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Installation Stories: A Rustic Industrial Brick Kitchen Remodel

Installation Stories: A Rustic Industrial Brick Kitchen Remodel

Brick colors shown: Snow and Cotton; Design: McLain Designs; Photography: The Compass Points Here

After inheriting her mother's home, our customer Rachel decided it was time to give her A-frame charmer an update.  Wanting to celebrate her surroundings, and stay true to the rustic feel of the home, Rachel emphasized the rustic features of her kitchen with a modern but warm glazed thin Brick backsplash and industrial-inspired.  To help give you all some kitchen remodel ideas, we took a minute to chat with Rachel about her remodel and her Fireclay Tile Experience.

Hi Rachel!  First of all how did you hear about Fireclay Tile?

Rachel – Once I decided on using clay tile as the backsplash in my kitchen, I went to my local tile stores and researched companies online and I found Fireclay. I worked with Emily and she was great. It seemed like even though Fireclay was on the other side of the country, I got personalized customer service. Emily spoke with me about my space and my concerns, and had exciting ideas.

Brick colors shown: Snow and Cotton

Design: McLain Designs; Photography: The Compass Points Here

What did your kitchen look like before the remodel?

Rachel – My house was built in 1995. My mom built it as her retirement home. She has passed on but I decided to keep the house because I love it so much and it is in such a beautiful location, Traverse City, Michigan. The house is an A-frame design with tongue and groove cedar vault ceilings. It is very rustic–on a lake and in the woods. The original kitchen had faux terra cotta ceramic tile flooring, tile countertops and backsplash, and solid hickory cabinets. The design of the kitchen was nice and open, but it needed an update. Because the cabinets were solid wood and in good condition, I just gave them a good cleaning and replaced the hardware. I also removed some of the upper cabinets to allow for a less cluttered look. 

I replaced the flooring with 12 x 24 gray porcelain tile and extended the area of tile to include an adjacent hallway.  The island was removed and replaced with a larger one. Since it is impossible to try and match 20-year-old wood cabinets, I just went with custom wood cabinets and painted them with Benjamin Moore White Dove. This is also the color of the walls in the rest of the house. I chose soapstone for the island top, and the rest of the kitchen countertops were replaced with a huge custom stainless steel top with an integrated sink.  And of course the backsplash is Fireclay Tile.

What type of look were you going for?

Rachel – I wanted to stick with the rustic vibe of the house but modernize it a bit.

Design: McLain Designs; Photography: The Compass Points Here

How did you come up with your color scheme and design?  Why did you choose to use our glazed thin Brick Tile?

Rachel – The color scheme is very natural and simple. I like whites, grays and natural wood. The design was largely influenced by the pre-existing kitchen design because I did not change the original cabinet layout. My original plan was to use simple white subway tile for the backsplash, but after the stainless steel countertop was installed, that seemed too sterile for my casual, rustic home.  i still really liked the look of the subway tile, so when I saw a Brick tile backsplash online and it seemed like the perfect answer. I could still stick with the general design but it looked so much warmer, especially up against the stainless. I loved that contrast.

Emily from Fireclay mailed me the sample tiles I requested and I had a difficult time deciding between two different shades of white, Snow and Cotton. Then Emily steered me toward a photo on the website that showed a combination of the two colors. This was perfect–The combination almost gave it an "old brick" look.

Design: McLain Designs; Photography: The Compass Points Here

How did the installation process go? Did you face any challenges?

Rachel – The installation process went great. I hired an installer who really enjoyed working with the tile. He liked how thick it was, and even though each piece was a little different, the size was uniform and easy to work with. Fireclay provided general instructions for working with the two different colors and making them look randomly and naturally spaced. Unfortunately I did my math wrong, and we had to order more tile, but Emily was great and got it to me quickly. 

Did you work with a designer?

Rachel – I worked with Meagan McLain of McLain Designs in Traverse City. She is actually a friend of mine. Meagan designed the island and helped me with my decisions along the way.

Working on a kitchen renovation and love this look?  Order free Brick samples now.  Simply call, chat, or fill out our Design Assistance Form and one of our talented Design Consultants will get back to you shortly.