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Tips for Bathroom Color Designs
Posted on Thursday, July 31, 2014

Choosing the right color scheme for your bathroom is an important part of making your space your own. Changing colors is also a simple and economical way to enhance your living space and add new life to your home.

Color schemes include more than the color of walls, but painting is a good place to start. Bathroom walls tend to work best when monochromatic, though different shades within a single color can be used on opposite walls to produce a more unique feel. Be sure to pick up several shade samples and paint small areas of your walls before committing to any specific color.

No matter what color your bathroom is you can spruce it up with accessories – and here’s where possibilities become endless. Towels, rugs, and shower curtains can add color and enhance a scheme, but so too can more nuanced touches. 

Wall art or sculptures placed on shelving can add splashes of color. Toothbrush holders, soap dispensers, and even nobs on your bathroom vanity can as well. With accessories, there are any number of permutations, each capable of adding finishing touches and helping tie your color scheme together.

No matter if you desire a look that is  fun and playful, sophisticated and elegant, or simply light and clean, updating your bathroom color scheme is a quick way to produce a look and feel that is entirely your own.

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How to Care for Marble Surfaces
Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2014
We found this amazing article on how to care for your marble surfaces from Martha Stewart:

 Marble is a beautiful surface for counters and tabletops. But because it is quite soft and porous, marble can easily be stained, scratched, and chipped. To help prevent staining, marble surfaces are often coated with protective sealers. Depending on use, these coatings should be reapplied every year or two. Regular cleanings should be as gentle as possible. Dust the surface once or twice a week with a soft cloth. Wash the marble periodically with a cloth dampened with warm water, and, if necessary, a bit of mild dishwashing liquid. Remove the soap with another damp cloth. Never use dusting sprays or abrasive cleaners on your marble. Apply marble polish (available in hardware stores) on a regular basis to maintain the stone's luster.

To prevent ring marks, place coasters or trivets under glasses and dishes. Use mats or runners beneath hard objects that might scratch the surface. And always blot spills up immediately and rinse with a clean, damp cloth. If your marble does stain, you can try to remove it with a poultice made especially for drawing out stains.

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Tips for Unclogging a Bathroom Drain
Posted on Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Drains in the bathroom can easily become clogged by hair, cosmetics, and soapy residue. If your sink is slow or completely clogged, try these simple home remedies before calling in professional help.

•    Clear the drain – straighten a wire hanger while leaving a small hook at one end. Insert the hanger, hook-end first, as far as possible, wiggle it a bit, and slowly pull it out. This can remove blockage caused by hair and other trapped objects

•    Clear the pipes – place an empty bucket under the trap (the U-shaped pipe) below your sink. Use a wrench to loosen the slip nuts at the ends of the pipe and carefully remove the trap. Turn the trap upside down to empty it into the bucket. You may also need to clear the inside of the trap with your finger. Once cleared, simply put it back and tighten the nuts. Run water to test the seal before removing the bucket from underneath the trap.

If clearing the drain or trap doesn’t work, don’t fret. There are still plenty of items you already have at home that can help clear clogged drains.

Pouring the following things down your drain can often clear even the most stubborn clogs:

•    Boiling water
•    1/3 cup baking soda followed by 1/3 cup vinegar
•    ½ cup table salt mixed with ½ cup baking soda

For the last mixture, place ingredients into the drain dry and allow them to sit for 15-30 minutes. After this period pour boiling water down the drain for optimal results.

If these methods fail to produce results it may be time to call a plumber. Remember, caustic chemicals can be harmful to pipes and should be used only under the guidance of a trusted professional.

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A simple internet search in any city in America will provide an overwhelming list of contractors, all of whom claim to be right for any job you throw at them. Choosing one on a whim may seem preferable to sifting through their information, but when you are hiring someone to remodel your bathroom, taking your time to choose the best team for the job is essential.

There are local and national websites that rate contractors based on real customer experience. Some people find these sites very useful, but they do not always have the full information you need. This makes knowing how to select the right contractor on your own very important.

What to Look for in a Bathroom Remodel Contractor

When selecting a bathroom remodel contractor it is important to remember that:
  • Good contractors are bonded and licensed. Make sure any contractor you are considering is licensed in your area and carries proper insurance
  • Good contractors are active in their profession. Ask your potential contractor about professional affiliations, union memberships, and other trade activities that show their dedication to their craft
  • Good contractors are respected. Ask for references and make contact with those references
  • Good contractors are approachable. You will have a professional relationship with your contractor. He will be in your home and working around your family’s needs. Interviewing potential contractors to understand their work habits and time frame is always a good idea. So too is gauging how comfortable you feel talking to a contractor
  • Good contractors are upfront. Ask about pricing and deadlines upfront. If you are unhappy with the answers, ask about options that are more conducive to your needs
Good contractors are not hard to find. Sadly, neither are terrible ones. And when considering a remodel of the room in which you start and end your day, time spent selecting the best one for the job is always worth the effort.

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Tips on Caulking a Bathtub like a Pro
Posted on Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A lumpy caulk job not only detracts from the appearance of your bathtub, it can fail to serve the purposes you caulked it for in the first place. As with all things, caulking a bathtub is something that gets easier with practice. But if you’re a DIYer, how much practice can you realistically expect to have? And without that practice, should you just accept less-than-ideal results?

There are really two choices here: you can lower your expectations, or you can learn how to caulk like a pro. The latter, of course, provides the larger benefit and, believe it or not, is actually not difficult at all. You just need to know the proper steps.

How to Caulk a Bathtub

·         Tape your joints – using painter’s tape, carefully line the area just above the joints you are about to caulk, much as you would around windows when painting

·         Create a small, rounded opening – using a very sharp knife, create a 1/8 inch hole by cutting your caulk tube at a 45-degree angle. Using 100-grit sandpaper, gently round the opening

·         Prep your caulk gun –squeeze the handle of your caulk gun until caulk shows at the opening of the tube. Release the pressure and clean the tip with a damp rag

·         Set your pace – caulk at a steady pace, applying consistent pressure as you follow the joint. If you miss a spot, keep going. It is easier to make a second rapid pass than to clean goopy caulk off of your tub and tiles

·         Smooth your edges – wet your pointer finger and run it along the length of the caulk bead on all sides. Clean excess caulk off of your finger at regular intervals using a damp rag.

Once your caulk has dried, carefully remove the masking tape from around the joints. Do not remove the tape when caulk is still wet.

In addition to tubs, this caulking technique can be used for tile, sinks, and other household items, and is well worth taking the time to learn. When you know how to caulk properly, you can produce professional results at a fraction of the cost, and earn some well-earned bragging rights along the way.

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Enhancing Your Half Bath
Posted on Thursday, July 17, 2014

The half bath is common in many homes and, while these restrooms offer a significant amount of convenience, they can also feel cramped and unwelcoming, which makes updating them a perfect way to add style and comfort to your home.

Things to consider for a half-bath remodel include:

  •  Sinks – pedestal sinks are best in a half bath, though small vanities can sometimes work as well. This depends greatly on the amount of space you are working with

  •   Shower stalls – stand-alone showers come in a range of placement options. Choose one that meets both the size limitations and overall flow of your half bath. Consider adding a steam shower for optimal relaxation

  • Cabinetry – recessed medicine cabinets take up no additional space but offer storage for toiletries. These cabinets often include mirrors which both enhance convenience and help produce a more spacious feel in half-baths
  • Storage – slim linen cabinets, particularly wall-mounted options, can give much needed storage. Shelving can give space for some toiletries and allow for decorating flourishes such as sculptures, flowers, or whatever items speak to your unique tastes

Many bathroom fixtures come in matching sets or complementary styles. Look for cabinetry, storage, vanities, and sinks that look natural together. Taking this step helps ensure your half bath not only provides the comfort and convenience you deserve, but improves the appeal and flow of your entire home as well.

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Giving Your Bathroom a More Spacious Feel
Posted on Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Even medium sized bathrooms can begin to feel cramped when you begin to add shelving, cabinetry, and vanities. However, these things can help produce a clean appearance while adding significant convenience, making them an attractive addition to many restrooms.

One of the best ways to guard against a cramped feel is by choosing bathroom furniture and fixtures that are ideally sized for your space. If your washroom is small, get creative with shelving and cabinetry or consider hallways adjacent to the restroom for some of your bathroom storage needs.

Lighting and reflective surfaces can also produce a more spacious appearance. If your bathroom has little to no natural light, consider adding windows or a skylight. If these options are not available, look at installing additional light fixtures on walls or overhead to produce a brighter look and feel.

Simple additions such as mirrors on bathroom doors can help a room appear much larger. So too can chrome fixtures and glossier surfaces on countertops.

Your bathroom is where you start and end your day. Taking steps to produce a roomier feel can extend into other areas of the home for an overall more open, relaxing, and inviting aesthetic.

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Solving Big Problems with Double Vanities
Posted on Thursday, July 10, 2014

Double sink vanities are an ideal way to functionally enhance bathrooms used by multiple members of a family. Regardless of whether it’s more than one child trying to get ready for school in the morning or bed at night, or partners vying for tooth brushing space and shaving room, a double vanity gives freedom for multi-use, helping speed grooming and get everyone where they need to be on time.

Double vanities offer more storage space than single options. Often large enough to allow for the storage of hand and bath towels as well as toiletries, double bathroom vanities can greatly enhance convenience by organizing all bathroom necessities in one spot. Adding storage in this way prevents needing additional bathroom furniture for many families, a factor that can help free up space for a more open and flowing aesthetic.

Speaking of aesthetics, double bathroom vanities come an incredible range of styles and many include customizable features such as sinks, hardware, faucets, mirrors, and even additional cabinetry. This allows you to choose a double sink vanity that not only serves your family’s practical needs, but speaks to your aesthetic sensibilities as well.

Lastly, a double vanity can increase the resale value of your home. Even if you do not currently have a large family or require space for more than one person, the future buyers of your home may. Larger washrooms with attractive features such as double sink vanities are appealing to many homebuyers, allowing this addition to be a long-term investment in the worth of your home.

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