So you think you are all prepared for demo day. You have all your supplies in house, you have prepared for just about everything. Then the demo crew arrives. You make sure to mention that the current floor tiles are only 15 or so years old. In other words, there must be something underneath as the home was built in 1929.
However, I was warned that there might be concrete, and if it is, I can expect a large additional cost for all the extra labor to remove the concrete and add new flooring. So I prayed for no concrete.
And guess what was under the 15 year old tile?
BUT wait, let me take you back a few moments. They called me and said they hit concrete and additional costs it would be. So I went running and was ready to accept defeat, but when as I was staring at the floor I saw sparks of marble, NOT ceramic tile. I grabbed their tools and started carefully lifting tiles to discover the original tile work.
GORGEOUS! No, BREATHTAKING!!!
You can ask the demo crew and contractor, they all took a step back and waited silently for me as I bent over and whispered under my breath a few swears and disappointment’s. Then I refocused and told everyone I basically saved the day, but my heart still breaks because previous owners had covered up the original beautiful tiles. Which could have been rebuffed and brought to it’s former glory. Then my heart breaks even more when I realize I just spent an arm and a leg buying new floor tiles that look like the original tiles.
The 1930’s were all about color and texture, so when I see white with hints of black I know we are dealing with the 1920’s or earlier. Between 1900-1929 it was all about the classic white. These bathroom floor tiles were done perfectly with what is known as the basketweave tile of the 1900-1920’s.
Here is a typical example of a current home staying with the style of the depression era.
Okay, now, because I live and breath design I knew what style floor I wanted, basketweave. I also had a grey subway tile to incorporate, and for that reason I opted for the light grey basketweave floor tile.
This home was built in 1929 and I really try to keep to the style and aesthetic of the time period with a punch of modern. The bathroom update was designed with this in mind, let me remind you, here is the moodboard for it or click here to see the original post.
Okay, do you notice anything? Yup, I had picked out MONTHS AGO what was originally placed in the home. But, my new tiles were probably fabricated in China while the original was most likely made in Italy with better craftsmanship in 1920’s.
I mean c’mon peeps. Older homes have certain items you just can’t destroy and, not only did the previous owners cover it up, the demo guys just sledge hammered a section. Insert the sound of a tears from the ugly cry now.
I want to take a moment and pay homage to the floor. I asked the guys to take off the remainder 1990’s tiles with love and care so I could photograph the original tiles and pay respect to the craftsmen who built this home over 85 years ago. Silent moment.
I love new builds and many of my clients are building their dream home; however, my passion does lie in older homes, and when re-vitalizing a space I will always try to remain loyal to it’s original character.
So, my tip of the day. If you are in an older home and about to do a project, GO SLOW with the hammer (or sledge hammer) and have patience as you might discover something oh so beautiful.