How I’ve Been Driving Myself Mad With Indecision (And Too Many Options)

I’ve had a few people lately say, “Oh, I can’t wait to see the progress on the bathroom!” Well, here’s the progress…

Yep. That’s right. No change. It’s exactly the same as it was two weeks ago when the guys packed up their tools and left.

I promise that I’m trying. I really am. And I’m driving myself absolutely bonkers with indecision, too many options, more indecision, plans and changes of plans.

I just can’t seem to settle my mind on one decision. Instead, I have options constantly swirling through my head. So here are the options that have been torturing me for the last two weeks.

First of all, I came across a picture of a shower with the wall tile installed in horizontal stripes, and it stopped me in my tracks. I absolutely LOVED it. LOVED it. I mean, if you’ve been around here for any amount of time, you know how much I love stripes. I’d stripe every room in my whole house if I thought I could make it work. (Don’t worry, I know I can’t. 😀 ) I have since lost that original picture, but I found this very similar one on Houzz…

I love that so much!! That one is my favorite, but here’s one more…

There are numerous pictures of showers with really bold stripes, but I absolutely love these soft stripes using white and gray. So that’s what I want to do in my shower, and because I must have symmetry, the walls in the toilet area would be striped as well.

As far as tile options go, it’s been a little difficult because I do NOT want natural stone since all of the natural stone tile seems to be marble. Marble etches very easily, and I don’t want the maintenance hassle. So I want something that is a light gray, perhaps that looks like marble, but is actually porcelain.

I’ve found two options. The first one is the penny tile that I showed y’all a few days ago…

master bathroom shower tile options - white rectangle tile with marble penny tile accent

Of course, you have to imagine it with white grout. There would be no dark shadows between the tiles.

I really like that option. I could use four rows of penny tiles, or cut it down to two rows for narrower gray stripes. My main issue with this tile is that it’s thinner than the white. This penny tile is thinner than ALL of the other tiles, and it’s really annoying. So while I like it, installing it would be a real hassle trying to get the face of that penny tile flush with the thicker white tiles. I don’t know if I want that hassle.

The other option would be to use the same tile that I plan to use on the floor of the shower. You can see it in the bottom right corner of the picture above, but here’s how it would look as a stripe. Again, you have to imagine a lighter look with white grout.

master bathroom shower tile options - striped tile with large white rectangle and small square marble tile

It doesn’t look like it in the picture, but those tiles are the same thickness. But I didn’t want to cut the sheet of small tiles, so I just have the large rectangle tiles lying on top of the sheet of smaller tiles.

I think I really love that look. I definitely love that I would have my stripes, but they would also be very subtle. Those stripes would be even way more subtle than the gray and white stripes that are in the two inspiration pictures. There’s nothing there to overwhelm and distract from the wallpaper mural.

One more (probably crazy) option that I considered is using brushed brass Schluter strips as decorative accents between rows of tiles. So I could do two rows of the large rectangle tiles, and then a Schluter strip. Two more rows of tiles, and another Schluter strip. I came across a designer on Instagram several months ago who uses Schluter strips in very creative ways, and it looked amazing. Unfortunately, I didn’t save it, so now I can’t find it. But this option would be very subtle, and would look something like this…

master bathroom shower tile options - white rectangle tile with brushed brass schluter strip accent

So those are the shower/toilet wall options I’ve been thinking through.

And then there’s the floor. Ugh. The floor.

I’m definitely going to use the small 2″ tile pictured above on the shower floor and the toilet area floor. But how I’m going to transition from that to the main bathroom floor, where I’ll be using the large 12″ x 24″ tiles, has been the issue.

Of course, I could just stop right at the entrance to the shower and toilet area with the large tile, and do an abrutp transition to the small tile. Nothing fancy, nothing complicated. Just one tile butted up against another. And since they’re literally the same tile (just different sizes), and I’ll be using white grout, the transition wouldn’t be jarring at all. I think it would be pretty subtle, actually.

Or, I could do something that seems a little more intentional and “designer”, like using the mosaic on the floor in the shower and toilet area, and then continuing that mosaic into the main area of the bathroom as a border around the wall, then using some sort of transition (perhaps the brushed brass Schluter strip), and then doing the large tile in the center of the main bathroom floor. But if I do that, would I put the small tile under the tub like this?

master bathroom floor tile option - mosaic tile border with larger tile in the middle

I’ve looked at a ton of inspiration pictures of bathrooms that have tile borders around the wall, and then a different tile in the middle. Many of them just keep the border tile to the edge of the floor, and many of them extend the border tile under freestanding tubs. And I honestly can’t tell if I have a preference. But it almost seems like extending it under the tub would give it a more intentional look.

So those are the decisions that I’m torturing myself with right now. I’m going to do my absolute best to make a decision this weekend, but in the meantime, I can at least get the walls and ceiling primed, the ceiling painted, and maybe even start on the Venetian plaster walls. Maybe if I get out of my own way, and just start working and seeing some forward momentum in the room, some of these decisions will fall into place in my mind.

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  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Elaine Ness
    September 10, 2021 at 12:20 pm

    A practical consideration: unless you love scrubbing grout as a part time hobby, imagine yourself cleaning whichever one you choose. Small tiles means more grout and more work. You have never mentioned having a hired house cleaner that I recall. So, if you will be doing it, well… you get the drift.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 10, 2021 at 12:40 pm

      Agree – maintenance is a big consideration for me as I get older. I recently re-did my primary bath because of too many grout lines to clean. I selected a large format porcelain tiles for the shower with minimal grout lines and now shower is so easy to clean.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 10, 2021 at 12:43 pm

      Absolutely I have black and white floor tile in my bathroom with white grout and it’s basically gray grout because you can never keep it white unless Ofcourse you want to spend every day scrubbing it!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 10, 2021 at 4:43 pm

      It is common to use small tiles on the floor because the grout lines make it safer, less slick.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Heather Gillett
    September 10, 2021 at 12:23 pm

    this is gorgous

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 10, 2021 at 12:27 pm

    I think the second inspiration photo shower wall is ALL penny tile, both the darker stripes and the larger white ones. I love how that looks, though I wouldn’t want to clean the grout. The bathroom floor just looks like an accident waiting to happen.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Danielle Barse
    September 10, 2021 at 12:30 pm

    I feel for you. I call it paralyzed by indecision. I have the hardest time because I like so many options. Good luck.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 10, 2021 at 12:52 pm

      Same! And also why I wish I could afford to hire an interior designer to make decisions for me.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Janice Jeanne Dinse
    September 10, 2021 at 12:39 pm

    I think the first shower with the stripes, looks really busy. The second is better, but still not my favorite. The penny tile and the little square tiles I like the best. I think the shower floor to the main floor with the small next to the large looks good to me. I like the definition between the shower and toilet room from the main room. I like the looks of the tile going under the tub also.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 10, 2021 at 12:46 pm

    Great thoughts! I get indecisive too. It does seem like you want a lot of busier details going on and you wont miss it if you decide to drop a detail to save energy/budget/effort for another area.

    My notes/ thoughts. On stripes- I loved them too! found a less is more worked well and had one stripe of a more expensive textured tile to accent in our tub/shower. I found I loved the texture vs the pattern. To help decide on stripes is- Are you looking for a graphic look or texture? Then make your decision based on that answer.

    On Schluter strips inspiration, Pretty Handy Girl used a similar product recently on a tub surround to minimize caulk in places. Maybe even one or two at chair rail height to reinforce the walls from matt’s chair. Just look into if you can get all the Strips you need in a reasonable timeframe.

    Floor – I like the mix/border of the mosaic you mentioned. The house can shift a little, this gives a repairable surface near the tub vs risking a broken large format tile. Also ask if it’ll be a complete border mosaic to create a rug. If not, determine how you’ll start/stop it where the partials will be.

    Additional note- On the penny tiles is avoid them, to make grouting easier. With square/rectangles its 2 angles you work it in from, hexes/triangles 3 angles. The more angles of grout lines the more angles you have to work it to lay it well. Save the pennies for a fun mosaic tray project (like your wood button floral) not a floor/wall.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Donna T
    September 10, 2021 at 1:03 pm

    I would think of maintenance since bathrooms should look sanitary and dirty grout is not pretty. Second, you have that beautiful mural that should be the focal point. There are so many pretty options but you can’t use all of them on one design or you will lose you intention. Don’t take away from that mural and use the penny tile as a practical slip proof floor in the shower. Keep it elegant and simple.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 10, 2021 at 1:31 pm

      Agreed! My thoughts exactly.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 10, 2021 at 2:37 pm

      Totally agree! The mural is the star of the show and the shower and toilet rooms are just supporting actors. The stripes would overwhelm the space, IMO. Keeping the tile simple doesn’t mean it’s plain, just classic. And the fixtures are gorgeous, so just chill and stay off the internet!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 10, 2021 at 9:17 pm

      yes… just exactly…THIS!!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marianne in Mo.
    September 10, 2021 at 1:16 pm

    You are spending too much time trying to change your mind. So, if I were you, I would go with the large tiles for the sink/tub area, and the 2 inch combined with the subway for shower walls and 2 inch for shower floor/toilet floor. Personally, if I could afford single sheets of large slabs, I would do that for walls! I love that look, and no grout lines at all to deal with!
    Now get going and quit procrastinating!!! :-)) (I knew that is what you were doing when you were fussing over the tv room!)

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 10, 2021 at 3:39 pm

      LOL…I thought the same. I am a procrastinator myself so I recognized it.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 13, 2021 at 10:25 am

      Your comment made me laugh and nod in agreement!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Joan Hornung
    September 10, 2021 at 1:24 pm

    Wow – lots of decisions…it is so hard! We have lots of tile – living in Florida. I now HATE grout since it is so hard to keep clean and white/beige/any other light color is awful. We are looking at building a smaller house now that we are getting older and don’t need so much space and the upkeep with the house and yard. Therefore, I am looking at minimizing the grout that needs to be scrubbed on hands and knees with a toothbrush! We are probably going with wood-look tile with little to no grout lines – dark grout even so. Of course a bathroom is a little easier than the main floor/kitchen floor – never as dirty…but you might want to take that into consideration. I actually like your choices so far – the first stripped shower looks to me like two different subway tiles and someone asked that question and was never answered. That seems like it would be quite easy as the tiles would be the same except the color…even if you did every two lines and a color that was subtle and pleasing to you. I am planning to use something similar to your picks, as I love the white and gray. But I need to use a gray grout so I won’t be a slave to it. I think your idea to get painting is great – as you see it coming together it will be easier to make final decisions. I know it will be spectacular…the design already is!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mary Ellen
    September 10, 2021 at 1:26 pm

    Keep it simple and easy to clean!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 10, 2021 at 1:39 pm

    If you go with white grout make sure you get the presealed version for easier clean up. It will at least go back to white with scrubbing where regular grout even when sealed won’t always. I would go with something other than white because of maintenance either way. I think that the stripes are just too busy if you do them that close together. I like the penny tile but don’t like mixing it with the subway. Also, I would only tile the walls in the shower…not in the toilet area too. That would make the shower special and there is no real reason to spend the money on the toilet room for tile on the walls. I would keep the bathroom floor simple with no border. Too much of a distraction and wouldn’t look as sleek. Decisions are hard! Good luck to you!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 10, 2021 at 1:42 pm

    Okay, Im going to throw this out there-could it be you don’t like the tile you chose? I agree with everyone on the fewer the grout lines the easier it is to keep it clean. And I like your color choices, I just think the whole thing would be more cohesive with one tile. but I could be way off base if so, please just ignore me!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Karen Hackett
    September 10, 2021 at 2:10 pm

    I would suggest using a light gray grout (to match the gray tiles). That will make the small gray tiles look for continuous and will be much easier to clean.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sharon W.
    September 10, 2021 at 2:56 pm

    This is why I’ve started using designers! Don’t you have a design friend, even online that could help you narrow it down? I’m the queen of indecision!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Denise Huffington Belleville
    September 10, 2021 at 3:01 pm

    I like option #3. Hands down!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Irene Schwemlein
    September 10, 2021 at 3:10 pm

    This is off topic…but I’m wondering about your toilet area. It seems like a huge area for just a toilet. Ant plans for storage / cabinetry in there? (Good place to store your toilet paper, soaps, towels, etc.) I have a built-in cabinet over mine, but I dont have all the room you do.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 10, 2021 at 4:45 pm

      Her husband is in a wheelchair, so the area needs to be kept clear for him to get in and out. That’s also why she is converting an entire bedroom into a bathroom.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 10, 2021 at 3:20 pm

    I really love the stripe options you posted, in fact I’ve saving the second one for a project for myself now. I think you were on the right track with that. My two cents, adding the more detailed tile will definitely up the cost. I don’t think putting it under the tub gets you enough bang for your buck. I would stick with the perimeter.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mary Lee Butterworth
    September 10, 2021 at 3:49 pm

    Will the finish on the Schluter strips hold up in the shower?

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 10, 2021 at 5:24 pm

      That was my first thought as well. For redoing a bathroom, I like to think about what’s easiest to maintain and will I still like it in 15-20 years because redoing tile is the worst.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Vicky Henson
      September 10, 2021 at 7:00 pm

      No, they don’t. At my house we had to redo everything after it began to look bad. Glad you mentioned that on here.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 10, 2021 at 4:47 pm

    I love the Schluter brawl strip 🥰

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mrs. David
    September 10, 2021 at 5:06 pm

    Dear Kristi,
    My preference and vote for your space would be the brushed brass Schluter strips. I think those would give just the right amount of interest, accent and beauty to your shower and toilet room. I’d suggest going five rows of tile in-between strips to not overwhelm the space but keep things interesting.

    The Schluter strips would go so well with your fixtures and other brass/gold accents.

    I think the small square tile as a border or under the tub would be too busy and detract from the mural and overall spa feel that the original design had.

    I think that once you get your room painted, mural up, wainscoting on…you’ll know and feel instinctively what the room needs (or doesn’t need).

    What helps me when planning/designing a room is to draw/sketch things out to scale (as best I can) to make sure that all the elements are giving me the “vibe” I’m going for. You’ve done some Photoshop stuff in the past and could possibly make a mock up of your shower wall and floor choices with that.

    Your house is looking amazing! Thank you for allowing me along for the journey!!!

    YHWH Bless You : )

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 10, 2021 at 5:27 pm

    I’d advise putting detail on the walls, and keeping the floor consistent throughout the tub area, vanity and in the shower. Think of the impact of a wheelchair in that room! Skip the white grout on the floor!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Christine Czarnecki
    September 10, 2021 at 7:19 pm

    Thinking about your striped tile walls, I worry that it will look very horizontal and rectilinear against the lovely mural, which is the centerpiece of you master bathroom.

    I think your idea of doing a border of the small 2x2s around the perimeter of the main room, then extending them into the floor of the shower and toilet room is very good.

    I would run it in a straight line in the back of the bathroom, hugging close to the bathtub wall as well. I think if you make a pad of small tiles for the tub, it will shrink the bathroom visually and again, distract the eye from the mural, the star of the show.

    I personally wouldn’t do the tile stripes in this particular bathroom, but if you do, I’d choose the most subtle way, perhaps the Schluter strips in a color like your faucets.

    How about doing the gray and white stripes in your future laundry room in your new addition? They’d be wonderful in that space.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 10, 2021 at 9:16 pm

    My son is disabled and needed a shower that would drain differently from regular showers. I picked penny tiles for the floor. It looked terrible with the way it had to drain (even contractor said it needed to redone with a larger tile and it turned out really nice. Don’t know if this helps you in your decision making. You have excellent instincts and will decide what’s best!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 10, 2021 at 10:46 pm

    You have already completed some amazing projects and this one will be no different. You will ponder this until the right combination of possibilities align and then…you’ll be making magic once again! I can’t wait to see the reveal at that time. Thank you sharing your journey.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2021 at 10:03 am

    I recently used the schluter system for outside corners, love it! I went with grey grout with silver schluter strips as having white grout once was plenty, never again.
    I love stripes, perhaps one at shoulder level would alleviate grout cleaning concerns. Love your blog, brightens my day and inspires me.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2021 at 10:47 am

    I have noticed that when you are really struggling with your decisions that your answer is usually “none of the above’, and then you come up with something amazing that blows us away.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2021 at 11:11 am

    My two cents – for what it is worth. Keep it simple and classic when it comes to the tile. It is a long term commitment and no fun to change if you don’t like it or get tired of it. So – white subway tile on the shower walls, the small 2×2 for the floor in there, maybe a transition between that and the large tiles in the open area but not necessary IMO – and USE A SOFT GREY GROUT ON THE FLOORS.

    Speaking from personal experience – the white grout on my own walls of white subway tile in my shower is just fine – the white grout on the floor was a mistake that I have come to regret. It just doesn’t stay white in the wet areas no matter how much scrubbing and bleach or grout cleaner is used. The best I can do is maintain a pale grey.

    If you want to do a border in the open area keep it simple and subtle. You are going to have a small rug for when you use the tub so consider how much detail/colour/pattern you are going to have going on there.

    You are going to have that stunning wall mural and Venetian plaster on the walls. Keep the tile subtle and understated to let those details shine – and down the road when you may want a change the tile won’t interfere with future decisions.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2021 at 11:16 am

    I know you’re struggling because this is not paint or fabric you can change your mind about and start over. You don’t want to make a mistake, you want it to be perfect. But perfect for who? Someone is not going to like it whatever you do, you know that. Here’s my 2 cents, keep it simple and neutral. Your mural and fixtures are the stars and when you change your mind easily changeable. I hate the inspiration stripes-too busy, I do like the Schulter strips BUT they too are permanent and in a couple of years when “brass is out” you might regret the choice. I love the look of brass right now-so elegant but you’ve got it covered in your choice of fixtures.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2021 at 7:11 pm

    I definitely think that using the smaller tiles around the tub is a good idea. You are using those tiles in the shower to increase grip and prevent slipping and falling. You need the same when you get out of the tub!