Apr 282012
 

The guest post below describes three different types of bathtubs you might want to consider putting in your bathroom to create an elegantly and visually appealing room.

Freestanding: As the name implies, this is the type of tub that stands alone in the bathroom with no attachment to the walls for support. This frees up space which can make your bathroom look more spacious.

Roll-top: These are freestanding tubs, typically with claw feet and made of cast iron with a top that curves or “rolls.” This makes for a very comfortable place to rest your hands when soaking in this type tub.

Slipper: This is a type of freestanding tub in which one side is taller than the other, thus resembling a slipper. This elegant soaking tub gives your back much needed support as you sit in the tub.

 

Maybe you’ve just moved into a new house, or you simply wish to revamp your old bathroom. For the perfect relaxing bathroom suite you need a bathtub to soak in. But what style/type of bathtub do you need?

Although you may not have given it much thought, the style and design of a bathtub is very important, as it acts as a “centerpiece” to the room. It’s one of the many things people notice once they walk into a bathroom, and wouldn’t it be lovely if a person walked into your bathroom, saw how lovely and relaxing your bathtub looked, and commented on its attractiveness? Not that it’s normal to comment on how “attractive” a bathtub is, but if you pick the perfect style, you could have one rather handsome looking bathtub, that all the ladies and gentlemen are envious of.

So, what styles of bathtub are there?

Let’s start off with freestanding bathtubs. Depending on how big your bathroom is, a freestanding bathtub could be perfect. Different from built-in bathtubs, a freestanding bathtub can be shaped in various ways. You could have one that is round, and very bowl-like. This breaks the conventional style of a bathtub, perfect for adding a modern twist to a classic bathroom. You could opt for a freestanding bathtub that is rectangle, and add more of a clean-cut, modern appearance to your bathroom.

Roll top baths are the classic type of Victorian bathtub and are generally free-standing tubs held up from the floor by feet. These free standing baths give your bathroom a very elegant and classic feel. They can give the whole room an air of luxury, and a person may feel like a Victorian King or Queen whilst relaxing within one of these tubs. The feet on this style of tubs are one of the most eye-catching features, with many different styles of these feet being available. From the classic clawed feet style, to one that is more minimalistic and “block-like”. Instead of feet, a person could also choose a pedestal roll top bath tub, which has more of an art deco feel.

Another style of bathtub which echoes class and luxury, is a slipper tub. These bathtubs have one side which is slightly elongated, giving you more of a support to lay your back against. This style is perfect for someone who chooses to bathe for relaxation purposes.

When choosing the ideal bathtub for your bathroom, try to imagine how it would look filled with hot water and lots of bubbles. If you visualize it to look tempting enough to jump straight into fully clothed, then that gives you an inkling that it’s possibly the style of bath you wish to have in your home. If you choose a bathtub that is not built-in, make sure that your bathroom floor is strong enough to withhold the weight, as freestanding bathtubs can be extremely heavy.

Written by Stephanie Staszko on behalf of Branded Bathrooms freestanding baths. http://www.brandedbathrooms.com/baths/free-standing-baths/
This post was originally published on Southgate Chamber and can be found here: http://www.southgatechamber.com/choosing-the-ideal-tub-for-your-bathroom.html

Another type of bathtub you may want to consider is a walk-in bathtub.

Apr 102011
 

A shower curtain is much more than just a hanging sheet of plastic that keeps water inside your shower. Shower curtains today are decorative expressions of taste and personality. There are thousands of designs, styles and accessories, which will enhance and compliment any bathroom decor.

Shower curtain shopping used to be very simple. There were very few choices or options. Now when you go to select a shower curtain you have a number of options – all of which will make your bathroom more elegant. You are going to have to consider things like curtain liners, rods, rings and fabric. All of these items are related and are going to have visual impact on each other.

Selection Strategy

Before you go and look at curtains, you should have a starting point or a strategy.

  • What is the overall theme of the bathroom?
  • Do you have your colors selected?

Once these decisions are made, you should choose a curtain. The type of curtain that you select will affect all the other products that you will need to buy to achieve a consistent look in your bathroom.

For example, if your house is done in an ultra modern style, you may want to pick a contemporary style or a designer style. You might even want to have a curtain that features a double swag. These are shower curtains that part in the center.

If you are planning to decorate a child’s bathroom you can find curtains that feature everything from animals to popular cartoon characters.

If you do not yet have a theme or a color selected, take a quick glance at the curtains that are available. Some people prefer to pick their curtain first and then plan the rest of the bathroom around it.

 

Fabrics

Shower curtains are available in different types of fabrics. Common fabrics include polyester, vinyl or plastic.

If you select a polyester curtain, you will need to wash it occasionally to make certain that is does not get mildew. Polyester and other cloth curtains are probably going to need a shower curtain liner to ensure that they keep the water in the tub. The vinyl will not require washing, but it may need to be wiped down occasionally to keep it germ free. There are a number of curtains that are now being manufactured with an antibacterial and mildew resistant compound.

Attaching the Curtain

You do not have to pick a curtain that requires the use of hooks. There are thousands of shower curtains that slide directly over the rod or that use snaps. If you do decide that this is what you want, you may need to change the rod in the bathroom.

Shower curtain rods come in a number of different diameters and styles. The arc shaped rod is becoming more popular and can be easily installed in almost any shower. There are even circular shaped rods to hold a shower curtain that will wrap around a freestanding clawfoot tub shower combination.

If you choose a standard curtain, you will need to get hooks. Numerous retailers provide hooks that are made to compliment the curtain. Additionally, if you want the entire room to match, you may want to look at other available matching accessories.

Summary

Attention to detail is what makes any decor come together. Having a theme and color plan right at the beginning will make your decisions easier and faster. The shower curtain can be the focal point of your bathroom, so if you want the bathroom to look its best, start with a plan.

For the alternative to shower curtains, read Shower Doors and Shower Glass Add Style to Your Bathroom.

Aug 242010
 


For a price, you can have a bathroom mirror TV. Basically, it’s a two-way mirror with a flat screen TV behind it. Below is an already published article that summarizes this technology. With permission, it’s reprinted here.

By the way, this little luxury item will cost you from $850 to $3,500 US, quite a bit more than a typical showerhead!

Be Like Trump: Installing a Television in Your Bathroom Mirror

Author: Youri Naimark

Yeah, we know: having a television in your bathroom is a tad ridiculous. No question that’s why Donald Trump has them installed in all his hotel bathrooms! Who needs to watch television while they brush their teeth? But that’s not the point. It’s a luxury, something you can do to make your bathroom truly the best room in your house. With this addition, you can make a regular, old bathroom into your personal place of relaxation!

Televisions that are installed behind mirrors use some pretty interesting technology to keep them hidden. Your mirror will need to be two-way, partially reflective and partially transparent. These mirrors allow things that are brightly lit on one side of the mirror to shine through to a darker side, like a television. By placing a flat-screen television behind a polarized mirror, you can watch your favorite show while getting ready to go out or catch the news before you leave for work in the morning. Best of all, if you don’t want the television at all, simply turn it off, you will only see a mirrored surface where its screen normally appears!

You can purchase a plasma or LCD television screen specifically for mirror placement. Companies like Mirror Media and Seura offer many different choices for these televisions, many of them custom built for your bathroom design.

This is really a project for a professional installer because of the care necessary when handling a large mirror and heavy television. Your bathroom’s lighting may need to be changed, as the polarized mirror is more sensitive to glares and direct light than normal mirrors. Make sure your installer has worked with mirror TVs before and knows how to conceal the wires in the wall properly.

Your installer will need to fit the television into a cut out in the wall behind where the mirror will go. It can be wall hung or flush mounted to ensure that it has the sleek look mirror televisions are known for. If your bathroom doesn’t have a separate circuit or cable hook up, you will probably want an electrician to come check it out. Set up a consultation with one before you purchase your television to ensure that your bathroom is compatible with a mirror television and the cost of installation is within your means. If you are thinking about installing your television in an existing wall, you will probably need a tile installer’s help, as well. It is important that you get a television specifically made for this purpose, they are fog-free and waterproof, features a normal television doesn’t need to have.

No matter what you might think about the level of luxury, bathroom televisions can certainly add elegance and enjoyment to any home spa. Although it isn’t really necessary, wouldn’t it be nice to watch a movie while relaxing in the tub, or watch the traffic report while showering for work? Have your bathroom checked out for compatibility and do some research on the best technology, and you could have your own Trump hotel at home!

Article Source: http://www.sooperarticles.com/home-improvement-articles/bath-showers-articles/like-trump-installing-television-your-bathroom-mirror-135288.html

About Author:
Youri Naimark was an construction engineer for 20 years (specializing in coal mine construction). After moving to US in 2002, Youri scaled down and started a Denver tile installation company.

Jun 042010
 

The primary goal of a handicap accessible bathroom is to create an environment that allows people to move around without any serious obstructions. When I say “people,” I mean more than anyone who is confined to a wheelchair.

There are many different people who can use a handicap accessible bathroom. I’m referring to anyone who:

  • Is using a walker or crutches either because of age or a temporary medical condition.
  • Has a temporary disability such as a broken leg.
  • Is living with a condition such as severe arthritis.
  • Is concerned with bathroom safety

With an aging population, these type bathrooms will become more common. You can design an accessible bathroom from scratch. But you can also make modifications to an existing bathroom that will make it much more convenient for both permanently and temporarily disabled people.

Below, you can read about the elements to consider when creating this type bathroom.

  • Entrances
  • Flooring
  • Toilet
  • Showers
  • Bathtubs
  • Sinks, Faucets, and Mirrors
  • Grab Bars

Bathroom Entrance

Let’s start with the entrance. This is typically an issue for people confined to a wheelchair.

If the bathroom door is less than 34 to 38 inches (86 to 97 cm) it will be difficult for a wheelchair to get through. On the other hand, if the door is larger than 38 inches, a person in a seated position may have difficulty opening and closing it.

Consider using a D-shaped handle or a lever for the door as opposed to round knobs. Both young children and people with arthritis will find them easier to move.

Another option is to remove the door completely. This raises privacy issues as the bathroom is then exposed. However, if the bathroom is attached to a bedroom that has its own door, this may be the way to go.

Bathroom Flooring

Inside the bathroom, think about the space it would take a wheelchair to move around in. The usual recommendation is a circular floor space of 5 feet (1.5 meters) in diameter. This should allow a wheelchair to make a complete turnaround in the bathroom. This much available space will also help people who are using crutches.

Keep the floor as clutter free as possible. Waste baskets, clothes hampers, wicker baskets, and plants can all be barriers to someone trying to get around. Even for people who are not in wheelchairs, these items can represent something to trip over. The edges of small rugs, even those with non-skid backing, represent a tripping danger for people with injuries that result in them having to hobble around a bathroom.

Slip-resistant ceramic tile is an option in a handicap bathroom, but there is controversy about which tile to use. The Ceramic Tile Institute of America (CTIOA) and the Tile Council of America of North America (TCNA) each use different testing standards for testing slip resistance.

Generally speaking, smaller, more textured tile, with more grout joints will be more slip resistant. But as this type of tile gets dirtier, it becomes less slip resistant. Please consult with a professional when considering installing a slip-resistant floor.

Another option is applying a liquid non-slip floor coating or finish to your flooring. Not all coatings are appropriate for all flooring materials so be sure to check the label before applying.

Toilet

The ability to easily use the toilet is a key feature of any barrier-free bathroom. Master bathrooms in newer homes often have a water closet which is basically a toilet in its own small room. This represents a problem for a handicap accessible toilet. The entrance to the water closet should be as large as the entrance to the bathroom itself – that is from 34 to 38 inches wide. And the room itself should have space for a person to transfer from a wheelchair to the toilet seat.

As for the toilet itself, a number of options are available. If someone has difficulty getting up and down from a standard toilet seat, you can purchase a toilet safety frame. The frame attaches underneath the toilet seat. Its height can usually be adjusted. It also has arm rests the handicapped person can use to help get on and off the toilet seat. Toilet frames are manufactured to handle different weight capacities so be sure to get the right size for the person using it.

Another option is the toilet riser. This is a spacer installed under the base of your current toilet. It then adds about 3 to 4 inches (8 to 10 cm) of height to the existing standard toilet height of 14 or 15 inches (36 to 38 cm). The higher toilet seat is then easier for someone to get on and off.

Instead of adding a riser, you can replace your standard toilet with a taller one. Toilets are available in 17- and 18-inch (43 to 46 cm) height, which should be tall enough for the disabled user.

When using a toilet riser or taller toilet, you should add grab bars to both sides of the toilet. This makes it easier for someone to get on and off the toilet.

Showers

There’s no reason someone with disabilities shouldn’t be able to enjoy a shower. Shower enclosures are available that can accommodate the user with disabilities. Sometimes called a walk-in shower, the ideal accessible shower stall would be at least 4 feet (1.2 meters) square. The opening should be at least 3 feet (.914 meters) wide so a wheelchair or shower commode can get in. The entrance should not have a barrier or lip the user needs to climb over. The floor may have a slight downward slope to allow water to drain to the middle.

Shower controls should be low enough for a seated person to reach them. A handheld showerhead, with flexible hose, should be no higher than 48 inches (122 cm) above the floor so it can be easily reached. You can also put the showerhead on a vertical bar which allows its height to be adjusted. This means the shower can be used by people both sitting down and standing up.

For more information, read Handicap Accessible Showers.

Different types of shower seats are available for use inside the handicap accessible shower. These include:

  • Freestanding shower seat
  • Hinged shower seat
  • Shower commode chair
  • Transfer bench

For more information about these shower seats, read What Type Shower Seats Are Available?.

Bathtubs

If a bathtub is going to be in a barrier-free bathroom, it should have a wide tubside seat that will allow someone to sit on and move themselves into the tub. Sliding transfer benches are also available for tubs. These let the handicapped person transfer from their wheelchair to a seat that then lets the person slide into the open tub area. A freestanding shower seat can also be placed inside the tub.

A better tub option might be a walk-in tub. Most of these are built with a small 2-inch high step that many physically challenged people can get over. They can then sit in the seat inside the tub and be surrounded by water. Walk in tubs also take up less space than the standard 5-foot long tub. For more information read Everything You Need to Know About Walk in Bathtubs.

Sinks, Faucets, and Mirrors

Sinks in the accessible bathroom should have floor space open in front of them. This will allow a person in a wheelchair to roll under it to reach the sink. Be sure that if there is a hot water pipe leading to the sink it is insulated to prevent burns. For more information read Two Types of Handicap Accessible Sinks.

The faucets on the sink should be a lever type or a single handle. If the lever is ADA compliant, it will take less than five pounds of pressure to operate. For extra safety, the faucets should have anti-scald valves to prevent the hot water from causing burns.

There are many options for disabled bathroom mirrors. A full height mirror mounted at the appropriate height is one possibility. You can also mount one of those flexible mirrors that pull out at the right height for a seated person. Another option is installing a mirror that tilts down above the sink. Mirrors are also available that have a pulley system and crank. The mirror normally hangs flat against the bathroom wall until it is needed by someone who is seated. Then, by turning the crank the person can angle the mirror down to where they can see themselves.

Grab Bars

Finally, grab bars should be located throughout any barrier-free bathroom. Grab bars should be on the shower and bathtub walls to help people get in and out of the tub or shower. Grab bars should also be available on both sides of the toilet. Some toilet grab bars can also be swung out of the way when not in use.

Newer style looped grab bars are also available for use on both sides of the toilet. A shorter person can use the bottom loop while a taller person can use the upper ones.

For more information read Use Grab Bars For Safety in Your Bathroom.

Summary

By using modern accessibility options you can create a stylish bathroom that will be accessible to all. Your goal should be to create an unrestricted, comfortable environment for both disabled and non-disabled people.

May 312010
 

If you want the benefits of both a tub and a shower in the same floor space, a tub and shower combination unit may be your solution. With both a tub and shower unit, you get the best of both worlds.

For example, when you feel like soaking away the stress of the day by surrounding yourself with hot water, fill up the tub and relax. If it’s the morning and you’re rushing to get ready for work, hop in the same space, turn on the showerhead and take a quick shower.

If the space saving and convenience benefits appeal to you, here are some things to think about when considering a combination tub and shower.

There are three primary types of tub shower combination units:

  • Ceramic
  • One piece
  • Sectional

Traditional Ceramic

Traditionally, a tub shower combination can be created by building a ceramic tile shower enclosure around an existing tub. The ceramic tile forms three walls of the shower. An opening for a showerhead is built into one of the walls. The original tub sits below the ceramic tiled walls.

Ceramic tile requires ongoing maintenance and care to prevent mildew and leaks but provides the most traditional look.

One piece combination units

As the name implies, a one piece tub and shower combination unit includes either all three walls that surround the tub or all three walls and the tub. Fixtures are usually part of the combination including the tub faucets and showerhead. Ledges for holding soap and shampoo may also be built into the unit.

The one piece units are made of acrylic or fiberglass and tend to be heavier and bulkier than the traditional ceramic combination units.

Because of its size, you must measure to be sure the unit will fit through the doorway in an existing bathroom. For new construction, you can build in the one piece combination unit, then build your bathroom around it.

Sectional combination units

To address the size issue, a third type of tub shower combination unit is available. This unit comes in sections that can be put together inside the bathroom. The tub is one piece that is usually placed in first. It can be acrylic, fiberglass, or even porcelain. The walls, made of acrylic or fiberglass, are then placed around the tub. As with the one piece combination, fixtures are usually part of the wall pieces.

This type unit provides the benefits of the combination unit while getting around the problem of weight and size.

Sizes

Bathtub shower combinations offer size options depending on the available space in your bathroom. The standard option is a regular sized tub, which is five feet long. But if space is an issue, units are available in smaller sizes, such as a four foot tub. There are also units built to fit into a corner to which you can add a built-in shower seat.

Frames

For the above described options, we’ve been talking about three-sided combination units. But frames are available that can rest on the tub. You can install sliding glass doors inside the frame to provide a fourth wall so water from the showerhead doesn’t get all over the floor.

Depending on the type of glass used, the glass doors can also provide visual privacy when you’re sitting in the tub.

Many finishes are available for these framed enclosures with brushed nickel and chrome being two of the most popular.

Clawfoot tub shower combination

Some people, who prefer a vintage look for their bathrooms, install a clawfoot tub as part of their décor. But here too, combination kits are available that allow users to add a vertical showerhead riser and shower curtain ring above the clawfoot tub. This gives you the option of taking an old-fashioned soak in your tub or standing in the tub for a standard shower.

Summary

If you can’t decide between a tub or a shower, a tub shower combination lets you have the best of both worlds. You can either sit in the bathtub or stand in the shower while saving space at the same time.