Bathroom Reno – Getting Started

I’ve been thinking about the first bathroom renovation since we moved into our house.  Howard and I have collectively been thinking about the bathroom renovation for the past few months.  While our existing first floor bathroom isn’t too bad, it’s not too great either.

My two biggest dislikes are the floor and the brass trimmed shower stall.

It’s in great shape but I’m not a fan of the peachy look.

Another thing that isn’t working for us is the closet.  Originally, there was a laundry shoot down to the basement  in the closet but we took that out after our inspector said this was against fire code.  A laundry shoot provides an opening between floors where fire can breathe and spread.  Now we keep the closet open so the cat can use her littler box that is tucked in there.  We’ve thought about moving the closet to accommodate a pull-out laundry hamper and the litter box which is the outline of masking tape that you see on the floor.  More about that another day.

We’ve been looking at bath vanities, shower stalls, counters, but decided that we should start with the floor and work our way up.  Luckily we have the same general taste when it comes to the floor.  We are looking for something in the natural tan family with some variation.  We are open to marble, granite, travertine, and porcelain. This seems pretty easy to find, right?  Well it’s turning out to be in the not-so-easy category.  We started our search at Lowe’s and checked out this special order marble tile.  It’s too busy and has too much variation for our bath.

When we returned the check-out sample to Lowe’s we picked out a couple more special order porcelain tiles since these don’t have as much color variation.  We could live with either of them but don’t really like them.  We’ll be returning these next weekend.

Our next stop was the Classic Tile & Stone store in Hingham.

This place is amazing.  But honestly, it offered too many choices for us since we have a hard time making decisions.  The floor tiles in this store are stacked all along the walls and like records with thousands to choose from.

Howard and I spent about an hour pulling out samples and decided that they all pretty much looked the same.  So then we narrowed the choices down to six samples to take home. They are all natural stone and vary in finish.  Four are polished marble,  one is honed marble, and one is honed travertine.  We can order the stone either polished or honed… just to make the decision even more difficult for us.

After 24-hours of viewing the samples in all different lights we have narrowed the choices down to three.  The one on the left is a honed travertine marble and the tiles on the right are both polished marble.

While they look wildly similar to each other at first glance, there are definite differences in these three.

As of this morning I was leaning towards the marble tile on the right which is a popular choise when honed. The sample we have is polished.  Howard likes the tile on the left which is the honed travertine which I plan to closely inspect again tonight. It might be the one we chose but since I’m slow to make decisions I can’t agree to that too quickly.   The one in the middle is a safe polished marble choice that we just haven’t taken out of the mix yet.

We’ve been researching the differences between polished marble and honed marble.  Both have pluses and minuses. We’ve learned that polished marble can be slippery, cold, and can scratch or pit.  Honed marble is created when the polished surface is actually sanded off.  Honed marble is more porous and needs to be sealed annually because it can stain.

Has anyone had experience with honed marble/travertine or polished marble in their bathrooms?  What do you like? What don’t you like?  If  you could do it again what would you choose? I’d love to see pictures so feel free to email me!

6 thoughts on “Bathroom Reno – Getting Started

  1. Heather says:

    We have travertine in our bathroom and love it, but honestly I think both your choice and Howards are beautiful. Can’t go wrong with either one. What color are you painting the walls? How about your light aqua that you blogged about a while back??? Perfect for a spa-like bathroom.


  2. Pingback: Green Beams «

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