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Blog for amazing home improvement and remodeling projects in the Philadelphia area. | October 20, 2017

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Shower Systems For an At-Home Spa

October 24, 2016 |

Who doesn’t want to end their day at a spa, relaxing their worries from the day away? What would happen if we told you that we can bring the spa to your home? There are a number of different shower systems that can provide you with the same relaxing, peaceful feeling as if you just ventured out to the spa!

Shower Heads for Anyone

In looking at shower heads and systems, there are a number of different types: standard wall-mount, top mount, sliding bar, and handheld.

  • A standard wall mounted is directly mounted to a wall in the shower and is typically installed at a height specific to the client’s preference to allow for ease of use while showering. A shower head can range from simple design to elaborate.
  • A top-mount shower head is affixed to the ceiling in the shower and usually best accompanies a rainhead shower to give the full access of bathing in a rainforest!
  • A sliding-bar shower head allows for each user to adjust the shower head height based on their personal preference along a wall-mounted base.
  • A handheld shower can be in addition to the wall-mounted shower head, where it can be removed or stationary depending on client preference as well.

In terms of finishes, typically all shower systems are available in polished chrome, satin nickel, and antique bronze.

Wall-Mounted Shower Head

In the simplest form, a shower can contain a wall-mounted shower head and temperature valve as pictured:

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This allows for a shower head to distribute water and a temperature gauge to have the user turn the dial to the desired temperature and water pressure.

Handheld Shower

A tier above a simple shower head and temperature gauge, an additional item can be added for better utilization from the user, a handheld shower. A handheld shower can be installed in addition to a shower head. This handheld shower can be of great use to clients with children, pets, or just for easier use of water distribution. A handheld shower can exist on either a bar where it has the option to move vertically or can be affixed to a stationary bracket, respectively.

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A popular option for the handheld shower is to have this affixed to the wall with either a stationary or moveable bracket and have an overhead rain head shower:

Alternate Nozzles and Sprays

In further upgrading your bathroom getaway, a shower can have alternate nozzles and sprays for steam and alternate water distribution.

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Feeling Overwhelmed?

We understand choosing the right shower experience can be overwhelming with all of the different options available, so here are a few items to think about to help narrow down the options:

  • Think about your dream shower/bath experience and make it come to life!
  • Adjustability to all users of the shower is key, so if you are on the fence about choosing between a stationary or removable handheld shower, go for the adjustable option so each user is able to customize their spa-like experience
  • If you see a product that breaks your budget, try to narrow down what specific features you like about that fixture and look for those features in alternate models below your budget

Overall, coming home after a hard day’s work is most rewarding if your bathroom space helps you to relax and separate yourself from daily life. So why not have the spa treatment in your own home?

Convenient and Stylish Shower Storage Solutions for Any Modern Bathroom

October 21, 2016 |

Storage space is hard to come by in a bathroom. Even with a recessed medicine cabinet, a linen closet, and vanity space, I still have trouble storing items for daily use. More storage solutions are hidden right in front of your eyes! Focusing on just one area, the shower/tub, we can already point out 4 points of added storage space: recessed shower niche, in shower bench seating, wire baskets, and corner shelving. Check out how you can maximize your bathroom storage below!

Recessed Storage Niches

Recessed storage niches can maximize storage greatly. While updating your walk-in shower and/or tub in your bathroom, we get so excited over the new finish material opportunities but often neglect to design specified storage within the shower for ease of use. Niches are great at accommodating small and large shampoo bottles, soaps, and anything else one needs in the shower. Compared to any other storage solution in a shower, niches do not take up any additional space. A typical recessed niche is 12” W x 24” H. The 12” width allows the recessed niche to fit between vertical studs behind the wall which are typically 16” apart. The typical depth of a recessed niche is 3.5”, which is the width of a wood stud. Niches can range in width and height but should be discussed prior to starting so as to make sure any plumbing or electrical wires are not in the way as well as supporting of cut stud if make larger in width.

Recessed niches should be installed in interior walls compared to exterior walls. Materiality for these niches have to be taken into consideration as well. Niches can be tiled and can be framed with different edges to retrieve a different look. For example:

Metal edges on a niche vs. bullnose tile.

Metal Edges on a Niche

Metal Edges on a Niche

Bullnose tile

Bullnose Tile

 

Recessed niches can also span to large widths such as:

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Wide Niche

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Niche

Wire Baskets

Wire baskets can be installed to either corner of the shower. These are meant to provide secured storage for soaps and shampoo/conditioner bottles without them slipping and falling off shelving. This is an alternative to recessed storage niches and pie shelves. These items are typically finished to be rust resistant. The wire baskets allow for moisture to completely escape, allowing for no moisture build up. Wire baskets provide a more contemporary/modern aesthetic to any shower.

 

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Wire Baskets

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Wire Basket

Corner Shelves

Corner shower shelves are an additional alternative to recessed storage niches and fixed wire basket storage. Pie shelves are meant to be installed in the corner of showers and tubs. Unlike the wire basket storage, pie shelves come in a few different materials such as marble, glass, and stone.

Shower corner shelving can come in the shape of a 1/4 pie and triangle size. Typically more 2-3 corner shelves are installed in a shower to allow for ample storage space for multiple users in the shower. A corner shelf can even be installed as a seat and/or foot rest for shaving. Heights for installation of pie shelves are based on their specific users. If you are designing for clients that are shorter or taller than average, it is recommended you install based on the needs of your client. As a point of reference, the corner shelves should be installed within minimum and maximum reach distance for the user, 36”-60” off the finished floor.

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Pie Shelf

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Shower Corner

Shower Benches

Shower benches can become another means of storage within a shower. Typically they need 15” in depth to allow adequate enough space while the seat comes 17”-19” in height from the finished floor. Corner benches are typically installed out of the spray area from the shower head, anchored at 18” from the ground so that feet can be tucked underneath. At this height, this bench can be utilized at a foot rest for shaving or lowered storage for shampoo/conditioner bottles.

Typical materials utilized for shower benches ranges from stone to wood, specifically teak. Shower benches can opt to fold for storage while showering and while not in use can store itself for added space in the shower.

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Stone Shower Bench

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Teak Wood

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Wall Mount Teak Seat

With all these storage solutions possible in just the shower/tub area alone, how can you just choose one? Each offers their own unique solution. When choosing some of these solutions for your bath remodel, don’t forget to consider what you seem to be missing in your current space and what can appeal to all users of the new space!

Express Yourself: Define Your Remodeling Wants & Needs

March 21, 2012 |

Here is a great solution to help define your remodeling hopes and dreams to express them clearly to your contractor/ designer. Remodeling is not just fixing the bad and broken.  It is a total upgrade; a renovation of tired materials, old technologies, and dated design. Think of remodeling as you would a new car purchase. You consider the reliability and warranty when shopping for your new vehicle you.  While these are seriously important, you also consider the comfort, desirable accessories, beauty, and color. Let’s simplify this idea down to three main considerations:  lifestyle essentials, aesthetic desire, and resale value.

Lifestyle essentials – Research Your Daily Needs

What do you do in your space? How does it help you complete daily tasks? Is that basement space perfect for the kids, or maybe it will be an adult retreat?  Does your kitchen need a breakfast space for you and your family? For example, let’s say you have a love for baking.  Your kitchen should be a reflection of this passion. Marble slabs to prep tasty treats, ample oven space to bake all your delectable desserts, and counter space aplenty to cool cookies. These are all essential design elements in creating a space tailored to a life full of sweet creations.  So, get started by taking mental notes of your daily rituals and needs within your project space.  Keep in mind contractors/designers do not know your personal needs.   A clear understanding of how you live in your space allows you to pass along this knowledge to your remodeling team.

 Aesthetic Desire – Find Your Style

How do you want your new space to look and feel? Cozy and warm? Rusty and rural? Clean and modern?  Sleek and urban? Find terms that express your style and taste. To provide yourself and your contractor/designer with a clear definition of the stylistic direction of your project, create a small collection of images representing your desired taste, color palate, and atmosphere. To get started, check out the website HOUZZ.  The site provides a tool to surf their vast database of remodels and collect your favorite images to create a virtual idea bank.

Resale Value- Make It Timeless

Always consider the permanence of your decisions. Keep all investments such as cabinetry, tile work, countertops, and technology neutral.  And let’s get one thing clear… beige isn’t the only neutral, so don’t fear.  You still have many options!  Going neutral doesn’t mean you should avoid color or eclectic elements, but always incorporate your personal touches and vibrant accents to applications easily swapped out. This will allow your tastes and your space to evolve together and become a reflection of you. If in the future you decide to sell, neutral spaces become an asset to your home’s market appeal.

Bring this approach into all remodeling projects as a guide in your decision making process.  The end result will be a successful space that fulfills your needs and your dreams. Speak up about your needs. Speak up about your style. And be smart about your investments. Contractors/ designers can’t read your mind, so tell us what you want. Insist on what you need. Get started!

Be sure to contact the dRemodeling team if you have questions or ideas about your next remodeling project. 

Drexel Hill, Philadelphia Dream Bathroom Remodel

March 14, 2012 | 1

A recent remodeling project took the dRemodeling team to Drexel Hill to renovate a cramped, outdated bathroom. The homeowner wanted to update her drab bathroom and turn it into a luxurious, hotel-worthy space. Rich, warm tones combined with high-end materials easily turned this bathroom into a chic and sophisticated room that could easily be found in any 5-star hotel.

 

Remember, if you’re ready to give your bathroom a facelift, contact dRemodeling for all of your Philadelphia bathroom remodeling needs. 

Bryn Mawr Master Bathroom Makeover

November 2, 2010 |

The creation of a large, roomier master bathroom was the end goal of this particular project.  Amply large windows were in place on two of the walls as well as a cathedral ceiling that featured a skylight.

Initially, the underlying framing was inspected and reinforced.  dRemodeling then prepared the lines for electrical wiring, HVAC, and plumbing.  Next, we installed flooring plywood as well as moisture and mold-resistant drywall on the ceiling and walls.  All the surfaces were primed for painting or prepared for tiling.

Top quality luxury bathroom fixtures were then installed such as a frameless glass shower and jacuzzi tub and an enclosed bidet.  An ornate vanity that contained a double sink was also installed in the process as well as a polished stone countertop and recessed lighting.

dRemodeling then created a natural, serene, and warmer atmosphere by selecting and applying the ideal color scheme by employing subdued, earthtone colors with varying-patterned tiles along the base of the jacuzzi.  Diamond-patterned floor tiles using the same color scheme was also used and the sheetrock was painted in similar fashion.

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