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Tile Woes

Author: Lauren Coleman

Minimal physical progress has been made in our bathroom. Remember where I left you back in July? James was off to New Zealand and while he was away I was racking up a list of all the supplies. The good news is that I’ve found more or less everything I need. In fact I’m even on to finishing touches and am currently coveting this La Redoute blush pink cupboard for storing my lotions and potions. So much so, I’m actually livid it’s out of stock.

While the cabinet isn’t a show-stopper one vital ingredient is missing – the wall tiles. On the project plan (yes, we have one of those) step one is to is to tile the walls in preparation for hanging the basin.

The Look

You’d think finding a plain white matt square tile would be a doddle. Well, it really isn’t.
It’s not helped by the fact I’ve got a stash of cool white hexagonal tiles stacked in my garage just waiting for a bathroom floor. There lies the problem, the floor tiles from Walls and Floors seem to have just the slightest whisper of a greyish blue and every single wall tile sample I order seems to have a very slight tinge of creamy-white. Pop them together and they just seem to clash. I know some folk would think I’m crazy as they’re just two sets of neutral tiles at the end of the day however I feel the contrast would really, really grate on me. I’d like to use grey grout on the floor and white on the walls which I think is going to highlight the difference even more. The header image above was snapped in my living room which has bucketloads of light, while my bathroom only has a piddly window so the contrast is more prominent in the lower level of light. Looking at this image though I really can’t tell the difference, even when I squint, but to the naked eye the difference is truly remarkable 😉

Walls and Floors, Tile Mountain and Tons Of Tiles all seem to be sending me the same off-white samples masquerading as a white one, with varying price points. The project is on hold until I source a suitable bit of ceramic for the walls, or at least until I move on from my mission to match. I mean, does it really matter if they’re slightly different as I’m going to have a skirting board in between the two so they won’t actually meet?

Does such a tile exist? Where are all these people in my Pinterest gallery getting their white-white 15cm x 15cm tiles from? I’m wondering now if I need to have a gloss finish rather than a matt one in order to get a crisp white. Perhaps I’ve utterly lost the plot and have already found what I’m looking for.
Do please share any occasions when you’ve had colour matching woes just to prove I’ve not gone mad. I’m off to another tile store this evening to see if they have anything in store as my online search hasn’t proved too fruitful, but if you have any recommendations I would really love to hear.

Lauren likes Paris, Prosecco and Paint Charts
Follow Lauren on instagram @mrslaurencoleman
This post may include affiliate links.

23 thoughts on “Tile Woes

  1. Are you looking at them right next to each other? The light from the window in your bathroom will make them look different again as it hits them in different directions. What colour skirting board are you having? If you choose a grey similar to your floor grouting, this might help. Paint a length of wood and view the tiles in situ with the wall tiles balanced on top of the wood. Hope that helps!

    1. Eileen – I always love your tips. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that! I’m thinking of maybe using Plummett on the skirts, or maybe something a little lighter.

      1. Glad to help, I’ve been through many house renovations, not all your readers are thirty-somethings. Plummet sounds wonderful can’t wait to see the results, when you finally find those elusive tiles.

        1. I totally agree with this. We did white walls black floor but when laid the black looked all kinds of wrong thanks to the lighting. It changes everything!

  2. I think you’re right to wait for exactly the right colour / tile. Whenever I’ve had the slightest doubt but just went for it anyway I regretted being so gung-ho. Hubby’s had to repaint white walls with another shade of white on more than one occasion.

    On the subject of interiors, how is Lolly’s refurb going? It (Lolly) seems to have gone a bit quiet??

    1. Thanks Anna. Yes, James hasn’t been too happy at my requests to paint walls again, I think asking him to retile might be a whole other ball game!
      Lolly left RMS back in May, but I’m glued to her Insta Stories for the progress. The house is looking absolutely beautiful.

  3. As someone who’s spent the last three night feeds trying to find antique brass fittings to go with an electric shower I totally feel your pain. Sorry to not be of any assistance!

    1. Oh Rebecca, why are there so many things required for a bathroom? I’ve spent hours looking for a radiator with the right valves! Good luck with the brass fitting search x

  4. Are you tiling yourself? If not why not ask you tiler if they can source something? I know that there is a large tile warehouse near we live we didn’t know about and he put us onto that which had a much wider range of stuff than topps and or online samples.

    Also I found it better to order 5 or 6 tiles as samples as I don’t think you can get the full picture of what it will look like with just one tile side by side.
    I love your floor tiles though and look forward to seeing the finished room!

    1. Hi Claire, James will be doing all the tiling so no tiler to tap up for recommendations unfortunately.

      You make a very good point on the 5-6 tiles – it’s kind of like painting a much bigger swatch on a wall isn’t it?

  5. I don’t suppose you would consider using the exact same tiles on the walls? You could use a different grout colour, but it would definitely solve your problem!! I know that isn’t what you were asking but it occurred to me so… I actually really love it in bathrooms of the right size – the first picture looks stunning for example! But perhaps it wouldn’t work in your space.

  6. Ceramic tile warehouse. Excellent range of wall and floor tiles in the same shade! It took us ages to find tiles until we visited them

  7. Lauren give Mandarin Stone or Fired Earth a try! We get all our bathroom tiles usually from Mandarin Stone and they are excellent quality.

  8. Hi! Just found your fab blog and we’re in the middle (well, start!) of completely redesigning our bathroom. I also am amazed and increasingly frustrated at the number of ‘big’ and little decisions I’m having to make and panicking about getting it wrong! Anyway, we’re going with Mandarin Stone as they’ve been really helpful and patient and give you lots of little sample tiles to keep and faff over.

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