Tile Talk - Classic And Timeless

Updated: Sep 21, 2019

As we're running our laminate plank flooring throughout the entire house for a clean, cohesive, old farmhouse feel, we "only" (the pictures below could never accurately reflect HOW MUCH TIME was put into these selections!) needed to worry about the shower tile in the bathrooms and some back splashes.

One of our initial inspiration images with subway tile.

This process from the "customer side" has been such an eye-opening experience. Yes, I have YEARS - DECADES of experience helping customers, but stepping over the line to the customer side is a whole 'nother beast! In the end, I know we will be very thankful that we took this on, it's just painful with both of our current workloads.


Now back to tile. As a rule, I try to pull customers to designs that are classic and timeless, and so tried to do the same for myself. Y'all... it is difficult! The permanence of our choices really hit us hard. Ultimately we reached back to our heritage; Rob's farmhouse and, really, the comfort point for both of us. We wanted it to feel like a updated version of "old home."


First Floor Master


Since we don't spend a lot of time in the master bathroom comparatively, we didn't plan for a huge, over-sized space. We elected to focus on the details of this room, making them special.

Our shower flooring is a charcoal pebble "slice" - I've always loved this type of tile for its refined simplicity and the feel under foot. It just makes me think SPA and that's how I want to feel when I am in my bathroom - a relaxing retreat!

Angie Schmitt at Best Tile was extremely helpful and patient during our search and will be providing our shower floor tile.

It was the first time in years we have worked with them, but she was extremely patient and changed directions along with us to accommodate our thought process.


The wall tile is this REALLY cool white, textured tile that has a vintage "old farmhouse" feel. It was love at first sight for both of us.

We found this at The Tile Shop where Paul Carroll helped us. Unique was what we were seeking and that is really what we feel we found.

Both of these tile vendors were not typical "partners in crime" but I sure would recommend them both to anyone that asks now that we've had such a great experience. The service was perfection. To be fair, we want to shout out to Elle Sanderson at Mosaic Tile as well (because this is who helps us almost daily with our builder customers) and they are tasked with our daily painstaking requests and always seem to be able to get us through any challenge. But in this case, like we've mentioned before, we went some different routes on our own home. Quite honestly, some of it was due to the fact that our home came LAST, and has had to be done during the hours that we could squeeze it in between "OPH" (other people's homes) and these folks are a lot closer to us. Location, location, location.


Since the shower is nested beside a matte black claw-foot tub with white interior, the two spaces will feel very similar in character. We've also opted for bright, polished chrome plumbing fixtures.


Second Floor Master - Guest Bath


As referenced in our Decisions, Decisions, Decisions post, our house will also have a second floor master for a guest room. We wanted this space to be extra special for our beloved family and friends that have tolerated years of sleeping in our son Connor's bed and sharing a bath with our messy kids when they visited due to our lack of guest space.


This bathroom will be an homage to Rob's family home/barn. We are using an acrylic shower floor here, so we didn't need to make a tile selection for that. The shower wall tile (to the right below) made Rob instantly feel like home. We both loved the vintage feel of it, too.


We then found the hexagonal tile for a large scale accent/inset feature on the back wall that perfectly pulls in the flooring that is running throughout the whole house. We both loved these selections immediately... super excited to see this space come together!



Bonus picture of the image that made me fall in love with the hexagonal tile! SO cool how it matches up perfectly with the floors (which are incredibly similar to ours!)

Kitchen Back-splash


Keeping with our classic farmhouse style, we wanted to choose something here that (for us) would never go out of style! Funny how hard this is. We might have spent the most time on this going in a variety of directions. The safe choice was to go with classic white subway tile... but why go safe now? And why play it safe in the center of our home?


This is the space that we ALL live in; spend hours at the island laughing together or discussing our next journey. We needed to go big or go home. So, we selected a thin, red, handmade brick back-splash. At the time of this post, it's between the Cambridge or Virginia Blend.

Ben Gray at Riverside Brick is helping us find just the right "old look" for this, just as he did for our front foundation brick.
Our inspiration image that helps us explain our concept to family and friends AND helps us keep it all straight in our own heads! Classic, old farmhouse it is!

MBD Studio Kitchenette

This is just one of many inspiration images we fell in love with on this search. Like the kitchen, we'll be using a thin brick veneer in our very own MBD Studio Kitchenette. This image has a lot of the same qualities of the kitchenette minus the farm sink.


We did a lot of the tile work in our current home, but after taking that on, we have decided to use our favorite tile installer...

Yuriy with Rich Tile. He did all the work for our rental property and we LOVE the finished product.

**Sidenote: As we write this blog post, we are approaching drywall and the work is about to double for the Leal Family as we are entering the "finish" stages. We always planned to do a lot of the work ourselves during these phases. We are going to approach it like we approach everything... an opportunity to work together as a family on something we love to do.


But let's be real (as if I am ever anything but); families don't always agree or get along when working on long term projects. We do this very well, mind you, but there are days for sure!


Prayers are welcome!

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