Monday, March 2, 2009

Putting a hex on you... (all about hex tile!)

Since I gave the skinny on subway tile, I thought I would follow up with hex tile. Nothing really says "period" tile like a hex tile floor. Today, you can get hex tile in so many beautiful styles and colors, it really is hard to choose. I will show some modern versions in a bit, but first... a bit about creating a more authentic look, if that is your cup of tea.

First, if authentic is your thing, you will want to check out the unglazed porcelain tiles. The big difference you will notice between old hex tiles and modern ones is the sheen. New tiles will be bright and shiny. Old ones, more of a chalky dull look to them. Standards for laying tiles have changed, as well as the formulas, of course. Un-glazed tiles, it has been noted, require a bit more upkeep. But unlike a kitchen, a bathroom floor is less prone to red wine stains and such. It may not be as big of a concern. Added bonus: you will be less likely to slip and fall!

We always see 1" tiles in magazine pictures. However, pre-Great Depression, 2" tiles could be had. There are a few companies out there that offer a 2" tile, but there are a more costly option. And some people not familiar with them might think they look a little "off." But really, there are quite lovely.

Not all floors were just plain white... some had the little "flower" insets. (But remember... those wacky Victorians were germaphobes... so everything really was white back then, including the grout.) It wasn't until the 30s that color options became available.

Look at the "bath rug" made of tile. Adorable!

A little more subtle design.

If you are looking for a finish that is a bit more sleek, a nice glazed tile is lovely. And, for those not concerned about historic accuracy, I say, go wild and look at some of these modern options! Any color and finish is available. One of my favorites is the marble tile.
Anna at Doorsixteen has a drop-deap gorgeous floor in her bathroom.

Now, I should mention that hex tiles were not the only game in town back then... in some parts of the country, instead of hex, they used a penny round. A penny round is the same as a hex tile, basically, just round instead of geometric. Just round little dots attached to a backing sheet. And, of course, they came in a 1" size, too.

Cobalt blue for the daring!

If I had the time and money, I would have done this Ann Sacks tile instead of the hardwood floor in my master bath. Isn't it gorgeous and beachy?

Penny rounds on the wall? Not traditional, but I like a little weird. The Vermeulen's bathroom posted on Apartment Therapy.

1 comment:

sandra/tx said...

Very pretty. I like that Ann Sacks tile, too.