Story tiling

The clock is ticking. We want and need to move in, but first we have to have a finished bathroom and kitchen.

Little is holding us back from installing tile in the bathroom, after Cathy put up the waterproofing membrane. But we have to decide what kind of tile we want and figure out where we can get it.


While we were visiting friends in Germany and admiring their bathroom, we were advised not to use white tile on the floor, which would show most foot or paw prints right away. We both quickly agreed that we should use a light earth tone color.

To maximize the use of daylight through the two small bathroom windows, the wall tile should be something that would match the floor tile color and/or be of an even lighter tone.


Because our bathroom floor is contoured we would be best of using small tiles for the floor. They adjust best to the ridges and slopes of the floor without leaving awkward corners and edges.

I was ready to settle on a four by four inch tile size, but got stopped in my tracks by Cathy who made the point that two by two inch tiles would work much better. The tile size issue got sort of resolved by our goal to rely as much as possible on reused materials.


Our preferred resource, the ReBuilding Exchange, did not have any suitable tiles or anything in sufficient quantities. Our next best option was Craigslist.

Lo and behold, Cathy found an offer for two inch hexagonal tiles in a light earth tone color, in sufficient quantities, and for a good price. We drove out into the suburbs to take a look.

The seller of the tiles had planned to use them for his bathrooms, but then decided to go with 24 inch square tiles instead. He needed to unload the tiles and we were happy to take them.


We both liked the tile so much that we bought the whole lot. This way we have enough for all bathroom floors in the house, and our project budget gets a little breather.

About Marcus de la fleur

Marcus is a Registered Landscape Architect with a horticultural degree from the School of Horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the University of Sheffield, UK. He developed a landscape based sustainable pilot project at 168 Elm Ave. in 2002, and has expanded his skill set to building science. Starting in 2009, Marcus applied the newly acquired expertise to the deep energy retrofit of his 100+ year old home in Chicago.

One thought on “Story tiling

  1. I’m glad you listened to your friends in Germany about not using white tile on the floor. The tiles you got look like a good choice.

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