Golly! It’s National Tile Day!

This morning Chris emailed me to let me know it was National Tile Day!

And thank goodness for I otherwise would have had no idea!

Chris also wanted to know if I could could do an update on the tile in the Cross House.

You know, for National Tile Day.


In February, 2015, I did a series of posts about the porcelain geometric tile in the Cross House, by the American Encaustic Tiling Company.  I found a manufacturer who is making the tile again, and was ecstatic to learn that any missing tile could be recreated! Whoee!!!!!!!!

I sent off samples of the tiles I needed copied, and was eager to move forward, when…the invoice came in to repair/redo the radiator system. Ouch. All projects came to a halt while I spent the rest of the year, and a bit of the following year, paying off the invoice.

And I never got back to the tile.

I am actually glad about this forced delay as I would do things differently now.

The house has three tiled vestibules, and two tiled bathrooms. Most of the 1894 tile is in situ. What is missing will be recreated.


The first floor bath.


Since posting the above image in February, 2015, I have learned a great deal about this room. The extant tiling is not quite what was there in 1894.

What was a full bath when I purchased the house was a half-bath in 1894, when it had a marble vanity and a high-tank toilet. I even know the precise location of each due to information on the quartz wainscoting (temporarily removed). The vanity and toilet, I believe, sat upon marble slabs inset into the tile floor. This was common. When a tub was inserted in the room in 1929, the presumed slabs were removed, the tiles reconfigured as shown above, and the area under the tub was filled with concrete.

I now plan to restore the tiling so that it once again is the full width of the room. I have not yet decided if I will recreate the presumed inset marble slabs.

To honor National Tile Day, I have decided to resume the dormant tiling project, and so the Great Tile Adventure shall recommence!!!!!!!!


This is the kind of marble vanity which was in the first-floor bathroom in 1894. Note the inset marble floor slab.





  1. B. Davis on February 23, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    Oh Ross, this will be so gorgeous when it’s done. It’s already outstanding the way it is even not restored. You’re so awesome.

  2. Chris on February 23, 2017 at 7:39 pm


  3. Seth Hoffman on February 23, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    Looking forward to seeing the progress!

  4. Cody H on February 23, 2017 at 11:55 pm

    Unrelated to tile….but HEY ROSS! I found a pair of combination gas/electric sconces that SWIVEL! They DO exist!

    • Ross on February 24, 2017 at 9:38 pm

      Hi Cody!

      Zounds! Thank you!

      I do, occasionally, find gas/electric swivel sconces.

      The pair you found are tempting! But they have been altered. The electric socket would have been exposed originally, and with a brass fitter. The gas part has also been reworked.

      I would still buy them if they were, say, $100 the pair, but not for $550 when they need work!

      Also, the wall canopy is really tiny (although period-correct) and will not cover a modern electric box. I have seen 1890s sconces with wider canopies.

      • Cody H on February 25, 2017 at 6:01 pm

        Drat! I was SO excited to find combination swivel sconces! I had never seen any before, and I was beginning to think that they were like unicorns! Well hey, I tried. I did however, manage to score another ceiling gas/electric fixture though. It’s silver plate, and one of the super cool ones where all the lights face up.

  5. tiffaney on February 24, 2017 at 1:10 am

    Are you going to re-create the full bath, or just the half?

    Also, thanks for reminding me about the sink! I’ve been meaning to tell you about some holes in my bathroom floor. Oh doesn’t that sound thrilling? It’s the standard black and white tile bathroom from the late 30s, but for some reason, it has holes where something much like the sink in this post would be. Why on EARTH would a 1930s bathroom originally had an 1890s sink? WHY! The sink that’s there now isn’t old, but fits well. It’s a pedestal, so it obviously doesn’t hide the holes.

    Any thoughts?

    • Seth Hoffman on February 24, 2017 at 7:41 am

      Where are the stops and supply lines. Are they in the wall now? Is it possible the holes are from supply lines that used to come up from the floor?

      • Ross on February 24, 2017 at 8:03 am

        The original supply line and drains all went through the wall.

  6. Celeste on February 24, 2017 at 1:33 am

    Have any idea which tile you want to restore first?

    • Ross on February 24, 2017 at 8:02 am

      I am going to have all the missing tiles recreated at once.

      Then I will likely first restore the tile floor in the first-floor bathroom.

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