Tile and Brick Floors

I stopped by a tile store (again!). The first time was to just see what they have, this time I wanted to make some selection.

I want a brick floor in the mudroom, half bath, and sunroom. This is what I picked out. I like that it looks old.

IMG_3056For the masterbath I choose marble tiles from this board.I like the basketweave for the floor in the gray and white, the subway tiles under the floor tiles for the shower walls, and then the tiles in the upper right hand corner for the shower floor. 

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For the full bath I choose I basic ceramic subway tile for the walls and a hexagon tile for the floor with a light gray grout.IMG_3215 IMG_3212Everything is pretty basic but I feel all choices are classic and have withstood the test of time!

Trip to Toronto

I had a wonderful time with my two daughters on a weekend trip to Toronto.

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If you watch Sarah's House on HGTV you may know that she lives and works in Toronto. I kept hoping tha mayby I would run into her on the streets! No such luck, but I did shop at a store that she mentioned on Facebook a few days ago and took the same picture that she took!

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It was nice to give my brain a break from all of the thinking and deciding and deliberating and more thinking I have been doing regarding the new home. But it was always in the back of my mind, as I kept a look out for any ideas I might want to incorporate, like this gorgeous shower faucet that was in the bathroom of our hotel room.

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Countertops Part 2

Besides loving marble as a countertop I also love soapstone. It has that same soft look and touch as marble. It is softer than marble so it can chip more easily but it doesn't stain or etch. It has to be oiled if you want it to look dark.

IMG_3220This is soapstone that has not been oil. The scratches we made by running a knife over its surface.

IMG_3221This is the same piece of soapstone that I just wet with water to sort of give the look of it being oiled. This picture really isn't a good representation, oil would disguise the scratches better and you really can't get a good feel for the gorgeous veining. There also is a soapstone that is more green. But from my research, the more green it is the less hard it is.

There is also another stone that I have looked at, a quartzite, not to be confused with quartz, which is a manmade product. Quartzite is a stone. As far as hardness goes Quartzite is between marble and granite.IMG_3218This is a picture of a polished quartzite called Super White, when honed it would look more like marble.

And then there is a granite, Black Cosmic, when honed would look like soapstone, so I have been told!

IMG_3219So to recap, the choices so far marble, soapstone, granite, quartzite. All have their advantages and disadvantages. At least I know I want stone and not a manmade product. But what to choose? What to choose?

 

Granite, Marble, Soapstone?

While the contractor is gathering bids to give us a price, I'm still out shopping. I'm actually revisiting many shops that I have already been to. Now it's time to make selections. So I went back to look at countertops today. I think I'm ready for something other than granite (had that in my last two houses). Love the look of soapstone, all the veining is so gorgeous. And marble, well I can't pass by a piece without reaching out to run my hand over it. But both soapstone and marble have their issues – soapstone won't stain but is very soft and will chip easily, marble is a little harder but will stain and etch. They sent me home today with two marble samples with the instructions to test them out. Here's a pictures of our science experiment:

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 Danby marble

IMG_3195Carrara Marble

 We put ketchup, mustard, red wine, and lemon on the samples, all food items that can stain and/or etch the surface. We left them alone for 30 minutes and then washed and dried both samples.

You could see spots or dark shadows where the food had been and both etched where the lemon had been. The Danby had more pronounced "shadows":

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Danby

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It wasn't as noticeable on the Carrara

But this has not swayed my love for marble. If you are a stalker on Houzz as I am, many, many of the beautiful kitchens have marble countertops. I don't think it would be such a featured item if marble were such a problematic surface. And really would I ever leave big globs of ketchup or mustard sitting on the counter for 30 minutes? And as far as wine or lemon juice goes, well we just won't have either in the house any more! Ha! But seriously, I must wipe the counter down a 1,000 times a day, so I don't think anything will be left on the counter long enough to cause a big problem. The allure for many is that marble develops a patina that makes it look even more beautiful over time.

I also should mention that both of these marbles have a honed finish, there is not a shine to the surface, which in my mind, makes it look even more beautiful. The honing does help to make the spotting and etching not so noticeable.

In the next post I will show you the soapstone.

Are We In Trouble?

The construction drawings were finally done on Monday, yeah!! Now we could have the long awaited "wish list" meeting that the contractor had mentioned so many times. He said at that meeting we would go through each room and tell him what we "wished" to have in that space, as well as the exterior. I was so excited, I spent hours putting together all my ideas, pictures, and notes together room by room. But after leaving the meeting yesterday, both my husband and I felt a bit let down. The meeting seemed rushed, he hardly looked at my pictures. And then he started indicating that everything I picked out was going to add on quite a bit to the square foot price. I want fiber cement siding, top of the line Marvin windows,  some extra trim work. But I had told him these things already. I had been afraid, as I think I already mentioned before, that you spend all this time and energy picking things out and you don't know how its going to effect the over all price. Now we have to wait 2-3 weeks before we get THE PRICE! But maybe its going to be way out of the range that we wanted to spend. Perhaps my expectations were too high. More sleepless nights.