Large dark gray tiles for the bathroom floor

May 03, 2017

Hey all! It's a busy day around here -- for one I'm getting the stairs sanded down today so I can restain them to match our hardwoods. It's a project I've been wanting to do since we had the hardwoods put down after a water leak six years ago.

I had refinished our stairs before the flooring went down and I used a reddish brown stain. I'll be staining them to match our floors over the next week or two. And at the same time, I'm back to working our guest bathroom makeover. I can't believe it's been nearly a month since I updated you on this room! It's sat just like this for all that time with no progress: 
Taking a wall down in bathroom

I purchased the tile and ordered the window but that's all the budget would allow for for a few weeks. When you pay as you go there are times it just needs to sit. And I was gone last week for a work trip, so I just haven't had time to do much anyway. I had hoped to have the room almost done by now but it's just the way it goes! I know better than to think a room will get done faster than I planned! :)

Anyway, if you follow me over on Instagram, you have have seen my stories about the tile saga. (If you follow me there you can get updates in between posts!) I shared the tiles I was looking at for the room a few weeks ago and my favorites. Later I decided to splurge on the dark gray tile from the Tile Shop because I just loved it. The room is so small the price was still going to be manageable. So I took another trip out there and went to order it...and it is discontinued. Whaawahhh. I was not happy, as I've heard from many people that this happens there quite often. I don't know why they continue to leave unavailable tiles on display, but there was nothing else that was similar to the tile I wanted so I was back on the hunt. 

I took a trip to Home Depot to check out the dark gray tile I liked there, and loved it even more the second time I saw it, thankfully. I grabbed my boxes (this tile is HEAVY) and scooted out of there spending $150 for the whole room. 

It's a slate stone tile but doesn't have the variation in height that can be a pain with slate:
Montauk black gray tile

We used slate on our master fireplace hearth and I would love to replace it someday. It is so uneven and the grout lines disappear in spots because of that. This stuff is much more uniform -- and no flaking at all. 

It's been a breeze to install so far! Other than being heavy these are easy to cut and put down. Here's a look at the box -- they are the Montauk Black tiles: 
Montauk black tile Home Depot

I like to save some time and effort by using premixed mortar -- it's just nice not to mess with it. This one says it can be used with tiles up to 20 inches. Mine are 23 and some change but it's worked great:
Pre-mixed mortar for tile floor

I'll go into more detail on the install and grouting process when I share the final result, but here it is so far: 
1/3 offset tile layout

Those tiles on the back right aren't mortared yet, I was fitting them in first. I actually like the white touches on the tile but those are just dust. ;) So once they are cleaned off the are much more uniform in color. 

You can see I went with a 1/3 offset layout on the floor -- this means I started the next row 1/3 of the way past the tile before it. I was going to do a brick pattern (where you start in the middle of the next tile) but I hear this is best for larger tiles. I just love the way it looks too! 

I had some help with a few cuts around the toilet: 
Cutting tile around a toilet

The tile saw can't do the rounded cuts so the guys used a diamond blade to do that spot for me. (The tiles are dirty from the tile saw but once cleaned off will be dark like the rest.) 

I'm so grateful they were able to help with that part! You could probably square them off with a tile saw because the toilet will sit on top...but they warned me against that because if we ever replace the toilet the base may be smaller. (They said the newer toilets have smaller bases.) 

I'm about halfway done now -- at this point it's putting these down and then the last part will involve a lot of cutting the smaller pieces. I hope to get it finished up today and grout tomorrow. Maybe we can have a toilet back in here by the weekend! Baby steps my friends! 

I think this is one of the reasons we haven't tackled our master bathroom yet -- bathrooms just take a lot of time and it's an inconvenience to be without them. Well, that and the whole cost thing. Our master bathroom will be one of our biggest and most expensive renovations in this house and I have no desire to deal with that just yet! :) 

I wanted to show you a finished product but it took me awhile to get to this part. And I like to share renovations in real time so you can see how it really happens! I can SEE the finished floor in my head and it's looking mighty good! ;) I'm excited to get this done so I can build the vanity next week and perhaps have running water in here again by Mother's Day! 

Wish me and my aching back luck as I finish this up and I'll share the finished product with you soon! 

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  1. Great job with the progress! I don't know how you can stand having a half-done bathroom for so long though. It'd drive me crazy!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  2. The tile is totally beautiful!

  3. Awesome tile, can't wait to see it all done! My back is aching for you....:)

  4. Love that tile that you ended up choosing! I can't wait to see the whole space come together!

  5. Love the tile! I want to use something like this in our laundry room and kitchen.

  6. You can make a series of cuts every 1/4 or so and then break them off to create a round or U shaped area. You can then smooth the curve out with the edge of the wet saw. Practice it on some scraps and you won't need to ask the boys for help!

  7. There you go again doing projects I'd be nervous about even attempting. You do need to think steps thru to have what you need, must be prepared. You amaze me Sarah what you do without worrying if you can do it. Make your vanity? Holy Cow, what else girl?
    You would be such an inspiration if I were lots younger as to what I would attempt. Still an inspiration but in different way at this point in my life.
    Your tile is so incredible, love how it looks. Will be anxiously waiting to see final reveal. Don't work too hard now, try to enjoy life some, or is that how you enjoy life? Glad you were able to find tile you loved.

  8. Hi Sarah! Love the tile! Who are these magical tile cutting "guys" you refer to? The home depot guys? I'm hoping to tackle our backsplash before too long, but I've only done vinyl tile before, so I'm anticipating needing some "guys" of my own if I get in a jam!

  9. Our powder room was gutted for many months. Many. But it's true, when you pay cash and do all the work yourself, it takes a long time! And that was just a little powder room. Confession: there are still some unfinished details I need to get to.

  10. My back is feeling for you! I recently redid one of our bathrooms, and I completely empathize! Your tile selection is beautiful!

  11. Oh looks awesome! I love slate tile and it's one of my favorites. Can't wait to see the final result. Use a heating pad to get that aching back rested!


  12. I just put this down in out entry way. Love this tile. Thanks for the post and the tips.


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