Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Getting Closer…

After a couple weeks of inactivity and indecisiveness about bathroom design choices, we decided to visit a wholesale flooring showroom to check out their selection (and prices) compared to Lowe’s, Home Depot, Menard’s, etc. Luke knew about this place because his architecture firm works with them for their interior projects. (His connections really come in handy sometimes.)

When I walked into ProSource, I was of course overwhelmed. Where to begin?!


While Luke has had a pretty good idea of what he’s envisioning for the bathroom, I’d kind of been all over the map. But recently we had managed to narrow it down and agree on a general color scheme. Amazingly enough, we ended up finding a tile that we both really liked at ProSource. Since we’re planning on doing a stained concrete floor, the tile would only be used in the custom-size shower (roughly 3x4’) and possibly the narrow wall behind the vanity.

The one we found was called Bombay Salsette porcelain tile (by Emser), and the price is actually pretty reasonable ($2.35 for a 13x13”). It also comes in a variety of sizes so we’d have options for different patterns.

[ image via fastfloors.com ]

The tile is designed to resemble slate, and it has quite a bit of color variation between the blue/gray and the brown. (Although the image above seems a little extreme with the colors compared to what we saw in the store.) But we’re thinking that will help tie it in nicely with a brown stained floor. Since it’s kind of dark, we'd probably install a lot of bright LED lighting in the shower so it doesn’t seem too cave-like or claustrophobic.

This PDF from the Emser catalog shows a coordinating 2x2” mosaic tile (which isn’t available yet), but at the store we found a different 1x1” mosaic accent tile that was pretty much awesome. It’s not part of the Bombay line, but I’m pretty sure it would still coordinate with the Salsette tile. It has a mix of brown and blue glass tiles with a “cracked ice” look, along with some brown marble tiles. At a wholesale price of $27 per 11x11” mesh tile, this was one pricey, but apparently all mosaic tiles are pretty pricey? I don’t know, but I really like it. I couldn't find this one anywhere on the Internet, so here's my own crappy picture:

Then, a salesperson directed us to the matching marble (from the above mosaic) that could be used for the vanity top, called Emperador Dark. It’s got white veining in it, which would work nicely with this Parisian White Vessel Sink, along with the dark brown vanity we're envisioning. I Googled this marble just to read more about it, and apparently it’s a pretty popular choice for bathrooms and other interior applications (see here and here). Anyway, they didn’t offer it in a slab at ProSource, so we still need to contact someone else for countertop pricing, unless we decide to do a tiled countertop instead of a slab.

[ image via mistones.com ]

I was drawn to the Emperador Dark at first. However... I should point out there's also an Emperador Light marble, which is also featured in the mosaic tile above. Although more subtle, it would contrast more with a dark wood vanity. But then a white sink wouldn't quite "pop" off the countertop as much. But I also don't want the bathroom to seem too dark and heavy. I'm kind of torn between these two marbles at the moment, if you couldn't tell. Any thoughts? Anyone?

[ image via granitegurus.com ]

Here's all three next to each other in the store. (Another crappy picture courtesy of my camera.) Also, the Emperor Dark marble looks super dull because it's unpolished.

After our little trip, I felt like we finally had a vision and a palette we could both agree on. We took home a sample of each to look at them closer and under non-fluorescent lighting. They take on a much warmer tone here.

Although I know there are thousands of other choices out there that we’d probably be happy with, I think we just need to make a decision and stop looking, or else we’ll drive ourselves crazy. Right now, I feel pretty confident in these selections and I think it would be easy to pick out a coordinating paint color and the rest of our fixtures. Although these are all on the dark side, we could balance that out with a lighter paint color on the walls, yes? I sense another mood board coming!

So, what do you think about this new direction so far? And do you have any thoughts or words of wisdom regarding certain materials for a bathroom? (porcelain/ceramic; granite/marble/other countertop materials...)


The Brick Cottage said...

Good luck! I am no help to you but we are wanting to add a bathroom to our house this year and I love seeing what others are doing (and learning from them). I think you probably just did the hardest part--narrowing your selection down to what you both like--after that, it's easy, right?! :)

Life in Rehab said...

I'm not usually a marble fan (go figure), but that brown with white veining is just stunning.

Cindy @The Flipping Couple said...

Totally in love with the mosaic tile! That's so beautiful.

I think we have a porcelain countertop/built in sink in our bathroom. I love the clean look and it's been very easy to keep clean, but it scratches easily. As in, using the rough side of a sponge scratches it. Maybe I should have known that, but I guess I'm used to our granite in the kitchen. : )

Anyway, I love the combination you have. Really truly love it. And can't wait to see it come together!

Kim @ NewlyWoodwards said...

Love the tile! And I totally 'get you' on needing to stop looking. I often feel that way. I say, it's time to commit. It will be beautiful!

Lucky Girl said...

Wow - talk about an overwhelming store full of choices! I like the color direction you are headed in. I think some splashes of white will be nice to keep it looking light considering its a basement bathroom.

Oonafey said...

I'm thinking I'm overwhelmed and it's not even my project!

I think it's looking great! I like the Emperor Dark better, the veining is amazing.


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