“Little black dress” of stone tile brings classic look to a new bath
Daltile’s Stone Mosaics, accents and tile are creating “a wonderful life” for blogger
Melissa Smith has always been inspired by the timeless charm of the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life,” and finding romance in the everyday. The potential seen in the house at 320 Sycamore Street in the Jimmy Stewart/Donna Reed classic film is what inspired her to start a blog by the same name.
320 Sycamore (www.320
sycamoreblog.com) has featured room-by-room home renovations as the family moved from a home in Texas, to Virginia, to a brand new home south of Salt Lake City. With the opportunity to start fresh, she sought to make her master bathroom an oasis, away from the typical chaos of a household of five growing children.
With the help of her contractor, Gary Griffith of Designer Home Interiors of Spanish Fork, Utah (www.dhifloors.com), she was able to create a new space with classic appeal. She selected a variety of Daltile natural stone mosaics and accent pieces in Carrara white.
“I’ve heard Carrara marble called the ‘little black dress’ of tile,” said Smith. “So I knew it was perfect for the timeless, classic look I was going for.”
In the shower, Smith chose Daltile’s Stone Mosaics Carrara White Oval Mosaic for an accent stripe, but was unaware that the thickness did not match that of the classic white tile covering the shower surround. Griffith provided a solution by recommending pencil rail to hide the discrepancy. Daltile’s Marble Collection First Snow Elegance Pencil Rail was chosen and nicely frames the accent stripe. The same look was applied to the bathtub surround.
Smith continued to think outside the box with the flooring and chose Daltile’s Stone Mosaics Carrara White Hexagon Mosaic. Griffith noted that marble’s soft texture makes it a bit challenging to install and maintain, but with a little extra care, it can be a stunning choice. He used non-sanded grout and setting materials from MAPEI, and sealed the floor to avoid damage. The white grout and light-colored tile on the floor will require regular cleaning to maintain its shine. Smith noted she would never think of installing the delicate tile in the kids’ bath, but for just her and her husband, she doesn’t mind taking extra care.
The accent wall was an unexpected addition. After laying out the design for the room, Smith ended up having some extra tile on hand, but she didn’t waste time putting it to use, and found a home for it behind the vanity and mirror. Griffith installed the tile vertically, which initially surprised Smith.
“I guess I just envisioned the tile going horizontally, like traditional subway tile would,” said Smith. “But it goes to show the versatility of tile like this; turning it on its side gives a unique look and truly makes the wall a focal point.”
She noted that in the light, the tile almost shimmers like a mirror. It has become her favorite feature in the room.
Both Smith and Griffith mentioned they were surprised to see the variety of shapes and sizes of tile Daltile offered in the Carrara marble.
“I thought of course I would find subway tile and hexagon shapes, but these mosaics were very unexpected!” Smith remarked.
“In other homes in this community we have been installing your traditional 12” or 13” tile or sometimes a 12” x 24” standard porcelain,” said Griffith. “This project was a nice diversion from the norm. Others in the neighborhood are now requesting a similar look.”
Happy to be settling into her new home, Smith still feels a bit buried by boxes and is slowly finding a home for everything. However, the master bathroom, one of the first completed rooms in the house, is a tranquil escape from the chaos.
When asked what’s next on her renovation list, she said she plans to enjoy the newness of the home for now. She might consider a fireplace renovation, but for the time being she just plans to kick up her heels and enjoy an old holiday classic.