Monday, August 2, 2010

penny tile cloud

We did a lot of thinking about what kind of tile to use in the bathrooms. We had a tiny budget for tile and I wanted something that felt handmade. Glass tile was going to be too contemporary for our house. Our master bathroom is small, only 6' across, so we wanted something that would make it feel spacious and modern. Penny tile comes with a dark clay base, which adds a nice depth to the tile. It also allows a variation in the tone of the glaze that you only get with more expensive hand glazed tile (think Heath, which we did, for a long time). I knew I wanted to do some kind of modern patterning with the pennies. After looking at some preliminary sketches mostly involving different colored lines of tile, our architect suggested we do a cloud of pennies. The cloud ended up being most elegant idea. Using Illustrator and Photoshop I did a whole bunch of studies:

And then we worked out a process with Paul, the tile artist on the WB dream team. He set the field tile,  I marked the tiles with stickers for each accent color and he would remove and replace with the accents. The color in the photos is pretty terrible: this work was done and photographed with one bright incandescent shop light. The color palette in the rendering above is closer to the actual tile color: sky blue field tile, light blue/white and bronze accents.

Doing the first half of the cloud, with dot stickers from the drug store.
the final wall cloud. It is about five feet across.
the floor cloud phase one

the floor cloud, halfway done.

The grout should be going in pretty soon. I had to buy three bags of grout and test the colors (just rub a bit of dry grout powder over the tiles and see what you think). It had to be just right! We ended up with pewter, a medium dark grey that will make all the tile pop but/and feel unified.

 I can't wait to see the clouds with all the final finishes in the bathroom in place.


  1. This is so cool. Stumbled across your blog looking for pics of penny tiles. I would love to see the final install and also know where you got your penny tile.

    The house is awesome.


  2. Thanks Kelsey! I just posted finished pictures: