8 Things I Learned During My Bathroom Tile Renovation

8 Things I Learned During My Bathroom Tile Renovation

Hi there, I'm Jane and I'm an employee at Mercury Mosaics! While working in our NE Minneapolis Factory I fell in love with the variation, detail, and beauty of handmade ceramic tile. So I was beyond ecstatic when my husband and I decided to use Mercury Mosaics in our bathroom tile renovation. 

Watch the video below to see the magic I'm surrounded by every day I work at the studio:

Even after working for a tile company for some time, I learned a lot throughout the process. Like any bathroom tile renovation we've done, it included the occasional challenge and a learning curve. That being said, I'd like to share what I learned during my bathroom remodel along with some tips and tricks. Here are 8 things I learned during my bathroom tile renovation: 

Floor Tile Detail

1. How to Measure My Bathroom Square Footage. 

Measuring the square footage of your bathroom seems like an easy project until you have to do it. Thankfully Mercury Mosaics has this free downloadable worksheet and the blog "How to Calculate Tile Needed for Your Bathroom" to help you along the way. One thing that confused me at the beginning: do I include measurements under my vanity and toilet? In my case, yes. In all cases you include the toilet space measurement and your contractor will cut the perfect hole for your plumbing during the install. For the vanity, it could vary depending on what you have. In my situation, we tiled underneath it, creating a clean transition if you look underneath the vanity. 

2. Bring a Sample Into the Space.

Each color looks different in every space dependent on the natural lighting available and the lights you add to the room. My bathroom is teeny-tiny, so half of the tile is in a shadow from the tub while the other half is illuminated by the natural lighting of our window in the shower. In order to make sure you love the color, I recommend bringing samples to the space and testing the color throughout different times of the day to understand how it will look throughout the day. 

Mercury Mosaics offers single sample purchases on the product pages along with beautifully curated sample packs. Don't see what you're looking for? Shoot us an email or call us for the specific sample you want. 


Blue Floor Tile

3. Make Sure Your Contractor Knows Tile 

We got our contractor through a friend, and I wish I was more thorough about understanding his personal strengths. After beginning to install the subway tile he hired sub-contractors to finish it because it wasn't his strong suit. Unfortunately, the execution has some flaws and is uneven in places. Thankfully all Mercury Mosaics shapes, except for Subway Tile, come in easy-to-install sheets, so while my shower may not be perfect, my floor is stunning.

My advice to you? Ask about their tile install plan and make sure you communicate how you want everything to look. Monitor what's happening and have them fix it before it's too late! It's hard to judge if you don't understand tile installation yourself, but if you have any hesitations, just let your contractor know that you want someone specialized in tile installation for your remodel and seek someone who is experienced in installing tile.  

4. Get a Shower Niche

I had no plan whatsoever to add a niche to my bathroom. In my mind that was an extra expense on a tight budget. After discussing with the sales team and my contractor I learned that it really wasn't too much of an add-on, and decided it was important to have extra storage space in a small bathroom. I'm so glad I got it. This small addition took this bathroom tile renovation from a 7 to a 10 in my mind. Sometimes just a little customization is all you need to take your project to the next level. 

Read this blog to learn "How to Plan for your Bathroom Niche"

Blue Hexagon Tile Shower Niche

5. How to Choose Grout Color for Messy Areas

One of my favorite tips suggested to me was to use a darker grout color for my bathroom. I have four pets that track dirt all around my house and it can be difficult to keep up with their mess. By choosing a darker grout color it's a little less obvious if I skip a deep clean that week. 

Whatever grout color you use, it's important to seal your tile and check it yearly to see if it needs a new coat. Learn more about maintaining your tile with our blog "How-To Clean Ceramic Tile

6. Choosing Tile for Small Spaces 

It's mind-blowing how much larger my small bathroom looks after adding these small hexagon tiles. Choosing smaller tile pieces definitely helped, but having such a beautiful and unique floor made it way more of a welcoming space. I opted to make the rest of the room bright white to let the Denim glaze color pop. I also made sure to style my floor with a small bamboo mat rather than fabric because it takes up less space and the tile can peek through the wooden planks, which I love.

Read our blog "7 Creative Tile Ideas for Small Spaces"

Denim Hexagon Floor Tile


7. How to Clean & Maintain Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile is quite easy to maintain, it's amazing how much better it looks than the old wood floor that was there before! That being said, after getting these precious tiles, I made sure to start giving the space a weekly sweep and wipe it down with an all-natural cleaner. Learn more about keeping your tile good-looking with our blog  "How-To Clean Ceramic Tile


8. Have Last-Minute Back-up Tile Option

Time management and planning can be difficult during bathroom tile renovations and this project was no different. I waited until the last minute to order my tile and ultimately wanted Large Hexagons as my shower wall but was too late to line everything up! This was before Mercury Mosaics had their fabulous online shop launched so I sadly bought cheap commercial tile. Oh do I regret not planning ahead more. But luckily for you, if you're a last minute tile-buyer (it happens to the best of us), visit our online shop and buy some of our beautiful standard tile with a quick turn-around! 

 Regular Denim Hexagon tile

Small Hexagons - 1013 Denim.


Order tile samples to see, touch, and fall in love with our handmade tiles in person. We would also love to hear what inspires you! Tell us more about your future project and get the ball rolling. Looking for small batch and overstock tile? We've got tile for sale! 

The post 8 Things I Learned During My Bathroom Tile Renovation appeared first on Artisan Tile Company: Handmade Ceramic Tiles by Mercury Mosaics.

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17 comments Post a comment

  • sarah

    What color did you pick for the walls?

  • Arnold Vasco

    Quite informative post. Thanks for showing what can be done with a good design.

  • Mercury Mosaics

    Thanks for all the interest! We will shoot a message to the homeowner to see if we can track down the tub manufacturer.

  • Rachel

    Fantastic job. Your home is beautiful. I love the tile and I would love to know some info on that tub!

  • connie

    Where did you the wooden blocks on the floor?

  • Margaret

    Love your design! And the grout color you used for the subway tile! Can you please let me know what color you used. We are about to start a similar remodel of a small bathroom in a 100 year old California bungalow home!

  • Richard Reiner

    Some excellent tips you got there, thank you for sharing them.
    Great article by the way !

  • Dustin

    I love seeing people step up and doing their own remodeling. It can be so daunting at first. But once you complete your first one, it only get easier. I had a company near me come help me out called https://www.handymanmesaaz.net. They actually taught me quite a bit. I think the only thing I CAN’T do is rebuilding an entire sink cabinet. I’m really not that great with wood and cutting tools. Don’t really trust them all that much. But then again, maybe all I need is more practice and experience with such tools. Just wanted to share my first experience remodeling with you guys. Nothing to special. I really enjoyed it. Take care. Lots of love from Phoenix AZ!

  • Arielle

    This is a beautiful bathroom! I plan on using this tile for my renovation! I too would love to know where that tub came from. thank you!

  • SArah

    I want that tile and the whole bathroom! Where is the tub from?

  • Stacy

    I looked on the Mercury site, but the denim hexagon looks smaller than the tiles in your bathroom. I love the size of yours. Are you able to tell me where you found them?

  • Nadia Almuti

    Beautiful bathroom!! I would love to see more photos of what the sink and toilet side of the bathroom look like! I will definitely be looking for that same tile. Thank you for this post.

  • Tina

    Where did you get that great tub?

  • James William

    Thank you for sharing such an informative blog on bathroom renovations, you reminded me about my bathroom renovation. I got my bathroom renovator through a friend he suggested me to hire A K Tiling Renovations Melbourne. They made everything with expertise, and I was impressed with their services.

  • Lor

    Who manufacturers the tub?

  • Crystal

    I love this look! I would love to know where you got that magnificent tub.

  • donna friesen

    Great reno, I love the combination of the denim floor and white subway tiles. Yes preplanning is always a necessity when doing a reno, my advice is to do it in stages and try not to have absolute deadlines.

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