Bathroom renovations are some of the most extensive remodels a homeowner can undertake. As such, it is more important than ever to make sure ahead of time that you know what you want and how to achieve it. Considering the difficulty and the cost of a bathroom renovation, chances are you will be living with your new commode for a while; so it makes sense to ensure you’re going to like the results.
To find out the newest fashions and best remodeling tips, we talked to Atlas Home Improvements‘ Darian Bobby. Atlas Home Improvements is bathroom remodeling experts who have a wealth of information and experience to share.
What are some things someone should ask themselves before undertaking a bathroom remodel?
It is important for the homeowner to consider how long they plan to stay in the home. Are they looking for a long-term solution, or will they be more concerned about resale value? If they are planning to stay and looking for a permanent solution, they should consider convenience as well as the safety options available. I recommend to my clients that they try to see themselves 10 to 15 years older than they are now and try to design the remodel around something that will look great, but be a safe and comfortable bathroom that allows them to “age in place.”
Bathwraps are an alternative to the classic tile and fiberglass options for bathtubs. What are some of the main advantages of bathwraps that make them a popular choice?
Bathwraps are made of a premium acrylic, that’s very similar to a Corian countertop in a kitchen or Jacuzzi hot tub. They are made of a non-porous surface and are resistant to mold, mildew, hard water, calcium, lime deposits, etc. Bathwrap makers can custom build a tub or shower pan to fit almost any space, and the wall systems come in many popular colors. The acrylic walls can also be formed into simulated patterns that look like tile except that they have no real grout lines, so they are simple to clean; unlike real tile, which can be a maintenance nightmare.
While tile may be being phased out of bath tubs, it’s still a popular choice for bathroom floors. What are some strengths and drawbacks of tile floors in the bathroom?
There is an interesting statistic from the CDC that says 45% of all serious accidents in the home occur in the bathroom. This is mostly because bathrooms can be tight spaces and have slippery floors; and if someone falls, they usually will hit a hard surface. For this reason, we try to convince homeowners to stay away from tile. It is also difficult to clean because of the grout.
There are much better options for flooring available today. We recommend resilient comfort flooring, which is basically a one-piece thick vinyl sheet that can be laid directly over tile. It is non-slip, wipes clean with soap and water, and is warm on your feet during the winter.
Certain caulks contain a mildewcide that helps protect against mildew for up to five years. Do you use any of these? What are some products someone could look out for?
We use a special mildew-resistant silicone that is part of the bathwraps system. It is much better than a traditional silicone that someone may find at a big box store. With that being said, we have learned that there are many other reasons why a home may develop mildew in the first place. Homeowners should make sure the bathroom is well-ventilated, and open the window or turn on the fan every time they use the shower. It is also important to wipe down their silicone when they clean the shower walls (at least once per week). If they do not adhere to this type of basic maintenance and keep the shower clean, then it really won’t matter what type of silicone or caulk is in the shower.
What are bathroom renovations that can make the room the most practical and functional?
When we first got into the bathroom business almost 10 years ago, we found almost half our clients still wanted a new bathtub installed. Today, that number has fallen to about 20%. Most people are busy and don’t have the time or interest to soak in a tub. That has made a brand new walk-in shower the remodel of choice. They come with a low threshold that is easy and safe to walk into. Some people may opt for a fixed bench seat in the corner and take a seated shower as opposed to standing up. They are extremely practical and convenient, and a homeowner can get in and out.
Others may choose to load up their shower with luxurious features such as a Rainshower head with massage function if they tend to stay in the shower longer to relax. With people getting older, a walk-in shower is a smart choice for the future as well.
For someone who’s looking to enjoy themselves a bit more, what are some of the most elaborate and lush renovations you’ve seen or done?
Our most popular options for relaxing is a Jacuzzi Hydrotherapy Walk-In Tub. This is a special tub that has a door that allows the user to simply walk in and sit comfortably on a built-in seat. Once they fill up the tub, they can turn on water jets and air bubblers that help take care of those aches and pains. Sometimes, people think of a walk-in tub as being for older people; but we are seeing many younger people get them now as well. A Jacuzzi walk-in tub is really a personal spa that can be used in the privacy of your home; and it’s much safer to use and less expensive than an outdoor hot tub.
There are many other features such as Chromotherapy (lights that change the color of water) and Aromatherapy (scents that can be added into the bubbles) that make it a wonderful experience. We had a client recently refer to her Jacuzzi as the Fountain of Youth!
What are some qualities in a bathroom renovation company homeowners might look for in order to find the best fit for their project?
Frankly, I think that the company they choose is the most important thing. I believe that if they find the right company, everything else will fall into place and they will ultimately be happy with the project. Look for a company that has been in business for awhile under the same name. You can also tell a lot by the quality of their website.
It is best to find a company that uses their own employees versus subcontractors. Make sure they are properly insured with workman’s comp as well as liability insurance just in case. Check them out on the Better Business Bureau and other review sites to hear what other people are saying about their work, and reach out to references to see what actual people say about them.
I also think it is helpful to find a company that offers payment options, since good quality companies are usually not cheap. If they offer a convenient monthly payment plan, then the homeowner may be able to more easily afford buying quality the first time instead of living with a mistake.