Chad Miller Construction Logo    Bathroom by Chad Miller ConstructionPorch and Addition by Chad Miller ConstructionPeterson kitchen

Bathroom Remodeling

Remodeling a bathroom can be a very exciting and rewarding process.  Click on the following articles to learn more how you can make your bathroom remodel project a success!

Bathroom Remodeling Articles

10 Things to Consider Before Remodeling or Installing a New Bathroom

Whether you want to install a new bathroom or remodel an existing one you will need some bathroom design ideas. A bathroom must be tailored to your requirements and every plan will vary depending on the planner's needs.

1. Seek professional advice before planning a bathroom remodel. You may need to consider local water regulations, existing plumbing facilities and the way your house is constructed.

2. Define the role and requirements of the new bathroom. Planning a bathroom remodel involves more than the positioning of basic fixtures such as the bath, basin and toilet. Make sure your plan allows for plenty of floor for wall space and for extras such as towel rail, mirror and storage.

3. Decide if you need to make any changes to existing services and whether structural work is required. Measure up and note the position of the existing services, windows and doors and work out the plan to get the bathroom fixtures where you want them. You will also need to decide if you need to move any doors, windows or walls and whether you need to make changes to the electrical wiring, water and drains.

4. Draw out the bathroom area on graph paper and work out how best to divide up the bathroom design ideas  for different purposes or tasks. You may need to consider whether to use double or sliding doors, archways or curtains.

5. Ensure that you have enough space to accommodate your chosen fittings as well as enough room to move them into position. Think about how much room will be required for toiletries, storing towels, medicines, etc.

6. Build in utilities such as heating, ventilation and lighting. These are important to ensure that your bathroom has enough light and works efficiently.

Bathroom Design Ideas

7. Make provisions for future plumbing and allow for access to potential trouble spots such as the shower valve. If possible, fit removable panels instead of sealing these utilities behind fixed walls.

8. Find out exactly what sort of fittings you require and whether they will be suitable for the intended location.

9. Think about your style preferences in terms of the fit and flow with the rest of the house. There are products to meet most requirements or designs. Consider the trade off between price and good quality, and look out for longer warranties and guarantees.

10. Consider traffic patterns in terms of how many people will be using the bathroom and how often. Also, if people of varying ages use the bathroom, you may need to choose fittings that cater for different age groups in your household such as a slide shower so you can adjust the height of the spray.

Taking time to plan ahead can help to translate your bathroom design ideas into reality and ensure that you end up with your ideal bathroom.

Back to Top

Fall in Love with your Bathroom Again

Nothing dates a house more quickly in Minnesota than a bathroom that time has forgotten. Yet any drab or outdated bathroom can be drastically revitalized. There are many bath products available which can give you as beautiful a bathroom as you could possibly want. Many homeowners want the bathroom to be totally utilitarian, but others want a room in which to pamper themselves. How about you? Would you like to fall in love with your bathroom again?

Your answer, and your budget, will determine the best way to remodel. Do you want to work within the existing space of your current bathroom? Do you want to expand by taking space from somewhere else? Maybe you would rather build an addition to house your new bath.

If you have an extra bedroom, you could move the bathroom to this space or expand a current bath into a portion of it. This will mean that plumbing must be moved but it will also add a modern, spacious bathroom to your home, which will help the resale value. An addition or even a small bump-out could be the solution. This takes the largest investment but will give you the bathroom you’ve always dreamed about.

If you’ve decided to remodel, start with an analysis of your existing bathroom:

What is the condition of the sink, toilet, and tub/shower? If it’s an older toilet, you might update the look, perhaps with a one-piece style. Many Minnesota homeowners are moving up to jetted tubs for that relaxing soak after a long day. Jetted tubs are great for that relaxing soak after a long day.

Does the sink have a vanity for storage? If it does, but you just don’t like it, consider replacing it with a one of the many beautiful vanities that are available today.

Does the sink have dripping faucets? If so, you know how inconvenient this can be. Why not switch to a single operating lever, which is easier to use and gives a better mix of temperatures.

Does your tub include a shower? One can easily be added with a combination tub/shower valve.

Think about reinforcing the walls, adding grab bars, and widening doors for those with physical disabilities or for your later years.

Is your medicine cabinet small and outdated? Consider the various styles of newer cabinets, perhaps with recessed or decorative lighting.

How is the tile? Are you tired of battling the dirt and mildew? Is the grout cracked and the caulk missing? With today's products and technology, all the drudgery can be eliminated and you can once again be proud of your bathroom.

If a window is suffering the effects of humidity it may be best to replace it with an energy efficient window system. And don’t forget deco glass block has made a comeback.

Many older bathrooms don’t have adequate ventilation. You may want to add a quiet fan to avoid the build up of moisture, which can deteriorate materials and add to the increase of mold and mildew.

Are electrical outlets a problem? Face it, the number of electrical appliances you use in your daily ritual has multiplied since the time that many houses were built. This means that you probably want more outlets. These and any that are replaced should be protective GFI outlets for your family’s safety.

Today’s bathroom can be all you want it to be. Enjoy the opportunity to explore the variety of materials, styles and colors available to you. In the end, you’ll reap the pleasures afforded you in the design of a bathroom providing both form and function. You can ‘fall in love’ with your bathroom again!

Back to Top

Bathroom Ideas:  Consider these 6 Bathroom Ideas

Looking for bathroom ideas? You may be researching bathroom design ideas for remodeling an existing bathroom or you may be looking for bathroom ideas for building a new one.

The bathroom design ideas that you use can have a dramatic impact on the appearance and functionality of your bathroom. The bathroom is a room that will be visited often every day and you want this space to be comfortable, usable, appealing and safe to be in while fitting into the overall style and decor of your home.

Here are bathroom ideas to consider as you are planning this important room:

1 - Add a Mirror

Mirrors on the bathroom walls will give the appearance of windows being there, will reflect light and extend the room. Mirrors can create a sense of openness, making any bathroom appear larger than it really is. Add a medicine cabinet with mirror to your bathroom to store grooming supplies, medicine or toiletries. Traditionally, the medicine cabinet was located above the vanity or sink, however, you can place it elsewhere in the bathroom if you want.

2 - Create Ample Bathroom Storage

You cannot have too much storage space in a bathroom. Use wall space wisely with shelves or built-in cabinets, vanities or cabinets over the commode. Corner shelves are good bathroom ideas choices if you have limited space. Install corner shelves to display ceramics, shampoos, soaps, bath oils and candles. Display corner shelves can be found that are decorative and allow you to use otherwise wasted space.

3 - Use Wicker Baskets

Fill wicker baskets with soaps, candles, sponges, bubble baths, and loofahs. You can roll some of your colorful towels and place them in inexpensive wicker baskets around the bathroom. Keep some of the large wicker storage baskets with towels near the tub and shower within easy reach.

4 - Carefully Select the Floor Material

Besides the appearance, the bathroom floor should be safe to walk on and water resistant. Rubber flooring, ceramic tile, vinyl and linoleum floors are good choices since these floor materials can be easy to clean, water resistant and safe to walk on.

If you will use natural stone or terra-cotta ceramic tile on your floor, use the kind that has a non-slip finish. Be careful using rugs that can slide on a tiled floor or natural stone floor. Use rugs that have a rubber backing or add rubber backing strips to the rugs.

5 - Plan the Lighting Carefully

Bathroom ideas and general lighting can be ceiling lights, wall fixtures or track lighting. Having adequate general lighting means there is enough light for someone to walk safely through the bathroom. This overall light will distribute itself throughout the entire space, however, general lighting is not sufficient for grooming functions.

Task lighting provides light to a specific area where shaving, putting on makeup, or other types of grooming take place. Task lighting should be adjustable by using dimmers or controls, and it is best to aim this type of lighting at an angle to avoid hot spots or shadows.

The use of natural light can be included in your bathroom ideas by having a window, a wall skylight or a roof skylight to bring in natural light. Having a skylight that can be opened is great because it reduces moisture buildup. Remember that using a combination of different types of bathroom light fixtures carefully placed may give your bathroom the best results.

6 - Plan for Moisture Control

Bathroom ideas should plan for humidity and odors in the room. Use a power ventilator large enough to do the job. Lingering moisture could become a problem if you do not have a properly-sized ventilating fan to get rid of moisture and odors. Ventilating fans are sized by the cubic feet of air they move in one minute (cfm).

A good ventilation system that can move the air from the bathroom to the outdoors about eight times per hour means that the bathroom will have the moist air removed in 7 or 8 minutes. If you take the length, width and ceiling height of your bathroom and multiply these three numbers, you will have the cubic feet of space for your bathroom.

For example, a bathroom that is 5 feet by 8 feet with an 8 foot high ceiling will have 320 cubic feet of space (5 times 8 times 8 equals 320). A 40 cfm (cubic feet per minute) fan will move the air from inside this bathroom to the outdoors in about 8 minutes (320 divided by 40).

Enjoy gathering bathroom ideas and the planning process, learn as much as you can and use your imagination as you collect and implement your bathroom ideas. Having a comfortable, attractive and functional bathroom that reflects your personal style means you will have a special place to enjoy for many years to come.

Back to Top

 

 

 

 

Bathroom Remodel

Taking a Bath

Tub Choices

You have been thinking about a new bathtub but don’t know where to start. First, you have to decide what is important to you in a tub. Do you want a longer tub and is there room for one? Do you want a deeper tub for those long soaks? Do you want a whirlpool tub with water jets to massage your back and aching muscles? Do you want a Yugo tub or do you want a Cadillac tub? The material you will use to finish the walls around the tub also affect tub selection.

Enameled Steel Bathtubs

Constructed of sheet metal with a thin porcelain glazing, these are very easily chipped. My advice on steel tubs is you better put the for-sale sign out front before you even install one. We have not installed a steel bathtub in the past 20 years and probably never will. Most brand new homes today, even in the $500,000 range, have a cheap steel tub.

Fiberglass Bathtubs

Fiberglass tubs can be both good and bad. It all boils down to quality and the right selection of tubs. The undesirable fiberglass tubs are made with a gel coat finish. This is a thin colored layer of fiberglass that is soft and easily stained or scratched. The better fiberglass tubs are made of pressure and heat-molded material with the color throughout and no layers to chip, crack or peel. This results in a hard fiberglass that is very resistant to stains and mildew. The fiberglass tubs we use carry a 10 year warranty. Average life span is around 20 years. These tubs lend themselves to matching wall surrounds that are very practical and low maintenance.

Acrylic Bathtubs

These tubs are vacuum-molded from sheets of colored acrylic and reinforced with fiberglass. Acrylic sheets are made of pure plastic. Plastic is that ‘nasty’ stuff that will still be in the landfill 1000 years from now. That particular feature of durability is it’s strong suit. High-gloss acrylic tubs are resistant to mold, mildew and chipping. The color goes all the way through and therefore scratches and chips can be sanded and buffed out. Acrylic tubs are offered in deeper styles for those long, hot soaks. They can also be set up with whirlpool jets to ease those aches and pains. Acrylic tubs are noisier than cast iron but there are ways to quiet them. These tubs usually have a 1-2 year warranty and a life expectance around 20-30 years.

Porcelain Cast Iron Bathtubs

Cast iron tubs are the ‘Cadillac’ of tubs. They offer a rock-solid feeling of strength and a rich, glossy surface. The porcelain finish is very durable and easy to clean. Cast iron tubs are the heaviest in weight and therefore, the quietest. They carry a lifetime limited warranty and life expectancy should be in the 50-75 year range.

Back to Top

Hiring a Bathroom Remodeling Contractor

Busy, busy, busy, that is how you have to describe the people of the new millennium. People seem to have less time for things around the house. The work week never seems to be over, people are tired and just want to spend time with their family. The average work week has increased from 38 to 44 hours. Traffic and distance makes commuting to work last much longer. There is actually less time for yourself and your family. When it comes to remodeling a room in the house, it just seems like too much time and effort. So when the bathroom needs to be remodeled, who do people call?

The first choice for busy people is to call bathroom remodeling contractors. There are a lot of contractors and it can be confusing at first. The people have to choose one and that is sometimes the hardest part of all of the remodeling. There is the Yellow Pages but if you call all the contractors in the yellow pages you are likely to get many messages saying the number is disconnected. What about flyers at your door? Bad Idea, These guys are usually people laid off from some other kind of work not necessarily contracting work. What about TV ads? These people are usually reliable but costly. They charge anywhere from half again to twice what a smaller reputable firm would charge. So what is the best way to find a contractor? The best way to choose bathroom remodeling contractor is to ask family and friends if they have had work done and how they liked their contractor. The price he gives you will probably not be the lowest price you can get. A person that is in a lasting business can not afford to give work away long before going under. Going under means owing a lot of people a lot of money. Going for the lowest price often can mean you are shopping for trouble.

Word of mouth means more than almost anything. People can also go to most home warehouse centers and ask for a list of recommended contractors. This gives people a good place to start but do yourself a favor and ask friends and co-workers first.

Next, call all of the contractors on the list and show them what needs to be done. It is perfectly acceptable to ask for references if the contractor in not a referral. Check with some of the references and find out what they liked and didn't like. Bathroom remodeling contractors get work by their previous work. If they aren't good, they won't have very much work to do.

Paying Bathroom Remodeling Contractors

Once the people have decided on the right contractor and the right price, the terms of payment will soon surface. In most cases, people don't want to pay the contractor before the work is started. If payment is made before any work has started, the incentive to finish the project will have been lost.

Back to Top

Bathroom Vanity Cabinets

Bathroom vanity cabinets are an essential component of any bathroom and can add drama to your design and decor. Bathroom sink cabinets provide countertop space, a place for the sink and faucets and great storage below. It's amazing how often bathroom cabinets and storage are left out of the planning process. It's important to have a place for everything in your bathroom that is easily accessible to everyone. Bathroom vanity cabinets and storage provide home organization and reduce clutter. You never can have too much bathroom storage!

Here are some considerations before buying bathroom vanities online or in stores:

Bathroom vanity cabinets are available in widths of 18 inches up to 48 inches and in increments of 6 inches. When looking for bathroom vanities online or in stores, shop where you can find a wide variety of styles and sizes. From traditional to contemporary, you should be able to choose from vanity cabinets made of woods such as walnut, oak, maple, cherry and finished with high-gloss lacquer that showcases the natural wood finish.

Here are types of bathroom storage cabinets:

1. Cabinetry - bathroom vanity cabinets, wall cabinets, recessed cabinets and medicine cabinets.

2. Open shelving - recessed shelving, corner shelving and surface mounted shelves.

3. Over the toilet cabinets - cabinets that use the wall space over the toilet for storage cabinets.

4. Linen closets, towers with baskets, built-in closets and cabinets or freestanding bathroom sink cabinets that often extend from the floor to the ceiling and provide excellent bathroom storage for linens and other bathroom items.

You should be able to find bathroom vanity cabinets in these two styles:

1. Face-frame vanity cabinets. These bathroom cabinets will give your bathroom a more traditional and formal look. The frame and panel doors are designed to frame the cabinet box, and the hinges can be either hidden from view or visible.

2. Frameless vanity cabinets or European style cabinets. These modern bathroom vanities will give your bathroom a more contemporary look. Frameless vanity cabinets will provide you with heavy-duty cabinet boxes and hinges that are hidden and easily adjustable.

When selecting bathroom sink cabinets and door hardware, make sure you match the period cabinets with period style knobs and pulls. You can sometimes find the antique type of knobs you may be looking for at flea markets. Knobs for your cabinets can be $3 to $5 each, and some can run $20 or more each, perhaps creating a problem for your budget.

For your bathroom vanity cabinets countertops, you have several options. You can choose from laminates, ceramic tile, wood, composite materials or solid surface materials such as stone, stainless steel or concrete. Laminates, composite materials, solid surface materials and stainless steel are more susceptible to scratches. However, composite or solid surface materials can be repaired and replaced very easily. Stone countertops are beautiful and durable, but they can stain easily and are expensive.

Ceramic tile is the most commonly used countertop surface. It is durable and you can select from a wide variety of sizes, colors and textures. However, the grout used between the tiles can stain and the tiles can have irregular surfaces. Wood surfaces are beautiful but can stain or mildew if not maintained well. Concrete is a durable and heat-resistant countertop surface, but it can discolor or crack.

Whether, upgrading an existing bathroom or planning a new one, the bathroom is one of the best home improvement investments you can make. You, your family or guests will enjoy the bathrooms in your home every day. And should you ever sell your home, attractive and functional bathrooms add to the desirability and to the selling price of your home. Before you buy, read as much as you can on choosing the bathroom vanities online or in stores that will be the best for you and your bathroom. Learning as much as you can, will be time well spent.

Back to Top