23 April 2010

The Hammered Glass Cannot Be Tempered

We’re just about done with this project. The tile backsplash is set. We thought at first we’d go with a single color but I’m glad we decided to mix it up, loosely echoing the tilework in the shower. Steve did a good job of transitioning from the slight curve required to fit flush with the ledge at the back of the sink to a straight line along the top. He also cut the end tiles so they’d line up with the edges of the sink; extra work, but it looks much better that way.

The upper door of the skinny cabinet now has its patterned glass panel. I love the ripply effect, even empty. The pattern is called “Hammered.” We’d considered another called “Rain,” as well as the vertical ribbed type I associate with cabinets in old-fashioned drugstores and medical offices. Originally we wanted glass in the lower door as well, but code dictates that glass installed close to the floor must be tempered so it doesn’t shatter into a million lethal shards if you accidentally kick it or something. Steve checked to see whether the pattern we wanted was available in a tempered version. The answer appeared as an email subject line: "The hammered glass cannot be tempered.” That sentence seems to resonate like a poem or proverb.

The shower has been user-tested and found delightful. We’re using our old shower rod and curtain until the glass door arrives next week. We spec’ed this fixture largely on the basis of its sleek design and apparent functionality. One of the plumbing showrooms had a spray booth set up, with a dozen or so shower heads and an external control for each one, so you could observe the jets in action and get a general sense of how they worked. But that’s not the same as taking off your clothes and getting in. This one is adjustable in four different directions, not just the spray but the height and angle of the shower head. Everything works smoothly and the spray options are optimal. The shower head is Grohe, by the way, and the control is Delta. We wanted independent temperature and volume settings integrated in the same control; Delta seems to be one of the few companies that still makes them.

I love the look and feel of the faucet, also by Grohe. It goes beautifully with the sink. As with the shower, we went by appearance and manufacturer reputation but with no guarantee that it would actually function the way we wanted. China Rose finds the arrangement satisfactory, too. That, of course, was the goal of this entire project.

Since I took these photos, we’ve begun settling in. Jerry remounted the medicine cabinet, now painted to match the trim, and the small glass shelves on both sides. We sacrificed one of the six shelves to make room for a hand towel holder. He fixed the funky electrical outlet and replaced the decorative switchplate, the colors of which go perfectly with the tile. My job was to load and organize the new storage cabinet. Other incidentals, like the bath towel bar and a wall-mounted swiveling mirror, normal on one side and merciless 8x magnifier on the other, will go up shortly. None of this is very exciting, but I’ll put up a few more pix later.

Steve came by this morning to install the grab bar and hooks in the shower. We wrote him an even larger check than the last one, reserving just enough to cover the cost of the door. Funny; that was the first item we spec’d, and it’s the last to be installed.


Anonymous said...
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Doug MacLean said...

The Hammered Glass CAN be Tempered.!
Check out 54 Aquatek obscure glass: