Southwest Hills is an upscale residential neighborhood in Portland, OR, which is known for attractions such as the Oregon Zoo and Washington Park. For one residence within the exclusive area, a couple of homeowners opted for a new take on his-and-hers bathrooms when renovating their 1908 home. They created two separate 80-square-foot bathrooms, but kept the overall design cohesive with two similar floor tile mosaics comprised of waterjet-cut marble and glossy ceramic tile walls, which complement the home’s classical style.
“This project is a true homage to Portland’s Southwest Hills’ classical style,” said Ryan Willoughby, project manager at Hawthorne Tile, Inc. in Portland, OR, which completed the intricate tile installation. “The finished bathrooms in this home left nothing to be desired and included every modern convenience, all wrapped in a timeless, exceptionally crafted finish that brought the architect’s vision to life.”
Both floor mosaics feature marble tiles from Ann Sack’s Beau Monde mosaic collection, which was inspired by the ancient mosaic art form of pietra dura, which originated in Italy in the late 16th century. The collection creates elaborate imagery through a selection of 36 detailed designs, which incorporate different varieties of marble, limestone, onyx and travertine.
In “her” bathroom, an in-laid waterjet area rug and shower niche mosaic was created using the “Brie” pattern from the Beau Monde collection, a flower-and-star-like design comprised of Calacatta, Thassos and Cloud 9 marbles. The Cloud 9 marble was also utilized in a 12- x 24-inch format for the tile flooring surrounding the stone rug, as well as a smaller 1- x 2-inch mosaic format on the shower floor.
The walls feature handmade ceramic tiles in shades of white from Ann Sacks in two different formats. The lower half of the wall is lined with traditional subway tiles, while the upper half of the wall features an arabesque-inspired pattern to create a contemporary, yet classical design.
“Her bathroom had excellent bones, but required detailed efforts to true up the wall framing,” Willoughby said. “Knowing that the walls were to receive handmade tile, we needed to have a square, level and plumb substrate to work from. His bathroom required a similar effort in establishing square, level and plumb walls, which also received handmade tile.”
In order to prep the walls for both spaces, Willoughby and his team of four installers utilized installation products from Ardex, Custom Building Products, Schluter-Systems and USG Corporation. An electric floor heating system from SunTouch was also utilized underneath the tiled floors in both bathrooms.
“A heated floor runs from the main floor into the steam shower and across the bench, with the main floor receiving a waterjet mosaic running wall to wall,” Willoughby explained of “his” bathroom. “The entry to the steam shower, an arched opening, required a coordinated team effort in order to meet the exacting tolerances of both aesthetic design and technical requirements.
“In order to keep the seamless feel of the floor installation, we included a fabricated marble vent cover [in her bathroom], further ensuring the integrity of the overall design,” he added.
With just over 600 square feet of tile used for the entire project, which was supplied from the local Ann Sacks branch, Willoughby and his team completed the installation in less than four months. “With proper planning and good communication, the project went relatively smooth,” Willoughby said.
In addition to the praise from the clients, the project was awarded the grand prize in the “installation” category at the 2019 Coverings Installation & Design (CID) Awards. “Expectations were exceeded,” Willoughby said.
Tile Installer: Hawthorne Tile, Inc., Portland, OR
Tile Supplier: Ann Sacks, Portland, OR (Beau Monde collection)
Installation Products: Ardex, Aliquippa, PA; Custom Building Products, Huntington Beach, CA; Schluter-Systems, Plattsburg, NY; SunTouch, Springfield, MO; USG Corp., Chicago, IL