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!

DIY Bathroom Shower Install Vs. Hiring A Contractor

If you’re thinking about a bathroom remodel — one that includes installing a new shower — you’re probably wondering if you can do it yourself, or if you ought to hire a contractor. Read on and we’ll detail the pros and cons of both options so that you can make the right decision.

DIY vs. Contractors

 If you consider yourself handy, then there are a couple of major pros to doing DIY bathroom fixes:

  • Save money on labor costs.
  • Do the work on your own schedule, possibly minimizing disruption around the home.

Even though you’ll pay more for labor with a contractor, contractors have many advantages:

  • They have all the necessary tools, whereas you may need to invest in tools that you might not need after the renovation.
  • DIY projects — because you’re working on them in the evenings after work or on the weekends — normally take far longer than projects completed by a contractor.
  • Are you prepared for contingencies should problems arise? Contractors are equipped to deal with all the problems that could be hidden behind your shower — plumbing that you didn’t know was leaking, subflooring that needs to be replaced, and so on.
  • Good contractors guarantee a professional look, whereas an inexperienced DIYer might make a few small mistakes that stand out, such as oddly cut tiles, fixtures that aren’t level, or finishing details like trim that aren’t quite right.

Working with a Contractor

Working with a contractor is easy. Once you’ve found someone who is within your budget and does excellent work, then it is time to sit with the contractor and hash out deadlines, materials and other details. If there are certain aspects of the job that you can do yourself — like the demolition, painting, tile work and other finishing projects — then let your contractor know in order to save money on the project. You can also opt to buy your own shower and shower hardware at a discount rather than having the contractor make the purchases from his or her suppliers.

The Importance of Remodeling and Knowledgeable Contractors

There are many great reasons to replace a bathroom shower. Obviously, it’s time to remodel if the shower is broken or so worn that it is stained or difficult to clean. In addition, remodeling is the only way that you’ll be able to keep up with interior design trends — an important factor in maintaining a home’s value.

A contractor is one of your best assets when it comes to choosing design styles and themes. These professionals spend each day listening to the needs of their clients, which means that they know which styles are in high demand in your area.

Who Needs a Contractor?

When it comes to a bathroom remodel, almost everyone can benefit from the services of a contractor. The fact is, unless you happen to be a contractor yourself, then it’s quite likely that you’re unaware of all of the issues that could occur. Again, unless you are a contractor, you may not have the tools, experience and knowledge to get the professional results that a contractor can provide.

Where to Purchase Your Shower and Other Fixtures

It sometimes seems like the easiest way to buy a new shower and all the fixtures that go along with it is to shop at your local home improvement centers. However, this comes with a couple of major disadvantages: First, you’ll be locked in to paying retail prices. The second disadvantage is that home improvement centers have a very limited selection. At any given time, you’ll only find a small sampling of showers, tubs, faucets and fixtures.

The better option is to find an online retailer that can give you factory-direct savings and an immense selection. That is where we come in. At Modern Bathroom, you can save up to 70 percent on tubs, showers and other fixtures. Want to learn more? Call 1-888-777-1198 or contact us today.

Creating An Eco-Friendly Bathroom

Of all the rooms in your home, the bathroom is one of the easiest to convert to eco-friendly living. Time is spent in your bathroom every day, which means you’re sure to get your money’s worth from any eco-friendly upgrades that are installed here.

Let’s see how you can save money and protect the planet by cutting water and energy use in your bathroom.

Saving water with eco-friendly bathroom fixtures

If you’re like most families, you use more water in your bathroom than anywhere else — and much of it is hot water, which adds to your energy use. Switching to water-wise fixtures will help reduce both your impact on the planet and your utility bills.

Water-saving showerheads

The easiest place to start is with a low-flow showerhead. This is an inexpensive device that can cut hot water consumption by 40 percent. You can replace a showerhead in a matter of minutes. By doing this, you’ll be saving resources with every shower you take. Standard showerheads spray at about 2.5 gallons per minute. An eco-friendly showerhead uses no more than 2 gallons per minute, and many use less than that.

The nicest perk about it? You probably won’t even know you’re saving water! Today’s low-flow showerhead technology comes in a variety of styles, including standard, hand-held and rainshower. Whichever you choose, look forward to enjoying a luxurious and invigorating shower experience, despite using less water.

High-efficiency faucets

Choosing an eco-friendly, low-flow bathroom faucet can make a significant difference in your water use. Water-efficient bathroom faucets have a maximum flow of 1.5 gallons per minute, which can save 30 percent or more over the standard faucet. You need not sacrifice aesthetics to go green with your faucet, either. Dozens of attractive eco-friendly faucet models are available at all price points in styles ranging from classic to ultramodern. We also stock a number of low-lead faucets for those who are concerned about minimizing the risk of lead in drinking water.

Low-flow toilets

Depending on your current model, you could reduce your toilet water consumption by up to 60 percent simply by switching to a water-efficient toilet. According to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates, this could save you more than $2,200 over time. Eco-friendly toilets are available in many styles to suit any bathroom décor.

Eco-friendly bathroom vanities

When it’s time to get rid of that unsightly old under-sink cabinet, choosing an eco-friendly replacement will demonstrate your respect for people and planet. An eco-friendly bathroom cabinet is manufactured in a way that is respectful to the planet, and can include one or more of the following features:

  • Made from sustainably harvested wood
  • Made from recycled material
  • Made from non-toxic material
  • Manufactured in a facility that is certified to be environmentally friendly through a widely recognized certification program such as LEED
  • Highly durable to reduce landfill stress

Who benefits from eco-friendly bathroom products?

An eco-friendly bathroom is great for you and your family because it can help limit exposure to harmful chemicals and/or save you money on water and water heating. It’s good for your community because you will be helping protect precious, local water resources. Plus, since everything in the environment is interconnected, when you invest in products that use resources wisely, it benefits everyone on the planet.

Helping you go green in 2016

If you are looking for green bathroom solutions, be sure to check out our line of eco-friendly bathroom products. We’ve carefully chosen a wide selection of water-efficient and earth-friendly bathroom fixtures and vanities sure to please any taste. We’ve also set up a special area on our website to make it easy for you to shop green. Or, if you prefer to browse general categories, just look for the green leaf logo on the bottom left of our product images.

Of course, if you have any questions about how our products can help you go green in 2016, we’re here to help! Just call toll-free at 1-888-777-1198 or contact us online.

Four Common Toilet Problems (& How to Fix Them)

Overflowing, constantly running, and sweating toilets can be an annoyance for homeowners and renters alike. Sometimes you’ll have to call a professional plumber for a quick fix, but there are quite a few toilet problems you can fix on your own. Whether you’re on a tight budget or are a DIYer at heart, sometimes it just makes sense to roll up your sleeves and take control of the situation on your own. From phantom flushes to leaky seals, here are some common toilet issues and how you can fix them with your own two hands.

#1: Phantom Flushes

If you hear your toilet begin to spontaneously refill in the middle of the night or when not in use, it’s not a ghost- it’s what plumbers refer to as a phantom flush. Caused by a very slow leak from the tank into the bowl, the problem is usually caused by a bad flapper or flapper seat. If you think your toilet has this problem but want to make sure, you can run a quick diagnostic test. To do so, add food dye to the tank after all the water has stopped running. Wait ten minutes and check the bowl water- if it’s colored, you do in fact have a leak. Replacing the flapper and flap seat is easy- replacements are available at most hardware stores. When purchasing a replacement be sure to take the old one with you to find a replacement that matches correctly.

#2: Bowl Empties Slowly

Also referred to as a weak flush, a bowl that empties too slowly is usually the result of clogged holes underneath the rim of the bowl. You can use oversized toothpicks or a wire coat hanger to poke gently into each flush hole to clear out any debris. Be careful not to scratch the bowl while cleaning. If the problem persists even after this cleaning, a muriatic acid wash may do the trick. Mix one part acid to 10 parts water and use a funnel to carefully pour half the solution down the overflow tube in the toilet tank. You should hear fizzing right away. Be careful of the fumes- open a window, and run the fan. Let the acid work its magic for half an hour and pour the rest of the solution down the tube. Wait another half an hour and flush the toilet. Note: if you have a septic tank, do not do this. You’ll have to disassemble the toilet completely and do this process outdoors.

#3: Overflowing Water

If your toilet is about to overflow and your usual trick of shutting the lid and crossing your fingers won’t work, there are a few things you can do. As soon as the water level starts rising, reach into the tank and prop up the fill valve (or the ball that floats on top of the water.) This should stop the flow to the toilet, avoiding an overflow but, in case it doesn’t, keep a plunger nearby. If the overflow is caused by a clog there are several tools available. A force-cup plunger is more effective than a standard plunger for cleaning minor clogs and, for serious clogs, purchase a closet auger. Insert the end into the drain hole and twist the handle as you push the rotor downward. Be sure to use caution, as scratching the bowl could leave unsightly, permanent scratches.

#4: Leaky Seals

A standard toilet has at least five seals and, unsurprisingly, each has the potential for leaking. In each case, the solution is to identify the broken seal and, depending on the level of damage, either tighten it or replace it. A break of the largest seal, located between the tank and bowl, will be the most obvious, as water will shoot out from underneath the tank with every flush. The others won’t be as noticeable, as they’re smaller. Regardless of the location or type of seal, they’re all replaced the same way. Drain the seal, remove the tank, turn the tank upside down for better access, remove the seal, and pop on a new one. In some cases, tightening the bolts or mounting nut is enough to stop the leak. Try this method first and, if the seal is still leaking, replace the seal altogether using the above steps.

Tips for Converting a Tub to a Shower

If you’re thinking about converting your outdated bathtub into the luxurious walk-in shower you’ve always dreamed of, you’re in good company. According to the American Institute of Architects, bathrooms without bathtubs are growing in popularity. In fact, 60 percent of homeowners preferred stall showers to tubs in a 2013 survey. However, there’s a caveat: most real estate agents recommend keeping at least one bathtub in your home to preserve its marketability when you decide to sell your home. So, before you take a sledgehammer to your bathtub, here are some tips for making the process as seamless and affordable as possible.

Measure the Space

Not all showers will fit in the space that’s being occupied by your bathtub, which is why it’s important to measure your bathroom as precisely as possible. Most tubs are 60 inches wide, which is a great width for a shower. Unfortunately, many homeowners typically run into an issue with the depth. You’ll want to aim for at least 32 to 34 inches from the finished tile wall to the future glass shower door. To comply with the National Kitchen & Bath Association’s guidelines for bathrooms, you’ll also need to have a finished ceiling height of a minimum of 80 inches and a shower that’s at least 30 X 30 to comply. It’s also important to record the toilet location- a distance of 15 to 18 inches from the center of the toilet to the shower door tends to be comfortable.

If the measurements of your future shower don’t fall in line, you’ll likely need to put your shower in a different location of the bathroom, which will probably require the services of a professional contractor and/or designer.

What about the Shower Door?

Many DIYers forget about the shower door until it’s too late. To avoid the headache that comes along with that, figure out your shower door situation before you plan the renovation. Ask yourself a few questions: where will you put the door in your new shower? Does it interfere with the bathroom vanity or toilet? Will there be enough room to get in and out of the shower with the new shower door? If the walkway from the vanity or toilet to the shower is too tight for a swinging shower door, there are other alternatives available on the market, including glass block walls, sliding doors, and retainer walls. Tip: if the bathroom floor is going to get wet outside the shower, choose a slip-resistant material for the floor.

Take Your Time with Fixtures

Shopping for bathroom fixtures can actually be a lot of fun, as long as you take your time and do your research. Research your options, and keep an eye out for specials and possible out-of-the-box combos. Many first-time DIYers may feel pressure to purchase all their bathroom fixtures and accessories from the same brand, which isn’t a necessity. In fact, many professional designers mix and match fixtures from a few different companies. Since bathroom fixtures are mostly chosen for their aesthetics, as long as they all look great together they’re fair game. Tip: if you’re building a custom steam shower, it should be constructed by someone with at least five years’ experience with vapor proofing.

Lighting & Tile

The key to a polished-looking shower is to consider your lighting and tile options from the very beginning. Make sure to include lights inside your shower, not just outside or around it. Depending on the size and overall design of your shower, one, two, or four lights might look best. When you remove the tub to make room for the new shower, take the opportunity to make sure the light system you chose can be installed like you had planned. Finally, don’t install the tile until you have the finished light sources already in place. Otherwise, it’s difficult to know how any lippage might look, as the lights of a shower are often quite close to the wall which will showcase any mistakes you made while installing tile.

For more information about your lighting and tile options, check out Bathroom Lighting: A Guide and Decorative Tile: A Guide.

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