#21 Master Bathroom Tiles

DUAL TILE LOOKS

The grout you pick can be almost as important as the tile you select. Look below at how different this marble tile looks with a dark grey grout verses a bright white grout.

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Angie shows the different looks applied in the video below.


MORE BATHROOM DETAILS

The edges of the tile require special finishing. That finished edge can be achieved with metals, accent tiles, or bullnose. Bullnose is using the same tile but having one of the edges rounded and finished. You can see that detail in the photos below.

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In addition to the edges, the transition between the white ceramic tile and the marble hexagon tile was addressed with this interesting molding. This change in dimension adds interest like a chair rail would in a decorative wood treatment on your wall.

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A recessed shelf will store the shampoo, soap, etc without taking any additional room in the shower. Using the space between the studs is an efficient use of space. Just remember, these need to be on inside walls.


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The masons are doing their thing and it is beautiful! We wanted a style that felt a bit aged and old. The stones are mostly warm gold tones with some grey mixed in. The way this stone frames the circle window is magical.

See those white beams? They will be cedar next time you see them. A bit of a miscommunication but the builder is on it. Our intention is to have the columns match the garage doors. It will be a bit more maintenance for us, but it will be worth it to get the warmth of the stained wood in the mix.

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The painter is working hard to get the nail holes filled and a crisp white edge on the crown molding. His attention to detail is like no other. We appreciate it so much!

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#20 Exterior Details

We're getting down to adding the final details to the exterior. One of the many decisions we need to make yet involves the flower boxes planned for under the windows. Should the color be black or brown?

My designer instincts are leaning me towards repeating the brown from the garage doors in order to create balance. We are considering black as well because of the continuity it would have with the shutters. The brown can be brought in with a fence or landscape. We had some images made of the options to confirm.

 A view of the final selections

A view of the final selections

And the winner is...

After looking things over, we decided to stick with the brown. We really like how the brown adds warmth to the white and black. It also adds a touch of rustic which we like very much. we can't wait to see that pink wall by the front door turn to stone in the next week or two.

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Are you following us on Instagram?

If you're on Instagram, make sure you follow along on our journey! We're making some serious progress on the house and posting lots of new photos!

#19 Recessed Lighting

Recessed cans that aren’t recessed? Confusing statement? Yes, it is!

One of our goals in the basement was to have as unobstructed of a ceiling line as possible. Giving us the full range of our walls. It worked out extremely well because the heat runs and returns could all fit between the joist space with no extra soffit needed. Whew!

Angie meticulously mapped out the perfect location for all of lighting downstairs, careful to space out each can appropriately to give optimal coverage for their glowing magnificence.  We planned for 8 in the living room spaced out symmetrically, 6 in the playroom, 4 in the workout room. It was going to be perfect.

And then… the electrical walk through. Almost everything upstairs went according to plan and then we walked to the basement. Our faithful electrician dashed our dreams and resurrected them all at once. “You know that you can’t use cans in basically any of the spots that you want to put lights because of the HVAC, right?  However, you can use these newer fixtures that are available.” Do tell.

After some explanation from the electrician, we were able to find these little beauties.

  • They can go anywhere a fixture goes!
  • They only hang down ¾” off the ceiling and gave us the ability to put our “not recessed” cans wherever we wanted to!
  • Let their LED light shine!

We even bought enough of them to use in the storage area in the unfinished part of the basement because we liked them so much.

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We ended up using this product for the “true” recessed can lights upstairs.

  • They fit into the can itself
  • Remain flush at the surface with a trim kit to cover the opening

However, the other style also has a retrofit kit included so you can use it in your existing can lights.

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We love the way they look and we're looking forward to the longevity of these fixtures. Let them shine for 35 years plus!

#17 Tile Progress

For the past two weeks, the finish carpenter, painter, and flooring installers have been hard at work adding the interior finishes we've selected. It is really satisfying to see the finishes installed. The flooring is near and dear to our hearts so we'd love to share some information about the installation products and techniques.

Even if reading about tile installation technique is not your jam, we hope to convey the layered and detailed nature of tile installation. These installers are true professionals and we're so proud of their work!

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To keep our toes warm in the bathroom, we're installing the Schluter Ditra Heat for both bathroom floors. Here is a picture of the Ditra Heat Mat installation. The orange mat has to be mortared down to the 3/4" subfloor using a polymer modified mortar.

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Making sure to get good adherence is important so the installers roll it with 100lb roller and then go along the edges with a grout float to make sure it is securely in the mortar.

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One of the cool things about the Schluter Ditra Heat system is that the resistance wire (aka: heat source) clips right into the mat. Even cooler is that the spacing is set by the mat making it easy peasy to space properly. Three rows apart just like the picture. The cable gets tested before and after installation to make sure that it is still in top shape and wasn't damaged during the installation process.

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Because we weren't immediately installing the tile, the installers back buttered the entire floor with mortar to protect the cable and make it easier to snap lines for the actual tile installation. This is the blank canvas for the installer to plan out the tile pattern.

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This picture shows a very important tool our tile installers use. Believe it or not, tile is not flat and is not always square either. These orange wedges and clips are a tile leveling system by Raimondi Industries. This system helps make installations as perfect as possible by maintaining spacing between tiles and bending the tiles to make the floor as flat as possible. Extremely cool technology that has been developed to accommodate installations with plank and large format tiles.

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After the mortar dries, the wedges are broken off which breaks the clip at the bottom of the tile and leaves a perfect line for grouting.

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This is the wall tile we selected for around the tub. It is called Artigiano from Dal Tile. It's an extremely beautiful tile that can be used on walls. Notice the jagged edge giving the appearance of a handmade fire kilned tile. The tile surface is not flat which adds some additional interest.

Before installation the installer met with us to discuss the tile spacing. He pointed out that because of the irregularity, you can stack these tiles on top of each other.

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The tile installer also pointed out that the bullnose (piece on the end with a rounded edge) could line up with two rows of tile if stacked on top of each other. We like things to line up whenever possible. We very much appreciated his input!

Notice on the walls behind our installer is more orange product from Schluter. That product is Kerdi and it is designed to water proof the wall so that no water ever penetrates the tub surround. We are using it in our custom shower as well. The Kerdi system by Schluter provides niches like the one on the right wall to hold shampoo and soap. It also offers benches and other products that you would want in water proof in a custom shower.

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Oh my, do we LOVE this tile! Even surrounded by the in-progress mess - it shines bright! Go to our Shop Our House page to learn more about the products we're using in this bathroom and check back to see more progress.

#16 Wood Flooring

We can't wait to tell you about the wood floor we selected. It's this amazing product by Lauzon and get this...it IMPROVES the air quality in your house! Brent explains it all in the video below.

The sample Brent is holding is the actual color we picked. There is so much we like about it and there are so many reasons why this is "the one."

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We love the color! The brown will add warmth to our home and the undertones of grey will complement our other selections nicely. The wire brushed texture combined with the satin finish keeps the floor on trend. We like that it is oak. Oak is known for being a strong and durable wood. We also like that this floor can be sanded down and refinished in the future. It's hard to think that far in advance (especially when everything is brand new) but, we know our preferences will change and want to be prepared.

The wood floor will go in our kitchen, living room, dining room, hallway, and master bedroom. We can't wait to see how this improves the indoor air quality of our house. This is truly fascinating technology for the flooring industry!

#15 Art Room

Back on the last day of December, one of the coldest days of the season, we did a walk-through to see the framing. One of our favorite rooms in the house is in the northwest corner - it's an art room!

Last weekend we stopped back to check on the progress. The drywall is up and the texture is on. It gives us a really good feel for the space and all of the light that will pour into this room.

We were even able to get our shy little girl to make an appearance on camera! Which tells you how excited she is for this new room.

 A sketch of the built-ins planned for the south wall.

A sketch of the built-ins planned for the south wall.

The built-ins are designed with a sink for washing up, drawers to store supplies, and open shelves to give projects a place to dry.


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It's good to have back-up plans for specialty rooms like this. We made sure that the walls are not load bearing so that we can extend our living room once it's time for this room to evolve.


 A peek into the art room from the living room

A peek into the art room from the living room

We're excited to share the dramatic changes that paint and flooring will bring to our home in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned!