Home Improvement Advice


Defining Surfaces, Storage And Organization For A Small Bathroom Remodel

July 02, 2010 By: admin Category: bathroom

Defining Surfaces, Storage And Organization For A Small Bathroom Remodel

Adequate storage, organization and compatible surfaces are critical in small bathroom design because they can either make the room look spacious and comfortable or small and cluttered. Decisions about surfaces and storage will also have a significant impact on the cost of remodeling your small bathroom.


Storage is very important in any bathroom. Planning carefully for storage in a small bathroom is especially im (more…)

Which Tub is Right for Remodeling My Small Bathroom?

May 20, 2010 By: admin Category: bathroom

Many choices are involved in deciding which tub is right for remodeling a small bathroom. Bath tubs are available in many sizes, shapes, colors and styles. You are sure to find the style and color you want in the material you want that will be perfect in your small bathroom. Our goal in this article is to help you understand the decisions you will need to make when you shop for and choose the tub that is right for your remodeled small bathroom.

You have certainly seen huge bathrooms in model homes and in pictures in magazines. Huge bathrooms are in fashion, but they are not actually necessary. As surprising as it might seem, you can actually have just about any spa or luxury features you want in a small bathroom. You just need to find the smaller sized models that will fit your style and design.

With a little insight into the factors that make various bathtub models different, you can be an informed shopper when you start looking for the perfect tub. You will want to know about materials, installation, water conservation and available features.

Tubs are installed in a bathroom in one of three ways:
1. Freestanding installation positions a self-contained tub, probably on a pedestal or on feet, where it needs to be to connect to pipes. Where you place the pipes is a design decision.
2. Alcove or recessed installation places the tub against three walls. This is a very common installation in small bathrooms. A 5 foot or 5-1/2 foot tub will probably be a perfect fit.
3. Drop in installation “drops” the tub into a space in a platform or a finished surround. This style of installation will probably require more space than you have in a small bathroom.

There is great variety in bathtub materials. For the most part you will be choosing between five groups of options.
1. Fiberglass is very popular. Most builders use fiberglass in new construction. It is lightweight and inexpensive. It can be molded into almost any shape you need. The drawback of fiberglass is that is can scratch and show other wear and tear.
2. High-quality acrylics are growing rapidly in popularity. They are also lightweight and they can be molded into any shape. One reason for the rise in popularity is that the acrylic can mimic other materials very easily. It is also more durable than fiberglass. Most of the companies that advertise a tub or shower makeover in a day use acrylics. If you choose this route, look for treatment that prevents mold and mildew and for the thickness of the acrylic. The thicker the better.
3. Porcelain or enamel over cast iron. This type of tub has been around for a very long time. It is almost indestructible. But it is very heavy and the weight can be a problem in some new homes. This is the reason it is less popular today.
4. Porcelain or enamel over steel is another option. It is lighter, and can be easier to use, but the coating can rust or chip.
5. Less common and more expensive options. If you are remodeling a small guest bathroom, you might want to consider stainless steel (think about the water spots in your kitchen sink), copper (think big cost), concrete (think about the weight), stone (weight) and teak (cost). Some of these materials can result in a stunning room.

The tub styles most commonly recommended for small bathrooms are the corner or alcove models that combine tub and shower. But there are still other things to consider before you make a decision.

Cost: A tub/shower combination can cost only about $300. The larger tubs, spa features, colors and other options will increase the cost up to $1,000 or more. When choosing your tub, the best advice is to buy the best you can afford. It is also not a bad idea to do trendy colors because the “in” colors change every two to five years.

Weight can be a very important consideration when you choose your tub. First, you have to get it into the bathroom you are remodeling. Second, if the builder used lightweight materials and you plan to replace them with a heavier tub, you might need to reinforce the tub support structure or the floor. If the added weight is significant, you might also need to add support to the structure of the house. When calculating the weight, you also need to add the weight of the water that will fill the tub, especially if you choose a deep soaking tub.

Size is obviously important in a small bathroom. Many small bathrooms are less than six feet wide. Large whirlpool tubs can be as big as five by seven feet.  When you think about the size of the tub, you also need to think about how you will get it into the bathroom.

Safety and comfort are also important considerations. Comfort is especially important if you are considering either a whirlpool tub or a soaking tub. Safety should also be a consideration. You will want to be certain that everyone who will use the tub can get in and out of it safely. If someone falls getting out of the tub in a small bathroom, there is a much greater risk of hitting your head on something. Stepping over the side of the tub can be difficult for older adults and for children.

Care for the environment will probably be another consideration in deciding which tub is right for remodeling your small bathroom. You will probably want to choose low-flow faucets. But there are other things you can do to conserve water and energy when using your new tub. Choose a tub with an in-line heater, which will reheat and re-circulate the water so you don’t have to keep draining and replacing. You can also install a rainwater collection system and use it in the tub (rainwater is softer and better for the skin). You could also install another water heater that is solar powered for your bathroom. You might even be able to provide electricity to the bathroom from the same solar system.

Features for bathtubs are plentiful. You can choose an extra-deep soaking tub, an “overflowing” style or a whirlpool style tub. You can also add a chromotherapy option for a soothing bathing experience. You might choose a walk-in tub design. Although these are most commonly promoted for the elderly, these tubs are deeper and smaller (perfect for a small bathroom), and they are often equipped with all the spa features you want.

With all of these options to choose from, you should have no trouble finding the right tub for your small bathroom remodel. Then place the television where you can see it from the tub or place a CD player nearby, and you can have a personal spa in a very small space.

Copyright 2009 by Dan Fritschen


Keep Small Bathroom Remodel Simple

May 19, 2010 By: admin Category: bathroom

One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make when remodeling a small bathroom is trying to cram in everything they’d like to put in a big bathroom. The second mistake is choosing fixtures, decorative items, and the like that are too bulky or too ornate. Choosing clean simple lines, without a lot of decoration, will make the space look larger.
One way to approach a small bathroom remodel, then, is to keep it simple. Sometimes less is more; and this is true of small bathrooms. If you are trying to create an elegant and luxurious bathroom don’t forget about understated elegance.

Starting with the big things, here are some tips to help you with your small bathroom remodel:
Choose only a compact shower stall or only a whirlpool or spa tub that is smaller and deeper (this will fit nicely in a corner). Even some of the tub designs now being advertised for seniors would work in a small bathroom.
Choose a pedestal sink or a wall mounted sink. This will leave more floor space and make the room feel bigger.
Choose the most compact toilet you can find. Choose a taller model over a shorter wider style.

Now for decorative items:

* Choose a mirror with no frame or a mirror with a small frame — this will make the room look bigger and the mirror will reflect light farther in the room.
* Cover an entire wall with a mirror — this will create the appearance of a much larger space.
* Use fewer wall-mounted towel rods or rings — choose a ring beside the sink to save space.
* Store extra linens nearby, but put out only a minimum at any one time.
* Place light fixtures where they will reflect light throughout the room.
* If you don’t have a window, consider installing a tube light to bring in sunlight.
* Find creative ways to add storage in walls.

Decorating ideas:

* Choose lighter and brighter colors.
* Use glass block windows or frosted windows instead of curtains — it will make the room look larger.
* Use wallpaper or paint design that draws the eye upward to make the room appear larger — either vertical stripes, vertical designs, or a border at the top of the wall.
* Use small shelves above and under sinks, toilets, etc. to provide storage and decoration.
* Keep color combinations minimalist — no more than two colors.
* Avoid clutter — don’t set decorative items around that are not necessary.
* Add luxuries in ways that do not use more of your space (massaging shower heads, spa tub, radiant floor heating, fogless mirrors, heated towel rods, fragrances, etc.)

In small spaces, simplicity is generally best if you want to create a feeling of spaciousness and elegance. Clean simple lines, lots of light, no clutter, and an eye to the necessary will help you create a very comfortable and luxurious small bathroom remodel.

Copyright 2008 by ABCD Publishing