First Finishes: Tile Stacked, Bricked, and Herringboned

Now that we have had our first year anniversary on official site work (the well was dug a year ago, though site work didn’t start for a bit yet), my husband and I are feeling the push to get the house done and move in.

The drywall has been completed, and finally the finish work can begin. The first up is tile, because I am anxious to get the kitchen cabinetry in our house instead of in storage at the supplier’s warehouse. Most of the house will have eucalyptus flooring, which I will detail once it starts getting installed. We are placing tile in the kitchen, solarium, entryway, master bath, and upstairs bathroom. Most of the tile is quarry tile, of various sizes and shapes, but all from Versa Tile’s “Down to Earth” series.

I wanted to do something dramatic with the tile in the kitchen, so we picked a herringbone pattern and a 4×12 tile in a dark brown color (“Bedrock”). I will say that the end result is even better than I imagined. An immense amount of respect and admiration goes to our tile installer Mario of Centennial Custom Tile. He is local, so local that I found his business by reading his information off his truck when in my grocery store parking lot. He has many years of experience and pretty much always does his work on a mud base, instead of board and thinset. We are thrilled with his work and he isn’t even done yet. He has also been super at communicating with us and our GC and his prices are more than fair. His skill is immediately apparent. He laid the entire complex pattern of the kitchen without using spacers.

The foyer tile is also the “Bedrock” color and is a 4×8 size. This we had laid in a classic brick pattern. In the master bath, the tile is 6×9 and is laid in a stacked pattern. The color is “Desert”, a light tan that was the closest to terra cotta I could get in the quarry tile I wanted. All of the quarry tile is going to have a dark brown grout.

In the solarium, I looked for a long time for a medium blue tile that wasn’t glossy. This room is going to see a lot of traffic from outside and will inevitably see a lot of water from that and because there are many plants going into this room. I found the perfect shade and a textured finish from Wayfair, an Elite Tile porcelain field tile called “Symbals“. At over 14 inches square, it is a very large tile. I may regret it in the future, but we are having this room done in a white grout, which we are going to seal of course.

The upstairs bath is the last place we are putting tile, and this came from the Home Depot. We were initially looking at black and white cement tiles, but they were just more expensive than we wanted and more upkeep than we were prepared to do, especially in a bathroom that the kids were going to use the most. We found a tile that has the same sort of look as the cement tile but at a very very reasonable price. It too is a larger tile, which with the small footprint of the bathroom should be interesting. It is a Durabody ceramic floor tile called “Laurel“. This will be grouted in dark charcoal grey.

Upstairs Bath Tile

Aside from the tile, the HVAC ducting in the basement is starting to get installed and the plumber is working on all the connections. The water line from the well to the house is in place and the water tank is installed in the basement. We officially have access to water at the site.

The next big project outside is the septic field and septic tank install. It just won’t stop raining, so we aren’t really sure when that is going to begin, because it can’t begin with the ground in its current state of sogginess.


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