Old House Black and White Tile Bathroom Floor?

suziequeNovember 4, 2008

I am redoing some things in my bathroom and it'd be a good time to replace the floor tiles. The previous owner put small (maybe 2x2?) blue tiles on the floor (I think they came in large sections with backing, then were grouted in between) but I'd like the old style of white tiles with some black tiles. I have no idea how to describe what I mean but I'm hoping that you do!

I've seen various patterns. Can anyone post a picture or point me to where I might be able to start?

Many thanks.


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Hex tiles?

Or squares?

Any tile shop should have something along the lines of what you're looking for.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2008 at 3:41PM
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We recently replaced our old hex tile floor with a new one of the same design, white with black flowers. Here is a picture, this was right after it was laid down, pre-grouting.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2008 at 9:33PM
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Lauren - that's exactly what I mean, and I love it! I believe there are different patterns, but yours is adorable. I've been to 2 tile stores and they don't know what I mean and I couldn't see anything like this there. I'll print the picture and take it with me next time.

Am I right that it comes in sheets? Was it pretty easy to put down?


    Bookmark   November 6, 2008 at 11:22AM
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We bought the white hex and a few sq ft of black tile, then created the pattern. Here is a link to an earlier post on the floor.

Here is a link that might be useful: Thread on Hex Floor

    Bookmark   November 6, 2008 at 9:36PM
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Check the manufacturers Daltile and American Olean.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2008 at 7:57AM
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Suzieque ~ I have a little more time this morning to answer your questions. The tile type is mosaic, it comes in sheets that are connected. The challenge is lining it up just right o that you cannot tell that they came connected in sheets (no 'seams'). Our sheets were mounted on mesh. Another type is connected by rubberish 'dots'. The mesh worked well for us to gently pry out the white tiles we wished to replace with black. However, I believe the tile with the dots is easier to lay properly because there is no chance that excess mesh at the edges will bump into the next sheet as you place them into the thinset. To eliminate this possibility, I spent some time trimming the excess mesh from the edges of my sheets.

You can buy hexagon tile already in a couple of patterns from daltile. You can also buy octogan and dot tile fairly easily at most tile stores, where you can have a choice of various dot colors.

Its not difficult to create your own pattern, but be ready to be very careful and meticulous in your planning. As I said, I trimmed every mesh sheet, laid them out dry-fit on the bathroom floor, laid the black flowers on top and figured out exactly where they would go marking with a pencil. Then removed each of the white 'flower' tiles and placed the black 'flower' (which I had cut out still connected with mesh holding the 'flower' together) They are not glued, until the whole sheet is placed into the thinset. Since our bathroom was narrow, I was able to make four piles of tile sheets (with the black flowers in place) which were in the order of which they would be laid with the furthest row by the window on top.

The jagged edges around the room were covered up by wall base tiles, door trim, or the radiators. By the shower pan litle 1/2 tiles were put in place (these can be bought separately, but a good tile setter can cut these).

Lastly, I bought our tile online from American Universal tile. It comes in several sizes and finishes and many colors. We chose 1" matte finish. Send for samples first in the various sizes and finishes. You could also be able to order the daltile or american olean from tile stores.

Here is a link that might be useful: Source for our Hexagon Tile

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 8:45AM
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My goodness, Lauren - how good of you to respond with such a detailed and complete message. I appreciate that you took the time to do so! You'v given me what I need to take the next steps. Thank you!


    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 9:42PM
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Here is my similar question.

My wife and I have a small bathroom in our 1940's home and would like to lay similar hex tiles. However, the old style tiles of the period were laid perfectly flat. The tiles did not have a rounded edge and there was a very thin grout line flush with the tile. In other words, the tiles didn't have a "smooth" edge that sat up slightly above the grout.

Does anyone manufacture tile like those? And is there a name for this type of installation, and does it require a special grout?

Thank you for your help with this!

Please email at: ahistroybuff@gmail.com

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 7:15PM
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We are planning to put down mosaic porcelain tile in the house we just bought. This supplier was recommended by a friend and on other discussion boards. They also have a pretty decent selection and the prices are comparable and competitive: MosaicTileSupplies.com.

As a previous poster mentioned, the hex tile that is available today isn't as authentic as the hex tile of years ago. The new stuff has a "pillow" top or edge and doesn't lay flush with the grout. On the positive side they typically come on fiber mesh which makes it easy for a DIYer to lay down! :)

We just sold a 1924 bungalow and renovated the bathroom -- taking it back to the 1920's -- by removing the the 1970's yellow and brown floor and wall tile. The subway tile had been removed from the walls, but under the floor tile was the original hex flooring! The original hex tile flooring is typically laid into concrete which is what gives it a flush look (no pillow edges). If you have access, take a look at the basement ceiling under your bathroom to see if there are any telltale signs that there is an original tile floor set in concrete. Or, take a hammer and flat screwdriver to an inconspicuous corner and smash up the tile to see what may lie underneath. Especially before you plunk down a lot of money buying all new tile!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 10:56AM
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Circus Peanut

justin_brown, you can get those perfectly flat vintage tiles at Subway Ceramics. They pride themselves on the flatness and historical authenticity. Link below. :)

Here is a link that might be useful: subway ceramics hex floor tile collection

    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 8:08PM
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I dont think the tile at Daltile or American Olean is "rectified" meaning flat all the way to the edge. There may be a small bevel or roundness to the edge.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 4:54PM
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