February 28, 2019

Tile is the true texture and sets the tone for the space. I love tile for what it brings to a space and the functionality of it. Let’s explore some important information about tile together.


On my Pinterest pages you won’t see a link to the tile selections. Why? Tile can be difficult to resource. Sometimes I buy tiles online, which feels like we are always rolling the dice on what we will receive, and when. After all, who wants to return tile? It’s heavy and shipping is expensive. Basically, tile shipping is a nightmare, and it’s better to buy from a local resource.

Order from your local resource as close to your project as possible. There are distribution centers for each manufacturer, and it is geographic oriented so it will be much cheaper and convenient to use local resources.  If you order online, it comes on a commercial trailer truck that needs to be scheduled, and trust me, they do NOT like delivering to residential addresses.

Most recently, we found the right tile at the right price on TileBar, and we were lucky enough for it to be in stock. We needed it quickly, so we went for it. Weeks later, we received two boxes full of damaged tile, leaving us in an incredible bind and put the entire project two weeks behind. After all, the floor has to go in first, – before cabinets, trim or anything else. Lesson learned! Your local tile store will stand by their word and make sure that you have your product on time, and in one solid piece. Time is money, and shipping impacts time. Shop locally!


I find inspiration from Pinterest and vendors such as Ann Sacks and Waterworks, (my favorites) and also from my clients. Sometimes, I have clients who need a lot of direction, while other times they know what they want but just need us to work to find it for them. As a designer, I try not to watch what’s “trending” because I don’t really believe in that process. I believe that people should love what they put in their homes, and it’s my job to make it all work together with balance, texture, color, and pattern.

Right now, Carrara is hot, very hot! Which actually means that it is being manufactured in many different ways. I happen to love Carrara and finding this Anatolia Carrara tile was a perfect fit. It is inexpensive, modern and has a nice twist on the traditional Carrara from Italy. It can work in traditional and modern applications.


Neutrals are in and but not like the 80’s browns or the 90’s mauve. I happen to really like color but only in the natural hues because they work beautifully with the neutrals. Think ocean, trees and earth and you have a color palette.  


Tile is expensive, and installation is more expensive. Therefore, it is not a part of your project to be taken lightly. You are very unlikely to change out the tile easily like paint or light fixtures, so spend your money wisely and take a great deal of time selecting your tile. This also means that you should not buy the cheapest tile available. Home Depot and Lowes as well as some online tiles are not worth the installation price if they are too thick and break easily – or are just plain ugly. Invest and invest well!


When you are building a shower out of tile, the floor and wall surfaces will need to be built out by the installer. The success of a tile shower is all in the preparation. The curbing, (or the threshold and top of the shower wall, or a seat) should be a solid surface to avoid any leaking, and provide a clean look. You can purchase these from your local resource (either Pana white or something equivalent) or you will want to use the same stone as your vanity countertop. If this is your selection, you will need to have it templated at the same time as your vanity.

At ROCKY BAY HOME, we are using some tiles that were inspired by clients. I love the combination of the white penny round mosaic floor tile with the 4×4 wall tiles and dark grout. In the Master Bath I’m inspired by my client who used this amazing MUD Carrara hexagon tile in their master bath, but I couldn’t afford to use it in the entire bathroom so I’m just doing the shower floor and went with the porcelain 2×2 hexagon grey Lungarno in the rest of the bathroom.  The shower and tub surround will be the Anatolia Carrara large format wall tile.