interiors & styling

The Bathroom : One Room Challenge – Week 3

Chevron Shower Niche How are we already in Week 3 in the One Room Challenge? The days are flying by! This week might be my favorite progress post to date (of all of the room shares in my home). There’s something about tile that really does it for me, and that’s exactly what you’re going to get today… all things tile. And let me tell you- this tile is good. So much for modesty… but really, I’m obsessed! I also have a few designer tricks up my sleeve that I’m sharing in the post. If you have a small bathroom that you’d like to look larger, these hacks are for you. Click through for the details.

In case you missed the first couple weeks, no worries… catch up here: click for Week 1 (before images and the plan) and Week 2 (demo and prep).

Last week, we completed demo and prepped the bathroom for tile. Now for the fun part: tile installation! This is really where the bathroom starts to take shape. We tried a new product that worked amazing for the floor tile. Emmett installed a waterproofing membrane prior to starting on the floor tile. After rebuilding the subfloor, we wanted to ensure zero moisture was capable of soaking through the floor tile to the wood. Being overly cautious pays off.

watering proofing floor membrane We applied a similar waterproofing membrane to the walls. Unlike the floor padding, the wall application is painted on. It starts off as a bright pink and dries into a pinkish red once it has solidified. It almost had a rubber texture to it.

Water proofing membrane for walls Before I dive into the fun part (tile), I wanted to elaborate on my tile selection. This might come off as harsh, but in the design industry, things are constantly evolving… including trends. Although subway tile is classic and timeless, in my opinion it’s kind of overdone right now. If I see another bright white space filled with standard subway tile and the same boring fixtures, I’m not impressed or awed. The same goes for basic ceramic or marble hex tile on the floor. As a designer, I enjoy pushing the limits, not playing it safe, and my goal is always to share things that have yet to be done- or at the very least prove to be interesting inspiration. Normal, boring, average, or ‘been done’ are descriptive words I try to avoid. So if you’re wondering how this philosophy affected the bathroom, I’ll explain it below.

But first- shoutout to our fellow Hooisers (Emmett’s shirt and our alma matter) and in honor of our last home (Emmett’s tat), let’s get this reno wrapped up!

Room for Tuesday - cutting tile I knew I wanted to make a statement in this tiny bathroom while maximizing the space. It’s so small, I really wanted to elongate the height of the room, eluding to more square footage than there actually is, all while making the design feel fresh. So, how exactly did I do that? Everything happened around the floor tile. It was truly my jumping off point. This gorgeous nero (black) marble is flashy yet timeless, and incorporates a brass element I so desperately wanted to add to the floor. At first I researched metallic grout or joints, but realized a tile was more feasible for the budget and timeframe. Once I nailed down the large hex floor tile, I sourced a wall tile. I didn’t want the walls to compete with the floor and the space is small enough as it is, so I opted for a subway tile, BUT not in the way you’d expect.

black hex floor tile in progress

black marble floor tile in progress I ordered honed carrara 3×6 subway tiles (basic, I know) with the intention of running them in a vertical running bond pattern. Why vertical? Remember how I wanted to elongate the ceiling height? Running tile in a vertical pattern helps with that… and it’s unexpected (a win / win).

Marble-Subway-Tile I also wanted to add contrasting tile to the shower niches. A good rule of thumb when selecting multiple tiles in a single shower is to use different shapes or patterns of the same material. I opted for a small carrara herringbone tile for the niche (also shown in the intro), as well as matching pencil trim for framing them.

Custom Shower Niche In regards to the details, the window received a similar treatment. I sourced carrara trim with a curved edge that elegantly frames out the window and the ledge. Everything matches, looks stylized, and most importantly- compliments the flooring. The floor is really the star of this space.

Marble Tile in Progress Here’s a peek of everything before grout! It came together really nicely- Emmett did a great job. I can’t wait to rip out that big ugly light fixture. You can’t really tell from this image, but it’s super dated and houses lots of dead bugs (gross). The plan is to patch the ceiling and relocate it because it isn’t even centered in the room.

Tile Before Grouting You can also catch a tiny peek of the installed vanity in the lower lefthand corner. Emmett started installing trim and I’m planning a shower curtain DIY for next week’s ORC update (hint… it’s being installed from the ceiling). Definitely come back for that if you’re short on space in your bathroom. It makes a big difference!

Black-Hex-Tile and Trim I’d love to hear your thoughts on our process so far! Are you into the tile I picked out? I’ve really been enjoying everyone’s ORC spaces. Click the logo below to see the other talented guest designers participating….

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42 Comments

  • Reply
    Jeanie
    October 18, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    I love your tile choices. I would never have thought to put the wall tile vertical – how smart! That floor is gorgeous!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 18, 2017 at 11:09 pm

      Thank you, Jeanie!! xo

  • Reply
    Alex
    October 18, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    First of all, that floor tile is a showstopper! Second, I vastly prefer marble subway tile to plain white, so obviously I love this choice too. I can’t put my finger on why, but the vertical layout usually bugs me. Here, I think it’s perfect! And the pencil trim is the perfect finishing touch. I can’t wait to see the reveal!!!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 18, 2017 at 11:08 pm

      Thanks so much, Alex! I’m with you on the marble subway tile… and I don’t run the pattern vertical very often, but sometimes it does work. Thank you!! xox

  • Reply
    Yolonda
    October 18, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    so far so great! Can’t wait to see the finished bath.

  • Reply
    Jillian
    October 19, 2017 at 1:15 am

    That floor tile is amazing! Is the metal part of the tile? Love it!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 19, 2017 at 3:56 am

      Thank you!! The brass looking part is actually glass! It’s even more beautiful in person. xox

  • Reply
    tim@designmaze
    October 19, 2017 at 5:19 am

    wow that is a beautiful detail with stone play and that floor tile!! can’t wait to see them grouted and the rest of your finishing touches!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 19, 2017 at 4:33 pm

      Thanks, Tim! That makes two of us. Hah!

  • Reply
    Kelly
    October 19, 2017 at 10:54 am

    The tile looks amazing and I love the contrast of tile you chose in the built-in shelf!
    Best,
    Kelly

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 19, 2017 at 4:33 pm

      Thanks so much, Kelly! xo

  • Reply
    morgan
    October 19, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    love that you aren’t afraid to be different!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 19, 2017 at 4:33 pm

      That might be the best compliment I’ve ever received. Ha! Thank you, Morgan!

  • Reply
    Joy
    October 19, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    I love the vertical use of the subway tile and the floor is a stunner! One gorgeous space – can not wait to see the finished room!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 19, 2017 at 4:32 pm

      Thank you so much, Joy!

  • Reply
    Susie
    October 19, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    Love that floor tile, looks great!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 19, 2017 at 4:28 pm

      Thanks, Susie!!

  • Reply
    Deb
    October 19, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    This is going to be so beautiful! Love the contrast of tile shapes with the niches.

  • Reply
    Jen@Jenron-Designs
    October 19, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    Your tile choice are spot on! My favorite tile would have to be the one in the soap niches, Love a good carrara marble tile, but I will say that floor tile it s show stopper, so dramatic and dark . I can not wait to see you bathroom complete.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 19, 2017 at 4:52 pm

      Thanks so much Jen!!

  • Reply
    Maggie
    October 19, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    How does it get from looking kind of messy and the edges all unfinished and torn up….to how beautiful it always looks at the end???

    Cant wait to see, its all gorgeous

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 19, 2017 at 7:37 pm

      That’s all about the finishing details: grout, caulk, millwork, paint, etc. Oh- and a LOT of cleaning. Haha! Thanks, Maggie!

  • Reply
    Lindsey Joy
    October 19, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    That tile is absolutely gorgeous!! I love that you did something so unquie or give life to a small space. Can’t wait to see the finished product

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 19, 2017 at 7:36 pm

      Thank you so much!! xox

  • Reply
    Sherry Cole
    October 19, 2017 at 10:48 pm

    I do love those marble tiles and I love the way you have installed them. The floor is amazing also.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 19, 2017 at 11:44 pm

      Thank you, Sherry!!

  • Reply
    Jessica Vanderveen
    October 20, 2017 at 1:37 am

    wow, i just love all your tile choices!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 20, 2017 at 10:52 pm

      Thanks, Jessica!!

  • Reply
    Zoe
    October 20, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    The tiles read kind of 80’s to me? They remind me of maximalist Kelly Wearstler–not in love with them to be honest, but I have faith in your vision! Can’t wait to see how this one comes together and very curious about this shower curtain situation. I voted for you, btw!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 20, 2017 at 10:54 pm

      They do kind of have an 80’s vibe! Initially I was thinking art deco, but I could totally make the Kelly Wearstler connection. It will definitely be interesting to see everything come together. That’s always my favorite part. Thank you SO much for voting, Zoe! xx

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    October 21, 2017 at 2:33 am

    That tile is stunning. I am in love with this look!

  • Reply
    Jen
    October 21, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    Your tile choices are perfect!! I can’t wait to see how it all comes together :)

  • Reply
    Jacqui
    October 22, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    Hey Sarah! Would you consider doing a bathroom post with the “rules” of bathroom design? Height to hang towel bars/hooks at, how far up the wall to go when doing a partially tiled wall or wainscotting, etc.? I’ve definitely found those posts useful in the past, and am also about to tackle a bath reno. :D

  • Reply
    Colette @ restyle it wright
    October 23, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    ooooommmmmmggggggg that floor tile!!!! TO DIE FOR!!!!!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 23, 2017 at 4:00 pm

      Thanks, Colette!

  • Reply
    Eric
    October 25, 2017 at 11:46 am

    I’m a bit late to comment, but I think the contrast between the floor and the wall is amazing! I can’t wait to see the finished product.

  • Reply
    Jessica | Petal + Ply
    October 25, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    Oh my! Yes yes yes! The tile looks amazing!!!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 25, 2017 at 7:49 pm

      Thank you!!

  • Reply
    ariel
    October 26, 2017 at 2:15 am

    I am on the same page regarding the tile! I am totally drooling over that floor tile though! Love it!

  • Reply
    Casey
    October 26, 2017 at 2:41 am

    I would love to build some cubbies like those into our shower – can’t bring myself to take down all the tiles though 😂 It looks great!

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