex and coordinated with the white subways, chair and baseboard from the Neri line. Was going to go with Dal Rhittenhouse, but I didn't care for their baseboard options.

I worked with an ID who recommended the beveled subways, but in the end, I wanted my tile to be the background and allow other elements to take center stage, so I opted for the flat 3x6.

IMO, I think the white hex and subways are classic and a nice neutral background. Your paint color and finishes will determine the "look" of your bathroom.

google this~ chocolate bathroom attic mag

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 10:01PM
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