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Monday was the only day that I had off this week. The weather was cloudy and wet (throwing all plans to finish the stairs out the window – puppy mud prints aren’t conducive to paint), so I tried my best to make it productive. In addition to scoring a few things for next year’s Christmas, I also took a trip down to Floor and Decor outlets. If you haven’t been around this blog long, this store is the same amazing shop where I purchased the laminate used throughout the first level of the house (by the way, it’s still available in case you’re interested in finding some yourself).
I simply love this place. They have everything. (And in case you can’t tell, all of these photos are courtesy of my low res phone. It can survive a load in the washer, but doesn’t exactly take crystal clear pictures afterward!)
Today’s trip was all about finding tile samples for the master bath redo. A couple months ago, I thought I’d found what I was looking for at a different store, but had to go back to the drawing board after realizing the tile was only meant for walls, not floors.
I was determined that this trip would be different. Floor and Decor had a larger selection, so surely I could find something, right?
The challenge for finding the right tile is that I already have tile in the bathroom that I don’t want to remove. It’s in good shape and will require minimal work to get it updated (a little re-grouting and sealing and we should be good to go). The only problem with the tile is the color. It’s a perfect neutral greige, which is great… but if there ever was such a thing, it’s actually too neutral; it’s too beige for gray tile, and too gray to match to beige tile. It goes with everything and nothing at the same time.
I’d already gone to the big box stores to see if I could find the same tile to take with me as I looked through the outlet’s selection (it’s 4x4in. and seems very builders-basic, so I figured it might still be around 30 years later), but no such luck. Thankfully though, I found a paint chip that was nearly identical to my tile color, so I moved the swatch from tile to tile as I shopped.
At first, I just moved around aimlessly checking out all of the cool stuff. I was particularly intrigued by the porcelain tile they now make to look like hardwood. Gorgeous, and they make it in such a way that you can get razor thin grout lines if you want – making the faux wood look all the more real, and with the durability of porcelain. Perfect for a swanky patio or humid climates, don’t you think? Just hose it off and you’ve got a clean floor again. Come to think of it, they should market this tile to people with dogs and destructive tiny humans (aka two-year-olds), too.
Despite the beautiful distractions, it was eventually time to get down to bidness (it cracks me up anytime someone says this word in a professional setting, which sadly happens more often than it should). There was a huge liquidation sale going on over the holidays, so it seemed like the perfect time to find a sample that might work. And to my happy surprise, I found one in less than ten minutes of searching. It was the perfect size, shape (I wanted subway shaped tiles instead of adding more squares to keep the bathroom from looking like a game of Tetris), and color. The striations in the tile were identical to my paint swatch. And on steep discount as part of the liquidation sale. Success!
Or not. My heart quickened up at the thought of finally having the tile I’d been looking for, only to realize that as a liquidation item, there were only as many tiles available as I saw in front of me. There were six.
Sad panda. Continuing on, I saw lots of too-gray and too-beige tiles, which became increasingly frustrating as I walked through aisle after aisle of tiles that didn’t match. And it seemed I’d picked the right day to be in this predicament; two other shoppers had the same If I see ONE more tile that is too yellow, I’ll scream face as I did. Finally, after what seemed like over an hour of trudging through tile samples, I found my holy grail:
And it’s juuuuuust right.