Glass (eye) candy.

 Top: Modwalls Lush 4×12 Surf Kitchen by McCaffrey Construction

Transparent glass tiles are making big waves in bathrooms and kitchen backsplashes.  The upside of glass tiles is that they tend to reflect rather than absorb light, are durable and supposedly easy to clean. They are more ecologically friendly than ceramic tiles as they use less energy to make and many styles are made from recycled glass. The downside is that they are very expensive and using a professional specialized in glass tile is highly advised.

glass tiles Angelina Random Pattern Clear Mixed Mosaic by Original Style | Mosaic glass tile at Carrelage Mosaique | Hexagon glass mosaic at Tile Daily  |  Mosaic glass tile in Luxe Silver at Indoor Capri |  Lush Weave by ModWalls | Mosaic glass Piazza series in Crystal Ice by Martini Mosaic |Offset Sky raised blue tiles by Original Style | Black/white mosaic glass tiles via Ali Express

I’ve been dreaming about using clear square glass tiles on our bathroom floor like in the below left side shower.  I don’t know if this is a feasible option (practically or economically speaking). But I do think it would help add some luminosity to an otherwise dark bathroom and would work well with the glass shower blocks.

modern-bathroom-tile  modwalls_lush-1x2-surf_shower-tile
Top left: Island Stone Beach Glass tile image via Houzz |Top right: Lush 1×2 Surf Shower by Modwalls | Bottom: Bathroom by Penelope Irwin, Glass Expressions – Polaris White clear glass tile by Complete Tile Collection

I just love the color and finish of this tile so much.  (more…)


Adding trim tile for that vintage effect.

PicMonkey Collage6 Top left: Bathroom by Clay Squared to Infinity image via Houzz  |Top right: Bathroom by Good Home Construction | Bottom left: Bathroom by Bungalow Tile image via Apartment Therapy | Bottom right: Bathroom by Good Home Construction

We won’t be going over the top trying to be historically accurate to any set period in our vintage bathroom renovation. Instead, it will probably be a mix of Art Deco and bungalow styled bathroom details.

One area that I’m particularly obsessed about, however, is the tile. As I mentioned, we want to do white subway tiles with beveled edges like the ones found in the Parisian Metro. And it would be great to be able to add some classic retro trim details like the examples here.

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barber-stations Art Deco motif shower | Mint subway tile bathroom | Vintage barber shop with subway tile. Credits unknown.
romanwilliams12bpw-5-web Roman and Williams

The above image is work by design gods Roman and Williams. The detail here is crazy amazing. The design duo had the tiles specially made for Ben Stiller’s home bathroom renovation. The tiles are now commercially available through their creative partnership with Waterworks.

To evoke American athletic clubs of an era past, Alesch and Standefer sought tile that looked like it had been soaking up steam for a century — not the typical glossy, looks-new subway tile. So the designers worked with Waterworks to create a custom tile with an aged patina. “It’s a surface that looks a little like bone or stained teeth,” Alesch said of the variations in the tile. “The fire really caramelizes the glaze.” They also designed a decorative tile that avoided the “pregnant molding” syndrome of so many tile collections. “We wanted the decorative tile to lie flat, not bulge out like cake frosting,” he said.

LA Times

*Sigh*. While we won’t be developing our own “aged patina”, I will be trying to source some vintage tile components to add to the mix.



 A reflection on subway tile and a little history of those beveled edges.

PicMonkey CollageTop right: Bright white subway tile with white gout from  Chez Larrsson  | Bottom right:  White subway tile with thick dark charcoal grout from Design Manifest. See link for great before/after pics. | Left: White subway tile with light grey or aged grout from Byron View Farm

Several years ago when we were remodeling our tiny bathroom in our small Montreuil apartment my husband wanted to use white subway tile. I said “no way”. Since I already waste an hour and a half of my life each day commuting on the Paris metro, the last thing I wanted to see was the same tile staring at me in my home bathroom.

Fast forward to our bathroom renovation ideas for our Tour in Normandy…and I can’t wait to use subway tile!

I know, I know. Subway tile is so on trend for the years 2000. Some say subway tile will look dated before long. But I think subway tile is timeless and we want to use the exact same style found in the Parisian metro. The ones with the biseauté edges.

430Credit: DR via CoteMaison

A little history: The Parisian Métropolitain is one of the oldest underground subway systems in the world. Even before the turn of the century, small white earthenware tiles with raised geometric edges lined the vaulted stops in an effort to reflect the dim artificial lighting as much as possible. In 1889, Hippolyte Boulenger’s entreprise, La faïencerie de Choisy-le-Roi, started developing the now famous earthenware tiles covered in white pottery glaze. The authentic 1890 Parisian metro subway tiles measure  7.5cm  X 15cm  (3′ X 6′) and featured the now iconic beveled edges.

 Subway tile with beveled edges and rope trim
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Above credit left: Kelseyoff  |   I got the idea to measure a subway tile from this site. But I think their math is a little off.

As there will probably be little or no natural light, this form will hopefully help to brighten up our future bathroom just as they helped brighten the dank corridors of the Parisian metro over a hundred years ago.