Showing posts with label bath fixtures. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bath fixtures. Show all posts

24 March 2016

Installing granite countertops

This photo was taken from Caesarstone Canada official site 

Installing granite countertops isn’t exactly a simple process, but it’s not terribly difficult either. There are a number of basic steps to follow that can all but guarantee you a result you’ll be thrilled with.

It starts with a visit to a counter fabricator’s showroom. Do an internet search for granite fabricators in your area and you’ll find more than a few of them. A granite fabricator has the equipment and the experience to work with not only granite, but other materials such as quartz composites and solid surface materials too.

Once you’re at the fabricator, you’ll see many slabs of the material you can use for granite countertops they have on hand and you’ll notice that their materials when in slab (uncut) form are grouped by color. You’ll find that helpful because the first decision you’ll have to make is the color of your counters. Deciding on the pattern of that color comes second, after you’ve narrowed down your color choices.

At the fabricator too, you’ll see the sink options you have available as well as a selection of faucets. It’s usually less expensive to buy sinks and faucets from a fabricator than it is to buy those same components from a plumbing wholesaler.

If they’re not clearly labeled, ask to see what edge options for your granite countertops you have to choose from as well. 

After you’ve made your selections, ask to set up an appointment for a template.

Custom granite countertops cannot be made ahead of time, they’re always made from a template of the cabinetry where those counters will be installed. It takes a little longer this way, but it’s only then that you can be sure that your new granite counters will fit perfectly.

Your estimate will always include labor. It’s only a qualified installer who knows how to install granite countertops.

Once your new granite countertops are installed, follow the installer’s directions exactly once they leave. In most cases, you won’t be able to use your new counters for a day or so after they’ve been installed. Your fabricator and installer will also have some useful tips and products to help keep your new countertops looking new for a very long time.

Once you’ve gone ahead and had your new granite countertops installed, take a breath and enjoy them. They’re a beautiful addition to any home and not only that, they add real value when it comes time to sell your house.

17 March 2015

Practical yet stylish bathroom design ideas

Image by Ines Hegedus Garcia, Used under a Creative Commons license.

Deciding to renovate or redecorate the bathroom is considered by many to be a difficult and demanding task. Some people believe it takes a lot of exertion and a large upheaval to make any real difference to the room’s look and feel.

However, there are quite a few practical yet stylish changes you can make, which have the potential to transform any bathroom. Best of all, they don’t require much time, effort or money either.

Put up some shelving

This might seem like a straightforward step, but it is surprising just how many people don’t put up shelves in their bathroom. In addition to improving organisation, shelving units can be incredibly decorative too. Floating shelves look clean and crisp, but ornate options will suit more traditional bathrooms.

Introduce more storage

Certain bathroom items can be rather unsightly and not very attractive, which would be better hidden away. This is a great opportunity to enhance the room’s aesthetic, so think about introducing storage containers such as glass jars for cotton swabs or wicker baskets for toilet rolls.

Change the cabinet

If you don’t have the budget to update your entire suite, consider changing the cabinet instead. This piece of bathroom furniture has the potential to revamp and rejuvenate any tired looking space but isn’t that difficult to fix-up. What’s more, it will increase practicality and improve overall tidiness.

Upgrade the small details

It is easy to overlook things like towel racks, toilet roll holders and sink taps, but if you upgrade these small details, you’ll end up with a much more decorative bathroom. Even if you don’t have these furnishings in the first place, it will undoubtedly increase overall functionality anyway.

Improve the sights and smells

There is nothing quite like taking a nice relaxing bath after a stressful day. But this can be improved even more by adding some scented candles, which smell great, create the right ambience and reduce your energy footprint too.

Put up more mirrors

This is a really good idea if you have a small bathroom, as mirrors can make a confined space look much larger. On top of that, adorning and alluring mirrors are bound to enhance your bathroom’s appeal while providing greater functionality at the same time.

All of these design ideas are sure to be within most budgets and don’t require much work or effort to complete. But most importantly, they’ll improve the style and practicality of your bathroom and day to day living.

10 March 2015

A guide to a super cheap bathroom

Whether it’s making your home a more comfortable place to live, trying to make it more valuable with more energy or elegance, or just simply you want to make yourself feel happy, these projects of super clean bathroom remodeling are the key element and are the most economical way that you can make your bathroom clean with ten times the cash that you would have spent in some luxury bathroom shops buying new bathroom interior.

When it comes to the elegance and the cleanness of your bathroom, there are several ways of making the difference in it, and few of those are the lightning, painting, wall decoration and assents, the main bathroom mirror which is usually present in the bathrooms around the world, followed by the curtains over the bath tub and the linens.

The first thing in any cheap bathroom remodeling and making it look amazing is the paint. The paint must be done in neutral shade and colors, and the energy should come from the accessories that are placed there later on, not from the paint itself. Even if this is the case with the paint being the second background color of the bathroom, don’t underestimate the power of it because it gives the shininess of the other elements by being the contrast itself.

Next money spending step are the fixtures with new lightning that should be placed on the wall once the paint is dried. Wattage is needed because your light determines the happiness that you will place inside the bathroom. Aim to focus is where you plan to put the mirror for double light due to the reflection. The lights are not something that you can remodel and clean to look cutter. This is where you should spend some money and at the end of the long run they will definitely pay off.

Towel racks and light switch covers should come after the lightning is placed. Aim for white or chrome because it’s the color of the century, and it makes the bathroom look elegant. These accessories are not so expensive so go for the kill. They can be found in any shop for bathroom accessories.

Mirror and everything else is next as the last step of the wall decorating. This is the main bathroom element including the interior so we suggest you watch a tutorial video on how to reuse your old mirror and make it look amazingly new, as well as how to place the mirror in the bathroom so it can get the maximum out of the lightning that comes from the window, and the artificial lightning that you have previously set in the bathroom.

Shower curtains are a cheap element to replace and a fun one as well. Aim for live colors that contrast the walls, and with no doubt at all your bathroom will look fresher and cleaner, while you won’t have to spend much time and money on it. Natural material curtains are the best way to go because they are cheap and soft, and for this matter, look for cotton duck.

Linens should be the same color as your bathroom shower curtains and if your shower curtains are white, beige or cream, your mat and towels should also share the same color and intensity. The last accessories like toothbrush holders and tissue boxes should be white as well, if your curtains are white. Some may way that this is a classic and a color that has already been used many times before, but the thing is that white color is one of the cleanest colors and the best looking one for a bathroom. Not to mention that it is the cheapest color on the market.

We hope that this small cheap bathroom remodeling guide helped you and your idea of remodeling your bathroom while saving you cash.

28 November 2014

Drips, leaks and squirts: simple fixes for your kitchen faucet

When you turn your faucet off and it doesn't turn off panic usually sets it. After you’re done getting angry, you usually need to head to the hardware store to try to fix the problem. But, what should you purchase? A lot of DIY solutions just aren't right, and they can actually leave you worse off than when you started. Here are some solutions to swear by, not at.

Determine Where the Leak Is Coming From

This is probably the most important step. If you don’t know where the leak is coming from, you can’t fix it - period. So, try to determine if it’s leaking just from the faucet itself or if the water is also coming out of the handle. If it’s leaking from the faucet, you may need to replace a seal here, or you might need to replace the whole faucet, depending on what’s damaged and how badly.

If the leak is coming from the handle, it may be a simple O-ring.

Shut the Water Off

Shut the water off before you start working or you’ll have a gigantic mess on your hands. The shut-off valve for most kitchen sinks is usually underneath the sink. It’s a small handle that you can turn to shut the water off. Sometimes, it’s a lever. 

Verify that the water is off before proceeding.

Pry off Your Faucet Handle

If you have a single-handled cartridge faucet, pry the small plastic cap off the top of the handle. If you have a duel-handle faucet, you’ll need to take the decorative cap off both the hot and cold water handles. If you have a handle-style faucet, instead of a twist knob, you can usually unscrew the end of the handle and then unscrew the fixture.

The cartridge lies underneath the decorative cap or handle. There’s also a cartridge in here that mixes the hot and cold water if the cartridge is worn out or cracked, it’s entirely possible that water could be seeping through here to the spout.

Fortunately, this piece usually pops out so that you can replace it. If it doesn't you may need to replace the entire faucet unit.

Unscrew the bonnet with a pair of slip-joint pliers and then use needle-nosed pliers to grab the U-shaped retainer clip. Set this aside, but remember its orientation. Inspect the o-ring while you’re at it. Once the bonnet is removed, more of the faucet can be taken apart on most models.

If the rubber o-ring is damaged, replace it.

Replace the Parts and Put Everything Back Together

Most parts on your faucet can be purchased at a hardware store, but if you want decorative parts, now is the time to replace them. Stores and websites, like, carry a lot of really attractive models that aren't very expensive but look amazing.

Reassembly of the faucet is the exact reverse of removal. Make sure that that the bonnet is reoriented in the correct way before securing the handle. Otherwise, you’ll have another leak on your hands.

Michael Perry has had his share of leaking faucets. A father of five busy children, he's always fixing something or writing about fixing something. Look for his informative articles on a variety of websites and blogs.

19 November 2014

Up for quality bathroom tips? Then you're in luck


Clothes piled on the floor, mould on the ceiling, lime scale-ridden taps and sinks that overflow at the merest hint of water – yeah, you need a bathroom makeover.

It’s the heart of the home, the bathroom. You’ll sit and contemplate life on the toilet, bellow show tunes in the shower and preen yourself to perfection in the mirror – are there any more important things in life?

But if your bathroom is more Poundland than upmarket fab, we've got a few ideal solutions for you.

Fantastic flooring

Nobody wants to feel like their feet are blocks of ice when they wander into their bathroom. But carpeting is an ill-advised solution, increasing the likelihood of mould and rot on your floorboards.
For the finest flooring, install marble in your bathroom and combine it with bath mats in key areas where you’ll be resting your feet.

The most luxurious marble tiles will leave your floor with a luxurious sheen, even if it will leave a hefty dent in your wallet.

Divide and rule

Dividers are great for any room, giving you the illusion of extra space without the need for any fancy DIY. But in the bathroom, they have an even more practical purpose.

Just imagine those times when you’re desperate to use the toilet but someone else is in the shower. With a judiciously placed divider, you could nip into the bogs without either of you feeling like your privacy has been invaded.

You could even add a divider on a relatively low budget, with a simple freestanding version available in supermarkets or design stores.

It’s only natural – or is it?

You've probably heard the concept that we’re more influenced by either the creative or rational sides of our brain – but you probably never thought it would affect your bathroom design.

Indeed, the more romantic amongst you will most likely favour a rich, mahogany or beech wood finish in their bathroom; the kind that casts the mind to the great outdoors.

Invest in some strong oak worktops and you’ll feel like you’re in a bristling woodland log cabin – even if you’re just in a flat in Croydon.

But then there are the more rational realists amongst you. You’ll most likely favour a clean pure-white sheen in your bathroom, with jet black worktops and a plain shower. The perfect example of function over romance.

However, the best bathrooms will incorporate both to suit their own tastes and their guests. Figure out the ideal middle ground and you’ll be able to sit on the toilet in absolute luxury.

24 September 2013

Wow Brizo, now that's a shower!

This is my brand new Hydrati™ 2|1 shower from Brizo. It arrived yesterday and I installed it in about five minutes last night.

I tested it after I installed it to make sure I had no leaks and waited to take a full shower with until this morning. Holy cow. Now that's a shower.

As a matter of disclosure, Brizo gave me this shower head. With that out of the way, let me describe some of the Hydrati™ 2|1 shower's features and benefits.

The new Hydrati comes in four primary styles and what I'm showing above, the "Euro Round," is the one I have. The head's certainly large enough and through a combination of button pushing and lever selecting, the Hydrati™ allows a user to select from four settings. They are: full H2Okinetic spray, massage, H2Okinetic spray with massage and pause. I'll explain what H2Okinetic in a bit but in the meantime I have to say that the pause built into this shower system is something my father would approve of.

When I was a kid he maintained that proper showering consisted of getting wet, turning off the shower, soaping up with the shower off and then turning it back on only to rinse off. We thought his suggestion was ridiculous of course but he did have a point. Brizo's pause function allows anybody to follow my father's suggested showering method without having to readjust the water temperature.

The Hydrati™ 2|1 shower gets the two in one portion of its name from the fact that it's a convertible --it's a wall-mount and a hand-held shower and the spray patterns are adjustable on each component.

Here's an example of a Hydrati™ 2|1 Euro Square in the middle of uncoupling.

The independent function of the hand-held and wall-mount components allow a user to turn off the main head and use the hand shower, use the main head only or to use them both. When the hand-held shower's not being held in someone's hand, it locks into the main head with Brizo's MagneDock® magnetic docking system There's no eyes closed fumbling involved. All someone has to do is hold the handheld up to the main shower head and the magnets take care of the rest. Pretty slick.

Now back to H2Okinetic Technology for a second. H2Okinetic Technology is something that Brizo (and its parent company Delta Faucet) developed with the Bowles Fluidics Corporation and what it does is harness the kinetic energy in moving water to alter and enhance the way water droplets are delivered. Each spray outlet on a H2Okinetic fixture uses the pressure of the water passing through it to take on a very specific pattern of movement. This pattern makes a shower feel like it's using more water than it is and the effect is amazing. This video from Delta Faucet describes and illustrates what this means particularly well:

You can read more about it on Brizo's website too. While you're on their site, look over the rest of their offerings too --they make beautiful and highly functional fixtures.

As always Brizo, thanks!

13 July 2012

Kohler Colors with Jonathan Adler

Kohler's rolling out four, new and vibrant colors with the help of Jonathan Adler. Say what you will about Adler, but I give him all kinds of credit for bringing vibrant color to six, select kitchen and bath sinks from Kohler's existing collections.

Here's the full palette:

In situ, those colors are Greenwich Green,

Piccadilly Yellow,

Annapolis Navy

and Palermo Blue.

These Jonathan Adler colors are only available in enameled iron because the degree of saturation shown in these sinks can only be achieved with enamel. The sinks available in these colors are Tides, Canvas, DemiLav Wading Pool for the bath and Whitehaven, Riverby and Iron/ Tones for the kitchen.

These sinks are cast in the Kohler foundry in Kohler, WI and carry a lifetime warranty.

There was once a time when I lived to take potshots at Adler's work. While it's true that his creations aren't for everybody, what's also true is that he's a fundamentally decent man who understands his audience perfectly. Besides, anyone who'll pose with the likes of these two can't be anything but a good guy. Right Cheryl?

So what do you think? Is there room for this kind of bold color in a sink? Would you ever use color this way in your own home?

13 December 2011

Save the dates for Coverings 2012

Coverings is a must-see show and conference for the tile and stone worlds and Coverings 2012 is coming to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando from April 17 through April 20.

Whether you're looking for the next big idea or the bottom line, you'll find the inspiration you're after at this year's show. There are over 1000 exhibitors from 50 countries signed up so far, Coverings 2012 promises something for everybody in the architecture, builder, design and fabricator communities.

Coverings 2012 features a robust conference schedule including accredited seminars and live demonstrations led by some of the most reputable authorities in the industry. Oh, and it's all free.

So add it to your calendar and make it a point to be in Orlando on April 17th. I know I'll be there!

You can learn more and register to attend on Coverings website. See you in Orlando.

30 November 2011

Graff wants to spread the good cheer

Graff makes faucets and bath fixtures that will bend your mind. Check out this collection called Luna.

Wow, what a bath!

It being nearly December and with the holidays approaching, Graff has a promo going on right now on their Facebook page that worth checking out.

Every week, from now through the week of December 16th, Graff is giving away a $200 American Express gift card. All you have to do is go to Graff's Facebook page and like them. A new contest will be revealed every week, but the only way you can know about it is to like their page.

Because this is a new promotion, I'll tell you this week's. Between now and Friday, post a link to your favorite or least favorite Christmas/ Hannukah/ or Eid (even though Eid was a month ago) song and if you post the best and or worst, you'll be $200 closer to the end of you holiday shopping.

Because I'm as much a nerd as I am a snob, I'll let you know my favorite Christmas carol of all time. It's "Tu Scendi dalle Stelle" as performed by Luciano Pavarotti. Chistmas and all of December are meant for classical music and Tu Scendi sums it up perfectly.

$200 toward my shopping this season would be a real boon and I'm sure I'm not alone in that. So why not give Graff a like and get the chance to make this a holiday season to remember. So go like Graff!

29 November 2011

Real design stars and a concrete counter guy

During my travels last fall, I had some incredible opportunities to meet some people whose work in the design world I admire greatly.

Everything started at Cersaie in Bologna last September. Endless thanks to Chris Abbate, Novita Public Relations and Tile of Italy for making it possible for me to meet and talk with some people whose work I've long admired.

In order of appearance, I met Patricia Uriquiola,

Philippe Grohe

and the Bouroullec brothers, Ronan and Erwan, all in the same day.

I've written about these peoples' work quite a bit over the years. I shower with a shower that Ms. Uriquiola designed and Mr. Grohe brought to the market. It was great to be able to tell them how much I appreciate their vision and hard work in person.

Later in London for BlogTour 2011, I met such notables as Nicky Haslam,

Barbara Barry

and Lee Broom.

There were more people whose work I admire during those weeks on the road but I don't want to be too much of a name dropper. BlogTour 2011 dropped me into the middle of the London Design Festival and were it not for BlogTour I'd have never been there otherwise. So thank you.

But out of the entire who's who of the world design scene I met, none can compare to a man I had the pleasure to meet in San Francisco last month.

I'd been brought to San Francisco by Zephyr to attend a design event at their spectacular showroom in San Francisco's Design District. One of the night's speakers was Fu-Tung Cheng, the man who brought the decorative and functional possibilities of concrete to the world's attention.

There were at most 30 people in attendance at Zephyr's event and most of us knew one another. It felt more like a dinner party than it did a formal function.

After Fu-Tung spoke, he mingled with the everyone as if he were just another guest at a party. Never mind that there was a stack of his books by the door.

Here's a little back story. In 2002, Fu-Tung Cheng published his first book, Concrete Countertops; Design, Form and Finishes for the New Kitchen and Bath. I was a relative newbie to the kitchen and bath industry then and his book was nothing short of a revelation. It gave rise to a new aesthetic in my work but far more than that, his first book showed me that I could forge my own way and that I could create a career for myself. All I needed to do was channel my passion and my energy as tirelessly as I was able.

Concrete Countertops was far more than a book about a new idea in surfaces, it was a wake up call for me and it challenged me to strike out and make a place for myself in the world. Fu-Tung Cheng's generous spirit jumped off the page as I read his words and I realized that my making a place for myself wasn't a matter of my ambition. A career of my own making could only happen if I could be of service and use to other people.

Part of me knew that already, but Cheng's book about concrete drove home that point and sent me on my way. I'm not kidding when I say that his first book changed the trajectory of my life.

Fast forward to October, 2011 and I found myself in the same room with the man who'd had such an impact on me. I walked up to him and told him essentially what I just wrote in the previous few paragraphs. He was as gracious as he was grateful to hear that he'd impacted me so positively.

We ended up having a longer conversation and later, exchanging business cards when the event was breaking up for the night. And in a final gesture, he inscribed his latest book, Concrete at Home for me.

I'm a fortunate, fortunate man. I say that all the time and I mean it. I have opportunities extended to me on a regular basis that make my head spin, not the least of which are numerous opportunities to meet some of the  people I admire. So thanks Zephyr for a great event and thanks for allowing me to complete another circle.

23 November 2011

Spend some time with Charlotte

Another bath fixture series I last saw as a prototype is the Charlotte from Brizo. As fond as I am by the RSVP, also by Brizo, the lines of it are a bit too Art Nouveau, a bit too heavily influenced by the Erte illustration that begat them.

I think the RSVP is drop dead gorgeous, but the RSVP dictates the room it's surrounded by and that's fine if you have a home built during the 1930s, but there has to be a way to bring some of that glamour into a bath that's not in a vintage home. Enter Charlotte.

Charlotte is a full line of fixtures and accessories that are available in the Chrome, Brushed Nickel, Polished Nickel and my favorite, Cocoa Bronze with Chrome highlights.

This is a fixture series that can play into a vintage setting, but at the same time, they can play well in more modern baths.

If you're in the market for new bath fixtures, give a thought to Brizo. You can see the rest of their fixtures on their website.

16 November 2011

The Jason Wu collection for Brizo

Brizo has been collaborating with fashion designer Jason Wu since 2006 and after a five year affiliation, Brizo and Jason just announced the launch of  their long-awaited, Jason Wu-designed powder room suite, The Jason Wu for Brizo Collection. Check out this video announcing the collection.

I can't think of anybody who's selling bath fixtures quite like that. Wow.

The central motif of the collection is something Jason calls his Baroque Flower and all of the individual components feature a matte black finish (a first for Brizo) with either chrome or brushed nickel accents.

Tissue holder

Liquid soap dispenser

Soap dish

Front-mount tank lever

Side-mount tank lever

Waste basket

Drawer pull

Most notable is the faucet at the center of the collection the Jason Wu for Brizo Odin. I've been fortunate over the years to see that faucet as a number of prototypes and it's a particular thrill to see it in production. Brizo has been utilizing touch controls for the last few years, but this faucet adds a proximity sensor in addition to its touch control. A proximity sensor turns a faucet on and off any time hands come within four inches of the faucet.

They've also added a subtle LED light to the base of the faucet. That LED is a temperature indicator with red being hot, blue being cold and varying shades of magenta to indicate the various degrees of warm between the two extremes.

Here's another video where Jason and Judd Lord, the head of industrial design at Brizo discuss the collection.

The collection goes on sale this spring, but you can pre-order the components now on Brizo's website.

14 November 2011

Adventures in shower pans, Italian style

At Cersaie in Bologna last September I saw all kinds of amazing innovations and new products, many of which were making their world debut in Bologna that week. Worldwide, the tile industry is more properly known as the ceramics industry, and a large component of the world ceramics industry is bath design.

Two Italian manufacturers came up with interesting ways to deal with a shower pan this year and both companies are onto what I say is the next big thing in shower design. The first of these innovations is Rapsel's Pianolegno. I'm showing it here with their Pluviae shower fixture.

By the way, Pianolegno means wooden floor in Italian and Pluviae is French for rain.

The Pianolegno is a teak grid that fits into a stainless steel shower pan that's been countersunk into the floor. The pan looks like this and can also be used on its own without the teak inserts.

Here's how it looked when I saw it at Rapsel's booth at Cersaie. It's been paired here with Rapsel's Cobra shower.

Pretty slick. Check out the rest of Rapsel's wares on their website.

Another great innovation I saw in this department is the Volo from Flaminia. Volo means flight for what it's worth.

The Volo is a ceramic, basket weave grate that sits in a ceramic pan. That pan can be countersunk into the floor or it can sit on top of the floor. If it's sitting on the floor, it's make a small step up obviously.

Here's how it looked at Faminia's booth,

and here's a detail of the grate.

Flaminia has an enormous collection of bath products and you can see them on Flaminia's website.

Granted, these two products are still kind of edgy to North American eyes, but could you ever see using something like this in your own home? Does the idea of a shower without a curb, meaning it's flush with the floor appeal to you?

10 November 2011

Seeing solid surface in a new light

In the last 11 months I've been fortunate to attend nearly 20 trade venues in six countries and in each of those venues I've seen such things that I thought my eyes were deceiving me half the time. Due to my experiences in Europe in particular, I've come to see solid surface in a whole new way. This post is illustrated with sinks and vanities designed by Marike Andeweg  and her Netherlands-based studio, Not Only White. Not Only White's work is a great example of using solid surface in a new, and stunning way.

Throughout my design career, I'd been conditioned to turn up my nose at solid surface whenever and wherever I saw it. I'm old enough to remember when Corian hit the market and I still cringe at the thought of coral-colored Corian with white swirls.

When I started designing kitchens, the move to granite counters was just getting underway and anyone who was designing then pushed stone over solid surface in our quests to deliver high-end designs. My solid surface sample boxes sat unloved and unused for years.

My bias against solid surface seemed hard-wired.

But a funny thing happened as I was walking around at IMM in Cologne last January. There was solid surface everywhere. There were counters of course, but also furniture, sinks, vanities and more accessories than I could count.

A couple of weeks later in Spain I saw solid surface toilets and bathtubs. The stuff was all over Europe it seemed. I saw Not Only White's brilliant sinks and vanities at 100% Design in London's Earl's Court in September. I was in London as part of the inaugural Blog Tour and by then my knee-jerk, bad reaction to solid surface was but a memory and I could appreciate the beauty of Not Only White's products.

And they are beautiful. They use solid surface in a way that makes jaded design people like me stop and think, "Oooooh, what's that?" I love the idea that their hand washing sinks are so small, that their vanity sinks are so shallow and use interesting drains and I love the simplicity of all of it.

To see the rest of Not Only White's collections, check out their website and give some thought to what's possible with solid surface.