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How the MRM Team Will Design Stylish Bathrooms With Tile

Updated baths will feature a modern, spa-like feel.

Esmer Tile Showroom

When it comes to remodeling bathrooms, Mark and Mina Fies have lots of experience. Approximately 20 percent of the Reston, Va.-based design-build firm’s business is bathroom remodels, so they were more than prepared to select tile for the Model ReModel’s three bathroom updates when they visited the Emser showroom in Sterling, Va. The tile was then purchased through ProSource, also in Sterling.

 Primary Bathroom Goes Gray

In the primary bathroom, the couple sought a modern look with Emser’s Facade tile in graphite, which honors the look of concrete with “an added plaster effect for a softened aesthetic,” according to the company. The floor tile will be 12” x 24”, with 2” x 2” mosaic tiles on the shower floor. 

facade graphite tile by Esmer

The MRM’s primary bathroom will use Emser’s Facade tile in graphite on the floor. Courtesy Emser

facade graphite tile by Esmer in mosaic

Facade in 2” x 2” mosaic tiles will cover the shower floor. Courtesy Emser

For the shower’s wall tile, they opted for Emser’s 10” x 10” Geometry in frame gray glazed porcelain. “We wanted to make a bold statement in our bathroom and have always been drawn to geometric shapes even before they were popular,” Mina says. “We think this is a fun way to introduce something unique versus going with the ‘classic’ or ‘marble’-looking tile that is very common.”

The installation will require careful craftsmanship. “The strong geometric pattern will need to line up in order to pull the look off,” Mina notes. “It will be run into the shower niche too, which will allow us to highlight the level of artistry our tile installers bring to our projects.”

Geometry tile by Esmer

Tile installers will have to carefully line up Emser’s Geometry tile on the shower walls. Courtesy Emser

A Soothing, Spa-Like Guest Bathroom

Real-world connections inspired the choices in the guest bathroom. For the shower wall tile, Mina selected Emser’s Virtue in 17” x 17” ivory glazed porcelain. “I fell in love with this tile as soon as I saw it due to its unique shape and varied patterns,” says Mina. “It’s not as ‘modern’ as I tend to go, but I find it soothing because it reminds me of my grandmother’s quilts. It really feels special to have a connection to her in the design of our house.”

Virtue Ivory tile by Esmer

This Virtue tile reminded Mina Fies of her grandmother’s quilting. Courtesy Emser

Like the shower wall tile in the primary bathroom, this install will require expertise from the installers. “The octagon shape will need to be lined up like pieces of a puzzle,” Mina explains. “The corner and niche will also pose a challenge to our installers, but I know they’re up for the task. ”

For the floor, Mina and Mark chose Emser’s Mood River in ivory matte. The 12” x 23” glazed porcelain tile is expected to be an easy install, thanks to its large format. “I was looking to create a spa-like feel in this bathroom and fell in love with this tile,” Mina says. “The design reminds me of river rocks, but with a modern take.”

Mood River Ivory by Esmer

Mood River porcelain tile will suggest the look of river rocks in the guest bathroom, but without the cleaning challenges of actual river rocks. Courtesy Emser

Big Format, Small Powder Room

On the main level, Mark and Mina chose Emser’s Dunham for the floor tile in the 27-square-foot powder room. “We loved this tile because of the pattern and texture of it, which feels like linen,” Mina explains. “We also thought the colors would bring together the look of the warmer wood in the vanity and look great with the darker plumbing fixtures.”

This 23” x 47” chevron tile wouldn’t work everywhere, though. “It’s an extremely large format to work with in a small place,” Mina notes. “I would only recommend using something this large in a powder room when completely removing the toilet and vanity for the retiling as we are doing.”

dunham Chevron by Esmer

The pattern and texture of this large-format Dunham tile look and feel like linen, which appealed to Mark and Mina. Courtesy Emser

Installing new tile requires care in the disposing of the old materials. Synergy shares their 4 strategies for handling construction debris here!


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