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PICKING OUT TILE

Over the last few weeks I've been thinking about tile. I've been working with the lovely ladies at Specialty Tile to find the perfect options for our kitchen, master bathroom, and the girls' bathroom. I've known all along that I wanted to do subway tile in the kitchen, but then you have to pick out what kind of subway tile you like as well as grout and there are plenty of choices. This is where Pinterest wins yet again. I pinned every example I could find of things that I like and then showed Jordan exactly what I was looking for. It's always helpful to give the people you are working with a visual. You can't expect them to read your mind. The more people I meet with, the more I realize how important this truth is.

When I visited the showroom last week I was overwhelmed with a gazillion beautiful options and had I not really thought out my choices before I think I would have been in trouble. I love tile and they had the best displays. It really got my mind racing with ideas. It's also helpful to have a budget in mind (oh, the budget!). Having a budget helped them steer me in the right direction once they got the vibe of what I was looking for. I'm still dreaming about this gorgeous handmade scalloped tile that you may have seen on instagram. One can dream!

Sam and I are going to attempt and tile the kitchen ourselves. Have you done this? Are we nuts? Tips please!

bathroom inspiration pinned here.
kitchen inspiration pinned here.


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11 comments :

  1. We tiled our back splash by ourselves, it was so messy and a lot of work. It took us 3 days, between work and kids it took forever. But it saved us so much money and it looks great.

    My advice is to get a sitter at least for the first day. It takes awhile to get started and to get your tile started correctly. It doubles your work when you have "little helpers".

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  2. I would consider us new to the DIY renovations area, sort of a step behind young house love I suppose. We gutted our bathroom down to the studs and tiled the floor and shower surround ourselves. The floor went relatively fast thanks to larger tiles and small area, but the shower surround did take a while. It wasn't necessarily hard, just very time consuming - we used subway tile, too, but we used spacers on each and every tile. If you can, I'd look for tile that has spacers built in, or several tiles on a mesh to make it go faster. We did tend to be very careful to get nice spacing. Other than the time, it was a very doable project for us! It's still not quite done (sealing and caulking still to come), but you can see a partially completed picture here http://creekbedthreads.com/2013/02/08/finishing-up-a-few-sneak-peeks/

    BTW, I love your blog! Been reading for a while now, but haven't commented much :) We're expecting our first in early April, so I've enjoyed your posts about babies!

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  3. Lesley, not sure if you read Door Sixteen, but she's had a bunch of tiling-related posts lately that might be helpful... http://www.doorsixteen.com/?s=tiling!

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  4. So my husband and I did the back splash in our kitchen, but the tiles came on a net . . . if that makes sense. So it was basically really easy. Subway tile probably doesn't come like that because our tiles are a bit smaller, but you could check it out? Otherwise - you're not crazy and it will work out and be awesome. Projects like that can be great fun. Good luck! I love the tiles you chose.

    I also love the honey comb tile for the floor FYI. ;)

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  5. I think you and Sam are quite handy and probably already know this...but if you're going the subway route, definitely use a level and stand back from time-to-time to make sure everything is looking even and fab!

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  6. I will gladly come help if you want! Definitely get the tiles with the built in spacers.

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    Replies
    1. so sweet! thanks chris. may take you up on that... :)

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  7. My dad works for Crossville Porcelain Inc. (high-end porcelain tile). He's a VP and has worked his way up since he first started in his early 20's. Anyway, I grew up with tile and watching him install it (actually I was hired by Specialty Tile to work on the sales floor after college!). From all I know about tile install I'd never attempt it. Too many ways to mess up and then end up with a poor install and later have cracking etc, not to mention it looking terrible.. Even after 30+ years of tile install experience my dad still has a lot to learn about perfect install. And, even professional installers have to tear out new tile installs just to fix errors they've made. It truly takes a lot of practice, experience, expertise. Its definitely not just putting tiles on the wall. Plus, the setting materials are expensive (tile saws, grout mixers, Mikita saws, etc.). Tile install is truly an art and science- no wall or floor is perfectly square or level, layout is complicated, choosing the right materials for the job is complicated, etc. Plus, if you are choosing to do a white subway tile with grey grout (me too!!), the install must be spot-on perfect because the darker grout shows every tiny mistake the installer has made.

    Hope this helps!

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    1. super helpful! thanks for the info!

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  8. I am so glad you posted this today! My husband and I are in the process of flipping our house and I'm thinking about installing our kitchen & bathroom backsplash tile myself. I can't wait to hear/see the tips and advice your receive.
    ps. We have VERY similar style. Two of your pins are on my "home" inspiration board. :)

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