Meeting Client Demands with Porcelain and Glass Tile
March 7, 2008
When recently remodeling a Manhattan residence, architect Charles M. Rabinovitch of Charles M. Rabinovitch/Architects in New York City had to devise a solution to meet the demands of his client’s hectic lifestyle, as well as creating an aesthetically pleasing design. He turned to a combination of tile and stone to get the job done.
“This was a real renovation project,” said Rabinovitch. “It is a pre-war Manhattan apartment building. The client had purchased two 1940s apartments, which we gutted and combined into one apartment.”
The architect explained that the homeowner was a realtor broker, who led a fast-paced lifestyle. “Basically, the client was someone who liked the look of natural stone, but was concerned with maintenance issues.”
For this reason, Rabinovitch specified a combination of large-format Italian porcelain tile for the floor design in the 112-square-foot kitchen space. It provided the durability that the homeowner desired, as well as meeting the aesthetical requirements of the design. To add a bit of pizzazz, the porcelain floor tiles were accented by bands of Oceanside Glasstile mosaics.
The mosaic pieces were a blend of two or three different colors of glass, according to the architect. “The client had some very specific color and aesthetic taste, but we had a free hand after that,” he said.
To further dress up the kitchen, the glass mosaic tile was also employed for the backsplash - creating a shimmering effect. The sparkling backsplash was a nice complement to the stainless steel appliances and countertop.
As an additional detail, hand-painted tiles that depict an aquatic scene were placed in the backsplash as an accent to the glass mosaics. “The client has a fascination with fish,” said Rabinovitch. “Once she saw tiles of fish, she absolutely wanted to incorporate them.”
The use of the decorative tiles with fish on them continues into the bathroom. The colorful hand-painted pieces were strategically placed on the shower walls, which are clad in stone mosaics. “The bathroom is an intimate scale,” said the architect. “The idea was to use mosaics to blend the fish motifs of the tile.”
The shower also features a mosaic floor and built-in bench with a seat made of stone. Moreover, the bathroom design is further enhanced with a vanity top fabricated from green onyx. “We used some green onyx for the vanity to pick up the colors of the other materials, and blend everything together,” said Rabinovitch.
All in all, the client was very pleased with the results of the renovation, according to the architect. The porcelain floor tile in the kitchen provides both form and function, while the glass mosaics add a touch of elegance, whereas the hand-painted tile allowed the homeowner’s personality to be reflected in her living space.