Tag Archives: Bathroom

How to Choose a Bathroom Faucet


We are almost ready for our bathroom renovation reveals. When renovating and remodeling, there are so many decisions that need to be made, we talked about choosing the toilet, WASHLET and vanity for the bathroom, but I did not mention the faucet yet. When choosing a faucet there are several things you need to consider.

Faucet Type

First off, if you are updating and keeping the same vanity top and vanity, you are limited to what you can choose. You cannot install a single handle faucet if you have widespread faucet. Well, you can but it will have to have a plate that covers the other holes so you won’t have the same look. If you are starting from scratch, you have all the options you want. I chose a single handle faucet because I like the sleek look and find them easier to clean.

Sink Type

The type of sink you have is also a factor, if you have a vessel sink, make sure you choose a faucet that will work with it. The type of mount and gallons per minute are other things to keep in mind when choosing your faucet.

 

Finish

The next choice is the finish. Again, if you are not starting from scratch, you need to consider the colors of the other fixtures in the bathroom. We had a clean slate to work with so I went with the brushed nickel.

Style

Next, the hardest part. What style faucet do you want? There are so many styles to choose from! We could not believe all the choices we had in front of us when we were checking out TOTO USA’s website for a bathroom faucet. With so many great styles to choose from, it was hard to decide. In the end, we went with something traditional and elegant. We choose the Guinevere faucet and just had it installed. It is absolutely beautiful.

About Our Faucet

Guinevere as we call her, is more than beautiful, she has a durable brass construction with a ceramic disc cartridge. She has a WaterSense Approved Low-Flow of 1.5 gpm. Guinevere comes in three fabulous finishes: polished chrome, polished nickel and brushed nickel. A metal pop up drain is included.

Our plumber told me that he was very impressed with the faucet. I laughed and told him to handle her carefully and that her name was Guinevere. We both had a good laugh on that, but we still call her by her name. The faucet and pop up drain were easy for him to install without any issues. Guinevere works flawlessly. I will show you how well in a video as soon as we do the reveal.

If you are looking for a new faucet check out TOTO USA. You can also follow them on Social media on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube to see more of their products and here the latest news.

Stay tuned, and subscribe to our newsletter and social media channels so you don’t miss the reveals. Let me know what you think of our choice.



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Big Home Improvement Updates & New Projects #HomeImprovement

Hi Everyone, I hope all the moms out there had a very Happy Mother’s Day.  I am here with some very big updates. We will finally be starting the process of having the interior of our home rebuilt. We received great news from our air and surface testing after the mold remediation was completed so we can go to phase 2 and start getting our house back!

Need Help?

We have had a busy week. First off if you are looking for contractors or craftsmen and women, please try Thumbtack. We live in the country and we were having trouble finding contractors, electricians, plumbers, painters etc. One afternoon on Thumbtack solved that. Our house was like a hub for the next few days getting estimates because we had such a great response.

I have to tell you, we found so many skilled professionals we wanted to work with, it was hard to choose. We actually felt really bad about having to tell them that we hired someone. In the end, we found a contractor to do it all, from soup to nuts, everything! It was the best choice for us and we cannot wait to get this home rebuild party started.

Home Depot Pro Accounts Rock

My husband and I went to the The Home Depot the other day with our new contractor and added all the SKU numbers for all the drywall, wall spackle, thin set, grout, insulation, molding and other building supplies to my Home Depot Pro account. If you are doing work on your home and do not have a Pro account, go and get one, it is free, and if you are doing major renovations and will be spending more than $1500 in 7 days, it is well worth it. They also have a Pro special buy each week.

I could kick myself for the $7,000 plus I spent prior to knowing this. The only thing that consoles me is that what I bought previously was on a huge sale, so I tell myself it probably would not have been knocked down more. That is what I am telling myself anyway.

I work with a wonderful man there and he is so helpful and friendly, he knew my contractor immediately and told me he was a good guy. So, we now have just about everything we need except for the wall paint. That is because I need to pick the colors, which I plan to do this week. My kitchen designer told me to use the Cambria site that I am getting my quartz from. It has a paint match tool that is really cool so that is a huge help. It gave me four shades that would work and so I have to decide which two colors I want to go with.

Unbelievable Deal

We bought all the new hardwood flooring for our upstairs foyer, atrium and bedrooms as well. I am so excited about that because we got a great deal on the wood. It was more than a great deal, it was the kind of deal that makes me think of the IKEA commercial where the woman is running out and screaming to her husband, “Start the Car! Start the Car!”

We also have 3 pallets of Italian porcelain tile in our garage for the kitchen and first floor of our home. I still need to choose the tile for my kitchen backsplash, but my kitchen designer has advised me to wait until the countertop is installed, so I can really see how it will look. In the meantime, I am looking at what I think I want. I have just been informed by my contractor to look at some tile mat designs for the special accent tile I want to put behind my cooktop. I will try and do that this week.

Bathroom Renovation Finally Starting

We are going to be demoing the powder room downstairs and finally installing the new vanity and toilet. I did not pick out the new wallpaper yet so that will be something I need to do. I did pick up the new light fixture for the ceiling  and we have a huge medicine chest, mirror unit that matches the vanity with built in LED lighting from Hafele.

We will then be installing a new TOTO USA Guinevere toilet in our bathroom and  the beautiful Guinevere faucet from TOTO USA in the powder room. We will be installing the American Standard Self-Cleaning Toilet in the Powder Room along with the vanity and mirror unit  from Strasser Woodenworks.

Kitchen Cabinets Due To Be Completed Soon

The kitchen cabinets from Wood-Mode are due to be completed on May 21st! I cannot wait to get my kitchen in. I am so excited. I have missed cooking and baking more than you can imagine.

Our refrigerator and dishwasher were delivered this week too! On May 19th, Home Depot will deliver all the building supplies and then work is going to be full speed ahead.

More Projects Underway

I also have some exciting little projects planned for me to do and show you on the blog. Our basement steps are still the unfinished wood from when we built the house. I want to dress them up a bit. I have thought about it for a while, but never got around to doing it, but no more procrastinating.

I bought Minwax Polyshades in the dark brown Espresso color for the top of the stairs and for the risers, I picked up some Wall Pops, Newport Reclaimed Brick NuWallpaper, peel and stick wallpaper to use. There was a photo on the outside of the package showing it used on stair risers and I loved the look. I will take video of the project to help anyone who might want to recreate the look in their own home.

I am also refinishing some windowsills in my house with the Watco Danish Oil and other Watco products. I cannot wait to share that with you, they are coming out fabulous. I am also covering the process on video, I hope it will help others to see how easy it is to get beautiful results.

Lastly you may remember in my master bath, I have the Concealed Cabinets. Well, I have wanted to add a little bling to them and I found some mosaic tile at Home Depot that I thought would match, and it does! I am going to put them all around the frame and then grout them.

I still need to find the right thing for inside the frame. I am thinking of using one of my flower photos enlarged to that size. The lilacs are just starting to bloom and I am going to try to take a photo that might work for that or use one that I have. I may do one in a peony and one with the lilac. I will Have to see. It is either that or one of my lake photos.

So, that is my update and I will be taking lots of photos and videos of the rebuild and all my projects to share with you of our progress along the way.  If you have any questions, please ask.


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Find Out How a TOTO Washlet can Make You Feel Shiny and New Every Day of the New Year

Happy New Year everyone! I hope it is off to a great start for you. You have probably heard people use the adjectives shiny and new to describe the new year. Feeling shiny and new is exactly what I want to share with you today. I bet you don’t know where this is going. We are going to take this into the bathroom. I don’t want to talk about spring cleaning but do want to tell you about another kind of cleaning. Let’s call it personal cleaning.

I am not talking about a bidet. Quite frankly, I think bidets scare a lot of Americans who do not know what they are or how to use them. Not to mention, they take up a good footprint of space in your bathroom. So is there a better way to get that shiny and new feeling that is easier and faster than taking a shower every time you use the bathroom?

There is, it is called a Washlet. The Washlet was introduced in Japan by TOTO back in 1980 and has become one of their signature products. The first Washlet had 3 functions: rear cleansing, dryer and a heated seat. 10 years and numerous innovations later the Washlet came to America. In 2016 a milestone was reached when 40 million Washlets were sold worldwide.

So what is a Washlet and what’s in it for you? A Washlet is a bidet seat and you will be amazed at everything it can do for you. Do you get upset if the male members of your household do not close the lid after using the toilet? That is one of the first ways a Washlet will help you. The Washlet lid opens and closes automatically, so no more unpleasant surprises. If you worry about chilly seats, the Washlet has that covered too with a cozy, heated seat.

I love that it has an eWater+ system, that uses electrolyzed water, a proven, chemical free disinfectant to mist the bowl after every use. No need for harsh chemicals which are already banned in my home.

The wand of the Washlet is automatically cleaned before and after each use.
Eliminating waste effectively is easier when you are not starting with a dry bowl surface, the premist feature uses the incoming water supply to mist the surface which is 80% more efficient.

 

Next, let’s talk about rear cleansing, I know you are chuckling but also intrigued. The rear spray is designed to provide your derriere with a targeted, pleasant yet strong water stream to get you squeaky clean. The front wash feature provides cleaning in the way of large, soft drops for a comfortable wash that leaves you feeling clean as a daisy.

TOTO is not going to make you drip dry, they have thought of everything! The warm air dryer will make sure you are nice and dry before you go on your way.

Finally, there is an effective deodorizer that cleans the air around the toilet using powerful filters. Air is drawn in, passing through a catalytic deodorizer to eliminate unpleasant odors.

If you want a Washlet with all those features, the S350E is the way to go. It is available in round or elongated and comes in cotton white or Sedona beige. If you would like to see videos of all the features, visit TOTO on YouTube.

We are putting one of these awesome Washlets on our Guinevere Toilet. I will show you more on both as we are further along in the renovation of our bathroom. You have to love constructions delays. In the meantime, if you want to see more about the toilet we chose or some things to consider when choosing a toilet, you can check it out on our post HERE.

To learn more about Washlets and all their fabulous features click HERE. Do you have one of these in your home? Have you been thinking about getting one? Is this the first time you have heard of it? Let me know what you think or about your experience.

Special thanks to TOTO for all their help and for providing us with a Washlet S350e for our project. As always all my words and opinions are 100% my own.

 


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You May Never Need To Clean Your Toilet Again!

When you ask people what their least favorite household chore is, at the top of the list of most people is cleaning the toilet. Can you imagine if there was a toilet that would take care of that dreaded task for you? Well, you can stop dreaming about it because American Standard’s ActiClean toilet is real! This toilet cleans and removes stains at the touch of a button.

I will admit, I was very shocked to learn about this toilet a few months ago. We actually have one and cannot wait to install it. Our “little leak” in our kitchen that caused extensive damage to our home, has delayed our bathroom renovation projects just a tad. We will update with all the details as soon as we are ready to resume that project. I thought I would share my joy with you in the meantime about this amazing toilet.

How does the ActiClean System work?

American Standard provided us with an ActiClean Toilet for our project. As always my words and views are 100% my own.

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Things To Consider When Choosing A Toilet

I cannot tell you how long my husband has been suggesting we get a TOTO toilet. Truth be told, he has gone beyond suggesting and was well into the nagging phase when we began talking about the renovation of our powder room.

I have seen TOTO toilets in many of the upscale resorts we stayed in this summer like the Mirror Lake Inn. Seeing them used like this was another indication they must be superior quality. So I decided to look further into them.

Their website is very easy to navigate and you will find so many styles and designs to browse. They have a special tool called My TOTO that allows you to view, save, compare, and share products for multiple design projects. You can learn about a product’s features and specifications, save it to a folder for future reference, compare its features and price and even share your favorites with friends and family through social media.

The first thing you need to figure out is whether you want a one-piece or two-piece toilet. A two-piece toilet is generally lighter than a one piece toilet since the tank is separate.  This can help if you have to carry it up to the second or higher level in your home.

One piece toilets can usually fit in tighter spaces and they are easier to clean than two-piece toilets. They also tend to have less issues than two-piece toilets. One-piece toilets generally have a higher price point than two-piece toilets.

TOTO also has a third choice, wall-hung, which opens up bathroom space but you need to have an in-wall tank system.

Your style will be the next choice you will need to make. For residential use, you can choose from modern, transitional or classic styles. Other choices you will need to make are whether you want an elongated or round bowl shape, flush rate, flushing system and color.

I knew, I wanted was a skirted toilet. If you are not sure what that is, it means that the trapway is covered, is so much easier to clean and has a smoother appearance. I also wanted a classic design, elongated bowl and powerful flushing system.

I was able to find exactly what I wanted in the Eco Guinevere. This is a uniquely sculpted one-piece toilet with a 1.28 GPF and elongated bowl. It also features  TOTO’s highly efficient Tornado flushing system, which uses a powerful combination of gravity and centrifugal force and CeFiONtect, an extraordinarily smooth, ion-barrier surface to help the bowl stay cleaner longer. I also chose the brushed nickel trip lever.

Eco Guinevere® One-Piece Toilet

Let me know what you think of our choice and I will be posting something else we picked for our toilet. Something that is pretty special! However, you will just have to wait to hear all about it. Feel free to take some guesses and leave them in the comments.

Special thanks to TOTO for all their help and for providing us with this exceptional toilet for our project. As always all my words and opinions are 100% my own.

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Update on Our Powder Room Renovation-See Our Vanity Choice!

We have 2 new renovation projects underway. Our kitchen and the renovation of our powder room with a new vanity, lighted mirror cabinet, new toilet and new paint. We made our decision on the vanity and medicine cabinet and want to share our choice with you.

We are happy to be working with Strasser Woodenworks  and love their selection of bathroom vanities, vanity tops and medicine cabinets. We chose the 34.5″ height vanity in the Montlake Collection. For our door style we chose the miter and for our finish we picked satin white.

satin-white-montlake-vanity

The vanity size is 48″ and we went with a 49″ pearl white quartz top with rectangular sink. We ordered the top to be customized for a one hole faucet.

pearl-white-quartz

For the medicine cabinet we went with the traditional tri-view with the matching miter door style in the satin white finish. We chose the model with the LED light bar.

medicine-cabinet

I think this is going to look great and really update the space nicely and give us a so much more useful storage space. Stay tuned to see the progress of this new project and for the update on the toilet and faucet we chose for this bathroom.

If you are looking for a new vanity, check out Strasser Woodenworks. I have been working with Peter and he has been very helpful through the process. Strasser has over 10,000 combinations of door styles, finishes, knobs, pulls, granite, quartz and vitreous china tops.

Everything is made in the USA to order! It takes about 2 weeks for the vanity and medicine cabinet to be built using hardwoods sourced in the USA and Canada. They build with quality hardware and their soft close hinges are the highest quality and durable. Their cabinets are built with hardware not glued!

Strasser Woodenworks products come with a warranty to be free of defects in workmanship, materials and finish failure for as long as you own the product. That makes me feel really good! You can stay in the loop with Strasser Woodenworks on Facebook, Google +, Pinterest and Houzz.

Let me know what you think of our choice by leaving a comment here. I would love to know what you think.

 


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Master Bath Renovation Update in our Curb Appeal Series!!! #CurbAppeal

Well, it is time for another curb appeal update.  The master bath is slowly coming along. Our tile contractor still has about a week to finish but things are finally shaping up. Tomorrow they are grouting the shower and finishing more walls.  After all the walls are done they will tile the floor, then put the new toilet in, install the tub and we can get the shower panel and frameless doors on, the vanity installed, countertop and sinks, all the trim and the paint.

Here is a look at some of the progress since last time:

master bath

 

master bath 1

 


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Master Bath Renovation Update-The Walls Are Going UP!!! #CurbAppeal

Very noisy and busy day in our household today.  The tile contractor finished the rest of the tile demo and started tiling the area that will be around the whirlpool tub.  Things are taking shape, of course we have a huge amount of work left but for the first time we are seeing the start of our new bathroom.

tile phase 2

These are 2 of the walls that will be around the tub.

tile phase 2 5

This picture shows the two walls in the picture above plus the third wall that is tiled to the ceiling since it is attached to the other floor to ceiling wall where the shower will be.
You can also see the niche that was tiled with the mosaic accents in the back of it.

A little better view of the niches by the whirlpool.

A little better view of the niches by the whirlpool.

With the walls demoed we were able to try the Concealed Cabinets for placement.  The cabinets are being installed in the walls on the side of the master vanity.  They will look a picture and hide a large medicine cabinet.  The walls will be tiled around the cabinets.  Above  each sink will be a large mirror and then we have new lighting that will be installed above the mirrors along with all the recessed lighting already installed.

Now that the walls are all demoed we are trying to figure the placement for the 2 Concealed Cabinets.

Now that the walls are all demoed we are trying to figure the placement for the 2 Concealed Cabinets.

Seem to fit how the studs are perfectly without any major changes.

Seem to fit how the studs are perfectly without any major changes.

I am sure there will be more updates tomorrow along with more noise but it is noise with a purpose.

 


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Curb Appeal Updates: Master Bath Remodel, Let’s Talk About Tile, Tubs, Showers and Niches with a Side of Koi Pond!!!

Curb Appeal LogoWell, the master bath/master bedroom renovation project has officially commenced.  We already had the tile floor demoed and removed  back in the fall.  This week the tile contractor removed the old whirlpool tub, had to tear down the old platform and steps because there was a height and size difference with the new whirlpool.  He then ripped out the rest of the 5 foot high tiled walls in that section.  He is leaving us the shower, sinks and toilet still useable until the whirlpool section of the bathroom is finished. This week that area should be completed and he can start the rest of the demo and reconstruction/remodel.

New Platform Curb Appeal

Now, I thought about recycling the old whirlpool, since it worked and was in good condition but the color a bit dated. I know the components like the pump etc could be offered for a small fee or free via Craigslist or Freecycle, but what about the tub?  What could I do with that?  That is when I got a great idea.  I wondered if I could use it as a Koi pond.  I went downstairs and did some reasearch and indeed I could. It can be covered with a heavy-duty pond liner and set into the ground.  So that will be saved and we’re going to take you through that project as soon as the ground thaws.  Please tell me that as we brace for yet another snowfall that we will experience spring soon! Now lets talk about the tile, this is some of the tile we choose for the bathroom.  It was shipped straight from Italy and was delayed in customs, but finally arrived.  The pictures don’t do it justice.

Tile

 

tile 10

Tile 1

The colors are a gold/ivory color and the wall tile is a subway style, the floor has the same tile  but in 12″ by 12″ squares and then the gorgeous mosaics will be installed near the top in a 2 row width and finished with a row of the bullnose subway tile.

schluter logo

 

Niches, niches, who has the niches?  We do, and we have lots of them thanks to Schluter Systems and their prefabricated shower niches.  We will be using these in more than just the shower!  The largest niche is going in one of the walls surrounding the whirlpool.  It is a full tiled to the ceiling wall and will have the 12″ by 28″ niche installed with the subway bullnose tile and the mosaics in the back that will make it pop off the wall.  It also has a floating shelf that will be set midway and tiled.

Schluter Shower Niche

 

Schluter Shower Niches

 

Schluter Shower Niches

 

Installed Schluter Shower Niche

 

Floating Shelf Schluter Shower Niche

I thought it would be a great accent as well as useful storage that was handy for bath products. A shower niche is an ideal spot to keep shampoos and soaps in a tiled shower. Building a fully waterproof, properly sealed tiled shower niche can be a detailed and time-consuming task. Schluter-Systems has developed four prefabricated and completely waterproof shower niches that are ready to tile. Made of Schluter®-KERDI-BOARD, the shower niches are completely compatible with surface applied waterproofing systems, such as the Schluter®-KERDI and KERDI-BOARD shower assemblies. All four shower niches feature a 1/2″ (12.5 mm)-thick by 2″ (50 mm)-wide integrated bonding flange that sits perfectly flush with the surrounding wall area. The larger sizes include an optional prefabricated shelf that can be installed at any height to create separate compartments within the shower niche.

The preformed shower niche provides installers with increased speed during installation, combined with complete waterproofing dependability. The corners of a traditional shower niche are the most challenging area to waterproof and can be very susceptible to standing water and mold growth. With pre-sealed niche corners this challenge is completely eliminated. The niche complements an already wide array of preformed shower components available from Schluter-Systems, including shower trays, curbs, ramps, and benches. All of these components help installers build waterproof and vapor tight tiled showers more quickly and effectively than with traditional construction materials.

The shower niche is available in four different sizes and we have all of them so we will show you how they not only function so well in the shower but we will install them in areas you might not think for some great design option.  For instance the install in the tile wall by the whirlpool and we also plan to install two in the tiled wall above the new vanity to hold soap and other frequently used products neatly off the countertop.  We will of course be also using one of the larger sizes in the shower as well as one or two of the smaller sizes.  We will take you through the progress of the installation of these great products.  To see more about the niches or anf the other great products from Schluter, just visit their website and be sure to follow them on FacebookTwitter and YouTube.

 


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Tile Update & Picking The Perfect Toilet For Our Bathroom Rennovation!!!

american_standard_logo_detail

Well, I heard from our tile store that they’re just waiting on our tile to clear customs as it shipped right from Italy!  So, it looks like it will be full speed ahead on our master bath very soon.  We are still finalizing the vanity.  I can’t tell you how much stress it’s creating for  me.  I have the bottom the way I want it, but cannot find what I want on top.  The company I am working with is fabulous, but the renderings never match what I have in my head and keeps sending us back to the drawing board.  I have to finalize today or tomorrow or we will have a big set back.

Toilet Pic American Standard

Good news is the toilet we decided on will be arriving tomorrow.  I went with American Standard since they are the brand I have right now for all of the toilets and sinks in our bathrooms.  We knew we had to have certain features.  We needed a 1.6 gallon per flush, elongated bowl, had to have a trap size of 2-3/8 in,  but the most important thing is the flushing power.  I wanted one of those toilets that you see them dumping everything down and it just flushes without a problem, I am talking ping-pong balls, dog food etc.

So working with the good folks at American Standard they recommended the Champion Series.  I was very impressed at what I saw.  There were fewer choices with the 1.6 gallon that we needed, but we found a one piece with everything we wanted and even had the soft close toilet seat with quick release hinges as an available option.  The only thing I could not get was the concealed trap area.  It’s not such an issue since it’s our master and our little ones usually use the other bathrooms.  The Champion 4 Right Height Elongated One-Piece 1.6 gpf Toilet we choose also comes with the EverClean Surface, Power Wash Rim that cleans the bowl with each flush and it’s a chair height which they call right height.

EverClean Surface

We chose the flush lever in the brushed nickel to match our faucets, shower panel, and sinks.  The reviews we read on the model we chose were excellent and that made us feel really good with our choice.  I had to laugh when I read a review about the right height feature, one guy said it was so comfortable he could sit there all day, lol!!! So, we’ll let you know more when we receive it and get to the installation in the next couple of weeks.  It’s getting exciting but now I must run and finalize the vanity.

 


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