Monday, May 13, 2013

Bathroom Tile

One of the nice things about the builder we chose for our house is that the company is a one-stop shop from real estate to architecture to construction. Of course there are definite drawbacks to this set-up (for example, I met with another architect who argued that it was better to separate out the architecture from the construction), but Matt and I have appreciated the simplicity of the process.

Part of their process includes limiting our choices (which I sometimes appreciate and sometimes feel constricted by). For example, we had a choice between two bathtubs, two types of faucets, two types of pendant lights, etc.

When it comes to bathroom tile, there are only two colors we like out of the handful of choices: a cream and a "light" gray, which is actually very dark (see photo above of a comparable tile). 

At first, I was completely set on the cream title because I like spaces to feel light and airy. Then the architect came back with the argument that the cream would feel dingy against the white subway tile we'll have in the shower and the bathtub. When Matt and I went to the house this weekend, we laid the cream title next to the bright-white tub, and the cream actually looked like a nice light gray. Matt and I decided we would like to keep the space light with the cream tile. 

But then a quick Pinterest search led to the photo above. The contrast is actually nice (although our cabinets will be birch, not white). And now I'm torn. 

Does anyone have thoughts about cream tile versus dark gray? Will light-colored dog hair be more obvious on the dark gray? Or will dark gray mask more dirt and actually look better between cleanings? Will we be able to brighten up the dark gray with rugs and accents or will it look dark and distracting when you walk in the front door and can see into the guest bathroom? 

Of course these concerns are quite trivial, but I'd like to feel good about the decision since we're settling into this house for the long haul. 

Thank you in advance for any insight you're able to share!

Image courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

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Naan said...

We've got gray floors, and I don't like them! My mother is not a fan of her gray floor either. They do give a nice contrast (our walls are all white) but we've got two white haired cats, and their shedding fur shows instantly. Dust also shows very quickly, and if you drip some water on the floor after washing your hands, it leaves some marks. We don't even think about walking over the floor if it's not 100% dry after mopping it, because footprints will show up really easily, and that didn't happen with the floor in our previous home (faux-marble tiles and laminate floors) Our gray tiles look really dirty really quickly.

For us, I think part of the problem is that the color is really smooth and solid, if there would be some sort of pattern or natural variance, you wouldn't be able to see things as clearly. I think a floor like this:
will show dirt and dust a lot more quickly than a floor like this:

Good luck on figuring this one out, it's not an easy choice.

Aurora said...

We have both cream/offwhite and dark grey tile in our home. (We are renovating as we can afford to, so while the foyer has offwhite tile, the kitchen has a darrk brown grey.) I really prefer the grey. The offwite gets dirty looking really fast, and the grout especially can get greyish looking and is hard to get really clean. I think having darker grout is better of high traffic floors.

That said, cream/light grey sounds like it would be beautiful. Decisions like this are hard! Good luck!

Eileen said...

I'm sure everyone has their own preference and I say go with your gut. That being said: We have cream colored bathroom floors and it is impossible to keep them looking clean. EVERY SINGLE hair, piece of lint, dirt etc that is tracked into the room can be seen. On Saturday morning I swept and mopped the floor and by the evening it looked dirty again. They are on the larger side, more akin to the tiles you have pictured, so maybe if they were smaller they wouldn't looks so dirty so quickly? I hate them for that reason alone. We rent, so we have little choice in the matter, but I will say I will never ever get white-ish bathroom tiles in our own house one day even if I like them aesthetically. Good luck!

Rach said...

I would go with the grey. It's a lot more modern and stylish looking, and it seems like it would hide dirt much better. You could always add some white rugs or bathmats.

freespiritfarm said...

I don't know if this counts as advice, but we have cream flooring in our bathrooms and gray (slate) tile in the kitchen. It seems like I am forever sweeping/mopping the bathrooms (which isn't a bad thing, I guess!) because they always look grimy and dirty. They show every piece of sand, cat hair, etc. The slate floors in the kitchen seem to hide a lot more (unless it's bread crumbs that someone's swept off the counter and they didn't manage to make it into the compost bin!) The variations in the slate floors add a bit more of an earthy feeling as well, which I like! I certainly don't think they would make a bathroom too dark!
Good luck with your choice! Hope this helps! I wish we were able to make all those choices with our house!

beneg said...

Some kind of fleck/pattern in a dark colour is really forgiving. I had a dark British green with a charcoal and dark cream fleck tile in my last place and the floor always looked clean even after blowdrying (and losing lots of) my hair. I have cream tiles now and they show e.v.e.r.y single piece of dust. I couldn't recommend a dark, textured or patterned tile more...

beneg said...

As per freespiritfarm's suggestion, a textured tile, slate would work well.

hetherington said...

I would much prefer the grey, myself! The contrast against white tile walls would be lovely and modern. Cream and white together would drive me crazy. And as someone said above, you could always put down some soft white rugs, to lighten up the place. Hope you can figure out a decision that you'll love - good luck!

Daniel Rauh said...

Grampa Dan,

As someone who designs bathrooms everyday and has an art backround.
I think of many things. One of them being longivity. How long is this style going to last. This is quite contemporary very urban modern. I believe this style will last. These colors also go with other colors well. You can used other colors in the future for the walls and the window dressings. Yellow, blue ...
There is something I would suggest. When they do the grouting make sure they use Admix. It is a premanent sealant grout additive that repells mold , bacteria, soap scum and Henry grime. This eliminatesthe need to use harsh chemicals to clean and is a permanent solution.

Just some thoughts
From Grampa Dan

Sharpiegirl said...

Seal the grout before you do anything else. As for the color of the tile? Both will show dirt and stuff. Take some dog hair, your hair and a little dirt and sprinkle on each tile. Whichever one annoys your the least is the one to go with! LOL Not very scientific but it worked for me.

Kelsey said...

I'm a bit late on this but I have a strong opinion for the GRAY tile. We have white tile throughout our house (with the exception of bedrooms) and it's the first thing I'd change if we could afford it! When it's clean it does look great but any drops of water (or dog drool) attract dirt and the floor is spotted and looks dirty just a day or so after being cleaned. I also think it shows hair and general dirt more. That's been our experience so far.

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