The Cool House: Bathroom decisions

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Bathroom decisions

Weeks, more like months really, of visiting bathroom showrooms, tile stores and the hell that is HD Expo:
How much is that countertop?
$2500 per linear foot.
Are you sure you don't mean $250?
Salesperson sighs and shrugs, it costs $800 linear foot to ship and $800 per linear foot to install; plus tax.
Could you check that for me?
Salesperson sighs again, rolls her eyes and says she can't find the literature.
Obviously I wasn't in the market for a countertop at $250 but $2500, that piqued my curiosity.
I finally found a tile I didn't hate at Expo. But the thought of dealing with the with the winning personalities and sales techniques of the people there was more than I could bear so I took the name of the manufacturer, went home and googled them. Turns out the distributor is less than 10 miles from where I live, they have dealers and showrooms in my area and, big plus, on the website I found a video of the nearest showroom's vignettes.
Their porcelain tiles were exactly what I was looking for, modern but warm with a great selection of red/brown tones that will suit a room that is visible, when the door is open, from most of the rest of the house. So we visited the showroom and found that the tiles were cheaper than at the other store. Phyllis the wonderful, patient tile designer at Porcelanosa spent hours with us selecting tiles that will fit within our palette and wasn't in the least offended when I rejected floor tiles yelling, "no, too Tuscan", "I hate the tumbled marble look". We chose two contrasting tiles for the walls and a coppery slate look for the floor. Phyllis is still looking for a shower floor tile that will fit into the design, but we're almost there.
Once we had the tiles sorted the rest of the fixtures fell into place easily. Now I'm waiting for the plumber and the tiler guys and hopefully in the early New Year we will go from this

to something like this

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