We've gotten to that stage of the project where the magic really starts to happen. The finishes are now getting installed and all the design planning is ready to be judged. So far, no real regrets.
The bathroom tiles are certainly living up to expectations.
In the guest bathroom, we used white subway field tile from Fireclay www.fireclaytile.com. There were several reasons in using this resource: 1)it is local (San Jose, CA); 2)none of the glazes contain lead; 3)the "Debris" series that I used is manufactured using 50% post-consumer and post-industrial recycled materials. I liked this effect because it gives a slightly less "finished" result and there's a warmth of the material that comes through the white tile. Those who have seen it agree, that the effect is quite compelling. I used a recycled glass contrasting band in green.
In the master bathroom, I can't do justice with a description of the glass tiles that I used from. As I look at my newly tiled shower stall in the cane iridescent 1 inch glass field tiles from Oceanside, www.glasstile.com, I think of a jeweled box. It's a lovely effect and again I really like the irregular nature of the the glass pieces. Constatine, a tile "artist" who installed the product, did complain that the transparent nature of the color I chose made his work a bit more difficult. He had to have a smooth (not troweled) based on which to lay in the glass tiles and in spite of their being held together by 12 x 12 inch sheets of paper, they were heavy and took great care in getting them to hold in place. He did a masterful job and I love the final look.
I paired this with a fabulous pebble rock flooring from Fireclay's collection called "jelly bean". Not only do the weathered pebbles feel wonderful underfoot but the effect is a bit like looking down through a clear water stream to a rocky bottom below. It was easy to install and the only hard part was picking and applying the grout so that it wouldn't be too deep to cover the pebbles up too much.
All in all, the choices were not only natural but beautiful. The price ranges were from $13 per sq. ft. for the pebble rock; $20 a sq. ft. for the field tile; to $28 a sq. ft. for the glass tiles.