Piles and Piles of Tile

By Kate Riley February 17, 2012

Hello all, happy Friday!  I’m trying to recover from the mild headache I’ve had this past week every time I try to make a decision on what kind of tile to choose for the hallway bathroom project we’re starting.  This hall bathroom is the most ambitious project on my Home Goals list so I’m getting started on the process now. I’ve been in a dozen tile shops within 20 miles on this adventure to find the perfect backsplash.  

 hall bathroom remodel


We’re reusing and repainting the existing cabinet (the plan is to build a new base for it and lift it up by 6 to 8 inches, more like a console style vanity), and we’re replacing the cultured marble countertop and mirror too.  I really really really see a feature wall of tile in here (with a much smaller mirror) from cabinet to ceiling.  The idea of tile going up to the ceiling completely rocks my world.

 sarah richardson hexagon tile

Sarah Richardson


new ravenna tile

New Ravenna


green glass tile wall

Better Homes & Gardens


floor to ceiling tile akdo


In a kitchen, but still, so amazing. 

tile to the ceiling



So on to the tile selection process… First I started with basket weave marble tile, sooooo pretty.  But then after choking on the price per square foot ($50+ yikes) I found it was way too expensive and didn’t have enough color.  I’d love to use these in a master bathroom someday, budget permitting, but not for this project.

basket weaves


Next I moved into the pencil tile category, mixing marble and glass.  Very nice, very modern, more in my price range ($20 a square foot) but not enough color. 

marble glass tile medley


Then I turned my eyes to glass tile because every time I look at it, I’m most drawn to its cool watery feeling. I like to fondle and caress it, admit it, you do to.  The top right and bottom left are from Home Depot and Lowes… definitely the most inexpensive options at $9 a square foot but I’m not totally in love with them.

glass tiles


This one up close is particularly amazing, it’s a wicker mosaic by Jeffrey Court with very thin navy stripes … ooh la la.  I’m probably not going with this one, but can you see it run vertically on a wall like a pinstripe suit?  With glossy charcoal or navy cabinets?  Completely gorgeous.

pinstripe jeffrey court


For me, I’m more into the teals, lighter blues, and sea glass shades.

sea glass tile backsplash

Alice Lane Home; Country Living

blue offset tile this old house

This Old House

blue brick pattern tile

Better Homes & Gardens


Which is why I’m back to Oceanside tile like we used in our master shower years ago, and AKDO too. In fact that one on the bottom left and the rectangle offset one in the middle are the two favorites . . .

glass tile samples


This one by AKDO being the front runner…

glass tile for hall bath


I’m loving this look of running it up the wall vertically instead of horizontally, like this design by Megan Crane that I found last night. 

offset pencil glass tile

You like?

So that’s where I’m at on the tile selection process, it’s fun, but definitely challenging to find the “right” one.  If y’all know of any offset or brick pattern glass tile in this color family that you think I should look at, send it my way (or link to it in the comments)…

I know what I’ll be doing this weekend, agonizing over these choices…. and then there’s the countertops and the paint colors and the mirror and the fixtures and the lighting… *sigh*

Have a wonderful weekend all!



  1. That first Sarah Richardson photo is AMAZING. I heart that tile so very much! I love the idea of doing a feature wall, but I admit, I’m a bit of a commitment phobe too! Tile is harder to take down than wallpaper, so it’s a bit scary for me (even though I love the look). The colors you’re looking at are amazing – and I’m looking forward to seeing what you put together!

    • Hi Jenny, I’m with you! I can’t find it on her main website… but it’s been credited to her over and over again on Pinterest – if anyone knows the exact source, fill us in!

  2. I’ve been loving the full wall tile pics you’ve been pinning. We did a blue and grey pencil tile for the back splash on our temporary kitchen redo and we both really like it. (though I must admit that that basket weave tile is A.MA.ZING!)

    Just last week hubby and I were talking about our REAL kitchen reno someday and he said he envisions turquoise walls. I immediately pulled out my phone and started showing him pinterest pictures I’ve pinned. I showed him both of those two shell-like pictures. I am over the moon for both of those!!!

    Can’t wait to see what you end up with. Happy Friday!

  3. We used the glass on the bottom right (from HD?) as an accent interspersed with white subway tile in a north-facing bathroom. I like many of your other choices better, but for the price, I’m thrilled with how ours came out. The glass color also made accessory buying fun.

  4. Sarah Richardson is one of my favorite designers. I love her bathroom jobs.

    I like your selections can’t wait to see the finished product!!

  5. PLEASE tell me where you found the Sarah Richardson tile pic! I have been looking EVERYWHERE for that exact pic! I remembered seeing it somewhere. I MUST find that hexagon tile!!
    It has been floating around in my brain for awhile (taking up valuable brain space for that matter!). We have been at a standstill on tiling our shower because I have not found the EXACT tile that I have been dreaming about….and yes, in case you were wondering, my husband gave up on my craziness awhile ago :)
    So as far as all of your tile goes….Im with ya sister. I know exactly how you feel! When you find the right tile you will just KNOW it :)

    ps – love love the aqua tinted subway tiles. FAB.

  6. Oceanside pic – tile on the bottom left – ran vertically. Like candy for your walls!

  7. I love the last pic and have it earmarked as well. I would love do a feature wall in my kitchen (our bath can’t handle that much tile) and that is exactly what I want to do….

  8. If you like Oceanside Tile, check out Hakatai Tile. great glass colors, at prices less than Oceanside. They will do custom blends, custom patterns (you lay it out they make it). They will send samples too.

  9. Oh I like the vertical instead of horizontal…very different and neat looking!! Plus could really make the walls seem taller than they are :) Also a big, BIG fan of the aqua/sea glass colored tiles!

  10. I love the sea glass tiles. They look especially amazing in the shower picture. Good luck with your decision, I know how tough it can be to commit to just one!

  11. I love the Megan Crane version you posted last. With the tile vertical, it appears to be colored bamboo. I also believe the direction will make the room seem taller, which is always a bonus. Best of luck, and I am on pins and needles waiting for your reveal. :)

  12. I am going through the exact same process for my kitchen! I cant decide on the tile or if I am going to attempt to do it or hire someone!! I cant wait to see what you decide to do!

  13. Not to confuse the situation but I know others have bought basket weave tile on Amazon for a steal. Worth a look unless you are good to go on the glass (which is also really pretty!).

  14. We are starting on our guest bath remodel as well. We picked out white tile with a glass tile stripe about 24″ wide going vertically through the shower and then on the shower floor – like it’s flowing down the wall and pooling in the shower. I’m stuck on the vanity, and would love to re-purpose the one we have into a console type like you mentioned, so I can’t wait to hear your plans for your vanity! Good luck, seems like I’ll have a friend along the way… (Our tile isn’t in yet, so we haven’t begun just yet.)

  15. I love the last bathroom! Bedrosians (The same poeple the carry eclipse) has new glass line called Manhattan that I love!! I think it has 15 colors, glass blends and stone and glass blends. Here is the the link. (Not every picture is there)
    They also have another line called Cosmopolitan that’s been around for a while but also has some nice linear blends.

  16. Love love love the last picture. It’s going to be gorgeous when you are done. Love the colors you are loving. Can’t wait to see where you go with each part of this project. Lots of luck! Now breath girl because it’s going to be awesome!!! :)

  17. Love your ideas about your hall bath. I am having tile dreams as well, but in the kitchen. I wonder if you have had thoughts about the grout? It can make all the difference..

  18. I love all of the different tile selections! Having them run vertically is really neat…like rain falling or something. (Wait, did you say that, too? Too lazy to go back and check!) We are Americans living overseas, and I had to chuckle at you loving the idea of the entire wall being tile, as that is very normal over here…bathroom and kitchen. I am kind of wishing I had a little less tile so that I could hang something up on the walls in these rented flats. ;)

  19. Kate- We have the same bathroom! I’m in the process of trying to figure what color to paint the vanity. I’m struggling and stressed because we are on a shoe string budget and I’m locked into ivory everything. Toilet, sink and tub. I hate it! The colors you are thinking about for your bathroom are exactly what I’m thinking. I’m contemplating on painting the counter top…I’m nervous though. I would love to do a white vanity, but with an ivory toilet and tub…yick! So I’m thinking of painting the vanity a dark brown, painting the countertop a light ivory, maybe a granite look and the walls a light spa blue. I’ve spent endless nights on pinterest and Houzz and have come up with a few options. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Is there a dark brown color you would recommend for the vanity? It looks like yours. Good luck with your endevour.

  20. What a choice… it’s almost overwhelming! I admit, I do love the one with the thin navy stripes but I adore the lower left hand Oceanside one (so dreamy) and the last one… and running vertically sounds so fun for a full wall — can’t wait to see what you end up doing. These are my favorite colors, so I’m hooked already!

  21. Hi Kate! I just finished renovating my powder room. Although I didn’t use any tile (saving that for the master bathroom re-do) I painted the cabinet, used a vessel sink and replaced the counter with a marble top. I repainted using 2 tones to break things up a bit. I still have to hang pictures on the walls but feel free to take a peek.

    I do love the the glass tile you are leaning towards and going vertically is genius! It’s so fluid which is especially nice in a bathroom! Good luck with your choices, though you won’t need it. Every project you undertake comes out beautifully!

  22. I really love that first Sarah Richardson picture. Tile all the way up the wall is really striking and I like all the choices that you posted. It is so hard to choose. Why are there so many choices…it makes me crazy! Good luck. Whatever you do will look amazing though, of that I’m sure.

  23. I love the idea of running the title vertically instead of horizontally. I first fell in love with the idea in the HGTV 2010 Dream Home (http://tinyurl.com/dreamhome2010casita). I didn’t care for the execution (bathroom privacy, please!), but I think you can do a lot with the idea, in pretty much every color pallet.

  24. Have you given a thought to grout yet? The spectrlock grout is completely different from traditional grout. I hate the look of dirty grout and the work of traditional grout.

    • Hello LR, yes I’ll likely do a non sanded white grout to complement the cabinetry and countertop, thanks!

  25. When we were choosing tile, it was a bit of information overload! We finally picked one that we love and it should be going in next week….
    But, I wanted one that would change with me,as I change my color tones etc all the time…so this tile can go grey, beige, white or yellow…which is awesome….
    Good luck….

  26. You had me at “wall of tile” – a dream!! And running it vertically? Just awesome. I love that bottom left tile, the stained glass effect is so unique and gorgeous. I can’t wait to see how it all turns out, I know it will be gorgeous!!

  27. I love tile that goes all the way to the ceiling. This would look beautiful in your bathroom… especially running vertically. I could have just pinned everyone of your inspiration pictures to pinterest! They are all amazing. It makes me want to jump on my bathroom redo right now. Oh, well! At least I will get to see yours undergo a transformation.

  28. Kate- I am shopping for tile for my masterbath along a similar style, so I was so excited about this post. As far as Sarah Richardson, her website is http://www.sarahrichardsondesign.com. I did not look for that exact image, but I am sure it is there somewhere. That tile is also featured in her cottage kitchen. I have a major design crush on her. The cottage is featured on House of Turquoise today too.

  29. I have to say I like the first photo of “Sarah Richardson” inspiration. I think it’s new, modern and yet has a classic feel that I could commit to live with for a very long time. Of course if I was actually in your shoes, I’d be torn and it would take me forever to decide!

  30. i’m absolutely in love with the tile in the Sarah Richardson photo. We’re currently in the process of tiling our bathroom and I loved looking at all the beautiful tiles. I dream that I can win the lottery and have marble basketweave in my bathroom!

  31. I love the tile ideas! I adore marble, but when we finished our master bath, I didn’t like it with the countertops we picked. We have teal glass tile very similar to the bottom right tile you showed. Ours is from Esmer tile. Our paint color is Sherwin Williams Repose. Our floor tile is also from Esmer, it is a linen finish 12×24. I love how everything turned out!

    Good luck to you! I really like the vertical tile idea!

    Here is a link to our bathroom! http://cerniks.com/2012/01/31/welcome-to-our-home-part-2/

  32. Very pretty, but also very busy. To much going all the way up the wall. The tile is pretty cool though!!!

  33. I bought my basketweave marble tile on ebay for a hall bath for way less. I know you vetoed it for this project but keep ebay in mind. You order a sample the contact the seller (usually a tile distributor) for your full order.

  34. I love the sea glass tile look, and in fact some of those very images were in my inspiration file when we did our kitchen 6 months ago. I *think* I remember reading in one of your posts, and forgive me for not being sure or doing the research to figure out (I am a new follower and only have a minute), that you are in the California Bay Area… If so, you might want to look at Fireclay Tile in San Jose. They have a beautiful Crush line made entirely of recycled glass (http://www.fireclaytile.com/products/list/category/recycled_glass_tile/overview)
    We put in matte aqua/teal glass tiles for our kitchen backsplash and I just LOVE them!

  35. I love were your going with it! I smitten with the subway style tile in the pot and seafood sign. I think you just found me my tile for my kitchen!

  36. I just spent almost a year looking for glass tile for my kitchen. I love the same colors as you. I purchased the Mandala glass tile (same company as oceanside) in mini sticks color oyster, it is a light blueish green. They had it on their website in the clearence section for 15 a square foot I believe. My cabinets are white and the paint on the walls is BM Amherst grey, a dark charcoal grey, it looks great. Good luck!

  37. Your last picture had the colors of your favorite sweater! Personally, I like the simpler designs better (clear glass tile) or a woven design with clear or light-toned glass. I like the two samples in the picture with the Lowes and home Depot choices (only the opposite ones). I think from my recent viewings of your posts, that you’d be happier with a more simple backsplash with pops of color in your accents vs. a busy backsplash – but that is just my two cents! Looking forward to seeing what you choose!

  38. Hi there, I just love your blog! I am in the middle of a kitchen remodel, I love that glass tile in your Home Depot Pic, the one on the bottom right. In fact I have the top right tile selection on my counter top and I have been thinking it over, but I do love the pencil style a lot more. Where did you find that sample if you don’t mind my asking (the bottom right sample)? The light glass tile is so appealing to me, I like the simplicity. The busy tiles all looked too crazy in my kitchen. Thanks for all the great posts, you have such great style! ~Rebecca

  39. p.s. I really like the vertical look too, it will make the room look much taller than it actually is. So whichever tile you choose, my vote is for you to install them vertically. Especially a entire wall, it will look so yummy! :)

  40. I so love the glass tiles. Urge you not to rush your decision. Hope you’ll find a tile clearance place – I lucked into one here with marvy pricing. That bathroom is going to be wonderful. Love the idea of raising the counters.

    • Hi Rosie, I’m definitely not rushing, in fact just ordered some more samples online yesterday! Got to be sure! Plus it has to look good with whatever countertop we settle on.

  41. Beautiful choices!! We are redoing the kids bathroom and are looking at the same colors. What are your countertops? Marble? We are adding crown molding to bathroom. Should we add crown where the tile meets the ceiling?

    Thanks for all of your pics!!

    • Hey Theresa, we’re thinking about clean white countertops – Quartz or Marble if I can find affordable remnants – it’s tough because I don’t want to buy entire slabs – yikes those are crazy expensive.

  42. I also have Pinterest pins with tile walls….and so want to do one in our master bath, but the ones I’ve picked out (and love) are way too cost prohibitive for the whole wall. I’m hoping to one day run into something I love that isn’t so much. But in the meantime….I’ll live vicariously through you! Can’t wait to see what you end up with! I love the idea of a tile wall….yummy.

  43. I am really looking forward to your choices. All these tiles are scrumptious! I am looking forward to see what you do with your cabinetry! Have fun!

  44. Hmm…so many lovely choices! “That one on the bottom left” (next to the AKDO) is actually my favorite (I love the blue-greens in some of the inspiration photos, too). I think the vertically-running tile is an interesting way to change it up, but here is a thought. It has a very contemporary look, but will it age well? If you can imagine selling your home in 10-15 years and not wanting to redo the tile work again between now and then, I wonder if a (currently) ultra-mod look like varied-size pencil tile or vertically-laid tile might not seem dated that far down the road (whereas the more regular-looking sorts will be a little visually quieter and age better). If you are one of the daring souls who decorates with nary a thought to the tastes of those who come after, or changes up your space constantly, then of course this matters not. I spend a lot of time pondering whether I like things because they are beautiful or because they are trendy, so I pass a little of my needless navel-gazing on to you.

    In any case, best of luck with the decision – hope you’ve had a lovely weekend!

  45. The vanity that you’re re-doing is EXACTLY what is in my children’s bathroom except I have 2 sinks instead of 1. My main concern right now is replacing the ugly 5 light builder’s grade lighting…. can’t find anything that is stylish and would give enough light. There is ZERO natural light coming in :-(

  46. Hi Kate, I’m researching tiles also for the bathroom we’ve just installed in our basement. I strongly suggest you go to Maria Killam’s website and read her posts on choosing tiles as I found it really, really helpful (colour Me Happy). I don’t plan to change this tile for a very, very long time so I’m thinking something classic. Right now I’m drawn to a simple tile in a herringbone pattern. The Sarah Richardson pic with the tile is gorgeous and if I’m not mistaken she used the same one in her kitchen in her cottage. Good luck!

  47. Love the sleekness and uniqueness of the tiles – they are so elegant and classic. These are all truly remarkable and fabulous. Good luck with the rest of the projects!

  48. Love all the photos! My favorite is the last one…but I would run it horizontally if I was doing it in my own home.

    I have a question for you about your photo with the Oceanside tiles. Do you happen to know the name or manufacturer of the tile on the diagonal in the bottom left? I absolutely love that one!

    • HI Julie, that’s an AKDO tile, don’t know the name since I didn’t bring the sample home, but I’m back to the tile shop tomorrow, will try to remember to update here!

  49. I love the coastal inspired tiles that you’re leaning towards. I most like the one in the lower left corner, but I was really drawn to the one that’s your front runner, but placed on the vertical like the image you found last night. No matter what you do, I’m sure it will be beautiful!

    Lesli :)

  50. Used to love your website. Now, it appears to just be links and pictures showing other peoples’ efforts. Sorry to sound grumpy but I don’t come here to see stuff you’ve linked to so you can get advertising dollars.

    • Hello Maywine, so sorry you feel that way. I don’t write for advertising dollars, I write about great design and what’s on my mind because I love all things home improvement. You’ll see a healthy mix around here of both DIY projects and design ideas, hope you’ll continue to read along.

  51. I love some of these bathroom ideas! My hubby and I are redoing our outdated and historical home bathroom. It has a lot of challenges to getting it in better shape. Unfortuntaly, I told my husband that was the one room where he could pick everything out without me saying a word. I regret this! Lovely pics!


    visit my blog at borntobeblonde.com

  52. I love some of these bathroom ideas! My hubby and I are redoing our outdated and historical home bathroom. It has a lot of challenges to getting it in better shape. Unfortuntaly, I told my husband that was the one room where he could pick everything out without me saying a word. I regret this! Lovely pics!


    visit my blog at borntobeblonde.com

  53. Hi I stumbled onto this blog, looking for blue tile ideas for my kitchen. That basket weave one is lovely but you are right YIKES $$$. However I am not at the shopping stage, just the put it in the universe stage. Thanks for posting your journey, I will check it out now and again.

  54. ooh ooh basket weave.
    And that tile used by Sarah Richardson! We used Pietra Gray marble floor to ceiling in our shower, then continued across the floor and right up the wall behind the basin. Love it! I was scared it would be too much for a small room but its great!

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