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Today, I want to talk about the super riveting topic of soap shelves! But seriously, have you ever thought about it? Until we really got to tiling, we weren’t super aware of all the things we’d have to think about. Things like outside corners! Inside corners! Bullnose trim! Tile above the baseboards and tile around the tub filler – and shower head and hand held and transfer valve. To be fair, we didn’t just start blindly, but as thoughtful as we were about every decision, I’d be lying if I told you we didn’t cross our fingers more than a few times.

We fell down the internet rabbit hole on a handful of occasions as we debated which way would work best for us on each task, and not surprisingly, there are quite a few methods to do ev-er-y-thing. The trickiest of all the tricky things, though? Those soap shelves. Never again will we take grabbing the shampoo off of a carefully crafted shelf for granted. Never, ever.


Any tutorials we found online were brief (with little to no illustration), although this one was the most helpful and extensive. Between what we learned with Lisa and the collection of shower shelf photos we’d amassed, we found a happy medium of what worked for us, so if you ever find yourself in a soap-niche-tiling-situation, hopefully this will help you, too!

WHAT WE DID. Needing to keep the subway pattern the same from left to right, we worked (obviously) from left to right. We continued tiling up the wet wall, so that we could continue on to the largest wall – the one with the soap shelves. Once we made it to the right of the soap shelves, we worked backwards from right to left so that we could get as close to each niche as possible. Once we  reached the point where we could no longer avoid them, Scott would hold the next tile up and mark it with a pencil exactly where the cement board ended. We wanted the tile to be as flush as possible with the edge of the shelves.


We continued working left to right and, again, right to left until we had worked our way around both shelves. Scott made the cuts very carefully on the wet saw, while I mortared each one into place. We were thrilled with how things started shaking out, but I will say that it was a slow process! At a minimum, we were cutting around the shelves for a solid 2 hours, and this doesn’t take into account the inside of each shelf.

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As we tiled between and above the shelves, we used tape to hold them in place so they wouldn’t begin to shift:


Not wanting to add any weight to the more delicate pieces while the mortar was fresh, we spent the next few hours working on the bullnose trim around the tub. It was so, so important to level every trim piece, ensuring that the tiles stayed aligned as we built them up.


Once we had our bullnose borders in place, we went back to the shelves, double checking that the mortar had hardened enough to continue building upon the cut tile. Because we are so slooow, we got the green light to move forward! Scott and I finished tiling to the ceiling in the shower before moving on to the inside of the shelves:


Above, you’ll see the remnants of each cut tile that surrounds the shelves. As each cut was made, we saved what was left and laid them out in the same continuous pattern. To be honest, we weren’t sure if this would work, but omg we are so happy it did! The remaining tile pieces fit perfectly in the back of the corresponding shelf, eliminating any disruption to the pattern!

With the back of the shelves in place, we moved on to the top, bottom and sides. Each shelf is about 13″ wide by a foot tall, and our tiles are 4″ x 12.” We didn’t want grout lines where any toiletries would sit, so we picked up 4″ x 16″ bullnose tiles with the bullnose along the 16″ side.


We measured each side of each shelf individually – both length and depth – and we gave the longer tiles a mitered edge where they meet. When installing the bottom tile, I applied additional mortar to the back so that there would be a slight (indiscernible) slope forward, which would keep water from pooling around bottles and settling into the edges. Once grouted, I was a little bummed to see that some parts of the bullnose were still visible – that teeny, tiny edge of orange ceramic. But! I taped around the tiles, applied a bead of caulk, and all was forgiven:

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You can see that we did finish the grout like we hoped, and over the weekend, Scott installed the shower plumbing fixtures, while I finished caulking and touching up the baseboards. I say things like installed the shower fixtures and caulking and touching up like it’s no big deal, but my goodness, it is a big deal! We caulked, spackled, painted, touched up and plumbed for a good 10 hours, but you guys, it’s finally starting to look like a usable bathroom!


A full reveal on the bathroom tile (plus a few things we learned along the way) is coming later this week – and we’re throwing in a giveaway to celebrate. Hooray!

Sources: Subway tile: Storka Manhattan Snow White Matte 4″ x 12″ // Bullnose tile: Storka Manhattan Snow White Matte 4″x12″, 4″ x 16″  // grout: Polyblend non-sanded Platinum // caulk: Platinum unsanded Color Fast caulk

  • Sara - January 26, 2016 - 9:28 AM

    Your niches are beautiful and you did a fabulous, super-meticulous job – as usual :) Having read about your projects for awhile now, I am 100% sure that you considered all of the alternatives for tiling the tub/shower. I’m curious why you decided not to use RedGuard or Kerdi or some other form of waterproofing membrane under the tile? Thanks for the inspiration, as always :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - January 26, 2016 - 9:47 AM

      Hi Sara – thank you! We got some similar questions on the last tiling post, but after speaking with our contractor, he insisted that RedGuard isn’t needed in our case, but it would be necessary if we were, say, tiling the shower floor. Because we have a bathtub, there won‚Äôt be any water settling onto the surface of the floor that can start seeping into the walls/floor/drywall/Durock. But I definitely recommend anyone to check with their contractor before tiling!ReplyCancel

  • Arli - January 26, 2016 - 9:42 AM

    Looks GORGEOUS!ReplyCancel

  • Kate S. - January 26, 2016 - 9:43 AM

    You really did a beautiful job! I love the light grout color you chose. It’s just enough contrast.ReplyCancel

  • Stacy - January 26, 2016 - 10:29 AM

    Did you do anything to figure out where on the wall the niches would sit (vertically) so you didn’t have any weird tile slivers surrounding them? I want to add niches when I redo my tub surround, but I have nightmares about having to cut a tile down to 1/10th its size to make it fit around the hole in the wall and then having a meltdown when it inevitably shatters every time I try.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - January 26, 2016 - 10:42 AM

      Stacy, YES! Oh my goodness, I literally had nightmares about tiling these shelves leading up to the Big Day. Our contractor had them high enough so that we’d have 4 full tiles leading up to them, but that would mean we’d need a full tile resting on the tub. You’ll notice that we only have a partial tile sitting on the tub, because we chose to have the full tile sitting on top of the baseboards… which lead to a 2/3 tile on the tub.

      And then to prevent a sliver in between the shelves, you’ll notice in the second photo of this post that we added a couple extra layers of cement board. This allowed the tile above the bottom soap shelf from being a sliver – which it sounds like you are worried about.

      SO MUCH TO THINK ABOUT. I got traumatized just typing that out! My advice is: think about where you want the the tile to start, taking into consideration everything from the tub to the baseboards to the bottom of your soap shelf to the SIZE of your tile. It all matters. Now that we’ve survived, it has all been worth it!ReplyCancel

  • susan - January 26, 2016 - 10:30 AM

    Wow. That is exhausting just reading about it! Y’all did a fantastic job.ReplyCancel

  • Julia [Chris Loves Julia] - January 26, 2016 - 10:45 AM

    This looks so very intense and absolutely perfect.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - January 26, 2016 - 10:56 AM

      The tiling job (not the final caulking) was finished the evening before we got to play in the cold together (haha). You can see now why I was so relaxed and happy to be there with you!ReplyCancel

  • Jeff - January 26, 2016 - 11:05 AM

    I am looking at using the same tile (floor and wall for my master bath). Will you be posting a photo of the wall tile against the balck hex soon??? :)

    Everything looks great so far!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - January 26, 2016 - 11:26 AM

      We will, we will! I’m taking photos today for a post this week! Stay tuned, because there’s a giveaway component (and some discounts!) as well…ReplyCancel

  • Kathy - January 26, 2016 - 11:45 AM

    This looks amazing and I KNOW, having just upgraded my kitchen by myself last year, how every inch and possibility is considered before jumping in. It IS exhausting to think about, but it’s true…you never look at these things the same again.

    Is there a reason why you didn’t choose a different tile style/pattern for the back of the soap shelves? I’m just thinking the contrast would have been very nice with all that white.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - January 26, 2016 - 11:53 AM

      Thanks, Kathy! We considered a different pattern for a minute – but because our tiles are so large and the shelves aren’t huge, we didn’t feel like there was enough space for a pattern to fully show. For example, a herringbone wouldn’t have had the space to shine! We even considered just buying a large sheet of white tile to fill the back, but in the end, we decided to match the pattern seamlessly.ReplyCancel

  • Kaylin - January 26, 2016 - 1:30 PM

    Wow, opened up my RSS feeds and it was like looking in the mirror – this is EXACTLY how my husband and I did our shower. Needless to say, I approve of your design choice XDReplyCancel

  • Katie - January 26, 2016 - 1:32 PM

    I did a similar soap niche in our bathroom remodel and I didn’t think ahead at all about the placement of the niche and how the tile ran. Luckily our contractor did. He dry fitted all the tiles and added the niche where it would line up exactly with the bottom and top of the tile. Glad he thought to do that because all that measuring and trimming sounds rage-inducing. Glad you muscled through it because the result is really lovely!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - January 27, 2016 - 9:03 AM

      Hooray for awesome contractors!!ReplyCancel

  • Dani @ Danielle and Co. - January 26, 2016 - 3:18 PM

    It sounds like SUCH hard work, but it really does look so amazing! I think if I am ever having a shower surround tiled, I might have to hire it out, though… it sounds so intense!ReplyCancel

  • Vanessa - January 26, 2016 - 9:19 PM

    I got tense just reading that! You are an artist and that helps you do such wonderful work. Is Scott an artist too? You should be very pleased with that!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - January 27, 2016 - 9:02 AM

      Thanks, Vanessa, that’s so sweet. Scott is not an artist 9-5, but he is one of the most imaginative people I know! (You should see his robot drawings :) )ReplyCancel

  • Allyson - January 27, 2016 - 5:36 PM

    Wow, they look awesome – really impressed, this looks like pros did it!ReplyCancel



With the floor tile checked off the bathroom list, we wasted no time moving to the wall! Eager to get our plumbing fixtures in place, it only makes sense to do so after all the tiling is so complete; the thought of grouting behind a toilet is our idea of a terrible, horrible time.

THE NIGHT BEFORE. We applied a thick line of silicone caulk along the tub, using painter’s tape to keep things mess free. Tip: Dipping your finger in water before smoothing the caulk will prevent it from sticking to you, and your results will be cleaner. 

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DAY ONE. We rolled out sheets of rosin paper to protect the new floor tile, and we firmed up that all of our ledger boards were, in fact, perfectly level. This was super important, since we’d be starting at the base of the room and building up from there (more on that in a second). A small amount off, and our tiles would slowly shift downhill – not good!

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By far, the hardest part was doing ALL the math before getting started. Ugh, the math! Because we were starting 100% fresh in this room, we even took into account the baseboards we’d be installing. We measured and re-measured every wall, we weighed the pros and cons of starting with the tub line or the baseboard line, and we played out every scenario – good and bad – depending on which wall we started on. (Did this keep me awake at night? Yes!)

You might remember that we chose 4 x 12 matte white subway tile from the South Cypress Storka line. We waned something larger to play with the smaller hex we chose for the floor, and I think the 4″ height provided a little more give no matter where we started – but again, we purposely chose (5″) baseboards that would align the best with the tile and the tub height. All this to say, there was no accidental planning – everything was thought to death. Ultimately, we realized that we could – thank goodness! – work left to right, with a full tile as the base. This would leave an almost 3″ height around the base of the tub, which we were happy with.

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You’ll notice that we haven’t been using spacers – another decision we weighed for, oh, far too long. Our contractor told us that we didn’t need them, since the tiles had slightly rounded edges and the teeniest, tiniest bump out on every side. The manufacturer, on the other hand, recommended an 1/8″ spacer, which we were hoping to bypass. Personally, we love a small grout line, so I asked my friend Daniel – who better! – what he thought, and he promised me that we could skip the spacers. The grout line would appear larger than you see in these photos, since it will also sit in the easement on the edges of each tile. So, sold! Less work, and small grout lines. Win, win.

By the end of day one, we had finished only the smallest wall to the right of the door and most of the vanity wall. It was this outside corner that gave us fits:


DAY TWO. We started fresh on the second day by first focusing on this corner. We Googled and YouTubed every possible solution for an outside corner, and you know what? There are no less a hundred ways to do it! In the end, we decided to miter the corner – leaving only a small space for grout or caulk – and although it took us a good hour (or two?) just to do this corner, it looks pretty good! By no means is it perfect (perfect from far?), but a mix of exhaustion and time spent had us calling it ‘done’ and moving on.

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Because we were dealing with so many tricky cuts around the plumbing, wall corners (inside and out) and the windowsill, I found it was almost easier and less stressful to back butter my individual tiles before applying them to the wall. When we were lucky enough to have a huge chunk of bare wall, I’d mortar a large area, but more often that not, that wasn’t the case! By mortaring each tile, I wasn’t worried about dry cement on the walls while we double checked math and worked on the wet saw. (I also kept a trash bag on my bucket of mortar to keep it going longer!)


Speaking of tricky cuts, we had some intricate details that Scott would carefully draw out and cut with the wet saw. Finishing caulk will fill in the gaps, but I was impressed with how close he was able to get!


We chose to stop at a 4′ height around the room, capped by bullnose tiles. We debated a black pencil liner (like Dana’s bathroom), but we nixed it to keep the focus on the hex border we spent for-ev-er working on. By the end of day two, we finished the vanity, toilet and window walls. Hooray! It. Was. Exhausting. Our marriage survived, so I guess that’s all we can ask for. (Ha!)

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The shower tiling – which will go tub to ceiling – has only begun. We got the first row down and level (with spacers to leave room for caulk), and once we get past the soap shelves (I can’t say niche anymore, it’s too odd coming out of my mouth), it should be easy – I say as a I knock on wood!


We’re waiting on some extra bullnose pieces, and fingers crossed they’ll arrive by tomorrow. Our goal is to finish tiling Saturday so we can grout on Sunday. Also on our ambitious Sunday list? Putting up the baseboards! And caulking! We will see, but I think we can do it!

  • Carrie - January 14, 2016 - 8:14 AM

    Looks AHHHHMAZING! Well done, and I love that you skipped the spacers. That ultra thin grout line is perfection! Can’t wait to see it all come together :)ReplyCancel

  • mandy - January 14, 2016 - 9:05 AM

    Beautiful! Actually I’m planning black hex tiles and large white subway tiles for my bathroom reno too. So this just confirms my suspicions that it will be gorgeous!

    Question: what are your thoughts on the white vs. black grout debate?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - January 14, 2016 - 9:31 AM

      We have been so torn on the grout! I wanted to go with a clean white because I think it just looks fresh and pretty, but Scott wanted something a bit more dark. The darker you go, I think the more imperfections will show up on cut tiles (especially), but the lighter you go, I fear that keeping the shower clean will be tough!

      In the end, I think we’re going with a super soft gray like what we did in the kitchen. We bought 2 colors of grout (Platinum and Delorean Gray from Home Depot), and I think it will be a game time decision. We have been torn on this for a while!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - January 14, 2016 - 9:19 AM

    How come you didn’t use Red Guard or something similar around the tub area?? As someone who just came out of a renovation due to mold I’m extra careful, but I also thought it was standard.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - January 14, 2016 - 9:34 AM

      Hi Sarah – I haven’t heard of Red Guard until you just mentioned it. I spoke with our contractor and asked him multiple times what the next steps were for tiling the shower (we trust him wholeheartedly and have loved working with him!), and he said we could simply tile on top of the Durock. I did some quick searches online and I see mixed reviews on whether or not Red Guard is necessary – some say absolutely, others say not! Hmm. I suppose it never hurts to add it though! An extra barrier against water is always a good thing.ReplyCancel

  • ten - January 14, 2016 - 10:14 AM

    This is looking good so far! I’m excited to see the finished product. Nice work!

    Do you guys own the tool to cut tile? Or did you rent it from somewhere? I’m looking to DIY a tiled kitchen backslash in the near future.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - January 14, 2016 - 10:23 AM

      We got our wet saw off of Craigslist! When we’re done with it, we’ll probably pass it along – Craigslist style – again.ReplyCancel

  • Alison @ Deuce Cities Henhouse - January 14, 2016 - 12:05 PM

    Holy cow, guys! I can not even believe your mitered tile corners – they look kind of perfect to me. Someday I’ll have to tile my bathroom and I will for sure be revisiting all of your tile posts before I do a thing. Keep at it! It’s gonna be amazing when you’re done!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - January 14, 2016 - 1:06 PM

    I just finished tiling my bathroom and am waiting to connect the faucet/tub drain. Can you go into how you guys do that? I am apprehensive about doing it and I love your step by step pictures!


    • Kim - January 14, 2016 - 6:57 PM

      Hi Amanda! Do you mean how to install the finish pieces (the actual faucet and drain) or the behind-the-wall connection?ReplyCancel

      • Amanda - January 27, 2016 - 2:05 PM

        Hi Kim, sorry just saw you responded. I meant the actually behind the wall drain connection. Thanks!ReplyCancel

        • Kim - January 27, 2016 - 2:11 PM

          Hi Amanda, that part of the job was actually completed by our contractor before we tiled. I’m sorry we couldn’t be of more help! I will say that YouTube tutorials are our best friend in times like this though. :)ReplyCancel

  • Josh | The Kentucky Gent - January 15, 2016 - 9:45 AM

    The tile looks great! Y’all have SO much more patience than I.

    Josh | The Kentucky Gent

  • Dani @ Danielle and Co. - January 15, 2016 - 9:49 AM

    I am so impressed with your tiling skills! I’m so nervous to tile for the first time – it’s nice to read a realistic portrayal of how hard the work is, but that it also sounds doable. I love the contrast between your floor and wall tile choices, too!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - January 15, 2016 - 10:09 AM

      I think as long as you set yourself up to know that tiling doesn’t happen in a day! For us, it’s 3 (LONG) days minimum, but this wall tile will easily go into 4 day – plus a few weeknights, maybe? We are excited to get it done, because we know the results will be worth the hard work! (Something we remind ourselves when we start to get moody about our slow progress.)ReplyCancel

  • Cara - January 18, 2016 - 7:31 AM

    This space is going to be beautiful!! I love everything you guys do and you have certainly inspired my own home’s look:) Question, which tile color did you get? Silk Matte or Snow White Matte? I’m going to get a sample for our kitchen. We are going with the Ikea Laxarby lowers with a full wall of tile on the hood wall (think: Chris Loves Julia) Do you think this will look good??ReplyCancel

    • Kim - January 18, 2016 - 8:18 AM

      YES! They would look fantastic. We got the Snow White Matte. :)ReplyCancel

  • Erin - January 19, 2016 - 12:41 PM

    oh, I see someone above mentioned Redguard. I know it would super duper stink to have to take out the tile above the tub that you’ve already done, but I would do it if I were you.

    The previous owners in our house had a shower done with tile over cement board, and it slowly leaked which we didn’t discover til it started coming through our dining room ceiling below. It was thousands of dollars to redo the shower, and we even had to redo some of the hardwood flooring in our bedroom because of rot from water seeping under the floors.

    Ours was particularly bad because there was a bench in the shower (so a horizontal surface) with nothing but cement board under the tile, but it leaked at more places than just the bench. I would be so nervous at risking all your hard work. If you haven’t tiled the soap shelves yet, I would Redguard them even if you don’t do the walls, b/c the flat bottom is prime leakage territory. =( It looks gorgeous!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - January 21, 2016 - 9:30 AM

      Thanks for the input, Erin! We did end up doing more research on RedGuard and spoke with our contractor again, and we agree that it would be necessary for a tiled shower floor and bench. Because we have a bathtub, there won’t be any water settling onto the surface of the floor that can start seeping into the walls/floor/drywall/Durock. But I definitely recommend anyone reading these comments to check with their contractor before tiling!ReplyCancel

  • Lindy Brewer - January 27, 2016 - 9:53 AM

    You guys are my heroes! Your attention to detail is perfection. We did not tread the DIY tiling waters in the past, but maybe in the future we’ll feel more brave.

    And I love your dog portraits. I’ll be ordering some day ūüėĄ Love your blog, thanks for the inspirationReplyCancel

    • Kim - January 27, 2016 - 10:16 AM

      So sweet, thank you, Lindy! I’d love to work with you on some paintings! :)ReplyCancel



At this point in our three-room renovation, every item on the to-do feels mountainous. We’d love to say,¬†let’s pick a shower curtain this weekend!, but I tend to make decisions a thousand times harder than they need to be. (Every person who has ever met me is shaking their heads in agreement right now.)¬†First, I think,¬†I must research all my favorite online stores. Then I should pop into a few of said stores to see the fabrics in person.¬†Of course, I’m famous for switching gears, too.¬†But¬†what if I make my own? Yes! That’s what I’ll do. Now to find the perfect textile with the perfect weight in the perfect shade of – gray? Blue? No, definitely a pattern.

Welcome to Scott’s life. (I’m mostly kidding, but also kind of not.)

I feel as though we’re in the middle of this vortex – the eye of the storm, for sure – as our current tasks are things like¬†tile the bathroom floors!,¬†tile the bathroom walls!,¬†install the plumbing fixtures (and hurry, because CC needs a bath, like, yesterday)! and, of course,¬†build the PAX! but first¬†install the bedroom baseboards!

But today I want to talk about completing one of those to-dos, because over the holiday break, we finished tiling the bathroom floor! I mentioned back here that we’d be going with traditional black hex (specifically, these guys), and at the start of this year, we were able to check that one off the list.

Our contractors installed cement board leaving us with a blank slate, but I’m going to start by saying the one thing we wished we would have done different. Below, you can see the obvious seams in the board, and we¬†really should have mortared those areas first. Instead, we applied additional mortar into the cracks as we tiled, but because the mixture was still wet, some of the tiles did dip into those seams. It’s only noticeable closest to the tub, but I made a mental note to mention it so you don’t do the same, please!


Cautionary tale aside, we knocked out the job over the course of four days, starting with¬†DAY ONE:¬†Because we’re not expert tile layers, we like to first do¬†a dry fit. We did the same in our entryway, and we think this is definitely a stress reliever on Mortar Day, especially if you’re using squares of mesh tile. Scott is the resident wet saw master, while I call out measurements, piece together the puzzle and use a utility knife to handle the detail cuts.

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You can see below that the dry fit really highlights the individual tiles. Despite this, mortar saved the day (keep reading!), just as it did in our home’s entry.


While we loved the all black floor, I had been campaigning for a white hex border. Before we called it¬†quits on day one, I used a pair of scissors to cut out a 2×2 pattern of white tile (I had ordered one box of this coordinating white hex for this reason) and laid it on top of the black. Scott was immediately sold, and we started¬†DAY TWO by cutting the black hex¬†out and dropping the white hex in.

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Because our door jamb is pretty thick, the pattern juts out to create a little entryway! This little detail made us super happy, and YES, there will be a floor transition in our future:


Continuing on with day two, it was time to mortar! We started along the straightest edge in the room (the tub), and without a doubt, the tile gave us fits at time. It’s so easy to become misaligned once you get started, but luckily the mesh backing is really forgiving once the wet mortar is below. We pushed, and we pulled, and we added dozens of little spacers where we needed to ensure an even overall look. (The next morning, our fingers literally throbbed from the pushing. And pulling!)


DAY THREE. All that pushing and pulling allowed us the luxury of waking up to a floor that showed no signs of seams (just one area where it had slightly dipped into the cement board crack, ugh), and we got right to grouting! We chose charcoal gray grout from Lowe’s to blend in with the black, highlight the white and stand up to regular traffic.


DAY FOUR.¬†To get a head start on the wall tile, we installed ledger board around the room. The ledger would give the wall tile a¬†level lip to sit on while also allowing our baseboards to retain their profile. We chose inexpensive MDF to mimic the depth of our 1/4″ wall tile, and once the wall tile is in, baseboards are installed and everything has been painted (baseboards), grouted (wall tile) and caulked (baseboards and tile), they’ll be nice and sealed away from potential water damage.

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Speaking of wall tile, we’ve started, and I’ll be sharing a progress report this week!

Sources: matte black hexagon tile: Elite Tile Retro .0875″ x .0875″¬†//¬†matte white hexagon tile: Elite Tile Retro .0875″ x .0875″ // mortar: TEC Skill Set¬†// grout: TEC Charcoal Gray¬†

  • Stacy G. - January 12, 2016 - 7:02 AM

    Looks great! I love the black and white. It is very fresh.ReplyCancel

  • emily @ go haus go - January 12, 2016 - 8:11 AM

    The white border is genius. Looks beautiful. And thanks for keeping it real with the cement board seams. Good to know. Can’t tell at all in the photos!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - January 12, 2016 - 9:04 AM

      Thanks, Emily – it was a tip that I wished we would have known or thought of beforehand! I think a well placed bath mat will save the day though. :)ReplyCancel

  • Maia - January 12, 2016 - 8:15 AM

    You guys are so good! I love the border! I like that the mesh tile on the Elite tile looks like it has a plastic mesh backing. We picked a hex that actually had string mesh and we were cursing as the mesh literally falls apart in the grout so you end up with a lot more inconsistency as the individual tiles move around. For any first time DIYer, I’d recommend the firmer plastic mesh backing.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - January 12, 2016 - 9:24 AM

      Maia, you’re right! The mesh was pretty strong, although from time to time, a tiny hex would fall off, and we’d have to place it in. That didn’t happen very often – maybe only in the intricate smaller sheets along the border. But I’m with you, the quality of mesh backing will definitely make or break a tiling job!ReplyCancel

  • julie - January 12, 2016 - 9:08 AM

    The black tile with the charcoal grey grout is SO calming and glossy at the same time. Love it. You both should be so proud of the job you did!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - January 12, 2016 - 9:46 AM

      Thanks, Julie! We are proud! And tired. Phew, tiling is no joke!ReplyCancel

  • Erika - January 12, 2016 - 9:19 AM

    Looks amazing! The white really makes it fell so pulled together! Way to go!ReplyCancel

  • AnnMarie - January 12, 2016 - 9:39 AM

    Omo, I want to pet your tile so much! I love the charcoal grey with the black and white hextile – it’s just so purty! Now I’m going to be dreaming of gorgeous hextile and attempting to squash my jealousy. I can’t wait to see how the wall tile turns out!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - January 12, 2016 - 9:46 AM

      We can’t wait to see it either – haha. We’re so close! Hopefully we’ll wrap that up this coming weekend.ReplyCancel

  • arli - January 12, 2016 - 9:51 AM

    Wow, looks GORGEOUS! Can’t wait to see the rest.ReplyCancel

  • Kirstin - January 12, 2016 - 10:03 AM

    Omg that border is so cute I can’t handle it! Really love it. Can’t wait to see the rest of the bathroom – but with this as a foundation, it can only be adorable.ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - January 12, 2016 - 10:45 AM

    Oh wow!!! I love, love LOVE it!!! Seriously so gorgeous, I think if I had done that I would just sit on the floor and not be able to stop touching it! (Like AnnMarie said… I want to pet your tile! LOL). The charcoal gray grout with the black tile looks amazing, and I LOVE the border, especially how it zigs and zags around the quirky room shape and into the doorway! Ahhh!!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - January 12, 2016 - 11:04 AM

      Aw, thank you so much! Made my day.ReplyCancel

  • Suzanne - January 12, 2016 - 11:29 AM

    I have followed this blog for years and still look forward to your posting days! Progress looks beautiful. You two are inspirations for me to get going on our own historic home renovations.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - January 12, 2016 - 11:50 AM

      That’s so nice, thank you, Suzanne!ReplyCancel

  • Karen - January 12, 2016 - 12:20 PM

    I really like the addition of the border. Can’t wait to see the wall tile.ReplyCancel

  • Kacie - January 12, 2016 - 2:42 PM

    I love the dark grout, and the hex tiles look beautiful. What type of floor transition do you think you’ll pick?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - January 12, 2016 - 2:49 PM

      We’ll choose a wood transition to match the floors as closely as possible, but we do have a dip to our hardwood floor that’s going to make it challenging. What else is new?!ReplyCancel

      • Rachel S - January 12, 2016 - 3:07 PM

        I am obsessed with marble transitions into bathrooms. They are so chic. And that one slice of marble is cheap! Consider it maybe?ReplyCancel

        • Kim - January 12, 2016 - 3:15 PM

          I wish! We actually have a marble transition already, leftover from our entryway. The problem is that we need something that we can flex a little better, since our floor slopes a little. This old house, I tell you!ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - January 12, 2016 - 4:30 PM

    You guys are machines! This looks really great!ReplyCancel

  • Julia@Cukoo4Design - January 12, 2016 - 8:28 PM

    So so so good! I can’t wait to see the rest go upReplyCancel

  • vanessa - January 12, 2016 - 8:44 PM

    Wow. This looks amazing! So much patience and hard work but the end result is worth it!ReplyCancel

  • Lillian - January 13, 2016 - 4:25 PM

    Would love to know how you handle cutting the hex tiles for the edges. We did the same tiles in our laundry room, and cut each little hex by hand with the wet saw, but there has to be a better way! It was such a pain and the cuts are really hard to get straight.

    Any advice?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - January 13, 2016 - 4:37 PM

      We used the wet saw for the edges as well. We started along the bathtub, knowing those those were the most important, since they wouldn’t get covered by baseboards, but I will definitely say that the tiles along the perimeter of the room are no where near perfect! But – the baseboards will cover that up 100%.

      I think it’s just the nature of the beast when it comes to tiny delicate tile.ReplyCancel

      • Lillian-Marie - January 14, 2016 - 10:05 AM

        Darn. I was hoping you guys had found a magic trick :)

        Our original bathrooms had a tile baseboard, so we decided to replicate that to stay true to its history. Unfortunately that means all of our edges show!ReplyCancel

        • Kim - January 14, 2016 - 10:13 AM

          This might be a HUGE pain, but using tile nippers on each individual tile could help? Sometimes nippers are unpredictable with what they’ll take off though. We used our sparingly – only if the wet saw left a little edge we needed to take off.ReplyCancel

  • Mary - January 13, 2016 - 5:33 PM

    I’m so relieved your tile job turned out better than ours. You would think having the tiles on a mesh sheet makes installation easier. Nope. Our seams showed.
    I think using the spacers saved you. We didn’t think to do that.
    We still point fingers at each other as to who’s to blame for our botched job.
    That Power Ball win will fix it though. We’ll have a professional re-install it. (Fat chance but I can dream)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - January 13, 2016 - 7:42 PM

      Haha, good luck, Mary! :)ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - January 14, 2016 - 10:54 AM

    We had a similar problem with laying hex tiles. I want to warn you they’ll probably pop up and you’ll be patching them in forever.ReplyCancel

  • Shavonda@SGStyle - January 17, 2016 - 11:12 AM

    You guys! The floor looks fantastic!! I LOVE the white tile border. Such a great choice!!ReplyCancel