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Modern Glass Tile and Renewable Bamboo Floors

Finally some fun stuff is going in the house. To stay in the Mid Century Modern theme I did mosaic in the master shower, but an updated spin on what was there originally. Glass mosaic tile is really hot right now for MCM house design and there are fun new retro patterns available if you search. After looking around at my local tile stores nothing really fit the bill because I wanted this new trendy, spacey-looking random pattern.  You definitely wont see these materials in any other rehabs locally. I found this glass mosaic in LA for $5.99/sf so I drove up and bought everything this week. I’m using another new product for grout on the glass called Star Glass, its actually recycled crushed glass in a urethane base. It’s a flexible, non-cement, non-porous grout and wont ever fade or stain. It’s real expensive and was primarily reserved for commercial applications until recently discovered by interior designers. Its translucent and reflective and seems to disappear when applied to glass tiles instead of contrasting heavily like even a normal white grout would do. Using glass tile like this is great, what I don’t like anymore is seeing when just a glass mosaic 4″ strip is used as a shower or tub surround accent liner. Look at some of my older bathroom remodels if you don’t know what I’m referring to!

In the hall bath above I went with a frosted 3×6 glass tile but set it in a stacked pattern which looks more modern than subway pattern. I ran it all the way up to my new vaulted ceiling lid for a more expansive feel in what is really a modest bathroom size. I also laid a 12×24 charcoal grey porcelain tile for both bathroom floors which is very popular in modern bathroom design right now. This grey will go with anything and basically just disappear when the bathrooms are done and all the chrome hardware goes in. I set the floors butt-joint also to look cleaner and eliminate grout lines. The glass mosaic in the master also has grey in it so it tied in perfectly. The floating vanities you’ll see go in soon are also high gloss grey.

We also got started installing the hardwood floors. I wanted to go with Bamboo for this house for its durable nature and the fact that’s its 100% renewable and considered a Green building product by LEED standards. Bamboo is harvested every 5-6 years while normal trees in a forest take 40-60 years to mature. This product is also of the newer version of Bamboos that has been stranded and carbonized. You don’t see the old cheap style bamboo pattern and there is no wear layer, its the same material all the way through. I bought it at Simple Floors for $3.15 s.f. and decided on paying a sub contractor another $2/sf to install it to speed up my project. This Bamboo requires glue down installation because its so hard that you will bend nails trying to nail it. The color I found is as close to my cedar ceilings as possible, and I laid it the long way to match the tongue and groove ceiling direction.  The white walls are totally working now that I’ve obtained so much warmth and color from the surrounding natural materials.

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  1. 5 Comment(s)

  2. By Travis on Feb 19, 2012 | Reply

    Looking great, Tom! I love the materials that you chose.

  3. By Halbert on Feb 22, 2012 | Reply

    Oh, boy! The dessert course!

    Tom, I can’t help but wonder if painting those beams white would “lift” the ceiling. I’ll duck now, so you can punch.

    I really like the gray tiles. We used something quite similar in our baths. I’ve seen this paired with oak cabinet fronts and it it looks surprisingly stylish:

    Kudos to you for resisting the glass tile inlay. I weakened on this at the last minute, cheered on by the tile guy who would of course have to charge me more for the extra labor. It looks nice, but it probably won’t come around again as a “fresh” trend in my lifetime.

    Are you doing modern door lever handles?

    Looking forward to the shiny stuff!

  4. By Tom on Feb 23, 2012 | Reply

    H- yea, the white beams would probably have a lifting feel. In person the dark olive green really looks cool though although it does make me want to duck: ). I haven’t picked out the interior door handles yet, send me something if you have any ideas. For the front door I want a chrome modern handle though, still looking. I found those cool shower heads someone posted on Jim’s site too.

    I changed some exterior colors at the last second. Stucco will now be grey instead of white. The t&g outside I decided against white. I wanted 2-3 different classy greys so we got all the paint up and it looks great. The stucco color coat goes on Friday so I’ll post some exterior shots this weekend. I’m having fun picking out light fixtures, everything is being ordered online. No Home Depot stuff. So much great stuff online for good prices.

    Thanks for the constructive ideas!

  5. By Jay the Realtor wannabe on Mar 14, 2012 | Reply

    Lovin’ the bathroom glass tile! Glad you went with the same look as the original. When you first showed us the place, I remember thinking “I hope he can find a way to keep that tile”. You kept the look but gave it a fresh spin…nice!

  6. By Tom on Mar 14, 2012 | Reply

    Thanks Jay,

    IMO to do an MCM project right you have to stay in theme. Too much “modern” stuff thrown at it would dilute the effect. You can see everything is a modernized version of the time period. I saved 2 killer light fixtures, one martini sconce in a bedroom and a bathroom bar light. An investor friend of mine in fact stopped by and seemed alarmed that I was leaving them in the house: ) Thanks for the comments!

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