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Home Repair

Bathroom-ology – Design a Healthy Green Bathroom

Once considered purely utilitarian, bathrooms are increasingly places for rest, renewal, and self-pampering. Plan your bathroom remodel to achieve both looks and luxury; incorporate “Green” design components to contribute to a healthier setting that is more environmentally friendly and that also carries lower ongoing costs for you.
Health-focused designs maximize fresh air and natural light. This focus serves to reduce the risk of injury, as well as to identify and rectify such potential problems as molds, allergens and toxic chemicals. Green remodeling techniques are specifically designed to be durable and to create a safe environment with materials that are made from manufactured products with as few toxins as possible.
The Dangers of Mold
Mold is the number one problem for household contamination, infection and disease and the bathroom is the primary source of mold contamination.
Mold, a simple fungus, adheres to and grows on surfaces where there is a high degree of continuing moisture — often on damp floors and unsealed grout lines. Mold spores can float on mild air currents caused by simply walking into the room. Inhaled mold and fungal spores produce allergic reactions, as well as hypersensitivity to other lung irritants and infectious diseases. “Some forms of mold found indoors produce toxins which can be carcinogenic, induce birth defects, and can affect the immune system,” says David Johnston, a certified LEED contractor.
If your remodeling project is precipitated by a mold problem, pay attention to more than just the latest trend in vanity counters, shower systems, and faucets. Be sure to eliminate all mold-infested materials in the bathroom and adjacent areas after tear-out and before you begin installation.
Environmental and Expense Factors
Although bathrooms are usually smaller than kitchens, bathrooms are the largest user of critical resources – the place where most of the indoor water is used in a home, and where the highest percentage of energy is consumed.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average person in the United States uses 90 gallons of water per day. Most of the water used is for bathing and showering. Additionally, a leaking faucet can waste up to 2,000 gallons in a year, and a leaking or running toilet can waste 200 gallons a day. Green remodeling offers the opportunity to consider attractively designed products and materials that reduce water consumption.
Creating a Green Bathroom
Begin your bathroom remodeling project with a design that incorporates your family’s needs. Prepare a checklist of the improvements you’d like to include.
Assess how you will most effectively reduce humidity in the bathroom. While your window may meet code requirements, is it really open all winter long, or do you need a supplemental exhaust fan?
Carefully evaluate the materials you choose. For the vanity counter, choose materials where surfaces are manufactured to resist absorption of bacteria and which can easily be cleaned without harsh chemicals.
For the shower, consider a one-piece shower pan rather than a tile pan, to reduce the possibility of mold building up in tile pan grout. Similarly, give thought to single-panel wall shower and bath surrounds.
For the vanity cabinet, select woods that are renewable and certified by the Forest Service Council.
Examine your water usage and identify ways in which you might conserve. Flow reduction devices for showers and faucets don’t interfere with good water pressure.
The newer low-flow toilets have improved greatly since 1.6 gallon-per-flush toilets first became law in 1994. No longer is it necessary to flush multiple times. The Toto Aquia dual-flush offers one button to flush liquids that uses only 0.9 gallons, and a second button for the now-standard low flow of 1.6 gallons for solid wastes. Even newer in the market are several High Efficiency toilets which only uses 1.28 gallons per flush.
A significant way to reduce energy usage is with a tank-less water heater. Tank-less or “on-demand” water heaters don’t waste the gas or electricity used to constantly keep traditional 40-to-70 gallon tanks of water at 120 degree temperatures. Another bonus is that there is no large storage tank taking up space.
Ventilating fans should be installed with timers, to enable a departing homeowner to leave the house before properly venting excess, damaging humidity — knowing that the fan will turn off in a set period of time. Consider a humidistat-controlled vent fan in rooms that don’t have adequate ventilation otherwise — the control will automatically sense the level of moisture in the bathroom and run the vent until reaching selected degrees of dryness.
Green Bathroom Remodel Check List
Consider which of these steps can work in your setting:
• Donate or recycle fixtures being torn out
• Insulate pipes that can be exposed to cold
• Install tank-less water heaters
• Install low-flush toilets
• Install low-flow, high-performance showerheads
• Install low-flow faucets
• Install compact fluorescent …

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Remodeling

Lighting Tips for Your Bathroom Remodel

No bathroom remodeling design is complete without a plan for improved lighting. Lighting serves many functions in the bathroom, from highlighting the decor to helping you accomplish your daily grooming and hygiene routine to complementing your reflection in the vanity mirror. By installing the appropriate lighting in your bathroom, you can both make the space feel larger and create place for personal retreat.
Here’s a look at the types of lighting you should include in your bathroom remodeling plans:
Task Lighting
Task lighting in a bathroom is one of the most important types of light to include in your bathroom remodel, as it gives you the necessary illumination for applying makeup, shaving, showering and performing other essential tasks.
When designing your task lighting, pay extra attention to the illumination around your bathroom vanity, which is essential for grooming and applying makeup properly. A common mistake homeowners make is placing a single light directly over the mirror, which casts misleading shadows on your face. If possible, surround the mirror with vanity lights or add sconces on either side of the mirror to create more even lighting on your face.
For additional task lighting, place a waterproof, recessed light above the shower or tub.
Ambient Lighting
Ambient lighting is a stand-in for natural light, enhancing the mood or atmosphere of a bathroom. If you’re fortunate enough to have a window or skylight in your bathroom, take advantage of the natural light as much as possible by removing blinds or curtains and using a thin shade or frosted glass instead. If your bathroom lacks natural light, you can simulate it with a lamp or chandelier on the ceiling. You can also create a soft glow by concealing, rope lights around the perimeter of the room behind molding that sits up to six inches below the ceiling.
Accent Lighting
Accent lighting is typically used to illuminate an aspect of your bathroom you want to highlight, such as artwork, a unique tile arrangement, a beautiful tub or an interesting sink. To create accent lighting, add a recessed spotlight with a beam aimed at the element you want to highlight.
Other Bathroom Remodel Ideas
Once you’ve designed your bathroom lighting scheme, make it work in harmony with the rest of your decor by using color and decorative elements to enhance the lights. A large mirror above the sink will reflect your bathroom’s light and make the space appear larger. For a small bathroom remodeling project, artistically arrange a collection of smaller mirrors. Adding a soft, light color to the walls and floors will also help reflect your bathroom’s light. You can also include a light-colored rug.
Finally, attach your different lighting elements to various dimmer switches to give you total control over your bathroom’s ambience. This will not only help you create whatever mood you desire, but it can help you save energy and lower your utility bill.
Although bathroom lighting is often neglected, good lighting is essential to any functional bathroom. As you begin plans for your bathroom remodeling project, make sure you include the one element that will help make the space look its best — and make you look fabulous.
~Flora Richards-Gustafson, 2010…

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Home Remodeling

Eight Crucial Aspects of a Great Bathroom

It is usually one of the first rooms we see when we get up in the morning, and one of the last rooms we see before we go to bed at night. The bathroom is one of the, if not the most, sacred rooms in our home. It is surely among the most private rooms in the home. So to take in consideration the bathroom is such a much used room, it makes sense to equip it with the most up to date fixtures and lighting you can install. Here are ten suggestions on how to make your bathroom as inviting as possible:
1. Create an entrance transition. Not counting the master bath, most bathrooms will serve several users and need to be placed in a location that is central to those users. You can create a space outside the door, such as an alcove off of the hallway that can give some privacy from your main room and high traffic areas.
2. Give the bathroom room like proportions. Many usual bathrooms are really just hallways with the fixtures that line one side of the hallway. It is hard to make a comfy room out of that shape.
3. Install a beautiful window. Bringing natural light and a nice view of the outside is very important. Think about it this way, when we go into the bathroom in the morning, most of us look out the window, that is to see how the weather is doing and provides us with a somewhat look at how the day might progress weather wise.
4. From the least intimate places to the most intimate places. This basically means that in the residential design of the bathroom, keep in mind the most intimate place should be the farthest from the door.
5. Position your shower to have a “borrowed view”. In a small space such as a bathroom, sometimes it is difficult to get a decent view to the outside from each area. A shower is a nice example since you can position the shower to give you the view that you want or need.
6. Paying attention to the vertical and horizontal dimensions is critical to have a people friendly bathroom. Certain minimum clearances around bathroom fixtures are required by every building code. You want your family and guests to have enough room to wash their hands for example without bumping into other walls and so forth.
7. Having water resistant finishes are another aspect that needs to be taken into account for. The last thing you want is for your bathroom to have a leakage problem due to poor workmanship or a poor choice in picking the correct water resistant materials to install in your bathroom.
8. Picking out and installing fixtures that really work and will last the test of time, you need to make sure that you are really getting your money’s worth. Having the peace of mind of having these fixtures installed in your bathroom will keep your bathroom looking and performing in top notch performance.…

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Home Improvement Contractors

Bathroom Remodeling – Top 10 Tips For a Successful Bathroom Remodel

1.) Choose the Right Contractor:
Selecting the right contractor for a bathroom remodeling project in Dayton, Ohio is the crucial first step and can make the difference between a successful enjoyable process and a never ending nightmare of regret. Make sure the bathroom contractor you select is qualified and capable. Apples to Apples estimates often differ since outstanding quality and customer service costs more to provide you then low attention to detail and no customer service.
Remember often times in life you get what you pay for. Be sure to compare more then just Scope of Work when comparing estimates and investigate and verify their Better Business record.
2.) Proper Prior Planning:
Sound familiar from college? Well it applies to everything including bathroom remodeling. There is a lot of coordinating to be done in typically small spaces when bathroom remodeling. Sure a good contractor will do most if not all the coordinating for you but it is a good idea to go over the steps yourself prior to construction.
Planning the process yourself will not only allow you to be more educated about it, but also make you more informed and better capable of making good decisions with regards to your bathroom remodeling project.
3.) Functional Work Triangles:
Work triangles typically apply to kitchen remodeling but also have value when Bathroom remodeling. “Work triangles” refer to the distance between the functional amenities of your bathroom such as toilet, lavatory sink, showers and tubs, and storage. Creating the right amount of space between these items can make your bathroom functional and comfortable as well as create a feeling of openness and space.
4.) Choose the Right Materials:
With the increased popularity of the big box stores came a gambit of new choices, consequently making selecting materials a nerve racking experience for some remodeling novices. A good contractor will help you select the right stuff for the right spot keeping esthetic appeal, texture, durability and cost in mind.
By properly installing the right materials, they should last the lifetime of your home. The right materials can make all the difference in the world and its painfully obvious when you select the wrong ones.
5.) Waterproofing and Concrete.
By properly waterproofing the concrete board it will create a durable long lasting medium for the tile setting. Reputable contractors only remodel bathrooms using moisture resistant drywall for dry painted surfaces, and concrete board for any areas to be tiled or exposed to wet conditions. However hanging cement board alone is not enough.
The joints and corners need to be taped and finished with ASTM approved mortar in a similar fashion as one finishes drywall. Doing this waterproofs the system allowing your walls to not rely solely on the finished tile for water proofing characteristics and, creates a second moisture barrier.
This simple, low cost step will add decades of time to your bathrooms life span. Ask your proposed contractors how they intend to waterproof the cement board. If they leave this step out of the answer, or say, “the tile is the waterproof system.” move onto the next guy.
6.) Get Great Lighting:
Proper lighting is essential for bathrooms. The right lighting can dramatically improve the appearance and function of your newly remodeled bathrooms. Utilizing a diverse selection of lighting such as 6 inch can lights, 4 inch cans lights, flush mounted lighting, wall sconces, under cabinet lighting, and vanity lights truly livens the space and adds a sense of elegance only great lighting can. The more lights and type of lights you use the more dramatic the aesthetic appeal.
7.) Select the Right Trim:
A bathrooms trim is very important. Types of bathroom trim include; baseboard, casing, chair rail, wainscoting, crown molding, and around mirror trim. The correct combination of trim separates good bathrooms from great bathrooms. There is a fallacy that all of a home’s trim must match. It just isn’t true. Upgrading a bathroom’s trim package can provide huge design dividends while remodeling a bath room and separate it as the most elegant room in the house, which it should be.
8.) Hardware and Fixture Fluency:
Not many things can destroy a bathroom remodel like mismatched hardware and fixtures. There are several finishes to choose from when considering which one is best for your project such as, chrome, brass, brass and chrome, nickel, brushed nickel, stainless steel, brushed stainless steel, antiqued bronze, brushed bronze, and oil rubbed bronze. It is imperative that all items in your bathroom have similar finishes. Disregarding this will confuse the eye, create an un-unified look and take away from your bathrooms appeal.
9.) Remember the Small Stuff:
The small stuff is commonly overlooked then thrown together in the end. One of the largest consumer complaints with regards to bathroom remodeling is that the contractors did not …

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Basement Renovations

Save the Planet – Going Green on Your Bathroom Remodeling Project

Last year, my daughter decided that she was going to go on a “Save the World” binge and do everything she could to save the planet. This meant that we had to sign up for recycling pick up, buy products with responsible packaging, only use recyclable products or products made of recycled materials, and remodel our bathroom. Yes, Salt Lake City bathroom remodeling can save the planet. After consulting with a contractor who doubled as an ecologist, I realized that some people might need a Salt Lake City bathroom remodeling guide- for going green.
Replacing the Windows
Believe it or not, you can save on energy costs by replacing old bathroom windows. As windows age, the seams that keep the weather outside will slowly spread open allowing for cold winter air and hot summer heat to find their way in. When you replace your windows you cut back on the cost of heating and cooling because you don’t have to have the AC and heater on quite as much. Saving energy saves on resources, and this can help save the planet.
Using Recycled Products in Your Salt Lake City Bathroom Remodeling Project
You’d be amazed at the amount of building materials that are being created out of recycled materials. There are wood floors made of reclaimed wood. There are custom countertops made of recycled glass.
Wasatch offers many renovation and remodeling services stores that offer these products for reasonable prices. If you have any green ideas that you want to turn into a renovation or repair project go right ahead and design your heart out. Creating an indoor haven out of recycled outdoor materials can save the planet by allowing the decrease in logging, a reduction in toxin producing processes, and less dependence on harmful energy production.
Reusing What you Already Have
In some cases, you don’t have to completely replace everything. You could opt for cabinet re-facing rather than cabinet replacing. Reuse the cabinets you already have but give them a new look but changing the color and putting on new fixtures. In Utah, Salt Lake City bathroom remodeling isn’t all about gutting and replacing- reusing is always an inexpensive way to remodel a bathroom and save a little bit of the planet in the process.…

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Remodel Kitchen

Modern Bathroom Vanities – How to Create Your Own Bathroom Stand Out

A vanity might be antique, transitional or modern. You might also find another class named as contemporary. Even though some say that a contemporary bathroom vanity is more up to date compared with a modern bathroom vanity is, others take them to be the same. On the other hand, that is for the experts to discussion and consider. For people like us modern or contemporary does not make much of a big difference. It is their clean line, simplistic design and style and wise use of different materials that we find so very attractive.
Antique bathroom vanities tend to be typically handcrafted by skilled craftsmen for a truly charming, old-fashioned appeal. Why settle for the sleek and cold and dull look of most regular modern bathrooms, when you can revitalize your bathroom with the comfort and welcoming comfort of an old-fashioned bath vanity? When mixed with rich wood bathroom accessories, like wooden towel racks and perhaps a properly sealed wood floor, an antique vanity will have a beautiful and lasting impression on the charm of your bathroom. If you need a combination of modern and traditional vanity inside your bathroom interior furniture, the solution is you need a transitional vanity.
Modern bathroom vanities are now among the freshest styles in modern homes’ bathrooms because of their potential to give house owners with a variety of modern bathroom furniture is ideal for transforming a bathroom into a more relaxing and alluring environment. A modern bath vanity might help you eliminate your complications with all the clutter in your bathroom. With the help of these modern bathroom vanities, bathrooms may now look more organized with the help of functional and spacious cabinets present in these modern vanities.
When looking at modern bathroom vanities don’t forget that you are not cornered with the exact same vanity forever.Understanding this means the bathroom vanity is the only thing in your bathroom you have complete manage over and in which you can show your unique preference in choosing. While searching through the huge range of modern bathroom vanities pay extraordinary focus to the focal point of the bathroom which usually is the mirror and lights. Both mirror and lighting must go properly to complement with overall style of bathroom. Bathroom decoration wants holistic approach like it does for other types of decoration. It is difficult to pick up any object and match it in the midst of rest items.
You should also pay extraordinary focus to the color when browsing through modern bathroom vanities. If you do not have a dependable color scheme your bathroom will show up sloppily thrown together. Depending on your character you can choose from bright loud colors, to warmer or softer, quiet colors.There are a lot of ways to accessorize your bathroom theme or decor.
There are several Modern Bathroom vanity models available while remodeling a bathroom. The modern look for a harmonious feel keeps mind at it place. In fast paced world, people want clean bathrooms that simple to sweep the clutter therefore Modern furniture supplies these. A complete variety to suit your style and needs helps to achieve the look and purpose that you designed.…

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Home Renovation

Great Bathroom Lighting Tips

When many people are planning a bathroom remodel the most overlooked part of the project is the way the new bathroom will be lit. Yet good lighting is essential if the new bathroom is going to be as functional and attractive as possible. The new sink, toilet and luxury spa shower are all great but, if you cannot see to put your make up on in the morning, the remodeled bathroom will end up annoying you as much as the old one did.
Ideally there should be more than one kind of lighting in the bathroom. Task lighting is essential. Mirrors should be well lit but not with a light that is too artificial or glaring. Vertical fixtures or sconces mounted on either side of the mirror are best for makeup and shaving. Be sure to position sconces to shed equal amounts of light on both sides of the face, and use “natural light” bulbs to impart a less artificial looking glow.
For ambient lighting pendant lamps, recessed ceiling lights or even a small chandelier can all work well in the bathroom. If your remodeled bathroom is going to include one of the wonderful garden bathtubs that are so popular these days why not a chandelier with dimmer switch so that you can soak your cares away in ultimate luxury.
One area that is often not lit – but should be – is the shower. Light the shower’s interior with waterproof fixtures. The light does not have to be too bright but you will appreciate the difference right away.…