The hunt continues

In the last few years my parents have built a new house and used polished travertine in all of the bathrooms, on the floors and on the walls. I love the bathrooms in my parents home and knew that I also wanted to use travertine in our bathrooms in Number 18. I just love the spa-like feel of natural stone and even though it’s quite modern, I can’t ever really see it going out of style. Marble would have been delightful, but my budget cannot stretch that far. That being said, at one point I resigned myself to the fact we were not going to be able to afford travertine either.

We searched everywhere for the travertine, but it was just too expensive wherever we went. One tile shop even told us that there was no such thing as polished travertine and that the shine came from the sealant you used. Hmmm. We were advised in another tile shop to use a porcelain tile lookalike. Even the price of porcelain tiles ranged from more than what I wanted to pay for a lookalike tile, to outright crazy!

It seemed we weren’t going to get the travertine tile for a price we could afford, except Dan is the champ of sniffing out the best deal. After a bit of searching online he came across Natural Stone and Timber, who more than halved the price of what we could find polished travertine tiles for locally. I must be honest, I was sceptical. The sample arrived and looked the same as my parents. sceptical I remained. The sample was so small, I worried that the quality of a full sized tile wouldn’t be up to much. Make sure it’s grade 1 dad kept telling us. Grade 1 it apparently was.

I wanted to see a full sized tile before committing to purchasing over 70 square metres and I forget how much the delivery was, but it was cheaper for us to make the trek and travel to the shop in Portsmouth to collect the tiles ourselves. We spent a delightful 7 hours on the road in total, there and back in one day. Always thinking of others, I kept Dan entertained by singing along to the radio – using the empty orange juice bottle from our Maccys breakfast as my mic, of course.

I had reservations about getting to the showroom only to see travertine tiles that weren’t grade 1 and was concerned the tiles may have large holes that had been filled. I hoped it wasn’t going to be a wasted trip. Turns out it wasn’t. I was so pleased to see there were no large expanses of fill and the tiles looked great! Winner! The van was loaded and we were away to go.

The singing continued throughout the return journey and then abruptly stopped when we got home. Unpacking the van wasn’t so much fun. Whilst Dan could carry four tiles at a time (each measuring 600 x 400 mm), I could manage one. And even then I was terrified I was going to drop one. I was so relieved to see my dad, and then our neighbours who very kindly offered to help carry the nearly three hundred tiles into the casa. I was then relegated to unpacking in the back of the van, removing tiles from the crate and making piles of tiles in readiness for the boys!

I’m completely thrilled that we managed to get the tiles we wanted for a great price and that we also avoided a porcelain imposter. The tiles are currently propped against the walls waiting for the tiler to start. I cannot wait to see them being laid.