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.

Benefits Of Having A Steam Shower In Your Home


Steam showers are gaining popularity as an at-home spa treat. There are several good reasons why homeowners are becoming interested in these fixtures. They are easy to use and have a variety of health benefits. Most of all, though, they add value to the home while saving homeowners the cost of spa passes along with the time investment needed to travel to and from a nearby spa. On top of that, the steam shower is a self-contained unit, smaller than a sauna or a steam room. For homeowners, this means less maintenance and space needed to reap the same benefits that you’d get from a sauna or steam room. Let’s take a look at how steam showers work, along with the benefits they offer.

How Do Steam Showers Work?

A steam shower is a simple enclosure: a stall that is sealed so that it doesn’t allow moisture to leave the shower. To use a steam shower, all one needs to do is step inside and press a button on the shower’s control panel. This activates the shower’s steam generator, which then heats water to boiling. The steam from the boiling water is channeled through the shower’s system, emerging through the steam head, filling the shower with luxurious steam.

Modern steam showers come with digital controls, which makes it easy for the user to activate the shower, adjust the length of time that the shower will operate, or adjust temperature controls. Some models are equipped with extras such as: 

  • Piped-in sound systems that allow the user to listen to music 
  • The ability to add various scents to the shower 
  • Mood lighting
  • Conventional shower heads for a quick rinse once the steam shower is complete 

 Steam showers have a few distinct advantages to saunas and other spa fixtures. A steam shower starts working immediately upon activation, which means there is no need to wait for the steam to start flowing. Simply press the button and enjoy. Water is heated to 118 degrees Fahrenheit, which gives the user a luxurious experience with no risks of burns or other hazards. Steam showers are also easy on the water bill. In 20 minutes of use, a steam shower only consumes about 2 gallons of water compared to the 50 or more gallons that a conventional shower would use over the same duration. That is one reason why many designers are starting to include them in eco-friendly home designs.

What Are the Advantages of a Steam Shower?

As the ultimate tropical bathing experience, steam showers come with many perks. Eco-friendliness is just one of these benefits. There are also numerous health benefits, plus there is that touch of extravagance that makes the home more attractive to both its residents and potential buyers. Here are a few of the reasons why homeowners are asking about these fixtures: 

  • Steam is well known to help clear stuffy nasal passages, making a steam shower the perfect way to clear congested sinuses — a major plus for chronic allergy sufferers. 
  • Steam showers are a great way to wind down after exercise. The warmth helps to open capillaries, which allows blood to flow. This removes the metabolic waste that builds up in muscles, causing muscle soreness. 
  • A steam shower can also help improve circulation. Just as steam helps to open capillaries, it can widen other blood vessels, as well. This can have a blood pressure-lowering effect. 
  • Steam is good for your skin. Warming skin in this way opens pores, which allows perspiration to run freely. This, in turn, helps to clear pores and reduce the occurrence of blackheads and pimples. 
  • This is also a great pre-shave treatment because the warmth and moisture can help shed dead skin and soften hair follicles, which can reduce the likelihood of razor burn. 
  • More and more, homebuyers are looking for high-end touches in the homes that they are purchasing. Spa bathrooms are particularly popular, which means the addition of a steam shower increases the home’s overall value. 
  • Most importantly, steam showers are relaxing. If you are looking at ways to manage stress, spending some time in a steam shower before bed is a great way to soothe away the mental and physical stresses of the day. People who use steam showers report that not only does the steam itself help to relax them, but afterward, they tend to sleep more soundly — something that isn’t always an easy feat in today’s high-paced world.

Why Do Homeowners Love Steam Showers?

In addition to the benefits listed above, there are other reasons why homeowners are asking about steam showers. A day at the spa means extra expense as well as travel time, which makes the spa experience much less accessible for the average person. By bringing elements of the spa into the home, busy homeowners are better able to find time for the spa experience and save money. A steam shower is a one-time investment compared to day passes or membership fees at a spa.

Steam showers, in particular, are getting a lot of attention because unlike the sauna or steam room, these units are smaller. Instead of devoting an entire room to the fixture, a steam shower takes only about as much space as a large walk-in shower. Because steam showers are smaller, this also means that there is less cleaning and maintenance for the homeowner. 

For the minimal investment of a steam shower, the homeowner will be able to enjoy all the benefits of a spay day within his or her own home. The many benefits of steam showers make it easy to see why these fixtures are starting to become a priority among homeowners and potential buyers.

5 Bathroom Remodeling Tips And Tricks


After the kitchen, the bathroom is the next most complicated room in the home. There are many details to think about with this project, which can make planning difficult. With these five tips and tricks, you can take the stress out of the planning process so your remodeling project goes smoothly.

1. The Tub or Shower Is the Centerpiece — Don’t Hesitate to Splurge!

 

Because tubs and showers are the largest fixture in most bathrooms, they tend to take center stage. Even if you are planning on a budget remodel, you’ll find that it pays to give these fixtures a bit of special attention. The options available will depend on your budget, of course, but here are a few ideas to help you get inspired, no matter how much you plan to spend on a tub or shower update:

 

  • If you’d like to keep costs low, consider replacing the essentials — the faucet, showerhead and other hardware. Sometimes, replacing hardware that looks worn and aged is all you need to give your shower or tub a fresh look.
  • Among mid-range projects, shower door replacement (or installation, if you currently have curtains) is a great way to update the look and feel of your bathroom.
  • Tub or shower replacement is a project at the costlier end of the spectrum. Though if the fixture is showing its age through stains, hairline cracks or other faults, then this project will be well worth your while. You’ll need to take a few factors into consideration — such as potential bathroom reconfigurations to accommodate a tub or shower in a new size or shape — but the result will give you a modern, functional and beautiful bathroom.

2. Get Inspired!

 

Today, there are so many ways to find inspiration for a bathroom remodel. Of course, the Internet is an excellent resource, filled with remodeling blogs, image galleries, contractor portfolios and more — all of which are great ways to get ideas and look at elements such as color schemes, lighting configurations and more.

 

Beyond online galleries, however, there is another resource of which you should take advantage. Whenever possible, make sure to visit showroom floors. At Modern Bathroom, for instance, our showroom in North Hollywood displays a wide selection of products and fixtures you can see in person. This is a great way to get inspiration. More importantly, a hands-on look at the fixtures you are considering will help you decide which pieces are the best fit for your needs and personal taste.

3. Learn About Standard Bathroom Dimensions

 

Planning can be tough, especially if you are thinking about moving the major fixtures from their original places. As you lay out your new bathroom on paper, it is essential that you know what some of the most common standard bathroom dimensions are. Here is a quick list to get you started:

 

  • Toilets require a space that is at least 30 inches wide, although wider — up to 36 inches — tends to feel more comfortable.
  • Though bathtubs vary, a standard off-the-shelf bathtub measures 60 inches in length by 30 or 32 inches in width. Depths can vary, ranging between 14 and 20 inches.
  • Sinks need at least 30 inches of space but keep in mind that those 30 inches will leave you with very little counter space; 36 inches or 48 inches is better.


4. Create an Exhaustive Remodeling Plan

 

Once you have ideas, dimensions and other details in hand, it is time to make a thorough bathroom remodeling plan. Start by making a list of the individual projects that you’d like to take on — anything from a new medicine cabinet or towel racks to painting, lighting and new fixtures. You’ll also want to make lists of suppliers, prices and even contractors that you’d like to contact about the project.

 

Another great way to plan is to make a blueprint of your bathroom. It doesn’t need to be a complex technical drawing. Simply use some graph paper to draw the general outline of the space, then sketch the fixtures as you’d like to see them once the project is complete. This will help you to ensure that the bathroom comes together exactly as you envision it. Just make sure that as you take measurements, you don’t forget about features such as dividing walls and other often overlooked details that can alter your measurements.

 

5. Don’t Forget the Details

 

Speaking of details, you’ll also want to go through your bathroom plans and make sure that you aren’t forgetting anything. Lighting, for instance, is usually overlooked. Homeowners sometimes simply replace existing light fixtures with new fixtures, instead of thinking how the lighting in the bathroom might be moved to increase the room’s functionality or sense of spaciousness. Some other details to consider include:

 

  • Electrical outlets and light switches and their placement.
  • Grout, caulk and other sealants, both colors and finishes.
  • Hardware — especially coordinating cabinet knobs, drawer pulls, light fixtures, towel racks and faucets so that colors and finishes match.

 

As you can see, there are lots of details to consider before you take on that bathroom remodeling project. Be sure to take a look at the products available at Modern Bathroom if you need some inspiration — and don’t hesitate to reach out with questions about the products that interest you.

 

Bathroom Vanity Ideas


The vanity is one of the centerpieces in the bathroom, and it will likely be the first item that your family and guests see when they enter. Do you want your bathroom’s focal point to look sleek, modern and effortless? Do you prefer a more classic, sophisticated style? What about if you have a big family requiring a blend of form and function to avoid conflicts over surface space? Regardless of what you want, a great place to start is by reading our helpful guide of bathroom vanity tips, below!

Choosing the Right Vanity Style

Most bathroom vanities fall into one of three style categories: antique, transitional and modern. These reflect the outside appearance of the unit, though all three are available in a variety of finishes, colors and models. They can accommodate a number of sinks and mounting styles (more on this later).

Antique Vanities

This vanity style echoes eras past through flourishes and more ornate details. Antique vanities are ideal for people who want an opulent or traditional look to their house. At Modern Bathroom, our James Martin range offers a selection of beautiful and richly finished oak and cherry cabinets. For a big family, consider the Brookfield Double Vanity. Meanwhile, for a compact single unit that will work with any space, the 26” Mykonos Single Vanity is a perfect fit.

Transitional Vanities

This style bridges antique and modern with a midcentury sort of feel. These pieces would be equally at place in a Frank Lloyd Wright-style home or your apartment. The Wyndham Collection offers these vanities in a tremendous range of colors and shapes, including some units that are 78 inches or longer, ideal for families that like to have a lot of countertop room. For a clean and classic look, try the Deborah 36" Single Bathroom Vanity in white to brighten the room.

Modern Vanities

Do you love to stay on trend with the latest in design aesthetics? If so, you’ll be sure to find a modern vanity in a style that shows off your personal taste. Colors and designs vary, but you can expect clean lines, sharp angles, metal accents and perhaps color blocking. If you like the minimalism of ash grey, consider the Madeli Metro 48” Vanity with quartz top.

Choosing the Right Vanity Design

Single vs. Double Vanities

Bathroom vanities come in many styles and layouts. The first thing you need to consider is the room’s dimensions. Do you have space for a wider vanity with double sinks? Even if you do, you may still prefer one sink. This gives you access to extra counter space. A rule of thumb is that a double vanity requires a minimum width of 48 inches. If you’re interested, take a look at the sleekly designed Madeli Soho series.

Type of Sink Mounting

The sink or sinks can be mounted above the counter top, level with it, slightly recessed or as an under-mount. Each style has distinct advantages and disadvantages: 
     
  • Above-counter or vessel sinks are stylish and elegant, but are generally slightly more expensive. It can also be more difficult to clean in the nooks around them.      

  • Integrated or level sinks are the standard for many households, and you’ll find a wide variety of prices and selections available to suit your design and budget.      
  • Recessed sinks can create an interesting visual impact in a room. They lend themselves well to a modern, minimalist aesthetic.    
  • Under-mounted sinks are another popular choice, but they may require extra steps for installation.

5 Tips for Choosing the Right Bathroom Vanity

1. Measure the space.

This tip may seem simple, but don’t skip it while brainstorming bathroom vanity ideas. Because, you might end up falling in love with a unit that can’t fit in the space. Remember to account for doorway width, as well.

2. Consider the user.

There is no one-size-fits-all vanity. Different households will have different needs. A working professional couple who gets ready for work at the same time every morning may appreciate double sinks. A vanity for a teenager’s bathroom should have lots of shelves and extra storage options. If the unit is going in a guest bathroom, you may opt for a more minimalist design.

3. Decide on materials.

A stone countertop looks elegant, but may need more maintenance than sturdy materials such as acrylic or porcelain. You may prefer an integrated sink for easy cleaning, but that limits your choice of materials, as well.

4. Consider placement.

You want plenty of space for people to move comfortably past the vanity. Lighting also matters. Look for sources of natural light, consider where the lamps are, and if all else fails, have more lighting sources wired in place.

5. Plan your budget.

This includes both the price of the unit itself, installation fees and the cost of yearly maintenance for certain materials. There are ways that you can get the look you want at varying price points. For instance, if you love the look of natural stone, there are a number of materials that mimic it. It’s also possible to splurge on the countertop you want, if you opt for a more affordable base. Hopefully the above guide has given you some inspiration and guidance on choosing the perfect vanity for your bathroom. For even more bathroom vanity ideas, we encourage you to browse Modern Bathroom’s extensive selection!

All About Bathroom Lighting: 4 Need-To-Know Lighting Details


If you’re remodeling your bathroom into the luxurious home spa you’ve always wanted, you’ve probably poured over tubs, tiles and faucets. Don't forget light fixtures, though — bathroom lighting has a huge impact on your bathroom’s overall design. The right lighting can turn your bathroom from the place where you brush your teeth into a sanctuary of luxury. First, consider the following four essentials of bathroom lighting.

1. What’s the Color and Temperature of Your Bathroom Lighting?

Have you ever noticed how the clothes you try on in the department store never quite look the same in your bathroom mirror? Don't blame the mirrors; it's probably your bathroom lighting. "Plain" white light can have a multitude of shades, colors and temperatures that impact how your clothes and makeup look. You’ll almost instinctively notice that every light bulb or lamp has a “temperature” or color tint to it that makes it cooler or warmer. 

Bathroom lighting experts often recommend sticking to the warm white light, as shown in the color/temperature breakdown below. (Hint: Try warm white 2700-3000 kelvins (K) for the most flattering bathroom lighting). 

• Daylight: 4600-6500K 
• Cool white light: 3100-4500K 
• Warm white light: 2000-3000K 

Remember that different parts of the bathroom may benefit from different light temperatures depending on room size, decor colors and natural light from windows.

2. What Is the Color Rendering Index of Your Bathroom Lighting?

To take the color and temperature concept of bathroom lighting a little further, it’s a good idea to understand the Color Rendering Index (CRI). This number can indicate how accurate colors look under certain lighting sources.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) designed this 0-100 scale (100 having the best color rendering), based on how well lights display pastel colors. This scale assumes that lights closer to 100 CRI that bring out the best in pastels will also work well with richer colors. Try for at least 80 CRI in your bathroom lights. 

Note: The CRI is fairly accurate with most standard bathroom lighting options, but can be a little off with LED lamps. NIST and other lighting experts are trying to come up with a scale that accurately measures color rendering for LED lights as well as other lighting sources.

3. What Wattage Is Best for Bathroom Lighting?

We’ve covered the color, temperature and color-rendering factors of your bathroom lighting; now let’s discuss brightness, which is measured in wattage. There are several factors that will impact how bright you want the lights in your bathroom to be — 75-100 watts go well in guest and master bathrooms. However, for half-baths or powder rooms, 45-60 watts is fine. Keep in mind that as you age, or if the users of the bathroom are seniors, staying around 100 watts will aid with vision and safety. 

If you want to have more bathroom lighting options in the wattage and brightness department, consider installing dimmers. That way, you can use all 100 watts to wake yourself in the morning and apply makeup or shave without cutting yourself. Later that evening, you can dim to 35 watts for a relaxing bedtime bath.

4. How Many Lights Do I Need in the Bathroom?

Each light in your bathroom should serve your ability to see what you need to see, as well as providing the right ambiance and design effects. You’ll need to consider your bathroom’s size, ceiling height and how your bathroom lighting can diminish glare and unflattering shadows. There are also different types of bathroom lighting to consider: 

• Task lights: Essential to any bathroom lighting scheme, task lights usually go around vanity areas in the vicinity of the sink so you can put on makeup, shave, brush your teeth, etc. We recommend installing task lighting on either side of your mirror instead of above the mirror. Lights above the mirror tend to create glare and shadows you want to avoid. Though lighting on the sides casts an even glow for your morning routine. Consider vertical bathroom lighting bars, pendants or sconce light fixtures. 
• Ambient lights: These are the lights that cast general illumination across the bathroom. You can accomplish this with rows of recessed lighting; ceiling-facing light fixtures that reflect light across the entire bathroom; and decorative central light fixtures that radiate light in all directions. 
• Accent lights: Directional recessed lighting can be angled to illuminate artwork or impressive design elements in your bathroom. Hanging light fixtures such as chandeliers can lead the eye toward a beautiful claw-foot tub or other features; while enhancing the general ambient bathroom lighting. Some of the hottest styles include under-cabinet, floor-level lighting that sets off bathroom floor designs as well as providing low levels of light for middle-of-the-night bathroom visits. 
• Decorative lights: These bathroom lighting ideas stand out as design elements on their own. Chandeliers, sconces and other “eye candy” lights can brighten your bathroom and add decorative touches that highlight your unique style. 

Instead of thinking of each of these bathroom lighting elements as independent items, try to imagine them as layers of lighting. Each lighting element should complement and enhance the others, while also standing alone beautifully. 

From mirrors to vanities to baths, Modern Bathroom can help you create the oasis you want. We encourage you to browse our products and contact us with any questions.

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