Friday, April 17, 2015

Make Sure that Your Bathroom Remodel Lives Up to the Demands of Your Family

Bathroom Remodel
If you have a large family, your bathroom remodel needs to stand up to the constant wear and tear that it will be receiving.  Bathrooms are one of the most frequently used rooms in the home, and they have a tough job to fulfill.  Your family needs to be able to use the restroom, take showers, brush teeth, get ready in the morning, etc.  Your bathroom even serves as an emergency room when one of your kids cuts their thumb or gets something in their eye.  It serves as the beauty salon when your daughter is getting ready for a dance, or your children have school picture day.  The list goes on and on, but most people don’t think about these things when planning for their remodel.  This is one of the reasons that it pays to work with a professional.  We know how hard your bathroom has to work and can provide solutions that make it more functional while also ensuring that it is beautiful.

What size and space do you need?

If you have the ability to determine the square footage, due to building an extension, for example, that is an excellent opportunity to really build the space that you need.  However, even if we are working within the existing footprint, there are often creative solutions that can be implemented.  It starts, however, with understanding how many people will be using the bathroom and whether or not they will be using it at the same general time.  For example, if your hallway bathroom needs to accommodate three school-aged children, we need to know this.  In theory, you can time showers so that they take them at night, or only one takes a morning shower.  Still, they will need to brush their teeth at the same relative time, brush their hair, and when they are older – do their makeup.  This can lead to massive conflict in the morning.  We can help to ease the tension by creating zones.  
What are zones?

Think about your bathroom like you would the floor plan of a tiny house.  Every area needs to have a function and by arranging the layout correctly, it can become possible for people to be in the room at the same time, without being in each others way. For example, you may not have enough space for two full vanities but you may have space for a shallow counter along an open wall in the back. We can use this space for storage, a counter, electrical outlets, and a mirror.  All of a sudden, this bathroom will have a separate space for doing hair and makeup while someone else is using the sink to brush their teeth.  This is a simple solution but incredibly effective for allowing your bathroom to accommodate several kids at the same time. Simultaneously, this can also work in a smaller master bathroom.   If the space is large enough, we can also create a separate room for the toilet since this is the most effective way of allowing multiple people to use the space at the same time.  The only thing that goes in there is the toilet so that people can continue to use the sink and get ready while someone else is using the facilities.  When we meet with you to discuss your bathroom remodel, we can discuss zones further after looking at your space and gaining an understanding of who needs to use it. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

A Guide To Granite Countertops

Quality Kitchen and Bath
Whether they are buying a home or remodeling their kitchen, consumers almost always choose granite counter tops over those made from any other material.

With good reason.

Granite countertops not only have an extremely hard and naturally non-porous surface that resists staining, heat and scratches, but are available in an endless assortment of patterns and an array of colors that range from almost pastel to very vivid and striking. Considering its durability, versatility, and easy maintenance, it is little wonder that leading consumer magazines consistently rate granite as being the ultimate material for kitchen counters. In other words, although most materials have their advantages and disadvantages, granite countertops are head and shoulders above ceramic tile, stainless steel, butcher block and other manufactured surfaces.

How We Use Them

Granite is not only used for indoor and outdoor kitchen counter tops, but also for bathroom counter tops, shower and floor tile, patios, etc.

A Few Facts About Granite

Formed by volcanic activity, granite is primarily made up of quartz, mica, and feldspar... minerals that determine the color variations and movement in a block of granite. Granite is first blasted from quarries in large blocks and then sliced into slabs. It is then taken to a facility where the slabs are cut into thinner pieces, treated and polished. These slabs eventually make their way to your home to be a beautiful counter top.

Granite being one of the hardest and strongest materials in nature, is quite impressive in its ability to withstand constant use and wear and tear. Thus, the comparison to diamonds. Granite countertops are almost impossible to scratch and, as an added bonus, are heat and bacteria resistant. Additionally, stains don't pose a problem under normal use. Although it is scratch resistant, it is recommended that homeowners use a cutting board to avoid blunting kitchen knives. However, it should be noted that as a stone, granite is inflexible, and can be chipped or cracked if hit with a very heavy object so you should still treat it with care.

Choosing A Granite Counter Top

Because of the vast array of options available when considering granite counter tops, coordinating your counter top with your kitchen cabinets, faucet, appliances, walls and flooring to achieve the look and feel you desire, has never been easier. The vast array of colors available in granite is quite remarkable. You have your pick of soft beiges, golden browns, pale pinks to corals, deep plums, romantic reds, sleek and modern blacks, rich blues, exotic greens, stark whites and many, many other shades. No two granite samples are alike, because each block will have a flecked or pebbled appearance that varies in size, shape, and density, depending on the composition of quartz, crystals, and minerals in that particular stone.

After you have chosen (from a few thousand possible combinations) the color and pattern that best meets your design needs, you then pick the texture and finish you desire. Granite countertops come in honed, flamed and brushed finishes, with the most popular being a polished surface.  Granite is naturally beautiful, durable, and elegant, and no other natural stone can match the many unique features it offers. Granite countertops are an excellent choice for any remodel project you may be planning, one that you will enjoy it for many years to come.