The glass floor in the dining room is just one part of a more extensive remodel by architect Michael Kovac, which includes a wood-clad addition to the upper levels of the Los Angeles home and the reconfiguration of the main floor layout.
Lars Frazer The glass floor in the dining room is just one part of a more extensive remodel by architect Michael Kovac, which includes a wood-clad addition to the upper levels of the Los Angeles home and the reconfiguration of the main floor layout.

Architect Michael Kovac of Kovac Architects, in Los Angeles, says that a year-round stream is exceptionally rare in the canyons around the city, so he used a “floor window” in the dining room to frame this view. “The way the house is situated on the hill, you could not see the stream without going out on the balcony and looking straight down,” he says.

The glass inset into the wood floor is not framed by any trim. Architect Michael Kovac says that this was an aesthetic choice. “We felt it [looked] cleaner and more modern,” he says. The floor-to-ceiling windows above the glass floor are original to the house.
Lars Frazer The glass inset into the wood floor is not framed by any trim. Architect Michael Kovac says that this was an aesthetic choice. “We felt it [looked] cleaner and more modern,” he says. The floor-to-ceiling windows above the glass floor are original to the house.

The 1,491-square-foot home’s original footprint was close to the property line and constrained by a steep hill. The owners wanted a master suite and bath. Kovac added about 300 square feet on both the main floor and the upper floor with a bump-out. The width of the bump-out on the main floor ranges from 9 feet 6 inches to 12 feet. A new living room is in the wider section of the addition. The new dining room is where the original living room was. When he reconfigured the dining space, Kovac added the 3 foot by 10 foot glass floor.

Kovac has included floor windows in his designs before. In a new house he designed outside of Las Vegas, he included a series of floor windows to bring natural light from a skylight above to a lower-floor entry.
Lars Frazer Kovac has included floor windows in his designs before. In a new house he designed outside of Las Vegas, he included a series of floor windows to bring natural light from a skylight above to a lower-floor entry.

Kovac says that code requires three panes of glass laminated together. He hired an engineer familiar with glass floor and railing codes and structural requirements to create the specifications.

Steve Crane, the remodeler on the project, confirmed that his glass subcontractor could install the glass and asked for a bid before he submitted his estimate for the job. “It’s a dramatic effect. The glass is set in a steel angle in the floor,” says the owner of Crane & Co., in Los Angeles. Though the crew installed the steel angle early on, the glass was not installed until after the wood floor in the dining room was sanded and finished, to prevent damage to the glass piece.