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.

Company’s Coming! Clean Your Bathroom in Five Steps

For many homeowners and renters, cleaning the bathroom is their least favorite chore- one that’s often put off until it absolutely must be cleaned. But, what happens when your in-laws call to say they’re on their way and you don’t have the time, patience, or products required for the deep clean your bathroom deserves? If you’re crunched for time and your housekeeping reputation is on the line, here are some tips that will make your bathroom sparkle in minutes so you can put on a pot of tea and welcome your mother-in-law with open arms.

1. Remove Any Countertop Clutter

For best results, start at one end of the bathroom and make your way to the other side, removing anything that’s cluttering the countertops along the way. Toss any eye wrinkle creams, toothpaste containers, or mascara tubes into a bucket or container and place the container under the sink. If you think your visitors will take a peek behind the shower curtain, organize the shower caddy and remove any shampoo or body wash containers that may be sitting on the edge of the bathtub. While you’re at it, empty the trash can and straighten any hand towels you may have hanging for guests.

2. Dust and Sweep

To get rid of dust, especially in hard-to-reach places, grab a duster with a long handle and remove any cobwebs or visible dust accumulation. If you, your partner, or your children blow-dry or straighten their hair on a daily basis, there’s probably a lot of hair that’s accumulated on the floor. Instead of sweeping the hair into a dust bin, which often takes more time than it should, run the vacuum across the floor until the hair is gone. To save time, vacuum the area outside of the bathroom and any carpet in the living room or family room while you have the vacuum available and/or plugged in.

3. Alka-Seltzer in the Toilet Bowl?

Believe it or not, dropping a couple tablets of Alka-Seltzer in the toilet bowl is a quick and easy way to get rid of nasty toilet bowl rings- even if they’ve been neglected for a while. While the inside of the toilet bowl is important, don’t forget to clean under the seat and along the sides- areas where prying eyes may take a peak if they’re on the nosy side. This doesn’t have to be a complicated task- simply spray the outside of the toilet with all-purpose cleaner, and wipe with a clean cloth. If you have air freshener handy, spray a couple puffs into the toilet bowl before you close the lid; whoever uses the toilet next will be pleasantly surprised by the scent.

4. Pay Attention to the Mirrors

Since whoever uses the bathroom will likely look at themselves in the mirror while washing their hands, make sure that soap scum and toothpaste aren’t staring right back at them. Spray the mirrors with glass cleaner and rub in circles to prevent unsightly streaking. Then, use the same cloth to wipe over the rest of the vanity and the sink to pick up hairs, powder, and toothpaste residue. Grab a sanitizing wipe and focus on the faucet handles, the wall behind the faucet, and any light fixtures.

5. Focus on the Aesthetics

Now that your bathroom is (relatively) spick and span, at least to the naked eye, you can focus on sprucing up the area with flowers, candles, or air freshener. Although the space may be clean, certain smells may linger- especially if someone used the restroom a few minutes before your surprise visitors knock at the door. If you have a garden, run outside and pick some flowers and display them neatly on the vanity countertop. If you don’t have access to fresh flowers, light a candle or spray a few puffs of deodorizing spray to neutralize the odor.

Now that your bathroom is ready for visitors, take a second to survey the rest of the home. After all, a clean bathroom won’t matter much if the beds are unmade or the kitchen counters are cluttered with empty cans.

Setting Ground Rules for a Bathroom Remodel

Starting a bathroom remodel can seem like a daunting project. If you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s easy to make some costly mistakes. As such, it’s important to know the necessary demolition and renovation steps so that you can build a new and improved bathroom With these basic tips, you can begin your remodeling project with the confidence that you’re taking the proper steps in order to complete the process.

Strip It Down

Before beginning your bathroom remodel, you’ll need to clear out your current bathroom. This will require some demolition and removal of large appliances on your part. For example, you’ll need to remove the bathroom vanity, which will require you to turn off the water supply, disconnect any drain pipes, and cut the seal of the caulk holding the vanity to the wall so that you can remove it piece by piece. Removing a vanity can seem like a project in itself, and it’s one of the more important parts of any bathroom remodel. You’ll also need to remove the toilet, which you can do by hitting the base of the tank and the bottom of the toilet with a hammer just hard enough so that you crack the porcelain around the bolts. Once you’ve created some separation, you can haul the toilet out along with the wax ring and you’re all set. You’re also going to need to remove the shower pipe, any remaining insulation, and the tile before you can begin making any additions.

Know Your Home

Once you’ve stripped your bathroom, you can begin to apply your vision of your new and improved bathroom layout. However, make sure to keep it realistic for your home and its function. For example, you’ll want to address questions such as whether or not you’ll need no-slip floors or child-friendly features. If you’re renovating the master bath and you’d like separate sinks and mirrors for you and your spouse, then you’ll need to work this into your floorplan. Make sure you have enough room if you’re going to add a large tub or vanity. It’s important to focus on the parts that you have room for and that you’ll get the most use out of. Make sure to come up with a remodel plan that allows for some walk-around space that will still provide you with everything you need on a daily basis, as your bathroom will surely need to accommodate you comfortably every day.

Know When to Bring in the Professionals

While we’d all like to consider ourselves DIY experts, there are certain jobs that are better left to the professionals. If you don’t feel completely comfortable removing the vanity, then perhaps you should look for some extra assistance, as this is not a task you’ll want to take lightly. The same holds true for installing a new toiler or bathtub. If you’re not experienced or confident in setting these items firmly in their place, then you may want to hire an expert. It’s good to do as much as you can on your own, and nobody wants to spend extra, but there are certain parts of a bathroom remodel that are just better when done by the experts. So, if you’re uncertain on how to install an appliance or secure a certain fixture in your bathroom, then it might be best to do some research on local, experienced professionals.

A bathroom remodel can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Hopefully these tips have been helpful in giving you some perspective on the work that lies ahead. Keep these steps in mind and you’ll be on your way to completing a bathroom remodel.

Getting to Know Your Bathroom Countertop Options

When designing your bathroom, you’ll have to do quite a bit of research on different appliances, utilities, and surface materials before you can begin to renovate. One of the most important decisions during this process will be the one regarding your countertops. Your bathroom vanity countertops not only serve as a highlight of your bathroom’s aesthetic, but they’ll need to withstand the wear and tear that comes with daily life. For this reason, you should make sure you select a countertop that fits with the rest of your design layout, while also making sure to choose one that will be durable and easy to keep clean and maintain.

Stone

It’s very common for people to go with a stone countertop, particularly granite or quartz. This is because they’re highly durable and functional materials, and they tend to have a very polished and elegant look. There are some differences among the range of stone countertop types, so you should understand the characteristics and responsibility that comes with each before making your decision.

If you choose granite, you’ll want to make sure it’s properly sealed before it’s installed in order to prevent deterioration or any harmful buildup. When sealed properly, granite is an extremely durable, resilient, and beautiful surface material. However, you will need to be sure to clean it with the correct products, which means you’ll need to buy cleaning supplies that are made specifically for granite. Also, you’ll want to be sure to clean up any spills on your granite countertop as soon as possible, especially in the case of a spill involving products with high acidity, as these can cause the granite to corrode if not addressed quickly.

Another good stone countertop option is quartz, an engineered stone that’s highly durable and will look great in almost any setting. The main drawback of quartz is that it doesn’t possess the natural beauty of granite, but this makes it easier to maintain. Quartz countertops are less likely than granite to crack or chip, and since they’re not porous, they’re easier to clean. With quartz, you’ll save yourself money and it won’t require the same amount of effort and upkeep, but it is a slight compromise when compared to the unique and natural beauty of granite.

Tile

Another very versatile option for your bathroom countertop is porcelain tile. This material is highly durable and can be fitted to the space on your counter. Furthermore, this sort of tile is very easy to clean and is typically resistant to moisture, so you won’t have the same worries about corrosion as you might with a granite countertop. However, as with granite and quartz, it’s very important that you don’t overlook the value of high quality installation and design.

A crucial part of a tile countertop is the grout, which needs to be sealed properly. Tile is a very reasonably priced option, although one drawback is that the preparation and installation can get rather expensive. However, after the installation stage, you can save yourself some trouble and money in terms of upkeep, as tile is very resilient and can typically be cleaned with basic tile surface cleaning products. Additionally, it will last you very long time with relatively easy maintenance requirements. Also, tile comes in a wide array of colors and sizes, so you’ll have plenty of options when choosing the look you want for your bathroom countertop.

Laminate

Laminate countertops offer an excellent value at a very budget-friendly cost. Laminate countertops consist of hard particle board material sealed with a layer of plastic coating. While this is a fairly inexpensive option that may not provide the same luxurious appearance as granite or tile, laminate countertops are actually a very high quality alternative that can be perfect for anyone with small children or limited time to clean and maintain their bathroom countertop on a consistent basis.

Laminate countertops are very easy to clean and maintain, since they’re sealed with plastic and can be cleaned with a sponge or a soapy towel. Some drawbacks with this material are the fact that it will show scratches and can be difficult to repair if damaged, and it’s not as heat resistant as stone or tile. So, if you use a hair straightener or a curling iron, you won’t want to place those items on your laminate countertop or you might leave a permanent mark. Otherwise, this can be a fantastic option for your bathroom countertop that will help you save some money without making a major compromise in quality. Also, you’ll have plenty of colors and styles to choose from when searching for a countertop surface that will fit the rest of your bathroom’s design.

Hopefully this has been a helpful guide as you search for the perfect bathroom countertop. There are a lot of different materials and styles to choose from, so it’s important to have an understanding of the characteristics and responsibilities that come with each. So, with this information, perhaps you’ll be that much closer to selecting the perfect material for your bathroom countertop. Good luck!

Bathroom Appliances & Water Consumption

The bathroom is an area of extreme water consumption, a large amount of which is not used in the most efficient manner possible. The EPA estimates that the average American family of four uses about 400 gallons of water per day, most of which results from the use of bathroom appliances. Even for those households that make an effort to limit shower time and sink usage, there is only so much that can be done with common appliances and techniques. An unnecessarily high amount of water usage is not only harmful for the environment, but it can cost a fortune in water and electricity bills. It’s becoming more common for people to seek a different approach to household water usage, especially as new conservation-minded appliances are becoming available.

Low-Flow Toilets

It’s estimated that toilets alone account for 30 percent of a household’s water usage. The average toilet uses 1.6 gallons per flush; however, low-flow toilets use less than 1.3 gallons per flush. There is also the option of the dual-flush toilet, which offers two different flush settings, one for liquid waste, and the other for solid. These are both great alternatives to the common toilet, as well as some other new designs that use smaller tanks, bowls, and make use of gravity to conserve water. Since the average toilet uses the same amount of water for each flush, regardless of its use, this appliance can become a major source of wasted water in your household. These more water-friendly alternatives can make a tremendous difference in your household water usage over time.

Showerheads

Similarly, you can find low-flow showerheads that will use less water with each use. The shower accounts for up to 20 percent of water use in the average household, but you can cut that in half by installing a low-flow showerhead that won’t compromise your water pressure. There are plenty of low-flow showerhead options available today that use air to provide water pressure, rather than simply using more water. You can also buy a showerhead with adjustable settings, so that you get to decide how much water you use with each shower.

Others rely on the “bucket system” to cut down on overall water consumption. If you have a shower that also functions as a bathtub, use a ten-gallon bucket to gather the water underneath the bath spout while you wait for it to heat up. When it’s hot enough, simply remove the bucket, switch it to shower mode, and begin your shower. Then, you can use the water in the bucket for your garden or other irrigation purposes, rather than letting it go down the drain. Since the shower is a major source of wasted water, consider these appliances and methods as a means of saving a significant amount of water in your household.

Faucets

Sink faucets account for around 15-18 percent of household water usage. This appliance can easily be replaced with a more water-efficient option that will save up to 40 percent of water consumed by your faucets. You can simply install a low-flow aerator for around $5 and cut down your faucet’s water usage significantly. This is an easy, inexpensive, and painless improvement to cut back on the amount of water used by the common faucet, which won’t limit water pressure to an ineffective minimum. Low-flow faucet upgrades are quite possibly the most reasonable and affordable water-efficient solutions you can add to your home, and you’ll cut down your household’s water consumption drastically with this alternative.

These days, there’s no need to be wasting water in your home. With the availability of these eco-friendly alternatives, you can cut down your water usage dramatically and save yourself a great deal of money over time. So, if you’re tired of excessively high water bills or are concerned about the environment, consider these water-efficient appliances and start making a difference in your home today.


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