Finished Bathroom Floor (And The Amazing Difference Grout Makes!)

I finally finished my bathroom floor last night!  The last time I showed you my progress, it looked like this…

tiled and grouted bathroom floor - 1

I shared that process, and some tiling tips that I learned, in this post. I had about two-and-a-half more rows to install between where I left off and the tub, and then I had the linen storage area behind the door.

I thought that finishing the tile would be a two-day job — one day for installing the rest of the tile, and one day for grouting.  As it turns out, finishing it up was a three-day job. I had to do the two-and-a-half rows up to the tub, and then let those dry for 24 hours so that I could stand/sit on them while tiling the linen storage space behind the door.  Then I let those dry for 24 hours, and finally grouted the floor yesterday.

I forgot to take a picture of the tile before I started grouting, but I did get this one at the beginning of the grouting process.  And for those of you who were concerned about the tile along the tub not being straight since I didn’t start with a chalk line in the middle of the floor (which is the proper way to tile a room), and instead started on the left wall and worked my way over, I’m happy to report that it worked out perfectly.  It turns out that my walls are much more square than I had thought.

tiled and grouted bathroom floor - 3

I used the same Alabaster pre-mixed grout that I used on the tiled bathtub surround.  I knew that grout would make a big difference in the appearance of this tile, since it would cover up those dark edges, but I was still amazed at the huge difference it made.

tiled and grouted bathroom floor - 2

The grout gave the tile a much lighter and softer appearance, which is what I was hoping for.

tiled and grouted bathroom floor - 4

I love how this tile turned out.  It’s just what I had envisioned, with the subtle marble-like veining.  And the grout really did make the tile look more like marble.  Before it was grouted, I didn’t think it looked like marble at all.  But after I grouted, I stood back and looked at the floor, and my first thought was, “Oh wow!  That looks like marble!”  😀

tiled and grouted bathroom floor - 5

I’m not quite sure what type of marble it’s supposed to look like.  The veining is definitely more tan/taupe than the cool gray veining you see in carrera marble.  That’s actually the reason I chose this floor, since I love the look of marble, but I don’t have a single bit of gray anywhere in my house.  With this, I get the look of marble that I love, while getting the taupe/tan colors that I prefer.

The one thing that frustrates me a bit is that I ended up with two tiles with almost the exact same pattern lined up with each other, and they just happen to be right in the middle of the floor.

tiled and grouted bathroom floor - 6

I didn’t notice it in person, but as soon as I saw that picture above, it’s the first thing my eye was drawn to.  So I haven’t decided yet if I’ll go to the trouble of replacing one of them.  If they weren’t dead center on the floor, I wouldn’t worry about it at all.  With them being dead center, they really bother me, but it might be much less noticeable (or not noticeable at all) once the room is finished.

And now if the weather will cooperate, I can get to work on the vanity and the countertop.  It’s been cold and rainy (or just rainy) here for what seems like two weeks now, so that’s really slowing me down.  In order to make the vanity, I need to take my cabinets outside and cut them down to size.  And in order to make my countertop, I’ll need to take it outside to lacquer it at some point.  There’s no way I can lacquer inside because of the fumes.  The smell of lacquer is way stronger than most oil-based products like paint, stain and polyurethane, and Matt is super sensitive to chemical smells.  It looks like we might actually get some sun on Friday, so those projects will have to wait until then. Until then, I’m sure I can find something else to do.  Perhaps I’ll build the tub skirt!

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  1. Kristi,
    Do you plan to keep a rug on the floor when you decorate this room? If so, you won’t see the identical tiles.

    But I’d be willing to bet that before the grout dries on this project (literally!) you’ll have pulled up one of the tiles and re-worked it. Like me you might not see it all the time but it just one of those little things that will bug you every time you think of it!

    1. Hello Kristi, I have just found your blog. I am looking at my master bathroom and love marble but it is too pricey. I googled “Marble Falls, White Water” and your site came up. I have a sample here to decide this weekend. Is that what is on your floor? If so I love it!

      1. I can’t remember the name of the tile that I used (although it’s in one of these posts), but I got it at Home Depot. Marble Falls White Water doesn’t sound familiar, though.

  2. Oh Kristi, you are such a welcome breath of fresh air:

    “but I don’t have a single bit of gray anywhere in my house”

    I actually have always liked gray and have chosen it over beige for years, but I am really sick of everyone in blog land fawning over gray constantly. Just because they see it everywhere they suddenly love it. There’s no individuality anymore, so I’m glad you stick with what you really like, not what is popular for the next 5 minutes!

    Love the floor, the grout really did transform it to a whole other level.

    1. When gray started becoming so popular, I actually tried to make myself like it, and I planned to incorporate it into the house. But I just couldn’t ever fully get on board with it,and finally decided to stop trying to force myself to like it. 🙂 I see so many rooms that have gray in them, and while many of them do look very pretty, they always look cold to me. I’ll stick with my warm browns, even when they fall out of style. 🙂

      1. Thanks, Kristi. I’m glad to see I am not the only one not planning to use gray. Also, gray is not a color I can wear. I look like a vampire victim if gray is around my face so I only can wear it in pants or a skirt. As far as using it in my home, gray was also very popular for a while in the early ’80’s but gray tends to make me feel depressed. It has always had that effect and I won’t even buy a car with gray interior (a bit obsessive?). I have seen some gorgeous decor done in gray but it just doesn’t make me feel good. I, too, go with the brown shade, beige, tan, khaki, etc. Also, I have seen gray used so much in the past few years that it seems like decorators can no longer come up with anything new. It is like the good old “go to” color. Right now I am living with gray carpeting in my house, put in by the former owner, and does it ever show everything! Of course, having black kitties doesn’t help things. I love the tile you chose.
        Oh, I too had forgotten about Calcutta Gold.

      2. Hi Kristi, I find your comments about grey and beige/tan so funny. I have never been a beige/tan/earthy warm tone person. I always go cool. Grey is definitely a cool color and I have used it for years, as your previous friend mentioned. My kitchen/lounge is SW Curio Grey, it is actually an outside color that I had them mix for interior. My dining room and living room when repainted about six years ago became a soft grey with blue undertones. This is what I find funny….your living room is teal and your master bedroom is navy blue, both cool colors. I am true to my cool colors except for accents. I like to throw red or yellow in with my blue and white, and I do have lots of farm animals in the kitchen lounge area.with saddle leather furniture. I think we both have the same problem….we need multiple homes so we can do them all up in different styles and colors! When people asked me what I like best about being an Interior Designer I always answered the same way, spending OPM (other people’s money!). Blessings

    2. I picked gray for our master bedroom and chose it because I like it. Can’t that be enough? My bedroom is actually very warm and cozy to me. Who cares if blogland is all about gray right now. Paint is paint. We need to stop all this comparison/ competition crap. Let people like what they like and keep your prideful comments to yourself.

      1. I don’t think she was trying to be prideful. I think she was referring to the way that over-saturation of certain trends on blogs can kind of ruin it for some people. Gray is kind of the “it” neutral right now, and has been for a while now. You can hardly visit a DIY/decorating blog without seeing a gray room these days, BUT if it’s the neutral that you prefer, there’s certainly nothing wrong with it, and you should definitely use it in your house! 🙂 I do think that when something gets so trendy that it’s everywhere you turn, it can be a refreshing change to see something different.

        1. I understand your point and I certainly don’t want to turn your post into a debate. I have a hard time when commenters start talking about “they.”

          “but I am really sick of everyone in blog land fawning over gray constantly. Just because they see it everywhere they suddenly love it. There’s no individuality anymore”

          Maybe “they” do really like it. I just think comments like this are unnecessary.

          1. Chill out. There was no nasty tone in her PERSONAL OPINION comment and all that comes across in your reply to it is ugliness. Maybe you should find something more important to “have a hard time with”…Really, who chooses to be offended over the color grey!

    1. You’re right! I forget about Calacatta Gold, because it seems like everyone uses Carrara, which always looks so incredibly cold to me. Thanks for pointing that out. Now it looks even more like marble in my mind! 😀

  3. Oh I get you on that tile thing! years ago my parents got a backsplash in their kitchen of neutral tiles with a couple decorative ones thrown in randomly which depicted scenes or something. Drove me NUTS that two tiles nearish to each other had the same scene on them!!
    That being said, you will probably put a bathmat down, which will cover up one of those tiles anyway!

  4. Kristi, Don’t let the 2 tiles stress you. Are you planning on using a bathmat? It will cover at least one of the tiles. I’m about a week behind you in my bathroom remodel. I’m not doing any of the work since its being covered by insurance. However this DIYer ( who is not as talented as you) feels lost not getting dirty.
    I’m wishing I had your knowledge and expertise with a power saw. I have not found a vanity that falls into my price range that doesn’t look like it will fall apart within a year.
    Keep up the great work!

  5. I like the tile and showed my husband as we are searching for a tile for our bathroom that we agree on. My question on this one is the grout. I like the finished result with your choice but with light color grout, it stays that color for only so long. Then comes the struggle to keep it that light color. When you finished your grouting it looked wonderful and l saw that I didn’t like the graph like appearance I would get if I used dark-er grout. UGH ….what to do!!?? Do you have any advice as to how to keep grout the original color?

    1. I tend to worry less about grout these days since there are so many ways to keep it clean and bright. That hasn’t always been the case, and ten years ago I would have passed on the light grout. But not anymore. First, grout sealers have come a very long way, so if you use a really good one, that should go a long way towards keeping your grout clean. Also, if you do get a stain on the grout, you can use Grout Renew, and I made sure that it came in the grout color I selected before I bought the grout. It’s amazing stuff, and will cover any stain to make the grout look new. I also plan to make one of these:

      And I’ll use that maybe once every six months or once a year (during spring cleaning time) to keep the grout light and clean. And also a regular cleaning with water/baking soda/vinegar solution will do wonders.

      So with all of those options, I don’t anticipate having a problem keeping the grout light and bright.

      1. We just bought tile and will be tiling our entire house. I hate how the grout always stains and it doesn’t seem to matter if we seal it or not. Having an entire house tiled makes trying to keep it clean a huge job. When we bought new tile recently, I asked about this. The tile salesman told me that a lot of contractors are using latex grout now and that it will not stain at all. It might cost more but in the end you save not only money keeping it clean but a lot of extra work. I will be looking into it when we install our new tile. Have you ever heard of it?

  6. Looks great! Wish I had the patience to do tile work. What kind of tile is that? I’ll be updating a hall bath this summer and I might need to check this tile out. 🙂


  7. I really think that’s one of those things that you won’t notice after you get some ‘distance’, add in the other stuff. I didn’t notice until you pointed it out (I usually skim pics first, then read). It looks absolutely wonderful! Would you come do my new bathroom, I’m just down the road from you in New Braunfels? 😉

  8. And another great project by Kristi. I love tile, and you did a most wonderous job and we all knew you would. I understand about not using rugs with Matt’s mobility issues. Really, you are the only one that would notice the tiles being similar.

  9. Love it…..it looks fantastic. Great job Kristi. Hope the weather there clears up quickly, cos I can’t wait to see what you do to transform the vanity.

  10. Wow! Grout really did make a huge difference! In the picture where the top half is grouted and the bottom half isn’t, it looks like two different tiles! I cannot believe that! WOW, is all I can say lol
    As for the tiles that you think look exactly a like, I honestly didn’t notice them until you mentioned it, so I wouldn’t go through the trouble of replacing them, but of course it’s up to you.
    The floor in general looks fantastic!


  11. Kristi—I LOVE the floor——-and it just so happens my husband and I are looking for a bathroom floor !!! would you please tell me what kind and color tiles you have and I think you said the grout was Alabaster–
    I love your projects and wish I were as handy !!

    1. It’s this tile from Home Depot:

      And I used a pre-mixed grout in the color Alabaster. They had other colors that really matched this tile better, but they matched the darker colors (in the veining) and not the light color. I was really set on a light color grout rather than dark, so I had to settle on one that didn’t match as well. I think it works fine with the tile, though.

  12. Kristi, I actually went and looked at that tile after you first showed it, thinking maybe for my kitchen backsplash (our granite is very warm colors and a busy pattern) and I adore Carerra, but finding plain Bianco or Calcutta Gold marble tiles that are not too busy in veining is, well, difficult.
    They are gorgeous tiles and although I decided no for the kitchen backsplash, I’m now a bit obsessed and want to see if I can use them on the laundry floor when we take that whole room, from nasty builder grade to a sexy laundry (such a thing??) anyway, it looks stunning and can’t wait for the finish, especially the vanity.

  13. When I have an obvious unintended thing happen, like the tile, I remember the Amish. They intentionally put an error into everything they do. It is their way of saying to God, We know we are not perfect. This could be your Amish moment, as everything else in the house is amazing! Thank you again for sharing your life with us. I so look forward to your posts.

  14. Really?! Really?! When I read about the two tiles, before I ever scrolled down to see your arrows showing exactly where they were,, I scrutinized the pix above to try and find them. Huh! Really, Kristi, I couldn’t find them. I had marble-like tile laid in the master bath of my house (since sold) and can honestly say I never once looked at “patterns” or compared one tile to another. I just admired the beautiful floor. Of course that’s me all over. I’m a “big picture” gal and the details are not my thing. Anyway, I think it is a GORGEOUS tiling job and would hire you any day! Rock on, Girl, and BE PROUD!

  15. Hi Kristi,
    I love everything…good job! For the two tiles, I didn’t notice them until you pointed out. I don’t think you need to change one of them. Nobody will stand there and look at every details. It’s really not important if you ask me. Again it’s up to you but I wouldn’t change it. All the nice finishing touches that you are adding to the room take the stage… the amazing ceiling, the molding, the tile, the vanity with counter top etc. As a visitor, I doubt that a person will stay in the bathroom for a long period of time to check those two tiles. First it would look weird and second if they do, they might need for a psychiatrist appointment! Relax, and enjoy!

  16. I love it. I am one who doesn’t like the dark grout!! This color does make it all look like marble!! Just gorgeous girl, gorgeous!!! Your work is amazing!!!

  17. I do love the floor. Grey and beige are great neutral tones but I always like to see them pair up with a brighter color. I’m sure your bathroom is going to have that surprise pop of color and I can hardly wait!

  18. Can you pull up one if those 2 identical tiles? How hard is that? I’m going to be honest. You have to if you can. Why? Bc I know you will still be looking at those 2 tiles 10 years from now thinking, those are identical. You will not regret pulling it up.

    1. I think if I pull it up soon, before the thinset mortar really has time to fully dry and harden, it wouldn’t be so difficult. I probably couldn’t do it without breaking the tile, though. But that’s not really important since I won’t be reusing it anyway.

  19. I am in LOVE with the floor!!!…Wow! Wow! Wow!….I love how it looks like marble to…What you said about using the color gray, just cause its so popular now I feel the very same way!…It does grow on you, but I have never like in my home or to wear the color…And I hate when decorator’s put grays and brown together…The bathroom is going to look stunning!

  20. Beautiful, just beautiful! Yes, yes, yes pull up the dang tile so you won’t continue to give it the evil eye! I love gray.

  21. I would have never spotted those two tiles if you hadn’t pointed them out. Probably most people wouldn’t either…..but I agree with you, since YOU know they’re there, they will bug you forever 🙂

  22. Beautiful, beautiful, just like all of your projects. I agree the floor looks like marble and so professional as well. I was thinking of these tiles for a backsplash. What are your thoughts on using them in that capacity? (The floors are hardwood, the cabinets are white, the counters are white with a dark blue beveled edge and the décor is white, dark blue and some yellow.)

    1. I think they would be beautiful as a backsplash! In fact, when I was grouting (and LOVING how they were turning out) I as actually a bit disappointed that I hadn’t used it for my tub surround. I think it would be gorgeous just about anywhere.

  23. Another marvelous job, Kristi. The floor looks gorgeous to me, but if those tiles REALLY bug you, now’s the time to fix them. Otherwise, ‘Let it go, Let it go!”…

  24. Kristi,
    Your floors are beautiful! I don’t own a home yet, but when I do I’m excited to tackle my first tiling project!

    I have a question – why do you choose lacquer over polyurethane for the vanity? Is it more durable in a setting where there will be water around? I’ve used lacquer on a few projects in the past (dressers and desks that won’t be near water), and I tend to think it wears worse than oil based poly, but that’s without water in the picture. I’m curious about your opinion because I may refinish a sink vanity one day!

  25. I am sure the completed bathroom is going to be so jaw dropping gorgeous, that no one including you will notice the two similar tiles, or if it is noticed, it won’t matter

  26. Wow what a difference. I actually thought when I first looked at it that you still had to wash off the grout. It almost made the lines disappear. I think you are nuts if you pull up that tile. there is a tile between them, you have to get over being so anal about things. No one is perfect and if you continue to hold yourself to such a high standard you are going to end up in the funny farm, drawing pictures on the walls, LOL. Blessings

  27. LOVE the tile, so beautiful! I’ve gone through loving different stages of colors over the years — the late 80’s were the vibrant colors (I remember a dark green back then), then blues with grays in the ’90’s, darker grays with white in the ’00’s, and now I’m loving a mix of neutral colors in cream, beige, tan and brown. Hubby and I call these our “ice cream” colors because they’re all reminders of ice cream that we love (vanilla, chocolate, coffee, fudge). Now I’m thinking to add caramel swirl to that mix, since your yummy marble floor is now making me think of a wonderful vanilla bean and caramel ice cream — and I’ll think of your colorful vanity as the “sprinkles” — ok now I need a snack (heeeheee) Rock on, Kristi, your bathroom is fab!!

  28. The floor looks fabulous. I have to admit, I wasn’t loving it before the grout, but WOW with the grout. Totally different! I really like it. Can’t wait to see the finished bathroom–hope the weather cooperates!

  29. I have that same tile in our bathroom and love it! You really won’t notice those two tiles once you have all the other textures in there. And judging from pics of your other rooms, I’m sure there will be lovely wall art, baskets, or plates to draw your eye away. It’s going to be gorgeous!

  30. The idosyncrasy of stone…that’s all I see. The floor is downright gorgeous and I wouldn’t change a thing. the ceiling is going to be the focal point in the end. I really love how all of this is coming together!

  31. Oh WOW!
    You’re right it DOES make a BIG difference in how it looks with and without the grout. LOVE it! Bummer about the tile placement. Hope you find you DON’T

  32. That’s AMAZING how much difference it makes with and without the grout!
    Thank you for showing us that!

  33. Your flooring is gorgeous. I saw this look at the Hotel Sofitel in Miami a few weeks ago. I took a photo and have been looking for an affordable alternative to their marble with a similar look and tile size. Thank you for posting your tile seller. Also, it’s nice to see that another person has a small space bathroom. My master bath is cute but is only 5′ x 9′. It is difficult to find design ideas for this size of bathroom.

  34. Hi. Beautiful Marble bathroom. You mentioned that you used Alabaster grout. What brand did you use? Im sure the color alabaster differs between brands. I am currently debating on what color I should use for my grout. My marble is like yours. More beige that gray. Thank you.

    1. I don’t know the name. It’s the main brand that Home Depot carries — the non-sanded grout that requires mixing (i.e., comes as a dry powder and you have to mix it yourself).