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6 Bathroom Layout Mistakes to Avoid

Top 6 Bathroom Layout Mistakes to Avoid

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When doing a bathroom remodel, it’s easy to get carried away with details like tile and flooring choices. However, what matters most in a bathroom redo is the layout. When not done right, it can create a bathroom that is more like a nightmare than a dream. Here are the 6 bathroom layout mistakes to avoid.

1. Door opens to view of toilet – Opening the bathroom door to a full view of the toilet isn’t ideal. While in small bathrooms, this might be unavoidable, if you have the space to avoid this, it’s best to do so. Not only is it bad feng shui, it’s unattractive.

2. Not enough storage – Bathrooms need storage just like kitchens do. Focusing too much on style and not enough on function could lead to a bathroom layout with not enough storage for basic necessities. Using only the vanity for storage leaves you with limited space to store items you need aside from your every day essentials. Be sure to incorporate shelving where possible or use small unused spaces to incorporate storage. Make sure to also include plenty of eye-level storage such as medicine cabinets and recessed storage for everyday items.

3. Inadequate lighting – A layered lighting scheme is best. Softer lighting over tub and shower with brighter lighting by the mirror is best. Choose lighting for above the mirror that isn’t simply downlighting but also lights up your whole face for shaving and putting on makeup without shadows.

4. Not planning for accessories – Failing to plan space and location for accessories such as towel racks and open shelves puts you at risk of having a layout without enough space for these necessary accessory items.

5. Not measuring accurately – Make sure to take into account space around elements such as the toilet and bathtub. You’ll also want to measure for space required for cabinet doors and drawers to open without obstructing flow.

6. Not considering existing infrastructure – The existing infrastructure of the plumbing and electric might not be compatible with your new layout plan. If this ends up being the case, it could significantly increase the cost of your remodel to re-plumb and rewire the space to work with your new layout. In some cases, the extra cost could be worth it to improve the flow and spacing of elements in the bathroom. However, it’s important to consider it strongly before making that decision.

Remodeling your bathroom is an exciting project. You want to end up with a bathroom that flows well and has plenty of space for your needs. Avoid these 6 bathroom layout mistakes to make sure your new bathroom is a dream come true.

Modernizing Your Outdated Bathroom

Modernizing Your Outdated Bathroom

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When you have a limited budget and an outdated bathroom, there are a number of things you can do to modernize your bathroom without breaking the bank. Here are a list of fun ways you can modernize your outdated bathroom affordably.

1. Update lighting – There are tons of styles of lighting fixtures that are modern and affordable. Replace your current outdated fixtures with new modern fixtures for an instant lighting uplift.

2. Update paint – Choose a vibrant color or a soothing color but just make it different from what you have now. Avoid boring basic white–even on the ceiling. Choose a softer, lighter version of the wall color or a complementary color for the ceiling to make the bathroom feel spacious.

3. Update wall decor – If you took it off the wall before painting, don’t put it back up. Choose all new wall decor to go with your new paint color. Updating your wall decor is an instant facelift.

4. Update hardware and faucets – Update sink and bathtub/shower faucets and update your other hardware such as that on your cabinetry. If necessary, update your towel racks and other accessories to match your new modern look.

5. Update flooring – If you have room in your budget, update your flooring. There are tons of affordable styles of tile and other flooring options. If you can’t afford to update your flooring, at the very least update your bath mat and bathroom rugs.

6. Update towels – Update your towels, hand towels and washcloths with new ones to create a cohesive look for your newly modernized bathroom. If you aren’t sure what color or pattern to choose, fresh crisp white towels and bathroom linens are always a good neutral choice.

7. Clear away clutter – Few things look as outdated and old than a bunch of clutter laying around your bathroom. Clear away clutter and use baskets or other storage options for every day items you need handy but don’t want sitting out on counters.

You can modernize any bathroom, even when your budget is limited. A few changes can make a big difference in the look and feel of your bathroom. Don’t live with an outdated bathroom when modernizing it is easy and affordable.

7 Kitchen Layout Mistakes

Avoid These 7 Kitchen Layout Mistakes

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When tackling a kitchen remodel, you want your new kitchen to be both stylish and functional. How functional or efficient a kitchen is depends on layout. Be careful to avoid these 7 kitchen layout mistakes.

1. Inadequate space between counters – This layout mistake is particularly common in kitchens with an island. Ideally, it’s best to leave four feet between counters, though the minimum is 39 inches. The more space you can incorporate into your layout between counters, the better. This allows space for more than one person to be in the kitchen at a time and also space for maneuverability for assistance devices such as walkers and wheelchairs.

2. Not measuring appliances – Appliances tend to be the last elements put into a new kitchen, which can create a major problem if adequate space to fit the appliances wasn’t figured into the layout plan. While many appliances have standard sizes, never assume the appliances you have chosen will fit in a standard space–always measure them to ensure your layout has adequate space for the specific appliances you’ve chosen.

3. Overlooking function – When planning your remodel, you want the most used elements of the kitchen located practically in relation to each other, including the sink, stove and refrigerator. Also think about how you use your kitchen when considering placement of these elements. Don’t forget to consider cabinets when looking at function. Placement of cabinets and how they open can obstruct workflow when not planned out correctly for function.

4. Not planning lighting – Lighting is crucial in a kitchen for visibility when prepping food and performing ordinary kitchen tasks. It’s best to have a layered lighting plan that includes lighting for prep areas, softer lighting for any seating areas and task lighting over key elements such as the stove and sink. For prep areas, placing lights slightly in front of where you would commonly stand provides lighting of the counter without shadows.

5. Improperly planned cabinetry – Cabinet doors and drawers should be able to be opened and closed without blocking doorways or walkways and without obstructing appliances.

6. Including an unnecessary island – While islands are desirable, they aren’t necessary–especially in smaller kitchens. If an island is in your plans but would cut down space between counters (see #1), it’s better to forgo the island and instead go with a rolling kitchen cart to provide extra workspace when needed.

7. Assuming a new layout is needed – Unless the existing layout creates problems you want to solve or isn’t as functional and efficient as it could be, a new layout might be a complication best avoided. Architects and builders design kitchen layouts to avoid many of the issues in this list. Doing a new layout might create more problems than it solves.

When remodeling a kitchen, it’s understandable to want everything to be fresh and new–including the layout. Creating a new layout for the kitchen should enhance function and efficiency, not hinder it. Avoid these common kitchen layout mistakes to make sure your new kitchen works best for you.

Floor-to-Ceiling Cabinets

Are Floor-to-Ceiling Cabinets Right for Your Kitchen?

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A newer trend in kitchens is to move most or all of the cabinetry to one floor-to-ceiling wall of doors and drawers. This provides the necessary storage to do away with upper cabinets and some lower cabinets as well, without sacrificing space you need for dishes and pantry items. While it sounds like a good idea, it might not be right for every kitchen.

 

Floor-to-Ceiling Cabinetry

Floor-to-ceiling cabinetry literally goes from the floor to the ceiling. Typically confined to a single wall in the kitchen, moving all of the storage to one wall creates more options for how to use the rest of the space in the kitchen where cabinets would normally be. Great examples of kitchens this option works for are open floor plan kitchens and U-shaped kitchens where having a set of upper cabinets hanging down from the ceiling would obstruct the view and block valuable light. If your kitchen isn’t U-shaped or open floor plan, that doesn’t mean floor-to-ceiling cabinets can’t work for you. It depends on the layout and size of the wall that will be used for cabinetry. Will that wall be large enough to create sufficient storage to do away with cabinets elsewhere in the kitchen?

 

Benefits of Floor-to-Ceiling Cabinetry

Choosing floor-to-ceiling cabinetry can provide a number of benefits. Just a few of those benefits include:

  • Open up space for more natural light to flow through, making the kitchen feel lighter and brighter.
  • Adds openness and light to your workspace. Without upper cabinets to cast shadows onto the counter, your work space has more light and is easier to work in.
  • Creates a backdrop of color for your kitchen and visual interest. You can choose darker cabinets with a light-colored counter material to create contrast and visual interest in the space.
  • Can build in appliances into your cabinet wall to keep them off counters and free up counter space, such as the microwave or even build in an extra oven.
  • By providing a whole wall of storage space, there is a home for everything which means no more clutter. This is especially helpful in U-shaped kitchens where clutter is very noticeable.
  • You can add a niche in your cabinet wall to hold cookbooks, act as a sideboard or even as a place to display heirloom dishes

Moving the cabinetry to one wall and going floor-to-ceiling is a great way to create more useable space in some kitchens, particularly open floor plan and U-shaped kitchens. However, much depends on the kitchen layout and size to determine if this cabinetry strategy is a good fit for your kitchen. Not sure if this might be an option for you? The pros at The Cabinet Market can help you explore this and other cabinet options to give you the best storage solution that works for your kitchen.

7 No Fail Space Saving Ideas for Small Kitchens

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If you have a small kitchen, you know how limited kitchen space can be. It’s important to make the most out of every single inch available in a small kitchen. Here are some no fail ideas to help you save space in your kitchen and use what space you do have more efficiently.

1. Choose a single bowl sink. A single bowl can feel more spacious while actually taking up less space than a double bowl sink.

2. Check out a cabinet-depth refrigerator. A cabinet-depth refrigerator is made to line up evenly with the fronts of your cabinets. A standard-style refrigerator typically extends an extra 6 to 8 inches from the front of your cabinets. You’ll save space and hardly notice the difference.

3. Add a lazy susan to the corner cabinet. Corner cabinets are notorious for being difficult to reach items in. Change that by adding a cabinet-sized lazy susan so you can just spin to find what you need.

4. Add pull out shelves to the corner cabinet. If a lazy susan isn’t your style, instead use roll-out shelving in corner cabinets to avoid losing space while making it much easier to reach what you need.

5. Consider a kitchen cart. If your kitchen is too small for an island, consider a kitchen cart. A kitchen cart can roll out and provide extra workspace when you need it and roll away out of sight when you don’t.

6. Add under-cabinet lighting. More light makes any space feel more open and bright. Add under-cabinet lighting to give the illusion of more space, eliminate dark corners and help light up your counter prep areas for best visibility.

7. Choose an installed or built-in microwave. Typically, microwaves are installed above the stove but there are models that can be installed wherever you have space under a cabinet (even lower cabinets). Having an installed or built-in microwave gets the appliance up off the counter, giving you more of that all-important counter work space.

Small kitchens are known for being a hassle to work in. These seven no fail space saving ideas for your small kitchen will free up so much space, you’ll feel like you have a whole new kitchen.

Simple Ways to Make Your Kitchen More Eco-Friendly

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No one can deny that the environment is a key area of concern. Recycling, reusing and reducing your use of plastics, paper and glass are great steps. Did you know there are simple ways you can do even more to help conserve energy and protect the planet by making your kitchen more eco-friendly? We have a great list of easy ways and simple changes you can use to be more environmentally-friendly in your kitchen.

  • Switch to LED lightbulbs. LED bulbs are the most energy efficient choice and they last longer too.
  • Use glass or ceramic cookware in the oven. Did you know you can reduce your oven’s temperature by 25 degrees and still use the same cooking time when you use ceramic or glass bakeware instead of metal? That 25 degrees can save a lot more energy than you realize.
  • Keep the oven door closed while cooking and use the light and window to check on food instead. Every time you open the oven door to peek at the food, the oven can drop in temperature by as much as 25 degrees – making your oven work harder and using up more energy to keep the right temperature.
  • Use the right sized burner. Match the pan size to the burner size. Using a smaller pan on a too-large burner results in heat loss. This means less efficient cooking of your food and that lost heat ends up heating up your home instead, making your HVAC unit work harder.
  • Install a low-flow faucet. Low-flow faucets can decrease water use by as much as 60%.
  • Use pan lids when cooking. Especially when boiling, keep the pan lid on to keep steam from escaping. This will help foods cook faster and also avoid heating up your home with released steam.
  • Unplug small appliances when not in use. Unplugging your toaster and coffeemaker might not sound like a big deal but it prevents these appliances from pulling latent power when they’re not in use.
  • Fill the freezer. Freezers hold temperature better when they’re full. Freeze items to prevent food waste and fill any open spaces with bottled water to keep the freezer full.
  • Keep the fridge and freezer condenser coils clean. Keeping the coils on the back (or underneath, on some models) of your fridge will help the appliance work more efficiently. This is an easy task to accomplish with a vacuum attachment – just temporarily unplug the fridge first.
  • Microwave it. When reheating leftovers, use the microwave instead of the oven. A microwave uses less energy but will also avoid heating up your house.
  • Consider composting. Of course, minimizing food waste is ideal, but for food waste you do have, consider composting it. Small composting units are available to make it simple and easy, without taking up a ton of space or area in your yard.

Small changes can add up to a big difference in helping your kitchen and cooking activities be as eco-friendly as possible. We hope this list has inspired you to look for even more ways to help the environment in your kitchen.

Have a Crush on Quartz? Check Out Quartz Surfaces from HanStone

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Quartz is incredibly popular right now for both kitchens and bathrooms and even outdoor spaces. If you have a crush on quartz, you’ll want to take a look at HanStone quartz surfaces.

 

What is Quartz?

Quartz is a natural, mined mineral with a crystalline structure formed from silicone and oxygen. It is the second most abundant mineral in the earth’s crust. You might be more familiar with types of quartz that are also considered semi-precious stones such as amethyst and citrine. Quartz is one of the hardest materials on earth and rates a 7 out of 10 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness. There are only three known materials that are harder than quartz: sapphires, topaz and diamonds. As a surface, quartz has up to 6 times the durability and strength of granite, making it a great alternative choice for countertops, backsplashes and islands.

 

Quartz Surfaces by HanStone

HanStone quartz surfaces are made from about 93% quartz crystals mixed with high-quality polymer resins and various pigments to create a finished product that is scratch-resistant, stain-resistant and microbial-resistant. Unlike other surfaces such as tile, granite and marble, it doesn’t require regular resealing or conditioning. The non-porous nature of HanStone quartz surfaces prevent contamination or growth of bacteria, viruses and mildew or mold.

HanStone quartz surfaces are available in more than 60 colors and patterns in North America. Many of the colors and patterns are inspired by nature and the textures and hues of natural stone. HanStone quartz is made from pure mined natural quartz. Natural quartz contains variations in color, shape, shade and pattern that are part of the unique look and charm of quartz.

If you are ready to indulge in your crush on quartz, whether for a kitchen, bathroom or even an outdoor space, you’ll want to explore the options HanStone has to offer. Visit the Cabinet Market to take a closer look at HanStone.

How to Choose a Bathtub for Your Bathroom Redo

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After years of shower domination, the bathtub is making a major comeback. Whether you’re adding a bathtub back into your bathroom or replacing an old bathtub, there are several factors to consider when choosing a bathtub for your bathroom redo.

Available Space – The first factor in choosing a bathtub is to get an accurate measure of how much space you have available in your bathroom for a bathtub. The amount of available space impacts what size and style of bathtub you can consider for your bathroom. Choose the wrong size and you’ll have a very expensive change out on your hands.

Style – Next, you’ll want to consider what style of bathtub you want. The style options available to you can be limited based on the amount of available space you have. The major styles are divided into two categories: freestanding or recessed bathtubs. Freestanding bathtubs are not attached to a wall and are most suitable for bathrooms that are more spacious. Styles of freestanding bathtubs include clawfoot, angled, oval and rectangular. Recessed bathtubs are typically surrounded by walls on three sides (corner-style tubs being the exception) and are the most common ones you see in apartments, condos and small bathrooms. Recessed bathtub styles include undermount/drop-in, corner-style, walk-in and soaking tubs such as Japanese tubs or garden tubs.

Material – Once you’ve got the measurements of the space available and have chosen a bathtub that fits the bathroom and your style preferences, you’ll need to decide what type of material you’d like for your tub. Depending on the style and size of the bathtub that will work for your bathroom, your choices for materials might be limited. In general, there are a number of materials bathtubs are made from, including fiberglass, acrylic, porcelain, ceramic, stone resin, processed stone, marble, cast iron, steel and copper.

Budget – When making the decision on materials, you’ll need to keep your budget in mind. A freestanding tub ranges from around $600 to $3,000 depending on the material and style. A recessed tub ranges from around $400 to about $1,200 depending on material and style. (Note: These estimated prices do not include installation, which can vary greatly by area and provider.) The more affordable materials are fiberglass, acrylic and porcelain. The most expensive materials are cast iron, steel and copper is generally most expensive. The other materials fall in the middle, pricewise. You’ll want to make sure you have enough in your budget to choose the material you want for your tub or explore what materials will work for you in the budget you have available.

Who knew there could be so many factors to consider when choosing a humble bathtub? Keeping these four factors in mind and choosing carefully will get you a great new tub you can enjoy for years to come.

Kitchen Upgrades with Great ROI

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If you’re planning your summertime home improvement projects, there are some simple and affordable kitchen upgrades you can make with great ROI. Let’s take a look at the top kitchen upgrades that add value to your bottom line.

Paint – Almost any room looks new and fresh with a coat of paint. Updating paint is inexpensive and the options are endless. You can stick with the timeless neutrals or go for one of the hot colors of the moment with saturated blues, deep greens and soft grays. You’ll be surprised just home much a fresh coat of paint can be an ROI booster.

Lighting – Lighting adds brightness and a sense of spaciousness to the kitchen, especially smaller or darker kitchens. You can also make a statement by choosing big, bold pendant lights for lighting that adds pizzazz and value.

Quartz – Quartz countertops are the new classic choice for your kitchen. Quartz and quartz-based composites hold up well to wear and tear, don’t stain, resist heat and resist scratches and dents. It’s durable and more affordable than most natural stone options, such as granite and marble. It comes in tons of colors and patterns and is made from a combination of resins, quartz and materials that resist bacteria and microbes also. This inspired countertop choice will pay off big time at selling time.

New Cabinets – While one of the pricier upgrades on our list, new cabinets don’t have to break the bank. If your cabinets have seen better days, replacing them will give you great return on your investment, compared to other upgrades. With so many styles and options available, new cabinets can be more affordable than you might expect. If your cabinets are in great shape but could use a little modernizing, opt for new hardware to give the whole kitchen a lift.

Dramatic Backsplash – One of the more affordable updates on our list, a new and dramatic backsplash can shift the whole look and feel of your kitchen. Many backsplash options are easy to install yourself so the DIY option helps you save money on this upgrade and recoup maximum value for the cost and effort.

Get your summer home improvement projects started with this list of kitchen upgrades with great ROI. You’ll freshen up the heart of the house and add value to your home at the same time.

Bathroom Updates with the Most Bang for Your Buck

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When chosen carefully, bathroom updates can get you from 60% return on investment (ROI) to over 100% ROI. The key is knowing which upgrades give you the most bang for your buck. We’ve got a handy list of top upgrades right here.

Go Vertical – The one thing nearly every bathroom could use more of is storage space. Even in the smallest bathroom, more storage is possible if you think vertically. Create more storage by installing shelves vertically and instantly add value to your bathroom (and your home).

Make a Statement – Large custom showers have taken the spotlight for the last several years and have shoved the tub further and further from thought with tiny barely-there tubs that just say “forgotten”. Big, bold statement tubs are making a big comeback in the bathroom. A garden style, deep soaking tub is ideal and you can get them with or without surrounding decking to make just the statement you want… “wow!”

Go Faux – Everything spa-like influenced is the new classic and timeless look. Spas have lots of different elements, including wood. However, wood doesn’t hold up well in the moist and steamy environment of your average bathroom. Go faux with wood-looking tiles or faux wood vinyl panels to create the look and spa-like feel without the warp and rot that comes with using real wood in the bathroom.

Update Laminate – Laminate only gives one message to a buyer–cheap. Laminate can also be expensive to replace and a pain to rip out and redo. One way to update laminate is to cover it up with a concrete overlay. With tons of options to choose from and so many colors and finishes, a concrete overlay doesn’t just update that old laminate, it adds flair and style to your bathroom without breaking the bank.

When you spend money on bathroom updates, you want to make sure the updates you choose will add value or at least make up for their cost when you choose to sell. These are the top bathroom updates that are bringing the biggest bang for your buck.

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