maddybeagle

Shower curb choices in a colorful period-style bathroom

maddybeagle
last month

I have similar questions to Sarah R's in this thread, but rather than hijack her discussion I'll tag the tile and design gurus who've commented there and in related discussions: J D, thinkdesignlive, Nancy in Mich, Beth H.


I'm creating a bathroom from scratch as part of a remodel of the back of my 1920s house. Since there's nothing remaining of a period bath to be salvaged, I'm taking tiles and colors I love as my starting point and inspiration from the late-'20s-'30s trend of dark/saturated-color tile floors with baseboards and edging in a second color, which will also edge the shower. The room will be 5' x 11', with a 3' x 5' shower at the end of the room. The shower will have bypass sliding glass doors.


The tiles I've fallen in love with are this grassy green and cream from Pratt & Larson's R-gloss line, and a slate blue for the floors. (The blue tile here is a McIntones matte tile rated for floors, but there is a precisely matching Pratt & Larson shade that could be used as a liner in the wall tile if I decided to do that.) I've lived with these tile samples around the house for a couple of years and still love them as much as I did to begin with, which I take to be a good sign for a major tile investment.



My question is what to do at the shower curb. Other things being equal, I'd have the deep blue, probably in a 2" hex, on both the main floor and the shower floor, cream 4" squares as the field tile on the shower walls, and the green as baseboard trim around the whole room and edging the cream around the shower, including the bottom of the shower walls.


I feel like there should be a visual break at the curb for safety, so it's clear when stepping into the shower without glasses on exactly where the curb is, especially with a dark tile on both room floor and shower floor. My inclination aesthetically would be to use the green for the top and sides of the curb. But I hear everybody's recommendation to use a solid slab of something for the top of the curb. I can see finding a good-enough match in Corian or similar for the cream P&L tiles, which could also be used as for the bottom of the shower niche, but I know I will never find a match for that green, nor the blue, in fact; I currently have samples of every blue solid surface known to man in my house and none is that blue, or even close enough for nearsighted but design-sensitive bathroom-users. It seems like it would look like a mistake to have a band of cream on top of the curb, breaking up the blue floor and the green trim. Green would be a good visual break consistent with the other trim, but cream on top would look weird. Am I wrong? Anybody have a good suggestion or pics to help me envision this?


Thanks!




Comments (31)

  • apple_pie_order
    last month

    Safety is important. So is ease in cleaning. Look at cream and green solid surfaces. You may want to use them in your countertops, too.

    maddybeagle thanked apple_pie_order
  • PRO
    HALLETT & Co.
    last month

    I would use the cream solid surface for the top and the green tile for the sides of the curb. What will your counters be?

    maddybeagle thanked HALLETT & Co.
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  • maddybeagle
    Original Author
    last month

    @HALLETT & Co. No counter; the sink will be a streamline-moderne-ish console sink.

  • ptreckel
    last month

    If you are using bypass doors on your shower, will there be a track, or will they be trackless? If the later, then I urge a solid surface material in the cream to match your light tiles. Otherwise, I would use your chosen tiles for the sides of the curb and the top.

    maddybeagle thanked ptreckel
  • maddybeagle
    Original Author
    last month

    ptreckel I'm inclined to use a track. Is it easier to use a track over tile than trackless over tile?

  • NancyD
    last month

    Please forgive me for not directly answering your question. I love the colors you’ve chosen for tiles. Have you given any thought to using a Malibu pottery style tile? Maybe they look too California or Mexican for your home, but there are some really beautiful tiles out there that could work so well with your colors and add a unique accent to your room. Fun to consider!

  • maddybeagle
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    NancyD Good question! I am actually going to use Mexican tiles in the kitchen which will be part of the same remodel. I've been waiting for a chance to use decorative tiles from one of the Mediterranean traditions for years, and the kitchen design is coming together around these in a really exciting way:





    My thinking about the bathroom is to use slightly calmer colors and more of a 1920s-30s vibe. I love love love color color everywhere, but since I get to do the kitchen too, I think that's the place for that kind of palette.

    I have been tempted to include tiles like these amazing ones from Golem:






    But it's not clear that you can even get them in the US. Maybe another repro Art Deco tile as an accent?

  • Helen
    last month

    I recently remodeled and Art Nouveau/Art Deco were my inspirations. I am using Malibu Art Tiles for my balcony floor and spent a fair amount of time checking out tiles.


    This was my inspiration photo for the bathroom shower. The tiles are an American company. There are sources where you can get Art Nouveau/Craftsmen/Art Deco tiles available in the US. Beth who posts a lot on these boards is an incredible source of information on tiles in all kinds of styles.


    My floors are dog bone pattern in Calacatta Marble so I opted for the curb to be done with remnants from the counter which was French Vanilla marble From what I read on this board, a solid surface for the curb is better than tiles - but I am not a pro and this is just what I picked up from reading about shower construction.





    maddybeagle thanked Helen
  • ptreckel
    last month

    Maddybeagle, my question was less about the track that you have chosen than to point out that if you do choose a door with a track, there is less problem with visibility of your curb. I would say that having a smooth vs. a grouted surface with a track over it means more opportunity for grime to collect under the track in the grout lines. Having a flat surface onto which you can affix the track...a composite material of some sort...might make cleaning easier.

    maddybeagle thanked ptreckel
  • maddybeagle
    Original Author
    last month

    Helen, that is a gorgeous inspiration pic! Have you posted pics of your finished renovation? And ptreckel, good point about visibility.

  • Helen
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Mine are a bit different from inspiration but not spa like gray :-)


    Here is a picture of the guest bath - color of tile is more vibrant. It's an Encore Tile with a crackle finish.



    I don't have good pictures of the shower in the master bath



    This is a shot of the master bath from the doorway - same Encore tiles with some rose gold penny tiles and a row of 4" x 4" tiles

  • catbuilder
    last month

    That inspiration photo looks like Nawal Motawi's bathroom!

  • Helen
    last month
    last modified: last month

    @catbuilder . It is indeed Motawi tile.

  • maddybeagle
    Original Author
    last month

    Helen, gorgeous! Is that wallpaper on the upper walls?

  • NancyD
    last month

    Each of the accent tiles that you posted, maddybeagle, would look so good with the navy, cream, and green tiles. Remember that Malibu tiles were created in in the late 1920’s, so they actually work perfectly with your time period. I wish we could see the rest of your home, and hope you’ll share Before & After pictures with us.

  • maddybeagle
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    NancyD I will definitely share pictures! There'll be a lot of discussion as things get finalized and we move towards construction drawings and ordering things.

    Re tiles, there are so many great tile styles and lines from this period. While I admire the more earthy and muted tones of some styles of the period, I've always been drawn to really saturated colors, as you can see from my choices. My breakthrough with the Talavera-style kitchen tiles was when a friend pointed me toward this line that uses Majolica technique for clearer colors in the traditional Talavera patterns.


    And now I need to google Art Nouveau tiles to see if there's something I can get more readily over here...

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last month
    last modified: last month

    maddy, since you're using the cream color on the shower walls, why not use a cream color quartz piece for the curb? You can buy quartz backsplash pieces separate. (they use them on vanities).

    i've used them on some showers I've done.

    this was a 6" quartz backsplash piece (I think it was either 6' or 9') that we cut to fit the curb


    It just happened to be a nice charcoal to match the floor tile. This wa another one I had on hand. (the dark one) It's just a backsplash piece you can buy for $60


    for my own shower I did a solid piece of marble on top (to match the outside floor) but on the inside I ran the white subway tile right up underneath it on the curb portion


    so if you did the blue on the floor, ran your cream on the inside of the curb, and topped it w/a matching ivory/cream piece of quartz, I think it would look very nice


    of course you could run your tiles on the curb, but it's just more grout to clean and water to worry about that drips down from the glass doors.


    tracks get mucky. think about using the plastic water guards that slide on the glass. they remove easily for cleaning, and you can replace them every few years.

    If you aren't doing a door, I'd say do it like this. Or like Helens.


    maddybeagle thanked Beth H. :
  • maddybeagle
    Original Author
    last month

    Beth H., thanks. Cream on the top of the curb does seem like the best solution for getting a solid-material strip that's a pretty close match for the cream tiles. It just somehow breaks up my vision of green being the baseboard-level color accent all around the room. But if the cream ran all the way down to the floor inside the shower, you're right, the cream curb top would stand out less. The cream and blue are certainly good next to one another.

  • Lyndee Lee
    last month

    I love those tiles and your bathroom is bound to be gorgeous! As much as I like the tiles, I think you should use a solid piece of material for the shower curb. The dark quartz shown above by Beth would be an appropriate choice. A piece of soapstone would be another possibility. Just ask about remnants at the fabricator because you never know what interesting item is hanging around just too unusual to throw away.

    maddybeagle thanked Lyndee Lee
  • Helen
    last month
    last modified: last month

    it is wall paper. My designer suggested Chinoiserie and there was a bit of Asian influence during the Art Deco era. I have some vintage Chinese Deco rugs and a Chinese Deco chest.

    I fell in love with De Gournay paper but the quote was gaspingly expensive. I did a bunch of googling and found a wonderful Etsy seller in China who did a custom design. My designer did the design and it was a great experience.

  • maddybeagle
    Original Author
    last month

    Helen, that's wonderful! I asked because a designer friend had a chinoiserie design reverse-painted on glass for her kitchen. That I'm sure was a hugely expensive undertaking, but I thought it might be a good solution for a wet environment. But I'm glad to see wallpaper works.

  • maddybeagle
    Original Author
    last month

    Re wallpaper, I have had thoughts in a less Art Nouveau-y direction. While gathering wallpaper samples for my study, I noticed how fabulous this William Morris design would be with my bathroom tiles:


  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last month

    that's pretty!

    maddybeagle thanked Beth H. :
  • Helen
    last month

    William Morris flowed into Art Nouveau. I also love Art Nouveau wanted to bring elements into my remodel. i didn’t want a slavish recreation of a particular period.


    You should check out Bradbury wallpapers as they have vintage inspired of different periods. Their rooms are great for inspiration.


    My bathroom isn’t damp. I have a fan that automatically goes on when it senses ambient moisture levels.


    Bradbury

    maddybeagle thanked Helen
  • maddybeagle
    Original Author
    last month

    I love Bradbury! Re moisture, I know I'll have a much better fan in the remodeled bathroom, but I also occasionally need to close up the room and steam my sinuses, which means running the shower with the fan off. The occasional use might not be enough to compromise the paper. Will think about it.

  • Lyndee Lee
    last month

    Many of the William Morris designs are available in fabric. Will you have a window needing a roman shade perhaps?

  • maddybeagle
    Original Author
    last month

    @Lyndee Lee unfortunately the only window in the bathroom will be inside the shower. :-( but what I might do is use the wallpaper in the hallway outside the bathroom.

  • maddybeagle
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: 28 days ago

    Helen, this is unrelated to my plans, but the shockingly expensive UK firm Drummonds Bathrooms just posted this on Instagram and I thought you’d like to see it:


  • maddybeagle
    Original Author
    last month

    Minor update: I got some samples of various offwhite Corians and the Vanilla is close enough to the cream tile to use as long as they're not touching each other. It's basically the same hue and a smidge lighter. I also have some quartz samples, but I think the variegated/sparkly effect of quartz is less good with the very even tones of the tile. In any case, I'll keep this Corian sample on hand as an option for the curb, niche bottom, etc.

  • PRO
    Altair
    27 days ago

    Loving all these tones..

    maddybeagle thanked Altair