The Tile Combination for the Girls’ Bathroom

June 21, 2017

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We really hoped to have the tile up on the walls of the girls’ bathroom to show you today, but we had to backtrack on a couple things before we could do that, along with some health complications the past two days, set us back again. We still have a goal to be completely done with this room by the first week in July (can we do it!? we have to!), so the next couple weeks, we hope to share a lot of progress.

Before we share the small visual progress we’ve made and a few last minutes changes, we finally decided on wall tile thanks to this inspiration photo from Architectural Digest.

Okay, I know what you’re thinking–it’s just white subway tile. But we actually gained so much more from this picture. Not only do we love the timeless look of the whole bathroom, but the wall tile application (going all the way up in the shower and only half-way up on the other walls) finally made things click for us. But I think what really sealed the deal was their addition of chair molding tile. It adds the perfect finishing touch and really elevates the basic subway tile.

Because our bathroom is on the smaller side, we used the same trick we pulled in the Pittsburgh kitchen and ordered our favorite 2×4 white subway tile.

Not only does it come in super affordable sheets for easy installation, but the slightly smaller scale actually tricks the eyes into making a space look larger.

After ordering the tile, we found and picked up the perfect chair rail tile (here) for less than $2 a piece (we needed 55 pieces). The combination of the chair rail, small scale subway tile and plaid cement floor tile finally feels like the classic combination that’s been in my head this whole time.

And just as we were getting ready to tile, we double checked with our handyman his plans for the tub flange that he had left exposed. Several of you pointed it out in our last bathroom post, and he assured us there was a plan. Turns out, it was just a big misunderstanding.

So Chris took the tub out, uncemented the pipe, cut the cement board on the faucet side of the tub and re-installed everything so the tub flange sat flush with the cement board–at least on that side where the wall is flush the entire way to the door. THEN, he had to add additional layers of cement board (1 on the back and two on the left side, with adhesive in between each layer to prevent shifting) until the other two sides also sat flush with the flange. And then Red-Guarded the whole thing.

You can see from the illustration above, now the tile will be able to easily come down to the tub deck. It took an extra day’s work and it would be easy to get frustrated for having to re-do something we initially paid someone else to do, but we’re actually just very happy it was an easy fix. And if we didn’t take it upon ourselves to do it, you never know the kind of shortcuts other people would make.

So that’s where we’re at. Our first full bathroom renovation is definitely trying to kick our butts, but we’re learning so much and although it doesn’t look like it now, we actually do see the light at the end of the tunnel. We need to take the rest of this week off to focus on family and health, but will be back bright and early next week.



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What do you think?

  1. E Wallace says:

    What initially caused me to stop and read your post was the windows in the shower. You don’t see that very often. I have windows over my garden tub that I would like to replace with a shower, but keep the windows. For one reason, this bathroom (and windows) is/are on the front of the house. Secondly, I am trying to keep as much light in the room as possible. I have had contractor and interior designer frown on keeping the windows. Could you please share any info regarding your windows, ie, keeping, purpose of, material used, problems, etc?

  2. Megan says:

    Looks great! What color grout are you going with for the subway tile + flooring?

  3. Meghan says:

    I really enjoy your blog, it inspires me to be more creative in our house. We are getting ready to redo our bathroom. The link for the subway tile isn’t working. Do you think it is sold out? Do you have a comparable option? Thank you!

  4. Maya says:

    I hope everything is ok! The silence and the stuff about a health scare is making me worried… <3

  5. MB&C says:

    I do love how much you guys get up to and how creative you are! I also love those brass faucets for your shower. Do you think you’ll stick with those or use another type?

  6. Carla says:

    Beautiful choices! Looks like it will be classic and timeless. Bathroom remodels are so stressful!

  7. I love that inspiration photo! We’re doing a bathroom renovation in a month or so and figuring out the tile is so tricky! Ideally, I’d have it to the ceiling in the whole room, but that sounds like so much work! I’ll have to check out these sheets of tile. We did the single pieces of tile in our kitchen. We love them, but it took forever. Feel better!

  8. Alisha says:

    This is tangibly related to today’s post. How did you/what did you use to regram this photo from Arch Digest? Did you screenshot/crop/post with photo cred or use an app? I would love to start regramming some photos I’m using as inspiration in my home but am afraid of “doing it wrong” and offending the original poster! Are there best practices for regramming?

  9. SLG says:

    Our first full bathroom remodel kicked our butts too. We thought it would take 6 weeks, and it took us a year! But it’s so worth it now that it’s done. Can’t wait to see how beautifully yours turns out!

  10. Katy says:

    It’s going to be gorgeous. I love that you splurged on a really special floor tile that will make a huge visual impact and saved on the subway tile that will still make a impact, albeit a subtler one, that doesn’t compete with the floor. I’m also curious to see how all the white turns out in a space with no natural light. Will love to hear your thoughts on that once it’s all done.

    What about the baseboards? Are you going to do tile like in the picture or just keep it wood?

  11. Sarah says:

    Gorgeous picks! I can’t wait to see how it turns out. I have a question! So the cement tile is a matted finish I’m guessing, were you guys concerned about mixing finishes? Like matte and gloss? Is it not a issue since they are not on the same wall or floor together? And would it be weird if they were. We got cement tile for our feature tile behind our range, and planned to do subway with the other part of the wall but now I’m not sure since the subway is gloss!?!?

  12. Lindsey says:

    I hope the health stuff gets worked out quickly! Take your time off for a little R & R.

  13. Dana Haveson says:

    Sending healthy thoughts your way. I hope everyone is ok.

  14. Kara says:

    Love the tile combo! Simple and classic but not at all boring and I’ve been drooling over that cement tile for months. Can’t wait to see it all done! Hope everyone is feeling better soon!

  15. Ginger says:

    “….It took an extra day’s work and it would be easy to get frustrated for having to re-do something we initially paid someone else to do, but we’re actually just very happy it was an easy fix.” ….that’s why you’re #1 in my book!

  16. Emma P. says:

    The smaller scale subway tile looks amazing with the larger scale plaid tile, they play off each other so well! So looking forward to seeing the finished look in July.

  17. Julia says:

    Hope everyone is okay! Take care of yourselves! Xo

  18. Victoria says:

    I’m thinking about applying that white tile to my backsplash. I’m a rental, but it’s so subtle a sophisticated. Landlords won’t mind, right? :)

  19. Holly Martinez says:

    It always feels so nice when things click and come together; glad it’s shaping up nicely!

  20. denilauren says:

    Hi Julia! Did y’all use a plastic moisture barrier behind your backer board, or only the RedGard? I’ve read a million different opinions on whether to do both, or if the RG is enough.

    • Julia says:

      We did just the Red Guard.

      • SLG says:

        We did a very similar bathroom remodel and used just the RedGard. Ideally you want a moisture barrier on just one side of the backer board. If you have a moisture barrier on both sides, you run the risk of creating a moisture sandwich if the backer board ever gets wet, which can lead to a mold situation.

        We ran into something similar in a house we’re renovating now — the floor consisted of plastic moisture barrier on the bottom, then plywood subfloor, additional particleboard subfloor, then a glued-on vinyl flooring. The washing machine had leaked, water got into the plywood and particleboard, and couldn’t dry out for months / years — we have no idea how long, but it was long enough for the nails in the floor to actually rust. That subfloor was a wreck, including mold. It’s worth the effort to avoid creating a moisture sandwich!

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