Friday, October 14, 2011

Bath Flooring Options

A bath remodel involves many product selections and decisions. There are pros and cons to different bath flooring options.  Plus, those product selections have a great influence on the remodeling price. 

Tile:  Tile is the most typical choice for a bath floor.  Tile is durable, water resistant, and comes in an amazing variety of colors, shapes and sizes.  Pricing can vary significantly from inexpensive to very expensive depending on the exact tile selected and the complexity of the pattern to be installed.  A good tile installation should include a tile backer board substrate to give rigidity and in the long term keep the tile from cracking.  To avoid slipping in a wet area bath floor tile typically has a textured or slightly textured surface.  In general tile is a mid-range cost selection but upgrades in the tile selection plus the optional addition of heating to the floor can increase costs significantly.

Stone:  Stone is similar to tile in many aspects but generally more expensive, and often the most expensive option for a bath floor.

Vinyl:  Vinyl is available as a sheet or in 12” tiles and in a variety of colors and designs.  Vinyl tiles are easy to install and especially a good choice for do-it-yourself remodels.  Vinyl is typically one of the least expensive bath floor options.

Laminate Flooring:  Laminate flooring is made of layers of paper and wood with a top layer picturing whatever surface you want the floor to look like.  It is typically inexpensive and easy to install.  While the top surface is water resistant, if water does penetrate, especially to the pad below, there is no choice but to remove and replace the flooring.  In general this may work for a powder room but is probably not a good choice for a full bath.

Wood Flooring:  Wood floors including hardwood such as oak or engineered wood floors, basically a layer of wood over plywood, are another choice for a bath.  Installation costs are mid-range.  If wood is used in a bath care should be taken to keep in dry and remove excess moisture from the surface.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Ten Luxury Bath Options

Baths are typically the most heavily used rooms in a home, often several times a day and possibly by several different people.  Many clients look to include some luxury features in the master bath.  The following is a list of ten options to consider.

1.       Upscale the sink. There are many unique design options available for bath sinks.  These include alternate materials such as glass, copper, bronze, stone, hand painted porcelain, or glass mosaic.  While undermount sinks are very popular, a vessel sink sitting on top of the vanity counter is a luxury choice.
2.       Upgrade the counter.  All the choices that are available for kitchen counters are also available for bath counters.  Luxury items include a variety of metals, stones, glass, and wood products.
3.       Multiple showerheads.  Luxury showers may include multiple jets lining the walls, fixed and adjustable showerheads, and rain showers from the ceiling.
4.       Steam baths.  Another luxury shower option is a steam unit included with your shower, or even a separate steam room.
5.       Sound and light.  There are multiple options possible with lighting for the bath.  And including a sound system is another option.
6.       Tile upgrades.  Luxury handmade tile, glass tile, and metal tile are among a few of the great variety of tile available for bath remodeling.  Tile comes in an amazing array of sizes, shapes, and colors allowing for many design options.
7.       Tubs.  Soaking tubs, especially the large claw-foot vintage tubs are popular again if you have the space.  Air jetted tubs with multiple small air jets are an upgrade to the traditional jetted tubs with 6-8 large jets.
8.       Heat.  Heated tile floors add an extra layer of comfort in a bath.  Heated towel racks or European style thin fin radiators are another good option.
9.       Frameless.  Frameless shower glass enclosures and frameless glass doors are a significant upgrade to the traditional metal frame enclosure.  Also consider a large walk-in shower without a shower door at all.
10.   Space.  A luxurious bath may require a larger space than the traditional bath.  Combining rooms, expending into closets, or even a home addition may create the large space to allow for multiple cabinets and vanities, separate tub and shower, steam unit, bath linen storage, or a make-up area.