Archive for Bathroom Remodeling
It’s easy for bathrooms to become a source of energy waste in our homes. Taking long showers, running water while you brush your teeth, using light bulbs that require a lot of energy to burn and linens that are chemically processed are just a few ways we tend to be not-so-green in our bathrooms.
Luckily there are low-maintenance changes you can make in your bathroom that will give it a more natural look while also practicing a green and money-conscious lifestyle.
Faucets with Friendly Flow and Water Conservation
Faucets like the Chatfield are compliant with low water flow standards (1.2 gallons per minute) and help to reduce the amount of water that is potentially wasted when you use your bathroom sink. This faucet is also designed so that the water flows naturally in a way that’s inspired by water flowing in nature. If you’re interested in updating multiple parts of your bathroom consider a low flow toilet and a low flow shower head as well.
You can also make changes to your routine that will help you respect the environment as you follow through with your regular hygiene habits. Turn off the sink while you brush your teeth, take slightly cooler showers and limit the amount of time the water runs in order to get hot before you hop in.
We call them the golden years – and they should be just that. This year, National Aging in Place Week takes place on October 15-21. It’s a week that’s focused on bringing families together to make the home a safer place for multi generational living. This week-long event was spearheaded by the National Aging in Place Council, a senior support network that brings together resources such as healthcare, financial services, and products to make independent living safe and comfortable. To kick off the week, we’re sharing the story of one determined senior that made her home a haven for aging in place.Here’s a sobering and unfortunately, all too real, bathroom safety fact: every 2.3 seconds, an adult 65 and older suffers a fall that can threaten their life, safety and ability to live independently. Jane B., a South Carolina homeowner and senior citizen, recently sought out a solution to avoid becoming part of the statistic. After a close call slipping in her hazardously slippery shower, she came across an ad for a walk-in tub which would answer her bath safety concerns. After a call to a reputable local renovation company, Metropolitan Renovations, Jane had a slip resistant American Standard Walk-In Tub installed… and the rest was history.
Well, that’s the short of it. Similar to the many seniors who live in their own homes, Jane had lived independently for many years and was determined to keep it that way. After all, the “Golden Years” are meant to be just that – a time to relax without the worry of preventable threats. One day last year, Jane fortuitously walked into her local home improvement store which offered American Standard Walk-In Tub options and would recommend a reputable installer to boot.
Metropolitan Renovations, a remodeling company that serves Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, installed Jane’s new Walk-In Tub and renovated her bathroom to address her safety concerns. As a certified Aging-In-Place specialist, Metropolitan Renovations also offers home modifications such as non-slip floor surfaces, wider doorways, grab bars and defined-edge countertops to accommodate the elderly or those that have limited mobility. After a short period, their experts had Jane’s old shower removed and replaced with a new Walk-In Tub with Jet and Air Massage options which provide relief for her fibromyalgia and arthritis.
With the addition of her new safety-minded renovation equipped with an American Standard Walk-In Tub, Jane now feels more secure when bathing and carries a new found sense of confidence in her surroundings. Now that’s aging gracefully.
Tips to prepare you or your parent’s home for aging-in-place:
- Install lever door handles which are less challenging for arthritic hands
- Grab bars – everywhere! Surrounding the bath, toilet, seating areas and more with a grab bar will add stability to those with poor balance
- Right-Height Toilets simplify standing and sitting
- Toss out or secure loose rugs which can be tripping hazards
- Faucets with hot-limit safety stops prevent scalding in the bath or at the sink
- Arrange furniture to eliminate obstructions
- A Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist (CAPS) can put together a great plan for your home. To find one, check out the National Association of Homebuilders’ directory here
At the American Standard research and design center, we’re constantly keeping an eye on emerging trends in the kitchen and bath world in order to design products that fit the end user’s needs flawlessly. In the April issue of Professional Remodeler, Gray Uhl, American Standard’s Director of Design, spoke about the latest trends in bath remodeling. Among his observations was the increase in a need for products that work in existing spaces in response to the people staying in their homes longer and creating multi-generational living spaces.
This got our gears turning; what are some other trends that are emerging in bathroom interiors? We asked Gray to clue us in on some of the hottest trends of 2012:
Now it’s your turn! Watch the video below to see how you can win an American Standard Outreach Faucet (our response to the need for a more versatile bathroom faucet) and maybe even see your product idea come to life!
For the chance to win the American Standard Outreach Faucet, leave a comment to this post with a product idea that isn’t available today that you’d love to own or with a style that you’d like to see us develop. Professor Toilet and his team will choose their favorite entry on Monday June 25, 2012 as the winner, so hurry and enter before Sunday June 24, 5PM ET.
EDIT: Congratulations to Kay Thrasher who thought of a clever way to add more counter space with minimal effort. She says, “I have a very small bathroom with limited space. I’d love a bathroom sink that had a cover or partial cover so I could have more counter space when not using the sink and remove it for full access when needed.” Congratulations Kay!
When remodeling a bathroom, the Professor must confess that selecting a bathroom sink is challenging. Such a dizzying array of shapes, styles, materials, and configurations. Undermount or drop in? Bathroom sink vanity, pedestal, or wallmount? Does a striking vessel sink fit in? If you are overwhelmed by a bathroom remodeling project, the Professor hopes that this guide to bathroom sink trends will help you find your way.
If your bathroom has plenty of space for storage elsewhere, a pedestal sink is a great way to make a powerful design statement. Whether the pedestal is modern with clean lines, or more traditional and elegantly detailed, make sure you choose a sink that is the right height for you. The Professor also recommends choosing a pedestal sink (or vanity) that is at least 27″ tall if the bathroom will be used primarily by adults.
Undermount sinks are a sleek look, and so very easy to keep clean. Sweep the counter and done. Marvelous. The Professor finds the Porcher Marquee collection to be particularly stylish, as the base of the sinks feature distinctive, jewel-inspired faceting.
Stainless steel in the bathroom? Great contemporary feel. Try the American Standard Prevoir Collection of stainless steel bathroom sinks, which use stainless steel in a new and unexpected way.
Above counter basins, or vessel sinks are available in every material from stone to ceramics to transparent glass. Consider these sinks for your show-off powder room. Vessel sinks can be found in bold, modern shapes as well as classic wash basin designs that match beautifully with more traditional bathrooms.
As the weather begins to warm, the Professor’s mind turns to happy thoughts of a favorite season: springtime bathroom remodeling season, of course. For those who are ready to change things up, the Professor is pleased to offer a few pointers regarding current bath design trends for inspiration.
The American Institute of Architects reported that through the end of 2011, homeowners continued to view the integration of water saving faucets, toilets, and showerheads as important components of their bathrooms. Water saving toilets and showerheads in particular used to get a bad rap for providing poor performance, but thanks to recent technological advances, saving water doesn’t have to feel like a sacrifice. American Standard’s H2Option, featuring powerful siphonic dual flushing action, and turbine technology-powered FloWise collection of showerheads are two notable examples of high performance, low flow products.
The transitional style is predicted to be the most popular look for bathroom fixtures according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s 2012 Style Report. This style, which walks the line between traditional and contemporary to create a modern yet classic look, is beautifully expressed by the elegant, sculptural Pyke collection of bath faucets by JADO.
Aging in place is also a top priority for many Americans, and incorporating universal design features into the home – especially in the bathroom – is a growing trend. And with luxury options like whirlpool, air bath, and combo massage features now available, installing a walk-in bath can feel like an indulgence rather than just preparing for old age.
White continues to be the most popular bathroom color scheme, and it’s a look the Professor finds especially attractive when complemented by wood furnishings with dark finishes like the espresso-colored hues available in the Porcher Solutions collection of modular bath furnishings.
Whether you’re just swapping in a new faucet or getting bold with colors and fixtures: go forth and remodel!
January is Bathroom Safety Month! This may not seem like the most exciting or important observance, especially compared to widely celebrated holidays like World Toilet Day. However, the Professor recently read some very sobering statistics that should make anyone reevaluate the importance of investing in home furnishings and fixtures designed to help keep seniors safe and steady, especially in the bathroom. A few examples:
- 70% of home accidents occur in the bathroom
- Every 2.3 seconds, an adult aged 65 or older suffers a fall
- 40% of those hospitalized from hip fractures do not return home
Whether you are making arrangements to have an aging parent move into your home or simply wish to plan ahead to grow older independently in your own home, incorporating universal design features into your home can be a wise idea. Fortunately, there are many ways to help prevent slips and falls, even while maintaining a stylish and luxurious bathroom.
One task that can be especially dangerous for older adults – and anyone with limited mobility, such as after an injury – is getting in and out of the bathtub. According to a recent report submitted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, an average of 370 Americans suffer bathtub or shower-related injuries every day.
An increasingly popular solution to this issue is to upgrade to a walk-in bath. Modern walk-in tubs are attractive and available with luxury options like air bath and whirlpool features. The Professor is also impressed by the special Quick Drain option available on American Standard’s line of walk-in baths that drains water from the tub in less than 2 minutes, so there’s no need for a long, cold wait before exiting the tub.
Ready to start making your bathroom a safer, more comfortable place to be? The Professor is pleased to offer the chance to win a single-control JADO Hatteras faucet to help you do just that. The stylish faucet meets the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines and is also WaterSense-certified. For your chance to win, just answer the following questions in the comments. The Professor will choose his favorite response on 2/3/12 as the winner.
1. What are some creative ways you gear up your bathroom to be a safe place for children and the elderly to use?
2. What creative remedies have you found to protect against falls on a slippery tub or floor?
3. What are some changes you have made to your home that will allow you to “age in place”?
4. Thinking of safety with the other end of the age spectrum, what are the best ways to baby-proof a bathroom? What are your favorite kid-friendly safety devices?
Here is how to install a hand held shower head, one of the easiest home improvement tasks you can do yourself. To demonstrate, the Professor will use the Monoglide hand held shower head from American Standard.
The first step is to remove the existing shower head with an adjustable wrench.
Then, apply teflon tape to the threads of the shower arm.
Next you will use your adjustable wrench to install the shower bracket to the shower arm until the water outlet faces down toward the tub or shower. The bracket is where your Monoglide hand held shower head will hang.
Finally, hand tighten the larger end of the metal hose to the Monoglide hand held shower head and attach the other end to the water outlet on the bracket.
Last step: enjoy a soothing shower with your new multi-function Monoglide hand held shower head to celebrate a job well done!
More and more seniors are moving in with adult children, and this trend is also starting to drive a new home remodeling trend, especially in the Professor’s favorite room: the bathroom. Preparing to have an elderly parent move into your home – or even just visit regularly – brings up issues of comfort, safety, dignity and accessibility in the bathroom. Temporary fixes like plastic bathtub seats and toilet frames with elevated seats can be rickety and take up surprising amounts of space that smaller bathrooms just don’t have to spare.
A smart alternative to these options? A bit of bathroom remodeling work focused on universal design. The Professor has found that upgrading to new fixtures built with accessibility in mind can cost less than you might think. Upgrading helps maintain independent living for the elderly, and is a wise investment for even temporary disability circumstances, such as recovering from surgery or a broken bone. Plus: introducing universal design concepts to your bathroom now will allow you to age in place independently in the future.
The Professor humbly offers the following tips to create a bathroom that will look great and work wonderfully for you and your loved ones well into the future.
Switch to an ADA-compliant faucet. Some faucet handles require a surprising amount of force to operate, and knobs can be difficult to twist for seniors. The Professor suggests an ADA-compliant single lever faucet that allows for easy on-and-off operation without the need to grip. This simple and inexpensive alteration will make washing up more comfortable for elderly parents and grandparents, and is also a great excuse to perk up the look of your bathroom.
Try a taller toilet. Standard toilets have a bowl height of about 15 inches, but many manufacturers have recently introduced models that are an inch and a half higher. These taller commodes make sitting down and getting back up less stressful on the body. Bring high style and performance as well as comfort to your bathroom by upgrading to a luxury toilet. The Professor especially likes the elegant ”Right Height” toilets from Porcher available in sleek, easy to clean, one-piece styles.
Think about accessible storage. Keep bathing and grooming accessories neatly stowed out of the way to reduce trips and falls, and to keep them clear of wheelchairs. Accessibility and functionality are key when planning for convenient storage options in the bathroom.
Replace an unused bathtub with a walk-in shower. Holding on to the ability to bathe independently is key to aging gracefully and with dignity. The ubiquitous tub/shower unit in so many homes may be uncomfortably high for the elderly and disabled to step over, and too low to sit down into for bathing. The Professor has found a unique, low-cost solution from American Standard: a walk-in seated shower that features a wide, contoured, full-sized seating area with recessed front to make standing or sitting while showering comfortable and easy. This unit has a low 3” threshold for easy access in and out, plus a built-in wrap-around grab bar for added safety.
Provide a spa-like walk-in tub. Many walk-in tubs are designed to fit perfectly in the space of a conventional tub for easy installation and are now available with luxurious special features. American Standard offers a smart QuickDrain option that removes water eight times faster than a conventional drain, so there is no need for a long, cold wait for the tub to drain before opening the door to exit the bath. Walk-in bathtubs are also available with advanced features like whirlpools and combo massage systems, so bathing can be safer AND more luxurious for aging parents and for you.
The typical modern American bathroom often includes a tub/shower combo for bathing. However, many homeowners are returning to the soaking tubs and separate showers of yesteryear when they remodel or build a new home. Why the renewed interest in stand-alone tubs? The Professor believes that it may be because people miss the experience of a relaxing bath. With the hustle and bustle of daily life, a warm bath is a welcome luxury. Alcove tubs just can’t provide the same feeling.
A stand-alone tub can also make a striking statement, style-wise, in a bathroom. Personally, the Professor likes the clean lines and angles of a tub like Porcher’s Lutezia model. However, a tub with a transitional style like the Archive, also from Porcher, is a great choice because it can easily flex between traditional and contemporary styles. Smaller stand-alone tubs – some measure just 66″ x 32″ – are great for smaller bathrooms and urban spaces.
If you’re thinking of joining the new wave of soakers, remember to do your homework – folks often forget about the weight of the tub once it is filled. Water weighs about 8lbs per gallon, and once you factor in the weight of the unit itself, you can get to 800-900 lbs before you know it. You’ll need to work with your contractor, and follow the install instructions for reinforcing the floor while making provisions for the water lines, blowers and motors. Also, a Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) is a code requirement in most states.
Even though a little homework (and possibly a little extra remodeling work) is necessary to install a new tub, the Professor finds that the style and luxury a stand-alone tub can bring to a bathroom is well worth the effort.
The growing “aging in place” segment of the remodeling industry has caught the Professor’s interest before, and now that the wise folks at Consumers Digest have weighed in on the current offerings of walk-in baths, it seemed like the perfect time to revisit the subject. Three different walk-in tubs from American Standard received recognition for their innovative features and the lifetime warranty protecting the door seal on every tub.
Wondering about the benefits of having a walk-in bath at home? Watch the video below.