Sunday, January 20, 2013

Laid Out

So guess what? We have all new tile floors!!!! I must say, it was stressful. Aside from all of the prep and demo we had to do, this whole process has just really made me realize how much I hate having people in my house. As in, strange worker men, not as in friends coming to visit (which I hope you will all do). I felt very uneasy and I can't tell you how glad I am that they're done!

Now onto the laying process. The tiles we ordered were square 20"x20", but I really wanted them to be rectangular because I thought such large square ones would look very plain.  

So, our tilers used this cool scoring tool to cut each tile down the middle, and then they hit the tile on both sides to break it in two.

This process of snapping them in half made me pretty nervous. I was worried that they were going to break with jagged edges and that they weren't going to be careful enough to cut them right in the middle, but they came out perfect!

I took a couple inside to make sure I still wanted to lay them in a brick pattern, and I definitely did.

They put down a layer of thin set, then put the tiles on top, using spacers to make sure they were evenly placed. 

I had to go to work at this point which just about killed me because I wanted to watch every second. When I got home they were all done... and I must say that I was a little panicked when I saw how it looked. The tile looked great, but each tile looked very... defined. As in, the dark lines between each tile really set each tile apart as its own, which made the floor look choppy and disjointed. Now, I knew that the reason it looked this way was because it wasn't grouted, and that the lines between each tile would be much lighter, but it was hard to visualize and I got worried. Take a look and see if you can see what I mean.

See how each tile is very distinctly separated from the tile next to it? Well, that freaked me out.

Our tiler was really no help when it was time to choose a grout color which also freaked me out. He told me to choose one, I asked if he had any suggestions, and his response was that I was the one that has to live with it. Well yes, I'm the one that has to live with it, but you're the professional that works with grout all day so perhaps you have some insight??? Nope. So I pulled out all of the colors that were remotely close to the tile colors. Notice I left the bright red one in the upper right hand corner tucked in, as well as the teal one. #yesiconsideredit #icametomysensesquickly

The tricky part about choosing the grout for these tiles is that they're really varied in the range of browns. They get fairly dark in some places, and are very light and creamy in others, which means that tons of different grout colors would work. I knew I didn't want anything dark, because that would just mimic how it was already looking, which was horrifying. I didn't want anything too light, because that meant it would get dirty and disgusting the way the old grout got. I narrowed it down to these four. The one left was a little yellow and the one on the right was a little grey, so it was really between the two in the middle.

And the winner is.................... "Haystack," even though it looks nothing like a haystack. 

Sadly I was at work while they grouted everything except the entry way, so I was only able to snap this one phone picture. They pretty much just mix up the grout powder with water and use a rubbery trowel to smash it into the lines between the tiles. Then they wipe the excess up with a big sponge and let it dry.

The finished product!

See how much better it looks with the grout?! Heart attack prevented. Whew. It looks like one continuous, cohesive floor now rather than tons of independent tiles. Here's a side-by-side:

The laundry room/pantry.

The kitchen.

The half bath (it's not this yellow in real life).

The entry way.

And here's a before and after of the kitchen...

I couldn't be happier to have neutral floors! No more pink... ever. Now the floor sort of blends in to the beige cabinets and beige walls, but remember that the cabinets will be painted white and the walls will be golden yellow, so it won't look like one big beige party.

I'm really happy we went with the brick pattern because I think it not only adds subtle visual interest, it also elongates the space the same way stripes on a wall do. It looks less chopped up and more fluid since the horizontal lines don't match up, just the vertical ones. I'm in love :)

Now it's time for our handyman to do his work, and he has some pretty important things on his list. Most of them are functional, but they'll improve how the space looks, too. The finish line is in sight, yall!


  1. I LOVE it!! I was unsure when you were talking about the brick arrangement, but I'm totally sold. Love it. :)

    1. Thank you!! I feel like a lot of people were confused and skeptical haha.

  2. I was glad to come across your post. We just had tile laid today similar to the coloring of yours, and we picked haystack grout that will go in tomorrow. The tile guy asked us to pick the grout when he was ready to leave, so we felt like we had to hurry, so when he left I ran to my computer to find an image of "haystack" grout, and I found your pics and am relieved :) I had no idea there would be so many options. The next time we have tile installed, I will know to ask for the samples sooner! Your floor looks lovely!

    1. Congrats on your new tile! And thank you--I'm amazed my blog came up :) I hope your tiles come out looking great!