I have always wanted to install a timeless penny tile floor and I finally made it happen in my primary bathroom renovation. Here’s a look at the floor tile colour and pattern I chose, plus some of the changes we made in our bathroom design.
After I completed the renovation of our main bathroom in the last house (below) there was one thing I would have changed.
Since I’m obsessed with flowers, in the end I wished I had chosen a white penny floor tile with black flower accents instead of the Carrara marble diamond tile. However, during my search 5 years ago, I couldn’t find any floor tile with a flower pattern so I chose this instead (above).
Timeless, small scale floor tile
Both floors are a timeless, small tiles that you would expect to find in a traditional bathroom design.
But, sometimes you have to go custom to find what you really want.
So while planning our primary bathroom renovation this time around, I knew exactly what I would choose. This was my inspiration photo:
Penny tile colour for my primary bathroom
I chose a copper-coloured penny tile because I was doing a wood stained vanity in medium brown that also related to my medium brown white oak floors.
To be clear, black and white would have been a good option as well. But since I was customizing the tile instead of buying it in 12 x 12 sheets, I chose the copper tile because it was available. Plus I like the way it relates to the hardwood floor and vanity. So pretty!
One of my favourite podcasts right now is Dear Alice. During one episode, they talked about tile and how one of their tile installers had called them and said, “Did you know there are 16,000 pieces of tile here?” They replied, “Yes, other people might buy tile in a sheet but generally that’s not what we do.”
In other words, they prefer custom designed tile floors too. 😉
Admittedly, this is the most expensive way to do it. If you want a similar look for much less, I recommend finding something similar in a 12×12″ sheet.
Regardless, I’m really happy with how it turned out.
Choosing a custom floor tile pattern
HINT: Don’t glue down your floor tile pattern until you’re absolutely sure!
This was the first round of the design (and the tile was not grouted yet). This is where I decided that I didn’t like the border running in front of the tub (see that jaunt in the top right corner) and so I had it reconfigured to go around the back of the tub, along the wall.
I also wasn’t a fan of the polka-dot style of the flowers. I realized that placing a white penny tile in the center is what truly would transform this pattern into little flowers.
Here is an in-progress photo showing just after the moment my tile installer moved the border (below). I also adjusted the border to only 3 tiles wide instead of 4. So much better.
And here’s what my design looked like when it was finished. Remember, be sure you are in LOVE with your pattern before it gets glued and grouted. That’s why my installer dry-laid all my tile so we could approve it before he installed it.
Floor patterns are tricky. Like anything else, looking at a 12×12″ square of pattern or a smaller version of the larger pattern might look just fine. But once it’s installed on a much larger scale, you may find that the pattern isn’t quite working for you yet.
This is also the reason that I sound like a broken record when it comes to comparing paint colours with large painted samples.
Additional primary bathroom decorating details
My entire primary bathroom renovation isn’t quite complete yet, but I’m sharing a few more pretty details with you here.
When my bubble chandelier arrived (above) to hang above the tub (I have 10 foot ceilings that’s why I can have one there), it was in the box weeks before it was installed. I worried it would be too big because when I ordered it, in my mind the globes were half the size. Scale can be tricky to visualize.
So, I messaged my good friend Lisa Mende, an incredibly talented designer, and she told me it would be perfect. And she was right.
Sometimes even designers need to get second opinions when it comes to choosing decor and lighting. I’m lucky to have a few that I trust!
Painting my bathroom yellow – the happiest colour
I painted the ceiling a truly happy and delicious gold paint colour from Benjamin Moore called Hanna Banana. I love the contrast shown in this view from the tub below.
Paint colour: Benjamin Moore Hanna Banana
The less-than-lovely bathroom before the renovation
This was what the bathroom looked like before, when we took possession of this house (below).
The space had three small windows, two in the shower and one in the toilet room. We moved the shower to the opposite corner so we could install a single large picture window over the tub.
And since we are renting out our last home (still available!!), I switched out the tubs. I really love my DXV bathtub from my old house. And this one also makes for a really nice tub in the rental bathroom.
New picture window in my bathroom = light + view
The new window we installed in this bathroom is a total game changer! It’s hard to imagine a primary bathroom without a decent window! I will be adding a row of sheers for a luxe look that still lets in light but provides a little more privacy for bathing.
And here’s the corner with the botanical wall art I had hanging in my last bathroom (below). I love this art wall and was glad to be able to use it again. Lucy loves the view.
A colourful reminder that Spring is coming with an arrangement of stunning daffodils placed in the other corner.
I realize this is just a small part of my overall bath design, but since the floor is now installed, I couldn’t wait to share it with you. Have you ever created a custom floor tile pattern? Did you like how it turned out?
Penny tile is a timeless small scale floor tile that works great in bathrooms in traditional houses.
Stay tuned for more bathroom reveals as the room comes together.
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