Shower & Tub Surround Tile and Grout

A Boho Globally Inspired bathroom renovation using patterned moroccan inspired tiles

Hey guys,

As I promised, I'm checking in with an update on our bathroom remodel. Things slowed down quite a bit with the Thanksgiving holiday but there's still a bit of progress to share with you.

I had a few questions from you all about grout. Originally the plan was to use turquoise blue grout. And then my contractor used it as adhesive for the shower tiles. And then told me he couldn't use it to grout the tiles because he needed unsanded grout for the measurement of gap between the tiles. How discouraging!

I was pretty bummed out that he used the grout as adhesive without speaking to us about it first. The cost difference between generic ol' adhesive and the turquoise grout is hefty. And I have used it in a tiling project where the grout size was quite small (remember my tiled ottoman tops?). So the whole ordeal has been really frustrating.


With the use of the turquoise grout out the window because it's a sanded grout, we went shopping at The Home Depot to check out their selection of grouts. We chose an inexpensive unsanded grout by Polyblend in the color "New Taupe." It's a very pretty color. Striking against the white. A very classy combination. Not exactly the vibe I was going for, but I think that it's offset by the patterned tile insert quite nicely.

Speaking of the insert, I've had to put my foot down and demand that he use the turquoise grout here. I know it can be used in a smaller tile gap and I really wanted it used in the space. With only 1 tub left (out of the 8 I had), this is going to have to be the unexpected pop of fun I crave.


I don't want to come off completely underwhelmed, ungrateful, or pissed off. I appreciate all the hard work my neighbor has done. And I'm not pissed off. Things didn't go quite according to plan. While I would have preferred he discuss the use of the product in this way with us, he wouldn't have used it to grout the whole shower surround anyways. And it really is beautiful how it's turning out. I'm betting this color will be a whole lot easier to keep clean looking anyways so this could just be a blessing in disguise.

So that's what we're looking at for progress on the shower surround.


The floors are really exciting. They're actually going perfectly according to plan. We're using the same Polyblend grout in "Tobacco."  The floor tile is from Lowe's and it's GBI Tile & Stone Inc. Madeira Oak Ceramic Floor Tile. It's a touch warmer than the picture online shows. We bought ours online and picked up in store.
*Lowe's & The Home Depot are Ebates stores so you get cash back when you buy online and pick up in store ;-)

So there's a lot of really good things moving forward right now. With the holidays upon us, I'm not so much focused on getting projects done for the bathroom. Our contractor is doing what he needs to do on his end, but I won't be picking back up on any projects until after the new year. I'll still keep updating, but keep a look out for a few holiday themed posts. It's the most magical time of year :-)


  1. It's definitely coming along! This process is scaring me just a bit because I think we are going to tackle one of our bathrooms next (including a shower!). But, yay for progress!

  2. We've been doing our own tile work for years and I conduct a tiling class at the Home Depot Workshop in my store in Rohnert Park, CA. I would have used mortar as an adhesive and rule of thumb for sanded vs non-sanded: if your grout line is wider than 1/8" you must use sanded. Can't wait to see the finished flooring...wood-grain tile is becoming so popular in kitchens and bathrooms--rustic backsplashes too!

  3. I work at mosaic tile company and I have some advice for you if you are still unhappy with the job. A simple fix to cover the imperfections can be done In 1 day by yourself. Part of the reason why you are unhappy with the result is because you used a grout with a VERY high contrast from the tile iself. This causes your eye to look at the grout likes not the beautiful beveled arabesque tile you chose. Yoi immediately focus on the grout lines that don't add up or are larger. Here's how you fix it.... You can use what is called a grout colorant on top of the grout you already have. lt can then be changed to any color, looks just like grout, and also acts as a seal so you don't have to worry about using a lighter color. I would suggest a light blue-gray or even a white. You can apply the grout colorant with a tooth brush and you just wipe off the access that gets on the tile and not the grout line. Pretty easy! Hope this helps.

    Best, Elle Sanderson


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