When deciding on tile for our bathroom, we knew we wanted simple. Black. White. Black and white together, as we did on our hex floors. Every photo we found ourselves drawn to highlighted classic themes – subway tile, warm woods and brass accents. We’ll get to the latter (we can’t wait!), but when it came to the subway tile, we were a little stuck. Traditional 3″ x 6″? Something smaller? Something larger? A brick pattern or herringbone? We toyed with each and every one of these options, and many nights were spent convincing the other why this would work and that wouldn’t. It was exciting and exhausting all at once, but as soon as we got the samples for the Manhattan tiles from South Cypress, we knew they were The Ones:
We fell for the pretty matte finish (we’re nothing if not predictable; just like the kitchen!), and after a lot of measuring, we found ourselves with 13 cartons of the 4″ x 12″ tiles in Snow White Matte. We worked closely with the customer support at South Cypress, and they helped us determine our final counts – and when we were in a pinch, they shipped us additional 4 ” x 16″ bullnose tiles quickly! As soon as we were done with grouting and caulking, we pulled up the protective rosin paper so we could finally see how the wall tile played with the floors. We loved it! All the happy emojis, right here.
We opted for Polyblend platinum non-sanded grout, a super soft gray and a color dark enough to allow the walls to read as tiled, but not so dark that they demanded all the attention.
We’ve tiled a couple of times before – the entryway and the kitchen – both of which felt much less intense than this bathroom! All said and done, we probably spent 8 or 9 days working on both the floor and the walls, with a few of those days lasting well over 10 hours. You guys, we thought we were losing it at some points, but every time we felt like we couldn’t lay one more tile, we’d crank up Spotify, catch our second wind, and feel giddy over the progress! DIY, it can be such a funny feeling.
We learned a lot this time around, too! I jotted notes throughout the process, a handful of line items of the things I wanted to share here. We never want to give off the impression that DIY is the easier route – rarely is that the case – but my goodness, we were determined to do this ourselves. (As a treat, we’ve already booked someone to wallpaper our laundry room, ha!) Now that it’s done, we’re happy that we can walk into this room knowing we did this. And we survived to tell the tale! Oh, DIY, you funny thing, you.
- Do not freak out (too much) as you mortar and lay the tile. Grout can really save the day! (But, you know, don’t rely on it.)
- Use spacers when laying mesh tile. Trust.
- Mix small batches of mortar and grout! The smaller, the better. The anxiety of watching your large, perfect batch dry out while you measure, cut and panic is not worth it!
- Knee pads are everything.
- Give yourself time. Lots and lots and lots of time.
- Get to know your wet saw! Practice making cuts until you’re happy with the results.
- And the oldie (but goodie) – measure twice, cut once. For real.
So the best part about cheers-ing to Tile Day? South Cypress wants to give you a helping hand on your next tiling project! (You can do it!) We’re celebrating 3 ways:
- Take 10% off any Manhattan tiles with the code YBH10MANHATTAN
- Take 5% off any Storka tiles with the code YBH5STORKA
- Together with South Cypress, we’ll be giving away $250 towards any tile of your choice! Using the Rafflecopter widget below, enter as many ways as you’d like. This giveaway is eligible for those in the United States and runs through Monday, February 1st until 5pm CST. The winner will be announced within this post and contacted directly. Good luck and happy entering!
Promotional codes are good for 3 months (!), so grab your samples and start planning now! And as always, thank you for supporting those that allow us to DIY our little hearts out.