Thursday, June 24

go big or go home

I revealed earlier in this post on inspiration a quick picture of our tile on my kitchen inspiration board, but I don't think I ever clearly said that we had decided on Rock Grey from Florida Tile as our tile color. 
Rock Grey porcelain from Florida Tile
What I also failed to mention was exactly what size tile we decided to go with in our little kitchen.  This is where you may think I'm crazy (if you don't already). Initially we decided on 16"x16" tile (HUGE, right?).  But Florida Tile doesn't carry Rock Grey in 16"x16".  We had to choose between the standard 13"x13" or ginormous 18"x18"

Since beginning our quest for tile, I've been enamored with over sized tiles.  I think it's pretty, different, and a good way to open up a room and make it seem a little larger.  With the whopping 10'x20' space that is our kitchen, I was convinced that the giant 18"x18" tile was the way to go.

Uncle Contractor was supportive of our choice, even though he did show some concern over such large tiles in a little space.. but he knew that the tile was ordered and on it's way from Texas, so he changed his tune to encouragement and reassured us that he and Cousin Contractor would make things look awesome (which we knew they would!) 

The Man and I couldn't settle on just a unique size tile, we also wanted the tile to be in a different pattern than the standard grid.  Uncle Contractor had mentioned laying the tile diagonally, but we weren't sure if that would be traditional enough for us.  Instead, we asked them to lay the tile in a brick pattern.
And boy did they:
Now typically, I am one to encourage DIY. I knew that our flooring was going to pose an additional challenge-- a tiny space, giant tile, and a foundation that isn't perfectly level.  As you've seen so far-- the Man and I recognize where our newbie DIY skills end and when to call in the pros

 When it comes to tiling: Cousin Contractor is surely that.
We were lucky enough to tour some of their houses a few months ago and I wish I had thought to take some pictures. In the meantime, here are some more shots of their work in our nerdy nest:

Notice the half-tiles running the perimeter of the room and how everything is so symmetrical. 
 I love the detail they put into their work!
My washer/dryer nook with a custom mosaic under the washer.
 We were running short on tiles, so the guys got creative.  I hated to cover it up, it was so pretty!

After a taunting night of not being able to walk on anything for fear of smooshing some of tiles around, the guys came back and grouted with the "Winter Grey" grout we bought to match the tile. 
The grout dried about two shades lighter.

Special thanks to Liz at BiCity Decor in Opelika for helping me decide on which shade of grey.  Also, I have to praise their patience with me as I took over a month's worth of visits just to decide on the tile, and 2 weeks of that month I was holding a tile sample hostage "just to be sure." Everyone there was so nice and excited to help.  It doesn't hurt that Uncle Contractor gave them a glowing recommendation.  He really knows his stuff.
Another 24 hours passed and we were able to walk on our lovely new floors.  I could not be happier!  I love them and hate the idea of covering a single one up... but I knew we had to in order to move anything back into the kitchen (like our fridge and oven that were in the living room.)
Before we did anything else, we mopped the floor another time or two with HOT water to remove any last bits of grout haze. Our next step was to seal the grout.  Off to Lowe's we go:
We picked up a few of these and only ended up needing one.

The Man sealed grout while I prepped for an impromptu birthday/Father's Day celebration.  It only took about 4-6 hours to dry and then we could move things back in.   By midnight that night our kitchen went from an open expanse of gorgeous tile work
and became one step closer to a real kitchen again. 

Who would have thought 218 square feet of 18x18 porcelain tile could make this nerdy bird so happy?
I heart it.


kewillia6 said...

that looks so good! Yea for you two!

Danielle and Clint said...

I am so happy you picked the bigger ones! The smaller ones wouldn't have given the same effect. Great job!

Rachel said...

that was really smart it does open it up! congrats on finally getting flooring!

Wendy said...

It looks great!

Eva @ the nerdy nest said...

Thanks everyone! Just like McDonald's french fries-- I'm lovin' it!