Monday, January 30, 2012

Auction Hunters... DIY Style

You know when you have those "adult moments" all kids in their mid-20's get? The moments you still think are "cool" in your mind, but really its all about getting old and excited about really weird things??? Well Chris and I have had one on our fridge for about a month.
Yes, its a Marble and Granite auction. And it was like counting down to Christmas, adult style. Chris and I had been to these auctions before to just test the waters, but never bought anything. We both can't really remember how we heard about it in the first place (online ad, maybe?) but since they only have them about 3x a year, we decided to hop on this you since you never know when the next one is going to be (or what its going to have... it changes every time!)

So this past Sunday, we showed up at 1pm with about 100 of our closest friends/random strangers to see what the auction would have to offer.Did I mention the warehouse its held in is HUGE??? Cause it is... and yes, they have everything here... even the kitchen sink (as you can see on the right).

It was a $200 refundable deposit to register (no worries, they dont charge your card if you dont buy anything and even let you rip up the copy so you know its safe). Chris and I were granted Lucky 371...
Now for the object of our little excursion: we needed some sexy tile for everyplace in our house that doesnt have nice hardwoods (which is only like 15-20%).

My parents house in Scottsdale has some BEAUTIFUL travertine pavers in their bathrooms and entry way, so I was on the look out to see if we would be able to get something cheaper without the $4.49 Home Depot price tag.

We actually found some 6x6 and 4x4 tiles we liked...

But they were just a bit too light...

And then, I fell in love... with these 3x6 beauties.

(Sorry, I know the picture isnt the best)

450 sq ft of Noche Toros Tumbled Travertine 3x6... EXACTLY what they had at Home Depot for $4.49 a sq ft.

Unfortunately, it was number 322 out of 350, so we wondered around the warehouse with one of the tiles to see if there was anything else around that would go with it. (Just to kill some time)

Insert: the most amazing backsplash I have ever seen...

It went with our (future) tiles PERFECTLY and I loved the intricate simplicity of it. All neutral tones and nothing too shiny.

Remembering something similar at Home Depot for $14.99 (and some quick calculations in which Chris and I guestimated we would need about 50 sq ft) I was interested to see what it would go for... total after bidding? $7.00

Chris and I didnt have an extra $350 laying around (especially since we were about to spend some serious cash on some travertine pavers), so we passed on it this time, but its always good to know for the future so we can budget for the kitchen... when we tackle that project in the next 1-2 years...

Continuing in our search to kill time and see whatelse the warehouse had, we found some interesting bullnose granite counter tops.

Solid and 7ft long... going rate at the auction? $100!!!! WHAT???? its $35-$45 a square foot at Home Depot/Lowes! Thats $490 on the cheap end!

True, we would still have to get it cut for the sink and what not (which will be extra AND install it), but if you compare $7 a sq ft to $45, I'll take it every time.

Same thing with this pretty grey marble...

(sorry the lighting makes it look weird... but I promise it was pretty)

Also $100... just silly.

Then, as if someone was trying to help me complete my travertine-kitchen-love-triangle, we found this pretty baby...

Yes, that's travertine counter top... I seriously may have squealed out loud and tried to give it a hug.

Of course I ran over and picked up one of the travertine pavers and my pretty someday-backsplash and put them all together...

Is it just me, or do you hear angels sing? THIS is what I want my someday kitchen to look like... paired with some crisp white cabinets.

But sadly, with these countertops (auctioned off at $150 per sheet), the $350 worth of backsplash, and the yet to be determined cost of travertine pavers, buying all this today was not in the cards.

But before we know it, our Lot # came up...

Spoiler alert: we won...

At $2.25 a sq ft, we saved over 50% vs Home Depot!!!!

Now the only problem was how to get it all home... We could have paid $100 extra to have it delivered, but trying to penny pinch as much as possible, we said we would attempt to get it back ourselves.

Totalling 450 sq ft in the pallet, they had 18 tiles shrink wrapped together, which made it a bit easier to load/unload, but they also weighed about 25 lbs each.

Sooooo this (see below) was all we could get in the back of my car before I started screaming "ITS TOO HEAVY!! IM GOING TO BE POPPING A WHEELIE THE ENTIRE WAY BACK!! IT GOING TO BREAK AN AXLE!!! "

**side note: apparently that wouldnt happen, but I was REALLY worried about it**

I even had to put some in my front seat...

And yes, because my Subaru is awesome, it beeps continuously if there is more than 15 lbs in the passenger seat because it wants you to wear a seat belt... ... ... apparently that also applies to super heavy pavers, which required me to buckle them in.

We could only fit in about half of the pallet in my car, about a quarter in Chris's, and had to call in reinforcements (aka Chris's dad) to get the remaining part home and reassembled in our garage.
(Please pay no attention to the unfinished projects around it... I promise I'll finish them all... someday... before Im 30....)

As far as WHERE the travertine is going??? My office!! (probably will be installed first since its already concrete and wont need any special prep work)...

Our master bath!

(This one is going to be a BIG project, especially since we are blowing out a wall :-)

So long pink tile!!!
Other bathroom!

(This one will probably take about 5 sq ft or less)

Our laundry room!

(its going to be quite a beast to move out the washer/dryer)

AND our kitchen!

(please excuse the random pre-move-in-realtor picture)

As far as patterns, we are debating a few different styles:

Im pretty partial to herringbone, but I think Chris may like the Half Basket Weave... As we were playing with patterns last night, we hit that "adult moment" again. Who ever thought this is something we would be comparing and having a serious conversation about?... ITS A BRICK LAY OUT!!

Still, I think this one is prettiest:

Which ones do you guys like? Do you like our tile selection? Is there anything else you would have bought at the auction? Anyone want to join in the future?!!


  1. LOVE the backsplash tile, we had that same type/finish/style just in darker colors in our last kitchen and it was amazing!

  2. You are living my dream! Totally want to renovate and redecorate a house of my own some day. Love the tile and pattern you selected (sorry chris!) and the backsplash was so crisp and clean looking. i've always been a fan of darker homes/room like rich browns and hardwood floors, but you've opened up my eyes to the refreshing nature of neutral and light tones! still love this blog....too cool

  3. I just found your site. I am loving the herring bone pattern.

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