Springtime Remodeling: Time to Spruce Up that Old Bathroom

Whether you’re a ‘do-it-yourselfer’ or you’re happy letting the professionals handle it,  the spring is an excellent time to remodel the bathroom.  Before you begin, understand that remodeling a bathroom is no small task.  Unless you are replacing a cabinet or changing out a faucet or sink, it would be wise to consider consulting a professional.   There is too much at stake, if the decision is to tackle a full-on bathroom remodel. Here are a number of things to consider:

Space: Is the bathroom staying in it’s current footprint or is there the possibility of expansion, which will require walls being torn down and plumbing having to be moved.

bathroom floor plan

Hidden secrets: Hopefully, the existing bathroom was buttoned up, so water drained appropriately and standing water couldn’t find places to hide.  There is always the possibility that as you start removing old shower stalls, bath tubs, tiles or other surfaces, that water might have penetrated the sub-structure.

What lurks underneath?

Storage: Is storage going to come from free-standing shelves or exist underneath the sink or in a separate closet?  No matter how small or large, this area typically gets filled up pretty quickly.

The bathroom closet is often overlooked.

Privacy: Let’s face it, sometimes people are bashful, so if you’re thinking about a shower enclosure, it might need to be opaque.  The loo may also need to be walled off for additional privacy.

Growing Old: Aging in place is critical, so you have to think about if you want a bath tub or a shower.  If the choice is a tub, how accessible is it.  If it a shower,  thresholds need to be eliminated and it needs to be big enough for seating.  Grab bars need to be considered and hand held showers are a must.

Is the bathroom going to be accessible as you grow old?

Kohler Elevance Bath Tub

Kohler's Elevance Bath Tub

Too Tub or Not Too Tub: Tubs can take up a fair amount of space, but they provide a place of refuge from life’s daily challenges.

Bain Ultra

Bain Ultra INUA 7240

The Right Height for Accessories: Decide where to put things early on so that you can add extra blocking where needed before finishing the walls.

Speaking of Accessories: Again, another part of the project that is an afterthought.  Accessories can add a beautiful finished look to any bathroom setting, so remember to leave ample room for hooks, towel bars, a toilet paper holder, mirrors, a medicine cabinet, soap holders, knobs & pulls and a cup/toothbrush holder.

Think Water Preservation: Most of the new toilets have the capacity to do the job with less water and are WaterSense approved.  Shower heads also have the ability to restrict water flow and preserve this precious resource.

Surfaces: Tile, wood, paint, granite, laminates, glass mosaics and bead board are all considerations for surfaces.  Most surfaces will need to be sealed to prevent damage from water. There are specialized paints used for damp or wet areas like a bathroom.  You also need to consider how these surfaces will be cleaned.

Lighting:  Lighting can be broken down into four types: task, accent, decorative and sparkle.  Lighting fixtures can create varied moods to the bathroom setting.

Proper ventilation: Choosing the proper ventilation can be the difference between keeping your surfaces free of water vapor or having lots of drip marks.  Exhausting odors is also a major consideration.

Creature comforts: Perhaps, you like your tootsies to be warm when you step into the bathroom or you like a warm towel when your drying off.  A bathroom can also feature wet heat via a steam system or dry heat via a sauna.  These creature comforts are nice to haves.

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Shower Doors by Basco – Simplicity and Elegance

Creating simple transitions in a bathroom can enhances the overall look & feel of any bathroom environment.   A well crafted shower enclosure is one of the most important design features in the bathroom.  Smooth gliding slide enclosures and swing doors add a subtle touch of elegance.

One of the finest manufacturers of shower enclosures and swing doors is Basco.  For over 50 years, Basco has been helping bathroom designers and showroom professionals fabricate the right enclosures for their client’s bathroom projects.

RODA - Preceria

RODA by Basco - Preceria Enclosure

To learn more about what makes Basco, one of the leading shower enclosure manufacturers,  we did a little Q&A with Basco’s Director of Marketing Communication, Linda Garman.

1) Tell us a little something about Basco’s mission
Since 1955, Basco has earned the trust of millions of customers by designing and fabricating custom shower doors and shower enclosures. Basco’s approach centers around their commitment to customer care, craftsmanship and quality. They are consistently rated number one in quality and brand preference.

2) What separates Basco from other shower door manufacturers?
Experience and commitment to this category -  We have been in the shower door business since 1955.

Other things that set us apart:
Custom Capabilities
Extensive range of product offering
Factory Installation Network
Lifetime warranty

3) How does Basco work to support the showroom representatives?
Basco’s website was designed to make the selection process easy. Tools such as the Style Quiz and the ‘Build Your Door’ section help homeowners and showroom personnel determine the ideal door for every taste and application.  In addition the trade professional section features guides such as the simple to use cross reference to determine the best fit for manufactured tub and shower bases.

Our knowledgeable customer service and technical service associates are happy to assist with all product and design questions.  Shipping information is available 24 hours a day through Estatus Basco’s online order tracking program.

4) What should a homeowner consider when going for your signature frameless look?
The RODA collection offers eight distinct styles allowing homeowners to create the shower enclosure that aligns with their decorating preference, from traditional to transitional to contemporary.

Precise measurements and expert installation are important components of the highest quality fit for your new enclosure.

We will help you design the enclosure that brings your vision to life.

5) What new offerings does Basco have 2014?
Basco will be expanding our RODA line with additional collections and offerings.

6) What should a homeowner consider when thinking about finish and glass type?
Today’s most popular finishes for bathroom fixtures are silver and brushed nickel followed by oil rubbed bronze.  With more than 12 color options Basco and RODA have a finish to complement any bathroom décor.

Clear glass is often selected to show off beautiful tile or stone wall surfaces and offers an open feel to the shower.  Homeowners often choose to add a glass coating like Basco’s AquaglideXP to clear glass to keep make it easy to clean and maintain the like new appearance.  Patterned glass offers more privacy and can make the shower enclosure the focal point of the bathroom.

In 2010,  Basco launched RODA, a new portfolio of luxury shower enclosures developed around today’s trends for aesthetic design and user functionality. The RODA brand on each hand-crafted shower enclosure symbolizes Basco’s long standing commitment to our customers.


RODA by Basco_Rolarie

RODA Rolaire

RODA by Basco_Dresden

RODA Bresden

RODA by Basco_Evo


RODA by Basco_Vonse

RODA Vonse

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Water Conservation: Start with the Bathroom

More than 45% of water use in the average American home occurs in the bathroom, with nearly 27% being used by toilets, 2% used for baths and 16% used for kitchen & bathroom faucets.  With this understanding,  it is clear that the bathroom is an ideal place to curb water use or to practice water conservation.

water cover

Where to Begin?


The amount of water that gets flushed down a toilet can vary.  Older toilets can use between 3.5 and up to 7 gallons per flush, so if you have a toilet that was installed prior the federally mandated 1992 plumbing standards, it is time to start looking into a low flow toilet or a high efficiency toilet.  The low flow toilets can use only up to 1.6 gallons per flush and the high efficiency toilets, which are a result of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency  WaterSense Program must use no more than 1.28 gallons per flush.  Many bath & plumbing manufacturers have participated in the WaterSense Program and since its inception in 2006, more than 8,600 different models of toilets, faucets, showerheads and flushing urinal have earned the WaterSense label.

EPA WaterSense

If you have an older, conventional toilet, you can displace water that comes into your reserve by placing an object, like a plastic bottle full of water to reduce the amount of water that gets flushed or deploy the motto: “Yellow is mellow, brown you flush down.”   My suggestion is to get a new toilet.  There are many models at different price points and you’ll be doing your part to conserve water.

At the Sink

Federal Plumbing Standards required that the bathroom faucet use no more than 2.2 gallons/minute (gpm).  A big culprit for water waste is a leaky faucet.  A leaky faucet that drips at a rate of one drop per second can waste more than 3000 gallons of water a year. Another way to conserve water is to replace the aerator, the screw-on tip of the sink faucet.  A change in your bathroom routine can help conserve water, like turning off the faucets, when your brush your teeth or shave.  Again,  the manufacturers of bathroom faucets offer a wide variety of styles that meet or exceed the Federal Plumbing Standard.  A local showroom is a great place to start for product information and water conservation standards.

In the Shower

By installing a low flow showerhead, you can reduce the water used by showering by 40%.   WaterSense showerheads use no more than 2 gallons /minute (gpm).  Showering uses less than water than taking a bath and shorter showers minimize water waste.  It is also recommended that a showerhead should be replaced every 10 years.  This is an effective low cost way to decrease your overall household water consumption.

In the United States, we have create the necessary infrastructure to bring fresh water directly to our homes and on a daily basis, we go about our daily routines with very little concern of our water use.  If we want to conserve this precious resource, we must make some changes in our daily bathroom routines and the products that deliver us water.  The Ultimate Bath Stores are a great place to get educated about water conservation and the right products for this endeavor.

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Aging in Place: Showers

There are soakers and there are showerers.  The shower reins supreme in my household.  The problem with this, is that if you decide to stay in our house, you’ll eventually need to make some necessary renovations, so that you can age in place.  Fortunately,  the kitchen & bath industry has come a long way in universal design.  Many manufacturers of bathroom products have recognized the necessity to keep up with the fact that people are living longer and wanting to stay in their homes.

The bathroom is one of the primary rooms in the house that will require alterations.  Thanks to our friends at NAHB (National Association of Home Builders), there is a checklist of things to consider for a bathroom renovation.

1)       Doorways widened to 36” to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers;

2)      Wheelchair maneuverable space, such as a 60” turning radius, or appropriate t-turn space;

3)      Adjustable, multiple shower head units, which include a hand-held shower head, a 6ft hose and off-set controls  to allow for a comfortable shower either sitting or standing;

4)      Braced walls around the shower, tub and toilet to ensure  benches and grab bars can hold up to 250 pounds,

5)      Curbless showers with a minimum 36” door width, eliminating the need  to step up to get  in and out of the shower;

6)      Grab bars in shower, tub and toilet areas; (Your home is not a hospital and it does not have to look like one. Many reputable manufacturers make decorative grab bars that blend well into a well-designed bathroom.)

7)      Lever handles on doors and plumbing fixtures to accommodate decreased hand strength;

8)      “Comfort height” toilets, which are 2.5” taller than standard toilets, for easy access for the less mobile;

9)      Wall-hung sinks with protection from the pipes to accommodate wheelchairs;

10)   Non-slip flooring in the bathroom and the shower;

11)   Rocker light switches for easy on/off capabilities;

12)   Toilet paper dispensers that can be refilled with one hand – no more fighting the springs.

Safety is paramount element to any renovation and for a shower unit, having a low lip that keeps water from running onto your floor is essential. This low lip means that it’s easier to get in and out of the shower. Another main factor is that you don’t need to give up design for functionality.  Let’s take a look at some examples of well appointed shower areas that provide age in place functionality.

MTI Bath_Aging in Place

MTI Baths

Sterling Seated Shower

Sterling's Accord® Seated Shower

All of our showrooms have examples of products and accessories for those seeking to learn more about aging in place design and renovations.  Our experienced showroom associates have worked with interior designers, builders and architects, who are creating functional age in place bathroom environments for their clients.  Stop by and click your heels and say, “There is no place like home.”

All of these images except the last two come courtesy of Age In Place website.

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The Olympics of Bathroom Products

Every four years,  the countries of the world gather in a designated location on the global to participate in a variety of sporting events to determine, who wins the gold, silver and bronze.  This year’s winter games are taking place in Sochi, Russia.  So to pay homage to this quadrennial events, I decided to provide a podium for the essential products of the bathroom experience: the toilet, the bathtub and the faucet.

The Toilet

Before we get started, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to poke a little fun at the Russians sensibility of the bathroom experience.


Even Vladmir Poopin' wants a bit of privacy...

Just a little bathroom humor to warm things up and now, off to the competition.  As most of the sporting events are broken down into categories, I wanted to take a category from each product line.  For toilets, I chose wall mounted toilets for their space saving qualities and unique design.  Wall mounted toilets might be a bit more complex to plumb, but the aesthetic is well worth it.  The Gold goes to Kohler’s Veil, the Silver goes to Duravit’s  1930 Series and the Bronze to Porcher’s Solutions Collection.

Gold:  Kohler Veil

Kohler Veil Wall Mounted Toilet

With its concealed tank and minimal footprint, the innovative Veil wall-hung toilet saves up to 12 inches of precious bathroom space over KOHLER's longest floor-mount models. This model includes a C3 toilet seat with bidet functionality for enhanced cleansing, comfort, and convenience. The bidet seat cords and mounting hardware are completely concealed, giving Veil a sleek, seamless look that is incredibly easy to clean. And with dual-flush technology, this high-efficiency toilet can save as much as 6,000 gallons of water annually over a traditional 1.6-gallon toilet.

Silver:  Duravit 1930 Series

Duravit 1930 Series Wall Mounted Toilet

its octagonal design makes the 1930 Series a bathroom classic. Octagonal means having eight corners. Ingenious means creatively outstanding. The 1930 Series is both. The Duravit product range would be incomplete without this classic, which was designed in the Golden Era and presented to the public for the fi rst time in 1930. Over time, many charming pieces were added to 1930 Series to create the complete collection as we know it today. And yet, however consistently classic its look, 1930 Series epitomizes cutting-edge technology—as exemplifi ed by its wall-mounted bidet and WC.

Bronze: Porcher Solutions Collection

Porcher Solutions Collection

Designed for small and unique spaces, the Porcher Solutions Collection offers creative storage and design solutions. Featuring a selection of coordinating products, from sinks to furniture to toilets, the Porcher Solutions Collection allows you to effortlessly create a uniquely modern bathroom.

The Bath Tub

The specific category for bath tub is freestanding.  Over the years, the freestanding tub has become the focal point of many renovated bathrooms.  As homeowners seek solitude in their bathrooms, they want a fixture that provides an escape.  A freestanding can be both elegant and functional.  In this category, the Gold goes to Bain Ultra’s Balneo Collection, the Silver goes to MTI’s Juliet Collection and the Bronze goes to Kohler’s Aliento Collection.

Gold: Bain Ultra Balneo

Bain Ultra Balneo Collection

The name Balneo® evokes the art of bathing. For BainUltra, a bath is an important ritual, part of a lifestyle that encourages you to slow down and take time for yourself.

Silver:  MTI Juliet

MTi Juliet Freestanding Tub

Both edgy and graceful, the Juliet has an organic design and fluid lines that flow asymmetrically in counterpoint. Manufactured in MTI's proprietary, organic Engineered Solid Stone™*, the Juliet is a collaboration between Audrey Newsome of Audrey Newsome Designs and MTI's President and Chief of Design Russell Adams.

Bronze:  Kohler Aliento

Kohler Aliento Freestanding Tub

The Aliento bath's whimsical arching corners and angular style make it a striking addition to your contemporary bathroom. The unique solid-surface material has the attractive matte finish of smooth stone but feels warm to the touch and is easy to clean. Sculpted lumbar support and an integral slotted overflow let you enjoy a deep, relaxing soak. The center toe-tap drain with cover creates a clean look.

The Faucet

Faucets grace many rooms in our homes, but for this category, I am going with the bathroom faucet.  In the bathroom faucet category, the Gold goes Grohe’s new Parkfield Collection, the Silver goes to the Avanti Series in Rohl’s Lago D’Orta Collection and the Bronze goes to Brizo Sotria

Gold: Grohe Parkfield

Grohe Parkfield Lavatory Faucet

With its sweeping lines and smooth curves the new Parkfield® flows effortlessly like water itself and, like the arching curve of a water fountain the spout guides water to the perfect position for function and comfort.

Silver: Rohl  Avanti Series (Lago d’Orta Collection)

Rohl Avanti Lavatory Faucet

The transitional styling of the Avanti series is shown through a marriage of smooth curves and linear elements, all with understated elegance for the bath.

Bronze:  Brizo Sotria

Brizo Sotria Lavatory Faucet

Influenced by soft contemporary design sensibilities, the jet-like appearance of the Brizo®Sotria™ lavatory faucet was inspired by the streamlined architecture of airplanes to deliver modern elegance in high-end spaces. Providing a unique take on an angular spout architecture, the fixture will be available with a channel or closed spout and in a variety of finishes, including Polished Chrome, Brilliance®Polished Nickel, Brilliance® Luxe Nickel and Matte Black.

The Ultimate Bath Stores has displays for many of these products as well as many other honorable mentions.  Visit any of our New England locations. There is one week left for our Winter 2014 promotion.

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How Does Santa Relax: With Steam, Bubbles & Heat, Of Course.

After traveling 175 Million miles and delivering 660 Million Tons of toys in one night, Santa is wiped out, but there is no rest for the jolly old elf.

santa is beat

Come December 26th, St. Nick is back at it again preparing for next year, so how does he recover.  The magic to Santa’s recovery is steam, bubbles and heat.  The steam is provided by Mr. Steam, the bubbles are courtesy of Bain Ultra and Kohler and the heat comes in the form of dry heat from Steamist.


Mr. Steam

The self-proclaimed champions of Steamtherapy, Mr. Steam has been providing the benefits of steam to the North Pole for almost 100 years.


Bain Ultra Thalassa Bath

Bain Ultra's Thalassa Spa Bath: tiny heated bubbles for the rotund keeper of Christmas

Kohler Riverbath Whirlpool Tub

Kohler's Riverbath Whirlpool: targeted hydro-massage will soothe Santa's weary muscles


Steamist Pre-Cut Sauna Room

Steamist Pre-Cut Sauna Room: heat up to 185 degrees and 10-15% humidity should get to Santa's bones

Of course, you can see the all of the Santa’s recovery products at our fine showrooms through New England.  Merry Christmas to All!!!

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Tis the Season: Some of The Ultimate Bath Store’s Favorite Brands

As 2013 comes to a close , TUBS wanted to take the opportunity to look at some of the new offerings of their select brands.  Toilets, faucets and other bathroom accessories may not be the perfect Christmas gifts, but the promise of a bathroom remodel might win you some major Christmas cheer.

As a Premier partner of Kohler,  let’s indulge in some of Kohler’s and Kallista’s products, but before taking a look, Kohler deserves some accolades for receiving the Environmental Protections Agency’s 2013 Water Sense Sustainable Excellence award.  Kohler is being recognized for its long-term efforts to increase consumer awareness of water issues and provide products to conserve water in homes and businesses. Congratulations Kohler for this honor.

Kohler’s Q2 and Q3 Toilet Seats

Kohler Quiet Close Toilet Seat

Q2 and Q3 toilet seats are all about convenience, with features that make them easy to install and remove, and that prevent them from slamming and shifting.


This Q3 Advantage seat features innovative technology that prevents the seat from slamming, and simplifies both cleaning and installation.

Surround yourself in warmth. Kohler’s Baths with Bask Heated Surface

Kohler Bask with Heated Surface

KOHLER baths with the Bask™ heated surface warm your back and neck as you bathe, creating a soothing, spa-like environment. Bask allows you to recline on a heated surface that complements the warmth of the bath water for ultimate relaxation. Three heat settings make it easy to customize the surface temperature to your liking.

Veil Wall-Hung Toilet

Kohler Veil Wall Mounted Toilet

With its concealed tank and minimal footprint, the innovative Veil wall-hung toilet saves up to 12 inches of precious bathroom space over KOHLER's longest floor-mount models. And with dual-flush technology, this high-efficiency toilet can save as much as 6,000 gallons of water annually over a traditional 1.6-gallon toilet.

How about a few offerings from Kallista.

Kallista Air Induced Raindome

KALLISTA: AIR-INDUCED SOFT MODERN RAINDOME - Air-Induction technology delivers a fuller, more powerful spray and maximizes the air/water mix for a powerful, even flow

Kallista Barbara Barry Counterpoint Faucet

KALLISTA: COUNTERPOINT BY BARBARA BARRY SINGLE CONTROL LAVATORY FAUCET, MARBLE HANDLE - Reflecting the minimal elegance of 1930s and inspired by the simplicity of modern design, Counterpoint has a chic sensibility and sophisticated presence of line

Kallista Counterpoint Wall Sconce


Your friends at Bain Ultra have a new tub collection.  It is called Ora.  It comes in either oval or rectangle.  Palm trees not included!!!

Bain Ultra Ora

Ora oval 6838 freestanding Freestanding, Theatre Stage - 68 x 38 x 25

Bain Ultra Ora

Ora oval 7240 Drop-In, Undermount - 72 x 40 x 21

Bain Ultra Ora

Ora rectangular 6636 freestanding Freestanding, Theatre Stage - 66 x 36 x 25

Gerber Plumbing has committed to producing a number of products that conserve water.  Like Kohler, they are a Water Sense partner.

Gerber Plumbing Fixtures - Avalanche Toilet

Gerber Avalanche Toilet

Gerber Plumbing Wicker Park Toilet

Gerber Wicker Park Toilet

Gerber Plumbing Pomeroy Faucet

Gerber Pomeroy Faucet - Brush Nickel

Gerber Plumbing Logan Square Faucet

Gerber Logan Square Faucet

Since 1932, Gerber Plumbing Fixtures LLC has been a leading manufacturer of vitreous china plumbing fixtures, faucets, fittings, and bathroom suites for the residential, commercial, and hospitality construction markets. Gerber’s comprehensive line of high performance, high-efficiency and eco-friendly plumbing products are sold exclusively through the plumbing professional and are supported with Gerber’s “Best-in-Class” customer service.

Never to be a company outdone, Moen is always pushing the limits of style and innovative.  Moen’s M-PACT common valve system let’s you change out the fixtures without having to change the plumbing.  Untwist the current fixture from the top to remove.  Choose from the wide assortment of fixture styles.  Lock into place.

A few M-Pact products:

Moen Eva Bath Faucet

Eva Brushed nickel two-handle high arc bathroom faucet

Moen 90 Degree Bath Faucet

90 Degree Brushed nickel two-handle low arc bathroom faucet

Moen Waterhill Bath Faucet

Waterhill Wrought iron two-handle high arc roman tub faucet includes hand shower

Moen Fina Bath Faucet

Fina Chrome two-handle low arc wall mount bathroom faucet

So, surprise your loved one with the gift of a renovation.  Visit one of our stores and have one of our knowledgeable showroom sales consultants show you some Christmas cheer.  HO HO HO!!!

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Kohler’s Moxie Showerhead: The Perfect Gift for Christmas

It’s that time of year again.  With only a few days before Black Friday & Cyber Monday and the pressure is on to find the perfect gift.  Our friends at Kohler have found the solution:  the Moxie Showerhead and Wireless Speaker.

Everyday we step into the shower to begin our day or wash off the day’s efforts, so why not, enjoy this time with some of your favorite music.  Kohler has taken advantage of Bluetooth Technology to transport your favorite songs into this innovate new showerhead.   With music piping down from your showerhead, no doubt, your showering experience will never be the same.

The Ultimate Bath Store in conjunction with it’s premier partner Kohler is bringing the Moxie Showerhead to you for just $124.99.  That’s $70 off the manufacturer’s suggested price.  At this price, it is the perfect stocking stuffer.  Click on image for this special offer.

Kohler Moxie Showerhead and Wireless Speaker

Kohler's Moxie Showerhead and Wireless Speaker: the perfect elixir for the Black Sunday & Cyber Monday. Click on image for more information.

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What To Consider Before Starting a Bathroom Project

Your standing in your bathroom and you look around and realize that besides a couple coats of paint,  the bathroom hasn’t been updated in a long time.  Once this realization has been hit you, you decide that it is time for a bathroom renovation.   So where do you begin?

How involved do you what to go? ‘Involved’ in this case has two meanings: 1) how involved are you going to get with the actual work and 2) how involved is the project going to be.  Are you looking to change out the toilet, vanity and faucet, which may require some help, but many DYIers could tackle these activities or are you looking for a complete tear-out?   The answer to the 2nd question, will determine the answer to the first.

Let’s say the decision is made to go down to the wall studs and sub-floor.  Since this is the chosen approach, you are going to need to bring in the professionals:  a showroom professional and a contractor, preferably one that has experience with bathroom remodels.  But before you engage the professionals, you need to do a little homework.

Who can help in this process? Ultimately, this bathroom is about you, so you need to go to the Internet or buy some home design magazines and fire up your creative side.  This process will take some time, but it will open you up to the wide variety of options that are available, both on the style side and the product side.  Understanding the size of your space and creating a couple of rough sketches of how you would want the new bathroom configured in the existing space.  Gathering all of this intel will be critical to your next step:  finding a bath & plumbing showroom professional.

The Ultimate Bath Store_Portland_ME

NEXT STOP: The Showroom

If you want this project to get done with the less amount of headaches, on time and on budget, a bath & plumbing showroom professional is key.  They bring product knowledge, design knowledge and vast experience to the project.  A showroom environment provides an excellent opportunity to see products as well as bathroom displays that will further enhance the creative process.  It is also likely that you can kill to two birds with one stone when you visit a bath & plumbing showroom.  One by establishing the critical relationship with a showroom professional and often they will have suggestions for competent contractors.

Obtaining a contractor: The National Kitchen & Bath Association estimates that an average bathroom renovation costs about $11,000 and that roughly two-thirds of that cost comes is tied up in labor, so do your due diligence in finding the right contractor.  If you can obtain at least three names, this will provide a decent cross section because every contractor might have a different approach to the project.  Key things to know when vetting a contractor:  have they done a lot of bathroom projects,  do they represent themselves in a professional manner,  are they insured,  do they have a website where you can go to see their past projects,  who do they hire for sub contractors (plumbers & electricians) and can they articulate time estimates.

Labor is roughly 2/3rd of your costs, so picking the right contractor is critical.

So now you have a rough design concept,  a contractor and a bath & plumbing showroom representative, the next step is the fun part: finalizing the design and choosing the products.   The Ultimate Bath Store showroom professionals have laid out many design concepts.  They know the in’s & out’s of bathroom projects and they are an invaluable source to the contractor.   They also have the most experience with the products.  They receive regular visits from manufacturer representatives and they have seen the products in action.

So, once you’ve reach that point, where you’ve decided that your bathroom needs an overhaul, stop by an visit Mike Alber in our Burlington, Vermont showroom, Karen Schooner in our Concord, NH showroom,  Tiffanie Chase in our Exeter, NH showroom,  Jean Tillinghast or Gay Quartella in our Groton, Connecticut showroom, Darlene Brown in our Lebanon, NH showroom,  Marianne Fox or Diane Tetreault in our Lowell, MA showroom,  Collette Camberis or Michelle Pattle in our Manchester, NH showroom,  Tracy MacKay in our Portland, ME showroom,  Shelia Garcia or Shelley LaPanne in our Rochester, NH showroom,  George Burkett in our Rutland, VT showroom, Beth Craver in our Westerly, RI showroom and Karen Essex in our Worcester, MA showroom.

You’ll be glad that you did.

Posted in bath accessories, bathroom design, bathroom faucet, bathroom furniture, bathroom sink, lighting, toilet | Leave a comment

Aquatic: Where Inspiration Takes Shape

There is something about New England winter’s that makes the prospect of submerging into hot water very appealing.   Whether it is the cold driving wind or the sub freezing temperatures,  having your body surrounded by water that is between 104-110 degrees eases winter’s icy grip.  The folks at Aquatic provide a number of watery retreats that work perfectly for coping with Old Man Winter.

Aquatic manufacturers whirlpool baths,  hotsoak tubs, air baths, soaking tubs,  acrylic showers and steam showers.  All Aquatic products are made by American workers in U.S. factories, using an unparalleled process that melds precision engineering with expert craftsmanship. They finely tune details inside and out, making sure every curved edge and water line is perfectly clean, so you can enjoy many years of luxury and beauty.

Aquatic Modern

Whether you’re remodeling a master bath or planning a new bathroom, you’ll find an array of bathtubs to fit your needs and design preferences. The considerations below will help you narrow down your options and make the best choice.

The first step in choosing a bathtub involves taking into account some basic considerations related to your bath space:

  • Measure the dimensions of the room to get a better idea of what tub size and configuration will work best
  • Take note of the plumbing layout of your space, so you can be sure the drain location of your new tub matches up with connecting pipes. Contact a professional plumber if any plumbing needs to be moved or reworked.

The next step is determining the type of bathtub to chose and there are a few possibilities:

  • Skirted tubs have one finished side and are anchored on the other side and both ends by a bathroom wall. The visible finished side, also called an skirt or apron, can be flat or bowed.
  • Corner tubs have triangular-shaped designs that fit into the nook of a room. These units are often configured for two-person bathing.
  • Drop-in tubs have no finished sides and are usually installed within a constructed deck and surround. A self rimming edge can be seen above the mounting surface.
  • Undermount units are similar to a drop-in style and are equally versatile. Similar to an undermount sink, the bath is installed beneath a cutout in the mounting surface, and there is no visible edge.
  • Freestanding tubs are finished on all sides and can be placed almost anywhere in a bathroom. Designs range from vintage clawfoot bathtubs to contemporary styles with pedestals.

Aquatic Skirted Tub

Aquatic Corner Tub

Aquatic Drop-In Tub

Aquatic FreeStanding Tub

To see more Aquatic products like, tubs and showers, stop by one of our store locations.

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