Telling You Our Secrets

We remodel a lot of bathrooms. We work with customers to achieve their goals, and we always try to give them the bathroom of their dreams. Sometimes this is realistic, sometimes not. Sometimes a customer knows exactly what they want, sometimes they just know it needs to be new, different, updated, or changed. We work with our clients from whatever their starting point is. Along the way, we have learned a few things, which we'd like to share.

First. Remove all of your belongings from your bathroom yourself. Do not have someone else do this. Trust us. You will be looking for those extra razor blades in a couple of weeks and cursing yourself ( or someone else.) I tell customers the same thing I do to anyone planning a move: Pack a suitcase, as if you're going on vacation, with everything you will need for the next few weeks. Toiletries, meds, cosmetics. All the stuff you use on a daily or almost daily basis. Then you won't be scrambling for  aspirin and clueless about where it might be. You can thank us later.

Never demo the bathroom until all the new materials are in your hands, opened, and inspected. Something is going to come in wrong. If you anticipate it, you'll be a lot less stressed when it actually happens. There are a lot of "moving parts" to a remodel, so take a deep breath and plan for something to go if not wrong, then at least slightly off-track. Everything is fixable. Demo is messy, dirty, and exhausting. It is NOT fun like they say on HGTV, and nobody likes to do it, but it's gotta get done, so move things, cover things, and protect things that are nearby.

When you are still in the planning phase, here are some things to think about: 

Use graph paper to accurately diagram the tile installation and any borders and accents.  Be detailed.  Do you want the 4" x 12" field tile installed vertically or horizontally?  Exactly how many rows of the 1" mosaic do you want, three rows or four?  How high do you want the accent strip and how many rows of tile do you want above it?  Houzz and Pinterest are great sources of ideas, and showing us a visual of what you want is very helpful to our estimator and installers.  Please be aware that any changes made after the installation has begun will delay the project.  Many of our specialty tiles are not stocked locally.

Plan extra electrical outlets. You always need more. One is never enough. Hairdryers, toothbrushes, shavers, and cell phone chargers are just a few of the things we have on the vanity.
Niche space is great, but where are you going to put all the other stuff in the shower? Razor, loofah, soap, special soap, other special soap, and so on? And where are you going to hang your washcloth between showers?

Go ahead and plan every little detail, no matter how trivial it seems- robe hooks, towel bars, the toilet paper holder.  If you don't plan a space, there may not be a space! Here is a list of things traditionally kept in the bathroom. Put some thought into where they will be in yours: Extra toilet paper, towels, washcloths, a bowl brush, and unfortunately, a plunger. It seems like in recent years, medicine cabinets have gone away. But they are available, lots of them! Great styles, sizes, and other options. We love a medicine cabinet- so much great storage for lots of things you need!

If you are going to have a bathtub, do some research. Go to the showroom, and climb in! Not every tub fits every body. This is the ultimate relaxation tool, so get the one that works best for you. Will it be a soaker tub, or a tub with massage jets? Make sure it is long enough or deep enough. Again, get in the tub yourself. If you go to a showroom and they won't allow you to do this, find another showroom.  This is an expensive purchase, and it's important to get it right.

BTW if you don't use your bathtub, it's ok to not have one, as long as there is one somewhere else in your home. At least half the master bathroom remodels we do involve removing  the tub permanently to increase the size of the shower and/or to add a larger vanity.
When planning tiles on shower walls, make it easy (and less expensive) for you and for the tile guy. Have the wall built so it is an even measurement with your tile size. This way, the tile will not have to be cut (at least for the height) saving time and money.

Lighting is important in the bathroom. For powder rooms, a vanity light only is ok, but in a frequently used full bathroom, you'll need more light than that. Can lights work well in the bathroom.  And if it is the room where cosmetics will be applied, consider sidelights for that as well.

By the way, be sure your electrician remembers to offset the wiring to the vanity lights so that the plumber can install pipes behind that wall. He should know that, but....

Paint a large sample of your color on the bathroom wall and observe it at different times of the day to be sure you're getting exactly what you want. (Actually, this is a good thing to do an any room.)
The last tip we're going to mention is the one that you will hear over and over: Put some extra money in the budget. Frequently something comes up that you forgot, or decide to upgrade, or didn't plan on. So set aside a little bit for the unplanned. And then if you don't need it- Great!

It all may seem a bit intimidating, but we are here to help. We do bathroom remodels on an ongoing basis, so we can foresee problems, help you make decisions, and guide you in making the smart choices for you, your family, and your budget. Come in and tell us about your bathroom project today!

The Right Light
Seasonal lighting can bring big cheer to your home throughout the holidays.  Don't let smiles turn into frowns because of accidents involving unsafe use of holiday lights.  Keep these tips in mind when decking the halls, walls, and more this season.

1. Inspect light strings. Discard any light strings that are damaged, frayed or cracked.  Worn electrical cords or broken sockets are leading fire hazards during the holiday.
2. Follow the manufacturer's instructions. Limit the number of lights strings you connect to three.  Adding more can cause lights to overheat and create a fire hazard.
3. Replace burned-out bulbs promptly.  Replace burned out light bulbs as soon as you see they've burned out. Don't leave a light socket empty. Empty light sockets can cause the entire string to overheat.
4. Don't use outdoor lights indoors.  Outdoor lights get too hot for interior use.  For the coolest bulbs and the greatest energy efficiency, try LED lights, which comes in a wide range of styles and colors.

5. Make sure outdoor lighting is UL- rated for exterior use. Exterior lights, unlike those used inside the house, need to be weather-resistant. The same goes for any extension cords used outdoors.

6. Don't attach light strings with nails or staples. Use UL-approved hangers when hanging light strings.  Nails and staples can cut through the wire insulationand create a fire hazard.
7. Take exterior lights down within 90 days of decorating. The longer exterior lights stay up, the more likely they are to suffer damage from weather and critters chewing on them.

8. Store lights safely.  Tangled lights can lead to damaged cords and broken sockets.  After the holidays, take the time to coil each string of lights loosely around a stiff piece of cardboard. Protect the bulbs by wrapping them in paper or plastic. Store everything in a sturdy container until next year.

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You
My Home Improvement Magazine has announced the "Best of 2017"contest winners and we are thrilled to announce that we won Best Place For Flooring.  We had some very stiff competition; most of the companies we were up against are much bigger than us, and thanks to YOUR votes, we won!  Thank you for voting and letting all of Atlanta know where to come for new floor coverings!