Stone World

Focus on Indian Stone: Raj slate tiles anchor “underwater” design

August 1, 2006
In designing this Manhattan loft bathroom, designer Denise Ducray created an underwater theme, including Raj slate for the floor and shower wall.


Thinking “outside the box,” Designer Denise Ducray created an underwater theme for a bathroom in a Manhattan loft - grounding the space with a floor and wall of Indian slate. “This is an artist's bathroom,” explained Ducray. “I wanted to do something very unusual - something different that would be a conversation piece.”

According to the designer, she has always favored slate, and she was excited to utilize it in this bathroom design. “I have used slate for years and years,” said Ducray, who runs her own firm, Denise Ducray Design, Inc., in New York City. “People always like to use granite and marble, but I love slates and quartzites. Not all of my clients like to use slate, but it is perfect for what we wanted to use it for [here].”

The idea for the aquatic theme actually was inspired by seahorse faucets from Sherle Wagner, which the designer salvaged from a bathroom in a hotel that was being remodeled. “I wanted to reuse them, and I was really happy that I could for this project.”

The texture and shading of the slate, which was quarried in India and supplied by Artistic Tile of New York, NY, brings warmth to the space, according to the designer.
The 12- x 12-inch Raj slate tiles, which were employed for the floor and shower wall of the 120-square-foot bath, were quarried in India and supplied by Artistic Tile of New York, NY. “I love the warmth of the material,” said Ducray. “I believe that when you go in [to a room], it should cheer you up.”

In total, the project took about five to six weeks to complete, as there was a wait for the custom-designed fixtures. The designer pointed out that the pattern in the slate was a little busy, and as a result, some time was spent selecting the appropriate mix of tiles.

“I always order 20% more,” she explained. “[Also], I always lay the slate on the floor before it is installed, because there is such a huge variety and pattern. I have to make sure that it makes sense, and then I have the clients look at it.”

Once the slate installation was finished, 511 Seal & Enhance from Miracle Sealants Co. was applied to the material.

Private Residence
Manhattan, NY

Designer: Denise Ducray Design, Inc., New York, NY

Stone Supplier: Artistic Tile, New York, NY

Stone Maintenance and Care Products Manufacturer: Miracle Sealants Co., Arcadia, CA