Our blog post from earlier this month, an Introduction to Universal Design, has received lots of visits, shares and time spent online. We've also received a few inquiries specific to the idea of designing new bathroom spaces so that they accessible and usable to as many people as possible. Just to recap our definition of Universal Design, outlined previously: Developing a bathroom so it can be accessed and used to the greatest extent possible by all people, regardless of their age, size or abilities.
Today we want to share a good example from a project we just completed this month in Grayslake, IL. The image below shows the tub/shower before on the left and our completed custom tile shower on the right. Here are a few of the more important Universal Design elements to note:
1. Low Threshold Shower: The old tub/shower combination on the left has a significant step-up to actually get into the tub. This client already had hip troubles (as you'll read in her testimonial below) so by lowering the shower threshold to just a few inches (on the right) it will be easier to access the shower by all.
2. Grab Bars Installed: Look at the tub/shower on the left and imagine loosing your balance. It's happened to all of us before, but what will you grab to keep from falling - wet glass doors? Now the new shower on the right has grab bars at the shower entry point, and a massive grab bar directly under the shower head angled down toward the new shower bench. Speaking of shower bench...
3. Customer Shower Bench: Clearly one of our most requested items when designing new showers is a fixed bench. Take a look, under our Diamond Bath logo to see a great example of a customer shower bench. Shaving legs becomes easier and less dangerous, and it also works perfectly for those who may not be able to stand for prolonged periods of time.
4. Handheld Shower Head with Lever Handles: Their new Diamond Bath shower not only came equipped with a massive waterfall shower head, but it was complimented with a handheld shower head as well - a common request for Universal Design installations. We also maintained the lever style faucetry for greater temperature control versus round knobs that are more difficult to turn, especially when wet.
5. Shower Niche Height: If you look carefully at the photo on the left you may see a challenging situation; razors, shampoos and conditioner bottles sit on the lip of the old tub. This would require you to bend over a few times during your shower versus the tiled niche we installed in the new shower. It contains shelves so products can be placed at the height ideal to the client; whether they stand or sit, there will not be any bending over to grab soaps, shampoos or razors. And the likelihood of those products slipping into the shower or tub, potentially causing another fall issue, is also dramatically reduced.
But we hope you'll also look beyond all these amazing design features in the "after" photo and can see how much more beautiful this bathroom will be for our client for so many years to come. She was so excited about the finished project that she left a wonderful review for us. We've copied it in it's entirety below, but in part it says:
"I am so pleased with the result and the consultant they provided to help me pick out colors and tiles. A very professional result that all my friends and family exclaim over."
-- Diamond Bath Client, Kathleen H. from Grayslake, IL
When YOU are ready for professional bathroom remodeling results that excite your friends and family and that you will appreciate every morning for years to come, make an appointment to visit our Diamond Bath Client Selection Center in Crystal Lake!
It seems everywhere we look these days we see designers and architects talking about the "boom" in Universal Design updates within new and freshly remodeled homes. When we started to use this term with potential clients, few knew exactly what it meant, but most had great appreciation for it, once it was explained. Without leaning on Webster's too heavily, we would define Universal Design as:
Developing a bathroom environment so it can be accessed and used to the greatest extent possible by all people regardless of their age, size or abilities.
While we could get into the seven principles of this design framework, it might be more beneficial to provide real-world examples that the Diamond Bath team has actually designed and implemented within our client's homes across Northern Illinois. Here are a few features to consider to make your professionally remodeled bathroom more universally appealing:
1. Low-Threshold Tubs & No-Threshold Showers: Ironically, these are sometimes called "walk-in" showers (or curbless) but the real appeal for these type of showers is for someone who may be wheelchair bound or has difficulty raising their legs would not have any issues with these installations. We suggest install no-slip tiles and grab-bars within these updates to make movement within the tub, shower or toilet safe and easy for all.
2. Shower Benches and Hand-Held Shower Heads: We discussed the renowned popularity of shower benches many times in the past as a "must-have" for anyone with legs to shave. However, shower benches, either built-in during remodeling or a shower seat added separately, can be a literal life-saver for those who may have difficulty standing for long periods of time. It's also relatively easy and affordable during the remodeling process to add a second water line for hand-held shower heads that are in close proximity to the shower bench.
3. Lever Style Handles: We're not really sure who it was that decided that attempting to turn a knob with wet or damp hands made good sense, but we truly prefer lever handles for Universal Design requests. Levers are ideal, not only for faucets controlling your shower and bathroom sinks, but also for wide bathroom doors and on any vanity cabinets that might be present. Even if you are not focused on Universal Design elements for your bathroom project, please pay attention to your faucetry options when installing new hardware at home.
For more suggestions about making your bathroom more universally appealing to all, contact Diamond Bath today to schedule a free in-home consultation! Or call our Crystal Lake offices direct at: 815-893-0282.
About a month ago on our blog, we posted an important article that outlined an important factor people need to seriously consider before attempting a Do It Yourself (DIY) remodeling project. That factor boils down to the resale of your home: How confident will future home buyers be in your ability to remodel? Could your attempt to save a few bucks hinder the future sale of your home?
Following a similar tact, Angie's List just released an article titled, Why Remodeling Your Bathroom Is Always Worth It. While bathrooms are almost always at the top of the list when it comes to delivering the best return on your home remodeling investment, when we get beyond the hard dollars and cents, and apply some common sense, we find a lot of benefits (seven) that are pretty difficult to debate. Below we've summarized AL article to save our readers some time and also provide a bit of local insight from our experience as professional remodeling company based in Illinois:
1. Value: As mentioned above, few remodeling investment can impact the sale of your home as positively as a fresh bathroom transformation. Even if you're not selling at any point soon, a fresh bathroom is a valued improvement to your quality of life.
2. Longevity: A bathroom isn't something you do every few years - most of the time these updates can be measured in decades. And, as a result, when you are measuring what you get for your remodeling dollars, it will be years of improved beauty and functionality.
3. Lifestyle: While we spent some time earlier in 2018 talking about the difference between true remodeling and renovation, those who decide to actually move walls, lower countertops or install walk-in tubs are actually improving the flow and livability of their space. These changes can reflect, and enhance, changes in lifestyle that make your bathroom more unique to you.
4. Time: According to a recent American Standard survey, the average person spends the equivalent of seven days each year in the bathroom! While it may not be as much time as your bedroom, we should at least make our waking hours (and days) as inviting and comfortable as possible.
5. Storage: One of the major improvements we spend a lot of time with clients on is creating storage solutions to reduce clutter. Going back to a quality of life and the time we spend in our bathrooms, reducing clutter with simple yet effective organizing solutions is a big benefit to a bathroom remodel. What are the new ideas for organizing your bathroom? We are glad you asked!
6. Dual Sinks: While this trend is well over a decade in the making, you may still be staring at a single sink with a small countertop each morning. For new home buyers, dual sinks have become an expected update, not just a "nice to have" feature.
7. Spa-Like: A quick search on our Diamond Bath blog for the term "spa-like" brings up dozens of posts and hundreds of photos to peruse. While most people are looking for homes with an "open floor plan", it seems that same majority wants a spa-like master bathroom. Given the workload and stress of our normal day-to-day lives, it's no surprise that so many more of us want to come home to a bathroom that feels like a rewarding retreat that might include a soaking tub, heated floors, waterfall shower heads and towel warming racks.
When the time is right for a professional bathroom remodeling project that not only adds value to your home, but value to your life, call our experienced team at Diamond Bath or visit our Client Selection Center in Crystal Lake!
We genuinely appreciate the Do It Yourself ethic that many homeowners feel comfortable with. Clearly there are smaller projects around the house that with a little education, effort and time, you can address over a weekend. As spelled out within this recent article on The Spruce, money is frequently the motivating factor for some people to roll up their sleeves and pick up a sledgehammer, but these stories frequently miss an important financial point: home resale.
By using your limited weekend time, efforts and sweat, completing that DIY project yourself before anyone really needs to use the bathroom can be rewarding. You'll hope and pray that there are no surprises along the way - like puncturing a water line with a screw or discovering rotted sub-flooring below your tub. But how do you respond in the future when a potential home buyer asks, "Did you have this bathroom professionally remodeled or did you do it yourself?"
While it's easy for any weekend warrior worth her salt to proudly proclaim, "I did it all myself", how does someone considering spending hundreds of thousands of dollars for your home going to feel about YOUR skills versus those of reputable, local companies who perform bathroom remodeling projects each and every day? Keep these key questions in mind next time to you weigh the pros and cons of your bathroom remodeling project. And keep Diamond Bath of Crystal Lake in mind, just in case!
It's strange how some phrases from our past make the transition through generations while others sometimes struggle. Take for example, your "phone". Thirty years ago if you were to say "I've lost my phone" people would have thought you were mad because everyone's phone was fixed to a wall or set on a table with a cord attached. Meanwhile, a phrase like "medicine cabinet" may not conjure many images reflective for our current times - instead we think of squeaky hinges, fingerprinted mirrors and a bit of bathroom chaos on shelves we might attempt to hide from visitors.
But our partners at Kohler are working to change our aged perceptions about medicine cabinets, and organizing bathrooms in general. They recently published this article, Four Bathroom Organization Ideas, that we found helpful and included some new tools for making the most of your new bathroom. Below we'll share their four ideas while providing a bit of our commentary about each:
1. Medicine Cabinets: Whether recessed into your wall or surface mounted, today's bathroom cabinets offer many new features that should not be overlooked. New medicine cabinets can now include both exterior lights and interior lighting to make sure you grab the real tube of toothpaste, not that other tube. Adjustable shelves allow you to accommodate your tallest shampoo bottles and mirrored door backs and cabinet backs allow you to view both sides of a medicine bottle. Finally, the most advanced bathroom cabinets now include outlets for shavers, trimers or just to charge your "phone" before heading out the door.
2. Appliance Trays: One of the most common requests we have for new bathroom vanities is for sleek rollout appliance trays that give your blow dryer, curling iron and other hair accessories a place of their own. Without a designated space, most of these items end up lying around all day, but with metal cups installed in the appliance tray, devices can heat up or cool off without cluttering your countertops. And the more advanced installations also include outlets so everything is ready to go whenever you are!
3. Divider Drawers: How much time do you waste looking for the right tube of lipstick every day, day after day? Kohler recently introduced the Tailored Vanity collection to allow you to organize your bathroom vanity drawers so your space has exactly what you need, where you need it. To get access to the Tailored Vanities buying guide, please follow this special link or ask our Diamond Bath team members for more details!
4. Shower Shelves and Lockers: While we've discussed and frequently demonstrate the popularity of tiled shower niches on our blog, what happens when a niche isn't enough? Here the article goes into detail about the "Choreograph" shower lockers that can be added to a shower during the remodeling process to provide multiple shelves and a basket for expanded shower storage. Because this system integrates with other Kohler accessories, their shower walls would need to be included in your remodeling project. For more details, contact Diamond Bath Remodeling, or feel free to explore the Choreograph Planner tool on the Kohler website.
Either way, you'll never think of your "medicine cabinet" the same way again!
Featuring the best of bath remodeling tips