Marble Herringbone Tile in the Bath

Yes, I know. I’ve kept you waiting dear friends. Holiday breaking just felt so nice, and with the munchkin only 11-weeks out, we’ve been oh so busy in this little house of ours getting the abode/ourselves ready for our babes grand entrance.

One of the bigger(ish) things on my to-do list was to get our little bathroom gutted and revamped.

Truth be told, I’m pretty smitten with how the space turned out! Here is a shot of our marble herringbone tile up close!

Marble Herringbone Tile

True to form, we installed one of my favorite bathroom looks, a marble herringbone tile.

We love a clean and traditional look, so we decided to go with a nice crisp white subway tile for the tub surround. The room feels so much brighter, and less dingy now!

Inset Storage for Shower

Knowing that every inch of space counted in our tiny little loo, we also decided to try something new for this renovation, and installed an inset within the shower for shampoo and other shower essentials.

It’s the perfect size for all our bathroom beauty products – I’m so SO glad we decided to do this!

Inset Storage in Shower

Working off the finish on the tub, I snagged these sconces from Home Depot for $30 each. Can’t beat the price. and love how they look in the space. Simple and elegant.

Nickel Sconces

We lucked out with our toilet, which, believe it or not – only cost us $40! Here in Durham, there is a local rebate for $100 for any household that replaces an old toilet, with a new efficient model. We went from a toilet that used 3.5 gallons per flush, to this one, which uses 1.09 gallons per flush. For a pregnant women that tinkles more than I ever thought humanly possible, I’m pretty sure this was $40 well spent 😉 I love how it looks up against the marble herringbone tile pattern!

Inexpensive Dual Flush Toilet

Another cost cutter in this space was our sink! Initially we planned on just reusing the old one, but alas, once we got the new toilet in, we realized it didn’t fit! We landed up selling the old kohler on craigslist for $80, and finding this pedestal sink at the habitat for humanity reuse store for $11. WIN.

Inexpensive Bathroom Sink

Jay and I each have a favorite thing about our newly renovated bath. For me, I think I’ve found my new paint color. Benjamin Moore Pale Oak. It’s delish – perfection. (see it in our next house here)

Benjamin Moore Pale Oak

Jay’s favorite add on – the new mega sized shower head. Sitting in the lap of luxury peeps.

Upgraded Shower Head

So there you have it! Our new herringbone marble tile bath. Man, it feels good to have that one off the list!

Want to see all the products sourced and some of my other favorite bathroom finds? I’ve got them all saved on this pinterest board 🙂

Back to My Usual Antics

It feels like everything in this house right now is kind of outside of our control. Our kitchen – delayed 4-weeks (post on THAT next week). Our laundry room – didn’t pass inspection (plumber is back today to finish it up). Our chimney – it’s leaking to the tune of a big old puddle in our living room when we walked in from a long day tonight. So needless to say, when I could reach for a creature comfort that I knew would work, and I knew would look glorious with a capital G – you guys – I went for it.

I thought about being adventurous, but then I crawled back to that warm and familiar place. Herringbone tile. Yep, iiiittt’s baaaccckkk!!

Marble Floor in Laundry Room

Yes, I love this stuff. Testament from our last house, here.


and here.

DIY Herringbone Backsplash

What can I say. If the shoe fits, I’m going to wear it.

I mean, for a quick second, I thought about being all crazy and switching it up – I even went out and bought the tile. But once we had our plumbing in, and I got a true view of how small our actual footprint for flooring would be, I knew the 6×18 inch tile was just going to be way too big for the space.

Leonia Silver Tile

So, back to Home Depot we went, and out I came with my favorite marble to date. Added bonus, it’s just over $5 a square foot. For marble subway tile. Holla!!

Jay nixed the traditional herringbone style (vertical orientation, like our kitchen backsplash), since he belly ached at me it was too hard. And since it’s our laundry room, and I like this style almost as much, I said okey dokee! With my help, we were able to get this installation done in about an hour.

Here is a close up of how the pattern turned out.

Marble Herringbone Subway Tile

Like I mentioned above, this particular marble subway tile is a steal of a deal at $5.69 per square foot, which was another reason that we decided to jump for this when we did. There are some trade-offs with the cheap route on this one – a decent amount of the tiles were really not my jam (discolored).

In our case, we decided the best work around was to buy a few extra containers of the tile and consider this sunk cost for getting this great of a deal on a marble tile. Lucky for us, we also overbought, so we were able to return a few containers after the install was complete, as well.

Believe it or not, we only had to tile 15 square feet of space in the laundry room, so our total out of pocket cost was under $90 for the flooring. You’ll notice that the plumbing is quite a bit higher over on the left than I thought it would be, so we’ve got some big plans for building a base around that to cover it up, and to build a nice built-in bookcase for storage along that wall.

Adding Laundry on Second Floor

In addition to snagging a steal of a a deal on the tile, we also got quite a discount on our washer/dryer unit, too. Although still pretty darn expensive (IMO), we knocked a few hundred off the price by doing some online sleuthing prior to committing. Sad story, a week later they were $100 less than we paid online, but ya know, that’s how the cookie crumbles sometimes.

Samsung Front Loading Washer and Dryer

Since I’ve never met a marble tile I didn’t like, I thought it would also be fun to do a round-up of some of my favorites in my search, too! Enjoy 😀

Best Marble Floor Options

Greecian White // Greecian White Basketweave // Greecian White Hexagon // Greecian White Subway

Plumb de Dumb

We all have a nemesis in life, plumbing just happens to be my dear, sweet husband’s. Want to see my man cuss like a sailor till he’s blue in the face? Ask him to plumb your bathroom. I’ve done it a few times and the sailor in him comes out just a hair more each time. Since I prefer guy’s of the soft and sweet genre, I’ve decided that plumbing just aint something Jay’s going to tackle. Not on this project at least. 😀

We figured since we’d be doing all the other finishes, we could pay someone to come in and do the nitty gritty back end stuff for us. Overall, to have rough-ins installed for our toilet and sink, we we’re out $700. A decent chunk of dough, but I think we will be pretty glad we made the investment come selling time. For reference, plumbing for just the half bath vs. the full option with a walk-in shower, saved us about $1,400 in plumbing costs alone, ($4,000 when you factor in the fixtures) which was one of the main reasons we opted to can the shower option.

Cost of Adding New Bathroom

Now I personally find that to be a head scratcher (really, $1,400 MORE for 3 feet more of plumbing) but we got (3) quotes, and each one reflected a significant bump up for the extra fixture. Meh, what do I know. 🙂 All in all, I’m pretty glad that we decided to got with the more petite option since this attic has been a hairy beast so far, it’s sorta nice to lighten the load when we’re able.

After the plumbers left, we had water lines running up from our downstairs bath right into the new room. Voila.

Plumbing Rough in Cost

Overall, I can’t recommend our plumber enough! His name was Brian and he was pretty much a plumbing ninja. He came in and did all the work within one day and you could tell he was doing quality work (using copper vs. shark bites, etc). If you’re local – I’d be more than happy to pass along his info.

After we added the backer board to the space, we had this. A nice, flat surface for us to get cracka lackin’ with some flooring!

Board and Batten in small bathroom

Now to actually be at a point in this renovation where we’re putting down FLOORING is like angels singing. Happy, happy day my friends.

What made it an even happier day was seeing how lovely the tiles we picked out looked down in the room. Meeeooooowwwww.

Subway Tile Patterns

Notice anything familiar about this pattern. Yes. It’s true. I love me herringbone so dang much that for the upstairs bath we just flipped the pattern a bit and made it a 90 degree herringbone pattern vs. the traditional style we did in our downstairs bath and kitchen. Jay was happy since this meant all the cuts didn’t have to be done on an angle. Husband is happy and wifie is happy too, well how about that.

The next morning (in much better lighting) I snapped this photo of the tiles sans grout. Yep, that’s a winner.

Marble Subway Tile Herringbone Pattern

The key to keeping everything kumbaya with this pattern is just to make sure the end of each tile isn’t overlapping, or leaving an edge. We used 1/16″ spacers and we found that they’re a little less forgiving than an 1/8th inch option, so if we could do it again, we’d probably space them out more. Live and learn. If you’re new to tiling, the spacers are definitely extremely helpful to get a consistent and quality finish.

Truth be told, we did have one such unpleasant incident. The hubby blames it on the dry walling job, but we did have some inconsistencies in our walls, which led to a big old gap at one point in the pattern. Luckily, we were able to see it happening as we went along, so we made sure to strategically locate this one deviation smack dab under the sink. Although it’s not ideal, it should be completely hidden once we get our vanity installed. #Should.

Fixing Gap in Tile Pattern

Since we liked the grout we used in the other two bathrooms so much, we decided to just stick with our tried and true favorite – Whisper Grey from the Tile Shop.

We grabbed all our grouting essentials (a float, our sponge and the grout) and got to working!

How to Grout Floor

This first time we put down Whisper Grey, I freaked out a bit since it looked way darker than the samples they had up at the store. You can see in the photo below that it almost looks charcoal as it goes up. Don’t fear, this drys much lighter and softer.

Whisper Grey Grout

After our initial pass with the grout float, we came back through to shape the grout and wipe down the excess. The back of the container suggests waiting 2 hours to come through for your final haze wipe off, but we noticed things drying up about an hour and a half later, so we decided to wipe everything down then.

The next morning, our bathroom looked like this.

Marble Tile Floor Grey Grout

Here is a close up shot, too. The grout still has just a tinge of drying to do (this was taken 10 hours after the coat), but overall, I’m pretty sold on this grout color. I think it looks great with the marble hues.

Whisper Grey Grout

Alright, y’all want a cost breakdown of what this lovely looker set us back?

For marble floors, I’ll take it! Next step, installing the toilet and vanity!! Yippie kai you kai yeh.



I Like Shiney Things

I’m on a marble kick, what can I say. And when it’s $3.99 per square foot (thanks for the heads up Bryn!), say no more. Done and done. Here is a progress shot of our basement bathroom. Looking mighty fine.

Marble 12x12 Tile
Marble Bathroom

We had a few things to consider when plopping down this round of tiles, notably, what pattern did we want to do, and how did we want to deal with the threshold at the front of the door. Before, the tile hung over the threshold just a wee bit, and it actually caused the tiled to pop right up since every time someone walked over them they would be leveraged upward. Made for some easy demo on the first row of tiles, you could literally just pick them up with your hands they had gotten so loose over time. Not good, amigo. Not good.

Marble Threshold
Marble Threshold

Since they sell marble thresholds/window sills (typically used for windows in bathrooms), we decided to just snag one of those and use it as the threshold at the front of the room, thinking it would tie everything together and look at bit more seamless than putting down a wood threshold. Although the grain on this piece is a little different than the rest of the tiles, overall, I think it looks pretty good! We made sure to put the threshold right on the edge of the room this time, to avoid the popping tile issue we had last time around. Notice in the picture above that there is about a 1 inch incline between the rest of the basement and the bathroom.

How to install a threshold
Door Threshold

The front of the threshold will get some love when we add the trim in. Right now, it’s just some plywood and it’s looking a little rough around the edges. Hopefully that piece of trim will tie things together a bit more and make it look polished and purty.

Speaking of polished and purty – we had a little mishap with the tile around the toilet/plumbing opening. Jay got a little extra zealous with his tile cutting and trimmed too much off of this guy, below. Although we might be able to get around it with some caulk and clever positioned of the toilet – I’m not going to lie – I’m a wee bit concerned about how it’s going to turn out.

Tile Around Toilet
Tile Installation

A battle ensued – Jay: I DON’T want to cut another fareaking tile. That was really hard. I refuse to do that again. Arms crossed. Me: Ummmm….. but there is a giant hole where there should not be one. In the tile. Right there. Can’t you see it.

Jay won. I am getting weak in my old age. We are just going to caulk the heck out of it and hope it doesn’t show after the toilet is positioned. Stay tuned.

How to lay tile down
Laying Tile Down

It’s a pretty small bathroom, and the tiles were 12×12, so luckily it moved quickly and we got the whole room tiled in 2-nights. Since we already had the mortar and grout out and handy from our upstairs reno – this one seemed to move along quite swimmingly. Other than said mishap regarding au toilet.

How to install marble tiles
Marble Tiles

Before we grout, we’ll have to go back through and get the extra mortar out from between the tiles. Learned the hard way that this stuff has really got to be completely cleaned out, otherwise you have gray mortar creeping through after your grout. It’s not the best look. 🙂

So still to do on this bathroom:

  • Paint cabinet and walls
  • Re-install toilet
  • Grout and seal tile
  • Add new light fixture
  • Add trim and quarter round
  • Install artwork

Tile feels like the hardest part of all that to me though, so I’m glad we’ve got it behind us!


Since the herringbone tile install may or may not have started WW III round these parts, I think Jay and I were both pretty relieved that the flooring install was much easier and more straightforward. Helps that we cheated a bit, and I guess it helps when you are just plopping down 12×12″ tile and calling it a day. Especially when you only got 20 sq feet to do! 😉 To refresh your memory, here is the tile we picked out from the Tile Shop for the bathroom. Lurrrve it.

Small Marble Hex Tile
Small Marble Hex Tile

After ripping out all the old, we were ready to bring in the new. Before Jay started laying everything down with mortar, I came through and positioned the tiles a bit, just to avoid colors congregating too much in one area, and making everything look uneven.

Marble Hexagon Tile
Laying Down Tile

Since we already did the mortar and backerboard play by play, I thought I go right into the fun stuff with this post 🙂 First, here is a picture of the messy mess created by ripping out all the old tile. Not pretty, very dusty, and generally gross.

How to remove tile
Messy Bathroom

The perks of a small space though, quick clean up, especially with this handy little sucker, who was my tried and true pal throughout this renovation process. Jay was the mess maker and and was the quicker picker upper. I would just wait for him to give me to go ahead, with my trigger finger over the on button and I’d start sucking it all up. Not sure what’s wrong with me, but vacumms are like my fav. I especially love a shop vac – they are super suckers.

Lowes Shop Vac
Shop Vac

Since we were putting down marble, we did have to seal the tile first, before moving on to grouting. The man at the tile shop convinced us to get this fancy shmancy stuff. I think I choked on my spit when he said it was $30, but while I was recovering, the salesman was convincing my husband of it’s super star sealing properties. Somehow it was placed in my basket and I’ve justified it through the fact that we are installed a marble floor in the basement as well, so we can at least reuse it. AND you can use it for grout sealing as well, so it’s a multi-purpose tool. Or so they say.

To seal it, you just grab a paint brush and lightly coat the entire floor, or area you are looking to protect. Jay likened it to installed rainex, wax on, wax off. Just got to buff it a bit after you let it sit, and it’s supposedly good for 5 years. Once you notice that water is not beading up on the tile anymore, you should probably reseal it, just to keep the tile in tip top shape.

How to Seal Marble Tile
Sealing Marble Tile

After it was sealed, it was time to grout! We opted to get a slightly darker grout for the floor and it looks so very nice next to the handsome grey/white tone textures on the floor pattern.

How to grout marble tile
Grouting Tile

It’s pretty dark when you initially put it down, but eventually to dries and looks quite a bit lighter. I’ll post some after pictures soon! Now just the trim and we are ready to install our toilet back it!! Since we have had to cart our bums down to the basement to use the bathroom as of late, this is a very exciting development 🙂

A Bathroom Fit for a Queen (or King)

I’ve got a weak spot for Marble. Yes, I know, it stains, it etches, it ‘s expensive. Can’t help it, still love it. The hubby has basically forbid me from slapping marble down for kitchen counter tops (cry), but I’ve moved on, and I’ve decided to just put it down on every other acceptable surface in the house. Cue downstairs bathroom reno.

I adore the selection (and decent prices) of mosaic marble at the Tile Shop, so when I saw they were having a sale this weekend, I jumped on it. I was expecting to get 10% off since we were way below the $500 mark, but Nate at the Tile Shop happens to rock, and he gave us 20% off. Put your hands in the a-ir, like you just don’t c-are. So basically, hit up your local Tile Shop, cause they rock! They also have lots of rocks…

The Tile Shop
Tile Shop Sale!

I’d had my eye on some of their pretties for a while, so it never hurts to get a few dollar bills knocked off the price. I was a bit bummed to see that my prime candidate had increased $1/square foot since I pinned it to my pinterest board a few months back, but ya know, can’t win them all. Here are a few of the leading contenders for the bathroom flooring option that we scoped out during the visit.

Marble Mosaic Tile
Marble Mosaic Tile

I love the basketweave on this one, and I’m seriously considering this for our basement bathroom remodel. It had a beautiful green glass tile in it, but it was a little heavy on the grout in person. Since the pattern has so many cuts in it, the grout just seemed too predominant.

Marble Hex Tile
Marble Hex Tile

This 5″ Marble Hex Tile had me at hello. I actually liked that this one was more consistently white across the board with less of the grey in it. Although I think the grey variation is beautiful, I’m just not certain I’m totally in love with it for our quite small space. At $15.99/square foot though – it was the most expensive of the options we looked at.

Black and White Marble Basketweave Tile
Black and White Marble Basketweave Tile

And this one offered a very traditional look with the black squares. I think this option looks great when it’s used as an inset on a larger pattern, a la this photo. Also a very nice option, but I’m aiming to be a bit more monochromatic in the upstairs bath.

Small Marble Hex Tile
Small Marble Hex Tile

If you can’t tell, marble was definitely the theme with our selections. 😉 In the end… I went for the one I had been pegging for all along. It’s a really nice, 2″ hex mosiac tile with some grey toned variation in it. I think it is going to look super fine slapped down on my floor. For reference, I am pretty sure this is the same tile Katie Bower recently used in her abode, totally love it as a backsplash as well. Of the sections we selected, the pattern is predominately white, and really has very little grey like the lower portion of this photo.

We had $285 budgeted for JUST the tile, but with our wham bam alacazam deal, we were able to snag the tile, a new blade, sealant,  thin set, a trowel, a float and (2) sponges for $296. Boom Boom Fire Power. Here is a picture of our loot. Can’t wait to start the install!

Supplies for bathroom renovation
Tile Shop Trip