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Bathrooms over the last 100 years

Introduction

The idea of a room in a home dedicated to personal hygiene and grooming is, strictly speaking, a recent one. For the most part, houses built much before the turn of the century didn’t have bathrooms. So, in the span of about 100 years, the modern bathroom has evolved from a novelty into an almost-universal residential fixture. But there has always been a need for disposing of human waste, as well as a need for providing facilities for bathing and grooming. How those human needs evolved into the modern bathroom is a story about both technology and culture. 

 

  

1920’s

In the 20’s was the start of using color in bathrooms. Bathrooms not only became functional but they became fashionable. Kohler was the first company to introduce colored fixtures of toilets, sinks, and tubs. They came out with 6 colors: Horizon Blue, Old Ivory, Spring Green, Lavender, Autumn Brown, and West Point Gray. This was a major innovation since before then every fixture was white and no one ever thought to change that until now. In the 20’s a lot of the sinks were attached to the wall without a vanity or pedestal sinks.

 

Other features typical of 1920’s bathrooms include:

  • Vitreous china pedestal sinks or mounted sinks with thin chrome legs
  • Formica countertops and sparse counter space
  • Wood cabinet storage spaces
  • Chrome fixtures with rectangular shapes and rounded edges
  • Rectangular bathtubs with low or no showers
  • Big, boxy wood vanities
  • Vinyl-topped stools
  • Built-in accessory holders such as toothbrush holders, magazine racks, and soap racks

 

1950’s

In the 50’s thru the 60’s pink and mint green were the most popular colors in the bathroom and not just as accents or paint color but the entire bathroom including the tub, sinks and tiling. Pink, the color of optimism was a reflection of the postwar America. After Mamie Eisenhower wore a silk ballroom gown that had 2,000 rhinestones on it to the inaugural ball in 1953 it became a must for bathroom styles all over the country. Bathroom decorations stemmed from summertime garden colors. They would even put built-in planters in the windows on the inside to create the garden feel.

 

  • Vinyl flooring was popular in the 60’s but went out of fashion in the 80’s because of asbestos. Now it has become popular again because they are making it asbestos-free and due to its affordability, durability and easy maintenance.

 

 

1970’s

 

The color scheme only got more extravagant in the 70’s and carpet on the floors became very popular which nowadays is a big turn off and is only thought of as uncleanliness. Nothing was ordinary in the 1970’s bathroom. Shag carpet with rugs and toilet covers plus brightly patterned wallpaper and window coverings.  It was more like an invitation to a birthday party than a bathroom break. Tub enclosures also became a popular thing with decals of patterns on it of course.

 

  • Wood paneling was popular in the 70’s because it was inexpensive and easy to install and then went out of style because it was too common. It has become popular again but painting it white is more common in the 21st century.

 

Today

It’s all about a luxurious spa-like feel in bathrooms today. The white, clean and clutter-free look that was once seen in bathrooms before 1920’s is back but now it is popular to have state of the art technology and be a place to get away from the everyday stresses of the 21st century. Tubs aren’t as popular as they were in the 1990’s but they are still seen in them once in awhile if done right. Homeowners who don’t use tubs are opting out and saving the space for large walk-in showers that have double shower heads or a bench to keep their fast-paced life still peaceful and spa-like. 

 

  • In the 80’s glass block walls were very common in walk-in showers or used for windows to let natural light in but not be able to see into the bathroom from outside.
  • In the 90’s is when large master suites started to become popular in homes. They featured an en-suite and walk-in closets. This hasn’t gone anywhere since its popularity except master plus en suites are becoming more popular on the main floor away from the other bedrooms for more privacy.

 

 

 

 

 

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Kitchen Remodeling Tips And Advice

Why Remodel?

Kitchen remodels can be exciting and discouraging at the same time. There are many reasons why you may want to remodel. You may not have enough space and storage to work comfortably in your kitchen, or everything is so outdated that it is needed. Whatever the reason is, focus on your main reason so that your vision will be achieved. Also, take into consideration improving the value of your home and your budget. When it’s all said and done these two things will give you a piece of mind.

 

Questions to ask yourself

  1. What is your objective?
  2. How long do you plan to live in the home?
  3. Do you have children or pets?
  4. Do you have allergies or health issues to consider?
  5. Will you be living in your home during the renovation?
  6. What is your budget?
  7. What have people in similar homes accomplished, and what has been their limitations?
  8. Can you remove that wall to open up the kitchen?
  9. What’s behind those walls?
  10. When do you want to start?

Get A Professional Involved

It is very important to not take on a kitchen remodel without a professional because kitchens are one of the more complicated projects to tackle. It also provides a relief to know it will be taken care of and you won’t have to worry about it every time you have free time that you need to spend it on your remodel.

 

A Few Things To Ask A Contractor:

Are you licensed and insured?

Can you draw up a detailed proposal?

Do you have in-house workers or do you sub-contract jobs out?

Do you have a designer on hand?

How often do we meet to check-in on the renovation?

How is your warranty protocol?

 

How A Project Is Sectioned Out

  • 29% cabinets and hardware
  • 22% design and installation
  • 16% walls, ceiling, floors, doors, & windows
  • 14% appliances and ventilation
  • 9% electrical and plumbing

 

Ways To Save On Your Cabinets

Choose a manufacturer that offers the door style and finish you want as a standard option, with no up-charge. Don’t pay for factory-built or custom organizers. Aftermarket utensil dividers, rollout trays, and back-of-the-door spice racks are a fraction of the cost. Websites such as organize.com and cabinetparts.com are good ones to check out. Avoid custom configurations. You can often use stock wine organizers, cubby units, and even appliance panels to fill awkward spaces that might otherwise require you to buy a custom cabinet.

 

Think About The Details

  1. Installing multiple outlets along the backsplash or on the island is a detail that most forget. It helps to provide electricity wherever you need it.
  2. Having a cabinet for your garbage and recycle bin is very helpful in clearing space up in your kitchen and keeping the smell to a minimum, some cabinet companies are even designing a board to separate the drawer from the garbage pull-out to keep the smell contained even further.
  3. Newer cabinets are now being designed for organization and so you can find soft closing drawers, inserts for knives, pull out storage for large appliances and spice racks. Think about your lifestyle and how easy you want to make it when working in the kitchen.
  4. Another detail to think about is designing with future cleaning in mind. Find products that will keep cleaning minimal to save you time and energy in the long run. Flush-set or under-mount sinks don’t catch as much dirt and grime. Quartz countertops have way less maintenance than granite countertops.
  5. Designing wide pathways for your kitchen is important for easy traffic flow. The standard paths throughout the kitchen should be at least 36 inches wide and in the cooking-zone area should be about 42 inches wide. When planning makes sure your kitchen island or peninsulas have a good width for you to get around with ease.

 


kitchen remodelkitchen remodel

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5 Common Myths About Remodeling Your Kitchen Or Bathroom

Remodeling is not something one does every day. In fact, most people do not understand the ins and outs of home renovations or remodeling. Many homeowners are apprehensive about tackling the projects themselves or hiring a professional for fear of being ripped off. Are you thinking about remodeling your kitchen or bath? You’ll find lots of misconceptions that can confuse your decision-making process. Below we have listed the top 5 myths behind remodeling to help you make a better decision.

 

Doing a renovation yourself, hiring a relative or your local handyman to the job will save you more money.

It’s not an easy project doing a home renovation whether it’s one room or the whole house. If you just wanted one specific thing done like flooring or installing appliances then that might be a good option but if it’s an extensive project then hiring a professional contractor will provide you with the experience and a written contract with all your expectations on paper to give you a piece of mind. Do your homework and make sure you interview at least 3 different companies. Three things you should look for in these companies is time management, price, and quality of work. Pick two that mean the most to you and go with the contractor that meets those two. A professional contractor should provide you with a written estimate of the project, a calendar of events, and will proactively communicate with you throughout the process.

Most projects run longer and end up costing more in the end.

This can be true if you decide to add more to the budget or change products to pricer ones. Another thing that can sometimes happen is things occurring that were not accounted for in the budget like plumbing or electrical problems, this is especially true if it is an older home. If you properly plan and set up a budget this is less likely to occur and if it does then change products around so that you don’t go over budget. Depending on the age of the home, you may want to have a contingency fund available for unexpected issues. Even the best contractors can’t determine these issues ahead of time until they start to dig into the project.

Doing a home renovation will trash the whole house and yard.

It really depends on your contractor that you choose for the job. Make sure to ask about the after-cleaning and site maintenance. Most of the time when your remodeling your home you plan on living in the home while it is being renovated. A reputable contractor will clean up each day and maintain a living space for you. Always check with the contractor and calendar on days when power and water might be turn off for construction so there are no surprises.

Kitchen and bath remodeling is too expensive.

Once you set a budget for your remodeling needs you can begin your research to determine what works for your kitchen or bath remodel. No matter the budget for updating your kitchen or bath it will increase the value of your home automatically. Just don’t go overboard on upgrading unless you plan on living in the home for another 10+ years. Kitchen and bath remodeling is the best investments when adding upgrades to your home, just keep that in mind.

Hiring a reputable professional contractor is too expensive.

A professional contractor is the most experienced person to remodel your home and wouldn’t you rather save time, stress and money in the long run if you choose the right person for the job. Do your homework and interview at least 3 different companies to make sure you have the right fit for you and your project.

 

 

 

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Make The Most Of Your Small Bathroom

A small bathroom remodel is a very challenging project for any contractor because your space is limited and you want to make sure to plan carefully. Functionality comes first when planning for the renovation of a small bathroom. Then plan for storage and then decorating the space comes last. Don’t plan on a full-sized home spa if you have a tiny space because it won’t look right and you might run into clearance issues when it is finished. For example, choose a round-front toilet which is 2” shorter to save space and choose a shower design with no swinging door to keep more clearance are some space saving ideas.

 

To open up the space, brightening up the room will be the best way without changing what you have. Light colors is an easy way to achieve this. It alters our perception of the space and is more inviting when it’s light. If you still want to make the room pop just buy some towels or accessories with a bold color. Another way to brighten up the space is adding natural light whether it be a skylight or making the existing window larger.

 

Some things to consider when remodeling a small bathroom

  • Choose a bypass glass door
  • Keep your colors light
  • Use over-sized mirrors to create dimension
  • Create a pattern as an accent
  • Have minimal decor
  • Use colorful artwork on the wall instead of furniture
  • Add a corner vanity or a rounded vanity to make the space a little bigger
  • Keep it simple
  • Choose lighting with a design element like pendants, sconces, or wall-mounts.
  • Consider wall-mounted toilets to help save space
  • Use pocket doors
  • Use wall space for built-in storage
  • Get rid of the tub/shower combo and have a large walk-in shower
  • Have a wall vanity to give more floor space in the room
  • Install niches in the shower for convenience and organization
  • If you choose a white bathroom, think about painting the ceiling a dark bold color. This will draw your eye up and make it appear bigger.

 

 

What not to do:

  • Don’t rush the project-Poor planning is the leading cause of cost overruns.
  • Don’t skimp on skilled labor-A good tile setter can make the low-cost material look expensive.
  • Don’t cut corners on key materials-Cheaper materials that don’t have warranties will cause a problem quicker than you expect.
  • Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow-Ensure you plan for your future lifestyle with a remodel, at least 15-20 years.
  • Don’t forget to factor in water use-Bathroom fixtures have become more water-efficient if you add more showerheads to your shower make sure your drain supports the amount of water being used.
  • Don’t forget about storage-Lack of storage nowadays is bad for resale value. Think of creative ways to include storage.
  • Don’t buy products online, see them in person first-Researching online is great for ideas and designs but products don’t always look the same on the computer screen vs. in reality. In a store, you can always see if they will match the online price too.

 

 

Where to place your accessories:

  • Towel bar about 48″ from the ground
  • Toilet role about 6″ in front of the toilet
  • Medicine cabinet about 60-66″ from the ground
  • Robe hook about 66-72″ from the ground or on a door about 6″ from the top
  • Light fixtures about 66″ high

 

bathroom before and after bathroom remodel bathroom remodel

 

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Modern Farmhouse VS. Country Farmhouse Styles

Do you like a modern farmhouse style or a country/rustic farmhouse style? The styles vary slightly but the look changes everything. 

Long before Fixer Upper on HGTV became a hit, the farmhouse style always had something about its character and rustic beauty. Nowadays, you can mix that farmhouse style with clean and modern lines that create a whole new style in our modern day.

Modern Farmhouse Style

 It’s not often that the term modern and farmhouse are heard together but the combination of design styles has become quite popular amongst homeowners. A contemporary farmhouse evokes feelings of warmth and comfort but stays classic and timeless. Not too cluttered with old stuff but more of a mix of new adding a touch of rustic woods and rusted metals. It’s a balance between comfortable furniture and decor with a hint of salvaged materials like reclaimed wood or old antiques. Everything is tactile and tangible.

 

Country Farmhouse Style

Country Farmhouse style is more casual with less sophistication. It lies heavily on accessories of old stuff than a minimal standpoint. This type of style feels more original and carries true elements of vintage throughout. The furniture and appliances are true to the style but sometimes a laminate is laid over the top of new appliances to match the cabinets. It creates more of a homey feel than a clean feel like the modern farmhouse style. Antiques and old decor flourish in this style. Everything is eclectic and comfortable. 

 

For your bathroom you could add these:

  • Refurbished old dresser for a vanity
  • Brushed metal handles (bronze or black)
  • Antique touches or knick knacks
  • Natural textures
  • Distressed wooden framed mirror
  • An old footed tub or copper colored tub
  • Barn wood accent walls

 

For Your Kitchen you could add these:

  • Farmhouse Sink
  • White cabinets
  • Beadboard
  • Shiplack
  • Rustic Table
  • Mason jars or large glass jars as accents
  • Rustic touches
  • Plank wood floors
  • Barn wood accents or door
  • Half door
  • Open shelving
  • Plate racks
  • Old photos framed
  • Old windows used as wall hangings
  • Mixing wood and metals together with furniture
  • White subway tile as a backsplash

 

 

                    

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Dreaming of a Spa Bathroom

To Dream Or Not To Dream

Inspired by dream magazines and 5-star resorts, homeowners are willing to spend the money to make their bathroom look and feel like a luxury, relaxing spa oasis. Bringing the experience to your personal bathroom is no easy task and definitely not cheap but here are 10 spa bathroom ideas you can use that will take you right to your favorite vacation spot.

 

Go Minimalist

One thing that makes resort spas so relaxing is lack of clutter. It gives you a piece of mind and room to relax forgetting about the rest of everyday life. Start with your cabinets and drawers throwing away anything you do not need. Put everything away and out of site.

 

Let in Natural Light

Natural light is the number one to getting the mind to relax. It also triggers the release of happiness-inducing hormones. It can be a large window on one wall or medium sized window next to the bathtub. If your view isn’t very relaxing you can purchase a film to place on the window to add privacy and a soft look.

Use White

Most spas are light and bright. They love to use white so use white as much as possible and accent with a pop of color to bring it all together. The lights should also complement the bathroom decor as well. If you are worried about cleaning more with white use more durable and maintenance free products in your bathroom.

Create Some Privacy

Privacy adds the true spa-like feel when you want to escape from the world and its troubles. A curtain, plants or even a divider will add depth and give it a calming and relaxed feel. It will also keep your privacy in the room if you share it with your spouse.

   

Style up the Artificial Lighting

Stylish lamps in various areas of the bathroom with create a more uniformed lighting than just a fixed overhead light. You can also make use of dimmers to lower the brightness when you want to relax and adds drama. Candles are still relazxing so be sure to place them spratically around the room for when it is time to relax.

Add Some Music

The greatest part about relaxing is involving all of the senses. Our ears are one of the senses we forget when creating a relaxing atmosphere so incorporate sound into your bathroom. Use soft music or nature sounds to create a pleasant auditory experience. There are plenty of different kinds of ways to have this: going full out or just something small and portable.

      

Keep Everything Neat

Disorganization has been proven to create stress. Decluttering your space is very important to have a zen feeling. Don’t leave a towel lying around or clutter of toothbrushes and knick-knacks all over the countertops. If you find it is a challenge, start with the first tip of going minimalists.

Pamper Yourself With Softness

Adding texture and softness to your bathroom adds coziness. Soft fluffy towels, a thick bath mat are a few things to add comfort to the space. The texture on the walls or accents can be a great way to break up the softness but still keep it cozy and spa-like.

 

Add a Piece of Art

Hanging some paintings or one large painting warms up the space and makes it more than just a bathroom. It makes its another space in the home to relax and enjoy. This is where color should play a role if you choose to have a white bathroom. It will be the center of the room, so make it stand out. If you don’t want to have a painting choose a sculpture and place it in a spot where it grabs your attention.

      

Use Plants

Plants, real or fake always warm and brighten up any room. It creates a natural relaxing feel. Some plants that do well in bathrooms are Bamboo, Viper’s Bowstring Hemp (mother’s tongue), Peace Lily, Philodendron, Aloe Plant, and Succulents.

      

Some other ideas to create a spa-like bathroom:

  • Use earthy paint colors
  • Install dimmers
  • Add faux wood tiles
  • Add a fluffy rug
  • Add a tub tray to your tub
  • Install a massage shower head
  • Add a steam shower with aromatherapy
  • Heat your towels
  • Add oil diffusers and candles

 

 

Feel free to contact us here at Retro Pro Kitchen and Bath and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have!

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Feng Shui For Your Bathroom

When the ancient Chinese system of Feng Shui was developed there was no indoor plumbing so there really is no good placement for a bathroom when it comes to true Feng Shui. Your Feng Shui bathroom should be a peaceful, beautiful space. Displaying symbols of beauty and abundance always helps us manifest these things in our life. Creating a spa-like effect in your bathroom will bring you lots of happiness and tranquility.

 

Here are some basic principles to follow:

  • If practical, keep the bathroom door closed in order to contain the qi/chi energy in the bathroom and not lose it to the rest of the home. This also keeps the germs and negative chi in the bathroom and not circulating in the rest of the home.  
  • Keep the toilet seat down at all times when not in use. The toilet is the largest drain in the house and each time it is flushed it drains the bad chi as well as the good chi. Close the lid when you flush the toilet so the germs don’t spray around the room. This will also stop good chi from being flushed away.   
  • A toilet that is partitioned is best, but it may not be practical for most homes. The partition can be done with a curtain or beads. But this works best in large bathrooms. If you’re having a home built, consider having a toilet closet built to house the toilet and include a window if possible.  
  • If the toilet is not working properly, it’s best to get it fixed since anything broken could have a lower vibration to it.
  • If you have a window in the bathroom, keep it open as much as possible in order to clear out the bad chi, keeping the air clean and pure. If there is no window, then have an air purifier in the room. Fresh plants can help to keep the air clean.
  • Keep the mirrors and any windows clean in order to avoid distortion.
  • Keep all drains closed when not in use. If need be, you can purchase a rubber drain cover in many department stores to cover the sink and shower/tub drains. This will keep the good chi from going down the drain.
  • Keep your feng shui bathroom clean and uncluttered at all times.
  • It’s best to not have a wastebasket in the bathroom. Take your trash out of the bathroom with you as you leave. Do not let it accumulate in a wastebasket.
  • Keep the bathroom appealing to the eye.
  • Natural sunlight is best for the bathroom if you’re lucky enough to have a window in your bathroom. Fluorescent lighting is bad for the nervous system, so please avoid this in your feng shui Bathroom.
  • Burn sage in your bathroom to remove stagnant qi/chi energy.
  • Never have the toilet reflecting in a mirror as this will double the effects of the toilet drain. Place something in front of the mirror so the toilet doesn’t reflect in the mirror. This could be a plant, vase, statue or whatever works for you.
  • Starting with your towels, be sure they are thick, rich, beautiful and in great condition. 
  • Essential oils in your bathroom will clean and improve the quality of air. The oils will also bring tranquility and make you feel pampered and wealthy.
  • Since the bathroom is for cleansing, display quality soaps along with some candles. Be sure to use the soaps and don’t just display them. Indulge in yourself so the Universe knows that you think you are worth it. It will know your heart and will bring you what you expect.
  • Hang soothing artwork is important too. Go online to take a look at what is usually found in a spa as far as decoration and begin to duplicate the look. Better yet, visit a spa and get a great treatment for yourself and bring away with you the image that you would like to have in your spa-like bathroom.
  • Consider having a dimmer switch put in the bathroom so you can have soft lighting when it’s appropriate like when you are bathing.
  • Stalks of bamboo bring good luck, abundance and wealth. Bunches of eight are best. Place it in front of the mirror to double the effect.
  • If your bathroom is in the center of the home, know that energy from the center of the home spreads out to the entire home, so keep the bathroom clean and sanitized and the door shut at all times.

 

Special Attention Needed

If your home is multi-levels, you want to direct chi downstairs. You can achieve this with rugs on the floor of the room above the bathroom. Other things that will help direct chi are listed below:

  • A ceiling light fixture
  • A crystal chandelier
  • A faceted crystal hung from the center of the ceiling
  • Tall lamps that kept turn on
  • A tall mirror
  • Wallpaper with a vertical pattern is positive chi
  • Placing earth objects in the corners of the downstairs room
  • An image of a bird flying up
  • A tall tree to lift the chi
  • Plants that grow straight up like bamboo and mothers-in-law tongue which happens to be a plant which thrives with minimal care.
  • Use your imagination and bring in an element that goes up, like a tall vase or stature.

 

 

If you live in an apartment or high rise building, find out where the bathroom is above you and below you and be sure to apply the proper cure.

   

 

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Remodeling A Bathroom For The Aging

Whether you need to remodel for yourself or for your elderly parent moving in with you, you might have to take into account some additional items that would benefit the space. Accessibility is the number one factor for people with disabilities or restricted movements. A home remodeling project when you are at retirement age requires a little more planning than just picking out what looks best in your mind. Your future needs and finances are changing and you need to keep a closer look at what you will need and what will benefit your lifestyle as a senior. Bathrooms are the number one accident-prone rooms for seniors which can put you in a nursing home if you don’t plan for your age. Nowadays they have come up with better designs to make the decor match the accessories that you wouldn’t think would be appealing like grab bars and tubs for seniors. Take a look at some of these safety features to help make a decision on what is best for you.

Additional Safety Features:

  • Bathroom Grab Bars- One of the most highly requested items in accessibility are bathroom safety grab bars. Seniors need more support in the bathroom to avoid slips and falls especially on wet surfaces. Grab bars are helpful in public restrooms and we are starting to use them in the home now. They are also starting to come in more decorative styles as their popularity increases. In the shower or by the toilet are more popular for the assistance needed.  
  • Raised Toilet Seat- Family members with accessibility needs will be grateful for a raised toilet seat. They run a little bit taller than the standard toilet and typically are between 17”-19” tall and take pressure off the joints and lower back when using it. They can be extremely cost-effective.
  • Walk-In Tub- If it is important to have a tub considering a walk-in bathtub would be great for an elderly person. Instead of climbing over a bathtub wall, these tubs have a door that keeps water in but lets you step in easily. The only thing it might hinder resale value if you were to sell the home, as the younger buyers may not care for it.
  • No Barrier Shower- This type of shower has a curbless barrier which means no lip or threshold which makes them ADA compliant and easier accessibility for those who have wheelchairs or physical disabilities.These showers provide a seamless transition from the bathroom floor into the shower. The floors have a slightly angled floor to keep water from running out, and this is done by recessing the floor to create the angle.
  • Seated Shower Bench- This will add a secure space for someone to sit down in the shower. Adding a special handheld showerhead would be another thing that would be a benefit when sitting.
  • Non-slip Flooring- Avoid natural stone, ceramic, or porcelain tile because it is the most slippery when wet. The best reasonably priced material is luxury vinyl planks. They are very durable and can be cleaned with anything.
  • Widen Doorways- If your planning to remodel the whole bathroom to improve the accessibility, widening your doorways can surely help tremendously. This will allow for wheelchairs and walkers to enter without hindrance. You will likely need to replace the door as well and a pocket door is a space-saving and safe choice. Pocket doors roll into the wall, so there’s no obstacle in or out of the bathroom.
  • Incorporating Home Automation- Some home automation systems are designed to increase lighting when needed and turn off when the bathroom is no longer in use. Digital bathroom shower control is something that is becoming popular. This new gadget can get the shower temperature to a perfect setting without having to bend over and turn multiple handles.
  • Install Lever-Style Door Knobs-levers are usually easier to grip than round doorknobs, and they don’t require a twisting motion. That can be especially helpful for people who have arthritis or other conditions that limit motion. You can find lever-style knobs at home improvement stores starting around $20 each. Changing doorknobs can be a do-it-yourself task, or you might hire a handyman.

 

 

   

Mistakes To Avoid When Remodeling

  1. Remodeling and then moving
  2. Forgetting to plan for future needs
  3. Going into deep debt to remodel
  4. Depleting retirement money to remodel

 

 

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Showerheads Galore-Which One Is Right For Your Bathroom!

After a long day at work, one of the first things on my to-do list is to take a nice calming shower. There is just something about the feeling and sound of water pounding down that can relieve stress and pent-up energy. Not all showers or showerheads are created equal though. There are quite a few different showerhead selections out there, each with their own ups and downs. A rejuvenating shower can set the mood for the day and with the right showerhead, your daily ablutions can become a luxurious experience.

So, yes it’s time for a new showerhead but before you go out and just pick one from a store, let’s go into depth of the varieties and styles to choose from. For those of you not familiar with flow rate, it is the number one thing that differentiates the types of showerheads on the market. The flow rate of a showerhead is the measure of gallons per minute that it dispenses. According to the DOE federal regulations, showerheads cannot produce more than 2.5 gpm at 80 psi (pounds per square inch.) which means you can not purchase anything above that number.

 

 

A Good Showerhead….

  • Delivers a good pressure of water. Professional reviews generally find that users are most satisfied with showerheads that produce a powerful stream and plenty of coverage.
  • Reduces water use. Even a standard 2.5-gpm showerhead will save water compared to an old 5-gpm dinosaur, but some showerheads use as little as 1.5 gpm while still providing good water pressure.
  • Keeps hot water hot. Aerating showerheads use air pressure to help increase the sensation of stronger water pressure. However, this can cool the water significantly between the time it leaves the showerhead and the time it reaches your skin. Many manufacturers have newer, proprietary technologies that increase the pressure, without overcooling the water.
  • Installs easily. Most models are simple to install yourself with just an adjustable wrench and some plumber’s tape.
  • It is simple to adjust. Some showerheads have only a single flow pattern, but those that have many should be easy to switch from one to another.
  • Holds up well over time. The showerhead itself should not break or leak, and the finish should not wear off easily.

 

Some Questions to Ask Yourself…….

Do you need a handheld showerhead?

Handheld shower heads are more functional than fixed models. I love them because it makes cleaning the shower so easy and we all know anything to make cleaning easier is a plus. Also washing a pet comes in handy with a handheld. However, fixed showerheads generally fare better in reviews, so it probably isn’t worth choosing a handheld unless you really need it. Another option if remodeling your shower is having the option of both.

What spray pattern do you prefer?

Some users like a firm, invigorating spray, while others prefer the gentle trickle of a rain shower. Some like a traditional wide spray that provides a lot of coverage, while others prefer a pulsating massage jet. Whatever shower style you like best, look for a showerhead that does a good job on that spray setting. If you’re the only one who will use the shower, then you probably don’t have to worry about additional settings; most tend to pick a single spray pattern they like and stick with it. However, if you share a bathroom with someone else who prefers a different spray pattern, then look for a shower head that suits both of you.

How tall are you?

Some showerheads can pose problems for users who are either very tall or very short. A very large showerhead, for instance, may hang down too far for all users to stand under it. Other shower heads are fine for tall users, but they’re so high up that short users can’t reach them to change the settings. If you’re tall or short, measure your shower enclosure before you buy and figure out what the height and angle of the shower head will be once it’s installed.

How strong is the water pressure in your home?

Today’s showerheads, which have a maximum flow rate of 2.5 gpm, can still deliver a strong enough stream to satisfy most users. However, people with low water pressure in their homes often find that standard showerheads produce only a feeble trickle that isn’t strong enough to rinse away soap and shampoo. Many manufacturers are responding to this issue with technologies that help force the water our more strongly or at least make it feel as if the pressure is higher.

Do you need an extension arm?

If you find a shower head you like but it seems as if it’s too far away to be fully effective once it’s installed — or if you have high ceilings — a shower arm pipe extension can be purchased in the plumbing department. It will add to the cost and is an extra installation step. Most manufacturers also have an extension that’s recommended for that specific showerhead, and you can often purchase them at the same time to ensure they’re a good fit. Things can get a little more complicated if you need to completely replace the existing shower head arm, but that’s not that hard of a job in most cases.

 

TYPES OF SHOWER HEADS

 

The Standard-The standard wall-mounted showerhead ranges from simple to elaborate designs depending on your personal preference. It also includes technology to counteract hard water build-up, corrosion, and tarnishing. They have a variety of adjustable angles and spray modes.

Top Mount- This is the type of shower head that creates a rainfall from the ceiling. They are very modern and becoming quite popular in remodeling. There is usually only one angle and one spray mode but this will give your bathroom a stunning look when all finished.

Sliding Bar- This is a great option for height and personal preference of the shower user. This kind of showerhead moves up and down along a wall-mount. This makes the tall and short family members comfortable when showering.

Handheld- This is removable from its mount and acts like a two-in-one combination. This really helps with cleaning the entire shower without using a bucket to rinse the soap on the walls and if you have pets or kids this is a great tool for easy access.

 

 

           

   

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How to Choose a Bathtub

Bathtubs aren’t simple anymore. In today’s modern day bathroom, tubs are becoming outdated especially if you have two or more in the house. Losing a tub in the master bathroom isn’t going to devalue the house especially if you want to put in place a giant walk-in shower. But if you want to have that classic master suite bathroom there are many types of bathtubs to choose from that fits your family’s needs. There are two basic kinds of bathtubs but many styles, sizes, and materials come in those two styles.

 

Freestanding Tubs

This type of tub stands alone and is usually finished on all sides. They are usually more expensive than built-ins, depending on the fixture choices. They are becoming more affordable than before because of their popularity. Plumbing can be harder to hide and be more extensive. They also take up more space in the bathroom, so make sure space is compatible with this choice of the tub.

 

Built-in Tub

A built-in tub is a bathtub that is unfinished on at least two sides and is installed against a wall or within a pre-built tub surround or enclosure. Depending on the choice of material for the surround it can become more expensive than the freestanding tubs. Usually fairly easy to hide the plumbing in these types of tubs.

 

Types of Materials

Fiberglass

Fiberglass is the least expensive type of material, also called fiberglass-reinforced plastic or FRP. It is made by forming layers of fiberglass into the shape then coated with something called Gelcoat resin. Fiberglass does scratch easy so there is more maintenance involved, which is why it isn’t the number one choice on the market anymore.

 

Porcelain on Steel

Another name for this is called enameled steel, which is another inexpensive type of tub and very common. This type of tub is stamped from a thin sheet of steel, then finished with a layer of porcelain enamel. These are very durable, easy to clean, and little to no maintenance. Americast is a little better of a material where it is reinforced in a molded composite backing. The finish is resistant to common chemicals and will keep the gloss for quite some time. This is a heavier style of tub, than fiberglass or acrylic, and can rust and chip under impact. One downside is it is limited to shapes and sizes compared to other tubs.

 

Acrylic

Acrylic is fiberglass sheets that are reinforced by an underneath vacuum-formed sheets of colored acrylic. They are very similar to fiberglass but are more expensive and more popular in terms of maintenance.The finish can scratch or discolor over time but the better grades of tub finishes have now reduced that problem to a minimum. There are a variety of choices on shape, sizes, and colors. It’s a very good choice but doesn’t appear high-end for some people.

 

Cast Iron

This material is very long lasting. They are made by pouring molten iron into a mold of any shape, then it is smoothed and coated with a thick layer of enamel. It is one of the most durable tubs available and the type of finish used is resistant to chemicals, chipping, scratching, and denting. The heavy material holds the water’s heat and is available in many colors. They are extremely heavy and may require extra labor and often a floor reinforcement to install. This is the one of the most expensive material on the market and has been around for ages.

 

Solid-Surface Materials

This is a new type of material in the bathtub market. It’s very durable and retains heat well. A variety of materials are used, some examples include minerals, polymeric materials, resins and then finished with a Gelcoat finish. They come in a variety of natural-looking colors, shapes, and sizes. Repairs can easily be made to the finish if needed.

 

Cultured Marble

Cultured marble is crushed limestone mixed with resin and then finished with a Gelcoat. You have so many options for color, size, and style. The Gelcoat used with cultured marble is more durable than the one used with fiberglass and the price is in between acrylic and cast iron.

 

Ceramic Tile

These tubs are made on site to whatever size and shape desired. Your design options are more array than any other but you will have to deal with more maintenance because of the grout and some people complain about the irregular interior surface is not comfortable on the bare skin. You can choose an acrylic tub and have it encased in ceramic tile to make the comfort level better. This will create a higher end look and reduce the cleaning.

 

Stone and Wood

This type of tub is custom ordered from a variety of natural stone materials including granite, marble, onyx, travertine, basalt, sandstone and other materials. They are extremely heavy and require special structural framing to support the weight. Wood usually also custom-ordered and is made from teak wood which is a tropical hardwood tree species.  Some other woods can be Hinoki wood or Port Orford Cedar. Wood tubs do hold the heat longer than any other tub material. As you can imagine these custom tubs are going to give your bathroom a “wow” factor but it also comes with a price tag that isn’t cheap and maintenance will require a lot more to preserve the beauty.

 

 

 

 

 

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