Stone World

Mosaic glass tile rejuvenates master bath

July 14, 2011
iridescent green glass mosaics
In transforming the design of a Texas home from one century to another, Winn Wittman, AIA, of Winn Wittman Architecture in Austin, TX, chose to incorporate mosaic glass tile into the design of his client’s master bath. The ultimate design goal of this project was to fulfill the homeowner’s vision, which directly reflected his passion for individual expression.

In addition to reflecting his client’s personality in the space, Wittman also was determined to create a very functional bathroom. He wanted to bring a sense of order to a room that originally had a very fragmented layout.

A focal point of the master bath design is shimmering mosaic tiles that clad the shower walls and accent a large picture window. The ¾- x ¾-inch iridescent green glass mosaics were manufactured by Hakatai Enterprises, Inc. of Ashland, OR.

“The glass tile is a durable and attractive surface, and the strong color was appealing,” said the architect. “We also enjoyed the iridescent shimmer to the solid glass tile.”

Before making a final decision to use the iridescent glass mosaic tile for the master bath design, the architect and builder — Gary Robinson of Home as Art in Austin, TX — also looked at some products with a greater scale. “The larger glass tiles we looked at were nice, but they definitely were not as rich looking — and they were even actually pricier than this particular product,” said Wittman.

Careful consideration was also given to the installation of the glass mosaics — especially given the fact that they are in the shower. “When using glass tiles like the ones we selected, you have to make sure you are using the correct adhesive and making sure that you do not have any bleed-through from the water proofing that you have applied to the walls,” said Robinson.

Further contributing to the overall ambiance of the master bath are beige-colored stone floor tiles that feature some darker spots — adding character to the floor design. Additionally, the vanity tops were fabricated from a variety of
CaesarStone quartz surfacing, which is made with recycled glass content.

According to both the architect and builder, the 400-square-foot master bath proved to be challenging with regard to the tile work. “The most challenging aspect was the shower floor, which needs to slope to drain, and also needs to be slip-resistant and match the flooring in the main area,” said Wittman. “We accomplished this by cutting the flooring pieces into smaller pieces and honing them with sandpaper to achieve a non-slip surface. The smaller pieces follow the curvature of the shower pan.”

The entire house renovation, including the master bath took approximately a year and a half to finish, and it has received several design awards. “We have gratefully been featured in over two dozen national and international publications,” said Wittman.

“I don’t think we realized that we would receive so much publicity from one house,” said Robinson. “It is truly ‘off the charts.’ It’s the character of the owner.”