Top 5 Ways to Create a Spa Experience in Your Bathroom

How awesome would it be to create a spa experience in your own bathroom?  After a grueling day at work or wrestling with the kids, wouldn’t you like to relax in a cozy tub or wash away the day in a refreshing shower? At Plumbtile, we strive to offer you that exact experience with the highest quality from top name brands. Here are the 5 best ways to create a spa experience direct from us to you!

1. Large Shower Heads

Large, oversized shower heads are a huge trend today, and not only for their looks and fantastic function. These provide full–body coverage over clean water in fact, many of them, such as Hansgrohe shower heads, use less water than the smaller, traditional models. You can relax easily and guilt-free knowing that you are not harming the environment to do so. You will come out of one of these showers feeling rejuvenated after a tough day’s work – or invigorated to start one.

2. Soaking Tub

For a longer period of relaxing, soaking tubs provide a very unique experience. These are slightly different than your grandmother’s tub, and do wonders to melt away your cares and worries quickly. The designs are almost always edgy and contemporary, but still flawlessly fit into almost any décor or bathroom design.  Stone Forest is one of the leading producers of luxurious tubs and sinks. They come in many shapes and sizes, and they will even customize one to suit your specific taste through the use of natural materials such as bronze, copper, and especially stone.  As a bonus, they offer matching vanities, sinks, and pedestals.

3. Lighting,

Lighting is so essential in creating the right environment for the full spa experience. Too much light will ruin the entire experience, but you also need more light during other times of the day, so the real trick is placement.  In areas where more light is needed, such as around the vanity, don’t shy away from using what you need. To switch from this to lower lighting, use recessed or even underwater lights that are less bright and create more of an ambient glow than a harsh glare.

4. Natural Stone Tile

It’s no secret that here at Plumbtile we just LOVE pebble tile. Not only is it easy to use, but it creates a wonderful and authentic feel to any patio, bathroom, or even kitchen. There are, however, plenty of other options for natural stone tile. If you are not a fan of pebble tile, or simply need something to compliment its use, try options like the Mandala Tile Etrusco Collection to create a neutral, yet pleasing and forward thinking design.

You don’t need to have a large budget to implement just one or two indulgent elements to your bathroom. Something as simple as upgrading your shower head can do wonders. For more ideas, inspiration, and clearance items, feel free to stop by the Plumbtile site.

Do you have an item or design element that makes your bathroom a sanctuary of relaxation? Share it with us by commenting below!

Lacava Sinks Put Elegant and Eco-friendly Designs to Work

When it comes to bathroom design, there are a few pieces that should be counted as very important accessories. The sink you choose is one of the most important ways to make or tie up the statement made by your bathroom’s design – it is also the easiest place to ruin the whole look!

While some may not even think of the bathroom sink as important, consider the amount of exposure this fixture gets. Daily rounds of shaving, washing, brushing, and primping give your sink literally hours of use, so it is very obvious you need a sturdy model.

As for the design, you may not think of it as important now, but it is painfully obvious when the worn sink has been chosen. The wrong color, shape, style, and design can make this part of your bathroom an eyesore – like a bad painting in an otherwise chic living room.

In modern times, contemporary bathroom designs and accessories are very popular. Balancing an eco-friendly utility with a trendy design that will be in style for years to come is at the top of the list for most consumers. Thus, we have seen many companies make a shift in their focus and products. Elegant and water –saving options are flooding the shelves and inventories. The issue now is knowing that a company actually knows how to deliver on such high promises when they are simply following a trend.

One brand, Lacava, does not have such a dilemma. With roots in Italy, this Chicago-based company has been creating the highest-quality contemporary sink designs for years. Not only that, but the motto and badge “Green at Heart” is proudly displayed on their home page, with a full-page description of their eco-friendly policies.

“Lacava strongly rejects the idea of disposable low-quality furniture, which is made mostly of particle board, laminates, plastics, and other oil-based derivates and not intended to last longer than a couple of years. Our high quality furniture is made of renewable resources like natural wood with the least processing possible. Our craftsmanship combined with durable materials and wear-resistant parts allow people to enjoy Lacava’s furniture for many years to come, and is often passed on to the next generation as a valuable asset of the house!”

Lacava is not just following a trend – they have created one. To be sure your chosen design will flow with the rest of your bathroom, you will be happy to know Lacava also carries a full range of bathroom furniture, fixtures, and accessories. Feel free to browse the entire selection at Plumbtile for a better understanding of the possibilities.

Spotlight on 4 Eco-Friendly and Modern Companies

These four companies are just a few in a long list of manufacturers dedicated to lowering their impact on the environment and offering eco-friendly and highly functional products. To see more eco-friendly companies, visit the Plumbtile Green Products page.

Hansgrohe

Heading up one of the hottest trends in green living in Hansgrohe, with their line of EcoSmart products like the Raindance shower heads. These products need almost 60% less water to function, while still providing you with the durability, quality, and luxury you’ve come to expect of the Hansgrohe name. Less hot water means a lower cost for you, and less CO2 in the environment.

Due to the technological advances of enriching water with air, your shower experience is filled with plenty of soft water for superior comfort. Not only is this smart for the environment, but for your lifestyle! To update your bathroom, take a look and the Hangrohe EcoSmart products such as the Raindance shower head.

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California Faucets

Of course, water consumption doesn’t only take place in the shower. In fact, most water usage in the home will be coming through your faucets, so it is very important that these be as eco-friendly as possible.

Enter California Faucets, with a 32% water savings, non-toxic finishes, and recyclable materials. These faucet designs are stylish and smart – for your wallet and the planet. Don’t forget their shower heads, either. These feature the same finish and materials as the faucets, and offer a 40% water savings over traditional options.

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Duravit

Even before “eco-friendly” and “green living were” words in the common vocabulary, Duravit was heading the movement towards sustainability and environmental responsibility. Their concern for sustainability is the reason they continue to use sanitary ceramic in their products. The production of this material has little impact on the planet, and involves natural ingredients like kaolin, clay, and quartz.

The combination of that unwavering sense of environmental responsibility and particular quality control methods result in products which are long-lasting and highly functional without harming the environment.

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Native Trails

One of the core values of Native trails is a high level of respect for the environment. To achieve their lofty eco-friendly goals, this company create products from recycled and reclaimed materials, prints only on 100% recycled paper, and even composts at the company headquarters!

On top of these measures, each product is handcrafted, limiting the productive pollution to a minimal level. When you purchase products from Native Trails, you can rest assured that you are actually helping the environment.

Save $$ With Eco-Friendly Products!

Care to save some cash? It seems as if now a days everywhere you turn there is an advertisment, a message, a plea to “Go Green.” In today’s society, we are more fast-paced, alarmingly wasteful, and unnecessarily wasting the precious resources that our planet has given us.

How can we be more efficient? What can you really do to “Go Green?” Sure you can do the simple things like turn off the lights in the rooms no one is using. You can turn off the water while you are brushing your teeth or shaving. Making sure the sprinklers in the lawn are off when it rains, and even something as simple as recycling can help.

Through programs such as Be Water Wise, and SoCal Water$mart, the government is giving out rebates to residents who have become more water efficient. Manufacturers of bathroom and kitchen water fixtures are also helping residents and businesses become more water efficient. Staying ahead of the design curve, popular manufacturers such as Toto, Duravit, Altmans, and Hansgrohe are making it easy to become more water efficient without disrupting your daily routine. High efficient toilets use less water per flush, and new showerheads have less water flow without impacting the water pressure. Cutting down on water usage is a great way to “go green,” and if it puts a little bit of extra cash in your pocket with lower water bills then why not?! It is a win-win situation! A Plumbtile representative will be happy to help you save our planet as well as some cash!

Guest Post: Geothermal Heat Pumps Reduce Energy and Enhance the Quality of Air

Former Oklahoma University researcher demonstrates how geothermal heat pumps reduce energy and enhance the quality of air.

After several years working with geothermal energy James Bose at Oklahoma State University has invented a new home geothermal heating and cooling method.

Heat pumps operate as a refrigerator in reverse, they normally use electrical energy to move heat from one place to another rather than generating heat directly. Therefore, they can be 2-3 times more energy-efficient than conventional electric heating units.

A geothermal heat pump is a central heating and/or cooling system that pumps heat to/or from the ground. It uses the earth as a heat source (in the winter months) or a heat sink (in the summer months).

Geothermal pump units are among the most energy efficient technologies for providing HVAC (Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning) and water heating.

The set up costs are higher than classic systems (nearly $45,000 reduced by 30 per cent with government tax credit), but the difference is commonly returned in energy savings in 3 to 10 years.

The Gerald McClain’s geothermal system is based on:

  • 6 one inch diameter pipes sunk 300 feet into the soft red clay below his home
  • A water antifreeze mix in the pipes that picks up the ground’s constant 62 degree F. temperature
  • Three heat pumps in the attic that use a small electric powered compressor to heat or cool the home

The energy for the pumps costs approximately $100 a month, much less than the normal heating and cooling costs in the area.

A well controlled heat pump unit will not only consume less electricity but will also help remove dust from the home, improving indoor air quality. Indoor dust can pose health risks especially to young children. Data released on the epa.gov site in September 2009 reveals that indoor dust is highly polluted by persistent and endocrine disrupting chemical substances such as poly-chlorinated biphenyls.

Heat pumps get energy performance by transferring heat around as opposed to liberating it. This is not to say there is no air movement with a heat pump, but the heat move reduces that process. So does the lack of a cold-cycle as it exists in many standard furnaces, which can act to blow dust through the house.

About the writer – Lorie Wampler writes for the heat pumps ratings blog. It’s a non-profit web site concentrated on her personal knowledge with air cooling to cut down energy usage and improve indoor air quality. With this she would like to increase the consciousness on eco-friendly tips for the home and change the public perception of energy efficiency.

EPA Lets You Save Money While Saving Money

Refitting home plumbing can be an expensive pain in the neck, especially when the government says to do it for new regulations. All of a sudden, what you thought were perfectly good pipes, showerheads and toilets aren’t up to snuff. Sometimes old fixtures are pardoned, but what about when you need to buy new faucets or showerheads? Luckily the Enivronmental Protection Agency has been handing out rebates to help out. Continue reading →

Buy Tankless Water Heaters Cheap With A Government Discount

The Obama administration is moving forward with helping people not only become more environmentally friendly, but also helping citizens save money while they revamp their homes. The American Recovery and Reinvesment Act of 2009 has been extended until the end of 2010. This enables even more Americans to enjoy a technology that is better for their wallets and the environment- tankless water heaters. Continue reading →

Save Water and Save Money

Since my last blog was about saving money, I thought I’d follow it up with another one on the same topic. While I can go on and on about fixtures that save you money by saving water, what if those fixtures don’t work?

While I stand by the products that I promote on here like Toto, Cifial, Duravit and Porcher, not everything is perfect. Leaks can happen over time, from a manufacturer’s defect, deterioration or accidental damage from use. Big leaks are easy to detect; often there is an annoying sound accompanying those. What about silent or intermittent leaks? Continue reading →