Tiles for miles

Just a quick update because Brandon and I made it over to the Tile Shop this morning to scout out tiles for the master bathroom. In the guest bathroom, we are going with a really classic look – white ceramic subway tiles for the shower surround, and these white octagons with black accent squares on the floor:

We figure with that combo we can introduce some interesting color on the walls, but if you could see the paint sample army that has overtaken the house, you’d know we’re not quite there on that decision.

In any case, we figured we’d make the upstairs bath a little bit more “us,” and pick tiles/colors that we love, since no one else will be using that bathroom. As of today, these are our favorites – but I am always interested to hear what you guys think! Anyone have experience with these or similar tiles? Love ’em? Hate ’em? Let us know!

For the floor, we love these little 3/4″ hexagons in the “gloss moss” finish:

And for the shower surround, I’ve always loved the idea of glass subway tiles. Today we perused the colors available, and liked both Water:

And Antique Moss:

I worry that the second one will be a bit too dark – but we are going with a light color on the walls (probably Lacey Pearl by Benjamin Moore, which is pretty neutral and seemed to look good with both options). Here they both are next to the floor tiles:

(The price tags on the glass subway tile makes me cry a little bit… but I think we’ll be coming in under budget on most of the other tile selections, so hopefully we can make it work!)


  1. The darker subway tiles definitely make a statement, but if I had to choose, it would be the lighter. Love the other choices. I lived in a house built in the 20's and it had the octagonal tile with black accent tiles. Loved it!


  2. I have questions:
    Are you doing a shower stall or a standard bathtub with tile surround on the walls?

    Are those giant subway tiles? They look really big– but is it just the comparison with the octagons? Subway tile is usually like 5″by 3″ or something vaguely in that range.

    Up top, I really like the way the water color goes with the octagons, but when you 90 degree them below, the darker one seems better.

    But… I'm not sure how I feel about the combination of the two shapes/styles. Even though it should theoretically be very classic– maybe because these appear to be giant subway tiles, or maybe because subway tiles aren't supposed to be glass in the classic version, or maybe something else–I think the glass looks very modern, and the floor doesn't quite seem to match that. (but here's somewhere where it makes a difference if there's a big expanse of tub in between or not)

    ANDD your mom is totally right. those look way too glossy for a bathroom floor. You always want matte with some texture for floors (especially ones that will get wet).

    Those are my humble professional opinions.


  3. ps. that said, there's going to be a lot of grout ratio and texture automatically because the tiles are so small… so you might be able to get away with the glossies… you should ask them to throw some water on them in the store and take your shoes off and check it out 😉


  4. Thanks for the comments, everyone! We are definitely considering all of this before we make the final selections… Julie, I am glad you saw this – if you hadn't seen it I was going to email it to you. 🙂 To answer your questions, we have a tub & surround downstairs, but a shower stall upstairs. In both cases the tile will go all the way to the ceiling. The subway tiles are the usual size, 3″x6″ I think. They must just look big in the photo. The little hexagons didn't seem like they'd be too slippery because of all the grout around them – but we'll definitely think about that too! I think the barefoot test is genius, haha.

    We are actually considering other options for the shower surround now, because Steven told us that glass tiles can be a big problem in showers – they get water behind them and discoloration shows through. Plus apparently they will make it super hard to mount the glass doors, and the grout is $80/bag (vs. $15/bag for other tiles). I am way bummed about this… so not sure if we'll go with white tile upstairs as well, or if we can find another color of ceramic subway tile we like…? We are going to look at some more tomorrow, but I am still sulking about the glass tiles. :*(


  5. Hmmm. I don't know why you'd need special grout for glass tiles– you'd want unsanded probably, so as not to scratch them… but otherwise…. I can't think why off the top of my head it would make any difference. That's odd. Plus, a little grout goes a long way, so the price of grout shouldn't be a huge factor, I wouldn't think.

    That bathroom threeacres posted is beautiful! And they're clearly using glass tile in the shower. I've never heard of this issue with water getting behind the tiles either. If you're getting water behind your tile, I think you have bigger problems than discoloration… like.. say, tiles falling off the wall? I'd be interested in hearing more about what the problem is supposed to be. I've only ever used glass as a backsplash.

    — But, that picture also reminds me of the really cool blue and white striped shower in your pinterest files– and you could definitely cut down on costs by mixing the glass with white– or even another color of non-glass subway tile (maybe even two blues?, if you were using the blue, that is)


  6. Julie and I already talked about this earlier, but just to set the record straight – I was mistaken, it's the mortar that is more expensive, not the grout. Apparently they have to use top-of-the-line stuff to grip the glass tiles, since the backs are so smooth compared to ceramic tiles.


  7. Thanks for the comment, threeacres – I hadn't seen that blog before. I love the stuff she's picked! It is going to be lovely. We actually decided against the moss tiles, just because they are *so* glossy, we thought they might be too slippery. We are going to use matte white hexagons, but the antique moss glass tiles are a GO! So excited to see how they look on the walls!


  8. Hey! I have “Water” in my kitchen as a backsplash and i love it! with light gray grout – it's delicious. I vote for WATER!! 🙂


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