Friday, June 13, 2014

Listellos, tile, and Berber, Oh My!

Last week we had our meeting with Rite Rug, which is the Ryan Homes flooring contractor for the Charlotte, NC area.  I have to admit, of all the choices we've had to make so far for the house, these were some of the toughest.  I can understand how people spend hours at their appointments, and then go back two and three times.  It is a lot of pressure to choose something that is going to be an integral part of your home, something you are going to look at day after day, in just one short sitting and based on just one small sample.  I tried to remember that if I was deciding between two virtually identical samples, and I liked both of them, that really either would be fine. I also tried not to second guess myself.  All in all we were in an out in under and hour and a half, so not to shabby.  Without further ado, here are our choices...


The hardwood flooring was really the easiest choice, I knew what I wanted going into the appointment and I stuck with it.   I had visited a model home that had my same granite and cabinets and black appliances with the Gunstock 3" wood floors and I thought it just looked gorgeous.  They were the level 1 engineered hardwoods, and I decided not to upgrade because A. the engineered hardwoods are a little more moisture resistant, which is better in the kitchen, B. I don't really care how wide the plank is, 3" is fine with me, and C. I really don't like the look of the hand-scraped hardwoods, which is the next level up.  The sales rep tried to talk me into it, telling me how popular they are, but its just not my style.

Gunstock floors with our cabinets, backsplash & Granite

Apparently I have terrible taste because just I don't like anything that is popular with kitchens and bathrooms right now.  I don't like dark woods, I don't like white cabinets, I don't like dark tile, and I don't like oil-rubbed bronze.  My sales rep was kind enough to say that I liked things that looked "classic", which I guess is a nice way of saying "old-fashioned".   I guess it makes sense that as an archaeologist I would like old things and  I'm just very happy that with new construction I can choose delightfully old-fashioned things for my brand new house! 

The carpet was also pretty easy, we knew that we wanted to upgrade to level 1 and that we also wanted to upgrade to the 8 lb pad.  The level 1 carpet has the 10 year warranty and is treated with stain repellant, so I think that was a wise choice.  I didn't want to get too crazy with the carpet upgrades, because I know that they'll take a beating by the boys no matter what we choose, but stain treatment is really important.

We chose the Collinsville Sahara Buff color, which was the darkest of the beiges.  I did like the look of some of the lighter beige carpets, but lets get realistic here, in our house darker is better, at least for the next 15 years or so.

The vinyl was also an easy choice, the only place its going to be is in the laundry room. so I picked the jazziest of the choices, Initiator.   It had a little bit of a gold metallic sheen to it, so it will be something a little more interesting to look at while I'm stuck in the laundry room.

I thought this whole flooring appointment was going to be a piece of cake, that is until we hit the tile.  There were sooooo many tile choices, really an excessive number, and they all looked like some variety of beige.   I had a really hard time with the backsplash, especially since I knew it would be on the walls of the focal point of the house.  I wanted to make sure it was going to look good.   We went with the Brixton 6x6 tile in Sand, laid on a diagonal.

 I had no interest in upgrading the backsplash beyond the diagonal, because the St. Cecilia granite is very busy, and I didn't want the look to be overwhelming.  I've seen some pictures of Ryan model homes with the St. Cecilia granite with the upgraded backsplash with subway tiles of different colors or with a listello and to me it just looks like too much.   I like simple, and hopefully when it all comes together it will look pulled together and understated.

The backsplash tile next to the kitchen granite

The bathroom tile wasn't much easier,  we decided to upgrade to a tile floor for the boys upstairs bath and we got the level C tile with our upgraded master bath.  I was debating over whether to upgrade the bathtub to all tile in the boys bath, and I really like the look of the tile with the ivy listello, but a fiberglass surround will be easier to clean.   We can always upgrade in the future.

For the floor we went with the Sierra Almond in a 12 x 12.  I think it will look nice, especially since I talked Mark into upgrading the boys vanity to the Maple Spice.

These are the honey maple cabinets, the ones we upgraded to are are a darker, richer brown

For our bathroom, I was once again flummoxed by the sheer variety of beige tile.  Who knew there were so many versions of tan?   I narrowed down my choices and eventually decided on SD92 (I hope the tile is more exciting than the name suggests!).  The next big choice I had to make was the listello, and this one was surprising easy, mostly because I didn't like many of the options.  We decided on the Marvel, and it is much prettier in person than it appears in photographs.  It has lots of copper tones and more shine and depth, it reminded me of a charm bracelet.  I really liked it and I kept going back to look at it again and again, I think I'm going to love it in my bathroom.

listello and tile

Close up of the listello

We also decided to add the corner caddy, I know that the shower had a seat, but I don't want it to be all cluttered up with shampoos and soaps and stuff.   Now Mark can put his stuff on there.  I think its funny that Ryan must have listened to all the bloggers.  I read in many blogs about how you should leave off the white soap dish because it ruins the look of your nice tile, now they don't even offer the white soap dish, and if you want a place to put your soap, you have to pay for it.

The master bath all put together, listello, bathroom tile, granite for vanity and vanity cabinets

At the appointment we also went over care for our tile and flooring and all the warranty information.  I found it most interesting that the carpet has a 10 year warranty that covers stains.   So, if the kids spill red juice on the carpet, and I can't get it up following their check-list, they will send someone out to clean it for me, and if they can't get the stain up, they will replace the carpet.  I have a feeling I will be holding them to this promise!

Next up- Guardian and 1st purchases for the new house!


  1. Very nice selections. Did you have Robin help you? With Guardian, we only added $750 worth of outlets. Make sure before your appt you know about where you want your tv's.

    Our basement walls go up early next week if the weather cooperates. :)

    1. It might have been Robin, I honestly don't remember her name. She was very patient and helpful though! We didn't add much at Guardian either, my husband was very happy to walk away from an appointment (for once) with no significant upgrades!

  2. Marissa, don't take the word "Classic" negatively! Yes, Hazelnut (white) cabinets are coming "in" right now but what happens when you go to sell your house and they are totally out? A nice medium brown should never really be a problem!

    Obviously I love your choices. Many of them were ours as well... master vanity, master granite, carpet seem to be the exact same. I did fall in love with the handscraped but otherwise would have gotten the gunstock.

    1. Hi Jennifer! Glad to see someone else shares my choices, I think our master baths are going to turn out lovely! I totally understand what you are saying about resale, I'm hoping to live in this house forever, but if things change, I'm hoping that fairly neutral choices will appeal to a broad audience.

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