The Whole House – Options to Consider When Building or Remodeling – Part 2

In Part 2,  we will evaluate heating & cooling options, appliances, faucets & fixtures and cabinets & countertops.  Some of these categories have evolved over the last ten years to minimize their environmental impact.

Heating & Cooling

Living in the Northeast requires that homes have a functional heating system.  In many of the older style homes, furnace are used.  Furnaces can be gas powered or oil powered.  A furnace is designed to call on its designated fuel source, burn it to create heat and distribute the heat throughout the house via a duct system.  Most of the innovations in furnaces have come from gas fired furnaces.

furnace system

Innovations have included exhaust heat exchangers, flame modulation and high efficiency blowers.  Boilers burn oil, natural gas or propane to heat water. The heated water is then pumped through out the house to baseboard heaters, radiators or a radiant floor.  High efficiency boilers have many of the same features of the high efficiency furnaces.  They can be up to 50% more expensive, but those costs are gained back over time due to having to use less energy.  One of the green systems that has gained a fair amount of traction over the last five years is geothermal systems. A geothermal system is a form of heat pump that transfers heat to and from the earth.  An efficient geothermal heat pump is able to move three to five times more energy than it consumes.  It can be used in both warm and cold climates.

example of geothermal pump

Appliances

Today most new appliances have the EnergyStar or EnergyGuide label.  These designations indicate to consumers that the manufacturers of certain appliances are working to meet high efficiency standards without compromising performance.  The appliances that put the most demand on energy resources are refrigerators, washers & dryers, dishwashers and cooktops & ovens.  Refrigerators are always on, so they are the worse offender of energy consumption.  Today’s refrigerators can be up to 75% more energy efficient than ones built just 15 years ago.  Refrigerators also do a better job of storing food.  There are compartments or bins in the new refrigerators that can regulate the humidity and air flow to help minimize spoilage.  When it comes to washers and dryers,  the important aspect for washers is water consumption and for dryers, it is electrical use.  In fact, as of 2015, the Energy Star specifications for clothes dryers goes into effect.  Washers can be loaded in two ways: top loaded or front loaded.  Front loaded washers will use up to one third less water water than a top loaded washer and because of their design, they reduce the wear on clothes. They also save on electricity costs.

front loading washers & dryers

Dishwashers will consume a both a fair amount of water and electricity, because the dishwasher goes through a a few rinse cycles and it uses electricity to run its motors to heat the the water for more efficient cleaning.  According to EnergyStar, dishwashers produced before 1994 typically use 10 gallons per more than modern units.  The modern units will also provide an option for boosting the internal temperature for drying purposes or dial in an energy saving mode.  Another factor for dishwashers is sound.  Increased insulation and sound proofing has reduced the decibel level on most modern dishwashers.  Cooktops & ovens can run off of electricity, natural gas and dual-fuel.  One of the most significant innovations with stove tops is induction cooking. Induction cooking heats a cooking vessel by electrical induction, where only the heat gets transferred only to the metal.   You could place your hand on the surface of an induction stove set it on high and you would not receive a burn.

induction cooking

Faucets & Fixtures

The Ultimate Bath Store is all about faucets and fixtures and their trained sales consultants are by far the best resources for what products will work best for your bathroom or kitchen project.  Many of the manufacturers that the Ultimate Bath Store works with, have already developed products that carry the WaterSense label.  Stop by one of stores today and learn how the bath and plumbing industry is conserving one of our most precious resources:  water.

Cabinets & Countertops

The manufacturers of cabinets have been slow to adopt sustainability standards in their industry,  but over the last few years, there has been an internal push to establish some guidelines.  When thinking about cabinets, the homeowner should stay away from particleboard cabinets with a veneer.  Solid wood construction is the way to go.  It may cost a little more, but in the end, it is the best option.  Countertops come in many forms: stainless steel, granite, laminate, concrete, tile and engineered stone.  Granite provides the most interesting options in terms of looks, but it is pricey and not always the best, in terms of durability.  Too get that high end finish and toughness without the cost, engineered stone is an excellent option. Concrete has also made significant inroads as a viable option. Surface like countertops are really critical to your kitchens overall look & feel, so play through the choices before making a decision.

concrete countertop

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The Whole House – Options to Consider When Building or Remodeling – Part 1

This two part series will provide the homeowner with some ideas to consider when considering any type of project related to your home.  In this first part, we will tackle exteriors, roofing and windows.

Exteriors

The exterior of your house takes major abuse.  If the weather isn’t beating down with UV rays and water, it can become a potential habitat for critters.  It has to be durable and resistance, especially to fire.  Above all, it needs to be pleasing to the eye, because as they say, ‘you never get a chance to make a first impression.’   Some of the products that meet this criteria are brick, wood, engineered wood & fiber cement.  Brick is forever.  Made of clay and shale, brick is very durable.  Due to its thickness, it provides excellent insulative qualities.   It can be expensive, but once it is in place, it is low maintenance and forever.

Wood is typically the siding of choice for most contractors.  Wood products don’t require a lot of energy to produce.  Wood is a renewable product that might make up nearly half of all raw materials manufactured in the U.S., but it’s share of energy consumption is only 4%.  Engineered Wood is made from wood strands that are coated with a resin binder and compressed to create a strong board. It is resistance to termite and decay.  Fiber cement siding is composed of sand, cement, clay and wood pulp fibers.  It has a smooth textured finish of wood, but it is long lasting, fire resistance and rot proof.

wood siding

fiber cement siding

Roofing

Asphalt shingles dominate the options for protecting your roof.  A good asphalt shingle should last a maximum of 25 years.  It is a petroleum based product and it is tough to recycle, which doesn’t help is green appeal, but it’s affordability will keep it in the pole position for many years to come.  Metal roofing products are mostly made of recycled steel.  New designs and long durability have made metal roofs the new fashion statement.  Unfortunately, metal roofs can be easily damaged if there is impact activity on the roof.

asphalt shingle

metal roof

Wood shingles can provide a rustic look, but they are susceptible to water damage and fire unless chemically sealed.  Clay or concrete roof tiles would appear to have it all: good looks, fire resistance and excellent durability.  The only drawback and it is a fairly big one, the cost.  The materials to make it are expensive and it is very labor intensive to install.

concrete roof tiles

Windows

Of all products related to home both interior and exterior,  windows have made the most technological advances.  Today’s windows can vastly improve the energy efficiency of an old house with older windows.  All windows manufactured in the past few years have to adhere to strict codes, which requires them to be double glazed and absorb UV rays.  Having just started the process of replacing windows, I have already noticed the difference between the replacement windows and the original windows that were installed over 20 years ago. Of course, just replacing the window is the panacea.  Having a competent carpenter install them makes a big difference.

replacement window

Join us for our next post, when we review energy efficient products for the categories of heating & cooling, appliances, faucets & fixtures and cabinets & countertops.

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Product Highlight: Thermasol – Superior Steamshower Systems

Thermasol was the creator of the first steam shower unit for the home.  This was back in 1958 and today, they offer the only 100% digital, fully networked steam systems in the world.  They are also one of the only steam shower manufacturers to include Bluetooth® technology in their steam shower packages and offer a mobile application for controlling everything from temperature to light and music via wireless telephones and tablet devices.

We had the opportunity to connect with Martin Siwy, Thermasol’s Vice President of Sales & Marketing and do a little Q&A.

The steam generator has evolved over the last 10 years, is it a more accepted part of a bathroom redesign?

In October 2007, ThermaSol was the first manufacturer in the category to incorporate a 100% digitally networked system. We chose the CAN-bus protocol which is used in automotive applications, aerospace, industrial automation, advanced medical equipment, and much more. Today, we are still the only steam manufacture to invest in the upgraded digital network while others continue to use analog systems. The undeniable advantage of our system… it’s designed and engineered in-house for plug and play connectivity; simple with unparalleled safety and efficiency.

There are many factors making steam showers more and more popular. All the manufacturers have realized that aesthetics are extremely important to keep with evolving trends. Competition has everyone reaching higher thus benefiting the consumer.  Steam manufacturers are promoting the category by providing continuing education along with field training.  This awareness of steam has improved product awareness and customer understanding. Restrictive codes like CALGreen are also fueling growth, showrooms are looking for alternatives to improve the spa experience since limitations are being placed on water usage, number of shower heads, etc.

Are they more energy efficient and how?

We patented and introduced SmartSteam™ in 2007 on the Pro Series generators; saves energy and makes the steam room more enjoyable with no annoying temperature fluctuations.

Think of SmartSteam™ as a cruise control for steam. Instead of the unit working at 100% of its kW, then turning off when the temperature is reached, then turning back on when the temperature falls by a degree, the ThermaSol’s PRO Series generators modulate the amount of power to maintain the precise temperature setting.  SmartSteam™ is patented, and only available from ThermaSol.

Old_Time_Photo_from_Thermasol
Click on the image and learn about Smart Steam with Sol

How difficult is it to install a steam generator?

The installation process is very simple. Key elements are: 1) use water & vapor proof materials, 2) create a seating area with a flip seat or bench, 3) have an exhaust fan outside the steam shower, 4) place the control close to the seating area,  5) install the steam head away from the seating area, and 6)  include a transom glass window to allow airflow when the shower is not in use.

Here’s a scoop… we haven’t announced our new online ThermaSol Solution Center but it’s coming soon… it assists the installer/homeowner with step-by-step instructions on how to create the ultimate steam shower experience. Our tutorials will be available 24/7, they’ll help troubleshoot an issue or simply show you how to use or program your system.

Temp-Touch Plus Kit

What is ‘Simple Sizing’?

This is an immense ThermaSol advantage. All other manufactures require the client to know what building materials will be used within the steam shower and some require even more: how many external walls, how many glass panels, is there a window or skylight, etc. These questions cannot be answered in the early planning stage. In order to pre-sell the idea, and to put steam on the budget at the initial stages of the project and make it easy for the salesperson, ThermaSol came up with Simple Sizing.  All you need to know is the Length x Width x Height of the shower = cubic footage. That’s all you need.

What sets ThermaSol apart from its competitors?

The quick answer is everything. Reviewing the Timeline (http://www.thermasol.com/about/timeline) in our brochure you can clearly see that ThermaSol’s innovation and advancement has and continues to lead the steam category. The competition is constantly  trying to imitate our features and options.  There are a number of things that set us apart from our competitors: SmartSteam™, Simple Sizing, PowerFlush, CAN-bus communication network, Infrared Temperature Sensing (ITS), Lifetime Warranty on Parts and Labor, and a Zero Tolerance Internet Policy.

Proudly manufactured in the USA with patented leading edge technologies, a Zero Tolerance Internet Policy – there isn’t another manufacture in the industry that can say this.

What is the health values of a steam shower system?

Steam showers provide the most health benefits of any appliance installed in your home. Steam rejuvenates and leaves skin with a healthy glow, cleanses the skin, opens pores to expel toxins, lubricates and hydrates dry skin. It’s also known to relieve stress, encourage relaxation, promote deep and restful sleep. If you are physically active it soothes muscles after exercise, removes lactic acid from overworked muscles, increases blood circulation, and boosts metabolism. Steam opens nasal passages, soothes the throat and assists the respiratory system. Your steam unit does all that, and more!

Thermasol Aromatherapy

How has steam generation evolved into the digital age?

The generators are becoming “smarter” as we’re keeping up with today’s quickly changing technologies. In 2011, we introduced Bluetooth connectivity so users can stream their music to their steam shower. In 2012, we introduced the Solitude WiFi Module which allows the Solitude Mobile App to operate the entire system, available from the Google Store and iTunes.

What are some of the innovation that ThermaSol has rolled out in the last few years?

Mentioned above. On September 9th, we introduced the most advanced steam controller yet. The MicroTouch Capacitive Touch Technology (CTT) used on mobile devices, the in-shower MicroTouch control allows you to easily control: power on/off, temperature, PowerFlush system, or recall your previous steam setting. NEW Infrared Sensing Technology* reads temperature more accurately and much faster than standard contact temperature sensors. MicroTouch was designed with a low profile, crisp and clear screen display, and a high-end visual appeal. It is offered in five styles in 14 finishes to match nearly any faucet or plumbing fixture on the market today.

What are some other products that ThermaSol is bringing to the bath & plumbing industry?

We have several new and industry leading items on our plate. I can’t say too much yet; however, you will see a new steam shower control that no one has ever attempted before. We’ll be bringing more options, and the latest technologies with more ways to relax. I hope that helps, I’m biting my tongue because I’m super excited on what we are going to launch soon. Stay tuned!

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TUBS Newest Showroom: Colchester, Connecticut

This store seamlessly integrates technology and a beautiful layout designed to provide customers the opportunity to interact with live, working products and specially built suites that help them decide on the right products for their home. Enhancing their shopping experience are strategically placed LCD monitors providing real-time, custom detail about the world-class brands we feature. When they are ready, customers then can sit down at our multimedia work-stations (including Wi-Fi and Tablet technology) where they are expertly guided through the process of purchasing products. This approach allows customers to have both a traditional and technology-driven shopping experience in one location.   The Colchester showroom has been nominated for an Innovative Showroom award.  Please take a moment to vote for the Colchester showroom. Voting begins 11/10/14 at 12AM and ends at 11:59PM on 11/14/14.  Vote for the Colchester showroom


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Product Spotlight: Electric Mirror, The Global Leader in Lighted Mirrors & TV Mirror Technology

Electric Mirror logoEvery once in a while, you come across a company that combines functionality and technology to give you good design.  Electric Mirror is one of those companies.  The Mischel family headed by ‘Doc’ Mischel is one of those classic American stories that is rooted in hard work, good values and the omnipresent will to innovative.  Electric Mirror holds 32 industry leading patents with more than a dozen pending.  Their company culture is emblematic of ‘Made in the USA’ and their commitment to engineering, design, quality and service continues to separate them from their competition.

I had the opportunity to do a little Q&A with Stephen LaMachia, Electric Mirror’s National Sales Manager.  Stephen is no strange to quality products, having worked for a number of venerable brands before joining Electric Mirror.

What makes Electric Mirrors products unique?

What makes Electric Mirror unique is we are constantly pushing the edge with developing not only the best design elements from an aesthetic perspective but we are always looking at integrating the latest technology.  This makes our products not only the most beautiful mirrors you will ever see but the most highly functional one as well.

How is Electric Mirror minimizing its environmental footprint?

Being based in the Pacific Northwest the environmental impact we make as a manufacturer has always been on the forefront at Electric Mirror.  From a 100% recycle environment to high efficiency equipment, we make every effort to minimize the size of the our carbon footprint.  Beyond reducing our carbon footprint, we are designing products that have energy saving benefits and direct attributes like Keen Technology.

Electric Mirror Novo Lighted Mirror

Electric Mirror Novo Lighted Mirror

What markets does Electric Mirror serve?

Electric Mirror is a global company with offices around the world.  It is the major specification for mirrors in all 4 & 5 Star hotels throughout the world.

What kind of products would be good for the average homeowner?

We make a multitude of luxury but affordable products for the home. Not only do the products bring a discerning designers eye to the bathroom, they can also complement the master bedroom, the foyer and any walk-in closet.  We have made it our mission to bring beauty and functionality to the whole home. To name a few; Mirrored Cabinets for the bath with a fog free surface and upgradeable options for LED lighting.  The integrated HDTV full-length lit mirrors for the bath, bedroom and walk-in closet provide another excellent option and finally, the Lighted Mirrors and Waterproof TVs that work in “wet environments”.  You may never leave your bathroom.

Electric Mirror Stanford TV

Electric Mirror Water Proof Stanford TV

How does Electric Mirror work with showroom consultants?

Showrooms like the Granite Group, partner with us by showing the products in display in their showrooms. We train them to provide the best application for their home.  With a diverse product mix, we can meet every homeowners need.  Because we stand by our products with the industry’s best guarantees and insurance,  the showroom consultant can bring a high level of confidence to the sales process.

Where are Electric Mirror products made?

All Electric Mirror products (except make-up mirrors) are made in Everett, Washington – 22 miles North of Seattle.  We’ve partnered with a supplier for our make-up mirrors and we  find that they offer a great low price point for our residential offering as well.

What are some of the new products that Electric Mirror is featuring?

We have a unique market strategy of offering new product launches throughout the year. As you know technology changes so fast the days.  Electric Mirror is always adding or enhancing our product offerings.  This year, we launched multiple size mirrored cabinets for the bath (Medicine Cabinet).  We also launched Vive.  Vive Technology is our Bluetooth-enabled speakers built into the mirror with control via the device or mirror.  Keen Technology, which is an energy saving mirror is new this year.

Electric Mirror Vive Technology

Vive Technology: Bluetooth Enabled Smart Mirror

Could Electric Mirrors be installed by a ‘do-it-yourselfer”?

Sure! Our products are also designed with the installer or installed application in mind. Making it very easy to integrate our products into your application or design.

What do design professionals like about Electric Mirror?

The luxury look and feel of the product makes our product a highly desirable option for design professionals. The feature set of the products and the beautiful design make our high end options a no brainer for that client looking for that unique function design option.

If you could chose any Electric Mirror for your home, what would it be and why?

I would go with the Vive technology enhanced products, because they integrate with Bluetooth technology and are most cutting edge product line.

If you would like to see how the Electric Mirrors could enhance your home, please visit us at any of our New England locations.

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Water: Tap, Bottled or Filtered

When I was growing up, bottled water typically came in large glass jug called a carboy that was placed atop a water cooler. These coolers also known as bubblers were exclusive to office environments.   In fact, the expression ‘Around the Water Cooler’ started because people would leave the office to get a drink and catch up on the office gossip.

'Around the Water Cooler'

Catching up on the local gossip

My main source of water growing up came from the tap. Bottled water was either mineral water or sparkling water and although Poland Spring Water has been distributing water for almost 170 years, their primary market was commercial offices.   Bottled water has deep roots in the United States, but it wasn’t until the late 1970′s that the appeal for bottled water changed.  Whether this change was stimulated by clever marketing or poor quality tap water, the debate rages on.

Some Facts about the impact of bottled water:

  • The energy used each year making the bottles needed to meet the demand for bottled water in the United States is equivalent to more than 17 million barrels of oil. That’s enough to fuel over 1 million cars for a year.
  • If water and soft drink bottlers had used 10% recycled materials in their plastic bottles in 2004, they would have saved the equivalent of 72 million gallons of gasoline. If they had used 25%, they would have saved enough energy to electrify more than 680,000 homes for a year.
  • The average cost of bottled water and vended water in the U.S. was $0.90 per gallon compared to the average cost of tap water, which is roughly $0.80 per 500 gallons.
  • Most plastic disposable bottles are never recycled. According to the Container Recycling Institute, 85% of plastic water bottles end up in the trash even though they are made of recyclable materials. Americans throw away an average of 38 billion water bottles a year, which won’t biodegrade for 1,000 years.

Now, it is true that there are some areas where the groundwater or local water sources aren’t treated, but the safety of tap water is fairly consistent. Tap water is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).   Water treatment plants that provide tap water must be tested multiple times per day, and every water provider in the country is required to provide consumers with detailed water quality reports to assure its compliance with EPA standards.

No matter the statistics, the debate between bottled water vs. tap water will continue on, but for bottled water drinkers, who are looking to convert back to the tap, there is an alternative; filtered water.  Brita produces a product that can be attached to your faucet, but it is bulky looking.  For a more integrated filtration system seek out Rohl’s Water Filtration System or Grohe’s Blue Prue.

Rohl Water FiltrationGrohe Blue Prue Grohe Blue Chilled & SparklingGrohe Blue Filtration

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Brizo Combines Form & Fashion with Jason Wu

It is not uncommon in the kitchen & bath industry to have a manufacturer embrace the design of a renown designer.  Phillipe Strack created the the Axor line for Hansgrohe.  Kallista and Kohler have had a number of lines influenced by the talents of interior designers. But when Brizo engaged Jason Wu, a new bar was set.

Jason Wu - Fashion Designer

Jason Wu was a virtual unknown when Brizo sponsored him in 2006 to work with their industrial design team to create a bold new faucet line, but after creating the inaugural dress for Michelle Obama and a number of successful ‘Ready-to-Wear’ clothing lines, Jason Wu stature and standing in the fashion world is beyond reproach.  This has enabled him to extend his aesthetics beyond fashion.

“When the Brizo brand was first partnered with Jason Wu, we set out to prove fashion can be expressed outside the runway, as it’s also a personal expression of oneself in the home,” said Brian Nobbe, director of the Brizo brand. “  Judd Lord, director of industrial design for Brizo, elaborates, “We’ve always looked to fashion in terms of design inspiration for our products. Our whole thought process here has been that our work is functional sculpture: jewelry for the home.”

The collaboration of these two brands created the Jason Wu for Brizo collection, which is highlighted by the elegant black Matte finish Jason Wu for Brizo Odin faucet.  Named after mythical Norse god of wisdom and magic, this faucet is equipped with Brizo’s SmartTouchPlusTM Technology and it meets the EPA’s rigid WaterSense standards.

Jason Wu for Brizo collection

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The Last Gasps of Summer: Swings, Things & Fires

September has become one of my favorite months.  It brings back a certain amount of normalcy. The school bus are rolling and the rhythms of life get back in sync.  My only problem with September is that daylight is getting squeezed leaving precious little time for outdoor living.

Before the winter chill sets in, there is still time to swing.

nap time!!!

the classic wicker look

hang it from a beam or a tree, it doesn't matter. just hang it!!!

free standing swings are ideal for the treeless back yards

elegance for the garden

While you swing away the afternoon, our little flying friends are either preparing for the trek south or fortifying for ‘Old Man Winter.’  Either way, they need their water breaks as well.

very groovy!!!

a little feng shui

the classic grecian cherub

The light may be fading, but the sun isn’t the only light source.  The heat and the glow of a fireplace extends that outdoor experience.

surround this cozy fireplace with some Adirondack chairs and absorb the warmth

beautiful stone and brink combination fireplace

it doesn't always need to be about the fireplace. brink ovens cook amazing pizza

create an amazing look with glass beads and gas

the combination of gas and glass creates a delightful ambience

and when space is tight, capture your heat from a outdoor heater

The fireplace can create the heat, but other sources of light create their own source of warmth and comfort.

keep the wind at bay with enclosed lanterns

funky candles can create their own brilliance

luminaries create a soft and subtle effect

welcome home!!!

dreaming of summer's return

Get out and soak up those last rays of summer.  Don’t let the fall’s chill, drive you in.  HAPPY AUTUMN!!!

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Bathroom Products and Golf

What do bathroom products and golf have in common?  Kohler, of course.  Okay, maybe that isn’t so obvious, but the Kohler family is providing excellence in both categories.  We are well aware that Kohler manufacturers innovative and distinctive products for bathrooms & kitchens, but most of us aren’t aware that the same innovative and distinctive attitude that the Kohler family pours into its manufactured products is also relieved in its golf destinations.

Kohler's Whistling Straits Golf Course

Kohler's Blackwolf Run Golf Course

The patriarch of the Kohler clan, Hebert V. Kohler Jr. was a late bloomer to the game of golf,  but he has poured his heart & soul into these golf destinations.  Whistling Straits is built on an abandon military base and it has already hosted a number of championship event.  It is slated to be the host course for the 2015 PGA Championship.  David Kohler, Herb’s son and heir apparent to the Kohler empire is the current general chairman of the 2015 PGA. He already has the event hitting pre-event attendance & hospitality records.

These golf courses are only part of the Destination Kohler.  The Kohler family has built luxury hotels that have world class amenities.  So if you’re looking for a destination to test your golf skills and satisfy your luxury hospitality cravings, check out http://www.americanclubresort.com/ .

Kohler's American Club

While we are on the subject of Kohler, let’s see what’s new from this this legendary brand.

Glass Bathroom Sinks

It is true that Kohler got it start 130 years ago, when John Michael Kohler took a cast-iron water trough, added feet and enameled it, creating a bathtub. Since then they have become one of the finest producers of vitreous china, but there is always more room to innovate.  Why not explore another material used to make beautiful sinks: glass.

Kohler Glass Sink - KallosKohler Glass Sink - Antilia

Kohler Glass Sink

Tailored Vanity Collection

Kohler’s Tailored Vanity Collection, newly established in 2014, brings style and functionality to the bathroom environment.  The custom drawer configuration, intuitive in drawer storage and coordinated medicine cabinets make these vanities exceptional pieces of furniture.

Kohler Tailored Vanity Collection - JuteKohler Tailored Vanity Collection - MarabouKohler Tailored Vanity Collection - PoplinIt might not be obvious that bathrooms and golf courses have something in common, but there is no question that after a round of golf, you will need to clean up in a bathroom.  Might as well,  make it a Kohler bathroom.  Come and see the fine Kohler bathroom products at one of our stores.

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Budget Friendly Bathroom Products

We all dream of that bathroom environment, where we can close the door and be transported to another world.  This bathroom has a steam room, a whirlpool tub and a walk-in shower that is big enough to have multiple showerheads raining down on you. It has ample space for a double vanity with tons of storage, a multi-functional toilet that spritzes and dries, a heated towel rack and lighting that can be adjusted to fit any mood.  And of course, the floor needs to be radiant, so our tootsies are never cold.  Okay, snap back to reality!!!

I must say, that I do love to dream.  Maybe one day, but for now, I have to trade in my champagne tastes for the beer budget.  Here are some ideas to upgrade your loo.

Drawer Knobs

glass adds a classic touch

I am a sucker for unique and cool drawer pulls.  I could spend hours rummaging through options to find that one of a kind piece.

brilliant colors add a marvelous touch

finished knobs provide a simple look

Decorative Towel Hooks or Racks

Towel hooks or racks are a big bang for your buck item.  They need to be strategically located,  so post shower or tub spluttering is kept to a minimum. Don’t be deterred that it is mostly covered, they can be mounted on all kinds of objects.

for the boat enthusiast

shaped metal to create a cascading effect

no frills

Bathroom Lighting Fixtures

The bathroom is a room, where you can keep it conservative or you can show a little pizzazz.

to heck with canning tomatoes

polished chrome adds a lovely feel

we conservatives like to stick our knitting

Decorative Drains

We stand over the sink and the shower drain and watch the water disappear.  Where does it go?

drain covers by linkasink

metal can be cut in any shape and configuration possible

square or round, it doesn't matter.

Decorative Mirrors

We have to face it every morning.  Goodness knows, the frame can’t change our view, but it can beautify the bathroom.

our disposition might not be sunny, but our mirror is

overlapping etched metal provides a beautiful border

is there such thing as too much exposure

Shower Curtain

The shower curtain can be funky, artistic, elegant or fun.  Don’t forget the hooks.

go bold or go home

fit for a queen

adding to that sunny disposition

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