CASEWORK | INTERIOR DESIGN

CASEWORK | INTERIOR DESIGN | BLOG

ONE ROOM CHALLENGE | WEEK 4 - 14 TIPS FOR selecting BATHROOM TILE YOU’LL LOVE FOR YEARS

It’s full on One Room Challenge crunch time at the Ranchalow. I have 9 days until I am photographing the project with Nicole Mason! And so much to finish. Tiling has been incredibly tedious and taken twice as long as I had planned. Unfortunately, everything waits for the tile. A bathroom is all about tile.

Interior Design: Casework General Contractor:  Luke Thoreson Construction  Photography:  Rafael Soldi

Interior Design: Casework
General Contractor: Luke Thoreson Construction
Photography: Rafael Soldi

Since the bathroom is all about the tile, the plan is to finish tiling the walls and floors this weekend. Then Mike at Rose City Plumbing can get in and finish the plumbing work. So basically, I am behind and have very little time left to do a lot of work, which includes running a full time design studio, with it’s own deadlines! The good news is, I’m still on budget, the bad news, I have to cram 3 weeks of work into just over a week. Send help!

SELECTING TILE COLOR

Let’s talk about fun stuff and forget I should be painting my walls. Selecting tile is fun! Without a plan, selecting tile can be daunting. There are so many options out there and tile is expensive. When labor is factored in, tile is an investment and one you can’t change without making another big investment and sending a lot of waste to the landfill. Aside from lights and paint, everything rests on top of the tile. Because of this, you want to make the right decision the first time that will work for your lifestyle. Ideally for years to come.

There are many different types of tile, from ceramic to natural stone. For this post, I’m focusing on ceramic tile because that’s what I chose for my remodel. I’m also a big proponent of honest materials. I like when materials are what they are, not masquerading as another material look alike. I don’t like quartz that is supposed to look like marble - to me it looks like a knock off handbag. I don’t like porcelain tile that looks like wood. It won’t sound like wood when you walk on it and it won’t feel like wood when you touch it, but from a distance, it looks like wood. You’ll be tired of it in less than 2 years because you won’t see it from a distance. You’ll touch and see it up close every single day.

Interior Design:  Banner Day

Interior Design: Banner Day

When it comes to selecting tile for clients, I typically stay away from too much pattern or color. I’m drawn towards neutrals because neutrals have a longer lifespan than say, a bright blue. If you want color, choose a color you’re going to love, don’t choose an on trend color. Again, tile is an investment and you want to like it for years to come. I also select tile colors that look clean and crisp because I like my bathrooms to have the illusion of being clean, whether they are, or not.

Above: Pratt and Larson - matte  Craftsman color palette  - 50% of C50, 25% of C350 and 25% of C60 in the 5” diamond shape.

Above: Pratt and Larson - matte Craftsman color palette - 50% of C50, 25% of C350 and 25% of C60 in the 5” diamond shape.

Since this is my home and I wanted to break from safe colors and simple shapes. I decided to do something a bit more bold. Enter Pratt and Larson! A Portland, Oregon based tile manufacturer handcrafting tile locally since 1982.

P&L has hundreds of simple to highly detailed tile patterns and their color palette is expansive. Everything is made in house just a few blocks from our own design studio. The Pratt and Larson colors range from classic Craftsman to contemporary and they have the ability to customize glaze colors as well as a custom blend of colors like the one I selected for my floor tile (shown left). For the floor, I chose a mix of the matte Craftsman color palette - C50 - 50%, C350 - 25%, C60 - 25% in the 5” diamond shape. Because these tiles are hand glazed, there is a subtle variation that makes each piece feel unique.

If you are looking for a perfectly uniform tile with no variation, this is not the tile for you. This tile has so much personality and character. It adds a rich layer which P&L calls rustic but when used with a contemporary shape the combination is that perfect blend of old and new.

Above: Selecting tile at  Pratt and Larson  for the Ranchalow

Above: Selecting tile at Pratt and Larson for the Ranchalow

Tips for Selecting Tile Color

  1. Not all glazes are created equal. What works for a backsplash may not work for your shower floor or surround. Communicate to your rep where you want to use the tile to be sure the tile you invest in will work for your use.

  2. Consider the room. If it’s a powder bath - do something unexpected. If it’s your master, find something you’ll love for years to come.

  3. Don’t forget about the rest of your home. Ask yourself - do the tile colors you want to use work with the rest of your home? They don’t have to match, they can contrast but it should make sense. I like to create a palette for the home.

  4. White and charcoal (I don’t love black gloss ceramic tile unless you’re trying to go deco or mid century) tiles are typically safe. The next level is looking at tiles that have a bit of variation, like soft whites, off-white or even cream. At Pratt and Larson, the glaze thins at the perimeter of the tile and there is a lovely ring of the clay body peeking through that adds a gorgeous natural layer to a neutral color.

  5. Gloss tile is easier to clean than a matte tile.

Interior Design: Casework General Contractor:  Raven Builders  Photography:  George Barberis

Interior Design: Casework
General Contractor: Raven Builders
Photography: George Barberis

SELECTING A SHAPE AND SIZE

Now that you know what color you want to use, the shape of a tile can add another layer of texture. If you plan to use a few different tile sizes, be sure the sizes are multiples of each other and factor in the grout thickness. For example, if you use 6x6 tile on the floor, opt for a 2x6 or 3x6 on the walls. If grout lines don’t line up, that will drive even a non perfectionist crazy.

TIPS FOR SELECTING TILE SHAPE AND SIZE

  1. Use a 4“x4” or smaller sized tile in the shower floor. The additional texture created from grout helps the shower floor from being too slick and a safety issue

  2. Large format tiles (larger than 12”x12”) can look cheap in a small bathroom so I usually steer clear of them unless I’m working on a large space where the scale makes sense or a very contemporary project.

  3. Stacking tiles vertically or horizontally is more modern than running bond

  4. Mix a modern color with a traditional shape or vice versa for a spin on tradition.

  5. Grout plays a big role in tile. You can either choose grout that is the same color as the tile for a monolithic look. Opt for contrasting grout if your grout lines are perfect and you want a visual pattern.

  6. If you are on a budget, use a larger tile in a simple shape and pattern. You’ll save significantly in the cost of labor.

  7. Cutting tile adds a ton of time which equals more labor costs. The more intricate the pattern the more expensive the installation. Same goes for tiny tiles they are tedious to lay and cut.

  8. Don’t forget about trim pieces like bullnose tiles and pieces for shower niches or caps to add a finished layer to your tile.

Above: 2x6 wall tile from  Pratt and Larson  for the Ranchalow. Glaze Color: C200. Notice the slight iridescent variation in the reflection of the glaze!

Above: 2x6 wall tile from Pratt and Larson for the Ranchalow. Glaze Color: C200. Notice the slight iridescent variation in the reflection of the glaze!

pratt and larson wall tile
CASEWORK_PRATT&LARSON_25.jpg

If quality doesn’t sell you on Pratt & Larson, you should know, the entire process was just as lovely. From color and shape selection to picking up my order at Will Call, each step was friendly and easy. I worked with people who confidently answered my questions, not automation. They helped guide my through my decision making process and into prep for installation. This truly is a special company and I’m lucky as a designer to have them just a few blocks away. From the thought they take in packaging the tile to the way a mosaic is set in mesh, every piece is handled by people with attention and care.

SCHEDULE - TO BE COMPLETE BY 5/2 END OF DAY

  1. finish the wall tile

  2. grout the wall tile and shower surround

  3. skim coat the walls - 3 of 3 coats

  4. prime and paint the walls

  5. paint the trim and doors

  6. hang the door and install the door hardware

  7. level the sub floor

  8. tile the floor

  9. grout the floor

  10. install the vanity and plumbing

  11. install the toilet and shower plumbing fixtures

  12. install the light fixtures and change out the outlets and switches

  13. hang the mirror and shelves

  14. install the glass shower doors

  15. hang art work, put in plants, soft goods and accessories

  16. create a shot list

  17. photograph - May 3

Check out previous weeks

Week 1 - inspiration and before

Week 2 - budget and scheduling

Week 3 - planning the vanity


Casey Keasler2 Comments