Why Structure is a BIG Deal

Do you know what is under your floors and walls? Don’t worry, most people don’t. Until there is a problem that is.


On this project, we were hired to replace the marble (a soft stone) floor because there was a large crack straight in a line. Needless to say, it’s not as easy as it sounds and … yes, the project snowballed into an amazing large project that we General Contracted as a firm – and yes again, partly through Covid, but I digress.

In order to replace the floor, we first designed the space selected the new products:

  1. TILE: My preference tile floor is always going to be porcelain. It is hard and they are doing amazing things with porcelain now to make it look like anything from Carrara to wood to natural stone. We selected a large format 24” x 24” grey porcelain that had a small amount of movement and basically reads solid. Daltile: Delegate
  2. CABINETRY: While there was nothing wrong with the existing cabinetry, we decided that a lighter color of vanity would feel more appropriate for the feel of the space. We selected a light color of BM Balboa Mist for the cabinetry and shelving unit
  3. WALLPAPER: We wanted to update the wallpaper to read a bit more solid but still have texture and sheen to it. Kravet: Grasscloth W3225-11
  4. SHOWER: The shower walls were designed to create an accent stripe of a textured white 12” x 24” tile  in the center with the large shower niches along this accent stripe and the back of the niche. The rest of the walls would be a solid glossy white. The ceiling is a 2” x 4” Carrara mosaic and the accent wall was saved from the original project.
  5. PLUMBING FIXTURES: We used Dornbracht polished chrome shower and faucets all to match with slim, clean lines and simple operating systems. We decided to keep a tub in the bathroom and incorporate it built-in to the curved wall. The toilet is a new Toto Nexus with amazing cleaning features.
  6. STONE: The new stone is beautiful quartz – Cambria Weybourne that brings it all together on the vanity, tub surround, and in the shower.
  7. PAINT: The wall color is BM OC-22 Calm and reads perfectly. I always select the paint last because I know we can always find or make something to work with the manufactured products.

Once all the materials were selected, we started construction. You can see here that during demolition we discovered exactly why the floor had cracked. The crack was located exactly where the beam is located. The contractor put in a new subfloor for structure then the tile installer poured a leveling agent to get the room flat before putting in the heated floor system and installing the tile.

This old house had been originally renovated in 2012 so we weren’t surprised by the amount of framing that we hit every time we went to pull plumbing and electrical. But the structure should have been done right. It was overall a fairly simple fix, but you can see how one small issue quickly turns into a large project. Whenever you are working on a project and framing is exposed. Be sure to take plenty of photos and store them in a place that you can easily find them. They will tell you a very informative story.


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