Small Vestibule with Stairs in Multi-Family
hueso
May 17, 2013 in Design Dilemma
We need to completely re-do a hideous small vestibule in a multi-family building. There are several challenges here. First is that we cannot change the layout. Basically we can only change the materials. Second is that since this is a heavily-trafficked public space, all materials must be able to stand up to abuse (intentional or not). So, simply painting the walls isn't a great solution as it will need to be re-painted probably every six months. Another complicating factor is the stairs. If you put say wainscoting along the two side walls from the front door, the wainscoting must go up at the same angle as the stairs. If it doesn't, you're left with wainscoting two feet off the floor at the higher level. You could start the wainscoting at the front door, perhaps six feet high and not change the height, but that will probably look strange. If you use tile to achieve a similar effect you have the same problem. We desperately need some suggestions or photos of similar small vestibules with stairs. Again, it's really the stairs that makes the design so tricky. Thanks!!
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TanCalGal
Cement floors & plywood paneling
0 Likes   May 19, 2013 at 11:16AM
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Keitha
Since this area has an industrial vibe with the stainless mailboxes and door trim what about stainless sheeting for walls
0 Likes   May 19, 2013 at 11:49AM
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hueso
TanCalGal: Although it's an improvement on what's there, it's way too informal for the location. Keitha: Nice, but a bit too minimalist/industrial. Thanks and keep them coming!!
0 Likes   May 19, 2013 at 11:57AM
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studio10001
An epoxy pebblestone finish for the walls.
0 Likes   May 19, 2013 at 12:14PM
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Keitha
I know that faux finishes aren't quite as popular these days as they were a few years ago but something along those lines DOES hide a multitude of sins?? You could add an interesting pattern to the floor.... Checkerboard maybe ???? Good luck.
0 Likes   May 19, 2013 at 12:17PM
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studio10001
Marmoleum walls
0 Likes   May 19, 2013 at 12:18PM
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hueso
Keitha: Problem is it's an apartment building with lots of traffic and the faux finish will get worn down in no time. We need very tough and durable materials.
0 Likes   May 19, 2013 at 12:20PM
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PRO
Scott Design, Inc.
Consider Neolith porcelain panels for both floor and wall cladding. They range in size from 2'x2' up to 4'x12'. They are 1/8" to 3/8" thick. There are several collections for color and texture. They are installed by tiling contractors. Here is the website for product benefits, etc.
http://www.thesize.es/web/index.php?pg=2
4 Likes   May 19, 2013 at 12:20PM
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hueso
studio10001: Interesting. Do you have any photos you can attach or link to?
0 Likes   May 19, 2013 at 12:21PM
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hueso
Scott Design: Gorgeous! I think you're on to something. Do you know how much they cost psf?
0 Likes   May 19, 2013 at 12:23PM
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PRO
Scott Design, Inc.
Where are you located?
0 Likes   May 19, 2013 at 12:24PM
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hueso
Scott Design: In NYC. I see they sell it at Hindustan Granite (never heard of it, but NYC is big). I hope it's not crazy expensive....
0 Likes   May 19, 2013 at 12:28PM
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PRO
Scott Design, Inc.
Here is a link to North America distributors. They can give you the name of tile stores or sub contractors who work with their material. http://www.thesize.es/web/index.php?pg=4&spg=2&area=02
0 Likes   May 19, 2013 at 12:28PM
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1 Like   May 19, 2013 at 12:30PM
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PRO
Scott Design, Inc.
I work with Rye Ridge Tile and Home Collections, 520 North Main St., Port Chester, NY. They have the material on display.
1 Like   May 19, 2013 at 12:33PM
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Keitha
I love Scott's porcelain panels but would still love to see a patterned floor in a durable material. Not an easy fix for sure... Good luck!
0 Likes   May 19, 2013 at 12:36PM
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studio10001
I'd love the see what you come up with; hope you'll post your final results!
0 Likes   May 19, 2013 at 1:04PM
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hueso
Studio10001: The first Marmoleum link doesn't seem to work. Second one is very impressive!
0 Likes   May 19, 2013 at 1:18PM
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studio10001
If you are in Manhattan, you've probably seen it in commercial applications. Trying their direct link:
Nertz.
www.marmoleum.com
0 Likes   May 19, 2013 at 1:25PM
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apple_pie_order
Normal residential Marmoleum will stain. You need something commercial that is very tough. Tile would be a good choice. If the stair edges are chipped, you can have those repaired at the same time. Wood grain ceramic tile may be a good option for both floor and walls. The more highly patterned it is, the less it will show dings and dirt.

To improve the overall looks, try distributing all new name labels to go in the mailbox slots. The stainless can be polished up, too. New lighting can really help, too.
0 Likes   May 19, 2013 at 2:01PM
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hueso
Apple Pie: Good points. I'll probably get new marble treads for the stairs or perhaps granite. The porcelain that Scott Design mentioned has a wood grain look to it, but with some variation in color. However, the problem remains with the wall with the stairs. You can't use a rectangular slab on the walls as it is 3 feet higher at the top of the stairs so if you start at 4 feet high, it will only be a foot high at the top of the stairs! I still need to come up with a solution for that.
0 Likes   May 19, 2013 at 2:38PM
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apple_pie_order
How about tiling the walls from floor to ceiling? Once you get the tiler in, going all the way up is not such a big deal.

If you have photos of the staircase walls, that would help with visualizing the space's options.
1 Like   May 19, 2013 at 2:57PM
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TanCalGal
Need photos of the stair-wall "problem".
0 Likes   May 19, 2013 at 3:30PM
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giniaginia
These tiles from floor to ceiling all the way up the stairs. And I'm liking a darkish porcelain wood grain tile for the floor. MS&T Tile Distributors.
1 Like   May 19, 2013 at 4:24PM
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hueso
I'll take some better photos tomorrow afternoon and post them here. I've seen several vestibules tiled to the ceiling (and it's usually done when they have stairs since they've had the same issue and that is one way to solve it). Personally I think all that tile in a small space makes it feel a bit like a shower stall. Just too much tile. Thanks again to all of you for all the help and suggestions. "I'll be back."
0 Likes   May 19, 2013 at 6:09PM
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giniaginia
I'd feel like I was in an elegant little hallway in Marrakesh. I'd be more apt to rent the apartment too:)
0 Likes   May 19, 2013 at 6:26PM
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TanCalGal
I like these mail boxes in the dark wall. This photo's wall is probably marble. How about black formica or black granite on walls?
1 Like   May 19, 2013 at 6:26PM
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hueso
OK, here are a few more photos of the vestibule from hell. I've also included a photo of what is the typical solution for the problem I mentioned above caused by stairs in a vestibule as you have to deal with different heights. The solution they came up with is actually one of the better I've seen, but I still don't care really care for the zig zag look of it as the lines aren't simple, clean and modern which is the effect I'm looking for. To be clear, if they didn't make the top of the tile go up halfway through they would have ended up with a a tile wainscot about a foot high at the door.
0 Likes   May 20, 2013 at 11:12AM
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PRO
Scott Design, Inc.
The angling of wainscoting is typical for a floor to stair transition. The Neolith porcelain panels come 45" x 144", 48"x48", 24"x48" and 24"x24". Remove all existing stone and vinyl flooring. Panel the entire wall area in vestibule and down hall. Install new honed granite tile floor with matching honed granite treads.

The result is a great looking up-graded space with clean lines. You can also combine colors/textures. It's heavy duty, impervious to chemicals, non absorbent, easy to clean, fire resistant, freeze and thaw resistant, non-fade, light weight and green!

Here's a few of the many color choices. http://www.thesize.es/web/index.php?pg=2&spg=1&coleccion=01
57 seconds ago
0 Likes   May 20, 2013 at 8:49PM
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studio10001
(45 x 144...I would absolutely love to see what that porcelain factory looks like!)
1 Like   May 20, 2013 at 9:26PM
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hueso
BTW, I called the closest retailer that carries the Neolith line and they refused to tell me what the cost is. That drives me nuts. Like most people I have a budget and I'm also busy. What point is there is fighting traffic to go to the place and then find out the product is twice what I can spend?
0 Likes   May 21, 2013 at 6:38AM
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TanCalGal
If you have Netflix: watch the very first episode of the sit-com "Louie". Louie picks up his date at a NYC apartment. As they are leaving, the shot of the vestibule looks like your apartment's vestibule. I just watched this last night!! Mailboxes on right side and large squares of black and white marble or granite that appears to be installed from floor to ceiling....there is also a nice tile detail toward the top of the marble-granite squares for interest.
0 Likes   May 21, 2013 at 6:45AM
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hueso
That look is very typical for a 20 or so unit multi-family in NYC. I'm hoping to break the mold a bit and come up with something very special without breaking the bank.
0 Likes   May 21, 2013 at 6:51AM
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PRO
Scott Design, Inc.
Typically a non-DIY product like this will not be quoted to a consumer. It will be quoted as an installed price by a tile contractor for your particular job.

I recommend you call a distributor (not retailer) listed on their website and ask them for the names of a couple of tile contractors who have worked with the product. Then call the contractor, tell him what you want and meet him at the location. At that point he can also quote on large format tile for the floor, stone stair tread work, etc.

It's my understanding, the sq. ft price for 1/8" (5mm) material recommended for both wall and floor ranges in price from $15-$20 per sq. ft. depending on the collection and color/pattern. Like any other product, you add tax, delivery and installation. Price may vary depending on the distributor but at least you have an idea.
0 Likes   May 21, 2013 at 9:21AM
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giniaginia
I'm still a fan of the Birch wallpaper. That from floor to ceiling, then that covered in panels of art glass/plate glass. Something completely see thru yet a little texture. Maybe the seams can be chrome. And the floor The grayish/white wood grain porcelain tile.
0 Likes   May 21, 2013 at 9:24AM
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giniaginia
This is awesome. if someone did this really nice. Its probably as expensive as that wood grain tile if its done well.and maybe a more crisp and clean modern floor.
0 Likes   May 21, 2013 at 9:34AM
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hueso
Ginia: That's lovely, but having glass on the wall of a vestibule is an accident waiting to happen. One day some movers of furniture or appliances will slam something into the glass and crack or break it. Every few years we get the glass door broken. I think covering the walls in glass would increase the accident frequency unless I'm misunderstanding what you're suggesting. Do you have a make and model for the tiles?
0 Likes   May 21, 2013 at 9:36AM
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PRO
Scott Design, Inc.
@10001 The Neolith factory is in Spain and they will be coming out with a 60" wide panel. Just right for a typical 5x8 bathroom floor! No grout joints!
0 Likes   May 21, 2013 at 12:28PM
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studio10001
Incredible! (and the breakage rate?!) Well, now I want to go to Spain!
0 Likes   May 21, 2013 at 12:42PM
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