Re-Caulking Your Bathroom

When it comes to modern bathtubs, and entire bathrooms, caulk is king. It’s vital for sealing the grout lines between your wall and tub, preventing mold and mildew, minimizing leaks and more. This is why keeping caulk in mint condition is so important. From time to time, caulk will crack, and it needs to be replaced. To help you know when and how to handle this bathroom renovation, here’s a look at signs it’s time to re-caulk; specific areas to be on guard about; and tips for how to caulk bathtubs, sinks and other areas well.

Notorious Problem Areas

Major bathroom problem areas for caulk damage are places that are regularly wet: e.g., corners, edges, bases and other parts of the shower/tub, stand-alone shower or sink where water always hits. In the shower/tub, for example, you’ll usually spot issues along the seal between the tub and the wall. In the stand-alone shower, you might see caulk damage along the floor where the tile meets the wall.

Signs it’s Time to Caulk Again

Whenever you notice bathroom caulk is showing serious signs of damage, it’s time to do something. Whether you’re talking about caulk on the tub or bathroom vanities, key warning signs include:

  • Cracks
  • Discoloring
  • Shrinking caulk
  • Black mildew stains in the caulk

When any of these problems occur, your best bet is to remove the damaged caulk, remove any mildew/mold damage, and start again.

How to Re-Caulk

When you know you have a problem to fix, here are the simple steps to treating caulk damage:

  1. Remove old caulk. Don’t skip this step and apply new caulk on top of old caulk! It is much harder to get caulk to meld with existing, damaged caulk than it is to put it on a fresh surface. There are several methods you can use to remove old caulk, including scraping it with a razor blade, softening it with a specially designed caulk product, or a combination of the two. You need to get the old caulk fully removed before moving to any of the additional steps.
  2. Clean the area. Use a bleach solution to get rid of any mold/mildew damage lurking beneath the old caulk, and use a cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol to wipe off the area after that. You want a fully cleaned, smoothed area to which you’ll apply new caulk.
  3. Apply new caulk carefully. Use a high-quality caulking gun to apply new caulk to the area you’re repairing. You can use either latex (easier to apply, cleans easily) or silicone (harder to apply, harder to remove). If you’re worried about messing up, feel free to put down tape, like you would when painting, to expose only the areas that should be caulked. Wipe the tip of the tube after each application.
  4. Clean and smooth the new caulk. Check for any extra splotches of caulk remaining here and there, and smooth them out with a wet finger, wiping your finger clean after each touch-up. Caulk sets quickly, so you’ll need to work fast. If it has already dried by the time you realize a mistake, use a razor blade to cut off excess.

A clean and mold-free bathroom is worth the extra trouble that re-caulking requires. Use the tips above to caulk bathroom sinks, the shower, the tub or wherever you need repairs. When you properly remove and replace caulk in the bathroom, you set yourself up for years of better protection from water damage.

If you have questions about bathroom renovation and the products we offer, contact Modern Bathroom today!

Tips For Preventing Bathroom Mold

Ask anyone who tries to stay on top of bathroom cleaning — a big nemesis of every spotless shower installation is mold. Because it thrives in dark, damp conditions, mold loves wet spaces of the bathroom. That’s why practicing proper mold prevention is key. If you can understand and stop the growth of mold before it occurs, you can save yourself a lot of headaches and hassle in your regular bathroom upkeep. With that in mind, here’s a look at what you need to know.

Main Causes of Mold in the Bathroom

As great as it is to take daily showers/baths and use hot, running water, the downside of these pleasures is humidity. Humidity, especially without proper bathroom ventilation, creates a breeding ground for mold growth. That perpetually moist environment provides conditions for mold to thrive.

How Mold Affects the Body

Bathroom mold is more than unsightly. When you have mold around your bathtub installation, you have regular exposure to a hazardous material that can harm your health. Mold may contribute to allergic reactions, fungal infections, poisoning and other health issues. So while finding and treating mold is good, preventing its buildup in the first place is better — it protects you and your household from health risks.

Signs You Have Mold

Most of the time, spotting mold isn’t difficult. You’ll see and/or smell it creeping into nooks and crannies of the bath/shower — or bathroom in general. If mold is not readily visible, it’s important to know where and how to look for it. Check hidden areas behind pipes, under the sink, around drains and even shower walls/curtains. Sometimes it will even show up on the moist bottoms of shampoo bottles and other bath/shower items.

What to Do If You Have Mold

When dealing with mold, always wear gloves and a mask, if possible. Open windows and doors in the bathroom area to help with ventilation. Using a brush and a strong cleaning solution, scrub and clean the problem areas. Some possible cleaning solutions include undiluted vinegar; a mix of borax, ammonia and baking soda; a mixture of detergent and water; or a solution of one part bleach to nine parts water.

Preventing Future Mold Growth

Short of never using water in the bathroom again, there are many ways to prevent mold growth at home. Follow these tips to keep your bathroom clean:

  • Install and/or use a fan. Every time you shower or bathe, use the exhaust fan to help with ventilation. Likewise, if you can open a window and/or door, do so. Then, for an additional 30 minutes after bathroom use, keep the fan running to help the space dry.
  • Squeegee walls after every shower use. Every time you take a bath or shower, squeegee excess water off the walls. Minimizing water accumulation helps to curb the potential for mold and mildew growth.
  • Swap shower curtains often. Find a mildew-resistant shower curtain, and replace it — or thoroughly wash and dry — often.
  • Minimize “stuff.” The more bathroom items you keep in or near your shower/tub, the more potential hiding places for moisture. Work to limit toiletries and other items in the shower/tub area in order to reduce places for mold to grow.

The good news about dealing with bathroom mold is … there are things you can do to prevent or eliminate it. Use the tips above to get better control of your bathroom cleaning, and say goodbye to mold for good.

Remodeling Your Bathroom With Resale In Mind

In terms of creating resale value, updated bathrooms rank just below a new kitchen. Potential buyers want to see new bathroom sinks, clever bathroom storage, attractive bathroom vanities, new showers and bathtubs, etc. That’s why, if you’re planning to sell soon and want to maximize your asking price, a bathroom remodel makes sense.

When you want to remodel for selling power, what are the most important upgrades to make? What should you keep in mind and how much should you spend? How can you cut costs for the best payback? To help answer these questions, here’s a look at tips to keep in mind when you want to remodel your bathroom for resale.

Your Bathroom Budget

How much you can expect to spend on a bathroom remodel depends on a variety of factors. Are you gutting the entire space and rebuilding? Are you just trying to add value to an already decent bathroom space? Look at your budget and decide what makes sense for you, whether that means replacing the toilet, the vanity and the shower door, or reworking everything from the ground up.

Why Visuals Matter

As cool as invisible features like heated floors can be in the bathroom, keep in mind that buyers shop with their eyes first. When they look at listing photos or walk through your home, their first impressions will be based on what they see. If you’re trying to decide between brightening the bathroom or adding a new flushing mechanism to the toilet, go for the visuals. Focus on bathroom features like tile colors, wall colors, quality of fixtures and other components that will be easy to notice.

Where Personal Preference Comes into Play

When you take on a home remodeling project, it’s tempting to cater everything to your tastes. When you’re remodeling for resale, however, you aren’t remodeling for yourself. That’s why you need to think like a buyer. Rather than opting for the unique purple tile or that custom-made, quirky vanity, opt for mainstream design choices that will be likely to appeal to a great number of potential buyers. You can still pick items you like, but make sure you temper your opinions with popular design at the time. When in doubt, consult outside sources (like the experts at Modern Bathroom) for advice.

Popular Color Choices

You can’t go wrong with neutral colors, which create not only a clean, but also timeless look and appeal. They are easy to personalize with accessories and go with many styles. Look for whites, light grays and beige choices for designing your new bathroom.

The Value of Storage Space

Because of all that gets done in the bathroom, storage space is at a premium. Buyers want to see that there’s room for toiletries, bathroom appliances, extra toilet paper, etc. If you can add a little convenient storage to the bathroom, it’s a good upgrade to make.

When Less Is More

Even a small bathroom can look bigger with the right design choices. Neutral colors, minimal features and fixtures in proportion to the space can go a long way toward making the most of your bathroom. Always think through the space you’re working with as you make remodeling decisions.

Keep or Replace the Bathtub/Shower

A new bathtub or shower is a great feature, but before you spring for a replacement, determine if a repair job might be a better choice. Instead of totally replacing the bathtub, for example, could you have it refinished? Instead of putting in expensive tile in the bathroom, could you opt for a prefabricated model? Likewise, think twice before removing the home’s only bathtub to replace with a shower. While showers are great, they’re not as pet-friendly or family-friendly as a tub, so you may unintentionally turn some prospects away.

Why Modern Bathroom Is Your Resource for Bathroom Fixtures

When it comes to bathroom remodeling projects, Modern Bathroom is proud to be your top resource for products from leading brands! Buy factory direct from us, and you can save up to 70 percent on prices. We have two showroom locations in California, an online catalog, and we offer free shipping throughout the country. Plus, we have a low price guarantee!

Search our website to learn more — or contact us today!

How To Polish Your Bathroom Faucets

The biggest difference between faucets in a showroom and faucets in daily household use comes down to one simple word: Shine. While most sink faucets start shiny and beautiful, over time they tend to grow dull and dirty. People are constantly washing their hands, soap is splashing onto the faucet head, and stains and water spots accumulate, taking away the faucet’s original luster. Has this happened to your bathtub/shower faucet or your sink faucet? Have you noticed a general dinginess around the faucets in your bathroom space? If so, here’s what you need to know about bathroom faucets and how to keep them looking like new.

How to Know If Your Faucet Needs Polishing

A clean faucet is a shining, streak-free faucet. When you notice an accumulation of spots and stains building on your bathroom faucet, you know it’s time to do something. This is true whether your faucet is made of glass, porcelain, chrome, brass or another material.

Benefits of Polished Faucets

It’s not hard to see the advantages that come from a clean bathroom, whether you’re talking about spotless floors or sparkling faucets. Regardless though, here’s a breakdown of some of the specific benefits to expect when you keep your faucets polished:

  • Like-new feeling. It’s as true of faucets as it is of automobiles — the better their condition, the newer and more valuable they look.
  • Overall sense of cleanliness. Creating a clean bathroom feel requires every component to be tidy, from the countertops to the sink faucet. Water spots on the faucet won’t work.
  • More of a wow factor. In terms of creating a strong first impression to guests and visitors, a sparkling faucet goes a long way. Keeping it clean and polished turns it into more of a showpiece.

Tips for Polishing Your Bathroom Faucet

To polish a faucet, you’ll need a simple list of tools: cleaning cloths, soap, vinegar, water and perhaps an old toothbrush. Additionally, here are some tips and tools that can be useful to remember:

  • Pull from the liquor cabinet. Believe it or not, vodka can be a great cleaning tool, at least when it comes to bathroom faucets. Soak a cleaning cloth in the alcohol and use it to polish glass, porcelain or chrome fixtures.
  • Try an acidic medium on soap spots. Basic white vinegar can be effective at removing soap scum and water spots. Similarly, lemon juice can help get rid of these tricky scum marks.
  • Apply oil to the clean faucet. Once the faucet shines again, rub some baby oil on it to ward off new spots and add a sparkling finish.
  • Avoid scouring pads. Abrasive cleaning tools might work well on kitchen pans, but they should stay far away from your bathroom faucets. Because abrasive cleansers can damage and scratch the faucet’s finish, avoid them, using cloths and old toothbrushes instead.
  • For brass faucets, dry and gentle is key. To get rid of spots and scum on brass faucets, stick to a damp cloth or a cloth dipped in warm, soapy water. Using anything more abrasive can damage the fixture. Likewise, once the faucet is clean, dry it thoroughly. You may even want to keep a cloth in the bathroom to regularly wipe the faucet after use, preventing new water stains from forming.

To make your sink faucets beautiful, use the tips above to stay on track. Also, when you’re looking for new bathroom faucets, come to Modern Bathroom. We’re proud to offer a wide range of features and fixtures to outfit any style of bathroom.

Keeping Your Shower Clean: Cleaning The Creases

No matter how shiny and sparkling a shower looks when it’s new, ongoing use can quickly transform that modern shower into a dirty space. The fact is, simply using your shower every day fills it with moisture, humidity and soap scum that tends to build up and worsen over time; so before you know it, you have a shower that no longer looks so great. Knowing this, what can you do? How can you keep your shower enclosure in mint condition? Whether you have shower curtains or a glass shower door, what steps can you take to prevent mold and mildew from accumulating? To help answer these questions, here’s a look at the ins and outs of keeping your shower clean.

What Happens to Your Shower Over Time

The first step in keeping a cleaner shower is to accept the fact that you’re going to have to work at it. By the very nature of the way they’re used, showers require thorough cleaning on a frequent basis. That’s because, through regular use, showers accumulate moisture that can lead to mildew or mold, creating not only unsightly areas but also actual health hazards for the people using them.

Products to Gather

To effectively clean a modern shower, you’ll need the following products:

  • Vinegar and dishwashing detergent. Secure a bag of vinegar around your showerhead overnight to instantly restore its shine. Mix vinegar with dishwashing detergent for a quick and effective cleaning liquid to use in the shower any time. Combine vinegar with water to have a powerful, acidic cleanser to combat soap scum.
  • Baking soda. Combining good old baking soda with vinegar and salt creates a strong weapon against mineral deposits in the shower. Let the mixture set a few minutes before scrubbing with water.
  • Squeegee: For glass shower doors, keep an inexpensive squeegee in the shower and use it to wipe the glass every day. Doing so will only take a few seconds, but it will make a huge difference in preventing soap scum from building.
  • Toothbrush: An old toothbrush is a great tool for getting into the tiny nooks and crannies of a shower space. Get into the tracks of your sliding glass shower door, around the rim of the drain, or anywhere that’s usually hard to access and clean.

The Key to Killing Mildew

The arch nemesis of any clean shower enclosure is mildew, particularly in shower creases or grout lines. One option to try is a toothbrush dipped in vinegar, used to scrub/remove the mildew. You can also try attacking this problem with a solution of 10 parts water to 1 part bleach. For more stubborn areas, soak the mildew in bleach overnight. In any case, take preventative measures to avoid touching or inhaling the bleach fumes, which can be toxic.

Keeping Clean Shower Curtains

Another notorious problem area in terms of bathroom cleanliness is the shower curtain. Some shower curtains can be thrown right in the washing machine; add a little bleach to combat mildew. Others are cheap enough to discard and replace every few months. When you’re looking for a more effective way to fight against mildew, however, try these tips:

  • Saltwater bath. Try soaking the curtain in a saltwater bath for several hours. Afterward, let it thoroughly dry and then rehang it.
  • Uneven edges. Give the bottom of your curtain a little extra protection against mold by using pinking shears to cut its bottom edge. This makes the bottom uneven, helping water drip off and away from the curtain before mold forms.

When you have a beautiful bathroom, you want to keep it clean! Use the tips above to get your shower sparkling — and when you want bathroom fixtures or products to update the bath in your home, come to Modern Bathroom!