The tile installer came back today to finish the installation of our “vintage” mosaic tile floor in the entry way by grouting the tile he installed yesterday.  The floor still needs a good cleaning to get all the grout haze off of it, but we’re pretty happy with the way it looks.  For being a brand new tile floor, we think the small tiles and border pattern make it feel right for a house that’s nearing 100 years old.  Here are some pictures:

The View from the Front Door

Entry Way & Powder Room

The Border Design

We had originally planned to install new oak wood flooring in the entry way, which would match the wood floors hidden under the carpet in the rest of the house, but after construction got started, we discovered that the bathroom and old entry way area actually had a concrete floor (which was pretty unusual considering that there is basement underneath both rooms).  Since that part of the floor was concrete, the entire floor would have needed to be raised by a couple of inches for a wood floor to be installed in this space.

We were really unsure about what to choose when we first thought about having to pick a flooring material other than wood.  Tile was the logical choice, but we felt like most of the choices we saw would have stood out as being really out-of-place for our older home.  The tile we wound up selecting is the American Olean Unglazed Ceramic Mosaic tile.  The field tile is the “Storm Gray” color and the border tile is “Biscuit”.  It’s a little hard to tell from the pictures, but the grout is actually a dark gray color that matches the field tile pretty well.

We did quite a bit of research online for designs the tile could be installed in and got a lot of inspiration from the Restoration Tile website (  We finally landed on a fairly simplistic border design with some minor embellishments in the corners of the room and the house numbers in tile directly in front of the door.  All things considered, we thought the pattern would be pretty simple for installation, but the tile installer commented that it was quite time consuming – it took the better part of two days.  I guess unglazed mosaic tiles are mostly installed just in showers now and not with much of a pattern.

All in all, we’re pleased with the way the new floor turned out.  Tomorrow, the carpenter is coming back to install shelves in the closets and (hopefully) start working on installing the trim and interior doors.

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2 thoughts on “The Entry Way Tile is Done!

  1. Sharon says:

    The floor looks absolutely fantastic. Did you guys lay out the tile mosaic yourselves? How did you lay out the design that you showed in earlier posts? Was it some mosaic program?

    1. Sarah says:

      Thanks! We did come up with the design ourselves – just tried out a bunch of variations on paper until we found one we thought we liked. As far as software, we went really low tech and actually used a Google Docs Spreadsheet. I just set the row height and column width to be the same size (so that each cell was a square), added enough rows & columns to match the size of the room and then changed the background color of each square to look like the tile pattern. It was tedious and pretty time consuming, but did give us a good way to communicate what we wanted to the tile installer, so it was worth it!

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