30 Apr 2013

When Life Gives You Lemons: Tile Help

Just a quick post today as I need some assistance please.  I am torn (what else is new?).

The work on the rental house is moving along quite quickly (hurray!) and we are at the point of picking out finishings.

These are a few pictures that our Project Manager took of the house with his phone.  It looks SO much better than it did a month ago!

rental house
The kitchen

rental house
Living Room
We were asked to pick out hardwood, floor tile, backsplash tile and linoleum at Lowe's, so a few weekends ago we had a marathon session picking those items out. 

Deciding on what to go with was a bit tricky as we aren't able to change the wall colour or the carpet.  The restoration company thinks that the carpet can be cleaned to remove any water marks (we've been assured it's been dried completely and properly).  The walls are a light tan and the carpet right now is a medium beige - very neutral.  All trim work is white except for a bit of oak on the fireplace mantle and bannisters. I have to work with what's there while still trying to modernize things where we can and sticking within budget.  Most of the finishings in the house were mid-grade, so I have to stick to picking out similar but new mid-grade products.  

I met with our Project Manager on Friday to pick out the cabinets.  Most of the houses on the street were built in the same year by the same builder, so they look almost identical.  Every one that we have seen for sale in the past few years has had light maple cabinets with a medium oak floor (exactly what we had before the water damage).  We figured since we had the chance to change things a bit that we would go with a dark cabinet.  If I had my choice I probably wouldn't pick an espresso cabinet for my own house, but since we are refinishing to sell I am trying to keep the bigger picture in mind here.  This must be how interior decorators feel sometimes....tough when it's not exactly your style!  

Anyhow....long story short, here is what we have so far:

It's all super neutral.  Where I am stuck though is with the backsplash tile for the kitchen.  

I had initially thought we'd go with the 2"x 2" beige tile with white grout, but now I am second guessing myself as it's all looking very brown.  

My other option is plain white shiny subway tile.  

Sort of hard to tell with a counter sample that is about the size of a quarter, isn't it?

Sorry for the photos....I had to snap these while there was still daylight left (in the middle of a snow storm yesterday!).  Hopefully you get the gist.

Which one would you pick?  Is it too brown if I go with the beige tile?  I could also see if Lowe's has a 2" x 2" white.  As much as I'd love to do something fancier, the insurance will only cover basic tile as that is what was there before, and we don't want to spend any extra money.  Please help a girl out.  Any other suggestions?  I have to make the decision within the next day or two, so I don't have a lot of time to stew. 


  1. I vote white subway tile. Looking forward to see what you picked!

  2. Hey there... I seem to never have a problem picking out colour for others, myself though a whole different thing, I feel your pain. I would recommend the white subway, it's crisp and bright, it adds that little bit of brightness to the palette you have picked. good luck!
    ~ Laurie @ Vin'yet Etc.

  3. I vote subway tile too! I am horrible at this kind of thing but I know subway tile is hot!!!

  4. The white subway tile, definitely!

  5. White subway tile! It'd make everything else stand out more and it would match your window frames.

  6. i am singing with the choir- subway all the way! it's fresh, clean, nice contrast and will have great resale value!

  7. Courtney Madden4/30/2013 10:24 am

    Agree - subway tile! The other is so dated looking and boring.

  8. I say along with the chorus - go with the subway tile. I may be a bit biased since it's what I also chose in our home. But I swear, I still think that subway tile is a timeless look.

  9. Phew! Good thing I was leaning towards the white! Thanks for all of your input. I knew you guys would know what to do. There has been so many decisions with this house that I think I was decisioned out!

  10. Yes, me too! White subway tile ;)

  11. White! Love it!!! Isn't it funny how we can feel it in our gut, but just need to make sure we are not crazy! It will be the perfect neutral space for resale! It all is very classic and crisp and looks high end!!! Love it! Jesse @ Scout & Nimble

  12. Definitely white subway! I agree with your instincts--the beige will be too brown.


  13. Shiny white subway tile!! Can't wait to see more pics.


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