Tag Archives: tile

What is Important in Bathroom Remodeling

  1. Be aware there is a possibility that water damage could be uncovered when flooring or walls are removed; it is a common problem in bathrooms. Be prepared for this possibility and have contingency budget for this. If your contractors don’t encounter any water damage, consider it a bonus!
  2. If you have the room, consider putting the toilet in its own little room – sometimes a wall can be added without moving the toilet plumbing, which is a nice budget saver. Hiding the toilet makes the bathroom more usable and is fast becoming “the way” to design a new bathroom.
  3. Select appropriate surfaces for a room that, let’s face it, encounters a great deal of moisture. The right surface is easy to clean, does not absorb moisture and is mildew resistant. Porcelain tiles are popular; granite, quartz and engineered solid surface materials make excellent countertops and backsplashes.
  4. How often do you use the bath tub? Most people find they are mostly shower-people. If that is you, splurging on the biggest shower you can comfortably fit into your bathroom will be something to enjoy for years to come. A 4 by 6 foot shower with tiled walls and frameless glass door will give the bathroom a luxurious feel.
  5. Have water saving fixtures installed; these have been engineered to provide the same feel and usability as the old water wasting fixtures.
  6. Be sure to provide enough light and ventilation. Damp, moist bathrooms need efficient, (and quiet) exhaust fans.
  7. Working from a set of detailed plans helps ensure workers stay efficient, the homeowner stays informed and the new work blends with pre-existing features. Toilets, for example, by code have to have a certain minimum clearance around them; having a good set of plans makes certain this space is there!
  8. It helps if you have another bathroom while the bath remodel is being done, but if you don’t, maybe you should add one first!
  9. Finally, be sure to hire skilled, experienced workers to build your project. Check references, licenses and insurance. Then go for it!

A tiled shower, frameless glass door and hand shower compliment this bath remodel.

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Decisions, Decisions; Bathroom remodel choices

Glass shower doors with custom tiled shower walls

Some people have no problem making decisions on their bathroom remodel. But others struggle with this, fearful of selecting the wrong faucet or countertop material and only finding out after the fact that it just does not work for them!

Here is a collection of comments from people who have had their bathrooms remodeled and what they felt were their best and worst decisions:

Best Decisions:

  • Loved the Moen shower valve; inexpensive and works great.
  • Love the thermobalance shower control; it keeps the shower from changing temperature and pressure during a shower.
  • Glad we chose the radiant floor system for warm floors, with a thermostatic timer.
  • Installed a hand-held shower head on a slide bar in addition to the overhead rain shower head.
  • Installing a glass shelf between sink and medicine cabinet.
  • Splurging on marble mosaic floor tile.
  • Love the steam shower we had installed!
  • Glad we went with frameless glass French doors in the shower.
  • Using a pedestal sink in my small master bath to give it a bigger look.
  • Selecting neutral toned tiles and accenting with paint and accessories.
  • My favorite thing is the Runtal Towel Warmers. My towels are always dry and warm!
  • Love the air jet tub.
  • Toto washlet toilet
  • Installing electrical inside cabinets so hair dryer and electric toothbrush aren’t on the counter.
  • Having a shampoo shelf in the shower hidden by the half-wall, instead of shampoo niches.
  • Radiant in-floor heating (there were a lot of “likes” for this option)
  • Seat in the shower (sloped slightly to allow draining)
  • Custom-built, frameless shower door
  • Higher than normal countertop so I don’t need to bend over very much.

Wish I hadn’t done that:

  • Wish I hadn’t installed black granite on the countertop. My cat love it and he sheds a lot and occasionally spits up n it. Hard to keep clean.
  • Didn’t specify caulk instead of the grout in corners.
  • Only installed 2 corner shelves – wish I had 3
  • Wish I had higher quality beadboard for wainscot
  • Didn’t gut the bath – wish I had
  • Wish I’d installed a second niche; wife claimed the one, and I have to put my shampoo bottles on the floor.
  • Wish I’d installed a radiant heated floor.

What about you? Do you have “best decisions” and “wish I hadn’t done that” remodel experiences?

Tub/shower with custom tile and curved shower rod

Tub/shower with custom tile and curved shower rod

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Are you desperate to do a master bath remodel?

Before photo of a bath remodel

Are you desperate to the point of fantasizing about taking a sledgehammer to the room yourself? Then it is time to sit down and figure out how to make it happen. This really is not a futile effort. What do you need to know to do this?

Completely re-tiled shower in this After photo.

  1. Your budget. It is difficult to define the budget at the beginning, due to the tremendous variety of cost of materials, and labor costs have to be included. How long does it take to remove what is there, and then to install new fixtures? What about wiring for electrical? A reputable and licensed professional can narrow down the costs for you more precisely, due to their experience, and let you know what unknown variables could occur when flooring and shower tile are removed.
  2. How will you pay for the project? Some use lines of credit or home equity loans. Be sure you can access the funds in a timely manner, as the contractor will need money to buy the materials as the project proceeds.
  3. The extent of the project. Careful planning and assessment of the existing site is necessary. This will reduce the number of unpleasant surprises as the job progresses. If only painting and superficial modifications are needed, then the job will be lower cost. If a major overhaul is needed due to the age of the house, or to unbearably dated and worn out fixtures, then the entire project could be very costly.
  4. Who will be doing the project? For a professional job, most of us need to hire experienced professionals. Simple tasks such as painting are not difficult, but tearing out a toilet and replacing it with a new fixture can be fraught with problems.

 In conclusion, the most important part of the bathroom remodel is determining your capacity to finance.


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What is the best material for your bath flooring?

This homeowner really liked the look of white, glass tiles!

There are a great many options for flooring, most of them OK, but some are better than others, based on cost, comfort and appropriateness for a wet environment.

I came across an excellent article in CASE Handyman & Remodeling that compares pros and cons of 7 bathroom flooring types. I’ll list them here, and you can go to the website to get full details.

Tile (ceramic and glass): Durable, inexpensive and water resistant. They can be slippery, pick a tile that has a textured surface.

Stone: Also durable, water resistant and beautiful. To avoid slipping when wet, look for the textured stone. This material is the most expensive.

Vinyl: Comes in sheets or tiles, lots of colors and patterns. Very inexpensive. Beware of tiles, as moisture can get between them.

Laminate: Made of layrs of resin-impregnated paper and compressed wood chips. Can be printed to look like stone, slate, wood or whatever.

Hardwood: Must be treated with layers of polyurethane. Engineered wood is lower maintenance.

Bamboo: Durable and attractive, mold resistant. Is susceptible to damage if heavy objects are dropped on it. (What heavy objects do you carry around in the bathroom?)

Cork: Soft and warm feel. Repels water and is naturally mold resistant. Again, don’t drop heavy things on it. (How much does your hair dryer weigh, anyway?)

Warm colors, tile flooring

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It’s the details that count!

When planning a kitchen remodel, we all know that the important items (and most expensive) are the cabinets, the appliances, the countertop material, and flooring.

But . . . there are several details that while not as expensive as the aforementioned items, are important to provide the right feel to your new kitchen. One of these is the backsplash! This sometimes is just what the name implies – the 4″ or so along the back of the countertop where the sink resides. But it can be incorporated into the kitchen design as a whole, tying all the design elements together.

countertop backsplash

Backsplash tile incorportated to kitchen wall


The photo above is one of a local home kitchen remodel our company completed recently. The owners selected the unique tile patterns for both the backsplash and wall covering above the countertop and behind the stove as well. It is a striking focal point for the kitchen.

Backsplash Same as Countertop
Backsplash matches the countertop

So, what do you think of the matching backsplash/countertop?  Too much, or it pulls it all together? The photo is from kitchens.com, their website has lots of great photos to help with visualizing your next remodel project.

Artistic Kitchen Backsplash

 Another backsplash style!

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Glamorous Bathrooms, large and small

Beautifully designed bathroom!


Warm tile colors run up some of the walls to give this bathroom a warm feeling. Simple, clean fixtures and patterns make this room work.


This small bathroom had a make over that includes vertically installed subway tiles and pedestal sink along with wall mounted lav faucet. There is no crowded feeling in this bathroom! 


This bathroom uses compact, efficient fixtures (pedestal lav and compact toilet) to best use the small room. Lots of wall mirrors create a visually larger space.

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Bath remodel featuring Schon free standing tub

Contemporary free standing tub from Schon

Contemporary free standing tub from Schon

This contemporary tub with wood framed legs distinguishes this master bath.  Tub filler is the Kohler Symbol Roman tub filler, with handshower in polished chrome.

Shower tile detail

Shower tile and fixtures detail

The shower tile has 3 soft grey tile strips for contrast.  Kohler symbol valve trim with slidebar, handshower, hose and wall outlet in polished chrome provide a great shower experience.

Clear glass shower surround opens up the space and shows off the shower tile.

Glass shower surround

Glass shower surround


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Bathroom remodels

Black tile floor retro style
Black tile floor retro style
I’m intrigued by this dramatic retro-style tile flooring, done in black with white trim. 

We’ve renovated many bathrooms all over Whatcom County. Here are a few of our recent projects that showcase custom built bath vanities, solid surface vanity tops, tiled showers and flooring.

Bath & shower

Bath, shower & bath lav


Close up of flooring:

Custom tile flooring

Custom tile flooring


Remember that you can be creative and unconventional in your bath remodel – it is for you, after all. 

Small attic bathroom
Small attic bathroom – with octagonal retro floor tile
The following information is excerpted from Bill Howe, Bathroom Remodeling, San Diego.

“The bath and shower area can also be a strong focal point in the bathroom.  Your space will often determine whether you will have a walk-in shower and/or separate tub or tub/shower combination.”

“Commonly used materials on the walls are tile and solid surface. Consideration should be given for maintenance, aesthetics, cost and durability as you make the material decision. Other options in this area are for benches, tile accents and shower inserts to hold shampoos and soaps.”

“There are numerous possibilities for fixtures including body sprays, rain showers and slide rails. The finish of the shower fixtures should be coordinated with the accessories.”

“Shower or tub enclosures also offer a way to customize your space. Frameless glass is an effective way to make a bathroom feel larger. The texture of the glass will affect the translucency yet still allow light to penetrate. Fabric curtains are also an option and can be extended beyond the width of the tub with a curved shower bar.”






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Award winning kitchen before and after photos

This is oue entry for the $30 – $60,000 category kitchen remodel that Rose Construction won a Whatcom County NAHB REX award for.  

Before Remodel

Before remodel

To achieve our client’s main objective to open up the space between the kitchen and dining areas, we completely remodeled this 1979 kitchen.  The new design included widening passageways and installing new white-oak flooring between the two areas, creating a more modern look and flow. 

Additionally, stainless steel appliances, custom cherry cabinetry and granite countertops with an under mount sink were installed to improve the modernization.  The 12” by 24” polished tiles with a multi-color mosaic pattern were installed vertically as a backsplash to highlight grout lines and complement the new finishes. 

After remodel

After remodel

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Update your bathroom! Now!

Any remodeling project has an almost endless list of things to consider, from the all-important budget to the colors and style you want. In a bathroom, the part of the remodel that is outclassed by the shower, tub, sink, faucet, lighting and flooring is  . . . . wait for it . . . the walls! Will they be painted? Tiled?

Especially in smaller bathrooms, the walls can have a huge impact on the impression the bathroom creates.

The NKBA, or National Kitchen and Bath Association, has a nice article that can help with decisions on what to do with those walls. The paint, tile, and glass block options are discussed.

Nice use of glass block in a bath
Nice use of glass block
Unique lav and painted walls
Unique lav and painted walls

So, get your inspiration together and get started! A good contractor can help with the details.

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