33 Comments

  1. Laura
    May 16, 2012 @ 12:14 pm

    I’ve definitely been this way over rugs – I’m amazed my now-husband agreed to marry me after I showed him thousands of rugs and still couldn’t make up my mind. 🙂

    Reply

  2. Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
    May 17, 2012 @ 8:39 am

    Nice of you to give your husband fair warning… I waited until after we were married to reveal myself as utterly indecisive. (Although, actually the endless wedding-planning should have clued him in.)

    Reply

  3. Barbara
    October 25, 2012 @ 8:44 am

    I have to thank you for the first really good laugh I’ve had in a few weeks. I am living in the decision hell you’ve described so aptly and related to all of it, especially the part about being unable to complain about the stress to your friends without sounding pretentious and shallow. Since I am now holding up the works and have decided, like you, that marble is too much work and would drive me crazy, I am ready to give up. Can you tell me what tile you ended up choosing? I’m hoping against hope that I can just copy you and be done with it!

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      October 25, 2012 @ 9:17 am

      Ah, tile hell… you have my condolences.

      I ended up with Peronda Museum, 18×18, polished, in Bianca Carrara.  That link is to the post I wrote when we were choosing it.  And then here it is grouted.  If you read down into the comments on both posts, there was a woman who sought out my tile and ended up using it, and you might find our exchange helpful.

      At the time, I was so drawn to marble… and was worried that I would end up wishing I had used it.  Now?  That I have some distance from the emotional craziness that makes you think such choices are as important as mapping the genome? Now I love this tile.  And am so glad I did not choose marble.

      *Be aware that it is polished.  Which is something I really wanted, and had a hard time finding, but is not everyone’s choice for a floor tile.

      Good luck in your quest.  May the force be with you.

      Reply

  4. Jessica
    November 5, 2012 @ 6:03 pm

    I know the feeling. I do the same thing with paint colors (I know what color, but it has to be the perfect shade) and I’m currently doing it with what type of flooring to put in our kitchen.

    My son, who is 8, has informed me that we need American Olean Sausalito tile, white with black accents, in our bathroom. Not that he asked for it by name, but he saw it in a picture I was looking at and said “we need that floor in our bathroom.” I said “works for me, as long as the grout’s not white.” Makes picking finishes a lot easier. He is available for consultation work.

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      November 6, 2012 @ 9:26 am

      LOL… getting someone to give you a definitive opinion can be like pulling teeth! But I never thought to ask an eight-year-old… they’re thrilled to tell you what they honestly think!

      p.s.- I googled the American Olean Sausalito… and yes, I’ve seen that and it’s lovely!

      Reply

  5. Monika
    December 12, 2012 @ 9:11 pm

    HI there… What brand of radiant heat did you guys go with? Any issues installing it? any issues after the install? Do you love it? Thanks

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      December 13, 2012 @ 9:05 am

      We got it at Lowe’s… I don’t remember the brand name.

      Husband says he thought it was better to install than one we used in a previous bath (which was way more expensive, since Home Depot, and Lowe’s didn’t carry the mats a few years ago.)

      Husband programmed the thermostat so it comes on automatically… I don’t know how easy it was to program. I hate those kinds of instructions.

      It’s been great… no issues. And it IS nice on a cold morning to not walk on freezing cold tile!

      Reply

  6. Michele
    January 7, 2013 @ 11:05 pm

    Did you find it hard to work with the floor leveler? Was there anything special you needed to do to prep for it? Thinking of using it for our bathroom but I have visions of self leveling compound dripping down through the walls to our downstairs :O

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    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      January 8, 2013 @ 8:49 am

      Lol… yes, definitely be sure that all holes and cracks are sealed up prior to pouring it!! Other than that, just follow the instructions. Getting the right ratio of water to mix is important. You want it to flow out and not be too thick, but also not too watery.

      Husband says that if it’s mixed properly, it will work just the way it should. And? If you’re buying from a supplier, rather than a big box store, those guys are usually a great source for instruction and tips.

      p.s.- We used the floor leveler because of the heated mat… if we weren’t installing that, I’m not sure if my husband would have used the leveler. Not sure if that was clear or not, so thought I should mention it.

      Reply

  7. Jen
    March 21, 2013 @ 11:08 am

    Is you in floor heating electric or water based? Is it your only source of heat in the bathroom?

    Reply

  8. Shawn
    January 26, 2014 @ 4:28 pm

    We aren’t married yet, but planning on it soon. I think I’ve given pretty fair warning regarding my various insanities. I’m not yet single…and I’m not sure how I’ve managed to pull that off, considering he moved in with me in the middle of the worlds longest bathroom renovation.

    Reply

  9. Pam Woodgate
    May 13, 2014 @ 1:51 am

    Hi there, I have recently stumbled across your blog whilst looking for ideas for our ensuite and I have to tell you that I am loving it! I can sympathise with your tile issues because during our first home renovation it took me 18 months to pick a tile.
    My husband was not impressed and I am not sure why he has agreed to d0 a second home renovation at our new home…
    Looking forward to reading the rest of your blog!

    Pam (in Australia.)

    Reply

  10. Margaret
    June 9, 2014 @ 12:36 pm

    If I ever need tile, I am bookmarking your site, so I can say, “I’ll have what she’s having.” Your house reminds me of the house I grew up in. Glass door knobs make me nostalgic. Still laughing about how you got all giddy over the door hinges when you first saw the house.

    Reply

  11. Natalie
    June 22, 2014 @ 1:03 am

    I too are in the midst of trying to decide on a tile and it is driving me crazy! Your tile looks great, can you tell me if its slippery, I love the look of the polished marble porcelain tile, but just worried it might be too slippery? We are looking at putting it on the floors and into the shower?
    Thanks for your blog!

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      June 22, 2014 @ 8:10 am

      It *could* be slippery… we haven’t had a problem, but we use a bathmat outside the shower anyway, (and we don’t have children or elderly people using the space,) but I don’t think I’d use it IN the shower… that might be a little slippery?

      Reply

  12. Valerie
    July 1, 2014 @ 2:47 pm

    I can TOTALLY sympathize with the indecision and angst over the choices…. Must find perfect choice!!!! (Which must not only look perfect but be durable, low-maintenance, in budget, etc., etc.) Sigh. The only bonus for my husband is that I’m such a planner I have to have everything planned out before starting. So I obsess and obsess for months on end, but (barring an unforeseen catastrophe, which can happen but not too often) once we get started it’s all a “go.” I couldn’t take the stress of having to make a decision like this under time pressure in the middle of a project!

    Well, the other bonus for him is that I’m letting him off the hook of doing the bathroom and kitchen ourselves. Honestly, we just don’t quite have the whole skillset, and I was concerned about tile demo in a house with a child and pets. That old broken tile is razor sharp. Unfortunately for me, labor does make a big dent in the budget.

    Reply

  13. Rose
    July 23, 2014 @ 10:11 pm

    Thank you so much for making me feel sane. I can’t believe how similar our experiences and feelings were. I have the exact criteria you had when you were looking for tile. I thought this would be easy. I knew I wanted Carrara marble. But then I learned about all the negatives of using marble. So, I too am seeking the “perfect” look-alike. However, I have the added issue that I need to match countertops.
    Today during one of my visits to yet another tile store, I found an 18×18 tile that looked promising. Unfortunately, there was nothing on the tile and the salesperson had no knowledge of it. He said he would investigate and get back to me. I took the tile home. I found that Museum BP was written on the back. On-line that led me to a tile store in Britain. (That is beyond what I am willing to do.) But then it led me to your web-site. I believe yours is the tile I have. Your bathroom turned out great. So now that you have lived with it for a while, are you still in love with the tile? Does it hold up well? Easy to clean, etc. I would love your input. I have to get off the proverbial pot! We’re almost done with the demo and the contractor will be starting next week. Thank you so much for your amusing blog and I look forward to your words of wisdom.

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      July 24, 2014 @ 8:51 am

      Yes! I am so happy with it… Super easy to clean and looks just as good as the day it was installed.
      Good luck!!

      Reply

      • Rose
        July 24, 2014 @ 10:03 am

        Thank you for your response. I just got a call from the tile store and they said that they had talked to the distributor. He could not confirm that is was Peronda Museum. He did point out that the tile was not 18×18. It is actually 17 5/16 x 17 5/16. Could you tell me if that is the size of yours?
        Thank you

        Reply

        • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
          July 30, 2014 @ 10:13 am

          Sorry for the delay… We’ve been on vacation.
          Yes, that size is correct. I did not realize it wasn’t a full 18 inches.

          Reply

  14. Gail Benko
    August 31, 2014 @ 11:43 pm

    Victoria,
    Your blog is so funny and beautifully written and photographed! Everything you wrote about your tile search resonates with me! I have spent all summer on the quest for tile. I have considered everything from actual real Carrara to faux Carrara to porcelain plank wood look-alike tiles only to get more and more confused and indecisive. Your polished faux Carrara tiles look enticing. I need to see if I can get a sample online since the tile stores I have visited (far too many!) have not carried it. The slipperiness of the polished tiles when wet would be a deal breaker for me but I just stumbled upon a few products that you apply once to the tile and they make the tile much less slippery when wet! How have your tiles been holding up? Would you think they would look great with a real Bianca carrara countertop? I am also considering super white quartzite but that may be too busy. Thanks so much for any advice!
    Gail

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      September 2, 2014 @ 11:01 am

      Hi, the tiles look great… Actually, really they look brand-new.

      I think they would go with real marble, depending on the particular piece of stone. At this point, I have been looking at Carrera for the kitchen counters, and can imagine that the porcelain tile would go very nicely with many of the slabs, but maybe not all? It is a very neutral tile, but it does still have some color.

      (I do also think that whatever scrutiny you bring to the comparison now does fade after a while…)

      PS – someone responded to you, below my comment, (you only get a notification of mine) she had some interesting information about slip-factor that I had not ever heard before.

      Reply

  15. Michele
    September 2, 2014 @ 10:51 am

    Gail –
    We went with real polished marble for our master bathroom. For the hall bath we are going with porcelain (limestone look-a-like). The porcelain tile I was looking at comes in both a flat finish and polished. I was leaning towards the flat finish for two reasons – 1) I like it and 2) slip factor you mentioned above. I was talking to my brother-in-law who owns a tile shop. He mentioned that with porcelain tile, more often than not the polished and the flat finished tile have the same COF (coefficient of friction) rating. He said, ever look at a mall or food court… you will see lots of high polished tile? I checked and sure enough he was right. The tile I was looking at had the same COF rating for the polished and non-polished. Just something to think about when you are looking at tile. Polished doesn’t always mean more slippery!

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      September 2, 2014 @ 11:03 am

      I had no idea! I am going to throw around the phrase COF next time I am at the tile store… Thanks for making me look more-knowledgeable than I actually am.

      Reply

    • Gail Benko
      September 2, 2014 @ 6:04 pm

      Hi Michele and Victoria,
      Wow! This is wonderful news! I like the polished porcelain better and hopefully it won’t even need that anti-slip product. I started to wonder if the product could be potentially dangerous if absorbed by a wet foot! Apparently there are quite a few of these anti-slip products out there that are sold online. Assuming they really work could they be harmful? A million years ago I practiced law so I wonder. I would be interested if your brother-in-law has an opinion about these products and with what tile one would use them. Another question: how do you like the real Carrara floors? Are they slippery and what size tile did you go with in the masterbath? Are they easily stained? I’m thinking I may do the faux Carrara on the floor (though I vacillate between the real and the fake on a daily basis) but a real Carrara polished countertop although I worry that it will get ruined. If I can get myself through this tile purgatory, I will be so happy!
      Thanks again to you both!
      Thanks so much for your comment and valuable info!

      Reply

  16. Michele
    September 3, 2014 @ 10:38 am

    Gail – We did real calacatta gold marble (12×12 polished) on our master bathroom floor and I love them! I got such a deal on it (like $6/sq ft) that I couldn’t resist. The countertop was another story (can you say expensive!) Our master bathroom is very small (7’x7.5′) so I really don’t have to worry about the slip factor at all. We have a large bathmat that we place in front of the shower and sink area when we we are going to use the shower. This covers the entire floor area we walk on when getting showered. When we are done showering and dry I roll up the bathmat and place it under the vanity so I can see my pretty floors. I really don’t walk on the marble when wet so I don’t have to deal with the slippery floor issue. I haven’t had any staining issues, but I don’t do my makeup or hair in that room (I have a makeup vanity in the bedroom) and I am very good on keeping the tile clean. Here are some pictures of our master bathroom: http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/bath/msg0318035216653.html

    Your other options to eliminate slip issues are 1) get marble with a honed finish. 2) get polished marble or polished porcelain, but get a mosaic. The smaller stone with more grout lines gives the floors more grip.

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      September 4, 2014 @ 9:11 am

      YOUR BATH!! Is amazing! The before and after don’t even look like the same space! More exclamation points!!!

      Reply

  17. Michele
    September 4, 2014 @ 10:05 am

    Thank you so much for your kind complements! I am very excited to start the hall bathroom reno…which will also have calacatta gold tile (another great tile deal). Finally the trippy harvest gold tile (which I have lovingly called the “spin art tile”) will be gone. And just in case you are wondering…yes, that was blue spin art tile in the master bath. Funny thing is my brother-in-law (the tile guy) thinks the spin art tile is awesome! Some people may be into embracing the 1970’s eclectic look but it just doesn’t work in our 1970’s brick colonial in Conshohocken. I am sorry but I just don’t understand the 1970’s neoclassical period with it’s hodgepodge of classical influences and 1970’s features (like avocado appliances, orange shag carpets and trippy spin art tile). I think I would give my left kidney for your 1800’s Victorian with it’s classic look and solid bones.

    Reply

  18. Margot
    October 28, 2014 @ 7:32 pm

    I love this post so much.
    You’ve said it….perfectly (might I add) & have liberated me from my personal brand of self torture (which is painfully similar at times). It’s both refreshing and cathartic to burst out laughing when your feelings have been so clearly articulated by someone else!! Thank you for this rare gift.
    ; )

    Reply

  19. Anne L
    December 6, 2014 @ 5:20 pm

    O M G I just stumbled upon your blog and probably in the nick of time…this “Bath Rehab” segment, complete with annoyed husband, completely captures the likely moment everything will be ready to go with my bathroom reno…except I have yet to make tile a tile choice. I’ll just keep reading. And hopefully learn something…

    Reply

  20. Joanna
    January 22, 2015 @ 7:50 pm

    I’m just beginning my journey of home renovation which is frustrating enough when the beginner plans to *stay* in the home she’s renovating. We need to move out. Unfortunately, OCD + low-budget + transition = insanity. I’m sorry but who’s going to want to buy this house with veins that don’t match. The veins have to match or we’ll be stuck here forever. And I’m not stopping the tile halfway up the wall– everyone knows that’s gauche even me and I’m ignorant. Nevermind that the ceiling is 132″ high which means we have to tile 133 square feet just to enclose the shower.

    Reply

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