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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.

 

 

 

 

 

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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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

 

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 Kitchen

In Feng Shui, kitchens are one of the most important rooms. They represent the heart and home, a place where friends and family gather to connect. Using feng shui to organize and calm a kitchen can increase health and happiness.

The Meaning Of Feng Shui

It’s an ancient Chinese science of creating happiness and abundance by altering or modifying the movement of chi energy and by balancing the effect of elements and directions. However, as per now, just understand that it’s the science that creates positivity and suppresses negativity.

A kitchen is a place where healthy, nutritious and yummy food are cooked; the same food once consumed gives you and your family the energy and stamina for day-to-day chores. Furthermore, a kitchen has a lot of fire element involved and it’s always better to keep the “fire element” under control. This is why you must make it feng shui compliant.

When you combine Kitchen and Feng Shui you get a kitchen that can and has all the ability in the world to ward off any or all negativity while, simultaneously, enhancing positive energy in your home. The same positive energy then spreads into your home making you and your family happier, healthier, optimistic and everything good that you can think of.

 

    

 

Tips For Adding Feng Shui:

  • Mirrors are good if you position them to reflect the stove burners; doubling the burners is believed to boost finances.
  • Copper attracts positive chi. This could be decorations or copper pots.
  • Potted plants or herbs bring prosperity but be sure to place them along the south and east walls of the kitchen.
  • Fruits and vegetables indicate prosperity also and using pictures will increase the sensation of abundance.
  • If the laundry room is in or beside the kitchen then don’t allow dirty clothes to pile up.
  • Keep pantry doors closed at all times.
  • Don’t leave brooms and mops out, store them in a closet to keep clutter minimal.
  • Don’t place the oven or range in the northwest sector known as “Heaven’s Gate.” Good luck energy resides in the northwest direction.
  • Don’t let dirty dishes pile up.
  • Don’t hang a dish towel over the oven handle.
  • Keep entries clear and uncluttered to invite opportunity in.

Feng Shui Color and Their Meanings:

Keep the following in mind as a guide, but always remember to tap into your own mind, body, spirit needs and goals, as well as your own visceral reaction to each color.

Red- Acts as a stimulator.

Orange- Uplifting color that promotes happiness.

Yellow/Gold- Symbolizes power, stimulates health, patience and wisdom.

Pink- Represents love, romance, and partnership.

Green- Represents growth and new beginnings, as well as healing and freshness.

Blue/Greens- Represents youth, new beginnings, and inspires confidence.

Deeper Blues- Infuses wisdom and introspection.

Purple- Inspires spirituality, adventure, and prosperity.

Black- Contemplative color that encourages reflection and mystery.

White- Cultivates clarity, precision, and communication.

Gray- Invites helpfulness and represents a harmonious union of black and white.

Brown- Offers stability and security.

 

Important Considerations For Feng Shui Kitchens

There are several key feng shui elements to which you need to pay close attention when working with your kitchen layout. Placement of your appliances needs to follow feng shui principles of fire versus water and hot versus cold. The placement of your appliances is sometimes more important than the actual direction. If you are remodeling your kitchen and starting fresh then here are some tips you can follow to make your kitchen Feng Shui.

  1. Try to place the kitchen towards the back door of the home.
  2. Keep the kitchen clean and uncluttered at all times.
  3. Keep the kitchen well lit and ventilated.
  4. Face east while cooking in the kitchen.
  5. You can have windows in the east or west walls of the kitchen.
  6. Make sure to keep lightweight things in east and north of kitchen.
  7. You can have a sink in north or north-east of the kitchen.
  8. Keep the gas stove/burner a few inches away from the wall.
  9. Keep at least 1-2 feet distance between stove/burner and the kitchen sink. If there is no option then place small plants/herbs or green decorative glass panel stove and sink. You can also place a green color decorative glass panel between the stove and sink.
  10. Above also applies to refrigerators too; you must keep 1-2 feet distance between stove and refrigerator in the kitchen.
  11. Repair all leaking taps and faucets in the kitchen that is an indication of draining away all money and wealth from the house.
  12. You can place a dining table in the north-west or west of the kitchen.
  13. Try to use yellow, orange, rose, chocolate or red as floor and wall colors for the kitchen.

 

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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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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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Bathroom Remodeling Trends

When it comes to remodeling, bathrooms are a good investment. It will boost the value of your home and a bathroom is a big renovation, which in return will be rewarding when it’s all done. A lot goes into planning a bathroom remodel. First and foremost you have to decide what you envision your new bathroom to look like. Then you have to research a remodeling company that fits your budget. Here is a great way to start planning your bathroom remodel, check out the trends for 2018 below.

 

Navy Blue Paint Color- Neutral colors are still timeless and will never go out of trend but Navy blue paint is becoming popular with white and silver accents.

Rainfall Shower Heads- It’s exactly how it sounds, relaxation is key. It is one of the most popular trendy accessories to add to your bathroom. Of course, popularity comes with a price tag. This item will run $150-$250 so if that is at the top of your list, make sure to budget it for your project.

Industrial Lighting- Industrial lighting is definitely making a statement in 2018. Soft spa-like lighting once was trendy but now with vintage and rustic coming back, the industrial lighting adds to this trend.

Large Natural Stone Tiles- You would think with all the subway tile on HGTV channel that, that is the new trend for bathrooms nowadays but you’re wrong. Larger stone tile is taking over bathroom trends because of the less maintenance aspect. Natural stone now comes with a 15 years sealer that protects grime build up and therefore homeowners are cleaning a little less. That is definitely right up my alley, I don’t think anyone really likes to clean. The larger tile is more popular because there is less grout to be cleaned but also mixing and matching different size tiles can turn out beautiful if you want to break away from a standard look.

Greenery- Some plants thrive in the bathroom. This is becoming a popular trend adding a nice decorative feature. It is an affordable upgrade that adds warmth to your bathroom. Some plants that do well indoors are Spider plants, Pothos, Bromeliads, Philodendron, Air Plants, and Aloe Plants.

Warm Metal Faucets & Fixtures- Warm metals in this year including brass, bronze, copper and even satin nickel. It adds a softer touch and then pairing these metals with bold colors like dark blue or black really make them pop.

New Bathroom Technology- Technology advances each year and is now in almost every area of the home. The bathroom is definitely no exception. One of the must-haves in 2018 is a digital shower control. This device gives you the right setting for the water temperature every time. The latest models are sleek and are easily disguised in your bathroom’s decor. Some shower control models even come with a feature where you can turn on the shower from your phone. What will they come up with next?

Large Showers- The industry is starting to get away with the standard shower and tub master suites. Even though having a tub in the house is a good resale value for families with children, we are starting to see tubs less and less in the master suite and instead large spa shower are replacing them. One idea I saw that was interesting if you want to keep your tub in the master suite is having the tub enclosed with the shower. It keeps the tub from being bulky and taking over the room.

 

 

Popular Trends From the Past That Aren’t Popular Anymore

Tranquil colors and white bathrooms were at the top of the list last year but now it’s changing to deep, bold colors. Another item that is out is medicine cabinets. I love medicine cabinets so I found that you can buy ones now that flush with the wall and just look like a giant mirror so if you still love them you can look into those and still be up to date with the trends. Some other trends that are dying out this year are subway tile backsplash, granite counters, chrome faucets & fixtures, oversized bathtubs and floral patterns.

 

Interesting Storage Ideas

Shower Niches- These are very popular in bathroom remodels. A place to put your shampoos, conditioners, and soaps. Ones that wrap around a corner add a little more depth and space to keep extra stuff in.

Hidden Cabinets- The trend now is to maximize space and bathrooms need it the most since they usually are tight anyway. Homeowners are finding innovative ways to hide storage instead of hiding their belongings in storage. One clever way is building pull-out cabinets in the walls, nooks, and crannies.

 

Here Are Some Trends To Avoid

  • Oversized Tubs: Big bathtubs are going out of style like there is no tomorrow. Tubs, in general, are becoming less used as it is with the exception of families starting out and needing it for children. As long as there is one tub in the household usually the other bathroom tends to have an extra large walk-in shower instead. This adds luxury to a master bathroom giving the homeowner more space and still giving relaxation to a fast-paced lifestyle. They are also quite expensive too, you are better off investing in a quality water saving shower.
  • White-On-White: Light colors might make the bathroom seem larger but a bathroom that is completely white might not be a seller for another buyer if you plan on selling. Not everyone is up to the task of keeping white tile and flooring clean. After a while, if it isn’t cleaned constantly the wear of the bathroom may show up faster also. Instead, go with a varied color palette using other neutrals like grays or beige and bring a pop of color with accents. This will be very complimentary and catch eyes of future buyers quickly.
  • Tacky Colors: Make sure to choose color accents that are more common. Choosing shades like mustard, salmon or avocado can be a turn-off.  Keep your color scheme tame by using a mix of three timeless, muted colors in a 70/20/10 distribution. Use the lightest color for 70% of the room; the second lightest for 20%; and accent the room with the boldest for 10%. A grayed white, pale teal and charcoal gray are one of the most popular mixes of color for 2018.
  • Subway Tile & Nickel Finishes: Subway tile and trendy metallic finishes, like nickel and chrome, are fading in popularity. Go figure that modern looking brushed gold is making a come back. Black finishes are also becoming quite popular. Large format tiles and geometric tiles are also safe to go with especially in a large bathroom. Plus the natural stones now have a product that seals the tile for 15 years to keep cleaning to a minimal.
  • Open Master Concept: Open floor plans are very popular in the main living area but when you create that in the master suite it tends to turn off some people when you go to resell it. It isn’t very appealing to be sitting in bed and see your spouse sitting on the toilet. Be sure to think about the design layout when you are updating your bathroom.

 

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Shower Design Ideas – Make Your Shower Amazing!

Create an Amazing Shower Design With These Ideas!

 

Walk-in showers are a big hit with bathroom remodels, and there are so many shower design ideas that the possibilities are endless. That you can really create a beautiful and functional area by accessorizing your shower space. You can customize every option from shelving, niches, seats/benches, shower heads, lighting, fixture placement and even sound systems! All of these items add style, function and a personalized look to your new shower.

 

Roe Shower Manske shower Clark Bathroom

 

Shower Heads

Let’s start with one of the more important features of a shower, she shower system. There are a variety of shower systems and shower heads available, think about how you want your shower to function and what options are important. There are various types of shower heads and systems to choose from.

 

  • Rain Shower – These are larger style heads that give a rain effect and are usually mounted overhead in the ceiling, however sometimes they can be mounted where the existing standard shower head is with an extension rod. They disperse a soft water flow that is relaxing and more evenly spread which makes these a very popular item. Shower heads range in size from as small as 2″ across to as large as 32″.  They have various shapes, such as circle, square and rectangle as well depending on your design style.

 

 

Mahoney shower Rahill shower Conatser shower

 

  • 2-in-1 shower heads – These offer 2 separate shower heads that can combine into one. The In2ition brand offers up a line of these shower systems which gives you diversity of a solid mounted shower head along with a handheld shower head. They can be combined into one system or used separately for optimum water coverage! Many of these also have a separate mount for the handheld shower so it can be left separate. They offer a variety of spray patterns on the handled shower head as well depending on the brand and design of the shower.

 

  In2uition shower head 2 In2uition shower head 3

 

  • Multiple Shower Heads/inserts – This feature allows you to have water spraying from various angles and areas within the shower, which creates a luxurious spa-like shower experience. You can have just a few shower heads or several depending on the amount of coverage you would like to have. Heads can be placed vertically along the wall, horizontally across the ceiling or any other variation. A professional installer would need to be used when installing this features since extra plumbing is necessary for these types of showers.

 

Multiple angle showe heads  Kean Shower Multiple angle showe heads 2

 

  • Sliding Bar Shower head – This option is perfect for families with people of varying heights. The sliding bar is mounted to the wall, while the shower head can slide, which allows you to move the shower head up or down and adjust the position to suit your desired height. This is perfect for children, or when you have couples with drastically different heights. The bars come in various lengths which allows for a variety of designs and adjustments. These can be installed yourself with a little effort. Just be sure you take caution when installing as to not crack your tile around the area.

 

Wade shower Peterson shower Gerke shower

 

  • Dual Shower Heads & Controls – If you have the money and space for this option, this is the way to go! Dual shower systems are perfect for couples! One may want a steamy hot shower while the other wants it a little cooler, with dual heads and controls, you can each have the shower exactly the way you want it! You can also have dual shower heads with one control, however with this option you would only have one temperature control for both heads. Since additional plumbing would need to be added, we recommend that you hire a professional to install this type of shower system.

 

Dual shower heads Bazargan shower Dual shower heads 2

 

Seat/Bench

Now let’s talk seating. Having a seat or bench in the shower is a nice feature to have to be able to relax and enjoy a nice long shower. Depending on placement, it can also serve as a place to put towels or other items as well. Depending on your DIY skills, this something that can be added yourself, or if you want a professional look, you are hire out a contractor for a remodel.

 

  • Seat – A seat is a small area that is just big enough for one person, or a few shower items. It is usually located in a corner of the shower. Another option for a seat is a wood fold-down option, this can be mounted along any wall of the shower and can be folded up for storage, or down when you choose to use it. This is a nice option if you have a smaller shower and want to utilize as much space as possible while still having the option to sit. This is also a nice option when you have someone that is handicap in the home and they share a shower with others in the home. Seats can be various shapes and sizes, and the design potential is unlimited!

 

Kreiner shower Hearl shower Johansson shower

 

  • Bench – Benches are larger and usually placed towards the back of the shower. These are generally large enough for at least 2 people to sit. Since they are most commonly placed at the back or entrance to the shower (for larger showers) the more common uses are for placing towels, robes or other shower items that you don’t want to get wet. Along with adding functionality to your shower, it also adds a pleasing and aesthetic look to your shower and bathroom. Like seats, they can be custom designed to suit your design style, and when adding a little border it can really make it pop!

 

Manske Bench Hofflander Bench Rahill Bench

 

Lighting

Another important part of your shower area is the lighting. No one wants to shower in a cave! There are a couple different types of lighting options available from natural light to overhead lighting.

 

  • Natural lighting – windows and skylights are the 2 options for natural light in your shower/bathroom. Depending on shower placement you can add a nice large frosted window or glass blocks to allow as much natural light in as possible while still keeping your privacy. Another option is adding a skylight over the shower or within your bathroom to allow more light in. Allowing in natural light is always a better alternative when possible.

 

  • Overhead lighting – There are so many types of overhead lighting available it’s impossible to list them all here. Recessed lighting is the most popular but definitely not the only option! If you choose to have a light above the shower, of course be sure it meets all the requirements for being waterproof and has the proper sealing around the light.

 

Manske Shower 1 Colter Shower windows

Niches

Recessed niches are a nice little functional addition to any shower. These are cubbies built into the shower wall to place items such as shampoo and conditioner bottles, shaving cream, body wash etc. Shower niches can have varying sizes, and design that can blend into the shower wall, or can stand out and be used as an accent or focal point. Niches can be deep or shallow, tall or short, they can have glass shelves or stone/tile. You can put them in a corner or along the wall, the possibilities are endless! They can really give your shower that extra pop!

 

Holm niche Bazargan niche Mahoney niche

Fixtures

Fixture placement is important to think about when designing your shower. No one wants to get into a shower just to realize the water is still cold, then have to reach through it to turn up the heat! Standard placement is on the front wall directly under the shower head, however it’s becoming more common (especially in the larger showers) to place the handles at the entrance to the shower so water adjustment can be done BEFORE getting into the water. Depending on shower design and size, they would typically be placed on the side wall or back wall of the shower.

 

Milborne fixture placement Hearl fixture placement  Hofflander fixture placement

Bathroom Remodeling Trends

With so many bathroom remodeling trends around, it’s hard to choose what to do with a remodel project. Keeping up with trends can be a bit tricky, so sometimes it’s best to just do what works for you and your design style, and keep things simple!  However, if you are one that likes to keep up with what’s new and now, or just need some design ideas here are some of the hottest trends.

 

Wood Tile:

If you want a wood look without the hassle of real wood, or laminate flooring, then tile is the way to go. With recent technology, you can get the look of real wood on a tile plank which is perfect for bathrooms (or kitchens) since it’s waterproof, and looks amazing! It’s easy to take care of and keep clean which makes it ideal for many homeowners these days. There are many different colors and grain patterns to fit anyone’s budget and style. If you are in a colder climate, you might want to consider adding a heated floor as tile can be very cold on the feet! In the warmer climates, tile is a great option to help keep the home cooler.

Ceramic Wood flooring

 

Shower Niches, benches and seats:

Everyone needs a place to put things in the shower! Niches, benches and seats not only look great but they add functionality to your shower. So having a niche for your shower accessories and a seat or bench to sit on is a great addition. You can add style and design to an otherwise basic or boring wall, and utilize wasted space in corners with a nice seat or full bench. Niches create a nice break up in the wall and make the shower look more aesthetically pleasing, and of course functional! There are many different ways to incorporate these items into your shower remodel, you can keep it basic and have the niches blend in with the wall, or make them stand out by adding a design inside them.

Niches, Seats & Benches click to enlarge photo

 

Frameless Showers:

Having a frame-less shower gives your bathroom a clean and sleek look. It can also give the area the appearance of a being bigger than it is. These types of showers are custom made so you are open to design your own space, and not limited to the mass produced doors which also have a lower quality control. Because they are custom made they do cost quite a bit more than a standard pre-made shower door, but on the flip side they will increase the value of your home. They will offer an aesthetically pleasing and classy look to any home.

Frameless Shower Doorsclick to enlarge photo

 

Minimalism:

Keep it simple, less is more! In bathrooms, you want to have a clean look with lots of space, this is where minimalism comes in. This approach means clean lines throughout the bathroom, smooth surfaces, and creating a better design through simplicity. Choose cabinets without hardware, recessed lighting instead of bulky or busy fixtures, and tile patterns with a clean look that flow nicely.

Minimalist Designs click to enlarge photo

Large Walk-In Showers:

Many homes have the cookie-cutter 5 piece bath setup (which we here at Retro Pro like to call the “Arizona Special”), and this includes the typical separate tub and shower. Some like this option, and keep both tub and shower, however, the recent trend is going to just a shower and removing the tub all together. By doing this you can create a large open feel to your bathroom with an oversized walk-in shower. Below are some of the before and after examples from a few of our “Arizona Special” remodels!

Showerhead Buying Guide


Today’s showerheads deliver more innovative options for cleaning, comfort, and water conservation than ever before.
While traditional showerheads with a wide range of sprays are still available, you can reinvigorate your shower experience with a variety of sprays and features like detachable heads and body spa systems. Installing a new showerhead is one of the most economical ways to make your bath experience more pleasant and eco-friendly. This buying guide will help you understand the features and options available to you, so you can feel confident you’re selecting the showerhead that delivers the best results for your lifestyle. To learn how you can install a showerhead yourself, refer to the Replacing a Showerhead project guide in the list of Related Projects.

 

Head Design and Spray Patterns

 

The two basic types of showerheads are fixed and hand showers.

Fixed, Adjustable Showerhead (top) and Hand Shower (bottom)Fixed showerheads are attached to a shower arm and mounted permanently to the wall.

 

Hand Showers are attached to the wall with flexible tubing, which makes it easier to maneuver water where you want it. The head can be placed in a cradle to serve as a conventional wall-mounted shower. Hand showers are ideal for washing children and pets and make cleaning the shower easier. Hoses 84? or longer meet ADA compliance for individuals with special needs.
Showerheads are available in a wide variety of configurations, many with anywhere from 1 to 8 or more adjustable settings.

 

Traditional ShowerheadTraditional heads are one of the most affordable options available. They offer a wide range of spray patterns and streams that vary from strong to fine mist. More expensive models tend to have a greater selection of spray patterns and materials. Look for side-located adjusters for easier spray alterations.

 

Dual Showerhead Dual Showerhead sprays consist of two showerheads running off of a single pipe, providing wider water flow over a larger area at multiple angles. Available features include independent adjustable pressure and massaging heads. Configurations include two sprays on one unit, an overhead with a side spray, or a traditional head and a hand shower.

 

Body Spas and Body MistBody Spas and Body Mist showers use strips of jets or misters to create a soothing, massaging spray with body coverage from head to toe. Used primarily in custom showers, they may require a larger up-front investment. Body spas may have special installation and plumbing requirements.

 

Overhead showerheads, also called rain or rose showerheads, cascade water directly from above for light, even distribution. While they provide a relaxing cascade of water, because they are oversized, their low flow rate isn’t for everyone. While they often only have one setting, some feature a more high-powered rinse setting.

 

Slide-Bar feature a movable mount on a vertical bar that can be moved up and down to the ideal height for various members of the family. They also make it easier to shower without getting your hair wet.

 

Spray Patterns

Selecting a spray pattern determines the direction, range and volume of water coming from a showerhead. Many spray head designs allow you to customize your shower experience by offering a range of spray patterns.

Concentrated pulse sprays massage your entire body to provide a relaxing shower.
Patterns that mix strong jets with pulsating streams soothe and revitalize.
Wide, pulsating sprays may be soft to provide a gentle mist or strong to provide a deep penetrating massage.
Strong, concentrated sprays are ideal for hair washing and heavy-duty cleaning.

Spray Patterns: Full Body Spray, Massaging Pulse Spray, Power Sprays, Mist Sprays, Drenching Rain Spray, Combo Spray

 

Materials and Finishes

 

When selecting your showerhead, consider the material it is made of and select a color and finish that matches the finish of the other fixtures in the bathroom.

 

Chrome may have a polished, brushed or matte finish. Durable, economical and easy to clean, it resists oxidation but does show water marks more than some other finishes.

 

Nickel may have a brushed or satin look and is stylish, durable and easy to clean. Look for units with a titanium finish to better resist scratching and tarnish.

 

Solid Color finishes may be composed of epoxy or baked-on enamel and clean easily. While the most common colors are black and white, they are also available in a wide selection of deep, rich colors. The finish may chip or fade more easily than other finishes.

 

Brass may have a high gloss, satin or antique finish and is ideal for traditional décor. Showerheads with lifetime finishes resist damage and wear.

 

Bronze complements neutral color palettes and is a popular choice for a rustic look. It may have a polished, brushed or darker oil-rubbed look with highlights and resists scratches, tarnishing and corrosion.

 

Mixed Colors and metallic tones can be matched to your bathroom’s color scheme. Striking combinations include satin nickel and polished brass, brushed nickel and polished chrome, satin nickel and white, and more.

 

Stainless Steel is attractive and doesn’t show water spots.

 

Water Pressure and Flow

 

A showerhead produces a pattern of water in a comfortable spray over a wide surface area. The volume of water delivered by a showerhead is measured in gallons per minute (gpm) and is affected by the water pressure in your home. Since 1992, government regulations have mandated that all new showerheads have a maximum flow rate of 2.5 gpm at a standardized pressure of 80 pounds per square inch (psi). Not every home has water pressure this high, and lower levels of water pressure can make a difference in the effectiveness of your shower. If you have low water pressure, look for a showerhead specifically designed for low water pressure use. While they use less water, they still provide a full shower experience without sacrificing water pressure. Some showerheads also allow you to adjust the nozzle for stronger flow when needed.

Complete Shower Systems

 

Complete shower systems provide a more full and relaxing shower experience using a combination of showerheads, configuration designs and features. These systems may range from an economical new, multi-function showerhead to easy-to-install tower showers and panels that connect to existing plumbing. For a total personalized shower experience, custom shower designs offer feature-rich, higher-end systems with multiple valves, sprays and patterns in virtually limitless combinations. These systems are designed to your specifications and are a popular option in new construction due to the often unique requirements for plumbing, water pressure, drainage, hot water and ventilation.

 

Features to Consider

 

Electronic Control Panel
Deluxe heads may feature electronic control panels that put you in complete control of spray intensity, frequency and pattern.

 

Bendable Nozzle
Heads with bendable nozzles help prevent lime scale buildup. Simply swivel the nozzle from time to time to shake bits and particles of lime scale loose.

 

Convenience
A rubber grip will make a handheld head easier to hold, particularly when it’s wet, and an arm extender will allow taller people to raise the head to make showering easier.

 

Diverter
Diverters allow handheld and traditional showerheads to be used together in the same shower, providing you with multiple configuration options.

Shower Arm Extenders
A shower arm extender attaches to a standard arm allowing the showerhead to be positioned higher.

 

Cut-Off Valves
Cut-off valves allow you to stop the flow of water while shampooing, reducing the amount of water used every time you shower.

 

Showerhead Filters
Showerhead filters remove chlorine and other contaminants and skin irritants to help reduce damage to skin and hair.

 

Storage
If you need a convenient place to store all of your shower accessories, look for a head that provides a soap dish, shower basket and shelves. Some even include no-fog mirrors to make shaving or brushing your teeth easier.