Thursday, March 01, 2007

Tile’s Here!

Finally, someone who knows what they are doing. After my recent troubles with bathroom parts and marble I was beginning to wonder if anyone either cared or knew what the heck was going on. Last Friday I faxed in my billing information to Subway Ceramics and the tile arrived today!

I was so excited to have it that I wanted to play around with it a little so I made a little fort with all the boxes and sort of hung out for a while. I’m only kidding. I did crack open a few boxes and laid out a run of tile on the coffee table. It is beautiful tile. It is truly a historically accurate subway tile, with squared edges and smooth sides.

Early on I was being swayed by the Iron Gate tile because of the fancy base tile they had, but after looking at more historic bathroom pictures it seemed that that style of base molding is not all that accurate. Aside from that, the quality of the Subway Ceramics tile is superior. For one thing, it doesn’t have the dribbles of glaze over the edges like the Iron Gate tile does. That would have caused problems with trying to get the tight grout lines that I want. If you order the sample board from you also get a sample of the Subway Ceramics tile so you can see for yourself.

I worked with Keith Bieneman, the general manager of Subway Ceramics when I ordered the tile. At this point when you go to it’s a not quite clear that you are working with Subway Ceramics. As Keith explained it to me, Subway Ceramics distributes Iron Gate tile through the web site. Subway Ceramics makes their own tile which is sold under the name “Subway Ceramics”. In Keith’s own words…

Our Subway Ceramic tile is the only true, historically accurate reproduction tile collection for capturing the essence of traditional tile work in new installations. We feature this line on the right sidebar on the homepage of, with a link to its own website at

In the coming months we will be making some changes to the way we present the Iron Gate series, and our own Subway Ceramics collection will be given more attention there as we setup up dealer showrooms throughout the country and make the product more accessible to homeowners.

So if you’re having troubles getting pricing, delivery, or ordering information for Subway Ceramics, hold tight, it seems to be coming. For me, the delivery of the product came out of a LA warehouse and was about a third of the cost of delivery I was quoted for the Iron Gate tile off the tile. I had it shipped common carrier to my place of business. It came on a pallet in 25 boxes.

I’m going to finish the bathroom cabinets, and then I have a little more framing to do, but after that I can start setting tile. It’s all very exciting. I would think in about 2 weeks I should be ready to start setting tile!


kingstreetfarm said...

Really great tile! It's so amazing to me what a difference it makes to have a relatively small detail such as the squared edges.
Naturally I'm kinda jealous since we just went with the Lowe's version at like $0.01 a square foot or whatever it was. But in our case, we know we're ripping it all out anyway when we gut the kitchen in a millennium, err, few years. At that point, we will most likely spring for the fancy stuff ;)

StuccoHouse said...

Oh, they look so nice all laid out like that. Dang, and I had just talked myself into extending my bathroom tile using the same square Menards tile the PO used in my tub surround. Now I'm waivering and a bit jealous. And you will not regret that nice big base.

derek said...

The tile looks great. We ended up with 4x8 subway tile in our basement bathroom, it has a waviness to it. It was one of the only ones we could find locally. I would consider the more authentic stuff, when we do the upstairs bathroom. Are you using spacers for the narrow gap? Or do you just do it by eye?

Greg said...

Derek: The 4X8 sounds nice. I noticed some that size in a real subway in a movie recently. It was not glossy and had an off-white color. It was probably dirt from being in a subway tunnel for so long.

StuccoHouse: Come one. You know you need another project...