tile

Our Master Bath Tile How-to

I posted this photo on instagram right when the shower trim was installed last year. We were still in the middle of renovating so this was the closest to a finished photo I had to share and I had no idea the response it would get. The tile layout was an experiment, it is something I had never seen done before… an idea I had that I would only dare try out on my own house, so if it was a failure it would only be my own mess to clean up. However, as soon as I posted the photo the questions flooded in, within a month I already saw three other bathroom renovations mimicking the layout on instagram and those are just the people that tagged me. I caught some flack for not explaining how I did it, but the truth is… for the same reason I didn’t feel comfortable trying this out in a clients bathroom for the first time, I didn’t want to share how I did it and be responsible for a slew of bathroom renovations that could go wrong. After a year of living with it and the shower getting daily use, I can now speak to how it has hold up and feel more comfortable sharing the process. I am sure this has been done before, we all know there is pretty much nothing new under the sun, but for me this was new. An original idea that I had to figure out how to execute myself (while leaning heavily on the tile experts I worked with, although this was also a new process to them as well). So here it is…

The best part about this treatment is its’ simplicity. The idea couldn’t be more simple. I used an extra large 1″ grout line going horizontally and skinny 1/8″ grout line going vertically. Another thing I love about this simple idea is that it could be applied in a million different ways to get drastically different results. It can be applied to different colored tiles, different shapes, different grout ratios, different colored grout…(you get the picture)  to create entirely new layouts. There are a few things to consider on installation, you can’t just use any type of grout for this and it might not be applicable in every space or with every tile either ( please follow manufacturers guidelines and listen to your tile installer) but so far it has held up well in ours.

Here is what we did.

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sss for concrete collaborative tile!

festoon, new LA event space // Sarah Sherman Samuel

I am in New York at ICFF where we are officially officially launching the tile collection I designed for Concrete Collaborative today!! It has been over a year in the making, I finalized the patterns in March of last year and the first production test run went right to install at the creative studio and event space of my friends at “Festoon“!

I was thrilled to create this series of five for Concrete Collaborative (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). With crisp patterns and clean lines, Concrete Collaborative’s tiles are crafted using careful consistency and superior design. I have seen A LOT of cement tiles in my day and the quality is all over the map. CC’s quality really stands out and they are made locally in California so it was a no brainer. 

The tiles are ideal for both interior and exterior applications. My series of five consists of linear designs which can be combined and arranged to create endless pattern opportunities.

 

The tiles are created in a beautiful lilac hue that I used in Festoon, but can come in all Concrete Collaborative’s wide range of color options. I pulled a chart together of a few of my favorite color combos below.

 

And speaking of ALL those different pattern options that you can create, I’ve illustrated a few of my favorites below.

 

The curve of the arch my be my favorite but the stripes are modern and classic at the same time.  

 

 

The single line design creates patterns that are reminiscent of subway tile but with all the character and beautiful tonality of the encaustic tile, it is a major upgrade. A modern version of a traditional staple. 

 

Above are all ideas using just one tile from the series but the best part is when you mix and match the different designs to create repeat patterns or larger motifs that can read more as a mural. Here are a few utilizing the series to help get your creativity flowing with all the options.

 

 

 

I have put all the designs in my shop so you can find them easily but you can order them directly through Concrete Collaborative with their online shop ConcreteLove.com. You can find them all here.

I can’t wait to see these in some of your homes. #sssxconcretecollaborative.

Photos of Festoon by Marisa Vitale

home progress: main bath renovation

bathroom renovation // tile progress The tile is DONEZO, (woo hoo!) aka grouted and finished, and I am completely in love with the subtle textural pattern created by matching the grout color to the tile. It is a clean slate, ready to have the fixtures installed and accessories added.

bathroom renovation // tile progress bathroom renovation // tile progress We tiled all the walls except the one with the entry door on it which I had painted in “pitch black” by Farrow & Ball to match the floor tiles. I was a bit hesitant to paint the door and trim so dark but I really like how it turned out, gives it just a bit of drama. You can also just see the new linen closet/cabinet tucked in the corner which is where the old tiny shower was. The space is now much more utilized with the cabinet for extra storage.

bathroom renovation // tile progress See how far we’ve come after the jump…

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4 tips for pairing tile & bathroom progress

Many of my favorite bathrooms have tiled floors AND walls and since I love that look I thought I’d share what I look for in a good tile pairing. It’s essentially just like mixing patterns in your wardrobe, which I can never get enough of, and it’s even better when bringing it into the home.

4 tips for pairing tile in the bathroom // Capree Kimball // via sarah sherman samuelMy number one trick is to create balance with one small scale pattern and one large scale pattern. For example, if you have a detailed tile pattern with smaller shapes on the floor, choose a larger scale, simple tile (with no pattern) on the wall so it doesn’t compete with the floor. This bathroom by Capree Kimball illustrates it perfectly with the bold pattern on the floor and large subway tiles on the walls (see more of her bathroom here).

4 tips for pairing tile in the bathroom // Greg Natale // via sarah sherman samuelTry using a natural stone as a neutral pattern. In this bathroom, the wall commands all of the attention. Although they are small scale tiles, they make up a large graphic print and you wouldn’t want anything to fight with that. By using large marble tiles on the floor there is visual interest down there, giving it a rich layered look, but it reads as a neutral. The subtle irregular pattern on the marble is beautifully juxtaposed with the bold graphic pattern on the wall.

This bathroom is by Greg Natale, see more of his work here.

4 tips for pairing tile in the bathroom // via sarah sherman samuelA fool proof way to combining two tiles is to stick with the same color for both the floor and the wall, and only switch up the scale. You might remember that we did this in our last bathroom. This also reinforces my first tip where the scale of the floor tile is significantly smaller and more intricate than the scale of the wall tile and this way there’s no battling for attention. Each plane has it’s own pattern and they live happily next to each other.

Image from Target

bathroom tile pairings // sarah sherman samuelAnd finally, the tile I chose from Wayfair for the new bathroom also follows the opposite scale rule (this time large tiles on the floor and small on the wall), but I am using my final tip to mix two solid colored tiles of different shapes and let the grout lines make up the only patterns.

To catch you up on what is happening in said bathroom… last week I shared the beginning stages and plans for our remodel. Basically, everything was demoed and hauled out, an insanely messy job that I was a little sad I could be no part of this time around (growing a baby and construction dust probably don’t go so well together), and now the new tub is in place and the tile is going in!

bathroom-progresstile-progressmatte black tile // sarah sherman samuelIt isn’t much to look at yet, with no grout and the bathroom in shambles. BUT, the old shower is gone, they rebuilt that wall (pushing it back to make room for the larger bath and flipped around the shower head to empty into the tub), and you get the first look at how I’m laying out the tile in a herringbone pattern on the walls to compliment the large hexagons that will go on the floor. A whole new bathroom is just around the corner, eek (I HOPE)!!

To see the bathroom before check here.
To see all of the home renovation posts check here.

Product sources: White Retro Subway Tile from Wayfair // Black Hexagon Floor Tile from Wayfair // Kohler Bathtub from Wayfair

home progress: bathroom update

bathroom renovation // vintage credenza vanity, round mirror // smitten studioHey guys our bathroom is finished! I still have to add in the final accessories (towel hooks, toilet paper holder, soap dispensers, rug, etc. etc) but at least we have a brand spanking new and usable bathroom. We also just passed our final inspection and everything got approved by the city, so our 2 bed/1bath just officially went to a 2 bed/2 bath (with a new laundry room). Yay!

bathroom renovation // vintage credenza vanity, round mirror // smitten studioherringbone tile // bathroom renovation // smitten studioherringbone shower, gold fixtures // smitten studioLast time I showed the bathroom we were waiting on the mirror and glass shower enclosure to get installed. The reason for the HUGE delay in posting was because we also ran into a big problem with the tile job. After the grout went in, the color was blotchy and that was only emphasized by the fact that all the lines were uneven thicknesses. The guy assured us that it just had to finished drying and it would be uniform.

Well, we waited and waited and the blotchiness never went away (you can kind of see it here). We tried to get the guy back, but never could track him down. Finally, just when I was about to give up and have our brand new tiled shower and floors just look like dirty old ones, a guy on the crew that had been working on the rest of the renovation came in, scraped out all of the grout, and re-did the entire space (and the angels sang, taa daaaaaa).

Sources:  Pendant Lamps by Cedar & Moss // Kohler Purist Shower Head // Vessel Sink // Kohler Purist Faucet //  Merola White Hex Tiles // Vintage Credenza turned vanity // Daltile White Subway Tiles //  Mirror & Shower Enclosure, custom made

To see the bathroom before look here (it used to be a bedroom)
To see all of the renovation progress check here.

Images by Sarah Sherman Samuel

renovation update: finished floors & bathroom progress

kitchen-progressWe are getting closer to the end of our renovation and I CAN NOT wait to start moving our things back in, hang some art, and just enjoy some time at home. I can’t believe how much counter space we have now that that wall is history. The new pieces of marble for the extension of the countertop and backsplash are in place, and all that is left to do hang the upper cabinets, put the doors on the new base cabinets, and paint the toe-kicks.

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