Wait! Before You Buy – Pros and Cons of Whirlpool Tubs

Ask most people and they will quickly tell you that a luxury bathroom isn’t complete without a whirlpool bathtub. These tubs are outfitted with jets in the sides that propel water with enough force to create a vigorous massaging motion. A simple soak in a whirlpool tub is able to loosen tense muscles and create a sense of relaxation. However, before you head out to your local home improvement store with credit card in hand, it is important to review the pros and cons of whirlpool tubs:

Pro: Increased home value

Take a quick tour of million dollar homes and you will notice that many of these spaces include luxurious bathrooms complete with whirlpool tubs. If you’re currently remodeling or redesigning your space, it pays to think proactively about increasing current home value. Undoubtedly, the inclusion of a whirlpool tub in your bathroom is a huge selling point that can dramatically increase the return on your upgrade.

A note of caution: Make sure you completely think your decision through before you buy a bathtub. It is a short-sighted decision to simply upgrade your tub without paying equal attention to the rest of the bathroom. Along with your shiny new bathtub, you will also want to invest in upgraded fixtures and accessories. Paying close attention to these details can spell a dramatic jump in your property value!

Con: Expensive cost

This is especially the case for those you on a strict remodeling budget. Some of the best quality tubs can cost several thousand dollars! And this is just for purchase of the tub itself! Most people are not duly trained in installing whirlpool tubs so it is strongly advised to hire a contractor for installation. Hiring a quality contractor may add several hundreds of dollars to your budget. Most experts recommend adding a minimum of 10% of your total budget to hire a contractor for installation.

Pro: Relaxation at your fingertips

This almost goes without saying. Taking a nightly dip in a relaxing whirlpool tub is one of the major reasons why most people desire one! You can make this a quickly nightly ritual to de-stress and wind down from your day – or you can use your tub to replicate spa-like treatments for a fraction of the price. Beware – contrary to popular belief, whirlpool tubs are not designed for the use of bubble bath or salts.

Con: More Challenging Cleaning Regimen

These tubs can be more challenging to clean in comparison to some of your other jetted tubs. With air jet type tubs, you can simply drain the tub after you finish a bath and turn on the jets to allow dry out the tub. You cannot do the same for whirlpool tubs without risk of damage. A small amount of water – even as little as 1 cup of water – left in the jets can cause bacteria to begin growing. You will want to be extra diligent in keeping your tub clean in comparison to air jet tubs.

What Is the Difference Between a Walk in Shower and a Walk in Shower Enclosure?

There are so many ways of expressing the same thing these days and walk in showers isn’t exempt from this. It beats me why anyone would be expected to know that a walk in shower is the same thing as a walk in shower enclosure as one term infers that it is some kind of casing and one term infers that it is an actual shower. However, they do both describe the same product; a walk in shower is the exact same product as a walk in shower enclosure. You may also come across additional terms such as walk in shower cubicles and walk in shower cabinets. They’re all the same. Life used to be so simple years ago; there was one term to describe one product. Ah, the good old days.

So, what is a walk in shower enclosure?

A walk in shower enclosure is a glass paneled cabinet which houses your shower. This is quite a strict definition as there are many variations depending on the needs and requirements of your bathroom. For example if the shower was to be set within the recess of the bathroom then only a single panel of glass would be needed. The glass used is normally toughened, this is attached to a bracing bar for additional support and at the other end fixed to a shower tray which collects and drains the waste.

What are the benefits of a walk in shower?

If you are lucky enough to have the space within your bathroom, then why not use it. As it is a stand alone unit, it allows for more than one person to use the bathroom at a time.

You can splash about to your heart’s content and not worry about spillage.

They are available in many sizes and styles so can fit in with your bathroom design and personal needs.

Let’s admit it, as well as being functional, they add a touch of style and glamour to a bathroom.

When a walk in shower might not be suitable for you

After having sung the praises of walk in shower enclosures, there are, however, instances when they may not be suitable for you.

As mentioned previously, the glass panels of a walk in shower enclosure are attached to a shower tray. Shower trays are slightly raised in height, some more than others, so if you are a person with restricted movement then it may be worth considering creating a wet room effect within your bathroom.

In this instance, the glass panels of the enclosure are fitted to the floor of the bathroom which, incidentally, would be tiled. By doing this, the need for a shower tray is removed and easier shower access is granted.

All in all, a walk in shower enclosure is a good investment for any bathroom as it adds value, is very practical and can be adapted to suit the needs of most home owners.

Lighted Makeup Mirrors – The Difference Between LED, Fluorescent, and Incandescent

A lighted makeup mirror is a must-have for all women who would want to make sure that makeup application is perfectly done. The main purpose of such bathroom accessory is to aid in clear visualization by means of natural light focused on the face. This is especially helpful for nighttime makeup application when brightness is insufficient. Nevertheless, makeup mirrors with light provide adequate illumination for women to carry out normal beautification routines before going out on a date at any time of the day.

While there are so many types and designs of magnifying mirrors, finding the best one may not always be that easy if you do not have any idea about the features to look for. To know more about which type of light will work best for you, it is advised to begin your plight by learning more about the most popular types available for makeup mirrors.

LED (Light Emitting Diodes) light is gaining popularity among manufacturers of appliances. On an average, LED’s have a longer life span compared to other fixtures available in the market, reaching up to 50,000 hours. These are not sensitive to temperature changes and thus, illumination remains unchanged whether or not the air-conditioning is on. It is believed to be ideal for makeup mirrors because of the low heat it emits, making it safe for use even up close.

Fluorescent, on the other hand, have long been utilized in majority of homes and commercial establishments. When it comes to makeup mirrors though, these may not always be recommendable due to some of its downfalls. The neglected fact that fluorescent bulbs contain mercury is enough to steer clear from the toxic effect it can have on human health and the environment. Moreover, electrical failures can result to drastic accidents as these bulbs can easily catch fire, smoke, or omit odor.

As for incandescent lighting on makeup mirrors, these may account for skyrocketing expenditures due to the high demand of electricity wattage required, considering the possibility of frequent usage. In addition, the filament used to manufacture such bulbs is very sensitive and could break easily with slight jarring or bumping. Furthermore, life span is of the lowest usually ending after 1,200 hours of use.

As a conclusion, LED is by far the best choice for lighted magnifying mirrors due to a number of reasons. Aside from practicality and safety, assurance is a given. When lighting is insufficient or unnatural, chances are you consistently apply too much, too little, or messed-up makeup. LED produces more natural lighting leading to looking as good as you can be, especially when outdoors, on presentations, or during performances.

When shopping for a bathroom mirror, keep these helpful pieces of information in mind along with your personal preferences in terms of features to make the task a little bit easier.

5 Signs You Are in the Wrong Tattoo Shop

1. Smells Bad – Tattoo shops should smell like cleaning products and sterile air, if you walked into tattoo shop and have been greeted by a big puff of smoke, or other foul odor you may be in the wrong place. The owners of the tattoo shop and the artist not caring about how the shop smells is a good indicator that the level of sterilization may be low.

2. Animals – At some parlors the owner will have a snake cage set up or a dog running around. This is a violation of most states health codes and either way is a disgusting situation always avoid any tattoo shop where animals are present. Beside the smell the presence of animals compromises any sterile zone the artist may have set up.

3. Dirty Employees – Employees of tattoo shops should be clean wearing not only sterile gloves and using sterile equipment. But there personal hygiene should also be high. If the tattoo artist you have chosen is dirty, has ink or other stains on there clothes, you may want to leave. If the artist is not keeping his own person clean his working area is probably in similar disarray.

4. Foul Bathroom – Check out the bathroom in the tattoo shop you plan to go to in advance. Does it look and smell clean? The look of the bathroom will give you an idea of the level of cleanliness in the business. If the employees take a nonchalant attitude to the bathrooms cleanliness they may also be nonchalant in the cleaning of there personal stations.

5. “Sorry We Are Out Of…Ink” – Nothing says you are in the wrong shop like “sorry we are out of ink”. Maybe its black ink or red or green, but the question is the same how can a tattoo shop run out of anything, much less tattoo ink. It happens all the time, it is usually the sign of a tattoo artist who does not want to do the work. But even if the shop is really out of a particular color of tattoo ink it is still a good sign you are in the wrong shop.

Find Your Discontinued Tiles Using an Online Ceramic Tile Finding Service

Most people underestimate how often styles of ceramic tiles are changed. As a result they can find themselves struggling to replace tiles that get damaged in their bathrooms or kitchens.

Ceramic tile designs change all the time. A lot of people will be surprised to hear that this not only applies to decorative or patterned tiles but also plain tiles as well. The reason for this is because the manufacturers want to make more profit and realise that if they limit the amount of tiles in a range that after a few years, people will struggle to source replacement tiles and therefore end up re-tiling a whole area. Clearly from a consumer point of view this is not in their best interest as they end up spending more money.

If you do find yourself in this position I am going to tell you about the tile finder service run by a number of websites. But before I go there it does make sense for me to give you a simple tip that will help you avoid this situation. Quite simply buy an extra box or two of tiles which you store away until needed.

However I suggest if you are reading this the chances are that you need the help of a tile finder in order to match tiles to complete your project. Well the good news is that there are websites that offer this service.

All you do is let them know the size of your tile, the colours, the month and year purchased and from where. If you do have batch and identifying details you will of course need to submit these as well. They then scour their database of tile makers and distributors and will report back to you with their findings.

Handicapped Accessible Shower Design for Veteran Amputees

To veteran amputees, one of the most difficult things to do is to take a bath. Going to the bathroom is already difficult, even if they have someone to guide them or push their wheelchair to reach the bathroom. While in the shower, there is often the danger of them hitting the walls should they slip accidentally. Reaching all their bathing needs is also another challenge that they have to go through each day. Fortunately theses days, wheelchair accessible shower design units are available to make bathing easier for amputees. This handicapped bathroom shower stall is usually portable and foldable, making it easy to setup and remove.

Handicapped people deserve much care and attention, especially the veterans who had many times in their lives experienced great distress, hardships, and difficulties. They deserve understanding, since it’s normal for them to show irritability and bad temper, considering their incapacity to move freely and independently. So to make things lighter for them, one significant way to do that is to install a wheelchair accessible shower design unit near the patient’s room. As long as there is a nearby water source, probably a faucet or a sink, it can easily be setup. The good thing for you is that a handicapped bathroom does not require drilling or hammering to be installed. In fact, some units are already assembled when bought.

Portable shower bathrooms are designed with the handicapped in mind. As mentioned, they are easy to install in any part of the house as long was a nearby water source is available. And when the patient is not using it, it can easily be removed and folded. Those who are in wheelchairs can simply slide the wheelchair inside the shower stalls. Meanwhile, for those who do not want to bath on a wheelchair, they can simply sit, lie down, or place themselves in a comfortable position while inside the shower. A curtain can be used to add some privacy while the disabled is taking a bath.

Showers for the handicapped are essential because they allow the disabled to take a bath without the need of assistance of others. Bathing is a private thing and if the veteran amputees need another person’s help to clean up themselves, this can be very embarrassing on their part. But with handicapped showers, the personal needs of the disabled are taken care of.

Showers for the handicapped are available from various manufacturers, each product comes with special features depending on the needs of the disabled. Before purchasing one, make sure that you get the measures right. There are showers for adults and there are for kids. There are also wide enough to accommodate those who weigh on the heavy side. Make sure that the unit that you will purchase, aside from addressing the personal needs of the amputee will also make him or her feel comfortable. That is, he or she can freely move while inside the shower without compromising his or her safety.

Shower-Liner or Bath-Fitter Vs Ceramic Tile Replacement

If you live in an older home, you typically have ceramic or porcelain tiles on the shower walls of your bathroom. While you may not like their present condition or color, the truth is that these ceramic tiles have stood the test of time, often lasting 40-50 years or more. When you consider the typical life expectancy of many materials, that’s a fairly good track record.

In the last decade, bathroom remodeling companies have started offering alternative materials when providing bathroom designs. Sadly, the reason for the shift away from traditional materials is often for the sake of saving money and increasing contractor profit, not in order to enhance the quality and durability of a bathroom remodel. The shower-liner is one such product. It has reduced bathroom improvement costs, but has also had the effect of reducing the quality of many completed bathroom projects.

Quite simply, a shower-liner, or bath-fitter as they are often called, is a molded fiberglass or vinyl sheet which is installed over a homeowner’s existing tiles and bathtub. No plumbing beneath the bathtub or shower is replaced. Many times in an older home the ceramic tiles have mold growth on and underneath the grout lines between tiles. The shower walls themselves may be unstable and dry-rotted. Unfortunately, once the liner is installed over the tiles homeowners don’t see the conditions that exist behind it. While on the surface things look all right, no one can be certain what’s lurking beneath the surface. Of the many bathroom ideas contractors have come up with, the bath-liner is among the worst.

Instead of saving a few dollars and purchasing an inferior product, homeowners would do well to use the services of a qualified bathroom contractor who will completely replace their shower walls and install new ceramic tiles. Whether yours is a small bathroom or a large one, a custom-designed ceramic tile scheme will add beauty to your new bathroom and value to your home. Instead of simply installing a white or almond-colored sheet over the shower walls, we can design an attractive pattern of angled tiles with interesting borders and glass mosaics.

Very often, the cost for the services of a professional bathroom contractor is not much more than taking the cheaper route and installing a bath-liner. That’s especially true when you consider that it’s likely you will ultimately need to rip-out the shower-liner or bath-fitter in order to replace damaged plumbing and eventually install new walls and ceramic tiles anyway.

Pros and Cons of a Mirrored Medicine Cabinet

Having a medicine cabinet in one’s home is a very wise decision. The problem may arise when deciding what kind of cabinet to get- wooden, marble, glass? Each of course has their strong points and disadvantages that will be the basis for your choice. In most homes a mirrored medicine cabinet is visible in the bathroom. What exactly has made them to make this choice and what should you know about this kind of cabinets?

Pros

For one thing, a medicine cabinet that has a mirrored door or surface is double purpose. It serves as an ideal place for medicine, toothbrushes and shaving razors while giving you a mirror as well. You open the cabinet, get your shaving razor, close it and shave. No need to move from your position.

Then is its ability to compliment any kind of style. You don’t have to do a lot of research to make sure you won’t be spoiling your decor. They also are known to be a good way to give an illusion of size. They can make your tiny bathroom look bigger. Unlike wood or other materials, they give the bathroom a clean look. Their reflective surface fits bathroom fixtures well.

Cons

For those who have young children, any kind of mirrored furniture could be dangerous. Unless you place them in a place that would be out of their reach, you might want to postpone your purchase for when they are older.

Mirrored cabinets also require regular maintenance. Any fingerprint or dirt smudge will be very noticeable and would destroy the effect of the mirror. If you are one of those who doesn’t really have time for cleaning, you might want to stick with plastic or wooden cabinets that aren’t so demanding.

Though the advantages of having a mirrored medicine cabinet outnumber the disadvantages, you’ll have to live with your choice. Take into consideration all factors before making your mind up.

Bath Sink Drain Installation: Common Mistakes You Should Avoid

Proper installation is the key for your bathroom sink drain to function well in the long run. As the time goes by, the pipes and drains will loosen and leak. Based on this fact, it is recommended that you perform proper installation to ensure durability. Additionally, you should also use high quality parts and materials. You also need to make sure that you also avoid mistakes in the installation process. Otherwise, your bath sink drain will not work properly and early leakage may also occur. Here are some common installation mistakes that you should avoid:

1. When installing the drains, you have to be sure that the connections are fastened tightly. However, don’t tighten the connections too securely since it can cause cracking and strain. It can also cause warping, which will allow water to pass through. Most people fasten the connections too tightly and cracking happens afterwards. You should also check the washers since they have the task to close air leakage on the pipe.

2. Sometimes, people don’t really pay attention to the materials used to manufacture the parts when installing bathroom sink drain. Stainless steel is the recommended material since it offers more durability than any other materials. If you buy the drain set separately, do check if the other parts are also made of stainless steel.

3. Don’t pour cleaning fluids that contain strong acids into the drains since they can cause corrosion. Otherwise, corrosive acids can cause your drain to leak in the future.

4. Don’t cut the plastic pipes too long or too short. If the pipes are too long, they will overlap and tend to be out of alignment. When you cut the pipes too short, it will cause water to seep out and the drains will gradually leak.

5. You should clean your bathroom sink drains regularly if you expect them to work properly. You don’t need to disassemble the drains when cleaning but you can do it if regular cleaning is not performed. Make sure that you also don’t use hazardous cleaning materials since they will only damage the drains. Hot water is the right cleaning medium since it will prevent serious clogging.

6. Cracking and leaking will still happen even if you perform regular maintenance. Therefore, performing the necessary precautions during and after installation is essential. Hence, the sink drains can last longer. If you find that the drains eventually start to leak, replacing them altogether is the best solution. It is because replacing some parts for short term use will only cost you more money in the future.

Bathtub Refinishing Fumes – How To Protect Yourself

Bathtub refinishing is being used more by hotels, apartment complexes and homeowners because of a housing downturn, a mortgage-meltdown, and overall depressed and depressing economy as a way to save money in their bathroom renovation. Another interest in re-glazing is being fueled by informed masses who have shown a continued interest in “greening” their homes, particularly in making them more energy efficient. Consumers are looking for ways to save money, and the environment and that is what bathtub refinishing does- provide savings of up to 80% over replacement while sparing the landfills.

But unlike other services like carpet cleaning, plumbing, pest control etc, where consumers know what to expect from their service contractor, tub re-glazing business is unknown to many. And because of this lack of knowledge, many don’t know what the process involves, what to expect and what the the final outcome will be. Here is the bathtub refinishing process in a nutshell: A tub is cleaned, fully etched, cleaned, prime coated and top coated.

The equipments used are a turbine, a sprayer and a big exhaust fan. The protective equipment is similar to what you’ll see used in mold remediation or asbestos removal. If the fumes coming out of the bathroom are not healthy for the one doing the refinishing in the bathroom, do you think it is safe for you, your pets and especially younger and older ones in the home?

Many bathtub refinishing companies will tell you that they use a proprietary coating formulated by them and for them. Ask for their sacred MSDS. It contained enough toxic materials to make their technicians suit up as if cleaning a room full of asbestos. Water based coatings are getting better but water condenses in the bathroom and on the tub. Go figure. Every etching product contain some level of acid. The concentration of VOC’s is high. Unfortunately, from the biggest bathtub refinishing companies to the small town bathtub refinishing company using exhaust fans to get rid of the fumes and their smell. They leave a lot of toxic fumes and smell that linger for days.

There are air scrubbers that can suck up those fumes and odors and still keep the environment?

These portable systems operate in a completely sealed off bathroom. They are quiet, so that guests and tenants that sleep on while bathtub re-glazing is done next room. In fact, some companies are using hospital grade air scrubbers while re-glazing a tub because of the importance these companies put on the health of their customers and the environmental impact of their work. These portable units are in the bathrooms where the re-glazing is done.

All the fumes and odors are captured and there is no hoses or cords coming out of the bathroom as a safety hazard. The technology is here. Next time you call your friendly bathtub refinishing company, ask them how they are going to mitigate the odor and fumes. If they are still using old technology with its environmental impact in this century, they are not your company. Ask questions, protect your health, and those of your hotel guests and apartment tenants.

The sluggish economy is forcing hotels and hotel chains, to find creative ways to save money and the environment as they remodel their bathrooms. Many are concerned about the effects of over-spray fumes on their guests and their health, the noise created by antiquated bathtub refinishing systems, the impact of old technology on the environment. Ask questions and lots of them before you hire your next friendly bathtub refinishing company.