Smart Flooring Strategies for Bathroom Remodels

Deciding on a bathroom floor choice is one of the biggest decisions in a bathroom remodel. The floor will undoubtedly set the tone for the design style. Choosing the right floor based on function is just as important as the aesthetics are. Tile has been the top choice for bathroom floors since the history of indoor plumbing; which says a lot about it’s functionality in this space.

  1. Before looking at different styles, it is imperative to look at the right type of tile. There are certain tiles that are made specifically to withstand water exposure. Keep in mind the three basic qualities that go into making tile acceptable for use in “wet areas”. The qualities are water absorption, grade and friction ratings. We can explain how to understand the different qualities, and help you select a tile that will be able to withstand water exposure, as well as preventing slippage.

  2. There are various technicalities to keep in mind before ordering tile. Understand that fixtures like toilets and vanities typically need to be removed before installing the new floor. However a floating vanity does not touch the floor, so it does not need to be removed; but it does require ordering extra tile to be installed underneath the vanity.

  3. Tile needs to be installed on top of a level floor. Some sub floors require re-leveling. A good way to check to see if your floor needs this, is by placing a marble in each corner of the room. If it starts to roll in a particular direction, chances are the floor needs to be re-leveled. Single level homes set on a concrete slab, generally do not need this extra work. It is always a good idea to check this before installing new tile floors.

  4. Labor cost will vary depending on the size of tile chosen. Larger tile is typically installed faster than smaller tiles, but they may require more cuts. The longer a job takes to install, and the more cuts the tiles need will raise the cost of labor.

We can help explain this and give you a labor estimate based on your floor plan and the tile selected.

Bathroom remodels have many aspects to be considered. Do not get discouraged or overwhelmed. Visit one of our learning centers or showrooms and let our professionals help guide you. We can answer any and all questions you have about doing a bathroom remodel!

Why Install A Kitchen Backsplash

Don’t forget the backsplash! Whether you’re gutting your kitchen out completely or simply redesigning, it’s important to implement a backsplash on the wall over the cooking area. A backsplash is a panel that covers the surface over a stove or sink. A backsplash can extend so far that it covers both the stove and sink area or it can continue around the entire kitchen. Large backsplashes can easily add cohesiveness to a small kitchen area, whereas in a big kitchen a small dramatic backsplash can be a focal point.

Installing a backsplash has many benefits. It can be great for both utility and style. Should you install a backsplash in your kitchen?

Protects Your Kitchen Walls

The main function of a backsplash is to protect your kitchen walls from damage. Yes, it serves as a shield from water, cooking oil and other types of materials that can ruin your walls. Painted and wallpapered walls aren’t resistant to stains and they can be difficult to clean. After long periods, if they are not protected the walls can begin to look dingy.

Backsplashes are also easy to clean. Splatters can be quickly cleaned by simply using a disinfectant and wiping the area with a clean cloth. Depending upon the type of backsplash you install it can be resistant to heat, stains and moistures which adds to it’s longevity.

Adds Great Style

From rustic wood, trendy glass and traditional tile, there are an abundance of backsplash options available. When installed correctly you can make any material work. These days backsplashes aren’t installed so much as a protection aide, but they are used to add character to a kitchen. You can choose to create a mosaic using a mix of patterns and colors. Backsplashes can match the kitchen countertops or you can choose to do something bold by going with a dramatic pattern.

If you’re interested in dressing up your kitchen by adding a tasteful backsplash contact us today. Our consultants can assist you in choosing the right design for your kitchen.

Kitchen Flooring: Separate or Same Material?

When it comes to flooring, the kitchen area has traditionally been seen as a separate space. The flow of the room was considered outside of it as the food preparation area needed to have some sort of distinction from the rest of the home. It has now become more popular to extend the flooring used in the living room right through to the kitchen, however, this is not something that works for every home. If this is a design idea you are considering but are not 100% sure it would work in your home, read on to learn more about what layouts are the most conducive to extended flooring.

When To Use the Same Flooring

Open floor plans have become more popular in recent years. Homeowners want to be able to cook the family meal and keep an eye on their children at the same time. There is less focus on having separate areas for dining and relaxing and more emphasis on wide open spaces that provide one large unified look to all of its common living areas.

If you have an open layout and are renovating the floors, simply extending the material through the kitchen area is a perfect idea. This will ensure that the flooring is all from the same dye-lot, keeping it uniform throughout the design. In addition, by replacing all the flooring at the same time it will all look brand new as compared to just adding it into the kitchen space later which will cause noticeable separation because of previous wear and tear to the existing non-kitchen flooring.

When To Keep It Separate

There are a few situations that make it best to leave the kitchen flooring as it is. If your kitchen is distinctly separated from the rest of the home through a door or other partition, using similar flooring will not have that much of an effect on the overall look. If there is carpeting directly off of the kitchen area, this will obviously not be a useful material to extend into the room. Kitchens that are separated by one or more steps up or down will not necessarily benefit from continuing the flooring unless the transition area is updated as well. It it best to leave the areas separate and allow them to have their own character. Finally, if you cannot find a proper match for the flooring to extend into the kitchen because of its being installed years previously, there will be an unmistakable look of old and new upon entering the kitchen.

We hope this post has been helpful in assisting you with your flooring questions. To get started on a new look for your home today, come see us at our showroom or call us today!

Kitchen Remodel Ideas

Kitchen remodels are a big commitment. Be careful of trends that will go out of style, or are too buyer specific. A helpful tip is to look at trends that increase the value of your life and home. The following tips have staying power, but also address convenience, lifestyle needs and enjoyment!

  1. Transitional design – Contemporary designs can often be cold while keeping a busy kitchen clean and uncluttered is sometimes a challenge. You can overcome this challenge by using transitional design, which combines both traditional and contemporary elements while allowing you to use the old and new and eliminant kitschy fads!

  2. You can’t go wrong with white. Try layering white by using white walls, white cabinets, white tile backsplashes, and white appliances. Stainless appliances have reached the masses and no longer fosters those chic exclusive items. Plus, white is so much easier to keep clean than stainless. White never goes out of style!

  3. Want some color, try neutral grays with pops of color – gray is close enough to white that you can use in all areas of the country by adding warmth with wood floors, or light and airy touches with pops of color. Just don’t overdue the color, a little goes a long way!

  4. Quartz countertops – Quartz has been rated the toughest material for countertops, it resists burns, cracking and scratches. Quartz comes in a variety of solid colors and the look of real Granite. Quartz beats natural stone in toughness, ease of cleaning and does NOT have to be sealed every year like Granite.

  5. Refrigeration – With today’s busy schedules, rethink your refrigeration needs. Add a wine cooler for the adults, add a juice/water fridge for the children. If you love to cook and take it seriously, add a counter height produce fridge to your island. Add refrigeration where you need it!

  6. LED lighting – Kitchen LED lighting is a wonderful way to add lighting to your prep area while providing esthetically pleasing touches to your kitchen. Add rope or cove lights to cabinets, under cabinets, and recessed canned lighting. LED lighting creates ambiance, and comes in soft to bright white, and a multitude of colors. LED’s are extremely efficient, lasting five times longer than standard bulbs. They emit very little heat, so you can keep the lights on forever!

Retro Kitchen Design

The design style known by the name of “Retro” is comforting because it reflects on a simpler time. Almost everything you need is visually accessible. This is a good design choice for a single person or a couple. When cooking for only a few people there is no need to have a complicated chef’s kitchen. Find out how to create this type of design style in your own kitchen!

Two tone color choices were very popular in the typical 1940’s and 1950’s styled kitchens. Typically a bold color would have been paired with a lighter neutral. Popular bright colors for a retro kitchen are cherry red, robin’s egg blue, mint green and canary yellow. Cream or off-white was the most popular neutral paired with one of the bright colors, listed above.

Antique refrigerators are perfect for this space. It sets the tone for the design style. These appliances can be refurbished antiques. There are companies that make new refrigerators that look like the old models, but or updated technologically. Another antique appliance that will assist in pulling off this design look is a stove, oven or a combination unit. This can be either a stove or a cook top paired with a wall oven. It was popular to have wall ovens as well as stoves, during this time period.

Black and white “checker board” style flooring was the most popular floor type for this period. It is perfect because it will pair with any color choice you select. This can be easily pulled off by installing 12” x 12” black and white porcelain tile. Vinyl tiles in black and white can also pull this look off. The 12” x 12” is the best size to go with, when designing a retro look!

When shopping for counter tops, it is best to choose a material that is one solid color. The material choice really doesn’t matter, what does matter is that there is a lack of pattern on the counter top. We would suggest a black or gray granite, in either a glossy or honed finish.

Creating a retro kitchen is fun and nostalgic. If you are planning to have furniture such as a small dinette table or bar stools, keep the style specific to the time period. Steel or aluminum minimalist bar stools are a great choice. Even an acrylic dinette table will work in this setting.

Adding a Backsplash To Your Kitchen

When you enter into any well-designed kitchen you’re most likely drawn to the beautiful hardwood cabinetry. Or perhaps it’s the gleaming stainless-steel appliances and the countertops. The backsplash area often goes unnoticed. Yes, the backsplash area is the tiled or wall of silver that runs above the countertop and stove area.

A backsplash is a great way to quickly add style and personality to your kitchen. However, most homeowners who install a backsplash stick to the same monochrome material. Selecting the right type of backsplash can liven up your kitchen design.

Why Install A Backsplash
Installing a backsplash behind your countertop, stove and sink can serve as a protection. Between cooking and washing dishes your walls can easily become damaged from food, debris and water. A backsplash will prevent your walls from being damaged by these materials. In addition, they are easy to clean which saves you time.

Backsplash Designs
Kitchen backsplashes are available in an array of styles and designs. You can opt for a traditional or a modern design. Tile backsplashes come in a variety of colors and can be arranged by a professional designer to create a unique look. If you’re interested in creating a piece of artwork that will instantly attract your guests you can implement accent tiles or dark wood in your design scheme.

Creating a Functional Closet Space!

When it comes to keeping your home organized, there’s a long list of items to take care of. While you may have a handle on all of the obvious spaces a guest will see when they enter your home, the closet may be a little neglected. It’s easy to understand why this part of your home would be put on the bottom of the priority list: no one is coming over to snoop around your storage space. That’s also why it’s so easy to just throw items in there when you’re cleaning up and just need to get on with your day. It’s time to stop hiding the mess and get it organized!

There are multiple reasons your closet may look the way it does: its size is too small, there is insufficient space for special occasion or seasonal items or you may just not have a good system for the items you currently own. No matter what the case is, take everything out and assess the empty space in front of you. You will be unable to visualize what is best for your closet space if you cannot see what you are working with.

Your first step is to de-clutter your current items. Create different piles for items you need to access often, special occasion items, seasonal items and items you no longer use but haven’t gotten around to removing from the space. You know what to do with your out-of-rotation items: can you say donation bag? Whether it’s clothing, shoes or assorted accessories, there is always someone in need who can benefit from your contribution, so delay no further! For your remaining items, it’s time to come up with a game plan.

This is where your creativity comes in. Look at your remaining items and think about whether you would like them to be hung up, folded, placed on open shelving or racks. Now make the space work for the items you have. This may mean going to a home improvement store and purchasing closet organization units or removing and adding racks and shelves to customize the space to your specific needs.

Be sure to place your heavily used items in the most easily accessed part of the closet and the rarely used pieces more out of your way. If you find that some things still do not fit the space, relocate some of the lesser used items into a different closet space or purchase storage bags to be used under the bed. Once finished, enjoy your beautifully organized closet and keep the space clean!

Ideas for Common Household Items

Household items like apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, coconut oil, baking soda and castor oil have a plethora of handy uses that you probably didn’t know. These tips and tricks will come in handy for anyone who runs a home.

Apple cider vinegar can be used to soothe a sun burn. It also repels flies and can be used in fly traps to capture fruit flies. Pour a capful into the washer and run the machine with laundry detergent. This will clean the unit as well as rid any unwanted smells from the machine.

Lemon juice will help you whiten whites when added to the laundry. It will also leave a fresh smell. It will also help clean windows and other glass within a home. A few drops in some hot tea will help soothe a sore throat, as well as provide a vitamin C boost, needed to fight off colds.

Coconut oil can be used to sauté food. It can be used as a greasing agent, the same way WD-40 can be used. Apply this item to squeaky hinges and bike chains. Use this product to polish wood furniture naturally. Coconut oil is an awesome skin moisturizer, especially in extreme cases of sun burn, wind burn and severe dry skin. It is even safe to use on sensitive skin.

Baking soda can be used for many things. It is an excellent cleaning agent. Use it to scrub away soap scum from tubs, showers and can even be used to clean toilets. This inexpensive item can be used to put out fires as well as neutralize odors. Keep an open box near trash and in the refrigerator.

Castor oil can be used to heal severely cracked heels. It also softens cuticles so they are easier to remove during a self-given manicure. Use this product to lubricate gardening sheers and kitchen scissors.
There are many more uses to each product in this read. Research each item individually online for more helpful uses for these products. Chances are they are already in your pantry!