Tile Problems

I was so excited about finding the perfect tile for our master bathroom, as well as our other two bathrooms (the green bathroom and the first floor bathroom).

But my excitement has been replaced with stress, frustration, and general bitterness. Ha, just joking, I don’t take tile that seriously. Well, maybe I do.

All this frustration is because of an upgrade that we made when we decided on our options when the house was being built. I remember being crammed in a tiny room with Nick, our relator, an interpreter, and the smiling lady with a long list of upgrade options. The clock was ticking and we had to make a lot of decisions all at once and FAST. Even though Nick and I had already discussed about what we wanted, there were just so many things to think about and to decide on, all in a span of an hour or two.

After that meeting, I was exhausted and worried that we made some wrong choices. I’m happy to say that today we’re just fine with a lot of our picks, but some of them could have been better. For example, I’m happy with the color of siding we went with and the upgrade we made on our bricks, but I hate our front door color. Luckily, some of our choices can be fixed pretty easily (e.g. the front door color), but some others can’t.

Like the cultured marble in our bathrooms.

When our relator recommended that we make the upgrade to marble in our bathrooms, we thought, sure! I mean, marble, isn’t that very desirable and gorgeous? But we didn’t realize that the marble was cultured… and even if the word “cultured” showed up on the papers and the conversation, it would have gone right over our heads anyway. We were young and knew NOTHING about home improvement and decor and all that stuff.

I do like the cultured marble in our bathrooms, since if we didn’t upgrade, we would have laminate countertops and cheap plastic shower walls.


When it comes to replacing our non-upgraded flooring in the bathrooms (they’re all roll-out vinyl fake tiles in beige), I hate hate hate hate hate the cultured marble SO MUCH.

Enough talking. Here’s a picture to show you why I’m grumbling about such a stupid first world problem…


Do you see it?

The cultured marble tub looks PINK next to the pretty white tile. I really like that tile – it looks marble but it’s a porcelain tile. Nice looking and budget-friendly, that’s my kind of combination. But noooo, it doesn’t work with the tub.

We were all set on using these tiles for our other two bathrooms, but I realized that the countertop (also cultured marble) would look weird with the whiter flooring, so I’m back to square one.

Here are some more tile options that we seriously considered…


Really nice, but is it too dark? Especially with our dark purple walls?


Not too dark, a nice gray. This was one of our top contenders. But… is it the ONE?


Almost identical to the previous tile, but this one had a better feel. It feels like leather, almost. Really nice. We almost went with this one, but I’m suddenly unsure. More on this later…

hex tile

I kind of love the hex tile. However, the higher price tag (around 11 bucks per square feet) and more complicated installation made us cross this one off the list. But I’m seriously considering putting it back on the list and putting it at the top…


By itself, this tile is really, really nice. It’s very textured and feels like a natural stone tile and the colors are great. But it doesn’t work with our ultra-textured (knock-down) walls. Too much texture, too busy. Oh, and the cultured marble looks pink here against the white in the tile. Awesome.


We tried out many many tiles. There are two great local tile shops in Austin (Castle Flooring and The Tile Guy) that gave us great service and fun toys for Janella to play with. They took the time to meet with us, answer our questions, and made great recommendations. They gladly gave us sample after sample of tile.

The problem is not the stores, nor their service, nor their tile options.


I cannot rationalize ripping it out at all. At all. So… What are my real options here?

The leathery gray tile (fourth picture) was our best option, but the price for it is a bit high for a porcelain tile. It’s almost 5 bucks a square foot, but okay. It’s also a new color that we would be introducing to the bathroom. So far, we have white trim and doors, white/cream/pink cultured marble tub and shower enclosure, eggplant purple walls, and white/cream mirrors. Gray flooring would be another color to add to the mix. I like the look of white grout with darker gray tile, so that would be what we would be doing.

Now that I’m talking about this, I think it’s a fine options. What am I worried about? Nothing, except for the possibility that it’ll just look terrible.

White hex tile, on the other hand, is just so, so, so pretty. It would be white, which goes perfectly with the trim and the doors, so it wouldn’t be another color to introduce to the bathroom. White flooring might go just fine with the cultured marble, since white is… white. But will it? Or will it just make the cultured marble look darker? I’m not even sure.

The best price I found online for hex tile is around 5.79 per square feet, which is similar to the gray tile. So, price is really not a consideration here.

Finally, will hex tile be a pain in the neck to install ourselves? I am very afraid. We like the two-inch hex tile, which might make it just a tiny bit easier to install than the one-inch hex tile version… or am I just fooling myself? We have no experience with laying tile, by the way.

There’s ONE more thing to consider in all of this. The bathroom cabinets. Right now, they’re stained brown. I am already planning on painting them – but what color? We’ll probably paint them a white that’s complimentary with the cultured marble if we go with the gray flooring. If we go with white flooring, the cabinets will go a soft gray.

Whew. That’s a lot of words for some stupid tile. We aren’t going to buy the tile any time soon because we want to tackle some other projects first, but this decision is really bugging me.

Do you have any insight, opinions, or advice on this? Please share! I think about this issue every time I go into the bathroom and it’s annoying me… I love the bathroom so much so far and I don’t want to ruin it with badly chosen tile!

By the way – baby #2 is due in three weeks! MUCH more exciting than tile, right?

4 Comments on “Tile Problems

  1. wow, due in three weeks? Time is flying, seems like you just made that announcement yesterday. Looking forward to seeing your newest addition.

    I will vote for the hex, because it is just so, so pretty and classic. I have no advice or thoughts on installation as I have no experience tiling anything. Bower Power put hex tile as their kitchen backsplash, and Young House Love did too, didn’t they? I know they both have lengthy posts on tiling with hex tile.

  2. First things first–CONGRATS on baby #2!!! Such sweet news! If he/she hasn’t made an appearance yet, I wish you all the best in the days ahead for a safe & speedy delivery!

    I LOVE the new lights above the mirrors. I’m drawn to the hex w/ a darker grout (& grey cabinets gets my vote as well), to keep things light & airy. I think once it’s all in, the cultured marble will look just fine with it (could it be the purple walls that are making it look pink against white tile?). To me, hex tiles are the classic choice!

    Installation is a bit different b/c you’ll probably have to hand cut the tiles using one of those crimper-like cutting tools but I hear it’s not too bad.

  3. I can so relate to you about tile decisions!! For our main bathroom in our hallway we went with a darker grey tile – I was nervous it would look to dark in our currently all white bathroom…but it works! So go with your gut, as for the hex tile we did that for our master bathroom, also love we found a local tile outlet in CA and paid 4.99 sq we have a small bathroom — but I love love it!!

    ps: the color you asked about on my blog is called Drizzle by Sherwin Williams 🙂

    Good luck on congrats on baby # 2

  4. Pingback: How To Cover Up a Hole in a Wall (with knock-down texture) | What the Vita

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