“Put Your Legos Away.”

Confession : I’m very, very sad with how long the bathroom is taking. There’s a direct correlation between how excited I am about a project, and how sad I can get when it’s slow. And it is SLOW. It’s not going poorly, by any means. And we’re not really hitting any roadblocks, except time. We’ve not had as many weekends to work on things as we’d hoped, and all the infrastructure work (building the floor, the electrical, the plumbing….) has just taken time. So instead of being done by band camp, we’ll likely head into band camp in a week, still without a subfloor or walls. So now, I hope for Christmas.

It’ll get there. The house is a fine wine – it needs time. And I need to stop wanting it to be as fast as a vending machine soda.

I’ve been working on the floor, and it is going to be breathtaking. Seriously – if I could design hex floor patterns for a living, I just might do it. I’ve been building the tile floor in the library, so when the time comes, we’ll have all the pieces ready, and all the logic worked out, so it can go in without a single hiccup! I’ll probably regret jinxing it like that, yet, here we are.

Last fall, when Doug was running his 50-mile race (not a typo), I spent some of the time in the hotel while he was running, playing around with hexagon tile patterns. I made myself some hex graph paper, by printing out a picture of white hex tile, blowing it up, and duplicating and cutting and pasting until I had a full sheet. Later on, someone said, “Oh, you used quilting paper!” Because, of COURSE this is actually a thing, and I had NO IDEA and did it the hard way.

But once I found that out, and started looking at quilts – holy guacamole! There are some serious floor tile inspiration patterns out there. I MEAN LOOK AT THIS ONE. I’d do this in a heartbeat.

(I found this picture on this website.)

Anyway, back to my pattern – I knew I wanted to do something elaborate, and after a few tries, I made this, and loved it:

As I started to expand it, I loved it even more.

Once the whole page was done, it looked REALLY intense, but amazing. I knew that doing it in a marble would soften it up, but I honestly would be fine if it has been THIS crazy.

I looked at ordering all the tile. I started with the yellow onyx, because that was going to be the wildcard. I knew I could find grey and white, but the yellow, I wasn’t sure about. I ordered it, loved it, and then set out to find grey and white to match. I looked at dimensions of individual tiles online, and thought they were the same. I ordered samples before ordering the whole set, and confirmed that the tiles were the same size. They HAVE to be identical. if they aren’t, it’s not going to work. Ideally, the grout space between them will be the same as well. For me, it was the same for the white and grey, but not the yellow. So, I had to cut the yellow into individual tiles, and use them that way. More on that, later.

I wasn’t really sure how much to order. I knew the dimensions of the floor, but I didn’t know how much of each color to order. Doug, being the exact-ist that he is, did all the math. I said, “If I were doing it, I’d figure out the pattern, and see what percentage of the pattern is grey, what percentage is white, and what percentage is yellow. Then, I’d divide it by the amount of floor space we’re covering, and add 10% for extra.”

Doug kind of stared at me and said, “Yeah. That’s a pretty good formula. That’s probably how I’d do it.” I think I impressed him, because normally I wouldn’t even try to figure it out myself. I really loathe math.

Me : “Hooray! But I’m not actually doing the math. Let me know what I need!” And I handed him my sketch and made him crunch the numbers, because I’m a terrible person.

The tile got here, and one day when we had friends over, I said, “Let’s figure out how I’m going to build this!”

(Yes, I realize this blog post is just me getting other people to do things for me. I call it “Leadership.”)

So we sat on the porch, and figured out the puzzle pieces. I knew having a few more minds would be helpful, and it really was.

Hooray for Stephen! And Doug! And Jordan! And Jason!

Once we had the puzzle pieces figured out, I got to work cutting them all out from the mesh. Each color came on a 12×12 sheet. Cutting out tile pieces falls under the home improvement category of “Netflix Work.” Netflix work is when you have a project that involves a lot of mundane work, so you throw on a movie or a series and just work. I did some watching of “The West Wing” for this project. I also am not very good at just sitting and cutting things with an exacto knife for long stretches, so I would cut some, then build some. And repeat. It took me about a week to cut and build, but of course that wasn’t all at once. I’d say I was halfway through Season One when I finished.

Thanks, motivational crew.

Here are my puzzle pieces.

And here’s how they went together. I hope this is helpful, for anyone who might want to take on a project like this! Feel free to steal the pattern, too, if you love it – as long as you send me pictures!

And then, I’d build……

And build…..

And I would desperately try and find a way to like Mandy’s character, but I’d fail miserably…..

And build…..

Sometimes, I’d even have management checking my work.

And I kept posting pictures of it in my excitement. And one of my friends told me “Time for bed. Put your Legos away.” And I laughed, because this really is like playing with toys to me. IT’S SO MUCH FUN.

And then, it was done. Well, except the small edge filler pieces, but we’ll do those when we actually set it in mortar, since that’s when we’ll do the spacing and we don’t exactly know where we’ll hit the edge. Right now, this is just to make sure we have enough, that it works, and now I’ll dismantle it (in sections), and store it until we’re ready to put it in the room.

I’m thrilled. I can’t believe I colored on a sheet of paper, and it turned out exactly like I envisioned.

I. Cannot. Wait.


Have I shown you the wall tile yet?

I. Cannot. Wait.


  1. I really, really love that floor. It has got to be deeply satisfying to see it come together.

  2. Love the pattern and tiles. Beautiful floor that will be there for the life of the house. Just think a hundred years from now other people will be amazed at its beauty.

    1. I’m glad you like the video! I want to do a time-lapse when we actually put the floor down for real. I’m hoping to do more things like that to help people along who might want to try some things that we’re doing!

  3. This looks really great. I see why you’re so excited to finally have it installed. Patience is SO hard to manage when awesome stuff is on the horizon. I love all the other elements of the room, too. Nicely done!

  4. I love it! It’s going to look fabulous. I can’t wait to see it when it is done. I love the wall tile too. Is this going to be a “rug” in the center of the room or is it the full floor space?

    1. It’s ALMOST the full room. If my measurements are right, there will be about 2-3 inches of “field” tile around the edges (which will help since old house rooms are never square). We’re going to use leftover white marble from the kitchen floor for that.

  5. Amy, this bathroom will be gorgeous! Where did you get your color pallet from? The wallpaper? In other rooms you got your inspiration from rugs, a fabric used in the room, or the wallpaper, so I’m wondering how it came together here. I can’t wait to see the final reveal.

    1. That’s a great question! So, initially, I had thought about making the turret bedroom yellow and grey – I had seen a room with that palette, and thought it would be great for a room that will eventually be a guest room. But then, that room just screamed to be black, so the plan changed. This bathroom is inside what will be Doug’s study. I had already planned to make that room black and old gold – a nod to his college alma mater, Purdue. So when I started planning the bathroom, I didn’t want it to match the study, but I didn’t want it to clash either, since they adjoin. And then it clicked that grey and yellow would be a softer partner for the black and gold. So I went with it, and found the wallpaper later!

  6. It’s so awesome! That took a lot of patience. I had to tweak the pattern when I laid the hex floor in my bathroom and was thankful I didn’t have to put all those tiles together by hand. There are a few super dark tiles that stand out in the pictures. Not sure how it looks in real life, but those draw the eye in the worst way. I’d pop those out because they will drive you crazy in the future.

    1. Thanks! I’ll have to mull on taking out the darker tiles – I actually like the variation in the marble quite a bit, but I see where you’re coming from…. hmmm……

  7. It looks amazing! you really had a vision for this! can’t wait and see what it actually look like! May patience be with you 🙂

  8. Have enjoyed binging on your blog, I agree with Pat the very dark grey tiles tend to wrench at the eye, but strangely the darker yellows don’t do the same.

  9. It is so inspiring to see what an imaginative, creative person can accomplish instead of walking into a big box store and buying a box of ho-hum tiles off the shelf to set in one of three standard patterns nailed up on the sample board. You do realize that you can get away with making this kind of fabulous beauty because you do it yourself instead of hiring it out and arguing with someone that’s never done a pattern like this before and wants to fight you every step of the way. Well done!!!!!

  10. This is so beautiful! Your blog has kept me sane whilst I write my Masters dissertation in Building Surveying – I’ve been using your blog posts as a reward every time I complete a section, and I completed it today – just as I’ve finished your last blog post. Having renovated two Victorian houses in England, and as a result, made the switch from music teaching to building surveying, I’ve been so inspired by your renovation. It’s now got me desperate to start re-purposing furniture and checking out chandeliers!

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