This weekend I finally managed to make time to visit Alberti Pavimenti in West Didsbury and look at potential bathroom tiles in person. I'd visited Topps Tiles, looked at loads of tiles online, and drooled over the Fired Earth catalogue, but couldn't find anything perfect at a sensible price. Fortunately Alberti Pavimenti, in addition to possessing possibly the most awesome name for a tile shop ever, carries an huge range of tiles that can be inspected at close quarters, stroked, pored over, and as it turns out, loaded into your illegally parked vehicle in order to mull your choices over in the privacy of your own home for a week.
Here's the look we're going for. My challenge will be to recreate this on a budget because this bathroom is for the kids and most likely the dogs too and although I'm sure some people lavish marble bathing environments upon their children and canines, we are not those people.
Here's the tile in our bathroom. The girls were fascinated by it and insisted on getting in on the action.
Natalia polishing the tiles with her flannel.
The plan is to mix marble with a cheaper, co-ordinating alternative such as ceramic metro tile in order to get the neutral yet mildly eclectic look we want. So for example, we could have marble squares on the floor, bevelled white metro tile on the walls, and marble hex in the shower enclosure.
I'm a bit worried about having slippery marble on the floor of a bathroom used by two girls who love nothing more than splashing water all over the place with reckless abandon, so an alternative option we're considering is to use these whitewashed wood plank effect tiles on the floor as these are significantly less slippery and are also around half the price of the marble squares. While I'm not keen on ceramic masquerading as marble, for some reason ceramic masquerading as wood is A-OK with me, perhaps because of the novelty factor? Go figure.
With the wood option, we may then have marble squares and/or marble metro tiles on the walls with marble hex in the shower, or if that works out too expensive then have wood-effect on the floor, white ceramic metro on the wall, and marble hex in the shower. Or wood on the floor, marble AND white ceramic metro on the wall and marble hex in the shower. The latter might feel too busy - I need to mock it up and see. The metro tiles we're considering are the same shade of white as the marble, come in exactly the same size as the marble metro tiles, and would be installed using grey grout in the same shade as the marble veining so having three materials instead of two might look fabulously co-ordinated and gorgeous or it might look insane. More thinking is definitely required. I really love the bevelled metro tiles, though, so I'd really like to fit them into the scheme.
Decisions, decisions! I don't really have a process for figuring these things out, I just mull it all over and go with whatever my gut tells me. Right now my gut has vetoed slippery marble on the floor, especially after I sprinkled water on it this morning and gingerly applied my bare foot to the surface to see what happened (hello, marble ice-rink) so we're definitely going to need an alternative.