Fitting Everything InThe outside edges of both built-ins were not trimmed out. Instead, Kenda beveled them 3 degrees and installed the boxes so that the front edges aligned with the drywall. The drywall contractor bedded tape and joint compound over the slight depression created by the bevel, smoothing and feathering out the joint by riding a drywall knife on top of the bevel point. The result was a perfectly smooth, flush wall surface right up to the inside edges of the boxes. Fitting everything required of a bath in such a compact space was a challenge complicated by the fact that the room is oddly shaped; 7 feet wide along the exterior wall, it tapers to 5 feet at the doorway wall opposite. To camouflage the difference, Cerone experimented with designs for the vanity that would run along the tapering wall. First, though, he sketched in outlines on the subfloor to indicate the location for the tub and toilet and a partition wall between the two. The outlines revealed how large a space he had to work with. Using 1/4-inch plywood underlayment cutouts, he showed the Foxes several possible vanity configurations before settling on a modified boomerang design, one half narrowing to 21 inches and the other tapering to a svelte 16 inches.
Solid surfacing proved to be the ideal countertop material because it could be fabricated to conform to the idiosyncratic shape while providing double sinks and a rounded, kid-friendly-radius edge. In keeping with Marla's wish not to have too many projecting surfaces, Cerone hung a flat mirror over the vanity and recessed the medicine cabinet in the side wall, covering its inset, touch-latch door with plywood painted to match the surrounding wall. Because their kids are young, Bob and Marla expect to be bath-givers for many years. In the future they intend to enclose the tub-and-shower combo with sliding glass doors, which are being stored in the basement for the time being. Marla's design scheme called for a mix of watery and neutral colors and for classic materials with timeless appeal, but she did make an exception; sparking blue 1-inch-square glass mosaic tiles for the tub surround (see "High Glass," below). "I'd seen it in a magazine and I kept coming back to it," she says. "I loved the way glass tiles change color depending on the light and the way you look at them." Cerone installed 8-inch-square beige tumbled-marble tiles on the floor, covering the wooden subfloor with tar paper and bedding the tiles in a cement-and-wire base. For the vanity base, Marla chose maple with a washed finish. To spread just a bit of sparkle around, Marla had Cerone cut a few of the glass tiles into the tumbled-marble floor tiles. "We love it all, and the kids adore it, too," she says of the $17,000 remodel. "They can't wait to take a bath, and then we can get them to bed that much quicker!"
High Glass
Glass tiles are gaining acceptance as a substitute for ceramic tiles, especially for interior use. They are installed using traditional tile-setting techniques, although they do not feature lugs, and they require plastic spacers to keep grout lines uniform. Tiles made of glass may have sharp edges and require careful handling. They are also expensive. At a minimum of $40 per square foot for the tiles alone, they approach the premium range, a price the Foxes were willing to pay because of the relatively small area â?" about 60 square feet â?" being covered. The main appeal of glass tiles is their unusual look. They are available in different opacities, but semitranslucent varieties are popular for their soft, dreamlike quality. Because the glass transmits light, grout color can alter the look of the installed tiles. Most anufacturers recommend white grout, but Marla selected a greenish/blue sand grout that complemented the watery look of the tile field.
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