Affordable resources for rectangular tumbled glass bathroom tiles?
January 26, 2010 6:46 PM   Subscribe

I'm searching for some tiles for a bathroom renovation, and having trouble finding a specific look...

- Glass
- Gray/smoky
- Tumbled, matte, otherwise textured surface
- Mostly interested in rectangles 2"x4" or similar, but would also entertain squares, around 2" or 3"

Anyone have any ideas where I could find such tiles, or how I could improve my Googling to find what I want? I was searching for "subway tiles" for a while, but these all seem to be larger than what I'm looking for.

Also, the more affordable the better. I found some tiles that are close, but add up to $40+ per square foot, which is just too much for our budget.
posted by illenion to Home & Garden (12 answers total)
I would search for "large glass mosaic tiles", "2x4 mosaic glass tiles" etc.

3 x 6 textured gray glass tiles

Pretty much any glass tiles less than 4x4 are going to get lumped in with mosaic tiles.

Google search for 2x4 grey glass tiles

One link from that page.
posted by true at 6:58 PM on January 26, 2010

Subway tiles are rectangular. It's a sort of brick look popular in current Pottery Barn catalogs, like in this photo.

Glass tile is pretty expensive.

I'm not sure what you mean by gray or smoky. Maybe natural stone rather than ceramic?

Anyway, you'll find the least expensive tile, probably, at your local Lowe's or Home Depot.

For wider variety, visit the showroom of a large, national distributor like DalTile.

This is one of those things that's pretty easy to see in person and very hard to find online.

(My hubby's family owns a tile installation business.)
posted by bluedaisy at 6:59 PM on January 26, 2010

Heh, maybe it is easy to find online! True has some great links.

But if you aren't sure of the look you want, it doesn't hurt to visit a showroom. Certainly you won't be obligated to buy anything there.
posted by bluedaisy at 7:02 PM on January 26, 2010

Thank you for the links and advice, True.

And bluedaisy, as I mentioned, I know what subway tiles are and have determined that they're overall larger than what I'm looking for. By gray, I meant the color gray. And I am pretty sure what look I want, I described it as thoroughly as I could above. Thanks for the link to DalTile though, I didn't know any big names in the tile game.
posted by illenion at 7:32 PM on January 26, 2010

Lowe's/Home Depot only has the very most popular types of tile, don't even bother.

I don't know how this works where you are, but where I live there's a bunch of tile/ceramic/building supply places all in one neighborhood. A lot of them only sell to contractors, but many have showrooms regardless so that potential clients can see what's available. Checking out the product names and playing "ermmm, what would you call this?" with the rep usually gives me the terms and company-names I need for better comparison-Googling.

You might check out "green" companies, too, as I think that this sort of glass tile is frequently recycled glass. (I think i know exactly what you're talking about, though I usually see smaller tiles.)
posted by desuetude at 7:47 PM on January 26, 2010

Sorry, I thought "smoky" meant a treatment not a color.

Good luck with your tile work!
posted by bluedaisy at 8:05 PM on January 26, 2010

I was so sure I'd find just the right tile at our local Bedrock Industries, but looks like a pure gray is not a usual color for them, though some of the colors tend to that direction.

Did I understand correctly that that's basically the sort of thing you're going for, though? If it is, you might check around for a local or semi-local manufacturer of recycled glass tile, if you haven't already. Mixing recycled glass to a particular hue is something of a black art. Bedrock always has a ton of seconds to pick through, and if you're willing to put in some time selecting beautiful glass tiles, you can save a good deal of money.
posted by sculpin at 8:20 PM on January 26, 2010

Good call, desuetude, on checking out the building supply neighborhood.

And sculpin, exactly! I was checking out Bedrock Industries earlier today, their tiles are really close to what I'm looking for (AND I would love to support a Seattle company since that's my hometown!), the only issue is the price... the 2x3" tiles work out to almost $60 per square foot, eek.
posted by illenion at 9:25 PM on January 26, 2010

Try Hakatai. They always seem to have pretty decent prices, and I think you can order a sample before committing to buying. Not sure if these are too small, though (1" x 2").
posted by elisebeth at 9:04 AM on January 27, 2010

We've got a joint that sells small lots, irregulars, as-is, leftovers from contractor-purchased jobs, liquidated inventory from stores, etc. We got our kitchen floor tiles for cheap-cheap-cheap through this place; they just happened to have enough for our floor in a tile we liked. Do you have a place like this?
posted by desuetude at 9:47 AM on January 27, 2010

modwalls will probably have what you're looking for. if you sign up for their newsletter (not spammy at all) they'll give you free shipping offers.
posted by killy willy at 12:57 PM on January 27, 2010

I hope so, desuetude... I just moved and am still trying to get the lay of the land in my new city.

Thanks for the help everyone, I got some good leads.
posted by illenion at 7:51 PM on January 28, 2010

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