Let’s Talk Tile

What really solidifies a home renovation for you? For me, it’s a trip to Tile Outlet, naturally.

We wanted to get an up close look at the kinds of tiles we could get for the fireplace. I know, the tile isn’t the first thing we’ll need a decision on to move the renovation ahead. But, the tile store visit is the next thing we did. Renovations aren’t completely linear, and my goal is to share our real world renovation activities with you as they happen. Hold on for a long and winding renovation ride.

As we walked in to the store, we were pretty set on using marble. We were just trying to scope out all the shapes we could choose.

We looked at many options, which I’ve made into this handy pic, to refer to easily as we continue through the planning process.

fireplace tile

I walked in the most interested in the herringbone pattern (#1) from my “Stay Golden” mood board, so I made a beeline for it in the store. You can see it on the top left. I was surprised that I was underwhelmed by the tile. It was OK, but it didn’t knock my socks off. And at $17/sq foot, it was a bit more expensive than I anticipated.

Dismayed, Dan and I began walking the aisles. We were both drawn to marble hexagon tile (#2), which we did not expect. The shape could work well, especially for our “Shapely” room. At $10/sq foot, it was more budget friendly.

Nearby, we saw the subway style marble tiles (#3), and liked them. They’re simple, and we both liked the clean, even lines, which would echo the clean lines of the whole bookcase. This one was $10/ sq foot too.

We paused at this sort of geometric marble tile pattern (#4), that reminds me of a kind of Greek key style but pretty quickly discarded it from contention. We thought it would be too busy in the space. At $10/sq ft, it would make a cool kitchen backsplash.

We kept on walking and saw the lantern style tile (#5). We have a similar shape in our upstairs bathrooms, which we like, but I feel like this tile might feel dated quickly. The master bathroom’s lantern tiles were a harvest gold before we completed our $125 bathroom makeover, and they felt super ’60s. The tile was $12/sq ft, and we didn’t like it better than some of the simpler patterns, so this tile might be out of contention.

Our final stop was one we didn’t expect – grey penny tile (#6). It’s not marble, which is what we set out to look at, but I think we both liked the light grey color. It would be a way to add a bit of soft color, which would contrast an all white fireplace and bookcases, should we decide to go that route. At $6.50 sq/ft, it is the least expensive we’ve encountered this far.

So, after our visit, we’re left with some great choices to consider, but we’re going to hold to make a final decision on tile for now. We’re still tinkering with the blueprints, including the dimensions, of the new fireplace/bookshelves wall, so we’ll need to take the amount of tile we need into account before settling on a specific tile, keeping the amount of tile needed (for both budget reasons and aesthetic reasons) in mind.


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