Oct 172013
 

Are you tired of the look of your current bathroom? If that’s the case, then it’s time for a bathroom upgrade. Modern times call for modern bathroom designs and fixtures, and if yours is looking rather outdated, here are some bathroom improvement ideas that won’t break your budget. And using some or all of these ideas can help you avoid having to do a complete bathroom remodel.

Use Mirrors

Mirrors are known to make an area look bigger than it actually is. In the case of bathrooms, you can add mirrors to make it more spacious. You can place one mirror in the sink area, and one ceiling to floor mirror in one area of your bathroom which will serve a functional purpose and at the same time make the room appear bigger.

Both fog-free and tilting mirrors are now available. A tilting mirror should be used for a handicap-accessible bathroom.

Paint Walls

These days, the trend in bathroom wall paint colors are light shades like cream, the palest shade of yellow, and even white. Light walls can make the bathroom look brighter and spacious.

On the other hand, some people use dark walls with colorful accessories to create a dramatic effect in their bathroom. This is a decision based on personal taste.

Painting your walls isn’t expensive so this is something you can do even with a very limited budget.

Improve Lighting

Bathroom lighting, though seemingly insignificant, actually plays an important role in a bathroom improvement project. Proper lighting can also help improve the safety of a bathroom.

You need to choose your lighting well and if you want to save on your electric bills (even by a small margin) you can do so by using LED lighting. There are many options for this type of lighting and you can pick those for mood lighting and those for functional purposes such as when you shave or apply makeup.

Many bathroom mirrors also come with lighting fixtures, so keep this in mind when choosing mirrors.

Add Storage

The thing with bathrooms is that they are usually too cramped. People put so many things in their bathroom, and fill it up with large and heavy cabinets and shelves.

Modern bathroom storage solutions are more space-efficient, and they’re not made of thick or bulky wood materials that will only make your bathroom appear even smaller than it really is.

Hang racks where you will put your toiletries and hair products, and place a shelf above the door for added storage. Just make sure it is securely installed for your safety. You can also install pullout cabinets and place baskets in strategic places where you can store items like towels and underwear.

Add Wall Art

Wall art can do so much to enhance the look of any bathroom but it’s especially important to know which ones to use. Check magazines and the Internet for ideas on trending wall art.

If you have a small bathroom, choose art designs that will be suitable for your bathroom based on scale. There are custom wall art and accents which can really help you get the design you want, however if you’re on a tight budget, you can always go for ready-made artworks. Remember to choose murals and artwork that are specific for bathrooms to ensure they are waterproof.

Install Clear Shower Doors

Shower doors can contribute to making a bathroom look small or large, If your objective is to make yours look big, you should install clear shower doors. They come in many sizes and thicknesses. Some even have art etched into the clear glass.

A shower doors might be one of the high-ticket items in your bathroom renovation project but it’s well worth your money, especially if what you have now is an old shower door or one that only constricts the space in your bathroom.

Update Fixtures

If your budget allows it, it’s recommended that you upgrade your toilet and sink.

Outdated fixtures only serve to make your bathroom look drab and old, whereas upgrading them can make it appear modern and will also make the time you spend there more enjoyable.

A bathroom upgrade is one of the best ways to increase the value of your home. If it’s time for an upgrade, make decisions wisely and plan it well.

For additional help, read Planning Your Bathroom Improvement Project.

May 042011
 

Shampoo, conditioners, soap, sponges, and razors, although necessary in the bathroom, can all lead to bathroom clutter. They not only make getting in and out of the shower or tub difficult, they often block the shower curtain or are in the way of the shower doors. To clean up this mess, consider getting a shower caddy.

Everything today has more choices and options, and the shower caddy is no exception. When looking at shower shelving you will find that there are many possibilities, including corner units and over the showerhead or shower door designs. Additionally, they come in various colors, shapes, sizes and with many optional specialty features.

Considerations

One thing you should consider before purchasing a unit is who will be using the caddy. Are you the only one in the house or are you considering an entire family? The answer to this particular question is going to help you make the best choice.

The more people who will be using the caddy, the more shelves you might want to get. Not everybody wants to use the same kind of shampoo and conditioner.

Caddy units come in a number of different materials. Stainless steel, mesh, plastic and rope are just a few of the choices. When choosing a material, think about how you are going to keep the caddy clean and looking its best. Furthermore, you will also want to consider other problems that can occur like rust, corrosion and/or water spots.

Types of Caddies

An over the shower head caddy can be quite useful when you have small children in the home. If you do not want them to have access to certain items like razors, it is perfect for keeping these items from their reach. Because it has many shelves, this option is also great if you have an existing caddy, but determine that it is not big enough.

An over the shower door caddy similarly has a number of shelves. It will have long hooks that allow it to fit over most standard shower doors. It may even have adjustable shelves.

A pole caddy can be great. They are usually installed using a suspension pole similar to the ones that are sometimes used to hold up shower curtains. They are not only solid and sturdy; they also offer a large number of shelves.

If you are looking for something more permanent, you can get a permanent type caddy that can be glued or attached with suction cups directly onto the shower tile or shower surround. These units can be used on almost any kind of surface so you can attach it anywhere in the shower. Many people select caddies that can be tucked right into the corner thereby making the most of their shower space.

One option that many people really appreciate is having a dispenser on their caddy. This option eliminates the need to have shampoo bottles within the bathing area, which are often knocked and spilled. Many of these units even provide an anti-steam mirror for men who like to shave in the shower.

Fancy and fun caddies can be found. For example, if your bathroom is used by children, you might want to think about a frog or an octopus caddy.

Bathrooms are one room in the home that everybody, including guests will use. Clean up the clutter and mess. Get yourself a caddy.

Mar 172010
 

One purpose of a glass shower door is to keep water off your bathroom floor. But shower doors today are designed to go beyond that simple function. They can add a design element that makes your bathroom as much a statement of your personal style as the rest of your house.

The most direct way to make your personal visual statement is to choose either a framed or frameless shower door. Let’s consider some of the differences.

Framed Shower Doors

A framed glass shower door is the more traditional choice. This is glass of your choosing supported by metal fittings on all its edges including top, sides, and bottom. Most also have a rubber seal at the bottom to protect against water bouncing out of the shower.

Shower door frames are usually made of a metal such as aluminum, stainless steel, or even plated brass. If aluminum is used it is anodized to add corrosion-resistance. Frames can also be powdercoated, which is a technique for applying paint to the frame. This process provides you with a strong frame available in almost any color you want.

Many different finishes are available for the metal frames such as silver, polished brass, brushed nickel, and more. This allows you to match the hardware in the rest of your bathroom.

The metal all around helps protect the tempered glass, reducing the chance of it breaking. The frame also provides definition. Depending on the finish and/or color chosen, this definition can become an architectural element in your bathroom design.

A frame on a shower door can also provide some support for a handicapped or physically challenged person who needs something to hold on to when getting in and out of the shower. (Although it is not a substitute for a grab bar!)

Frameless Shower Doors

Many contemporary designers think that a frameless glass shower enclosure provides a more elegant and luxurious look for a bathroom. It also allows you to show off the marble or tiled interior of your shower. This is why many newer and remodeled bathrooms use frameless shower doors.

A frameless glass shower door is really a door made entirely of tempered safety glass.

Hardware is used where the door is attached to the shower frame or another glass panel that is part of the shower enclosure. This hardware, which can be a pivot or a hinge, is usually used near to or at the top and bottom of the glass shower door.

Sometimes there is a small gap between the glass door and the adjoining shower enclosure glass. This is normal, but you must be sure your showerhead is not aimed at this gap or you can have water on your bathroom floor.

To provide strength, the shower door without a frame typically uses a thick piece of glass. Whereas framed shower glass is about ¼ inch thick, the glass used in a frameless shower door can be up to ½ inch thick. Because the glass is thicker, you must be sure the shower structure can handle the weight.

Door handle hardware can be mounted directly into the glass. This hardware can be chosen to match the rest of your bathroom.

It is usually easier to clean and maintain a frameless glass structure because it doesn’t have metal edges all around in which dirt and soap scum can collect.

There are options for the type of glass you can use for the door including clear, frosted, and etched. Using clear glass on a frameless shower door does have a disadvantage. If someone has partial blindness, they may not be able to clearly see the door and walk into it.

Finally, the cost of a frameless shower glass door is usually higher than the cost of a traditional framed shower glass door. This must be weighed against its durability and visual appeal.

For more information about shower doors, read Types of Shower Doors and Shower Glass.

Mar 162010
 

When it’s time to add some interest, appeal, and style to your bathroom, you need to consider installing a glass shower door. Shower doors are easier to clean than shower curtains and they tend to last a lot longer. They’re also better at keeping water off your bathroom floor.

Shower doors can be the entrance to a standard or custom shower or the cover for the space over a tub. The layout of your bathroom, how it’s decorated, and your personal preferences all go into choosing the shower door that’s right for your bathroom.

Many different types of shower doors are available. Types include:

  • Swinging or Pivot Shower Door
  • Sliding Glass Door
  • Bi-fold and curved Doors

Many of these doors can be either framed or frameless.

Then, once you’ve chosen the type of door, you can further add to your bathroom’s visual appeal by choosing different type of glass for the door.

Swinging or Pivot Shower Door

A pivot shower door is one that rotates on two metal pivots. The pivot hardware usually is mounted near to or at the top and bottom corners of the door. This allows the door to turn 180 degrees inward and outward.

Alternately, this type door can be attached with hinges, especially if the door is heavy. One side of the hinge is attached to the door. The other side is then mounted to the shower wall or another glass shower panel.

Pivot or swinging shower doors can usually be attached on the left or right side of the shower, depending on the available clearance in your bathroom.

These doors can also be ordered with a frame that goes all around the glass, or frameless.  Frameless shower doors are considered more stylish, but often cost more.

Sliding Glass Door

A sliding glass door is a door that is made of two or more glass panels that run in parallel tracks on top and bottom. The doors then slide or glide past each other, which is why they are often called bypass doors. Because they don’t open inward or outward, they need less space to open than other types of shower doors.

This type door is usually found mounted over bathtubs because of their length. A typical bathtub is 60 inches long so two sliding panels are used. This can limit the space you have to get in and out of the tub.

Sliding glass doors can also be used for large showers. This can add a lot of style to your bathroom, especially if they are frameless and have a design in the glass.

Some people find this type door more difficult to clean because the tracks have to be cleaned and the sliding pieces of glass may overlap, even when fully closed.

Bi-Fold and Curved Doors

Bi-fold shower doors are made in two folding sections. When you push on the end of the door, the two hinged pieces fold inward and you can get into the shower. This is a good choice when you have a narrow shower and the design of your bathroom doesn’t have enough room for a swinging or pivot door. This type door uses a track, usually at the bottom.

Curved shower doors are made from a curved glass panel. The glass is usually in a frame and attached to the wall at the top and bottom. Like the pivot door, they can usually be attached on the left or right. These are excellent choices for a corner shower.

Framed Shower Doors

A framed glass shower door uses the glass of your choosing supported by metal fittings on all its edges including top, sides, and bottom. Most also have a rubber seal at the bottom to protect against water bouncing out of the shower.

Shower door frames are usually made of a metal such as aluminum, stainless steel, or even plated brass. If aluminum is used it is anodized to add corrosion-resistance. Frames can also be powder coated, which is a technique for applying paint to the frame. This process provides you with a strong frame available in almost any color you want.

Many different finishes are available for the metal frames such as silver, polished brass, brushed nickel, and more. This allows you to match the hardware in the rest of your bathroom.

The metal all around helps protect the tempered glass, reducing the chance of it breaking. The frame also provides definition. Depending on the finish and/or color chosen, this definition can become an architectural element in your bathroom design.

A frame on a shower door can also provide some support for a handicapped or physically challenged person who needs something to hold on to when getting in and out of the shower. (Although it is not a substitute for a grab bar!)

Frameless Shower Doors

Many contemporary designers think that a frameless glass shower enclosure provides a more elegant and luxurious look for a bathroom. It also allows you to show off the marble or tiled interior of your shower. This is why many newer and remodeled bathrooms use frameless shower doors.

A frameless glass shower door is really a door made entirely of tempered safety glass.

Hardware is used where the door is attached to the shower frame or another glass panel that is part of the shower enclosure. This hardware, which can be a pivot or a hinge, is usually used near to or at the top and bottom of the glass shower door.

Sometimes there is a small gap between the glass door and the adjoining shower enclosure glass.  This is normal, but you must be sure your showerhead is not aimed at this gap or you can have water on your bathroom floor.

To provide strength, the shower door without a frame typically uses a thick piece of glass. Whereas framed shower glass is about ¼ inch thick, the glass used in a frameless shower door can be up to ½ inch thick. Because the glass is thicker, you must be sure the shower structure can handle the weight.

Door handle hardware can be mounted directly into the glass. This hardware can be chosen to match the rest of your bathroom.

It is usually easier to clean and maintain a frameless glass structure because it doesn’t have metal edges all around in which dirt and soap scum can collect.

There are options for the type of glass you can use for the door including clear, frosted, and etched. Using clear glass on a frameless shower door does have a disadvantage. If someone has partial blindness, they may not be able to clearly see the door and walk into it.

Finally, the cost of a frameless shower glass door is usually higher than the cost of a traditional framed shower glass door. This must be weighed against its durability and visual appeal.

Shower Glass Style

By code, any glass you want to use for a shower enclosure must be tempered. This safety glass is very strong and if it breaks, it will break into many small pieces rather than large, dangerous shards.

Although the glass will be tempered, you will have many choices when it comes to the style of glass.

  • Clear glass is a common choice. This can add a lot of light to your shower and open up your bathroom, giving it a spacious look. On the other hand, it doesn’t provide much privacy.
  • Frosted glass still lets light into the shower but provides some visual privacy when you’re inside the shower. The amount of frosting can be slight or heavy depending on your preference.
  • Patterned glass is a glass door with a design typically etched into the outside of the glass. You can choose a design that compliments your bathroom decoration or provides a focal point for the room.
  • Silk-screen glass has a graphic image on its surface so it can look like patterned or textured glass.
  • Pebbled glass is opaque glass (can’t see through it) with a textured effect on its outside. This diffuses the light entering the shower.
  • Tinted glass doors use glass to which a color has been added.
  • Asymmetrical glass is a glass that has been cut into a shape. A typical asymmetrical pattern is one that is cut to resemble a mountain range along the top of the glass.

Glass comes in varying thicknesses with ¼ inch, 3/8 inch, and ½ inch being the most common sizes.

Summary

One purpose of a glass shower door is to keep water off your bathroom floor. But shower doors and shower glass today are designed to go beyond that simple function. They can add a design element that makes your bathroom as much a statement of your personal style as the rest of your house.