Full Bath: Standing Stone Accent Tile

There’s nothing quite like spending a Sunday cutting and aligning hundreds of little stones around a shower. I hear other people do things like “brunch” and “napping” on Sundays, but that’s not how you roll when you live in a garage.

Good news, every day the house is looking more and more finished.

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I was a little hesitant about introducing another element to the bathroom, but back when I was picking out the bath tile I thought that given the size of the tile and the area that wraps around the tub the spacing and cuts of those 4″ tiles wouldn’t look right. As a last-ditch effort to find something that would work, I checked out the gray/white standing stones at the local tile shop and they were a perfect match between the white wood and the gray/beige of the bath tile.

I put a lot of different thought into how to lay them. I had a crazy moment where I thought running them vertically would be easiest (and give me the nicest tub-side edge) without much cutting, but cooler heads prevailed and told me that would look ridiculous.

So, I did it the hard way.

These come in four inch strips so there was a lot of cutting to do, and it wasn’t a scientific process, as you can see by the fact that I was using a paint stirrer to mark my cutting line.

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The wet saw handled these okay, although my fingers spent a lot of time closer to a moving blade than is generally comfortable, and I’m pretty sure my $50 blade is shot after completing one side.

I laid out a few sections at a time before setting them on the wall. It took a combination of piecing sections together and loose stones to make everything fit correctly.

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If you’re going to do this right, it will take some time.

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And mad tetris-like skills.

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Installing them was pretty easy though, I used the same polymeric thinset that I used on the tile. It dries a light gray which blends in well with the stone colors. This is important because there is no grout to cover it up.

Using my little putty knife I smeared about 3/16″ of thinset on to the wall, and then just stuck the stones in.

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Like installing mosaic tile, I make sure to press each individual stone into the mortar. Which may result in finger bruises by the end of the day. LOVE typing right now.

Here’s what the one finished side looks like:

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I definitely like it better than if I’d run the 4″ tiles around on the outside, and I’m hoping it will add interest without being too crazy-busy in there when the room is done.

What do you think? Are standing stones your thing?

12 Responses

  1. Beautiful! I once went to a reptile park in Bali and all the paths were made with an intricate pattern of standing stone. I’m wondering now if it was done just by arranging stones or with sheets. I tried finding pictures on the net but apparently I was the only one interested in photos of the stone floor?
    I love the effect in your bathroom, to me it adds such an element of textural interest, but isn’t over done.
    I can’t believe how hard you work. You deserve a long luxurious vacation. Maybe Bali to see the stone work?!

  2. Kit, I really love this! As Jacqui said, it adds texture, but also it takes it from “nice tile” to “WHOA, Nice Tile”! 🙂

  3. This is a fabulous idea (and not just because I’m a geologist)… It is a nice texture… I always liked the look of pebbles on the floor of a shower – I am now imagining where I can put standing stone… is there any grout?

  4. Love the stone accent look on the outside! Some people on the GardenWeb board have been having issues with the pebble tiles inside there shower but I think you solved that by putting the tile out of the wet zone. Seeing your vanity you started building I think this bathroom is going to look fab!

  5. Beautiful! They bring the outside, in, giving an element of nature. I was surprised when you said no grout, because, like another commenter mentioned, how would you clean them? But then grout would ruin the look.

  6. I see the posts are from 2011 but this is new to me! I love the stones. They are right up my alley. I don’t think I can tackle that but I am doing 1/2 mosaic tile/glass. If my partner and I could decide on a wall color…..

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