Porcelain tile delivers chic eco-friendly design
“The client purchased three individual apartments in Trump Plaza, and the objective was to create one open minimalist type of space,” explained designer Anna Marie Fanelli of Floor & Décor in Tenafly, NJ. “They came from Bergen County in New Jersey, where they have a lovely estate. Their kids are currently in college, and they really want a Manhattan type of lifestyle now.”
A mix of Italian porcelain tile pulls the luxurious 4,000-square-foot space together, and it also provides the strength and durability necessary for easy care. Rich texture and subtle elegance are achieved throughout the interior with a combination of varying sized tiles, including mosaics.
“It really represents tile couture at its best,” said Fanelli. “It speaks for our industry. There is nothing substandard to tile. The tile design is very important to setting up a color scheme. We make the first statement when we pick the ‘colorway’ — then we pick the furniture.”
A chic contemporary look radiates throughout the Manhattan apartment in a palette of gray and white tile. A fluid transition is achieved from room to room with 24- x 24-inch floor tile in “Via Tornabuoni” from the Elegance Collection by Cotto D’Este.
“The design challenge of this residence was to ensure that all the porcelain material utilized flowed within the space,” explained Fanelli. “The floor tile looks like cement, but it is Italian porcelain. We used it for the floor in the entire space, which includes the foyer, living and dining rooms, kitchen and hallway.”
The gray hue of the porcelain floor tile is complemented by the gray-colored custom furniture and custom kitchen and bar cabinetry. It also nicely matches the kitchen countertop, which is fabricated from Caesarstone quartz surfacing and also has a cement look.
“In addition, the floor color inspired me to create artwork on the back wall of the bar area, which is in the main living area of the residence, by using a custom glass basketweave from Mixed Up Mosaics,” said Fanelli. “I wanted to make a statement in the room. I picked a custom basketweave — the ‘colorway’ worked perfectly. It is an accent point in the space.”
Moreover, the custom glass basketweave is made up of pieces with recycled content, according to Fanelli. “[Also], the glass artists use recycled water at their location to be eco conscious,” she said.
In the “Her” master bath, porcelain tile from the Charmetal Collection by La Fabbrica in “Agra White” was selected. The 9- x 36-inch pieces were laid in an offset pattern. The floor tiles are contrasted by “Lino Blanco” wall tiles from Tile of Spain-branded manufacturer Porcelanosa in 12- x 35-inch format.
“The textured and environmentally friendly flooring looks striking against the linen-patterned wall tile, which looks just like wallpaper,” said Fanelli. “The wall tile is enhanced with jewelry-looking glass and Mother-of-Pearl mosaics to add glamour and pizzazz to the space.” The shimmering mosaics form a border along the top of the walls as well as framing the mirror over the vanity.
A clean crisp look is portrayed in the “His” master bath with full walls clad in 4 ¾- x 14 ½-inch “Blanco” porcelain tiles from Novabell’s York Collection. Contributing to a sustainable design, the Novabell tile consists of 40% recycled material and is LEED compliant, said Fanelli. The design of the space rounds out with 24- x 24-inch floor tile in “Via Tornabuoni” from the Elegance Collection by Cotto D’Este and black glass mosaics that frame the vanity mirror and create borders in the shower.
Maintaining consistency in the interior design, the “Girl’s” and “Boy’s” baths also feature Novabell wall tile from the York Collection, but in a 10- x 14 ½-inch format. “Cutting all the 12- x 24-inch or 9- x 36-inch porcelains for the shower floors in the various baths proved to be a design challenge,” said Fanelli. “Since the custom shower doors display the porcelain material so nicely, I wanted one continuous look from the main floor to the shower floor, which only enlarges the space.”
The use of glass mosaics also continues into these spaces. While the “Girl’s” bath features silver, the design of the “Boy’s” bath incorporates black mosaics.
The powder room has a personality of its own with a mix of tiles. The floor consists of 9- x 36-inch tiles from the Charmetal Collection by La Fabbrica in “Tuvalu Black.” “The floor tile transitions exceptionally well from the hallway,” said Fanelli. “The Italian tile flooring sets the tone for the design of the powder room. It is textured and adds drama to this extraordinary space.” Additionally, the walls project a shimmery sheen with 12- x 26-inch iridescent mosaic-looking wall tile in “Blanco” from the Nacare Collection by Tile of Spain-branded manufacturer Porcelanosa.
The tile installation for the entire apartment was completed by John Petrocelli Construction in Palisades Park, NJ. According to installer Frank Monte, the majority of the floor and wall tile was thinset with products from Laticrete. “There was a lot of tile work,” said Monte, adding that there were between three to four workers on the jobsite. “There were four or five bathrooms and a couple thousand feet of flooring.”
When asked if any challenges were encountered, Monte cited the installation of the kitchen backsplash. “We had a little problem with the clear glass tile because it was varying heights, so it couldn’t be grouted,” he said. “We had to push thinset into the joints. We had to determine the proper amount of thinset to use. It was a real tough time cleaning up.”
In total, the job took six months to complete. “The entire residence is a true tile design,” said Fanelli. “We took tile and made a statement out of it.” This year, the project was awarded an “Honorable Mention” in the Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition, which recognizes North American architects and designers who use Italian tile in their projects.
|Installer: John Petrocelli Construction, Palisades Park, NJ|
|Installation Products: Laticrete thinset|
|Number of Installers: 3 to 4|
|Installation Time: 6 months|