Sunday, December 5, 2010

Beauty in Consensus

Many factors, most of them plumbing related, went into creating this bathroom floor plan, but just as many factors went into determining the flooring itself.

After sorting through the options, we decided that linoleum is the right choice for us: it's very inexpensive, it's not quite as cold on the feet as ceramic tile, it's easy to clean, and it lends a certain vintage charm to the space. The question I needed to work through was how we should use the linoleum tiles.

There are a lot of color and layout options to consider. I'd seen a picture online of a really nice border laid in a contrasting color, and I thought maybe something like that would work here. However, the layout of the room doesn't lend itself well to that approach. Besides, laying a border would also add a lot of work to my poor hubby's burden, so the border is out.

The size of the tile was an issue initially. My preference is not for the 12-inch square tiles; for laying an interesting pattern in contrasting colors, the scale seems a bit too large for the room. Additionally, they're much larger than the 9-inch vintage tiles. However, cutting them down would be wasteful, and not just wasting materials: even if each tiles were cut down into four 6-inch tiles, much of Paul's precious time would be wasted, because, as he said, he would have to lay four times the number of tiles than if we used the whole 12-inch tiles. So for Paul's sake I needed to work with the big tiles as they were.

To avoid ending up with a tile pattern that seems too large for the space, then, we'll be choosing two, low-contrast shades of the same color, probably light yellow, and lay them in a checkerboard pattern. I'm hoping that this will give the impression of design without overpowering the space with busyness, especially since I'd like the hooked rugs I intend to make to have a simple canvas as their backdrop.

Even with the subtle design in the tile layout, I still felt like a diagonal layout was almost necessary to visually unify the two parts of the room, to lead the eye from the vanity to the tub. So I was able to secure Paul's blessing to lay the tile on the diagonal. It will require some extra work, but nothing like the other ideas I bounced past him.

So I'm happy, and Paul's happy. It's a beautiful thing. Hopefully the bathroom will be, too.
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