Beach Cottage Coastal Bathroom ~ Subway Tiles are Us

Mon 13th, Feb, 2012

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G’day ladies, checking in from a sunshiney & hot Sydney today…we had a warm and stormy weekend on the beaches and it looks like there’s more on the way by the look of it.

So, if you are part of the Beach Cottage Club and have subscribed to the newsletter, you’ll already have an idea of how the bathroom is going…there was a sneak peek of the tiled walls with this week’s edition.

So here’s a bit more on how it is going.




I had a few emails on subway tiles…one that didn’t I think they were too old-fashioned for a coastal beach decor look and the other on how easy it is to get them fitted.

Well on the old-fashioned look?  Possibly.  But then I don’t go for ‘fashion’ and trends in home decor…if anything I like to go the opposite way…nothing worse, to me, than that cookie cutter look you see in every other homewares shop.  I like to collect vintage things I love and then work that into a coastal beachy look.   So subway tiles for coastal-style?  I think yep you can make it work for you.


On fitting them, we had about 5 tilers quote for the bathroom (we are co-ordinating the tradies ourselves for budget reasons)…one of them said no to the job because of the tiles, one of them had never worked with them and wasn’t too sure about it…the one we went with has been tiling for 30 odd years and hasn’t fitted a small tile like this for a very long time…he’s a great bloke and knows his stuff…so I guess you just have to get a few people in and ask them what they have worked with.  I do know that all of the tilers we spoke to mainly these days work with a much much larger tile…a whole different ball game and they certainly don’t do the brickwork look I was after.


We brought the old lady in for a trial to see how she fits in her spot…not got a name yet, but I think I have decided on one…any more ideas for me leave them in the comments please ;-)

I am pleased we decided on this area for the bathtub…we had initially gone for the other corner and the vanity in this bit but I think this works well and separates the bathing section a bit, plus I will be able to have the window open and look out at the stars….and the neighbours ;-) …they already think I am a loony anyway so that’s not a problem


On the floor.

Well, this was the first tiling to be done and took the longest…I don’t know if you are thinking it’s a bit odd to one have a tiled floor and two to have drains in it…that’s how it is done in Australia…when we first came here we thought it was odd too…no overflows in the bathtub…the overflow is in the floor…



…and certainly no CARPET in bathrooms like in good old Blighty….I don’t think, before I moved to the Lucky Country I ever lived in a bathroom that didn’t have carpet…now that TOTALLY grosses me out, like big time…!

…so the laying of these floors is a skilled job…and we know to our detriment that if you get it wrong, it’s not good…the floor in our en-suite bathroom has not been laid properly and the shower will leak because the water does not run well…so on the top of our list for recruiting a tiler was one who knew his run-offs well…there was much talk of this, including the use of golf balls and how they run to get the perfect measurements…it’s all looking good.

So the colour, when it went down I did NOT like it at all, as he put it down I was like euuuuh, nooooooooo why did I not go with what I wanted???  That was more of the same on the walls but the floor version, a white vintage style tile…but absolutely everyone involved in this project advised me against that floor for a few reasons, firstly that its main users will be children and a white floor would show everything at any given time and secondly that there would be a lot of lines in there..

…the third reason was actually mine…this is not an old Victorian cottage, if only and I thought that bringing in a pebble grey would add a coastal feel and would balance the reality of what we are working with (in the 80′s extension to the cottage), with the vintage feel that I want…

So I looked around for grey inspiration and I took in a pebble found on the beach that I loved…there were a few colours that I liked that run through it and I tried to replicate that in the choice…it was tough because there are a lot of tiles out there at the moment that are a dark slate grey with no colour variation and a lot of them are in the more fashionable large tile size..


What do you think?

And do you have any tips on tilers and tiling for any Beach Cottage readers?  I think this makes or breaks a bathroom…must say I have seen some hideous tiles in my time…worst ones were our best friends first house…they were like a bottle green with a black pattern, very 70′s and not in a nice way with some orangey/gold touches in places..that girl cleaned those tiles a million times and it always looked gros lol

Our rental in Australia was pretty horrid too…brown mosaic…60′s brown…I bleached the life out of them, but really, they never felt clean…

Love to hear your tile stories today!  Are you living with the yuckiest tiles on the planet?  Been there, done that, got the t-shirt baby

See you another day, I am off for coffee at the beach..





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81 Responses to “Beach Cottage Coastal Bathroom ~ Subway Tiles are Us”

  1. Janelle says:

    I’m liking the floor tile Sarah. And imagine it with all your yummy vintagey beachy accessories! My 4 yr old just peaked over my shoulder exclaiming “cool bath!” So there you go!!!?! xx

  2. Emma says:

    I think the gray tile is nice. It softens the room. I CAN’T wait to see this all finished. xx

  3. Kate says:

    Carpet in the bathroom! So strange!

  4. alanc230 says:

    Choosing the floor tile for our kitchen redo two years ago was quite a project. When the first choice tiles were delivered, there was wailing and tears in the middle of the night. We were able to return them and make another choice…which took weeks and weeks to arrive on a slow boat from Italy. But they were worth the wait.

  5. loulou says:

    Hi Sarah,

    Yes I think I have the T-shirt (or had the T-shirt).
    I used to have in one of my bathrooms (before full renovation, thank God), dark jade green tiles from floor-to-ceiling.
    With, gold and jade green tile frieze and all gold tap wear to match.
    I thought I was living in a hotel in China (I repeat floor to ceiling dark jade green tiles).

    Yours is looking beautiful.

    Have a wonderful day,

    loulou, from hereiamloulou blog


  6. Susan says:

    I’ve never had a bathroom that didn’t have a tiled floor, so I don’t know why anyone would think that was unusual :) – Mind you, I don’t have an overflow drain in our bathroom – that’s contained within the bath in my house.

    Your bathroom is coming along nicely – I’m glad you were able to find someone who was comfortable working with subway tiles!

  7. Patricia says:

    Yes, the grey tiles definitely, they define the floor space. Colourwise, classy and won’t show marks as easily.
    I love the bath and also how it sits in its own little alcove, so snug and private.
    You mentioned looking out the window whilst bathing. Just an observation, in the photo the rounded end of the bath is at the other end. More of a comfort thing, isn’t the rounded moulded end for leaning against with the feet the straight end.
    Look forward to the bathroom ta daa
    Maybe you may have picked the name I chose for your bath. :)

    • sarah says:

      thanks Patricia

      I am liking Betty!

      Yep we had to go with it that way b/c of the plumbing underneath the house with the plughole there and a joist placement…before we made the decision I tried it out (in the garden) the other way too…and it’s ok at the square end but not as comfy as the other end, so I guess I will moving around depending on mood ;-)

  8. Patricia says:

    Comment # 2

    When you asked for name recommendations I chose “Betty Bliss”

  9. Caz says:

    Sarah I think you made the right choice on the floor tile, this from a women who chose white floor tiles for my downstair hall and laundry that ended up the bain of my existence (that along with the coloured glass splashback in the kitchen!!!!). I had put large grey tiles that resembled concrete in the ensuite and they were wonderful showed no mess and bliss to clean, less grout on floor tiles is definitely way to go!

    I love the subway tiles and have them in both my current bathrooms only problem is they are cream and not white and the ensuite in this house has dark green and cream in the floor in diamond pattern and then more dark green in the border yukkkkkkk my least favourite decorating colour ever!! but i’m going to have to live with that for a long time as there is nothing really wrong with them and my Scotsman won’t be changing anything that ain’t broken!!!

    I also think the subway is classic and absolutely perfect for a beach cottage. Subway tiles are timeless and when you go too trendy in home decor they are tomorrows tears and another renovation project!! And bathrooms are too expensive for that!

    • sarah says:

      thanks Caz….I am glad I went for the grey b/c of the reality of the use of the room, but really it wouldn’t be my first choice! that’s life as a mum to three I guess!

      oh I know that green you mean!! it’s heritage I think and love it in an old place…but it has to work perfectly with the house!

      thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it xo

  10. Jac says:

    Good choice of tile. I like the grey. We have white on our beachy bathroom floors (not by choice) and need to vacuum every second day because (this is a little embarrassing to say) pubic hairs really stand out on white tiled floors. ;-)

  11. Alice says:

    I personally love the white subway tile. I think it is very coastal to me and it is something I would have gone for myself ( I currently have cream subway tiles – they aren’t too bad they remind me of the colour of wet sand, it’s the red floor tiles and the rose printed tiles that make me grrrr..)… My floor tiles are a nightmare because they are those litlle tiny ones… Meaning a lot of dirty and mouldy grout lines!!! I have to constantly bleach the floor to get to the mould and will have to regrout them soon (though I would rather just replace them!) because the grout is badly stained… I don’t mind your floor tiles… I wouldn’t have thought of grey and I think it works… I personally would have gone bigger for the floor tiles simply because it would mean less grout lines so easier to keep it looking clean but that’s me. I couldn’t agree more with your comment about cookie cutter bathrooms… When I read it I instantly muttered a thank you under my breath… I am much the same way… Did I mention the name serinity for your bath time… Have you watched the Australian classic The Castle? I LOOOVVEEE that movie, I don’t know why but I do…This new gal is your own piece of serenity Sarah… My favourite line (and one I can’t help using constantly without thinking) is tell them their dreaming! lol

    • sarah says:

      thanks Alice, yeah the grey are ok…I hope the grout holds up… :-)

      serenity hmmm, interesting!

      no I haven’t seen that movie, but everybody I know tells me I should be watch it…


  12. Tanya says:

    Waiting to see the vanity and a big chandelier? I`m finding the subway tiles a little too “public amenities” looking, maybe the vanity and lighting will detract from that

    • sarah says:

      oh thanks so much for your input Tanya! …public amenities, particularly the old vintage tiles in and around the Underground of London was *exactly the look and feel I was hoping to combine with coastal…guess I nailed it :-)

      have a lovely day!


  13. Peggy says:

    Our teenage boys have deemed your bathroom as “suhhweeeeeeeeeeet!” In fact the middle one asked if we could do something like it!

    OH yes we have definitely been, there done that and got the t-shirt, 3 times over! Think robin’s egg blue toilet and sink in a bathroom just off the kitchen which matched the robin’s egg blue paint in the kitchen. Peach floor tiles, sink, tub and walls with a large gold guilded mirror and a rose embossed hanging light, (the bathroom reminded me of something you would picture in an old west bawdy house!) not to mention the faded grayish pink paint and large rose wallpaper in the living room and dining room. And it was all the same house. Oh yes our bedroom was pink as well! We painted the walls in there the very day we moved in. Thankfully we had a day or two before the movers arrived! But the house had such wonderful bones, gorgeous oak floors, a LARGE fenced yard, and was located in a wonderful neighborhood.

    • sarah says:

      peach with blue and gold?? yucky!

      yep you have to look past the colours and at things like OAK FLOORS, yum!


  14. Suzanne says:

    Hi Sarah the subway tiles look fab!! lots of light gets thrown around from them…I have a white bathroom floor and yes it is hard to keep perfectly clean and looks fab, BUT when I replace it I will be choosing another colour for sure!! I love the look of white painted floorboards too, but I am sure it would be very hard work keeping them perfect!!

    • Suzanne says:

      *I did not mean white painted floorboards for a bathroom!!

    • sarah says:

      I love white painted floorboards, to be honest I wish I had gone for those in this place, too late now!

      the subway tiles are now grouted and look totally different to these pics….I LOVE them

      cheers Suzanne x

  15. I love the white subway tiles! We once bought a house that had turquiose and black tile with PINK fixtures ( tub, toilet, sink ) YUCK ! Needless to say , that came out BEFORE we moved in !

  16. Giulia says:

    Love the subway tile, here in Canada it’s very popular, both for modern homes and traditional. Some are beveled, others elongated, but I’m seeing great spaces with subway tiles. My fave is still your tub-I wish I had one of those. We have white subway tile in our bath with a pale blue/green glass mosaik accent stripe.

    • sarah says:

      hmmm interesting Giulia…to be honest I was surprised how many tilers and tile shops thought this was a strange and unusual choice!

  17. Julie says:

    Love it so far! To me, subway tile has a timeless quality. And I like that you can give it a modern edge or give it a vintagey feel. We’re also going with white subway tile in our new bathroom. I like how it looks so clean.

    As for flooring, you made me laugh out loud with the UK carpet references! When we lived in England we had two bathrooms – one was the toilet (complete with PINK carpet) and the other was the room with the bath and sink (and BLUE carpet). Ugh. I’ll never understand the rational for carpet in a bathroom! We are currently living with bare subfloor (hopefully for not much longer) and then we are putting in marble tile. Just a little worried it’s going to be slippery but too late to change my mind now…

    • sarah says:

      I am sure marble tile will look lovely Julie!

      yes I think carpet is hilarious in the bathroom now, all I can think of is all the wee that must be on it!!!!!


  18. Leah says:

    Hi Sarah, I love your subway tiles. They are an absolute classic and will never date. We did subway tiles in our last house and we used a slate grey grout, which highlights the brick pattern and makes cleaning so much easier. I loved it. Your floor tiles are lovely also. We have white timber floorboards in our bathroom and most of the house for that matter. They look stunning, but are definitely a job to keep clean. I can’t wait to see your end result, it’s very exciting. LOVE it so far!!! Leahx

  19. Neen says:

    Luuuuurve the white subway tiles, what colour grout? We grouted white 20 years ago and now have yucky grout that has been discoloured for most of that time. Can’t wait to see all tiles grouted. Our beautiful Victorian ‘renovators delight’ had amazing brown, red, orange carpet in the original bathroom and kitchen. Can’t tell you how pleased we were to rip it all up, sooooo odd. Carpet in wet areas ??? Really, no amount of vacuuming could possibly get the toilet spills out could it??? EEEEwww

  20. cherrie says:

    I rather like the grey floor and they way you chose it too. The flooin our rental laundry is one of those typical NSW ones in new houses where you step up a couple of centimetres into the room. I have been told that this is not to trip people (which I naturally thought to begin with) but to ass ist in the run off of any water overflowing water. Mmmm. Seems like the one who tiled this laundry decided that his little golf balls should roll towards the corridor and subsequently the kitchen MDF cupboards. Very handy. My favourite thin in a laundry is one of those holes in the floor drain things and I used to think they were compulsory here but it seems not. Love, love your bath.What is your favourite scent for bathing in. Myrtle? Rose? Fran(gipani)? Cherrie

  21. Anonymous says:

    aw I love those tiles! we have the exact same ones in our bathroom and the sort of bevelled version in our kitchen! they are so awesomely vintage. it took us forever to get the tiling finished, for me it was the worst job of our renovation (the finished pics are the first post on my blog…) but it didnt help that we layed quarry tiles on the kitchen which were a nightmare to grout and clean up! I have to say I dont envy you tiling, but they will look amazing and my top tip for grouting is: use an old store card, they are the perfect stiffness and the corners work great at getting off the excess and finishing the lines of grout between the tiles! good luck! xxxxx

  22. I remember feeling so completely GROSSED out the first time I visited England found carpet in the bath. And it was like 70′s carpet to boot. So like there was 24 years worth of nasty on that thing. Criminy!

    OK, back to the bath. Subway tile COMPLETELY works in a beach cottage. I really thinks it evokes a feeling of timelessness. It is not trendy.

    And I have white marble on the floor with white grout, and we are in the process of re-grouting after just 4 years. We just cannot rescue the white grout. It looks terrible. I think the gray tile is pretty and will give the bathroom a bit of contrast. All white may have ended up looking a bit to sterile?

    I think it looks great.

  23. Hi, love your blog, and wanted to say the bathroom is looking so wonderful.

    I’m from Scotland but living in Texas now and we are updating our masterbathroom and its a nightmare, it was taken back to the studs, a total re-do, we are doing all the work ourselves, so its time consuming but i know i will love it when its finished, we are nearly at the tiling stage, eeek.

    So on the subject of bathroom carpets in good old Britain, i remember it was a special bathroom carpet with a funny rubbery bathmatty backing on it to stop mold, they always smelled funny, strange to me now also.

  24. Amanda says:

    Sarah, I so concur with your wonderful choices. The designer in me ALWAYS recommends keeping the ‘bones’ of the room (ESPECIALLY kitchens and bathrooms) simple, with classic, timeless choices and using colour and texture on walls and other fittings and accessories instead. Even a border tile is easier to pop off later if it becomes outdated

    Another product I HIGHLY recommend and install in all my jobs is a thing called Smart Waste – it creates a bigger drain off in the subfloor (in case of flooding) and it helps if you want to install a fixture that has a different offset to where your existing plumbing is located

    AND the decorative bonus is it gives you the opportunity to place the actual drain cover in a join on the tiles to create a symmetrical pattern rather than being cut in to the tiles – it is too hard to work out exactly where you tile joins are going to be in advance when the waste is being set in.


    I also suggest using a decorative drain cover as it becomes a design element and a bit of bling rather than an eyesore on the floor or using a Smart Tile waste cover – cut the same tile as an inset for a more seamless look, fabulous especially for stone flooring

    These products give a renovator a whole lot more flexibility….. hope it is of some use to someone! :-)

  25. Amanda says:

    Oh and one more piece of advice – make sure you seal ALL of the grout (Wall AND Floor) as this will help keep them much cleaner in the longer term – so many people forget to do it and it saves on a LOT of elbow grease later on

  26. Karlee says:

    Coming along nicley Sarah!
    hmmm names for your lovely tub…I think she deserves something pretty and a little old fashioned… Layla, Flo, I do like your original idea of Polly. Pearl, Bubs, Ida (I’da love to have a bath right now) – terrible dad joke right there! :-P

  27. Rukmini Roy says:

    Cool tiles Sarah. I actually am going quite gung-go on your new bath and the floor tiles. I am expecting some really cool beachy vintage accents in here? Its already started to rock. And yes, carpets kinda grosses me out too. I’d rather have some good tiles.

    Cant wait to see it finished. :)

  28. Deanne says:

    looking good, love the bath she looks good in there!

  29. Carin says:

    Dorothy…. because there is no place like home (or in this case, bath lol… especially after all your sleeping probs!)

    We have white floor tiles in our current bathroom (here when we moved in) and so not good with kids. They show up everything. A heck of a lot better than the avocado wall tiles and suit we inherited in our first place though, with….wait for it… a bright pink bathroom carpet. My idea of hell!!!! Totally grossed me out every time I used it.

    The grey floor tiles look lovely. I think they add a bit of softness and variation to the room. And I LOVE the subway tiles. It’s going to look stunning, Sarah!

  30. Nel says:

    I know this is going to sound strange, however it really works, Mr Sheen your tiles in the shower and no soap scum adheres to them, very easy cleaning, and just Mr Sheen again. Luv the subway tiles Sarah.

  31. Laura says:

    I love the subway tiles (or butcher tiles as they are known in England) and have also put them in the bathroom of my coastal cottage; despite many people saying they wouldn’t look right, I think they look amazing, especially with an old chandelier and some other vintage bits and pieces scattered about. I will be sharing pictures on my blog once the room is finished so will send them over to you as would love your opinion! Thanks for another great post x

  32. krissie says:

    Hi Sarah,
    It is looking really gorgeous!
    Your bath look really nice and good idea i think having the overflow in the floor,you can have a nice deep bath with no worries,the grey floor tiles really soften the look too,i like them.
    i love subway tiles and i think they can have a real vintagey look about them and they are are a really great price too,we are having them in our kitchen along with that lovely big double butler looking sink from Ikea which we viewed on Saturday.
    We have used really big faux marble tiles in our shower which i like as real marble tiles are the same size,so guess i’m having both.

  33. alison says:

    I chose subway tiles for our bathroom and ensuite 30 years ago when we built. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing but I had a feeling that any patterns or pictures on the tiles would date quickly and I was right. These rooms now look a bit 80′s but generally have lasted well because, by sheer luck, we got outstanding builders and tradesmen.

    I’m enjoying watching your bathroom reno progress as it gives me more to think about for our ensuite reno. There is so much choice for every item that I am somewhat overwhelmed. I have decided to just stick to local tradies and suppliers to keep things simple for myself and support the local economy. The local plumbing shop is getting used to me dropping in and wandering around just looking.

    Sarah, you have to watch “The Castle” DVD. You may need some Aussie friends to ‘translate’ or explain cultural aspects to really get it. So many one liners have become part of our language now. One of my favourites is “How’s the serenity?”


  34. Kate says:

    I too have a claw foot bath and I went for a subway style tile – just with much bigger tiles – no tiles on the floor for me though! Polished wood right through :) A pain to clean up everytime anything spills, but gee she looks good!!! :) Hope your bathroom turns out exactly the way you hope! x

  35. annie says:

    We had a rental once with red heuga tiles, dual red plastic shower spouts and red plastic porthole mirrors all over the walls. We think it may have been renovated by cheesy swingers in the seventies! One day I got out of the shower to find the council man outside. He told me the outlet for the shower was releasing the water out through the floorboards under the bath. He suggested I might like to hold onto the dual showers whilst showering in case the floor fell away and I was left dangling naked and still showering on the first floor! Loving the subway tiles- always!

  36. Annie says:

    First of all, I am not the “decorator” one in the family. I always ask my older two girls for help. So I can say that I would not necessarily have picked those tiles, BUT you have a vision, and I can see it. Having that vision will bring it all together, and I can’t wait to see how you do it. I have faith that it will be beautiful. The bathtub is heavenly and good choice on location with the window. …. now a name…how you called it “the lady”…gives her an heir of belonging in a good ole’ southern mansion…. Isabelle – Bella, Belle, Anabel.

    I am dying to see what you do with this!

  37. Elaine in Laguna says:

    Simply love how this is coming along…I like the easy contrast between the white and grey tiles. I love your choice of subway tiles, too. Can’t wait to see the full reveal and all the coastal touches that I’m sure you’ll add. I hate carpet in the bath. It’s a USA thing, too, in some places. I’ve removed from 2 out of 3 of the baths here….Still saving up for the full reno of the master en suite where carpet still lives, and I clean constantly. It will be the first to go when the reno starts!

  38. Love, love, where this is going. Can’t wait to see the final product.

    When I moved to England the thing that struck me was carpet in the bathroom. Who thought of that?

  39. Lynne says:

    I think the grey tiles will look wonderful if you pick up the color elsewhere in the bathroom — like towels or mirror frame or something. And if you’re going to use nickel or stainless steel fixtures, I bet they’ll look great with the grey. I can’t wait to see everything when it’s finished!

  40. Sharon Forward says:

    Just got a quote for our tiling in the bathroom going for yep white cant beat it cant live with the pink flower ones anymore lol
    Got subway tiles in our kitchen love em Sarah x

  41. Candy says:

    Subway tiles are the ONLY choice for me and now that my kitchen remodel is done, it’s the white subway tile backspash that make it look so fresh and clean! My floors are tile like yours, only a neutral beige with a hint of a swirl pattern. In hindsight, I wish I’d chosen grey. It’s also in our bathrooms and my dream is to replace the yellow square tiles with, yep, white subway tile. It’s classic, can go modern or traditional and, in my mind, perfect for the cottage style! I can’t WAIT to see your final result…it’s going to be just what I want, I’m sure of it!!

  42. jan says:

    i think it all looks fantastic !
    well, we know who’ll be spending the most time in there.
    i think the tub might be named “shelia” it’s a very australian term is is not?
    can’t wait for more photo’s, you keep us in such suspense and anxious for more.
    good day to you.

  43. [...] ceramic tile comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, styles and designs plus they are the basis for . beach cottage coastal bathroom subway tiles | So, if you are part of the Beach Cottage Club and have subscribed to the newsletter, you'll already [...]

  44. I agree carpet does not belong in the bathroom.. or the dining room for the matter I wish I was not renting so I could change that!

    a latte of blessings & giggles, Jeanie

  45. Jessica says:

    I love the subway tiles too! We did that in our shower and I love it. I think you can’t go wrong when your biggest investment is a classic and classics never lose their cool. Does your tile have a bevel on the edges? That adds a nice texture to a solid color surface. Maybe you don’t, it could be my eyes!:) We finished a house once and I did white tile on the bath floor. Never ever again! You see everything and white grout is a nightmare. However, I did do the subway tiles and also little black and white octagon tiles (shower floor) in our current shower and I don’t worry about the grout lines because I used epoxy grout. It’s more expensive but it’s worth it for cleanability and no mildew:)

  46. Glennie says:

    I love subway tiles – we used them in our kitchen and they are stunning. Even unfinished yours are looking equally stunning! And I just love, love, love the way the bath looks with those and the floor tiles. That bathroom is going to cause major envy when it’s finished!

  47. Cyndia Montgomery says:

    The subway tiles would have been my first choice too! I put them in my kitchen backsplash (did it myself!) and just love the simplicity and brightness of them. I would definitely do them in a bathroom too; perhaps with a turquoise border for punch.
    When we bought our house 13 years ago, we were dismayed to find that the only upstairs bathroom was tiled practically from floor to ceiling in a light olive 4 inch tile. It was nigh impossible to find a shower curtain that matched for ages. Then suddenly, I came across a lovely heavyweight linen toile that was perfect. I made the window treatments and matching shower curtain, painted the walls a very pale olive, and it looks fab. The bath is over 50 years old, so it’s due for a rehab. I’m gonna miss those tiles, but ready for a change.
    Oh, love the gray floor, BTW. You made the right decision not to do white.

  48. I too love the gray floor and can’t wait to see each of your next steps. What fun to see beautiful projects in process and wait for the next update ;)

  49. Today that tub is calling out “Ruby” to me, sitting there looking all special! It is all looking fab:-)

  50. Katherine says:

    Like! Lookin’ good.

    I don’t have any tiles at all in my old bungalow – one day I would like subway too – so can’t share any stories there. Yeah, but would agree – nothing worse than a tile layed badly!

    Happy renovating : )

  51. Kristen says:

    Love the tiles Sarah, we are building our new ( to look old ) forever home .
    I have also picked white brick tiles but have gone for taupe and dark grey checkered floor tiles
    I hope it turns out :) tiler is expected later this week so I will soon know.
    Have a beachy day xx
    From the bush Kristen

  52. The bath is coming along nicely Sarah! Personally I love…..the subway tiles and think you made an excellent choice. I agree with Carin Dorothy is spot on for your tub. I know how you have missed it in a bathroom. Happy day!

    • Kathryn says:

      Hi Sarah,

      Love the tiles, I have them in bathroom and kitchen, laid by my favorite tradie my man about the house. We also have a chandelier in the bathroom, a pretty pale blue one, one would look great above your fab bath, the floor tiles I chose are big square sandy stone ones with a shine that don’t show any dirt with a stone coloured grout, this is the trick match the grout so that it blends in. I look at all the tiles in my house with love, every day and never tire of them, you will too. To finish I found a round Villeroy & Boch flower shaped bowl on Ebay for 99 cents which now sits atop of cedar cupboard in my white ensuite. Maybe not so pratical but gorgeous. Recylcing is great for the budget, creating your own style not to mention helping out Mother Earth.

  53. Emma says:

    Hi Sarah, love the ‘subs’ and also the pebble grey floor tiles. Are they 300 x 300? I keep getting steered towards much larger tiles but I am worried the bigger tiles are going to make small rooms look even smaller. Can you give me the name or code of the floor tiles so I can find them too? Thanks heaps. Love your blog..

  54. Subway tiles are growing on me as well… Really couldn’t care less about their “old-fashionness”… I love how your bathroom is coming to life… And really enjoyed the explanation about how plumbing is done in the other part of the world!!! But nothing comfortable to put your toes on while you pamper yourself, how can you survive???

  55. Sharon Smart says:

    Looking fabulous so far!

    Not sure what happened, but I have subscribed to the newsletter, but haven’t rec’d any yet? Are they available online?

  56. Claire says:

    Just to defend the Old Country and say that I live in Britain and don’t have carpet in my bathroom!! ; )

    We have the tiniest bathroom you can imagine – think the length of a bath and the width of bath/toilet/basin. My other half designed the tiling (mini palest blue mosaics) so that we have curved corners – looks great and always gets a comment from new visitors. Somehow you forget that the room is so small. Having a glass basin with no pedestal helps too – when you can see more of the floor you get the illusion of more space.

  57. Jan says:

    it looks clean and fresh

  58. Rosie says:

    Looks fab…………….. oh and I like how when you interchange the word “vintage” for old fashioned it becomes cool! You found that out in the op shops right? ROFL.

    We r doing a new build but as owner builders we have chosen all our materials based on the non-cookie cutter route…..I am always being told that what I choose is not in fashion…..and that is when I know I have made a good choice!!!!!

    we’ve just had our subways done in our kitchen………they are smaller at 150×75′s and they look the bees knees..I’ll e-mail u a picture when all done….

    Just for readers who might want white grout in kitchen we were recommended to not use grout but to get tiles “grouted” with epoxy (only a few tilers do this)……epoxy does not stain as white grout does…

    We then got the 300x300s in our pantry and in the laundry……brick pattern too….

    Can’t wait to see your reveal…………

  59. lilwhitelife says:

    Hi Sara. Your bathroom is gonna look great. That sort of tile is to me, timeless. I’m surprised your tiler hasn’t done any in a long time. I wanted to go with them in our still unfinished master bathroom but we have alot of iron in our well water and they’d be brown after the first shower. So we went with a 12×12 putty (and I know how you love putty) colored tile in a sort of corridor shower. It’s not the look I had invisioned but a small thing really in the great scheme of things when I think about it. Sooo… I’ll just enjoy your light airy beachy coastal vintage style bath. Small thing, small thing, small thing. Im convinced now? :)

  60. {oc cottage} says:

    Good golly, Miss Molly! What a bathroom! LOVE those tiles! My sister used them in her BATHROOM , but only in the shower. What a big job, but it already looks amazing. Can’t wait to see the finished room!!!

    m ^..^

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