Bathroom Tips – Modern Bathroom Blog | Modern Bathroom

From design ideas to cleaning best practices, the Modern Bathroom Blog provides tips and tricks for creating or maintaining a beautiful bathroom.

How to Create More Space in Your Bathroom

Despite its functionality and frequency of use, bathrooms are typically the smallest rooms in the home. Combine minimal square footage with limited storage space, and your bathroom can become a haven for junk. If your bathroom is feeling cramped or cluttered, it may be time for a bathroom overhaul. To maximize the space in your bathroom, consider these bathroom design and organizational tips.

Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall...

Does your bathroom have a plate glass mirror that’s been attached to the wall since the 1970s? If so, you should replace it with a smarter solution designed with storage in mind. If your bathroom is lacking a vanity with available shelving, replace your plate glass mirror with a practical medicine cabinet. To create additional storage space, purchase a medicine cabinet that can be recessed into the wall. Once you’ve installed the medicine cabinet in your bathroom, fill it with prescription medication bottles, tubes of tooth paste, and other eyesores that have been cluttering your countertops.

Throw Out the Old

Most homeowners accumulate too many toiletries, towels, bathroom cleaners, and accessories than can realistically fit in their bathroom space. In order to avoid over accumulation, go through your medicine cabinet, vanity drawers, and cabinets every few months and throw out any unused or expired items. From there, assess your bathroom lifestyle needs. Do you need more counter space? Do you need extra storage? Often times, homeowners find that if they throw out old items and forego replacing them until necessary, the storage space already available in their bathroom is more than enough.

Install Under Vanity Lighting

While this design tactic doesn’t actually add more storage space to your bathroom, it’ll make your bathroom look more visually appealing and feel larger than it is. Aside from making your bathroom vanity appear more beautiful, installing under vanity lighting is also functional. Those who install under vanity lighting find that groping for things under the drawers and cabinets becomes a thing of the past. Installing lighting under your vanity isn’t difficult and, in most cases, can be done without the help of a contractor or handyman.

Utilize the Hidden Space

It might be difficult to imagine where you might find an extra inch of space in a small bathroom, but there’s one secret area that’s easy to access and can be used to your advantage. If you have access to a blank wall, the space between the studs offers a lot of potential storage space. Whether you build floating shelves directly between the studs or actually cut into the wall and install built-in bathroom cabinets, you can add a lot of extra space for things like spare toiletries or linens without having to alter the existing layout of your bathroom.

Get Wired

When it comes to charging personal care items in the bathroom the excess cords and wires are not only visually distracting, but they can be dangerous as well. By purchasing cabinets equipped with outlets (or installing your own), you can keep your electric toothbrushes and razors fully charged and completely out of sight, while minimizing the risk of electrical shock. This strategy is especially useful for families or those with young children, as children of toddler age are most susceptible to accidentally shocking themselves in the bathroom.

The Risks of DIY Bathroom Renovations

While a DIY bathroom renovation is a cost-effective way to drastically improve the look of an outdated room and increase the overall value of your home, sometimes it’s worth spending the extra cash on a contractor who knows exactly what they’re doing. In the end, poor materials and shoddy construction processes can cost you more money to repair than you would have spent on hiring a professional the first time around. From improper installation to failing to budget properly, here are the top risks of a DIY bathroom renovation.

Poor Materials

One of the most common DIY mistakes is selecting poor-quality materials in an effort to save money. While a professional contractor can determine the quality of a product just by looking at it, it’s much harder for novice DIYers to evaluate the value of products or materials. Purchasing cheaper materials isn’t always the best way to go, as wear will show more quickly and they could even be hazardous, depending on who installed them. Not only will a contractor give you the expertise you need to choose the best products for the job, but they’ll ensure that everything in your bathroom is constructed to be safe and withstand the test of time.

No Fallback Option

If you work with a licensed, bonded, and insured contractor, you’re guaranteed a cushion in case some sort of catastrophe occurs. If a pipe breaks or any other damage occurs, the insurance of your contractor will likely cover all damages. On the contrary, if you’re doing the work yourself and damage occurs, many homeowners’ insurance companies won’t cover operator error. Unfortunately, at the end of the day, if you’re not willing to risk shelling out cash for the materials and any potential damages your bathroom will incur as a result of your limited knowledge, you should consider hiring a professional, licensed contractor to take over the job.

Design Limitations

If you’re choosing to handle a bathroom renovation on your own, you’ll be limited to the current layout of the toilet, sink, and tub. Some DIY jobs, such as replacing a toilet or installing a new vanity, are relatively easy for those with little experience to complete. Unfortunately, half the fun of a bathroom remodel is changing the layout and general look and feel of the room. Unless you have a contractor’s license and understand the intricacies of disrupting the plumbing and electrical lines, you should hire a contractor to take care of the details.

Budgeting Improperly

Like many home improvement projects, there’s a tendency for unforeseen expenses to pop up. Many DIYers will find that their pipes need updating only after they’ve ripped open the floor and, in most cases, such a circumstance hasn’t even crossed their mind. Since contractors have been remodeling bathrooms for years or, in some cases, even decades, they’ll likely budget for the most common problems they’ve come across while working as a contractor. All of the risks associated with a DIY project can ultimately increase the cost of a project so, depending on the magnitude of the project, hiring a contractor may be a good idea.

Improper Installation

Plumbing installation can be tricky since every component must be watertight. If a fixture isn’t watertight, it can cause water damage, mold, and mildew. While installing a new sink faucet may not be difficult, installing a new bathtub or shower takes a certain amount of skill. If improperly installed, not only can these fixtures drain your finances, but they can pose a danger to your family. If you’re not sure how to properly install a faucet or showerhead, you may want to think twice about installing something as large and dangerous as a bathtub.

How to Paint a Bathroom Vanity like a Professional

Over the past few decades, contractors and home builders have consistently installed oak vanities in new bathrooms. While there’s nothing wrong with wood vanities, the humidity of a bathroom can begin to make them look washed out over time. Whether you’re an expert DIYer or are new to the game, repainting your bathroom vanity is a fun and easy weekend project. As with any other paint job, it requires some preparation and lots of patience; follow these steps and you’ll be well on your way to a shiny "new" bathroom vanity.

Materials & Preparation

As with any other DIY project, collecting your materials beforehand is essential. Materials can vary depending on the condition of your vanity, but here’s a list of the basics: a high density foam roller, household cleaner, alcohol, primer, sandpaper, foam brush, acrylic latex-based paint, painter’s tape, and plastic sheeting. You’ll likely create a mess during the project, so it’s best to protect your walls and floor with the plastic sheeting. From there, remove the vanity drawers and doors, and remove all hardware. Wash the doors and vanity with a solution of two ounces of household cleaner per gallon of water. After the doors and vanity have dried, rub down the surfaces with alcohol. This will remove any residual gunk and prepare your vanity for a fresh coat of paint.

Prime & Paint

Acrylic latex-based paint, whether sprayed or brushed, needs an undercoat of a compatible primer to ensure proper adhesion. Use 150-grit sandpaper to sand the exposed surfaces, scraping loose any peeling paint. Once you’ve finished sanding, use a vacuum or tack cloth to wipe away the excess dust. Before you actually begin painting, apply two coats of primer to the drawers, doors, and vanity. Once dry, it’s time to paint. A high quality acrylic latex-based paint will work fine, or you can buy a paint that’s formulated specifically for cabinets. Typically, you’ll need at least two coats of paint to eliminate any burn through and/or eliminate the wood look.

Replace Hardware & Reassemble

If you want to give your vanity a totally new look, consider changing the drawer knobs and door handles. While your drawers and doors are separated from the vanity, fill the existing holes with wood filler and allow them to dry. Once dry, mount the new pulls and handles for a brand new look. Once the new hardware has been installed or the old hardware has been replaced, it’s time to reassemble the vanity. Start with the bottom drawers and work your way up, making sure to fix any broken drawers or cracks along the way. Be patient – it can take a day or two for the paint to dry completely, and the last thing you want is to have to paint a scratched or damaged vanity all over again.

Other Tips

If you don’t have a window in your bathroom, wear a dust mask while sanding and painting to avoid breathing in dust or fumes. Be sure to follow the recommended drying requirements for the primer and paint, otherwise the final result may not turn out as desired. Some stores carry a specialty paint designed for cabinets – this paint can be used on vanities and does not require a primer. Regardless of your DIY skill level, repainting a bathroom vanity is a relatively easy home renovation task – you’ll save time (and money) by not having to hire a pro!

How to Remove Outdated Popcorn Ceiling

Although textured popcorn ceiling went out of style years ago, many older homes – and some new ones – continue to be built with popcorn ceilings. While removing popcorn ceiling isn’t a difficult process, it’s a messy job that requires hard work and special safety precautions. If your home was built before 1980, the popcorn ceiling should be tested for asbestos before removal. To test for asbestos, use a putty knife to scrape a small amount into a sealable plastic bag and send the sample to an approved testing service. If your popcorn ceiling contains no traces of asbestos, use the below information to safely and efficiently remove the “popcorn” from your ceiling.

What You’ll Need

Before you start removing your textured ceiling, it’s important that you have the right tools. Without the proper equipment, removing popcorn ceiling will prove to be difficult. Here’s a list of equipment you’ll need for the job:

  • Plastic sheeting
  • Rosin’s paper
  • Painter’s tape
  • Rags
  • Putty knife
  • Pump up sprayer
  • Liquid dishwashing soap
  • 6” or wider floor scraper
  • Mesh sanding pad with handle
  • Drywall joint compound
  • Drywall joint tape
  • Dust mask or respirator
  • Coveralls
  • Eye protection

Prepare the Room

Since you’ll be using a lot of water in this DIY project, you’ll want to turn off the electricity and check it with a circuit tester. Proceed to remove all furniture, such as bath vanities and other removable fixtures, and ceiling light fittings from the room. Tape small pieces of plastic over each electrical outlet, and cover the floor with the plastic sheeting. For extra protection, extend the floor sheeting about a foot or so up the wall. From there, secure plastic sheeting along the walls with painter’s tape, and roll out a layer of resin paper on the floor.

Once the room is covered in plastic and protected against stains, it’s time to spray and scrape the ceiling.

Spray and Scrape the Ceiling

Fill the pump sprayer with warm water and 2-3 tablespoons of liquid soap per gallon of water. Saturate a 4-6 foot square section of the ceiling with the solution; saturate it enough to loosen the popcorn, but not so much that it damages the drywall underneath. Wait 15-20 minutes for the solution to be absorbed and use a floor scraper to gently scrape away the popcorn texture. If the popcorn isn’t coming off relatively easily, spray it again and try waiting longer for the solution to be absorbed.

Finishing Touches

Once the popcorn ceiling is removed, you may notice high spots, gauges, or visible nails and screws in your ceiling. Hammer any visible nails below the surface, and cover them with a joint compound. Once the repair work has dried, sand the ceiling with a long handled mesh sanding pad. Just be sure to only sand the high spots, as too much sanding will damage the ceiling. The final touch is to prime and paint the ceiling with a latex ceiling paint. Once dry, remove the plastic and move any furniture back into the bathroom.

What Kind of Bathroom Privacy Windows are Right for You?

Whether you already have a bathroom window or windows are included in an upcoming bathroom remodel, finding the balance between privacy, light, and gorgeous views is an age-old struggle for homeowners. Sure, you’d love to enjoy a beautiful view while relaxing in the tub, but the undeniable challenge of finding privacy can’t be avoided. Whether your bathroom window is in a high-traffic area or not, nobody wants to constantly worry about accidentally exposing themselves to a neighbor, family member, or complete stranger. If you’d like to protect your privacy without obstructing natural light, here are a few options for bathroom privacy windows.

Privacy Window Film

With options starting at as low as $10 per window, window film is perhaps the most budget-friendly way to protect your privacy in the bathroom. From beautiful stained glass clings to colorfully embossed film, you can easily transform a plain window into an intricate piece of art in just a matter of minutes. Due to their low cost and ease of application, privacy window films can be changed as often as you like. Some homeowners use the same film for years, while others change up the design every few months. Perhaps the best thing about window films is that they aren’t limited to the bathroom – if you have a window next to the front door or facing a busy street, add extra film to your shopping cart and be prepared to enjoy a new level of privacy.

Window Coverings

Shades, shutters, blinds, and curtains will all provide privacy without blocking the natural light. Since window coverings allow you to control the amount of light, they can be closed during showers and baths, and left open the rest of the time. A pull down window shade will give complete privacy without breaking your budget, while custom sized wood plantation shutters will set you back several hundred dollars. One important thing to remember when choosing window treatments is the material: curtains made of heavy fabrics are a haven for mold, so avoid them at all costs. Thin, gauzy curtains over your window will let the sun shine through while protecting your privacy. Plus, they’re easy to clean: just toss them in the washer with your towels and linens.

Glass Block Windows

If you’re dedicated to taking advantage of natural light as much as possible, glass block windows are the perfect solution. They’ll obscure what’s inside while letting in an entire wall of light into the space. Available in custom sized units, ordering and installing glass block windows is easy. Since they’re made of a versatile material, they can be used for a variety of purposes, including creating an illusion of space in walk-in showers. Glass block windows can be ordered in a variety of shapes, including squares, rectangles, and stair steps, allowing you to create a unique look that’s all your own. Glass block windows and panels can be purchased in standard or custom sizes, and are ready to install straight out of the box.

Skylight or High Window

If you’re adding bathroom light sources in an upcoming remodel and have tons of control, consider installing a skylight, high window, or light tunnel. Not only are they a great source of light, but you won’t have to worry about protecting your privacy. Light tunnels are mounted on the roof and allow light to flow through a flexible shaft that exits through a lens on the ceiling. Light tunnels start at about $500 for installation, and a window or skylight with construction costs included start at about $1,500. While they’re not the most cost-effective way to incorporate natural light into your bathroom, your privacy concerns will be made virtually obsolete.


Connect

Phone
  • Toll Free (888) 777-1198
Showroom
  • 7040 Lankershim Blvd.
    North Hollywood, CA 91605
  • 9AM to 6PM PST (M-F)
    9AM to 5PM PST (SAT)
    Closed Sunday
Info
© Modern Bathroom | Sitemap | Web design by Develisys