Thursday, January 25, 2007

Tile Crunch Time

It’s the moment I’ve been dreading. Over the past 2 months I’ve written volumes about tile selections but now it’s time to put my money where my finger tips are. I must order tile. I would rather spend another day under the house with leaking copper pipes than have to make a final decision on tile.

I’m glad the salvage floor tile came up for two reasons. First, I saved a lot money. That’s always a plus. Second, and equally as important, I didn’t have to make a choice. It was a take-it-or-leave-it moment. Not so with the wall tile. I did have a line of some locally salvaged subway tile, but the deal fell apart. Actually, it didn’t so much fall apart as it ever so slowly crumbled apart. In fact, I’m still not quite sure what happened.

Either way, it doesn’t matter. Dealing with salvage and used things is always a crap shoot. I’ve very much become accustomed to the fact that I’m not always going to get what I want. That’s why I always seem to come up with 10 ideas for the same thing and hope one of them will work out. I think I may have only about a 60% success rate with the things I bid on at Ebay. Most of the time my method is like bidding with a shot gun. I make 5 low-ball bids on similar items and hope I’m the only bidder on one of them. If that’s the case, I get the item for the opening bid and get a good deal. This helps on those rare occasions where it’s something I will die if I don’t own. I then bid an absurdly high amount to ensure I get it. If I pay too much I can just think back to all the great deals I got in the past. It’s an odd little game I play with myself.

But back to the tile….

I’m 99.9% sure I’m going with Subway Ceramics. I’m going to take some finally measurements this weekend and call in an order on Monday. I’ve come up with a few ways to reduce the amount of field tile I will need to buy. I was going to build or buy a free standing corner cabinet that would go behind the door. I’ve now decided to do a built-in cabinet. This will be a nice balance to the built-in cabinet I’ve been planning all along for the other side of the door.

Also, I was going to put subway tile on the floor under the tub. I thought it would be easier to make it water tight with the 3X6 tile than with the 1-inch hex tile. I’m now going to go with the salvage 2-inch hex tile. It’s not only wider but it’s also more than twice as thick as either the subway or the 1-inch hex. Much easier to seal. Also, I can come to down to 7 feet around the bath area instead of the planned eight feet.

Finally, I’m considering going with a simple 1.5-inch cove piece for the base instead of the 6X6 inch tile with the cove. This would mean buying more field tile but the base tile was much more expensive per sq ft than the field tile so this would actually save a lot of money. Another option is to do what I’m calling a “Traditional Eureka” installation and have no base tile at all. The field tile would just go all the way down to the floor. All of the bathrooms in a turn of the century hotel here in town were done this way. I think it would be a rustically elegant installation that I am seriously considering. I wish I had more time to think about it, but as I said, it’s tile crunch tile. Decisions need to be made.


StuccoHouse said...

I tell ya, a bathroom with base tile - the teller, the better) is a LOT easier to clean then one without.

I had to laugh at your dread of selecting & ordering tile. I'd be in heaven choosing that stuff.

Greg said...

Of course, you're right as always about the base tile. I'm just a cheap-skate.

But hey, since you would love to be choosing the tile much more than I, how about if you buy it and have it shipped to me. You can just use your credit card. I'll pay you back. I swear.

Jocelyn said...

I'm sure you'll do great. For some reason making choices on things like tile or paint does not phase me. It's writing big checks that used to freak me out. But after last summer, I'm over that now too.

Good luck!

Ron said...

For a different look without the cove base, you could stand the tile at the base on end for one course rather the normal horizontal orientation.

Mrs. Limestone said...

Can't wait to see how your bathroom turns out. (im in tile limbo right now as well).

I had never even realized base cove tile was de riguer until I started my most recent reno. All of the bathrooms Ive lived in (never lived in a house less than 75 years old) had the tile going all the way down to the floor.

As you already know, not as easy to keep clean as with the cove but unless you are slaughtering animals in there, its not that hard either.

Anyway - good luck with whatever you decide.