Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tiling Fun (our 300th Post!)

As our free time permits, we're finally making progress on our guest bathroom project. We posted over a month ago about having a carpenter in to assist with drywall removal and backer board installation, and we also posted about the difficulty of deciding about tile colors and patterns, especially where Talavera tile is concerned, with it's rich colors and bold patterns.

We ended doing most of our tile shopping at Sierra Tile, both because of price and selection. We decided early on that we loved the rich color of the Cobalt Blue of the Talavera tile and would feature it extensively in the shower, but the it's handmade variations would result in grout lines difficult if not impossible to keep straight. So we went with a glazed ceramic tile that matched the color, but we are still using Talavera for some trim and accents. Decisions on patterns were really difficult to make, we wish there weren't so many choices!

We had to start somewhere, so a few days ago installed the bullnose tile around the edge of the backer board, and installed a reference edge (using some lumber) that started the pattern straight and level. Then Melinda had a solo session starting to fill in tile, and installed the soap dish insert. Melinda was a little surprised how easy it was installing the ceramic tile, as opposed to the floor tiles she had done before. With the built-in spacers of the ceramic tile, they mostly fall into place, though dealing with the irregularities of the Talavera may yet cause us some grief...

Another session today and we made really good progress. Since we'd not chosen plumbing fixtures yet, we wanted to keep the gaps around the valves as small as possible. I had offered to take tiles to work and use some diamond core drills (for cutting glass) to cut holes. Melinda was really impressed how easy it went and how well they came out. She was in charge of marking where the holes went, so that was a big part of the drilling success.

Melinda worked layout and I cut the needed trimmed tiles and worked on buttering the backs of the tiles. As the photos indicate, we broke up the blue with accents of Talavera medallions and a border line. The plan is to use yellow tile for the countertop, and our sink has several colors that match our accent colors. The gap at the left corner is for a little shampoo shelf that will get set in at our next session. I'm guessing we are about 60% done, but the rest should go pretty fast even with the Talavera left to go in. We think it is looking pretty good so far!


karl said...

that blue is beautiful!

Melinda said...

Thanks Karl! I think it was a pretty bold color to initiate us into the world of "wall tile" - keeping the grout lines straight has been a bit of a pain. I like the dramatic result though. The color is called "Pure Cobalt"...I think that sums it up!

steve the tiler said...

Tiling Fun (our 300th Post!)

Thanks for sharing i like the blue bathroom tile