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

Guide To Cleaning A Porcelain Tub


Anyone who owns a porcelain tub would tell you that the worst part of having one is cleaning it. Whether you’re talking about a vintage claw-foot tub that’s made of cast iron and coated with porcelain or a new model for which you’ve been the only owner, porcelain tubs need regular upkeep to keep it looking good. When you find an old one, it’s not uncommon for it to have dingy, dirty marks from years of use. When you buy a new one, it won’t be long before you see some signs of damage. 

  • If you’ve got a porcelain tub that you want to clean, what should you do? 
  • What materials should be avoided, and which are the best for getting your tub clean? 
 To help answer these questions, here’s a look at the basics of porcelain tubs and what you need to know to care for them.

The Appeal and Frustration of Old Porcelain Tubs

If you’re the kind of person who loves vintage charm, you probably love porcelain tubs. Made of cast iron and covered with porcelain enamel, porcelain tubs are beautiful and luxurious. What’s more, they’re designed to be durable. However, over enough time and use, they tend to chip, crack and dull. In fact, if you use the wrong products on the tub, you can wind up damaging it even faster. This is why understanding the proper materials and methods for cleaning is so important.

Materials to Avoid

When it comes to porcelain enamel, abrasive cleaners and materials can ding or chip the surface, making it even worse through the cleaning process. To avoid increased damage, here are a few materials to avoid: 

  • Scouring powder 
  • White vinegar 
  • Steel wool

Materials to Gather

You know what materials to avoid, but what materials should you use? When you buy or rent a home or otherwise inherit an old porcelain tub, you need a few key materials to take care of it properly. About once a month you will need to gather the following materials to deep-clean your tub: 

  • Warm water 
  • A bucket 
  • ¼ cup ammonia 
  • ¼ cup baking soda 
  • A cloth or non-abrasive nylon sponge for scrubbing 
  • For tough stains: Salt and the juice of half a lemon

How to Deep-Clean the Tub

Fill a bucket with warm water and add ammonia and baking soda to the liquid. Soak a cloth or sponge in the mixture and use it to scrub the tub — focusing especially on stained spots. Keep dipping the sponge, scrubbing and repeating until the tub is clean. Afterward, rinse it well with warm water and use a clean rag to wipe the tub clean.

What to Do About Tough Stains

If you have any tough-to-remove stains on the tub, cover them with salt and squeeze the juice of half a lemon on top. Or, you can try two parts baking soda and one part hydrogen peroxide set on a stain for about 30 minutes. Use a clean cloth or sponge to scrub the salt mixture into the stain and remove it. If this doesn’t work, leave the salt mixture on the stain for about an hour and retry with a little more lemon juice.

Strategy for Weekly Upkeep

Once your bathtub is sufficiently cleaned, all you need to do is gently clean it on a regular basis to keep it in good shape. Ideally, you’ll want to give it a scrub once a week or so. Here’s what to do: 

  • Mix a gallon of hot water with a few tablespoons of dishwashing soap. 
  • Use a cloth or sponge to scrub the tub’s entire surface. 
  • Rinse well and repeat a week later. You may also want to polish your tub with a little lemon essential oil, rubbed all over with a soft cloth.

What to Do About Stubborn Stains That Won’t Clean

If proper cleaning and upkeep do not resolve your bathtub’s stains and damage, another option is to call in professional help. Through a re-glazing service, you may be able to see your cast-iron fixture looking like new again.

Where to Find a Quality Bathtub

If you’re in the market for a new porcelain bathtub or other bathroom fixture, Modern Bathroom is your online resource. We’re proud to offer factory-direct prices that save customers up to 70 percent off retail costs on bathroom products of all kinds. What’s more, we offer free shipping and a low-price guarantee. If you buy from us, we’ll refund 110 percent of the difference when you find a lower price on that product anywhere else within 30 days. Shop our website to learn more!

Bathroom Remodeling Myths

There are many myths circulating about bathroom remodeling — such as: these endeavors are massively costly but despite that cost, the remodel itself adds no value to the home. Further, the only reason to remodel a bathroom is to make it more luxurious.

Bathroom remodels, according to these myths, add no functionality and offer no ways to save money. Read on, and you’ll soon see that none of these myths are true!

Myth No. 1: Bathroom Remodels Add No Value to a Home

One of the biggest misconceptions about bathroom remodeling is that remodels add no value to a home. While it is true that you are unlikely to recoup the entire cost of a bathroom remodel, at least a large-scale remodel, it is not true that you will end up losing money in the long run. Think of it this way: A bathroom that has not been recently remodeled only serves to drag down a home’s value, often drastically, depending on the condition of the bathroom. This is because when prospective buyers see the bathroom, it not only colors their impression of the home but it also makes them think about how much money they will need to spend on updates after purchasing the home. 

In that sense, it is better to get the remodeling done to preserve the value of your home as a whole. As far as cost recoupment goes, Remodeling.com’s 2017 “Cost Versus Value Report” shows that nationwide, homeowners were spending an average of $18,000 on a bathroom remodel and recouping an average of $12,000 on the remodel during the sale of the home. 

Keep in mind that this cost is for a large-scale remodel that includes replacing walls and moving fixtures. On top of that, it does not factor in money saved on green upgrades and smart features. All in all, bathroom remodels will significantly increase the value of your home. Plus, you’ll enjoy a cleaner, fresher, more useful space throughout your time in the home.

Myth No. 2: The Major Benefit Is the Luxury of the Upgrade

The idea that a bathroom remodel adds no functionality is another myth that homeowners should ignore. It is true that a bathroom remodel will increase the luxury of the bathroom, but there are many more reasons than that to consider an upgrade. 
 
  • If you have hairline fractures in the tub, sink or toilet, then upgrades will certainly help you prevent costly leaks and damage down the road. 
  • Remodeling is your chance to add organizational options such as shelving or additional cabinetry.
  • Lighting can be moved around or increased. If you find yourself styling hair or doing makeup in some other, brighter part of the home, then you’ll appreciate the ability to confine these tasks to the bathroom where they belong. 
  • There are money-saving options to be had. Increase energy efficiency with new light fixtures and save money on the water bill with low-flow faucets and a water-saving toilet.

Myth No. 3: Remodeling Does Not Help You Save Money or Increase Your Home’s Eco-Friendliness

Remodeling within your bathroom can absolutely help you cut utility bills and make the bathroom more environmentally friendly. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, simply replacing the top five most often used fixtures or lightbulbs within your home can cut the electric bill by $75 per year or more. Multiply that across all of the lightbulbs and fixtures in your bathroom — or across the entire home — and you’ll see that those savings are substantial. 

Even more importantly, the bathroom is responsible for at least half the water usage in the average home. 

  • According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average bathroom faucet uses 2.2 gallons per minute. While faucets marked with the WaterSense label flow at a maximum of 1.5 gallons per minute. Replace faucets to save 30 percent on water usage in the bathroom sink and shower. 
  • WaterSense faucets not only save gallons per minute but they save on water heating costs, as well. The fewer hot water gallons per minute used, the less energy is used to heat the water.
  • Leaky toilets often go unnoticed but can go through up to 200 gallons of water each day. Replace older toilets to prevent such leaks.
  • Further, think about replacing the toilet with a new high-efficiency model. Even if your current fixture does not leak, a high efficiency toilet can save you 4,000 gallons per year — enough to pay for the cost of the upgrade quickly.

Myth No. 4: Remodeling Makes Your Bathroom Larger

It is a major misnomer that bathroom remodeling increases the size of the bathroom. The only way to increase a bathroom’s size is to remove walls and expand into other rooms. If you don’t plan on doing this, then the size of your bathroom will remain unchanged.That doesn’t mean you can’t make the bathroom feel larger, however. Plan the remodel well, adding plenty of new organizational options and storage spaces, and the bathroom will operate more efficiently with less clutter, which in turn helps the bathroom feel more expansive. Additionally, bright lighting and light-colored finishes will give the room a fresh, airy look — another factor that helps enhance the sense of space.

Myth No. 5: Bathroom Remodels Are Expensive

On average, bathroom remodeling costs $18,000. That fact lends credence to the idea that bathroom remodels are costly. Bathroom remodeling does not have to come with a huge price tag. It all depends on the scale of the project, the materials selected and the amount of work that you are prepared to do yourself. 

A small-scale bathroom remodel, for example, could be as simple as new grout; a coat of paint; and fresh caulk around the sink, tub and toilet, just to freshen the room. This is a project that can be completed by the homeowner over the course of a weekend for $200 or less. The average cost to install a new toilet is between $360 and $500 (one more task that isn’t all that expensive compared to the value and cost savings that you will reap from the project). 

Rather than allowing contractors to purchase the items you need at whatever cost their suppliers offer, shop Modern Bathroom to find the fixtures you want at an affordable price. This is another way you can keep costs low. 

There are many myths surrounding bathroom remodeling but these five are the most prominent — and the most likely to make you hesitate when you consider undertaking this project. Remember, they simply aren’t true. Don’t let them get in the way of your remodel!

Bathroom Fixtures: Trends For 2018


Remodeling a bathroom can be a big investment of time and money. Instead of having your house disrupted for weeks with a full bathroom remodel from the floor up, why not take a shortcut? Updating the bathroom fixtures is an easy way to change the look of the whole room. Are you not sure where to begin? Read our quick guide to the top six upcoming trends in bathroom design for 2018.

Trend No. 1: Combine modern design with eco-friendly elements in your bathroom faucets.

Did you know that two of the biggest upcoming trends in bathroom sink faucets are chrome and hands-free operation? Chrome has been a popular material in the past. Now this stylish trend is making a big comeback for good reason: It’s durable, easy to clean, and the reflective qualities of the finish immediately add a luxurious, high-shine appeal to the space. 

The hands-free feature is a relatively new trend for home use. This not only is more hygienic but it can also cut your water consumption by nearly half because the built-in sensor will turn the water flow off immediately when the fixture isn’t in use. This makes units such as the Standard EcoPower a perfect fit for families with young children or anyone with mobility issues. It’s also a great feature for homes in dry, water-restricted areas.

Trend No. 2: Chic and fashionable bathtubs.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you start looking for the perfect bathtub. There are so many styles available, from claw foot to alcove to freestanding varieties. How do you make this big decision? 

The first step is to consider the size and space that you have available. Many bathrooms already have a “bathtub nook” built into the floor plan. This prepared space can help guide you to the right style. Next, think about which specialty features you want. One popular upcoming trend is whirlpool bathtubs. These are the ultimate in luxury and are available at a varied selection of price points. Do you prefer a shower over a full bath? Clear glass doors such as the Bath Authority Dreamline Range are a popular and easy to maintain option.

Trend No. 3: New twists on bathtub faucets.

Just like with your bathroom sink, there are several popular new trends coming up for bathtub faucets and other hardware. This is a great option if you don’t want to replace the whole bathtub. Instead, you can immediately update the space with a new, trendy faucet

Break out of a style rut by looking at unusual finishes such as tumbled bronze, brass or even crystal. These can completely transform the aesthetic of your bathtub. You can also look for innovative designs. For instance, floor-mounted faucets such as those offered by the Wyndham Collection add immediate modern style.

Trend No. 4: New styles of shower heads that can enhance your bathroom’s appeal.

What are some popular new trends in shower heads? Many people prefer a handshower. You should look for one that features multiple control settings such as the Danze Boost Three-Function Handshower. Another popular option is a rainfall head. These wide shower heads mimic the gentle fall of natural rain showers. Some come in a variety of eco-friendly options. 
 
Other features to consider include ceiling-mounted shower heads. These are a great option for homes that include tall people, as they maximize the available space. Ceiling-mounted shower heads come in chrome or brushed nickel finishes, for example. Some units, including the TOTO Aimes Ceiling-Mount Shower Head, even have built-in LED lights that use the latest technology — hydropower.

Trend No. 5: Enhancing your comfort with immersive design features.

Many homeowners dream of enjoying a spa-like experience every time they step into the bathroom. Small updates are a great way to enhance your enjoyment of the space. You can upgrade to a steam shower by investing in a steam generator unit. You can also add a luxurious touch to your bathroom through enhanced levels of control to the bathtub. For the most modern and cutting-edge option, consider an all-in-one product like the Grohe F-digital Puck Digital Controller. This unit allows you to adjust the water flow and temperature with just the press of a button.

Trend No. 6: Updating hardware and accessories creates immediate impact.

Looking for a quick and cost-effective way to update your bathroom’s look? Consider swapping older styles of hardware, such as shower bars and towel rings, with a newer design. Let’s start with shower bars. These safety features are securely mounted to the inside wall of your shower or bath enclosure, giving you something stable to grab if you slip. They are available in a wide variety of styles and lengths to suit your household needs and design aesthetic. 

Meanwhile, towel rings are one of the first items that your guests will see and this is an easy place to show off your creativity. For a modern, edgy look, consider a ring like the Grohe Allure. Want something more classic and timeless? Try the Grohe Geneva. This sleek ring features a minimalist circle design in an oil-rubbed bronze finish. 

A well-designed and stylish bathroom will make a big impact in your house. Not only can it impress your guests and increase the value of your home, but you and your family will enjoy the space more if it has been designed with thought and care. 

For all of your bathroom design needs, browse our endless variety of affordable, quality products at Modern Bathroom.

Make Every Day A Spa Day: Create Your Own Home Spa

These days, homeowners are looking for ways to bring elements of the spa into the home. Life is fast-paced, there are more stresses than ever before, and there just always isn’t time to head to the nearest spa. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive to create an at-home spa. Here are a few factors that you’ll need to consider to make every day a spa day.

1. Choose the Right Space

The first detail you’ll need to consider is the space you have available. An at-home spa should provide privacy. The bathroom should also be equipped with a tub or large walk-in shower. If your home has more than one bathroom, then pick the bath that will best meet your needs. What’s more, don’t forget to plan around upgrades. For example, let’s say you plan to add a steam shower: Not only will the bath need the space for this new fixture, but it will also be helpful if there is an adjoining closet in an adjacent room or some other convenient yet out-of-the-way space to place the steam generator.

2. Consider Your Color Palette

The color palette is one of the more inexpensive ways to ensure that your bathroom provides a spa-like experience. Typically, the spa experience is meant to evoke a sense of natural beauty, which is why natural color schemes are ideal for an at-home spa. There are many directions you can take to create such a color scheme. It all depends on the precise effect that you want to create. For example:
  • Earth tones are popular because they evoke a rustic, woodsy feeling. Mix olive greens, muted blues, browns and other earthy shades to embrace this theme.
  • Cool greens are another popular color palette. This color scheme tends to be light and refreshing, ideal if you want a rejuvenating spa experience.
  • Blues are reminiscent of water. Use these tones if you’d like the spa experience to remind you of a day at the beach.

3. Which Materials Should You Choose?

If you decide to upgrade flooring or a tile backsplash — both of which are inexpensive ways to enhance the room’s ambience — then the material choices should be based in large part on the selected color palette. If you want earth tones, for example, then faux stone tiling might be the perfect way to enhance that natural appeal. In a spa bath done in greens, vinyl flooring that mimics bamboo or another light, fine-grained wood is ideal. Similarly, if you are creating a beachy blue spa bath, then you may want to accessorize with floors or backsplashes in coordinating blues or in sandy shades.

4. Think About Lighting

Lighting is another essential element in the spa experience. Of course, you’ll need enough light to see, but harsh lighting takes away from the mood that you are creating. Traditionally, spas are dimly lit because dimmer lighting is much more relaxing. There is a conundrum, however. When it comes to doing makeup, styling hair or attending to the myriad other tasks that you need to accomplish each morning, bright lighting is helpful. So, what is the solution? For most, this means installing LED lighting or replacing existing bulbs with LED bulbs. This type of lighting tends to produce a softer, more diffused light compared to fluorescent. Another great option is to install a dimmer switch. This is an easy and inexpensive way to get complete control over the room’s lighting.

5. Update Your Sink

Another smart technique to add to the sense of luxury within your spa is to upgrade the bathroom sink. Consider a bowl sink or a trough-style sink. Both options are versatile enough for daily use and they’re stylish — guaranteed to add the ambience that your bathroom needs to complete the spa experience. Best of all, the investment for this project is minimal — around $100 or $200 to purchase a vessel sink. Plus, the project can be completed over a weekend.

6. Add All the Extras

Part of what makes a spa so luxurious are all the extras. This means thick, fluffy towels, all the toiletries you could possibly need, and more. When it comes to decorating, here are some accessories that you may want to add:
  • With a few candles, you can enjoy the warm feeling of candlelight to your spa along with a soothing scent.
  • Oil diffusers or other aromatherapy products can help you to relax or wake up, depending on the scents you choose.
  • Add natural touches with plants. A potted plant or two will work if you have a window for them. Otherwise, consider decorating with sprigs of eucalyptus or other fresh-smelling foliage.
  • You should also think about themed decor. For example, place a bowl of river stones on the counter in an earthy spa bath or decorate with seashells in a beach-themed spa.

7. Upgrade With New Fixtures

Finally, if you are looking for a little more out of your spa bath, consider upgrading the fixtures. This could be as basic as adding a massaging showerhead or massaging jet panel to your shower; or as complex as adding a steam shower to the space. Steam showers, in particular, are an excellent option. Because, unlike a spa bathtub with jets or another, more complex fixture, extensive plumbing upgrades generally aren’t required. This means you can complete the installation for as little as $1,000 to $2,000 — a small investment to make when compared to repeat purchases of day passes to your local spa. 

As you can see, a spa bathroom doesn’t mean spending thousands of dollars on renovations and upgrades. Simple changes to existing fixtures and the room’s color scheme are enough to give you that spa-like experience without the expense. Even if you choose to splurge on a steam shower, the cost is not as large as you might think! Be sure to browse Modern Bathroom’s unbeatable and affordable products to help you create the perfect spa for your home.

7 Bathroom Renovations for New Year’s Resolutions


A new year is a great time to get a new bathroom — after all, at a point when you’re already gearing up for new goals, why not make an investment that lasts? If you’re like many homeowners, your bathroom saw a lot of traffic during the holidays. Amid all the chaos of the season, a bathroom update has likely been one of the last tasks on your priority list. Yet now, as the calendar turns to January, you have the perfect chance to finally pay some attention to this important space. What do you think? Does the idea of “new year, new bathroom” appeal to you?

A Worthy New Year Goal

A bathroom renovation is a New Year’s resolution of which you’ll be thankful for later. Why does it make so much sense to update your bath? Here are a few of the benefits that come from investing in this space: 

  • Increased sales appeal.

Most real estate agents agree that buyers like kitchens and baths. That means, when you invest in your bathroom, you may invest in a better selling price. You set your home apart in the home competition and make it more desirable to potential buyers. 

  • Increased enjoyment.

While it’s true that bathroom updates add selling power, they’re also valuable when you don’t plan to put your home on the market. If you’re going to stay in your home for a while, you’re the one who’ll get to enjoy its new amenities every day. 

  • Extra storage space.

Renovating a bathroom gives you the chance to add storage to de-clutter the space. Whether that’s through vertical cabinets, open shelving or retrofitted furniture, that storage can free you to better manage and organize your daily routine. 

  • Long-term cost savings.

Save money and increase efficiency with energy-saving fixtures such as water-saving faucets, toilets, showerheads or lighting. Not only do these features conserve water, but they also may lower your bills.

Goals for Your Bathroom Renovation

As you’re planning what to incorporate into your remodeling project, here are some ideas worth considering. 

1. Get new floors

One of the most eye-catching and important aspects of a modern bathroom is the flooring. To make your renovation shine, consider a polished marble floor or a slip-resistant tile that adds quality and style to your space. 

2. Put in a curbless shower.

A no-threshold shower creates a cleaner, more seamless look in the bathroom, as the flooring can continue throughout the entire space and allow for less visual separation. As a bonus, curbless showers are an asset to older homeowners who wish to age in place. They make it easier for you to stay in your home, or they’re a selling feature to homebuyers looking for a long-term residence. 

3. Install a built-in bench in the shower.

If your shower is large enough to accommodate a built-in seating area, incorporate it into your renovation. A seat adds a place to set toiletries, prop up legs for shaving, rest beneath the pouring water and more. Even just a small corner bench is an asset.

4. Add a handshower.

It may seem like a small luxury, but adding a detachable showerhead that can be held in your hands and moved throughout the shower is a great feature. Not only will this kind of showerhead add comfort to daily showers, but it also is a real help when someone’s disabled, injured or aging and needs extra accessibility in the bath.

5. Add a separate toilet room.

Putting some separation between the toilet area and the rest of the bath is always an asset. Most modern bathrooms don’t have separate space for the commode, so one way to update is to create a private room to conceal the toilet. A water closet adds value and elegance to a space that’s already large enough to house one.

6. Incorporate extra storage space.

One of the primary needs bathrooms have is storage space — places to set toiletries, towels, bath products, etc. For a high-end storage feature, go with vertical cabinets that continue the full height of the wall.

7. Get efficient bathroom features.

Whether it’s a water-saving toilet or an efficient showerhead, any bathroom features that are eco-friendly and saves energy can save you money in the long term. If you’re going to renovate your bathroom in the new year, you may as well look for energy-efficient features that add value. 

As the calendar ushers in a new year, take the opportunity to freshen your home. When you’re looking to renovate and breathe new life into your bathroom, Modern Bathroom is your resource. As the Internet’s leading provider of factory-direct bathroom features and fixtures, our company provides low prices that save you up to 70 percent on bathroom elements. Shop our online catalog today to learn more!

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