Monday, March 12, 2012

Installing Travertine Tile in My Office!

Who's surprised that Chris and I started (and completed) another project that wasn't even on our previous post of "Current Projects"??... any one?? any one?? Bueller?? Yea, didnt think so...

So back a couple weeks ago, Chris and I went to a marble and tile auction (as remembered HERE) and bought some AWESOME 3x6 travertine tiles...
And this past weekend, we decided to install them in my office...

Yea... a little dirty... and there's a boxer in it... not the best "before" picture...

Here is what it looked like from in the realtors pictures before we moved in....
 Sorry the realtor is classier than I am...

But back to what we're hear to talk about... the floor, I mean painted cement... (because that is seriously all it is)
mmm... tootsie roll brown... my favorite.

We knew we wanted to install our new travertine in my office first, especially since it would be the easiest to do (just lay it right on top of the concrete! No prep needed!) Luckily for both Chris and I, Chris's dad is kind awesome/amazing/crazy-talented when it comes to things like this.
So he came over and helped Chris lay the tile while I manned our yard sale out... and no, there are no pictures of me in my glasses arguing about whether an old bathroom scale is worth $2 or $1 (I made sure to delete them)

Instead, here is a picture of Chris's dad doing his thing.

We decided on a herringbone pattern and used 3/8ths spacers...

After a couple hours, here's where we stood..

Even with just a portion of it done, I was in LOVE with it...

They seriously were at this ALL day but tile by tile it came together...

Oh, and we used about 2,400 spacers... ... ... not that we were counting.
Fun Fact about the sunroom/my office/our house: there are no square rooms.  Im not joking.

Chris had to break out the wet saw and used it a LOT on this project.

Update: Yes, Chris survived this project with all 10 fingers... (I knew you were worried)...
Thank goodness my man is handy!
SEVEN HOURS after they first started, Chris was laying the last tiles.

Needless to say, he was pretty excited when he finished...
Let's not ask about the wet spot at the bottom of his shirt... yeaaaaa, I'll leave that alone.

But here it is! All set and drying!

Chris even christened it by shot-gunning a beer outside...
I think he totally deserved it though... job well done hunny...
The next morning, we removed all our mini trees spacers and just gawked at it for about a half hour...

Even without grout, it looked amazing...
After we wiped up all our drool from our mouths hanging open so long, we began to grout.
 We used a Polyblend, sanded grout for joints 1/8 - 1/2... again, we used 3/8 joints, so sanded was the way to go for us! (Reminder: all joints smaller than 1/8" (ie. kitchen back splashes, bathroom counter-tops, etc) use a NON-sanded grout)

I decided to go with the "Alabaster" color, since that's what my parents used with almost the exact same tile and I knew it would look fan-freakin-tastic...
awww yeaa.....

Chris, dressed in his Sunday's best, went to work grouting....
then wiped it off with a wet sponge..
As you can tell, he was really excited I put him back to work...
That night, we let it dry...
We really didnt have to worry to much about the haze since we just take that off with a wet rag later...
The next day, I was the one to remove the haze (hence no picy-icky), but here's how they looked all haze-free!

Not too shabby if I say so myself!!

Alas, we still were not done... next step was the sealer, which makes it all pretty , smooth, and darkens it up just a touch...
We used Du Pont Stone Sealer; basic from Home Depot... Side note: this is the first time I have ever seen "Du Pont" on something that wasn't driving at 200mph and turning left... I guess its finally good to know this what they were racing for...

Chris applied it with a roller, making sure to cover the entire area and get in all the cracks...
The man loves his housework...
Yet another night of letting it dry, but this is what it looked like...
Yea, I know... it's stupid pretty...

All other tile should be jealous of this tile... hell, Im jealous of how good this tile looks...
While in the middle of starring lovingly at my pretty new floors, I thought "what the hell, why not paint too?!"

I dont know if you guys have seen my page marked "House Tour" but its all the pictures the realtor took of the house when they were trying to sell it... the one common thread throughout the entire house? Blue/grey walls...
Im not saying its a bad blue/grey! On the contrary, it very pretty and really does go with just about everything... but the entire house being one color really isnt my style so we have been painting it room by room; putting our stamp on the place.

Side note: here's a fun picture from the painting party we had right before we moved in... we just did the dining room, living room, and hallway, but it really made a difference!

 Update: we have painted over our names and its now a solid Silver Sage from Restoration Hardware... its pretty.

SO pretty in fact, its what I decided to paint my office... after I primed, of course...

and here she is: Silver Sage...
I just love this color because its bright, pretty, mellow, but really goes with anything (black, white, grey, green, blue, etc)...

That night, I started to move furniture back into my office.
(Sorry for the kinda cruddy picture, I took it with my cell phone)

But I finished up the next day and am SUPER proud to reveal how it looks NOW!
Ohhh.... ahhhh....
I love that it looks almost natural to the house (circa 1940)...
My office is really bright due to all the windows but I think the tile and the soft Silver Sage just play right into the fact that my office faces the garden (photo of garden to come as soon as we replant!)

So for the MUCH anticipated before and after shots, here you go....
And one via the old realtor picture, just because...
Also something super cool: we saved over $450 doing it ourselves and getting our tile from the Granite and Marble Auction!! WHOO HOO!!!

So... what do you think?? Like the new tile? The herringbone pattern? or would you have gone with something else? Different pattern, different size/color tile, different color grout?  I would LOVE to hear your feedback!!

P.S - We have already started putting this travertine in another space in our house, but I wont give it away just yet... its going to be a TOTAL transformation though!! So excited to show you guys soon!


  1. you guys are so so busy!!! the tiles look amazing. such a lovely change. great makeover.
    cheryl xox.

  2. That looks great! Amazing how much brighter the whole room looks with the new wall color and lighter floors...beautful!

  3. Oh WOW! I think I would have stared at the floor all day! haha your floor turned out fabulous!! That room is so much brighter now.

  4. Yes, I do love the new tile. And the sealer totally made it pretty and shiny and glossy. Such a pretty room.

  5. The look and texture of your new tile is fantastic! I wish I had someone in my family who is crazy, awesome with installing tile.

  6. Wow. Love love love the herringbone! I've done a lot a of tile work so I can sympathize with all the work that went into that beautiful floor! If I may make one tiny suggestion regarding your sealer. Please try the 511 (aquamix) impregnator and sealer. All the big tile guys use it and I've used it myself. It's superb in wet areas. You need the impregnator which actually seeps into the stone, rather than just a sealer that sits on top. Just MHO.

    1. Thanks for the tip Beth!! We plan on putting this travertine in the bathrooms and kitchen too so we'll definitely make sure to use the 511... Thanks!

  7. Love it! I need to get me a handy man. Although he is a handy man, I need to light a fire under him. What's your secret??

    1. ...this is a family friendly blog, so I really can't say ;-)

  8. Beautiful job!! I love the transformation and your Boxer :) We have a boxer and love him. Megan

  9. Hey Samm!!! The transformation looks awesome! Great job. You are way too good at taking before and afters. You know how to capture the whole process which is great! May need your Chris to teach my Chris a little something:)

  10. If I didn't work full time, I would spend my days marveling at all your AMAZING work! It's killing me not to check out whatever you have linked and live vicariously through you. I want to live life over and be you! :) Seriously, Samm - it is such fun seeing all your projects and I laugh out loud reading your blogs! xxoo, Sue

  11. The floor turned out AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a difference. Great pics too of the floor. Oh, have u considered moving the desk out a bit so u can add the chair to the other size facing the windows instead of facing the wall ... maybe u can try it one day and see how it feels. seeing natural sunlight is very energizing!!! Again great job to u and ur fam! Did u pay ur hubby with beer? haha

  12. Late to the party - but let me agree - that tile floor is freaking amazing! GREAT job! Thinking about tearing up some tile in my house just so I can have this instead!!!

  13. The tiling is incredible! Where did you get that desk/table from??

  14. I enjoy to translate and revalue your transmute.
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  15. Thank you for sharing your beautiful room.
    A question, where are the dog beds? and, not a criticism just my preference, the desk facing the wall not the garden?
    I found your page through Pinterest you have some great ideas and the finished house, should you ever stop having projects (:=) will be wonderful.

    1. Hi Mali,

      This is actually a very OLD lay out when I first started working from home. Since then, Ive actually moved into the front bedroom of the house for work and its 10x better! Here's the link if you want to check it out! Thank you!!

  16. The tiles looks good! Thanks for sharing this post Samm! I think I am goona use this as a reference once we transfer to our new office at the Crown @ Robinson The tiles looks awesome! and I cant wait to install that kind in our new office.

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  18. A floor proved AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!! Such a difference. Wonderful pictures as well in the flooring. Wow, have ough regarded as moving this workspace away a lttle bit consequently ough can easily add this couch on the other sizing facing this glass windows rather then facing this wall... probably ough can easily try it out 1 day and discover the way that can feel. viewing normal sunshine is very energizing!!! Yet again great job to help ough and also 3rd there�s r fam! Does ough pay out 3rd there�s r spouse using alcohol?
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  19. I know this kind of tile. It brings the cool feeling when you walk on with bare feet, even in hottest days of summer. Glad to see another house with this tile installed!


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