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Frameless shower doors are sleek, elegant, and ultra-modern. Often custom-made, these shower doors come in nearly limitless configurations of shape and size, and can have unique features including hinges and handles. What’s more, because they are made of smooth glass, these doors are incredibly easy to clean, allowing them to maintain a clear and pleasing appearance with very little effort on your part.

There are a number of aesthetic advantages offered by frameless shower doors, but certain practical considerations may reduce their appeal to some families. These doors tend to be more expensive both to purchase and install, and may be more prone to leak following installation. To allow frameless shower doors to open and close, a small space is necessary between the bottom of these doors and the floor of the shower. Because there is no frame to prevent water from splashing out of these small spaces, frameless options can allow for water to spill onto the bathroom floor – a safety concern for families with smaller children.

In the end, the choice to install a frameless shower door should be based on your aesthetic desires and family’s specific needs. If a frameless door is not ideal for your family, there are a number of framed options available that can improve the appearance, cleanliness, and appeal of nearly any shower enclosure. 

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Japanese bathrooms are often different than those in American homes. Focused more on function and simplicity, bathrooms found in Japanese homes embrace minimalistic design and optimal efficiency. However, Japanese bathroom design is far from stark. In fact, through embracing the simplistic and functional, these bathrooms induce calm, clarity, and relaxation – desirable qualities no matter which side of the earth you live on.

If you are designing a bathroom from scratch or redesign one that already exists in your home, you can incorporate elements of Japanese bathrooms to enhance both aesthetics and utility. 

Consider designs that embrace:

·         Minimalism – use smaller fixtures made of natural materials such as stone and focus only on those things necessary for your needs. This can produce an open look while greatly reducing the time and cost of cleaning. 

Don’t mistake minimalism for deprivation – many Japanese bathrooms contain comforting and purifying amenities such as mist saunas and entertainment features including waterproof TVs

·         Function – tubs are for relaxing and are perfect for midsized to larger restrooms. Showers, on the other hand, are utilitarian. Japanese showers are often little more than hoses attached to more elaborate and welcoming tubs – a feature that helps make showers more economical and the time spent in them more focused

·         Hygiene – many Japanese bathrooms have separate entrances for the toilet and bathing areas. This increases hygiene as well as the function of a space. Replacing toilet paper with a bidet can also make a space more hygienic and reduce potential damage to pipes and septic systems

Japanese-style bathroom design can be further enhanced by adding small touches such as flowers arranged in the Ikebana style, small Zen gardens, and similarly simple and calming aesthetics.

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When selecting a shower for your bathroom there are a number of things to bear in mind – not the least of which is existing piping. There are, of course, modifications that can be made to plumbing and hot water systems to allow for nearly any permutation, but unless you are skilled with piping or wanting to contract a plumber, working within the confines of your existing system is best.

Once you have selected the appropriate plumbing system, consider your family’s needs. Bathtub/shower combinations come in a variety of styles and with features that range from basic to luxurious. While easy to clean and ideal for many needs, these combinations can require significant space and will not be suitable for every bathroom. 

If space is a concern, consider a shower stall. Complete enclosures are often simple to install and can easily fit in even smaller areas. Stand-alone showers come in a variety of sizes and can include steam features and other decadent options.

Finally, when choosing a shower, carefully consider the head. From shower systems with multiple heads to simpler overhead rain options, the showerhead best suited to meet your needs can often be found with minimal effort. Many manufacturers design their showers to work with specific heads. Be sure to look at these specifications before choosing a shower to ensure you are selecting the system best for your specific needs.

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Guide to Choosing the Right Bathroom Accessories
Posted on Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Fixtures are often the focal point of a bathroom. Vanities, tubs and showers, even toilets can draw the eye and work to produce a desirable theme. However, as every designer knows, nuanced touches complete a space.

Accessories such as towel bars, robe hooks, soap dishes, and toothbrush holders can add style and appeal to your bathroom. They can also detract from a space or make an area look clumsy and cluttered. This makes choosing the right bathroom accessories incredibly important. Fortunately, with the many styles available today, adding nuanced touches to your bathroom can be incredibly simple.

When selecting bathroom accessories:

  •        Consider the accessories your bathroom needs
  •        Consider space limitations
  •        Consider the overall theme of your bathroom

Look for accessories that complement the theme of your existing fixtures and select sets that allow for a consistent look throughout. Make sure to only choose those accessories that can fit into your space, but remember that varying sizes are generally available within each set. 

The right bathroom accessories can bring a space to life. Better still, updating accessories is a quick and inexpensive way to improve the comfort, convenience, and appearance of any bathroom in your home.

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Tips for Installing Your Own Bathroom Tiles
Posted on Thursday, August 14, 2014

Installing bathroom tiles can improve the appearance, cleanliness, and overall appeal of your bathroom. If you are considering installing tiles on your own, there are a number of things to keep in mind, chief among which is the time it takes to install them. Making sure to allow yourself enough time to complete the job well can produce results that will last for several years to come.

Important: Before you install your new bathroom tile, be sure to remove existing flooring. This gives you a much better foundation for your tiles and will help ensure the strongest hold.

Make and mark your pattern – place dry tiles in their respective places, taking time to ensure proper fit and thematic consistency. Mark any cuts necessary for tiles to fit with a wax pencil and make appropriate cuts with a wet tile saw. You may use sandpaper or tile stone to smooth rough edges of cut tile. 

Once you are happy with a pattern and placement, trace around the center tile to mark its position and remove the tiles from the floor, being sure to stack them in an order that will make proper placement easier.

Mix and place your mortar – following the package directions, mix thin-set mortar to the consistency of peanut butter. Only mix as much mortar as you can use in one hour as mortar will dry out and become unusable after that time. Apply mortar to the floor using a notched trowel held at a 45-degree angle. 

Place and adhere your tiles – beginning with the center tile, set tiles in their proper places. Slightly wiggle each tile to ensure proper adhesion to the mortar. Be sure to place spacers in between tiles to allow for grout after the mortar has dried. 

Tiles generally require 12 - 18 hours to set. Once they have set, remove the spacers and apply grout to produce a polished and professional appearance.

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