So I have this thing with tiles…cement tiles, to be exact…
#Ivechanged I used to be the person that flicked through Vogue and Elle and drank up the fashion, lusting over what I’d love to add to my wardrobe. Ok, I’ll admit it, it was totally Grazia and the Next catalogue and that wardrobe I spoke about is actually a ‘floordrobe’ covering the entire surface area of our bedroom but you get it right? Never did I think that it would be a copy of the Fired Earth brochure on my bedside table. It reminds me of the time I was making the bed, reached under Mr Peach’s pillow to feel a magazine and horrified at the thought of what it could be, it turned out to be a copy of Autotrader…seems we’ve all changed.
The tile obsession…
I’m not sure how it began, how the tile obsession trickled in, but it did, it has and it’s here to stay. I look back at the bathroom in our last house, clean (sometimes), neutral (bland) and functional (uninspiring) and I chose it. Yep, be it 8 years ago, I picked every piece in that room. Like I said, I’ve changed.
I guess it started with the subway tile: the subtle, versatile, trustworthy subway tile that we’ve been drip fed for a while now. They are everywhere and being a pattern junkie I’m drawn to them. More importantly they are in copious amounts of bars and restaurants and it seems I frequent these establishments too often. If subway tiles were narcotics, they’d be the at the booze and fags end of the scale, easily accessible, affordable and entirely acceptable.
My obsession saw me quickly make my way through the Class Cs and Bs of the tile world: the ceramics and limestones, the stone and mosaic until I stumbled on the Class A, the cement tile……..
As mentioned in my last post I live pretty close to the Yorkshire Bert & May yard. Cue persuasive tactics on Mr Peach to accompany me in the drizzle one Friday morning. I will admit to promising him a number of things during this build that I just haven’t followed through with. Let’s just skirt over that and hope he’s not waiting over my shoulder with an enormous list because I’ve definitely got a headache. Anyways, I got him there nonetheless and while Mr Peach sat in the car browsing webuyanycardotcom I obsessed over the unimaginable loveliness that was the selection of cement tiles…
The look, the feel, the provenance, just had me totally hooked and there I was, eyes all agog knowing that I would do anything to make these mine! My first class A’s were promptly ordered for our fireplace and the hunt began for more.
Where could I put the cement tiles then?
We had 4 bathroom floors and a kitchen splash-back to adorn, so the hunt was on. I’ve no idea how I stumbled upon Marrakech Design but I did and I fell for their hexagon tile like I did for Vincent, the French exchange student à la 1992. My love however has already proved longer lasting this time round, as my tiles have yet to dump me and it’s the end of the Summer #stilltime. So here they were, a ridiculously lust-worthy selection of hexagon cement tiles with a pattern lay combination that literally blew my tiny mind.
How much do cement tiles cost I hear you say? *cough*
Along with the empty promises to Mr Peach, lies a whole load more teeny white lies that have been told about the price of materials. The tiles are no exception. Despite a decent deal being negotiated in my perfect Swedish (fnar), I definitely sacrificed a small portion of the twin’s university savings to fund my obsession but they were delivered and to return them would cost even more so they were here to stay.
I chose the dandelion blue and moonrise ash cement tiles for the bathrooms, the kimono monochrome for the Peach powder room and the kimono shades of grey for our splash back. I also made the sensible choice of some cheaper ceramic tiles from Walls And Floors for the utility.
Then, along came Ned.
Ned was our tiler in a shining transit. He came and there was no teeth sucking and no head shaking (a little scratching mind) but he didn’t run for the door like the first tiler. Ned is the Dumbledore of the tiling world and literally performed tiling magic on our surfaces. Now, I’m convinced that beneath that smile, he secretly wanted to punch me in the face for choosing such complicated tiles, but he trooped on through and under the dulcet tones of Heart FM, he tile-pimped the Peach Palace.
Whilst I’m pretty sure I’m not on Ned’s Christmas card list, I am 100% sure that I would recommend him in a heartbeat.
The pros and cons of cement tiles…
The cement tiles feel lovely to walk on but I’m not going to lie, they are extremely sensitive. Something which isn’t helpful in a house of 5 willy wielding boys. I’m forever shouting at them to aim perfectly. They also require a special cleaning product and will mark permanently if even a drop of regular detergent gets on them but I’ve never been one to make the most practical choices and it’s definitely worth the end result.
So here I am now, a little sad that I’ve no more surfaces to tile and reluctantly the Fired Earth catalogue has been replaced by some more high brow bedtime reading (OK! magazine). I will do a full reveal of the bathroom very soon but for now, there you have it. My name is Katie and I’m a tile-aholic.