Decluttering the Bathroom

Bathrooms are dedicated areas set aside for grooming, health and hygiene, but have an unacknowledged purpose, too — as a repository for inner hopes, dreams and insecurities. Follow these tips to loosen the ties that bind you to bathroom clutter. Continue reading

Wooden Bathtub Designs

Wooden bathtub designs nourish your desire for a long, warm soaking bath. Their curves and contrasting wood tones maintain evoke a sense of charm and elegance even after (and sometimes because of) extended use.

Rustic wooden tubs have the look of the Old West’s watering troughs or whiskey barrels. Modern techniques provide the rustic appearance while preserving vital ease of use. Continue reading

11 Ways to Add Value to Your Bathroom

Bathrooms, like kitchens, are a huge selling point in your home. They’re also the most personal of spaces. Here are 11 ways you can add value to yours through quick updates that make a big difference.

  1. Swap Outdated Fixtures:

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Zone Your Bathroom, Functionally!

By organizing functional areas around a central space, you give the bathroom plenty of open space no matter its size. While kitchens apply a tried-and-true work triangle, there is no exact prescription for the best bathroom layout.

Space planning all depends on your lifestyle and the way you use the space. However, keep in mind when planning that if you must move the plumbing to accommodate your new design, the price tag of your project will be much higher than if the “guts” of your bathroom can stay put. That said, layout options are more limited when relying on existing plumbing hookups, drains, ventilation, etc. Continue reading

Tips for a Kid-Friendly Bathroom

A children’s bathroom isn’t all fun and whimsy—though you certainly can take a light-hearted approach to the décor you choose. A lot happens in the family bathroom: bathing, washing, brushing teeth, playing in the tub. It’s a multi-purpose space that must include plenty of storage, easy-care surfaces, durable fixtures and accommodations for the little people.

It’s easy to get focused on designing a bathroom for little kids, and then in a couple of years, they’re eight inches taller. You can have fun with the design, but think about the fact that your kids will grow up fast, and you might not get back to the bathroom to renovate it when they’re older. Continue reading

Bathroom Surfaces: Ceramic Tile Pros and Cons

Often praised for its durability and variety, ceramic tile is a popular choice for bathroom finishes. If you’re drawn to color and texture, this material can deliver on both fronts. But the sheer variety of ceramic tiles is endless, which can make finding just the right tile very difficult.

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Epoxy vs. Cement Grout — What’s the Difference?

Epoxy grout has become more and more popular among tile contractors and builders. I find new benefits every time I use this product. Unlike cement grout, which is made from a cementitious powder mix, epoxy grout is made from epoxy resins and a filler powder. The grout is extremely durable and almost completely stain-proof. Regular grout isn’t waterproof, so unlike epoxy grout, it can absorb water when it’s wet and stain easily. If you’re tired of scrubbing the gunk off of your grout, epoxy grout could be your solution.

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7 Reasons Why Your Shower Floor Squeaks

There’s little that makes me crazier than a squeaking shower floor. Because there are so many reasons your floor could be squeaking, it can be tricky to see how to fix it — or if it’s fixable. Your best bet is to prevent squeaks in your fiberglass or acrylic shower base from ever getting started. Here’s what to watch out for.

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Modern Bathroom Essential: Know Your Options for Shower Glass

Glass shower enclosures are clearly a designer favorite, but is the choice of glass always so … clear? There are many options for glass finishes, so it’s worth considering the wide variety of looks and functions you can achieve to get the best fit for your bathroom style and your comfort level.

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Choosing the Right Kitchen Countertops

Tempting though it is to choose a countertop based on looks alone, a material’s durability, maintenance and, of course, cost are also important factors to consider when making a selection for a kitchen remodel.

Find a good fit

Homeowners have to assess the way they live before settling on a countertop surface. If they have three kids and they’re making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on the countertops every day, they might not want to go with that white granite.

Countertop choices

The good news is if homeowners have their hearts set on a certain look, but the material just doesn’t match with their lifestyle, odds are there’s another material that does. Granite, the top choice in countertops, is available in a variety of shades such as blacks, whites, greens, corals and beiges, and no two pieces are exactly the same. Granite is available in two finishes. A polished finish results in a shiny look and often darkens the appearance of the stone, while honing is soft and matte. Costs for granite depend on many variables, including color, finish and origin of the stone.

Other natural stone materials, like marble, limestone and soapstone, are softer than granite and require delicate use and greater care. All stone countertops must be sealed periodically.

Engineered stone countertops come in a wider variety of colors than natural stone countertops, are more durable and are a cinch to maintain. They’re “just bulletproof,” Jeff says. However, engineered stone won’t save any money over granite: the two materials cost roughly the same.

Solid surface countertops have a lot of appeal. They come in countless colors, are seamless, resist stains and scratches can be buffed out. One word of caution, though: Hot pans can damage solid-surface countertops.

Concrete countertops, which can be completely customized with pigments, are gaining popularity. Concrete is available in several different finishes: trowel (smooth), ground (sanded to expose the sand aggregate) and pressed (a tool is used to reveal marble-like veining). Extreme or abrupt changes in temperature may cause concrete to warp or curl, damp sponges left on the counter can cause discoloration and acidic spills may etch the surface. To keep a concrete countertop looking its best, it’s advisable to seal them up to four times per year and wax with a paste every two to three months.

Wood countertops, like butcher block, instantly warm up a kitchen. They are easy to clean and any scratches can be sanded out. Water damages butcher block quite easily, though, so wood countertops must be oiled frequently to seal the surface.

Laminate is the most affordable countertop material on the market and comes in an array of colors and designs. Laminate can scorch if a hot pan touches the surface and has a reputation for scratching easily. However, the product has made strides in scratch-resistance in recent years, Jeff says.

On the edge

Square edges are standard on most countertops, but decorative edges like radius, bullnose, bevel, egg and ogee — while a bit more expensive — are another way to customize a kitchen. Availability of edges varies based on countertop materials.

Mix and match

Can’t decide on just one material? Then mix and match surfaces. Another option is to inset another material into a countertop for specific tasks. Butcher block is common for chopping as is marble for baking. Before making a decision on countertop material, see the surface in person, whether that means visiting a showroom or viewing samples in-home.

If you’re still debating, head over to PlumbTile, where our expert employees will be able to help you choose the perfect countertop for your home. Whether you are making the decision on price, look, or both, PlumbTIle will be able to make your house become a home.