As I reflect upon the hundreds of bathroom remodeling consultations I have done, and the numerous bathrooms we have remodeled, they all started with a phone call to book a visit. We believe that if we can get you to express what is really wrong with yours, then discover what you feel comfortable investing to fix it, that the odds are good that we can make it happen.
The best solution is always one we come up with together. Your desired kitchen full of functionality and grace is what we can provide once we meet and figure a few things out. Here are a few things that will help us focus on what makes sense in your home.
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Bathrooms are in every home, thanks to indoor plumbing! For clarity, this is just one of the cool things that has been accomplished in the past century.
It’s easy, anyone can do it ?
I understand that any enthusiastic homeowner can update the components of a bathroom themselves after watching a few episodes of any home improvement show, a couple dozen trips to a big box store, some elbow grease, a cart full of new tools, and a month worth of evenings & weekends to burn.
Are your bathrooms outdated and in need of rehabilitation or a face lift beyond a do-it-yourself project? If the answer is yes, this is where Levco’s experience is going to pay off.
Who wants to remodel every time a fad changes?
IMHO (In My Humble Opinion) a decent remodeling project should be:
- Functional (as in Universal design)
- Safe (as in bars, non-slip surfaces, and electricity)
- Be modern behind the scenes
- A well thought out designed bathroom that is spatially accommodating.
- Easy to see what you are doing
- Have decent ventilation
- Easily cleanable and durable
- Have adequate storage
- Be comfortable
Levco believes that there is a solution just around the corner. We can provide a great design and deliver a bathroom that works for the whole family. I often joke with my clients that we should leave the polished brass, because it will be back in vogue before you know it.
Who knew that there wasn’t enough hot water to fill your soaker tub or that you would rarely use it? After all, we are just a century away from the out house.
Bathrooms are a private personal space. We get naked in them for crying out loud. We primp, bathe, toilet, and we occasionally weigh ourselves. We often share the space with others. No room in our homes gets this kind of use so why not make it clean, neat, bright, and functional.
Master bathrooms are especially private; they should be designed to complement you and your style. From exhaust fans to the height of your toilet, from the number of sinks to the size of your shower. From the tub, or no tub question, to adjustable lighting, we will openly discuss and address all of your concerns to create a unique project you can enjoy for many years.
14 things I consider when approaching a bathroom remodeling project.
Ease of cleaning is commonly brought up. Who wants to be a slave to the bathroom cleaning? Not me! I have seen tubs and showers ruined by over cleaning. Perhaps we can share some of our experiences with proper cleaning materials and techniques.
2. Glass doors, or not?
Everyone knows that frame-less shower doors are better than the framed ones, but did you know that there is a small space (about the width of a quarter) between the panels that can let water out? You want a walk-in, but do you have enough room to avoid splash out? How about placing your shower valve where you don’t have to get wet turning it on? What’s all this talk about trench drains? We have answers. We can even recommend a great glass cleaner to keep those hard water spots away.Do you want glass shower doors or is a shower curtain enough? An open curtain makes the bathroom feel bigger.
3. Plumbing fixtures
The evolution of sinks, faucets, and the toilet amaze me. Nowhere is this better appreciated than in a modern upbeat showroom. Fortunately, we have two great showrooms in town. Then there are all sorts of options for materials and shapes for every fixture under the sun. Wouldn’t you appreciate being shown all these options by an expert at a personal appointment? Is space a problem? If so, perhaps a tank-in-the-wall toilet is the perfect solution. We recently installed our first bidet to the delight of our client. (Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it). Rain heads are nice, so why not see how they work at our showroom before you buy one and are disappointed. Does it take too long for hot water to arrive? Try a hot water recirculation pump. There are several types on the market.
Where is your window now and should it be relocated? Do you have the lighting positioned to give you the best lighting to see your face? Is there a need for general lighting and focused lighting too? Natural lighting, as in a window, is a part of good ventilation too but will you really leave the window open in the winter? Natural lighting in a bathroom is often a luxury. Let’s explore some options together.
Flooring is another material that brings many options to the foreground. There are traditional materials, which include tile or vinyl, but there is more out there than meets the eye. Why not get to select it with an expert during a private meeting at an outstanding showroom? When the flooring harmonizes with your fixtures and colors, then everything “plays well together” as I like to say. Should the floor be heated? There are flooring products out there that are not cold on your feet.
Cabinetry has gotten much better over the years. No longer is wood on wood contact for sliding drawers a necessary. There should be wide open functional storage beneath the countertop. Minimizing counter top clutter is a trend that will be here forever. I can’t begin to tell you the clutter I have seen and solved with some clever ideas. Adding outlets in cabinets and drawers is a favorite modification. Wood finishes have been improved and we are seeing pullout shelves being used. Adding an outlet to a hidden space makes operation of electrical devices that much easier. Floating cabinets are very popular; we often combine them with under mount lighting.
Walls are a blank palate. Often the right texture will make a subtle statement. We have removed wallpaper for years but is coming back into vogue (not the aluminum type, sorry). Consider some wainscoting or two colors of paint. Artwork and mirrors are popular considerations as well as the proper sheen of paint.
8. Counter tops
Counter tops are commonly remnants of stone or other solid surface materials. Although tile is attractive, we are finding folks shying away from it. Tile is really still only used for the back splash.
Alternative materials that are out there include Quartz, Glass, Paperstone, Corian, and more. We even made a top for a client out of a piece of African hardwood because it had a powerful meaning to them.
What will happen if tile work is done incorrectly? We have seen it all when it comes to tackling a bathroom project. Often in new home construction, we see “Green Board” used as tile backing. Although technically moisture resistant (and there is no code prohibiting its use), it fails when wet. A client I was visiting said she was giving her dog a bath in her shower. When she leaned up against the wall for support, she put her arm right through it. Another one had a friend install the rubber liner in the wrong place which when used for a year or so caused substantial mold to grow (as well as an awful smell). We always specify proper waterproofing materials for tile backing and use experts to install our mud-set shower pans.
How about a niche for holding bottles of shampoo and other devices in the shower? Glass block is still a material to consider.
Tile work and combinations of materials like porcelain and glass make a bold or subtle statement depending upon how you arrange them. Should I do a vertical or horizontal accent? Let us help you make those sorts of calls. Patterns are cool, but there is a time for bold and a time for subtle. “It’s been a long time since we have done a horizontal accent” says Paul Davis, our masonry contractor “It’s a matter of taste, there are no rules.” Sure slate looks cool but it is a porous stone that is fragile and prone to disintegrate with the harsh soaps we use. That is not to say natural materials are out; they just need to be used in the right places.
Grout has come a long way too. We offer several types that have good, better, and best moisture proofing characteristics.
We often find that space is of the essence. What kind of door do you want to use? There are the typical swinging doors, then there are barn doors and pocket doors that eliminate the need to keep an area free for the swing. A typical bathroom door is 2 feet wide but we prefer to use 3 feet wide doors to ensure access by wheelchairs.
Choosing the right color is a personal thing, while choosing the right sheen is just as important. The shinier or the more sheen, the less likely moisture will penetrate the paint. At lease use a medium sheen for the bathroom. Anything flat will absorb moisture and cause problems eventually.
12. Ventilation & heating
Ensuring that your bathroom has adequate ventilation is one of the most commonly overlooked areas of a bathroom. Having the correct CFM (cubic feet per minute) fan is all well and good, but it takes a conscious action to turn it on. We recommend using your fan until the moisture / humidity is gone. One way is to use an electronic timer, another is to purchase a fan with a humidity sensor or switch that automatically kicks it on and off.
Heating goes hand in hand with ventilation. A toe kick register is better than a floor register in my opinion. There are stand alone electric units, wall units and radiant floor units to consider. Not having some sort of heat source is not a good option.
We like to ensure that there is plenty of storage in the bathroom. We have solved this situation in several ways; from medicine cabinets and custom storage shelving, to cabinets that hang over the toilet and hidden drawers under the sink. Think about the storage needed to have a backup of vital things like toilet paper, cleaning supplies and towels at hand.
14. What else is out there on the horizon?
From changing out countertops, floors, and plumbing fixtures, to creating a day spa experience, Levco is committed and capable of creating an answer to your bathroom questions and delivering a bathroom of distinction.
For lots of ideas see our Showroom page Decorating Idea Sites.