It is always hard deciding what sort of finish to give a new room. The Alexander family have recently refurbished their bathroom and, after much thought, opted for travertine.
Niall Alexander said:
“It was quite exciting for us deciding to completely refurbish our family bathroom from scratch. We had never actually done a whole bathroom before. In the past, we had given our bathrooms a facelift by repainting the walls or re-flooring them but this was to be an entire project.
We moved into our house 17 years ago, and to be honest, the bathroom was tired even then! It had something of a 1970s’ style, with an oval corner bath, with a shower above, a toilet and a basin.
We had painted it a dark blue colour to try to give it a more modern feel and had carpeted it to make it cosy.
Over the years since we have been at the house, which is a 1930s’ detached, three-bedroom home, we have done rooms up one by one. We have also extended our kitchen and taken a wall out to make more of a breakfast room.
Doing the bathroom was always on the list – but was right at the bottom!
Eventually, however, its time came and we started thinking about how we ought to do it. The bathroom was not huge so we had to make the best use of the room we had – and also make it feel as spacious as possible.
Design and space
We spent a long time visiting bathroom showrooms and sitting with them while they carried out 3D computer aided designs for us.
With some clever jiggery-pokery, we realised we could fit in a free-standing bath in a fairly modern design, as well as a corner shower cubicle, a toilet and a wash basin. Although there would not be a huge amount of space for moving about, it would not be too tight.
The bathroom suite was all in white, with chrome taps and other accessories. We, therefore, needed to decide on Bathroom Flooring and wall tiling that would set this off nicely.
My wife decided quite early on that she wanted to tile all the walls in the room, as well as the floor. Only the ceiling would be painted.
She said she’d had enough of having a damp carpet in her bathroom. She wanted something that looked stylish and was easy to clean.
We looked first at Ceramic Tiles. We knew we did not want anything too patterned, and wanted to keep the colour scheme fairly neutral – but there was nothing that really caught our eye.
Next we looked at beautiful, creamy limestone. I fell in love immediately – but it was going to be just too expensive to do the whole room.
Travertine seemed to be our best option. It would look fabulous as a back drop to the white pieces and had character while also looking contemporary.
Smooth and light
Travertine is actually a kind of limestone but the form you find in the shops has a more marble-like appearance than the product they market as limestone.
It comes in honed, tumbled and rustic finishes, and in different depths of its cream to honey spectrum of colouring – sometimes it also almost looks pinky.
We found a light travertine – almost ivory in colour – that we quite liked. Its patterning was not too heavy and it had a smooth honed finish.
We ordered the travertine tiles in squares of 16ins by 16ins, and then set about laying them on the floor, and tiling all the walls.
Special waterproof adhesive had to be used and then a light grouting was used to complement the colour of the travertine.
Once the whole room had been finished, I then sealed all the stone. The room now looks fabulous. It has the upmarket, stylish finish we were looking for but also has interest.
The travertine gives it something of a classic look, a cool Mediterranean style that is a pleasure to enjoy.