Design & Inspiration
Installation Stories: Moroccan-Inspired Bathrooms Get an Update
Final master bathroom installation.
We first saw Meg Garret's two Fireclay Tile bathroom installations on Design Sponge, where her charming Moroccan-inspired home was featured as a home tour. After getting a peek we absolutely had to see more! Meg completely remodeled her master and guest bathrooms, giving them a modern update that suited the classic Moroccan aesthetic found throughout the rest of the home. She chose a classic 3x6 subway tile paired with our Star & Cross Pattern, both in Daisy. The simple color scheme, leaves room for fun pops of color on the walls and the trim. We took a minute to chat with Meg about her remodel and her Fireclay Tile experience!
Hi Meg! First of all how did you hear about Fireclay Tile?
Meg – I heard about Fireclay from my local tile vendor, Mission Tile West in South Pasadena, CA. They have an incredible assortment of tile options, including several of Fireclay's collections. I loved Fireclay because it uses recycled material, it's a local California company, and it had both the Star & Cross as well as 3x6 subway tile. The shapes were all the same material, color, and shine level - consistency between floor and wall was very important to me.
Final guest bathroom installation.
What did your Bathroom look like before the remodel?
Meg – When I bought my home, the two bathrooms were mis-matched styles. The master bathroom was, I think, pretty much original to the house and the hallway/guest bath was redone sometime in the 1970's or 80's with rental-grade fixtures. I loved the master bathroom, and only wanted to make a couple of minor cosmetic changes, but through the renovation process more and more work needed to be done. I ended up gutting both bathrooms completely. I moved the plumbing around and several walls were either closed off or moved, which made more sense for the house as a whole. Before, the doors to the 2 bathrooms were both in the hallway and literally 6 feet from one another.
Before shots of the master and guest bathrooms.
Meg – Now, the master bath opens to the master bedroom making a master suite. The hallway bath has access from the hallway as well as the 2nd bedroom. I was able to keep the original cast iron tub, but everything else had to go. The original pedestal sink will eventually end up in my garden somewhere to be used for washing off vegetables and muddy hands. I was also kind of excited that I was able to make shelves for the guest shower of Ceasarstone scraps leftover from the kitchen countertops.
The renovation begins.
What type of look were you going for?
Meg – My home is a spanish colonial-style built in 1924. It has a huge window in the dining room with a Moorish/Moroccan shape to it. I wanted to bring that feeling into the rest of the house while keeping with the 1920's aesthetic. I was hoping to find tile with a handmade quality and a matte finish that would suite the era in which my house was built, with a hint of Moorish/Moroccan/Spanish style thrown in. Fireclay had the perfect tile suited to the project.
How did you come up with your color scheme and design?
Meg – Overall, I wanted it to be simple, classic, and timeless. Mainly because I knew if I went with something more elaborate, I'd get sick of it pretty quickly. The Star & Cross is an ancient pattern used all over the world, most notably in Moroccan and Moorish tile and architecture. It was perfect for my little house! I knew that if I chose a lot of color or pattern that was "on trend", I would be regretting it later when it started looking dated–So, I chose white with a colorful border for detail and went with a dark grout so it wouldn't look too "new". I liked how the darker grout sets off the pattern nicely too.
Meg – I chose the Mint (color now known as Seaglass) border because I just loved the color. It reminded me of Majolica and Roseville pottery.
Meg – In the hall bath I used a nice medium grey border, Silver Lilac. I used a cove base trim because not only is it period-appropriate, but it makes it easier to clean. Since the bathrooms don't have crown molding, I used a chair rail at the ceiling of the shower for a little detail. I also really love the soft, tactile quality to the tile, it feels really great under your hands and feet.
Did you work with a tile installer? Were there any challenges with the installation process?
Meg – The installation went really well, I worked with an installer (recommended by my contractor) who was incredibly talented and detail oriented. We talked it all out as far as the pattern and details, so we were all on the same page. One drawback was timing. Apparently, my order was almost done but a portion had to be remade because the quality didn't meet Fireclay's standards! So, it tacked on another couple weeks to get it shipped out. A setback, but I'd much rather wait than get less than perfect tile!
An interesting part of the installation process was that since the recycled clay body was thicker than my old tile floor, the floor had to be lowered a tiny bit so that the wood-to-tile transition was level. I'm glad I had a sample piece to give my installer!
Meg – A minor challenge was that I was hoping for a really thin grout line... like infinitesimal tiny grout line, but that was a little unrealistic on my part. Due to the handmade quality of the tile, the edges of each piece are quite irregular when you get right up on them. Nothing like machine-made, where every piece is exactly the same with super smooth edges. So, in order for the layout to still look good and line up nicely, my installer had to space the pieces out further than I had originally planned. After it was all done, I didn't mind the thicker grout because it looked amazing!
Did you work with a designer?
Meg – Nope! I was the designer!
Thanks for sharing your Installation Story with us, Meg!
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