Sunday, December 4, 2011

Tile shopping

I started the vestibule upgrade on a hot sweltering summer July day.  I tore out the broken plexi-glass and sanded a damaged side of the interior french door. We tore out the old rugs that had been nailed to the semi-water-damaged oak hardwood. That in itself was an improvement!  I also managed 3 days of 2-4 hours of wall paper scraping before getting distracted and then sidetracked (pea gravel patio).  I never did return to scraping.  I finally met up with my Contract-Her to discuss kitchen work and tiling the vestibule floor.

A shopping day was picked and we actually both showed up, meeting at the Bargain Outlet.  I didn't want to put too much fuss and thought into the vestibule floor. I had found a tile a few months ago that I loved, but logistics of getting the small mosaic was difficult (special order in Canada only, I'm in the U.S. - strange as its a home depot product).  I found something at this shop that I liked, and something that would do so we can do the vestibule this week and be done. But she also wanted to show me another tile shop.

Best Tile, still in my city but down roads I have never been. Warehouses and showrooms seem to be in hidden cul de sacs in this city. Best Tile was beautiful and huge. Discounted concrete sinks as you walk in. WOW, if only I had a farmhouse or an Italian manse I was decorating.  There was a decent amount of "seconds" and then a huge display area of firsts. Lots of inspiration and ideas and beautiful tiles that were sure to halt and open up other ideas  confuse and slow down the process of a person like me.  Luckily I was gravitating to the same kind of tile I found a few months ago. Confirmation of what I wanted. A significant sign. Now, if I can only find the exact size of matte black slate or porcelain in 6x6 for the kitchen. 

I pondered the fact that I was not following any rules while upgrading my home. I was not trying to renovate it back to the 1910's historical (term used lightly) home it started as. Nor was I aiming for a modern look, a Cottage look or a Victorian look. I was going on gut instinct, what I liked, what made me smile (well, except for maybe painting the fireplace)

Back to the first store to pick up the small 1x1 slate stone tile for the vestibule. I wanted to be decisive. I wanted this project to pick up and finish. I wanted to style the small 25 square foot area, hang a select few jackets & a dog leash on the blue and purple hooks and a rugby ball and a pair of boots neatly placed on the new floor. I wanted to walk into it each day in the coming weeks and admire the finished product.

I was advised to just buy a couple 1sq ft sheets and try it out at home. Come back for the rest. This was good advise. SLATE is heavy, even those tiny 1x1 scrabble pieces.

AND buying just a couple pieces also proved to have another benefit. I don't have to lug tonnes and tonnes of little pieces back to the bargain outlet and deal with a refund.

As soon as I layed it down, I knew it was wrong. It wasn't the look I wanted for my home. (I wish I could express that look, my "gut look" is kind of vague) I love stone/slate. I love these little scrabble size pieces of tile. I love that it was a bargain @ 3.99 per square foot. I do love this tile. BUT not for my home. It's too heavy. It won't tie in with what I want for my kitchen, even though the vestibule and kitchen couldn't be further from each other. A stone entrance is huge. It's heavy. One enters on a stone floor and ends up in a castle (at least the kind of castle in my mind). One lounges on a day bed in an enormous sitting room on a hot day on the Mediterranean cooled down by only the stone floor.

Anyhow, these are my first and second thoughts on the precious little stone flooring I chose. I suppose I can give it another day or two to see if my love of the pieces will flow into the vestibule.


  1. You do have to follow your gut. But - without seeing the flow of the house - I really like the tiles! It's both warm and cool at the same time, if that makes sense.

  2. That tile looks awesome, its a very unique look. Here's some of my tile work Orlando Lana

  3. It took us over a year to agree on tile for our kitchen!


Another 100 year old house renovation

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