Category Archives: Bathroom

What Are The ‘Must Know’ Facts About Shower Heads?

If cutting down on energy usage and reducing carbon emissions was the environmental ‘hot potato’ of the early part of the 2000s, expect water to become an increasingly prominent part of the debate in the coming years. While water usage and availability around the world is an issue, the furthest most people are going to be able to influence the situation is by taking action in their own home.

Unfortunately, there are many people who face that reality and respond by believing that they don’t have to do anything, because what difference will their small actions take in the grand scheme of things? Of course, the difference is that, when everyone comes together, the impact is huge.

Another problem is simply that there are a number of myths out there surrounding water usage and saving, which then translates into a lack of knowledge and action at ground level. One of the biggest opportunities for water saving at home is to review the way you approach your personal hygiene. With that in mind, we looked at some of the facts you need to know about showering and shower heads.

Showers Use Less Water

This is a myth that has been peddled around for some time now, although it is only recently that people have started to question the wisdom of what was being said. Taking a shower uses less water against taking a bath, is what we were told. What wasn’t considered was what happens if people take longer showers, or use a power shower.

The fact is that your shower head could be wasting more water than you ever imagined.

If You Think It’s Bad Now…

In several countries around the world, including the United States, there are actually regulations that govern how much water a shower head can deliver. However, prior to this, there was no control. That said, how many people do you know today who still love a ‘power shower’, which sprays out water quicker than you thought possible?

The Cost of Faulty Shower Heads

ShowerWhen you’re looking at water savings around the home, you naturally look to the things that you can easily deal with and control. You make sure taps are turned off, you use a faucet aerator on taps to reduce flow, and you take short, sharp showers to minimize water usage.

What you might not see is the hidden wastage that is occurring under your nose. Faulty or leaking shower heads are a common cause of water loss at home, and could be adding a significant amount to your bill on an annual basis. If you have a faulty or dripping shower head, it is important you replace it immediately.

Potential Solutions

Aside from ensuring your shower is maintained well and isn’t wasting water, your most effective course of action is to buy great quality products that will help you save water every day. Agua Flux low flow shower heads are an excellent option for water-conscious homeowners, while elsewhere in the home faucet aerators might be worth considering, too.

The Final Fact: Savings

Using a low flow shower head can potentially save up to 60% water usage when you take a shower, depending on the model of shower and shower head you currently use, even if they are subject to regulatory measures. This saving will benefit you both in terms of your ‘water footprint’ as well as giving you a vastly reduced bill.

Terance Nichols is a home improvement expert who specializes in eco-friendly renovation and upgrade solutions. In his spare time, Terance enjoys reading up on the latest environmental news and ideas.

Making a Small Bathroom Work

Are you tired of a crowded bathroom first thing in the morning? Can’t relax because your bathroom is outdated and feels about as relaxing (and as roomy) as a broom closet? No problem. These tips can help you transform a tiny room into a larger (or larger-looking) space:

1) Step back and get some perspective.

When faced with a tiny bathroom, one of the most common reactions is to bemoan the lack of space and to look with envy at those apartment-sized bathrooms in magazines – the types of spas that can fit a sound system, four-person hot tub and fireplace. That sort of thinking will not get you closer to your ideal bathroom. Instead, get some inspiration by taking a look at some truly miniscule bathrooms that pack in lots of style. Houzz has some great inspiration here and here. Some wet bathrooms are only 3 feet by 3 feet – the bathroom itself is also the entire shower stall. Yet, some interior designers are able to transform these tiny rooms into stylish bathrooms. You probably have more room than you realize.

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2) Rethink your bath.

Many homes with small bathrooms have a shower/tub combo. If you mostly take showers, though, you will get a lot more mileage out of your space if you get rid of the tub entirely and install just a shower. You can enjoy a better-quality shower, too, including a shower with steam or other special features, if you choose to invest in just a shower. To create the illusion of even more space, consider clear glass shower doors and enclosure – being able to see through to the walls will mean a much larger-looking bathroom. If you must have a bath, opt for a claw-foot tub. Not only are they more comfortable (and usually taller) than traditional small tubs, but they often take up less floor space and allow you to see the tiles under the tub, which is another optical illusion that can make your bathroom seem larger.

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3) Rely on light.

A small bathroom is one thing; a small, dark and dingy bathroom, though, will never look cute. Paint your bathroom in pale colors or in white and use mirrors as well as bright lights to open up the space. Choose large floor tiles in pale colors to create the feel of a bigger space. If you can, increase the size of the window or install skylights to open up the space more.

4) Balance the smaller space with luxury touches.

One of the risks with a tiny bathroom is that it can seem cheap and dingy. The good news? Smaller spaces means that furnishing your space with spa-like details can be less expensive. Even adding marble can be less costly than you think, thanks to the fact that you won’t need very much of it. Consider adding touches such as heated towel racks, marble finishes, beautiful mirrors, gorgeous lighting, and top-of-the-line fixtures and showers to create a spa haven.

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5) Choose a tall pedestal sink rather than a vanity.

If you need space for towels and other bathroom things, consider an armoire just outside the bathroom or a cabinet above the sink. Using the wall space for storage rather than the floor space will ensure you can get ready in the mornings without bumping into everything. Another option is a console sink, which gives you some storage underneath but still doesn’t take up much room. If you must have a vanity, opt for a floating vanity, which will make more room for your feet. If you have a truly tiny space, consider a small wall-mounted sink with shallow fixtures, which will take up the least space. To get some inspiration for great sink ideas, check out the Homedit post here.

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6) Draw the eye upward.

Use a tall pedestal sink, attractive walls and lighting fixtures and tall mirrors or windows to draw the eye upwards and to create the feeling of more space. Long, thin lines will keep the room from feeling cramped.

7) Keep things simple.

A monochrome palette and simple patterns and designs work best, since too many patterns and designs make the space look too busy and smaller. That said, it is important to avoid a clinical look. You’ll want to add some interest, but keep it simple with one focal piece. You may want to add a beautiful shower curtain, for example, or a stylish mirror frame for your mirror. One or two touches like this don’t take up room but add your own unique style to your bathroom. If you need a little inspiration on how to make your bathroom stand out, check out this Creativefan post.

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8) Get clever about storage space.

Keep the items you need for your shower in the shower – use a streamlined shelving system or a shower basket. Use hooks for towels or towel racks that hang up high and draw the eye up. Keep a few extra towels rolled on a shelf. Ultimately, though, if you have a very small bathroom, there will be only so much you can keep in it. Remove the majority of your toiletries to another room (makeup can spoil in the humid and warm conditions of a bathroom, anyway). Keep extra toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and most of your extra towels elsewhere, too. When reviewing what to keep, consider what your morning and evening routine is – just keep what you need for those routines and nothing else.

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Small bathrooms don’t have to mean boring style choices and bruised shins in the mornings. With a little inspiration and some work, you can create a chic spa-like room.

Top Luxury Fixes for Your Bathroom

Bathrooms are no longer just places to brush your teeth and get ready for your day. A number of special features and accessories can transform the most-often used room in your house into a spa retreat:

1) A smart toilet. Manufacturers now make toilets with seat warmers, foot warmers, embedded deodorizers, sensors for flushing, remote controls, and built-in speakers so that you can listen to the radio while you go about your routine. Some have sensors that open and close the lid, too, so you never have to have that argument again.

2) Giant spa baths. Tubs seem to be getting larger and larger. If you hate having your knees sticking out of the tub when you bathe, you will appreciate this trend. Both claw foot and sunken tubs are hot right now and you can add bubbles or jets to the mix to sooth aching muscles. You can even install heating under the floor of the tub so you stay toasty warm while you soak.

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3) Multimedia centers in your bathroom. Miles ahead of shower radios, these systems allow you to watch movies, read a digital newspaper, or peruse e books while you soak. You can even catch up on work or your favorite blogs as you soak or relax.

4) Fireplaces. Faux fireplaces are very popular in bathrooms. Bathrooms can have a clinical, almost cold look to them, and fireplaces instantly add a cozy glow as well as warmth. Bathing by the flickering glow of a fireplace is also very romantic and soothing.

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5) Heated floors. Heated floors can help keep bathroom floors dry and ensure that when you step into your bathroom in bare feet you stay comfortable and warm. The same companies that create heated floors also create heated towel racks for even more comfort and bathroom mirror defoggers. You can even install heated flooring under your shower or bathtub, ensuring you never come into contact with a cold surface. As an added bonus, floor heating is far more affordable than many of the luxury items on this page, and can even be a do-it-yourself project. This is an affordable luxury.

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6) Spa steam showers. Spa-like showers available for personal bathrooms allow you to enjoy a sauna experience or even allow you to enjoy some aromatherapy. The newest showers offer multiple jets and showerheads, adjustable water pressure and very accurate temperature controls.

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If you’re renovating your bathroom, you will want to look beyond the merely functional fixtures and tubs and accessories to luxury touches that can really transform your home into something special. Whether you want a high-tech bathroom or something traditional with a few luxe details, it is possible.

Top 5 Bathroom Floor Heating Systems

Today floor heating is an affordable luxury and with numerous solutions available on the market an average heated bathroom floor project is relatively inexpensive and completely DIY.

Bathroom Floor Heating

This article is a good place to start your research of the options you have for electric floor heating today – it gives you some basic info about top floor heating manufacturers and brands, costs of materials for different size rooms and places you can buy floor heating at best prices.

Below are 5 most reliable and high quality bathroom floor heating systems that you can use to bring warmth and comfort to this important area of your home:

 

#1: SunTouch Floor Heating Mats (also known as HeatWeave)

SunTouch Floor Heating

This is the most popular and reliable system on the market today – installed in millions of homes around the US. It’s perfect for tile, stone, laminate, hardwood floors and can be used in bathrooms of any size or shape. Mats easily attach to the floor and can be cut and turned to go around obstacles (furniture) and get ultimate coverage for your floor surface.

You can get a complete kit that includes all you need to install: a floor heating mat (or 2 mats depending on your floor area), programmable thermostat, installation accessories, detailed printed manual and video tutorial on how to install and use the system. The system comes with a 25 year manufacturer warranty.

Manufacturer website: http://suntouch.com/mats/

Best place to buy: http://www.warmyourfloor.com/shop-by-brand/suntouch.html

Cost of Materials (Complete SunTouch Mat Kit):

Wall-to-wall area SF 40 45 50 60 70 80
Floor surface area SF 15 20 25 30 40 50
System with Programmable Thermostat $368 $421 $474 $526 $631 $736
System with Non-programmable Thermostat $303 $356 $409 $461 $566 $671

#2: Nuheat Floor Heating Mats

Nuheat Floor Heating System

Nuheat is another reliable, high quality and equally popular floor heating system manufactured in Canada. Nuheat standard floor heating mats come in over 60 sizes. With Nuheat you also have an option to customize your mat to the size and shape of any irregular/odd shape room. The mats can safely heat all types of floors – tile, stone, laminate, hardwood, carpet, etc).

Manufacturer website: http://www.nuheat.com/floor-heating/electric-floor-heat.html

Best place to buy: http://www.warmyourfloor.com/shop-by-brand/nuheat.html

Cost of Materials (Standard Size Mats):

Wall-to-wall area SF 40 45 50 60 70 80
Floor surface area SF 15 20 25 30 40 50
System with Programmable Thermostat $475 $498 $510 $527 $604 $665
System with Non-programmable Thermostat $410 $433 $445 $462 $539 $600

Cost of Materials (Custom Mats):

Wall-to-wall area SF 40 45 50 60 70 80
Floor surface area SF 15 20 25 30 40 50
System with Programmable Thermostat $660 $660 $736 $736 $803 $803
System with Non-programmable Thermostat $595 $595 $671 $671 $738 $738

#3: Warmwire Floor Heating Cables

WarmWire Floor Heating Cables

WarmWire is a cable floor heating option from SunTouch. This system uses heating cables or wires instead of mats and can be used in bathrooms or any other rooms of any size or shape. This system is cheaper than the 2 previous mat systems but is more difficult to install (still 100% DIY). Works with most floor coverings.

Manufacturer website: http://suntouch.com/warmwire/

Best place to buy: http://www.warmwire.com

Cost of Materials (Complete WarmWire Mat Kit):

Wall-to-wall area SF 40 45 50 60 70 80
Floor surface area SF 15 20 25 30 40 50
System with Programmable Thermostat $350 $378 $404 $426 $474 $528
System with Non-programmable Thermostat $285 $313 $339 $361 $409 $463

#4: Thermosoft Tile Heating Floor Mats

Thermosoft Floor Heating Mats

A floor heating system for anyone on a tight budget, these mats work for rooms with tile or stone floors. They come with four layers of insulation to protect your floors and have a lifetime warranty.

Best place to buy: http://www.thermosoft.com/radiant-floor-heating/

Cost of Materials:

Wall-to-wall area SF 40 45 50 60 70 80
Floor surface area SF 15 20 25 30 40 50
System with Programmable Thermostat $344 $420 $428 $468 $552 $667
System with Non-programmable Thermostat $314 $390 $398 $438 $522 $637

#5: WarmlyYours Mats

WarmlyYours Floor Heating System

This system provides both standard size and custom mats to fit bathrooms of almost any size. You can also purchase smaller mini-mats for spot heating in crucial areas, such as directly in front of the tub. The mats come with a 25 year warranty.

Best place to buy: http://www.warmlyyours.com/en-US/floor-heating/tile-stone-heating

Cost of Materials:

Wall-to-wall area SF 40 45 50 60 70 80
Floor surface area SF 15 20 25 30 40 50
System with Programmable Thermostat $414 $472 $521 $548 $616 $729
System with Non-programmable Thermostat $384 $452 $501 $528 $596 $709

Any of these bathroom floor heating systems will bring an end to the discomfort and unpleasantness of walking on cold flooring. So pick out one that fits your needs and banish those chilly bathroom floors from your home for good.