Need help selecting bathroom tile
April 6, 2013
Our lakehouse is surrounded by water on 2 sides with beautiful views. In order to maximize the view from the living areas, we've put the bathrooms on one of the sides that doesn't face the lake. I wanted to use tile in the bathrooms that would evoke the views - sky and water, anything but beige while staying neutral. I have been looking at tile for days and haven't found anything that fits my vision. There are lots of beautiful and realistic stone-look tiles but we've done that already and want a change. We don't want a hardwood look because we are using oak flooring throughout the house. I'd love a tile that looks like clouds reflecting on the sparkling lake. Has anyone seen anything like this? Thanks for any suggestions.
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Scott Design, Inc.
Porcelanosa has wonderful tile that elicits glistening and ripples. They maybe something to consider. The catalog doesn't do them justice.
    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 7:57PM
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Porcelanosa has beautiful tile, but good luck finding it in the US and/or getting it delivered in a timely manner. I loved it, too, but gave up on that idea.

I have used Crossville tile, which I think is really beautiful, too-- in particular, their Empire series. Not sure about evoking sky and water, but check it out if you have a store near you that sells it (manufactured in TN). I used their Generals Gray, which is a rectified porcelain that comes in both polished and unpolished (lots of sizes), and is really unusual. I used small square glass mosaic that they actually make to go with that tile-- which includes little blocks of blue/grey glass; clear glass; tan glass; and beige limestone. The glass blocks certainly evoke water. In another bathroom, we used a beige marble with deep blue/grey veining, and ran a glass pencil throughout that is blue/grey. Again, the smoky blue/grey glass looks like running water to me.
    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 8:19PM
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Dezign Studio Inc
    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 8:32PM
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Norm Walters Construction Inc.
Your best bet is to find a local tile distributor before you order something online. Breakage in shipping, shortages, different lot numbers, not a good time.
    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 8:45PM
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Ironwood Builders
I have had no problem obtaining Porcelanosa tile. We have used it extensively. I recommend a glass tile bathroom....sea greens and blues, iridescence and blasted like beach glass.
1 Like    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 9:31PM
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Ironwood Builders: Well, this last year when I was looking for tile, it was like pulling teeth to find the Porcelanosa I wanted. I finally contacted someone in Atlanta-- a major distributor-- and they kept referring me to my local tile shop. My local tile shop did supposedly sell Porcelanosa, but when I went to them, they basically said they had this one tile from them and didn't sell anything else. They also didn't jump up and down to order me what I was interested in, either.

So I called someone else-- really, I spent so much time on this-- and, finally, I reached someone who said they'd order a sample of what I wanted, but it would come from Spain. About 2 months later, I got this sample. It was gorgeous and huge, and I think I'm gonna have to make a table for it. But by the time I got it, I was on to something else. I just couldn't wait that long. Maybe it was the particular tile I wanted from them that was so difficult to obtain-- but I do think it's really beautiful tile. Several tile stores told me the reason they didn't carry it is because it's too hard to get in the U.S.

Frankly, I had the same problem with a Walker Zanger porcelain that I loved. That same local tile store had it-- I was ready to go with it and picked out a complementary glass block to work with it-- really gorgeous stuff, and *relatively* affordable for Walker Zanger. Turns out this particular porcelain had been discontinued, but they would make it for me (also in Spain, I think)-- if I didn't mind waiting 8 months. And even then, they couldn't promise it would look like the sample I saw in the store. Very frustrating all around.

So I often feel like some of these companies put out samples that are very misleading (like loss leaders, in a way). You get all excited about the possibilities, and then you're finally told-- well-- you can't really have *this* particular tile, but we do have others you might like . . . and the "others" are always much less interesting looking.

That's why I liked Crossville so much. Beautiful porcelain, in varied sizes, and readily available. The Generals Gray, in particular, is sort of a deep blue/black/gray with warm white/beige in it-- very abstract design, and no two pieces are alike-- it's terrific looking stuff.

Anyway, I'm with you on glass tile-- I do think that seems like running water to me, and very translucent-- though I probably wouldn't do an entire bathroom in it.
    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 8:11AM
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Ironwood Builders
Sorry..maybe the Bay Area is just special...though relatively speaking, I'm out in the boonies at least an hour form SF. I've had similar problems with Ann Sacks and discontinued tile...frustrating because the tile store is uninformed until they place an order. Regarding the glass tile for the poster's bath..I see it as wainscot and shower or just shower walls...use a travertine or Crema Marfil limestone on the floor to imitate sand colors.
    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 10:27AM
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Ironwood Builders: I'm guessing it is a regional thing, then. I'm on the East Coast, and finding Ann Sacks (in NYC or Atlanta-- and having it shipped to you-- but also finding it in a couple of local tile stores-- ) is absolutely no problem. The discontinued stuff, though, from other manufacturers-- I ran into quite a lot. Once the tile store does see that a particular tile has been discontinued, though, they need to remove the sample from the showroom. In my experience, though, they typically don't.

I do think some glass on the walls just seems to take things to a whole other level, and I do love the watery glistening look it offers.
    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 12:35PM
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Murals and More Decor
Hi there. Have you thought of doing a custom image on tempered glass as a feature in your bathroom? You get that reflective quality of glass and also some depth as the image is behind the glass. Very durable and easy to clean too. You could even use one of your own water/lake images; bringing the outdoors in. Do you have a pic of your bathroom? Here is a shot of a recently completed project.
    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 7:57AM
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How do I reach you to discuss possibilities?
    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 8:06AM
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Murals and More Decor
Hi Please do get in touch. My details are on my profile page.
    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 8:26AM
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