Decor & DIY

Union Tiles Mid renovation update

You might have been following my bathroom renovation progress with Union Tiles over on my Insta Stories, but here with the inside scoop.

Choosing the right tiler as well as the right tiles for the bathroom project made this a project that has had no major hiccups. Preparation is key when it comes to managing a renovation project yourself – no matter how big or small.

What tiles did I choose for my bathroom renovation?

After visiting the Inspiration booths at the Union Tiles stores and spending quite some time on Pinterest I finally made up my mind. Some of you will remember the initial bathroom remodel that I shared (here with a before image again).

Moroccan tile bathroom revamp - before image

I fell in love with the handmade Moroccan cement tiles that were exclusively available from Union Tiles in South Africa. These tiles are quite expensive but totally totally worth it, I am sooo happy that I decided to spend some monies on them and now have a floor that makes my heart happy every time I see it. Working with these Moroccan tiles were a tad more difficult than with traditional tiles. These Moroccan cement tiles have to be sealed one by one before installation as they are porous and easily stained by the adhesive and grout. The sealer is easy to do but one has to be quite careful in applying them with the least streaks possible. We made use of a sponge roller and applied two coats of sealant before installation and applied one more coat after the installation of these floor tiles.

Moroccan tile bathroom revamp - old wash-table as vanity

I initially visited the Bedfordview Union Tiles branch and was literally spoilt for choice. Their Bedfordview store is HUGE and really has an amazing range to choose from. To compliment my Moroccan floor tiles I decided to add some on trend white elongated white tiles to the lower part of all the walls. I really like the subway tile trend, but in the end decided to go with a non beveled glossy white tile. I felt that I needed to create a clean and crisp look so opted to use a white grout on the white tiles, but I am sure that it would have equally looked amazing using a dove grey or black grout.

Union Tiles bathroom renovation
White grout on white tiles with Union Tiles

Then, to make the whole look pop I used a black version of the same tile as the first and bottom row just above the floor which created a mock ‘skirting’. Totally retro! To accentuate the tiles I used a black grout with the black tiles, this is also the perfect solution to white grout that over time starts looking a bit dirty / grey-ish around the bathroom floor area.

Union Tiles bathroom renovation

The team at Union Tiles were able to assist me with calculating how many tiles, tile adhesive and grout I would need for the project. So glad as I really had no idea where to start. Remember that you can take closed boxes back after your renovation, but always keep a few just in case you ever need them again.

Can you tile over painted walls? The quick answer is that it is definitely not ideal, but possible using the correct product. Union Tiles supplied me with a solution that the tiler had to mix together with some tile adhesive to enable the tiles to stick on the painted walls. After painting this on the walls it had to dry completely before they could start the tiling.

Excitement is mounting, my bathroom renovation with Union tiles is almost complete

Small bathroom updates that make a big difference

I thought I would share some other tips that made a big difference in the renovation:

  • Choosing the right basin, I had to replace the basin as the old, round one was really working on my nerves. Make sure that you measure your vanity before purchasing a basin and decide what look you like beforehand. Ours overhung the front of the basin by 4cm in front so you literally bumped your tummy every time you wanted to brush your teeth!
  • I slightly modernised the bathroom by removing the back of the old wash table, but this was also to reduce the ongoing maintenance issue of sealing the exposed wood every 2-3 months.
  • Update your bathroom accessories like your towel rails and toilet roll holders. I purchased some black options that really popped against the white tiles.
  • Paint the windowsills! I have no idea why I didn’t think of this the first time we updated the bathroom, now the bathroom looks complete!
  • When it comes to mirrors, bigger is definitely better! Oversized mirrors are so on trend at the moment! You can vote for your favorite look on my Insta stories to help me decide on which mirror I should choose to hang above the vanity.
  • If you do opt to only half tile walls you are always able to update the bathroom by adding some color to the top part of the walls. Union Tiles are also the holding company for Africote who are suppliers of various paints and paint solutions.

Painting a bathroom

About Union Tiles

Union Tiles have been around since 1922! Yup, they are literally almost 100 years old and the only way this company has been able to be around for this long is by keeping up with the trends and providing consumers with equally quality products! The company offers a huge range of mostly Italian imported ceramic, porcelain and natural stone ranges to name but a few, They also offer a wide range of associated building material products and services. You might also want to keep an eye on their specials.

Union Tiles bathroom renovation

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post according to my disclaimers and disclosures, but as always my honest opinion.

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Karen Kelly is the founder and editor of She is a creative at heart and passionate about all things DIY. Learn more about her here and connect with her on social media on the links below.

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