Case Study /
Aug 16, 2017

Recycled Ceramic Ties Together An Open Layout Renovation

After Kitchen

Photo by Greg Powers Photography

When a newly engaged couple in their mid-70s began renovating this Washington, D.C., home and wanted an open floor plan with a seamless indoor/outdoor connection, their architects opted for a smooth, gray recycled ceramic floor tile to tie the project together.

The home—small, sectioned-off, and dark—was the opposite of the light-filled project they wanted. Their firm, Kube Architecture, gutted the home but did not demolish it (the firm likes to save and reuse what it can) and created a new open layout.

“Cooking is a big priority for the clients, so we wanted to place the new kitchen at the heart of the house,” says Janet Bloomberg, principal at the Washington-based firm. The kitchen was moved from a small, hidden space on the side of the home to front-and-center in a bright, open living area surrounded by the home’s original exposed brick.

The new living room for relaxing and entertaining guests flows seamlessly from the end of the kitchen countertops. The backyard lies beyond, giving the clients easy access to their herb gardens. To tie the three spaces together, Bloomberg chose gray Floor Gres Chrometech 1.0 tile.

“The clients love Italy, and this Italian tile really gives the rooms a European feel,” Bloomberg says. “It’s what unifies the whole house.”

The recycled travertine ceramic is classified for heavy outdoor and indoor use, and its non-skid surface makes it perfect for both the kitchen and the patio. In a room with lots of direct sunlight, the gray tile stays cooler than other flooring options. A gray shag rug in the sitting area easily makes the flooring appropriate for a living room, too.

“It’s durable and livable,” Bloomberg said. “We didn’t want something that would crack if you dropped something on it.”


Project / Salt and Pepper, Washington, D.C.

Architect / KUBE, Washington, D.C.

Builder / Housecraft

Spec / 12-inch-by-24-inch Chrometech 1.0 in Matte Warm 5.0