- Reico Kitchen & Bath Offers Builders and Remodelers Advice with Bathroom Design -
Annapolis, MD -- (ReleaseWire) -- 12/12/2007 -- Homeowners are looking for ways to add value to their home in today’s softening housing market. According to Paul Emrath, an economist at the National Association of Home Builders, over the long term, adding a bathroom can boost home value by some 20 percent. Homeowners should keep in mind several principals whether they are looking to remodel or build a bathroom.
At Reico Kitchen & Bath, the leading kitchen and bath retailer in the Mid-Atlantic States, Melinda Uhler, designer and key business manager, offers builders and remodelers advice on bathroom remodeling and building projects.
Uhler’s recommendations include:
1. Hire the Appropriate Trades
When changing a bathroom’s configuration or floor plan, Uhler recommends bringing in the appropriate trades to plan the room:
· General Contractor: A general contractor (GC) will coordinate all the various trades involved in the construction project. GCs obtain the building permits, schedule the construction and recruit subcontractors. The GC oversees the entire project.
· Bathroom designer: A bath designer can provide planning suggestions for a safe and effective layout. They will not only plan the layout for the best use of space, but guide homeowners with the selection of bath products. The National Kitchen & Bath Association has 27 guidelines that should be followed when designing a bathroom.
· Plumber: Hiring a plumber can ensure proper installment of pipes, fittings and fixtures.
· Electrician: Electricians are knowledgeable of local codes, plan ahead for specific applications and will make certain that the electrical work is safely installed.
2. Proper Bathroom Layout
Besides hiring the appropriate trades, homeowners need to consider the layout in terms of space. A bathroom should always have enough space to maneuver around easily. Consideration of the door placement is essential; it can drive the available space for the design. The direction of the door swing along with the ceiling height is equally important in the design. The required height of at least 80” is vital.
Along with space, homeowners should also pay close attention to bathroom ventilation when planning the layout. The bathroom is often the room with the most moisture and proper design for moisture control and bath exhaust fans is critical. Other areas to consider for bathroom projects are lighting, sinks, toilets, flooring and tub/showers. Before choosing these materials it is important to have designed the proper floor plan to achieve the best possible layout for one’s life style and bathroom fixtures.
3. Use Style as an Inspiration
Homeowners should consider the style they would like to execute before choosing bathroom materials. The bathroom’s style should generally follow the style of a homeowner’s home. According to Uhler, the color can be different, but it is usually important to stay consistent with the rest of the home’s style. If homeowners hire a bath designer they should prepare a “like/dislike” list of their current bathroom for the designer to review. It is also beneficial to allow the designer to take a tour of the home. This allows them to take a look over the size of the home and the number of bedrooms to determine the traffic flow to the bathrooms.
The tour will also give the designer a sense of the homeowner’s colors and style. Overall, the style should be used as an inspiration to select the bathroom products.
4. Product Selection
There are many materials to consider when remodeling or building a bathroom. Uhler offers tips on product selection:
· Sinks – Sinks can come in many sizes and styles. There is drop-in, under mount or vessel styles. Some sinks are integrated in the countertop. Homeowners should choose the sink that will work best with their bathroom layout and style.
· Toilets – Typically, there is a toilet to fit each homeowner’s budget.
oGravity toilets, most common style and least expensive, rely on water from a tank above the toilet bowl to flush out contents and re-fill the trap.
oPressurized tank toilets, use water pressure from the cold water supply line to compress air and use small water amounts to flush. A drawback of the pressurized tank is the lout noise that comes from the flush.
oPumped Toilets, the most expensive option, push water through the bowl via a small pump.
oBidets, a cleansing fixture commonly used in high-end bathrooms.
· Showers – Homeowners should consider two types of showers, shower stalls and luxury showers. A shower stall is a general shower spout mounted to the wall. They can come in many different shapes and sizes. Luxury showers are very popular. Luxury showers come equipped with water delivery systems that can be tailored to fit the homeowner’s wants and needs. The shower sprays the entire body via jets installed on the shower wall. Some also include massage and steam features for a full spa experience. Uhler advices those homeowners who purchase a one-piece shower for their remodeling project to consider the shower size and confirm that it will fit through their home’s door openings and hallways.
· Tubs – There are several tub options homeowners can choose from. A bath and shower combo, a shower mounted above the bath, is a great way to save space, but is less popular then a stand-alone shower. Whirlpools, tubs with jets to circulate warm water throughout, are often a popular choice in master bath applications. Whirlpools are drained after use, where as spa tubs are not. Spa tubs are used for soaking, not bathing, homeowners should be clean before entering.
Uhler stresses to homeowners that every home should have a tub for babies, small children and elderly people. Tubs are often essential when selling a home.
· Lighting – Homeowners often make the mistake of placing lighting above the bathroom mirror. According to Uhler, this is the worst approach to lighting because the lighting casts downward, creating shadows, making it difficult for one to see themselves in the mirror. If lighting is needed above a mirror, lighting behind a valance is highly recommend. This will allow the light to bounce off the wall before reaching the homeowner’s face. The wall should be painted white or an equivalent shade. For the best use of lighting in the bathroom, Uhler suggests sconces or strip lighting along the mirror’s sides for even lighting.
· Countertops – Countertops can range from granite to tile. Uhler suggests that homeowners looking for stain resistant countertops should consider solid countertops. Solid countertops don’t have visible seams and can have sinks fabricated into the top for a one-piece look. Granite and Quart countertops are often used with under mount or vessel sinks. For years, non-slip tile has ranked as the top material used for bathrooms. It can be used for countertops, flooring, showers, tubs and backsplashes. Tile can also be used as a decorative design pieces (glazed, glass mosaic or quarry styles).
5. Cabinetry Design and Storage
Different types of cabinetry design and storage units can maximize space in a bathroom. In today’s bathroom world, there are many accessories and storage options to help consumers organize their storage and utilize their space. Uhler recommends several accessories and storage options to accomplish this: base cabinets with drawers, tall linen cabinets for towels, built-in hampers, divided drawers for pull-out storage such as grooming aids or cosmetics and vanity storage cabinets above the toilet to store small bottles and medicines. Along with maximizing bathroom space, these accessories and storage options can contribute to improving bathroom functionality.
6. Non-Labor Intensive Installations
Bathroom projects can be expensive; homeowners who are looking to save money, time and labor should consider non-labor intensive installations such as freestanding furniture. Reico Kitchen & Bath recently announced the addition of the Harborview Bathroom Furniture Collection. Harborview, freestanding furniture collection, can instantly transform a bathroom, without the need for built-in cabinetry or labor-intensive installations. Harborview includes three distinct, but interchangeable collections to suite a variety of tastes and styles. The Harborview collections include four vanity sizes (24”, 30”, 36” or 48”), storage cabinets, mirrors, marble or granite countertops, and several Vessel sink options. Each collection is built to last with solid wood, specially treated to withstand the moist climate of the bathroom. Harborview offers three collections: Cottage, Traditional and Contemporary.
Create Your Dream Bathroom
The professionals at Reico Kitchen & Bath will help you create the bathroom of your dreams. For more information about Reico Kitchen & Bath or their Harborview freestanding furniture collection, please call (800) REICO-11 or visit http://www.reico.com.
Bathroom remodeling doesn’t have to be a headache with proper planning and the use of proper professionals.
About Reico Kitchen & Bath
Founded in 1952, Reico Kitchen & Bath is the premier supplier of kitchen and bath products in the Mid-Atlantic States, selling more kitchens than all of the home centers in the area combined. The Company has 20 locations serving Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Reico has distinguished itself with homeowners, builders and remodeling contractors by offering unsurpassed service, unparalleled product selection and a stress-free buying experience. Most recently, Reico introduced the Couture Design Group which caters to customers designing high caliber kitchen projects in and around Washington D.C. For more information, call (800) REICO-11 or visit http://reico.com.