Saturday, February 9, 2008

Upstairs Bathroom Design Inspiration

Now that things are coming to closure downstairs, it's time to start planning out the upstairs renovation. While much of the work upstairs is patching drywall, laying flooring and updating trim, the major design decision is the bathroom.

I was going to rip out my 6x14' bathroom, remove (and relocate) an adjacent walk-in closet, and put in two bathrooms in the now 6x17 space. Plenty of room for two bathrooms. This was the plan before I saw cottage house, so now I am pretty well sold on keeping just the one bathroom upstairs to minimize the renovation time. It will still be a nice big bathroom and will make the renovation much easier due to not re-doing plumbing, electrical or re-framing.

I'll be keeping with the modern, but not too modern, theme of downstairs. I am a big fan of subway tile, and am digging light gray; it has a coolness without being cold.

I was thinking the subway tile would go in the shower as well as above the vanity. I'd also like to work in some glass tile, but I'm not sure I want to compete with the cool, smooth lines of the subway tile. I'll have to shop around for some decent deals on this stuff, as I'm really trying to minimize costs on the bathroom redo. I'd like to continue the tile around the lower portion of the room, but it's a big room, so not sure I want to be tiling for a month.


The subway tile coupled with a hex tile on the floor could look good? I am still looking at other floor options as I'm not completely sold on the hex. Also keeping with the cost cutting, I'll most likely be be getting the vanity, sinks & lighting from Ikea. I think it could match pretty well, and could get me a new bathroom at a great price.


Anonymous said...

I like the subway tile, and the mosaic tile accent in the first picture. I think that could look really cool, and maybe you could find another deal like you did on your backsplash? Besides, you are a mosaic tile expert now!

I also like the look of the hex floor tiles, but that could be a really time-consuming job. You could probably find some simple floor tiles that would be easier to install. Seems like the main design element of your bath will be the subway tile anyways.

modernemama said...

Love it, especially subway in a color other than white.
Hope you don't mind I added a houseblogger tag:FSTAG, plus a couple of others
Also, I love your kitchen!

Dadolescent said...

The subway tile fits with the old rowhouse, it's an old style but also looks modern. If you use gray, I think you may want a contrasting border, maybe black, in an accent color. Otherwise, it might look like a real subway bathroom.
Also, you probably want to have a double sink and a linen closet.
I agree with Leigh, don't use the small hex tiles on the floor. Besides a time-consuming install, it's a problem keeping all those grout lines sealed and clean. Less chance for a water leak to the living space below.

Anonymous said...

Dadolescent brings up some good points. It is a pretty big bathroom, so if it is all grey it will look boring or too subway-ish. The mosaic tile accent would help with that.

Also, as far as resale value, the double sink idea is important. Since two bathrooms is out of the question, a double sink would be good - maybe we can find a vanity at IKEA that would accomodate that.

Corey said...

modernemama: no worries! I wish actually picked up the tags I use, but alas they do no. One question: what does FSTAG stand for?

leely & dadolescent: I think I am agreeing with you on the hex. I think it would look good in a small bathroom, but the enormity of my room and using such small floor tile could look odd.

I also totally agree on the double vanity. I had meant to write that into the post but had forgotten about it. The plumbing work to add that should be that bad...

I too am concerned about being too monochromatic & looking like a real subway. For accents, I was once again thinking something red. Maybe the vanity? The linen closet is a good idea - will have to think about whether to add framing, or just incorporate a linen cabinet next to the vanity.

Call me crazy but I was thinking about adding a line of accent tile in with the normal subway tile. I was thinking of something like this,

A bit bold, but for one line it could work?

FYI, it is difficult to type when Cat is half laying on the keyboard.

momnipotent said...

I have reservations about the gray. I guess I'm a "warm color" person, the gray seems cold.
There's a blog called Petch House that talks about his subway tile project. One blog talked about using subway tiles vertically!
I agree with dadolescent on the tiny floor tiles. Val can tell you about problems with the floor of their shower. Also, consider a ledge or seat built into the shower. A girls gotta' shave her legs.
Will you have a glass shower door?
With such a huge space, would you consider using some of it for a laundry room or closet? That's a great feature when selling.

the 'rents said...

Moms have spoken ....

Gray is too cool (aka cold)! What about using pale blue/green/aqua (water colors) subway tile with chocolate brown cabinetry? Kind of trendy but very calming for a spa type bathroom retreat. What about a double sink between two floor to ceiling cabinets on the wall opposite the tub? Or are you planning to put a shower on that wall in which case you might not have room for a double vanity (even tho you really need it). We think 12" floor tiles would look fabulous and keep the grout lines to a minimum. Trust me, keeping floor tile clean is a pain (don't use white grout and do clean and seal tile often).

megan said...

I have to agree that white grout on floor tile is a pain the butt! Both are newly installed in my bathroom, and while it's pretty its also not easy to keep clean... especially with a dark cat & dog who use said bathroom as a water bowl/drinking fountain. In researching period tiles, another classic is pinwheel pattern, its a little bigger than hex and can have more color. i have white subway tile (mostly) in my shower surround, while glass mosaic black/white checkerboard boarder. on the floor i used a black white pinwheel tile. the only thing i would change is to have used darker tile and/or grout.

kitliz said...

Love the idea of the accent mosiac, one word on the hex-patterned tiles on the floor though... if you grout white (or really any color) the grout is almost impossible to get clean.

I would recommend putting in an under-tile floor heater, whatever you choose. I used the SunTouch heater you can get at home depot... invaluable! I wish I would have known and done it to my entire downstairs before I tiled it.

Wanderluster said...

Another floor option is a tile rug. Here's an example:

If you went dark on the floor though, I'd probably go lighter on the subway tiles to keep it from feeling 'too subwayish'. Or, like in the photo, maybe do only a half wall in grey tile and keep the upper half light.

Bungalow Monster said...

I wouldn't be afraid of the hex tile. Our kitchen originally had 1" unglazed white hex. Unfortunately it was too busted up to save. The room was 12'x17'. I liked the look. Ironically, the smaller bathrooms in the house used a larger 2.5" hex tile.

All of the little grout lines offer some traction after stepping out of the shower as well.

All that to say, if you've got it in your mind to use 1" hex, I believe it will look awesome... it's also historically accurate.

You have great taste. Thanks for the inspiration!

Corey said...


Thanks for the kind words - the flooring is still being debated, so I'll have to price out a few options.

Also, I saw you live in Michigan. Whereabouts? I am from the Detroit area and went to U of M in A-squared.

Connor F said...

A customer of mine just sent me a link to your blog post in order to try and provide a match to the grey subway tiles in the picture and I ended up reading your comments.

I say do the hex, it won't be that time consuming considering they are on mesh. It'll give a great period look.. As far as your grout lines go, I wouldn't worry about them too much. Just use a great sealer such as Miracle Sealants' 511 Impregnator once a year and you'll be golden :)


Connor Ferster
Interior Design Sales
Universal Slate International, Inc.

Corey said...

Hi Connor,

Thanks for stopping by! It appears I get a lot of traffic to this posting from google, so glad to see you chime in.

Unfortunately at this time I decided to go with a slate floor. The material is purchased, and I am in the process of trying to figure out how to correctly lay the floor. Apparently, it's not as easy as I thought with slate but I'll figure it out. :-)

I am not sure what the subway tile in the picture is, as I just found it via HGTV. For my actual tile I went with Daltile's Rittenhouse Square, in Ice Gray. Definitely not the same as above but since I got it for less the $1 a sq ft it will work.

Thanks for the recommendation on grout sealer. Any other recommendations are much appreciated.

TileCrazy said...

I may have missed it in the posts, but what brand are the tiles in the 2nd pictures? I love subway tiles, but also want some color.

Corey said...

Hi TileCrazy,

I wish I knew, but unfortunately I do not. The upper picture is from an HGTV site (click the photo to go there), and the lower photo was from a Restoration hardware ad.

For colored subway tile I went with daltile rittenhouse square, though it doesn't appear to the same as in the pictures.

Anonymous said...

There are some really beautiful glass subway tiles in gray. They have a real depth and interest to them. They might be a little pricier but they have a great finished result. Be sure to check some out.

Bob said...

Would you mind telling me where you got those grey subway tiles? The name of the manufacturer would be awesome. Thanks!

Corey said...

Bob - I don't know the manufacturer of these specific tiles. If you click the 'upstairs bathroom' tag to the right you can find out more about the tiles we actually used, which are also a light gray.

dante said...

Grey Subway tile - For those of you asking about where to find those ash-coloured subway tiles, I think I've found your answer. (Scroll halfway down - they might not be exact but they are damn close). I had first seen them on the HGTV site myself, and then when looking for a manufacturer I found this blog, albeit still no leads to where I could get my hands on them! However just as I was about to give up hope I found the above website and thought it would be nice to share my find.

Corey, great site and your renovations look stunning. I too own a rowhouse in Windsor, Ontario and am progressing through a series of upgrades. The next (and hopefully last) project is an update to my kitchen, using this grey subway tile as the backsplash.

Wish me luck and keep up the great work.

Anthony said...
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Maricar said...
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