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Large Herringbone Marble Tile Floor – How To DIY It For Less

Hey friends! Hope you had a great week! I’m back today with the scoop on the herringbone marble tile floor I recently installed in our coastal bathroom remodel.

When I took on our bathroom for the One Room Challenge, it had 15-20 year old wood-look linoleum on the floor – the same flooring that runs through our kitchen and abuts real hardwoods in the adjacent dining room and family room. The Big Plan is to replace the kitchen floor with hardwood eventually, but for the bathroom I had my heart set on marble ever since I remodeled the fireplace.Fireplace updated with marble tile on the surround and hearth

Tiling over a brick surround

Raised fireplace hearth tiled with marble herringbone mosaic

Tiling over a brick hearth

Marble is such a classic material, and also the colors – white, oyster, gray – are perfect for our house. Ask me again in 10 years, but I really feel like the design of a room could be completely changed up without having to rip out marble tile – it’s neutral and has that timeless, old-school quality.

Are you a marble fan too?

If so, I’m excited to pass on this little tip I learned to work pricey marble into the ollllld budget.

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I did tons of research online and in stores looking for a white marble tile that I absolutely LOVED the color of, and played around with all sorts of patterns. I considered using small or medium hexagons, small subway tile like I used on the surround or the small herringbone mosaics on the hearth, basketweave, or some other pattern – there are so many beautiful marble tiles on the market – but I felt like the small mosaic tiles would be kind of busy with the pattern and texture of the oyster shell mirror.

An 80s era bathroom gets a coastal vibe

With the mirror in mind I decided a larger scale floor pattern was the way to go (with the bonus of less grouting!). When I was poking around in the flooring aisle, I couldn’t get over that these 12″ marble tiles are only $3.99 a square foot, substantially less than most other marble tiles, and I remembered this fantastic idea from Elsie at A Beautiful Mess.

Elsie had her tile installer cut 12×12 tiles into thirds (4×12) and the outcome is SO gorgeous. Genius!

 

I opted to just cut my tiles in half for a chunkier herringbone pattern (and less labor!)

 

Once again I rented wet saw and now I’m lamenting the fact that I didn’t buy a wet saw three tile projects ago – the saw rental of 4 hours goes by in the blink of an eye and I ended up keeping the saw for 2 days. Lets just say I could have bought two wet saws for what I have paid in rentals.

Some of the tiles had more grey to them, so I dry-fitted them to mix up the colors a bit and figure out the triangular cuts…..

…before installing them, using 1/16″ spacers so the grout lines would be minimal.

After a quick Instagram poll – white grout or gray grout?? – I went with gray and love it! Thank you to everyone who weighed in on that decision!

DIY installation of marble tile floor via Shine Your Light

What do you think about the large scale herringbone pattern?

A marble tiled floor laid in a herringbone pattern.

Figuring out how to lay these 6″x12″ tiles on the diagonal takes a little extra thought, but once you measure, mark, and install the first row you’re good to go. It would be WAY easier to lay the tiles square with the walls and not have to make all those triangular cuts around the perimeter, but I loved the idea of repeating the fireplace’s herringbone pattern on a larger scale.

If you love the herringbone pattern but don’t want to mess around with all those cuts, consider the mosaic herringbone I used on the hearth – they come on mesh sheets that you can easily lay by the square foot.

Fireplace hearth with marble tile

This is the small herringbone tile I used for the hearth.

 

Check out the rest coastal bathroom reveal here…..

Coastal bathroom via Shine Your Light

If you have any questions about this tile installation, give me a holler!

Wishing you a fun summer weekend!


SOURCES

Marble tile

Tile adhesive

Trowel

Spacers

Gray grout

Grout float

Marble sealer


 Other posts from this bathroom remodel you might be interested in:

How to clean oyster shells and create a beautiful one of a kind mirror with them.

 

Stunning coastal art limited edition prints.

 

PIN THIS POST FOR LATER!

A trick to a large herringbone marble tiled floor for less.

How To Make An Oyster Shell Mirror
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Cristina

Saturday 29th of July 2017

Oh yes, another marble lover around here. I love the herringbone pattern. How clever of you to cut the big tiles. I'm taking notes, thanks! ?

Lisa

Monday 31st of July 2017

I'm so glad I read about that trick Cristina. It saved my budget big time! It was less than half the tile I was originally going to go with!

Shelley | Crazy Wonderful

Wednesday 26th of July 2017

This is so brilliant!!! The pattern is absolutely gorgeous and I love the beefier scale. They gray grout is perfect too!

Lisa

Wednesday 26th of July 2017

Thanks so much Shelley! That tip from A Beautiful Mess was so smart. I'm happy that I went with the bigger tiles just for the time saved grouting!! :)

Kris {Driven by Decor}

Wednesday 26th of July 2017

Lisa that is seriously amazing!!!! Love it so much! Want to take on my kitchen with me? Just kidding.. you'd have to move in for months. This room was definitely worth the wait!

Lisa

Wednesday 26th of July 2017

Thanks so much Kris! So excited for you for your kitchen remodel! It's so pretty the way it is but I know you've wanted to change some things up for a long time! Can't wait to see.

Denise

Monday 24th of July 2017

Oh my goodness Lisa! What a smart idea! I have been drooling over marble floor tile for a while now but it's just not in the budget. But cutting the larger tile in half might just make it work!! Thanks for sharing - it's gorgeous!

Lisa

Tuesday 25th of July 2017

Thanks Denise!! I tiled the whole floor for under $200, including the adhesive and grout, which relatively speaking, isn't too bad!!

Brenda Botbyl-Velez

Sunday 23rd of July 2017

Omg! It is absolutely gorgeous! And you did this yourself??! I have a lot of carrera marble left over from building our last home.....I may just ask for a wet saw for my birthday and put my marble to good use in our new home! What an inspiration!! I'm very impressed!!

Lisa

Sunday 23rd of July 2017

Hi Brenda, thank you for stopping by to see this! Yes I installed the tile myself. I gave our fireplace a makeover last year and that was my first experience using a tile saw on my own - if you have someone that can show you how to use it, once you make a few cuts yourself you'll see it's not hard, just take your time and make sure you have water running through it all the time. Also goggles are important. If you use your leftover marble, send me pictures! I'd love to see what you do!