Today is an exciting day over here – the wood tile reveal! After much anticipation, our wood tile and marble entryway are finally complete. We moved most displaced furniture and gave up by the time we got to decor, but otherwise, we are living a normal life – just a little more bare than usual.
table, bench, and cushion: West Elm | chair: World Market | chair cushion: IKEA | rug: West Elm | runner: Pottery Barn old (similar)
I’m really happy with how the wood tile came out. After agonizing over such a big decision, multiple visits to Floor & Decor to confirm Chris’ first pick from our first visit really was THE one, and then going out-of-town during the actual install, I was so relieved to return home to a finished renovation.
We went with a Quartersawn Oak wide plank tile, which has a medium brown tone, some gray undertones, and not too busy. My initial reservation was that it is technically a ceramic tile. White body ceramic can be thought of a hybrid between regular ceramic and porcelain. It is technically more porous than porcelain, but as long as we were using it inside with a good mortar we wouldn’t know the difference. At $2.19/sqft., we were able to feel comfortable spending more on the moisture barrier (Mapei Mapelastic Aqua Defense) and mortar bed.
Explained to me by the tile department manager: most people put cheaper mortar with cheaper tile (ceramic); however, if you lay a good foundation, the ceramic tile will perform virtually the same as a porcelain tile indoors. Ceramic tile seems to get a bad rap due to improper or corner cutting installations.
So without further ado, what everyone loves to see – the before and afters!
Prior to moving in with blue outdoor carpet, paneling, and purple paint.
How the hard finishes looked for about two and a half years (more on this update here)
And finally, today with the new wood tile
In person, I keep feeling like we need to up the contrast; however, I love how spacious it looks now! We’ve been on the hunt for a larger rug and different overhead lighting so, hopefully, that will be an update in the not so distant future.
Turning our attention to the dining area now:
The combined living and dining room is over 350 sqft. which means those wider planks cut down on the grout lines. Combining the wide plank with a more mellow pattern allows the eye to focus on other parts of the room. Instead, we like that the wood texture is more noticeable in person for a different kind of pattern – it makes the tile look that much more natural. It’s difficult to imagine what a bold busy pattern would have looked like, but I think it would have made it that much harder to decorate with!
Now, onto the kitchen. A major thoroughfare in our home, this busy room connects the original part of the house to the back addition. I try to keep things simple in there since it is not a large space, but the wood really looks nice against the white cabinets and again is less contrast than the bamboo.
To take you back again, here is the original kitchen:
This shot is the only one that shows the hallway as well. While I hated the idea of making our floor choppy instead of all the same like before, it wasn’t realistic to redo all the bamboo just for that reason. Connecting these two spaces makes for a more cohesive space, and reminds me of a discussion from Young House Love Has A Podcast that I listened to just yesterday about picking a whole color palette and using cohesive flooring or big rugs to make your home feel larger.
Lesson Learned: If there was anything I’ve learned from this renovation, it’s to press your contractor about what extra steps and options are out there.
Just because options or choices aren’t standard, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invest in a thick waterproof membrane or spend the extra money for higher quality mortar if it makes sense for your situation. I wish I’d bit the bullet and changed out the baseboards while they were half destroyed. And, I wish our tile repeated every sixth row not third, but those are very small annoyances that no one will never notice!
And that’s it! Changing out floors is no easy feat. But really, it is SO much easier in Photoshop! I did my best to time the disruption to minimize the impact to our family. It wasn’t seamless, but seeing it all done makes the frustration and inconvenience all worth it!
If you’re interested in our exact tile, it doesn’t show up online but is one of their more popular options in stores. Happy to share the SKU with you, just ask! Update – here is our exact tile, shown with lighter grout.
Thank you to Floor & Decor for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.