Catch the entire tiling story in parts I and II.
When deciding on tile for our bathroom, we knew we wanted simple. Black. White. Black and white together, as we did on our hex floors. Every photo we found ourselves drawn to highlighted classic themes – subway tile, warm woods and brass accents. We’ll get to the latter (we can’t wait!), but when it came to the subway tile, we were a little stuck. Traditional 3″ x 6″? Something smaller? Something larger? A brick pattern or herringbone? We toyed with each and every one of these options, and many nights were spent convincing the other why this would work and that wouldn’t. It was exciting and exhausting all at once, but as soon as we got the samples for the Manhattan tiles from South Cypress, we knew they were The Ones:
We fell for the pretty matte finish (we’re nothing if not predictable; just like the kitchen!), and after a lot of measuring, we found ourselves with 13 cartons of the 4″ x 12″ tiles in Snow White Matte. We worked closely with the customer support at South Cypress, and they helped us determine our final counts – and when we were in a pinch, they shipped us additional 4 ” x 16″ bullnose tiles quickly! As soon as we were done with grouting and caulking, we pulled up the protective rosin paper so we could finally see how the wall tile played with the floors. We loved it! All the happy emojis, right here.
We opted for Polyblend platinum non-sanded grout, a super soft gray and a color dark enough to allow the walls to read as tiled, but not so dark that they demanded all the attention.
We’ve tiled a couple of times before – the entryway and the kitchen – both of which felt much less intense than this bathroom! All said and done, we probably spent 8 or 9 days working on both the floor and the walls, with a few of those days lasting well over 10 hours. You guys, we thought we were losing it at some points, but every time we felt like we couldn’t lay one more tile, we’d crank up Spotify, catch our second wind, and feel giddy over the progress! DIY, it can be such a funny feeling.
We learned a lot this time around, too! I jotted notes throughout the process, a handful of line items of the things I wanted to share here. We never want to give off the impression that DIY is the easier route – rarely is that the case – but my goodness, we were determined to do this ourselves. (As a treat, we’ve already booked someone to wallpaper our laundry room, ha!) Now that it’s done, we’re happy that we can walk into this room knowing we did this. And we survived to tell the tale! Oh, DIY, you funny thing, you.
- Do not freak out (too much) as you mortar and lay the tile. Grout can really save the day! (But, you know, don’t rely on it.)
- Use spacers when laying mesh tile. Trust.
- Mix small batches of mortar and grout! The smaller, the better. The anxiety of watching your large, perfect batch dry out while you measure, cut and panic is not worth it!
- Knee pads are everything.
- Give yourself time. Lots and lots and lots of time.
- Get to know your wet saw! Practice making cuts until you’re happy with the results.
- And the oldie (but goodie) – measure twice, cut once. For real.
So the best part about cheers-ing to Tile Day? South Cypress wants to give you a helping hand on your next tiling project! (You can do it!) We’re celebrating 3 ways:
- Take 10% off any Manhattan tiles with the code YBH10MANHATTAN
- Take 5% off any Storka tiles with the code YBH5STORKA
- Together with South Cypress, we’ll be giving away $250 towards any tile of your choice! Using the Rafflecopter widget below, enter as many ways as you’d like. This giveaway is eligible for those in the United States and runs through Monday, February 1st until 5pm CST. The winner will be announced within this post and contacted directly. Good luck and happy entering!
Promotional codes are good for 3 months (!), so grab your samples and start planning now! And as always, thank you for supporting those that allow us to DIY our little hearts out.
Beautiful job!!! LOVE the black floor with the white outline in hex. You are so right about giving yourself plenty of time. When we re-did our bath a few years ago, we had exactly 6 days to demo AND reno. And two of the things on my wish list had to be let go. One was radiant heat under the floor and the other was a soap shelf. You’re going to love yours!
You guys are my inspiration! The room looks so dang good. We have two bathrooms that we either need to retile or paint the tile and I’m terrified.
I would have never thought to paint tile, but our friends recently did that in their master bath – I thought they had retiled! It looks so fresh and clean!
SO beautiful. Seriously, I may or may not be staring at this all day long! I can only imagine the feeling of accomplishment! :)
I would love the Saison in Tours color for our kitchen. We’ve talked about putting new flooring in and would love something that flowed with the rest of the house’s wood floors without worrying about water damage in the kitchen.
Looks great. Love the matte black hex tiles.
Love the white, so classic! Oh South Cypress sells hardwood flooring too. That’s what I need right now…
SO MUCH INSPIRATION!
Looking to start our master bath reno next week & you guys have really help give us the courage to not only DIY but to kill it.
YOU GOT THIS.
this looks so good!!! great job! you’re giving me serious motivation to rip out the tile in my kitchen and replace it…
That Manhattan tile really does look amazing. I could see it working anywhere (like, my kitchen backsplash that decidedly needs to be tiled). I also am digging the wood-look tile for my bathroom – the Saison looks lovely online, so maybe I’ll just have to order some samples. I also loved the story and history of South Cypress!
Isn’t it great?! For anyone else who wants to see, check it out here: http://www.southcypress.com/Our-Story
I love love the hex tile you chose and would love to use something similar in all 4 of our bathrooms and kitchen in our 1930s Tudor in Detroit. The flippers we bought our house from put very very generic Home Depot tile in all those spaces and I really want to bring them back to something that would have been more original to the house.
I would love the Belleville in my master bathroom! Thank you for the wonderful giveaway.
Thanks! DIY is tough, but so rewarding.
Fantastic job! And what a pay-off! I know laying tile can be so mind melting, but so worth it!
How cool is your tiling work!
Good gravy that is gorgeous. I called my husband in from the other room to look at it. Beautiful beautiful job you two.
Well I’m pinning this because I now know how I want to do my main bath. Beautiful!
Love the large subway tile! it’s so bright!
Kim – it looks SO good. Really impressive. I love the look of the base, and the way the floor looks with the wall tile. Nicely done.
Ohmagoodness could I use this! Hubby and I have been taking on a major renovation of a 100 year old farmhouse for the past 3 months (new roof, windows, septic, electrical, heating system, etc) and we are just getting ready to start the brand new kitchen, which will entail back splash tile AND brick flooring. I need the tile gods to look upon me favorably.
Y’all. I am so jealous of your tile. I’d do the Manhattan in white because it is classic/classy. Our house is from the 50s and although I kind of love the tile from that era…it’s definitely falling apart.
The tile looks amazing. I can’t wait for my sample to arrive. Any day now! We are planning on using the subway tile in our kitchen!
My samples are on the way…Manhattan tile in white and another black matte tile sample. Can’t wait!
Awesome! Could you imagine the charcoal glossy on the walls?! That could be STUNNING.
I’ve wanted to tile my kitchen back-splash for years but can’t decide on what I want but love the subway tile look so clean and simple.
I’m SO EXCITED about your bathroom reno, as my husband and I are planning to do something similar this spring/summer. Your tile looks fantastic!
PS We’re totally also planning on the hex + subway tile combo, but probably in all white… although your bathroom is making me contemplate incorporating black. :)
Maybe you could do the reverse of what we did on the floor?
That tiling is on fleek! I’d duplicate this same style in my home in a heart beat. You cannot beat classic choices like you’ve made.
We are in the middle of planning our bath reno now and I’m right in the middle of the tile dilemma. I know I want the same look as you – some kind of mosaic on the floor and subway on the wall and your blog has been a huge help in letting me see how the larger subways look. I also love the black hex but am curious to know how it works in a well-used bathroom — I am afraid it for us it will show water spots and dirt so I’m leaning toward white hex. I love the look of your black hex, but we have really hard water, drooly dogs, and less-than-Marth-Stewart-level housekeeping habits. I fear black is not a good idea for us. Would love to see a follow up post once you start using the bathroom!
I actually think that the black shows less dirt than white would! I suppose it depends on if your pups have fluffy white fur though. :) We did some research, looking back at some favorite blogs with black tile (Door Sixteen was a big help!), and it seemed that the consensus was that black was a winner. I’ll definitely keep you updated though!
I’ve been working with South Cypress too on our remodel and they have been absolutly terrific!
I too, am a sucker for subway tile on the walls and penny or hex on the floor! We have only one bathroom right now, so it got a quick update with paint and a new vanity over the weekend. Hopefully someday it’ll get an epic makeover! After we remodel the master bedroom and put in a bathroom. :(
I’m with you – the Manhattan in Snow White Matte is THE ONE. Our crumbling 50s tile needs a facelift!
This looks great! The white border is a nice touch.
I love the Manhattan hex tile in black
The 4×12 tiles you used are the perfect addition for our bath, too! We love the white look of subway, but this is an updated version of the classic. We are also looking at a Carrara marble hex tile for the floor.
We are looking forward to remodeling our half bath – not quite as big a project as you guys, but our first time tiling! Wish us luck!
Sending all the positive vibes your way!
This looks so amazing guys! I’m dreading our much needed full bathroom gut. Our clawfoot tub leaks into a bucket in the basement every time we shower, our main stack is 100+ years old and needs replacing, and nothing was done properly in the first place! I’m getting so much inspiration from your classic modern look.
The tiling in this bathroom is to die for!!!
were building out a bathroom this year, so this would be so great to win! I would probably pick some subaway tile or possibly something for the floor in there. i wanna have fun! Your tile looks so great!
Love the matte finish and the grout color!
I’d really love the Pier woodlook tile for our kitchen and front hall. But in our bathrooms, I have long wanted matte white hexies for the floors, and now, I see the perfection of the large white subway tiles for the walls. Truly lovely!
I am completely enamored with the tile you choose for the walls. I am planning on something similar to use in my new shower.
This bathroom is BEAUTIFUL. Love the classic black and white.
My wife and I are slowly planning a bathroom reno. I hope ours turns our half a beautiful as yours!
This is SO GOOD. I have been eyeing that Manhattan glossy charcoal since you first posted a link to the tile sources. I will definitely be ordering some samples this week!
beautiful job! i love watching you renovate and can’t wait for the full reveal! we bought a new construction home a few years ago, but the contractors never installed tile behind any of the bathroom sinks and the drywall is starting to get worn down from the water. we would install tiles all around the walls, but it’s hard to find a wall tile we like that will match the large, mediocre, tan floor tiles that were installed. instead, we’re thinking of installing tiles just behind the sink. but will that look weird??
In your case, maybe you could put up a countertop backsplash?
I think I’d pick the same tile you used! Digging it!
the white border in the black floor tiles is delicious! love the jog into the door opening… <3
thanks for the give-away!
I love this look. So clean and beautiful and timeless!
Seriously so jealous. Our master bath is in desperate need of a refresher!
THANKS FOR THE TRY. BATHROOM LOOKS GREAT!
I have been dreaming of replacing the blah brown 12×12 tiles on the floor and shower surround for a while. I love the way your bathroom came out using the large white matte subway tile. I definitely want that for my shower!!
Great job on your bathroom!
Love! The black tile on the floor is so gorgeous!
I would have to choose the HONEST GREIGE LEAF MOSAIC, love the modern look. Gorgeous!!!
This is inspiring me to tackle a small guest bath in my house. I have the tile for it, but have been debating hiring out or not… I’ve almost mustered up the courage. Your bathroom is looking great!
You guys…. so GOOD
We’re planning to use the same subway tile in our kitchen soon. This makes me really excited to get started.
That looks amazing! Great job again!
Oh my gosh, it’s a real room. Remember what it looked like last time we saw it? Of course YOU do, but really, this is so wonderful.
So loving the hex. So loving the black border. <3
How could we forget?! LOL
Beautiful! I can’t wait to see how you work in the wood tones! We’re hoping to tile in our previously unfinished half story soon (at least I hope soon). I think we’d use this credit toward a non-traditional sized subway tile like you, but maybe something in a moody grey or muted green/blue.
That sounds so pretty! South Cypress has a color called “Ash” that I bet would be really unique.
Their “Petrified Wood” tile is gorgeous, but, I don’t know . . . I’m loving your bathroom so far. It would be hard to choose anything other than simple black and white!
I love a good black and white bathroom! We’ve already done all of our bathrooms, but we have a few fireplaces that need new tile. I’d love to try classic subway tiles on those, possibly with a herringbone pattern!
Wow, the bathroom is looking so great! Tiled walls are always so nice in a bathroom.
Looks so good! Great job! Please come do our bathroom. Love the subway tile :)
I have black hex tile in my master bath… still need to tile the shower. The Manhattan tile would be perfect!
So beautiful! I can’t believe it! You guys made, like a REAL BATHROOM! It’s got me itching to re-do my bathroom.
Haha, we can hardly believe it ourselves!
We are in the process of demoing our bathroom now! I still have yet to order the tile – and I’d love to get the MANHATTAN 4″ X 12″ – SNOW WHITE MATTE too! Beautiful tile :)
I love your bathroom! Nothing is better than subway and hex tiles. We are about to under go a bathroom reno…on a bathroom I hadn’t hoped to have to redo. But thanks to a leaking shower pan it is now happening. :(
I love your floor tile!! I would have to choose a creamy subway tile – we are in desperate need of a new backsplash in the kitchen!
This looks fantastic!! I’ve been digging hex tiles lately and I love the border you guys implemented!
I will always love white subway tiles. Timeless.
I’m a big fan of the white subway tile. I would love to redo our shower with it.
looks so awesome! The hot and cold graphic on the shower knob – SWOON!
The Manhattan tiles are gorg and I’m torn between the glossy white and the matte you choose. Your project turned out so well and gives me hope that someday I could tile my own (much smaller) master bath. Their wood tile options are also beautiful and I’m dreaming about pulling up the dirty stained linoleum in our kitchen for something like that. Can’t wait to see the rest of your upstairs renovations!
Manhattan in Charcoal Glossy would be our pick!
I love the 5th Avenue Turquoise Glossy, but I doubt my husband would ever go for it.
I can’t believe it! We actually have to gut and refinish TWO (!!!) bathrooms in our newly purchase (foreclosure) condo. So many words in that sentence freak me out, but your posts give me reason to move forward!! :) I absolutely LOVE SouthCypress – and would LOVE to purchase and use their tiles…if I HAD to choose, I would get Barlume (Oceano) as THE focal point in the bathroom. I’d tile the entire shower (long-ways, top to bottom), and have a glass shower door so you could really SEE the shower. LOVE that tile!!!
I’m a classic, subway tile kind of gal :)
Stunning makeover! Would love to win so we can redo our kitchen backsplash!
I love the small hex tiles! Great job on your bathroom—it looking sooooo good!
We’re starting our kitchen reno next month! We have our eye on 3×6 matte white subway tile. Your bathroom is coming together beautifully!
I am in love with your bathroom. I want to do something very similar in the bathroom we will be renovating this summer.
My husband and I are just about to start renovating our new place and we have actually been looking for a great white subway tile for our kitchen and bathroom! I would go with the Manhattan snow white matte tile, they’re perfect! Thanks for the giveaway :)
The room is amazing….the work you guys did is phenomenal and so difficult! Kudos!
The white Manhattan would be exactly what I’d pick!
Love the wood look tiles, in particular the Saison 6″ x 36″ Tours. Contemplating them for our basement along with in floor heat, but nervous about how much work it would be.
On a separate topic, is that your final wall color, or is that just a really professionally done coat of primer? I really love how bright that room is, all of a sudden.
It’s just primer for now, but we are considering a super bright white! We’re torn between a few colors, but I really hope we can figure out something soon.
I can’t decide so I just had to close my eyes and pick one!
Urban Hues 3″ x 6″ – Cloud
Our bathroom is tiny, so keeping it light and bright is my main goal.
It looks so lovely so far! Always exciting to redo bathroom tiles – they can really transform a whole room.
i love the manhattan tiles! our bathroom is in need of some love and its not huge, the white tiles would look killer and brighten it up so much
Beautiful – such a timeless look. Looks pettable! ;)
I’m not sure what I want to use it for, but I know I want the Folia Accent Glass in Tamarind SOMEWHERE in my house!
Your floor looks gorgeous! I think the next time we re-do a bathroom we’ll do a similar border…although I imagine we’d use the 2 x 2 square tiles only because it’s fewer edges to grout! I especially love the black and white Nero 2×2 tiles on South Cypress.
ewd <— That was from my cat sitting on my keyboard. I didn't think you'd mine.
As always, beautiful job. I like the Manhatten Silk Matte. Love it!
You were right, I love it.
love the matte black hex tiles
I love it all! I am so impressed by all of your hard work- you can’t even tell this was a DIY…which is the best part of any DIY project!
We are currently renovating our bathroom and would LOVE to work with South Cypress during our bathroom reno journey!
We just redid our little bath in large matte white tiles like these. We love it! We would love to use South Cypress in our large bathroom remodel!
this would finnnnnalllllly be the kick in the pants we need/ opportunity for us to get going on a bathroom that desperately needs love!
I love the black floor tile. It’s what I wanted to use in my bathroom remodel but couldn’t afford it. I used white octogon with black diamond accents instead. The local hardware store has them for super cheap and it still looks great. Only thing is you can see more dirt with the white tile. So that is good and bad, at least I clean it more!
I love the black floor tile. It’s what I wanted to use in my bathroom remodel but couldn’t afford it. I used white octagon with black diamond accents instead. The local hardware store has them for super cheap and it still looks great. Only thing is you can see more dirt with the white tile. So that is good and bad, at least I clean it more!
I just ordered my tile! We are re-doing our master bathroom. The shower floor needs to be re-built (it leaks), so we will probably have professionals do the installation, but this wall tile was a fantastic price, even with expensive shipping. I’m just hoping I ordered enough bullnose! I got the manhattan matte snow white. Loved getting the free samples.
Our house was built in 1966 and as a nod to its mid-century origins, we’re doing a green marble hex on the floor: https://www.tileshop.com/product/biltmore+polished+hex+2+x2+in.do?ecList=10&ecCategory=
That’s going to look so pretty! Awesome. And we love our snow white color – it’s not too cold, but it’s a pretty, bright white.
Quick question, on the eve of our own master bathroom reno: are the grout lines on your subway tile 1/16″ or 1/8″? They look FABULOUS!
We didn’t use spacers at all, leaving about a 1/16″ grout line! We talk about it a little more here: https://yellowbrickhome.com/2016/01/14/diy-subway-tile/
I LOVE your bathroom. We’re about to tackle our first tile job (floor and shower) soon and this is all great advice! I have a question though, I love your hand shower sprayer. Where did you get that and is it all a set? I’ve actually had the most difficult time finding a set that I like. Thanks!
We talked about our experience shopping at the Kohler Design Center right here, but basically, everything is a mix and match of pieces that we loved from Kohler. Kohler has the ability to make every last detail your own, it’s pretty incredible! For example, we chose the shower head we wanted, and we paired that with the showerarm, and THEN we paired THAT with the flange. Here’s a little more info on what we ended up with:
Artifacts bath spout
Artifacts shower head with Purist showerarm and flange
Artifacts hand held shower with Toobi holder + 72″ hose
Antique valve trim with lever handle (the hot > cold lever)
Antique ceramic dial plate
Antique transfer valve
Pureflo bath drain and trim
We’re about to use this same grout in our kitchen, but it seems that there isn’t a matching unsanded caulk available! Do you remember what you used instead? Thanks!
We purchased this on Amazon (it was the only place we could find it!), and although it’s not a PERFECT match, it’s pretty close and better than anything else we saw. Good luck on your project!
Hi I came across your site while looking for opinions on platinum colored grout in a shower. I’ve only ever had dark (pewter or charcoal) grout in a shower before because I’m scared of light grout discoloring with mildew. How have you found that the platinum had held up in your shower over the past couple years? Thanks!!
How did you put the wood base board on the tile wall?