Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Hard Stuff

Old school.  If it’s not steel or wood, then it’s brick or tile.  That’s the feel we am going for here.  I have been searching high and low for some good reclaimed brick, but continually come up empty handed.  The stuff that is out there is very rough, expensive, and only available in small quantities.  Who knew it would be so hard to make something look old?

After spending some time with my Dal-Tile rep here in the Design District, she turned me on to a local group that manufactures some good looking pre-fab brick.  I have experimented with a number of other types of manufactured stone and brick, and they all pretty much have the same limitations.  The main one for me being that they explode when you heat them up quickly.  This is important because I plan on melting things (or burning them off) to create more authentic patinas, mostly in place once they are installed.  Think sun bleached, pollution stained, peeled and chipped paint on a brick wall in an alley someplace…

Using an oxy-fuel torch to heat up a sample brick
Taking a look at what is on the inside and measuring the disparity between bricks
Pleased that it didn't blow up in my face
This stuff is great.  You can do just about anything heat related to it and it doesn’t seem to respond (and by respond I mean explode in your face).

As we begin to lay it down, the irregular nature of the castings begins to show.  Good stuff…
As for tile, nothing beats old school.  Subway tile, black and white, can’t go wrong.  Settled on this pattern for all five bathrooms. Here are some pics…

Trying to figure out what works...
We decided to use the studio bathroom as a test bed... perhaps a bit elaborate for a "shop toilet"
Start of the steam room

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