Cottage Update: Bathroom Tile

Hello Friends.

I hope you had a fabulous holiday.  I sure did; My dad gave me a bathroom.   Well, he installed my bathroom tile.

It was a low-key Christmas for the Stein clan this year.  With my sister, brother-in-law and baby niece out west and my Nana recently moved up to Boston,  our large family suddenly felt quite a bit smaller.  We went easy on the gifts but really devoured the candy and pastries.  It’s looking like the new year will start off with a bunch of cottage DIY’s plus a detox/cleanse of some sort.  Maybe acro-painting?

The only real gift I wanted was to move into my cottage, and I am happy to report we are really getting close now.  The evidence is below.  As you can see my bathroom has been tiled.
I went with a white subway tile on the walls and a black and white Carrara marble basketweave mosaic on the floor.  I love the graphic element that the charcoal grout brings to the room.  The space is really crisp and defined.  I plan to add some softening elements though, so stay tuned for that.  

Here’s a quick progression of the job so far.  First, the original bathroom with tub on left side wall.

DEMO BEGINS: As soon as the tub wall came out the space felt so much more open!

My small bath got all new plumbing lines and electrical wires thanks to our extended team, Vincent D’Angelo Plumbing and Gulliford Electric.

After the tub was set, Angelo hung wonderboard in the tub area and drywall elsewhere.  Next he started to tile the tub walls.  

This tile was left over from a previous job.  They are hand-made and thus irregular and really fabulous.  I feel lucky to have this tile, but would have also happily used American Oleans 3×6 ice white subway tile if I didn’t have this lot for free.

Note: I discuss the concept of tile excess (from a previous job) in this post.

Angelo and my father laid out the electric floor heat.  This was my dad’s present to me.  He insisted I get it.  I’m not gonna lie, I’m pretty excited to use it on a cold winter’s day!

The floor heat was embedded in wetbed and then the guys went to task installing my marble floor.  I was nearly peeing my pants with excitement at this point. 

I picked up some accessories included soap shelves and a Thassos marble window sill.  The sill was actually supposed to be a standard door threshold, but my guys adapted it so that I didn’t have to spend money on a custom piece.  

A lot of people have told me they like the vertical tiles at the top of the tub wall.  That’s called a soldier course and we do it to avoid awkward small cuts at the top.  It’s a nice finishing detail.

But before you are like Woo hoo go take a tub!  I need to acknowledge the bathroom has a little work to go.  Namely it’s missing a toilet, sink and functioning plumbing fixtures. 

Also, my linen cabinet still needs to be built.  It’s a little ugly hole right now.

Admittedly I spent much of this early winter feeling impatient with the tedious process of tuning an 100 year old home to a new one (mechanically), but I’m so pleased with what we’ve accomplished so far.  Now that the end is in site I feel much more relaxed and am able to enjoy the process more.  That’s a good thing because I have a shit ton of decorating to do!

Even though it’s a construction site, I couldn’t help throwing down my bathroom rug just to “test it out.”  Sexy right?  And who has a crush on my modern sleek tub besides me?  Check it here.

I dropped the idea of beadboard (too many graphic elements) so next up is paint.  Any guesses on color?  I’ll show it when it’s up J  In the meanwhile, if you need to get caught up on bathroom posts you can find them here.  (I explain the layout changes here.)

Thanks for following along and being patient with me while I took my break.  More regular posting starts now…


  1. Jenna

    We did a black and white bath with very similar marble. What color did you use for caulk in the shower?

  2. tina

    Tub- have you used it a lot- does it retain heat well? W’re deciding between acrylic and cast iron!

    • Naomi

      I love this tub. I don’t think there is a problem with heat retention. I take a long bath about once a month.

  3. KY Sav

    Hey! I am redoing a bathroom near the exact same layout!!! What is the brand and model of your floors? They are to die for!!!!

  4. Kristin

    Where did you get the rug? Is it ok to use instead of a bathmat?

    • Naomi

      The rug is vintage and yes I use it as a bath mat!

  5. Camesha DeShazer

    Do you have a post or pics of your finished bath? I really love what you’ve done so far and am looking to do something similar in my upcoming bath remodel.


    • Naomi

      Not yet! Hoping to finish it up after the One Room Challenge is over.

  6. jacqueline schmidt


    i really like what you did to your bathroom, especially the tub you have chosen…do you remember the manufacturer. the tub would be perfect my new renovation.

    thanks and best!

    • Naomi

      It’s the Edenton tub by Mirabelle

  7. Have a very good blog which is really interesting and knowledgeable. I really appreciate you for this good work keeps it up. You can also find a very good blog at vanity 800 by prodiggau.

  8. Adam

    What is the make and model of the tub? I love it.

    • Naomi

      It’s the Edenton by Mirabelle. I link to it. I would check everything under the “Cottage Bathroom” tage

  9. Pingback: WHITE SUBWAY TILE | R O C K R O S E W I N E

  10. Hey Naomi:
    I’m sorry if this is a redundant question/comment, but did you ever give the dimensions of your bathroom?
    We’re bidding on a house in the DC burbs in VA, and “master bath” is actually tiny. Bad news: probably not even room for a tub, good news: tiny space means maybe I can afford to do rad finishes, and a bathroom as gorgeous as yours! Anyway, was thinking the dimensions of your bath were similar to ours – the layout is more or less the same, too.
    Could you let me know?
    Thanks a mucho!

    alison g.
    [email protected](dot)com

  11. Maria

    I love your bath! The layout makes so much more sense. What are the tub details? I am looking for a 5′ tub and love yours. It looks compact and makes most of the 5′ space.

  12. Mark

    I love the heated floor! All you need now is a bidet with heated water and you’ll be set for life. 🙂

  13. aLena

    Your bathroom is gorgeous and I think you have officially convinced me to go with subway tile for my guest bath as well! I have been going back and forth for far too long and subway tile is always the classic choice anyways! I am in Love with your rug! Where is it from?

  14. I am eagerly awaiting your finished bathroom. I have essentially used these same materials in my bath remodel a few months ago: the basketweave tile floor and white subway tile surround. I used a light grey (platinum) grout for the wall tiles, and a little darker grout for the floor (delorean grey) to make the basketweave effect pop.

    So, I am looking forward to seeing how you ‘soften’ this look.

    Can’t wait….

  15. What a great birthday gift from your Dad!! I’m so excited about your heated floors, I didn’t even know that was possible! Something to definitely wish for when I move into a house some day. I love the tile you chose for the floor, it’s a unique pattern. And it looks great next to the subway tile. Can’t wait to see it finished. Thanks for such a great blog, you’ve inspired me so much.


  16. it’s looking amazing!!!! so excited for you!!

    and, yes, you are going to LURVE that heated floor. i can’t remember life before one 🙂

  17. Looking fantastic – love the soldier course. Marble threshold + vinyl will hold up just fine to water. I did the same in my bath reno and it has held up since 2005. How awesome is your dad? Heated floors?! Brilliant. Totally understand your anticipation – did our bath reno ourselves. What an adventure that was, to say the least. Loved how mine turned out but is it crazy to admit that I am already itching to change things up?

  18. Hi Victoria- we set the soap shelves into the wall, so it must happen during tiling. Unfortunately I don’t think they could be installed after.
    I got them at a local tile supply store. They aren’t always in stock and sometimes need to be ordered in. I like thassos marble because its so clean and white.

  19. Looks so good so far!! I’m excited for you! I have a question though, do you have to install those soap shelves when installing the tile? Or can you do it after? My master bath shower doesn’t have any shelves and it’s something I would love to install if it is something I could do after? Also, where do you find that stuff?

  20. new follower here and i’m so excited to follow along with your house reno’s! looks so great so far and the bathroom tile is amazing – so clean and classic, but modern too. oh and i have 2 puggies and they pop up often (possibly too often haha) on my blog too 🙂 pugs are the best and yours is such a cutie!!

  21. Nancy

    FAntastic and so jealous of the heated floor! Merry Christmas!
    xo Nancy

  22. @Designchic- yes used sanded charcoal grout on floor and walls. (I’m cheap 🙂

  23. It looks fabulous – love the dark gray grout and the floor tiles are wonderful – did you use the same color of grout in the subway tiles and the herringbone?

  24. wao!! looking so crisp!! I love it. And the heating! that is my favorite part. This is a very productive holiday indeed.

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  26. Kristen

    AHHHH so in love. It really can’t get any better. I have a crush on your bathtub. I am in love with your floors. That subway is divine.

  27. MFAMB

    ah- mer- zerng!

  28. Love the tile! Love the detail… soldier tile really makes it for me. That rug is awesome!

  29. Ellen, the window is vinyl so we wont have rotting issues, though it’s not technically waterproof. The fact that we tiled the window well will help as well.

    I plan to do a privacy film on the bottom portion of the window and if I find I feel exposed, I will add roller shade as well.

  30. LOVE!! I’m loving the charcoal grout. That rug is going to be perfection! Can’t wait to see how it all comes together!

  31. Cindy

    This process (as frustrating as I imagine it is for you) is the most exciting!!! I love seeing the transformation in your home. You are extremely talented and you have such an amazing eye – I only wish I had a fraction of your great taste! Thank you for sharing everything with your readers – it’s all so helpful!

    Welcome back – I can’t wait to see what else is next!

  32. Looks amazing!! I have a quick question about the window…did you have to put in a special waterproof window and what are you planning to do about visibility?

  33. Hannah

    Looks so good!!!! Love the rug in there.

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