Cellar door in bathroom: Best flooring solution?
I recently purchased a 110 year old home that has an addition on the rear of the house. The addition is essentially the kitchen and downstairs bathroom. Unfortunately, the cellar door was not moved when the addition was done, so it now sits in the middle of the bathroom. It currently has a vinyl tile that looks cheap and I want to replace it. Moving the door really isn't feasible, so now I'm trying to determine what my options are. I'm going to rebuild the door, which is about 3x5, to ensure that it fits perfectly and is as rigid as it can be.
When choosing a new a floor, I have a couple structural concerns. First, the floor is not perfectly level, so I'll need to use something like a self leveling compound, which will be complicated by the location of the door. Second, I'm afraid something like ceramic will crack due to the fact that the door probably won't be entirely rigid no matter how it's built, not to mention that if the door isn't lowered slowly or if it's dropped, I'll have big problems.
My aesthetic concerns are the obvious: how can I incorporate the door into the flooring while minimizing it's noticeability. I'd like to fabricate a hidden handle of some sort...I'll probably have to have some sort of stripping along the edges of the tiles around the door and on the door. It would be great if I could do something that would negate the need to have it covered by a 4x6 rug. Basically, I either need to hide the door very well or make it look really good, so that it's not an eyesore.
That's my situation...any ideas?