Merge Style & Function in Bathroom Vanities

In many ways, bathroom vanities are centerpieces. Stylish sinks and countertops draw attention; they feel inviting, reminiscent of time spent at a spa or luxury hotel. Beauty is important, but beauty alone isn’t enough. A vanity needs to be practical, too.

Study the Space

Whether remodeling a bathroom or choosing fixtures for a new home, a careful study of the given space is important. A vanity that takes up too much space impairs the flow and functionality of the room, but one that’s too small may feel insignificant and prove impractical. Shoppers should find a unit that fits in the allotted space without taking over the room, while still serving as an attractive, useful centerpiece.

Consider the Plumbing

Homeowners may fall in love with a few bathroom vanities only to discover that they’re incompatible with the existing plumbing. This may or may not be a roadblock, depending on the budget and how much work someone wants to put into the remodeling job. It is possible to rearrange pipes to accommodate the vanity’s sink and storage areas. Buyers need to decide if this is something they’re willing to do or hire out.

Figure Out What’s Most Important

When looking at a range of vanities, homeowners should decide what’s most important. Does there need to be additional storage? Deep drawers and under-the-sink storage can help utilize space. Also, units with above-the-sink cabinets can provide great space-saving utility.

Each sink should have the right width and depth for people to be able to wash their hands conveniently. The material that the sink is made from is another important consideration. Some materials, like tile, are easier to clean than others.

There are mirrors and accessories to consider as well. How do these fit in the overall aesthetic? A mirror may sit above a vanity, or it may wrap around it. The location of lights, towel bars, and additional shelves or cabinets can affect the selection.

Many Styles to Choose From

From traditional to contemporary, bathroom vanities can meet virtually any desired look. Regardless of the budget or the size of the space, homeowners can create a comfortable, attractive space in the color scheme and particular desired look. It’s all about choices.

Countertops can be made of stone, wood, acrylic, concrete, laminate, tile, or other materials. They come in various colors and textures to create different moods. Drawers and cabinets can be straight or curved and are made from a variety of woods or laminates. Sinks can sit above or below the counter. They can be oval or rectangular, and they can be made of porcelain, copper, glass, stone, stainless steel, or composites.

With so many choices available, it’s a good idea to start a search early. Many homeowners start with the vanity and then build the rest of the bathroom around it. The chosen vanity can inspire the room’s design and décor. It’s a great piece to start with when remodeling or building a bathroom that everyone will like.

7 Tips for Remodeling a Bathroom

Budget is the first thing that you need to consider when remodeling your bathroom. It will have a great impact on the stuff you are going to buy for your project. Aside from this, it will set limits for your design. If you know what you can afford to buy, you can easily replace what is needed to be replaced. Given below are some tips that may help you with this project.

Go Green

Going green is good for both you and your environment. As a matter of fact, green products offer great designs in addition to functioning better. As a result, your utility bills go down. Moreover, green products are free of chemicals. So, they are good for your health as well.

Refinish existing items

Do you want to save money remodeling your bath? If so, we suggest that you refinish existing things in your bathroom, such as tile, sink, shower and bathtub, to name a few. The beauty of this option is that you will only spend a fraction of the cost of replacing the items.


If you want to keep a check on your budget, we suggest that you don’t move your plumbing. Actually, the whole process of moving the piping and other stuff will cost you a lot. Aside from this, if you avoid spending on moving the plumbing, the same money can be spent on something that you really need.

Skill Level

If you want to work on a DIY project, make sure you know your skill level. What you need to do is find out the projects that you can do on your own and the ones that you can get done by professionals. Working on a project that you don’t know even the ABC of is not a good idea.

Cost Effective upgrades

According to experts, you may want to perform some cost effective upgrades also. For instance, you can change all the hardware like faucet handles, drawer pulls and showerheads. This can make a huge impact. Also, make sure you make use of the same finish for keeping your room look cohesive.


You shouldn’t underestimate the importance of quality lighting in your bathroom. If you want to get even lighting, you may want to give a go to sconce lighting. For decreased unflattering shadows, it’s a good idea to install the lighting at the eye level. However, we suggest that you don’t spend thousands of dollars on just lighting. However, if you have a large budget, you can spend a bit more.


The greatest enemy of your bathroom is moisture. As a matter of fact, mold and mildew can ruin your renovation in a short period of time. Therefore, we suggest that you install a good vent fan based on the size of your bathroom.

So, if you have been thinking of working on your bathroom remodeling project, we suggest that you check out the tips given above. Hopefully, you will be able to get the project done to your satisfaction.

12 Amazing Easy Tips to Clean Your Bathroom

Nobody likes to clean the bathroom. Nobody even likes to talk about cleaning the bathroom. But since it’s the room we start and end each day by cleaning ourselves and sitting on the royal throne a few times each day, it’s imperative that your bathroom is as clean as it could possibly be. If all your attempts so far simply haven’t been good enough, then this article will help you keep your bathroom in the highest level of quality as possible. Here we have gathered some useful toilet cleaning hacks you’ve most likely never heard about. Give these a try and you will be surprised.

1. Alka-Seltzer

Alka-Seltzer will help you clean your toilet in just three minutes! You will be pleasantly surprised as to how Alka-Seltzer, an effervescent antacid and pain reliever, can be used to clean a bathroom. Drop two tablets into the toilet bowl, leaving the acidic bubbling to work its baffling enchantment. When you return, with a couple of swipes with the toilet brush, your porcelain will return to as good as new. Then flush and you’re done!

2. Gatorade

Calcium and lime buildup in your latrine can make it look… well, out-and-out gross. Grab a bottle of Gatorade and dump it into your toilet. Truly, how easy could that be? Watch this amazing video of Gatorade dissolving hard water build up!

3. Coffee Filter

Did you know that a coffee filter can be used to clean your bathroom mirrors? Yes, it works! Since coffee filters are lint-free, they are an awesome contrasting option to paper towels for sparkling up your bathroom mirrors. Simply spray your favorite brand of glass cleaner and wipe with the coffee filter.

4. Black Tea

This is just so simple. Brew a pot of tea, use a clean, lint-less cloth, and give a quick wipe of tea over the mirror. It’s as simple as that and the mirrors will look wonderful. Just like new.

5. Soap

Who would think that soap can be used to clean your bathroom? Yes it can!! But this tip is to use soap to help prevent your mirrors from fogging up after a hot, steamy shower. Simply take a bar of soap, rub it gently throughout your mirror, wipe off the excess, and bid farewell to mirror fog for days.

6. Baking Soda and Vinegar

You can clear bathroom drains with baking soda and vinegar. Remember that volcano experiment we did in grade school? Well, it’s always nice to recreate memories and now you can do that in your bathroom drains, in the shower, and even in the sink. Simply pour a cup of baking soda down the drain together with a cup of vinegar. Then put a soggy washcloth or cover over the drain and let the mixture bubble away, destroying the gunk that is blocking your water from draining. Wait for 15 minutes, then pour a pot of boiling hot water down the drain to flush it.

7. Salt and Lemon

When rust has developed around the drain of your sink or tub, head to the kitchen and grab salt and a large lemon. Close the drain and squeeze some lemon juice around the rusty areas. Then add enough salt to form a glue. Leave it sitting for a couple of hours and, afterwards, wipe off the glue and the rust away.

8. Salt and Grapefruit

Not only is it delicious but it is very useful too and comes in handy when you want to get rid of the nasty soap scums without using any harsh chemicals. Simply sprinkle some salt on a halved grapefruit and use it to scrub your bath tub.

9. Vinegar

Previously, vinegar was mentioned but that was for drains. Vinegar can also be used to get rid of the scaly buildup on your shower head. Simply fill a plastic bag with vinegar then wrap it around the shower head, tie it with a rubber band or string and let it sit overnight. Next morning, the hard water buildup on your shower head will be gone and you’ll have a more powerful stream of water for your shower.

10. Aspirin

Aspirin can accomplish more than calming a headache. Simply dissolve 2 tablets of aspirin in a glass of warm water and this solution can be used to give an incredible look to your countertop.

11. Baby oil

Have you ever wondered how to clean your faucets? Put some baby oil on a clean, dry cloth. Wipe your faucets with it until dry and you’ll see a wonderful mirror effect from your faucets.

12. Hydrogen Peroxide

If you ever wondered how to clean grout lines in your bathroom? Simply pour hydrogen peroxide onto your bathroom floor’s grout lines. Allow it to sit and then scrub with a stiff brush.

Popular Bathroom Countertop Materials for a High-Traffic Bathroom

When it comes to renovating a home, the kitchen takes all the perks. You spend a large amount of time in choosing the best countertop for the kitchen and everything else takes a back-seat. By the time you have to make a decision regarding the bathroom countertop, you are exhausted.

Remember that choosing a bathroom countertop may not be as popular as selecting a kitchen countertop, but it is equally important. Take a look at a few popular bathroom countertops materials that are ideal for high-traffic bathrooms and get ready to make an informed decision:

· Granite

When you want to install a countertop in your master bathroom, consider granite. It is the hero of the countertops materials. It is durable, stain-resistant, attractive and easy-to-maintain. Although expensive, it proves to be an ideal choice in the long run. If you find it out of your budget, consider granite tiles because they are sold at cheap rates.

· Marble

Marble bathroom countertops are the epitome of elegance. Nowadays, marble is not as expensive as it was a couple of years ago. It means you can buy a marble countertop easily for the master bathroom. It is durable and doesn’t dent easily. But, the material is porous in nature which makes it susceptible to stains. Also, it requires frequent sealing like granite.

· Manufactured Quartz

When you want to replicate the look of granite or marble, manufactured quartz is the best choice. It is resistant to moisture and bacteria which makes it ideal for bathroom countertops. It doesn’t require sealing every couple of months and has better resistance to stains than granite.

· Solid-Surface Materials

With solid-surface materials, you can get the look of natural stone. Also, you will be able to select from a wide-range of colors and beautiful patterns to suit the theme of the bathroom. There are many top brands such as Corian, Staron, Avonite, etc. that offer durable solid-surface countertops. It is easy-to-maintain and can fit any bathroom area. Installing a solid-surface bathroom countertop in a high-traffic bathroom is a good idea because it is non-porous and easy-to-clean.

· Tile

Porcelain or ceramic tiles work best for homeowners looking for bold patterns in the bathroom. Being affordable is one of the advantages of choosing tiles. It means if there is any damage to a couple of tiles, you can replace them without any financial burden. There are several other benefits such as it has high resistance to heat and moisture. Although, remember to choose large tiles to avoid the grout problem.

· Concrete

When you want an inexpensive but durable bathroom countertop material, concrete is the way to go! It can imitate the look of natural stone and you can customize it with the patterns of your choice. You can choose the color and texture as well. But, remember that concrete is porous in nature and you need to seal it regularly.

The List is Endless!

There are many other options such as wood, limestone, glass, stone, and more to help you make a decision. But, do not be in a hurry to choose a popular bathroom countertop material. Understand the need of your family members and your budget before making a decision. Also, consider the theme of the bathroom. If you are installing a bathroom countertop in a beach-house, tiles would be a great option instead of granite. And, if you want an ideal option for your luxurious villa, granite and marble can be your top choices. So, consider several things and take help of an expert bathroom renovation contractor. He will help you to make a practical decision.

Five Bathroom Design Ideas to Steal From Luxury Hotels

Modern Showers

The shower is often a highlight in a hotel bathroom and therefore yours should be nothing less. Think massage jets, interior mood lighting and of course a walk in shower enclosure. Many bathrooms are equipped with electric showers and a wall mounted shower head could be the perfect upgrade. Upgrading your shower is one of the easiest ways to update a tired bathroom not to mention an easy way to inject some luxury. Today, thanks to the latest technology, your shower can double up as a steam room and we can’t think of a better way to add a touch of luxury to a relaxing space.

Plush Towels

When it comes to upgrading your bathroom to reflect the luxury found in a hotel suite, accessories are the key. Every bathroom can benefit from some plush towels and bath linens as we all know that cloud-like towels are a must for many fancy hotels. Add a plush stack of towels and add a bathrobe too for maximum luxury and comfort.

Mood Lighting

When it comes to creating a bathroom that is brimming with luxury, lighting plays a crucial role. Harsh lighting can make a bathroom feel clinical and cold so when choosing lighting for your bathroom, try to think outside of the box. Rather than just one light source, mix it up by adding an illuminated mirror and don’t forget to consider shower lighting too. Many of the latest electric showers come with their very own set of mood lighting to create a pleasant ambiance at speed. Add a couple of candles to soften the mood.

Heated Radiators

Another timeless addition to your bathroom that you might find in luxury hotels is a heated towel radiator. The benefit of a product like this is twofold. Not only do they heat your towels so that you don’t feel the chill when you step out of the shower but they also provide a perfect place to store your towels increasing the storage potential in your bathroom and keeping all of your linens in one place.

A Timeless Colour Scheme

One thing you might notice when you enter a luxury hotel bathroom is that the décor is classic. Bright colours and bold patterns could look dated after a few years’ time so it is always wise to opt for neutral shades when revamping your bathroom décor. Black and white is always a classic combination and you can’t go wrong with metallics.

If you are refreshing your bathroom décor or upgrading your bathroom with modern showers and accessories, we hope this article has inspired you. Use these five easy upgrade options to transform your existing bathroom into a luxurious retreat.

Usual Problems That You Will Encounter With Wall Hung Toilets

Wall hung toilets may be great for saving space in your bathroom, but just like any regular toilets, there are problems that you can encounter when you have one installed in your home. There are generally two common problems that you are likely to deal with when you choose to install this type of toilet, and we will discuss them in this article.

Sometimes, after the wall mount toilet is installed, it feels quite off when you sit on it. You might feel that it rocks or that it is quite loose from the wall. This is a common problem which has an easy and simple fix. A toilet that is loosely fitted on your wall will lead to other problems, so it is crucial that you have it fixed as soon as possible. This can be fixed by having it removed from your wall and have it reinstalled again. If you have enough DIY skills for this, you can actually do this yourself, but make sure you have an assistant that will help you with the installation to make sure the toilet can be attached to the wall snuggly. But if you feel your DIY skills are not enough, you should call in an expert to do the installation for you. Doing so will give you the assurance that the wall hung toilet will be installed properly and securely.

When you try to flush your toilet and notice that the water leaks into the wall, you should have it fixed immediately to avoid encountering more serious problems later on. This is the second most common problem with regards to the usage of wall hung toilets. This happens when the plumbing is not properly connected to the toilet. This type of problem should be addressed quickly as it may lead to further water damage on your wall, and you will end up having more damage on your bathroom which can be translated to expensive repair costs. As soon as you notice the leak on your wall, turn off the water supply to your toilet and remove the toilet from your wall. You should check your pipes and make sure the pipes are okay, and then connect them properly to your toilet.

If you have decided to opt for a wall mount toilet, it is recommended that you have it installed by a professional the first time to ensure that it will be appropriately fastened on the wall using the proper mounting supports. To know more about the wall hung toilet installation, take time to visit the Plumbing Point website.

How to Adjust Cabinet Doors That Will Not Close

Every once in a while we have been challenged with trying to adjust a customer’s kitchen or bathroom cabinet doors that will not close. There are several reasons for this. Perhaps I can address your particular situation and offer a solution to the problem.

Freestanding Units
If you are working with a “freestanding” cupboard that is not fastened to the wall, your problem could be that the cabinet is racked out of kilter. Push on the top left or right side of the unit and see if it helps the situation any. If it does, you will need to place shims underneath the bottom of one corner of the cabinet. This is going to be a process of trial and error to get the unit situated correctly. If it is setting on carpet, the culprit may be the tack strip that is installed right next to the wall.

The Door Closes But One Corner Sticks Out
This particular situation usually involves the top or bottom hinge being adjusted too far out or in. If it is the top corner of the door that is sticking out, then either the top hinge needs to be adjusted in toward the cupboard face or the bottom hinge must be moved out away from the cabinet face.

The Entire Edge of the Door Sticks Past the One Next to it
Another possible situation might be that when the cabinet door is closed it has a tendency to slightly reopen along the entire edge of the door. If this is the case, both hinges may need to be adjusted toward you, away from the cabinet face. What is happening is the inside of the door is binding on the cupboard face and will not allow it to close completely.

Older Wood Cupboard Doors
Many of the older style wood door kitchen cabinets were designed to have magnetic catches installed to keep the doors closed. Look to see if you have them on any of the interior areas of your cabinets. The door that is not staying closed may either need a new catch or the existing one slightly adjusted.

Do You Hear a Clicking Noise
Sometimes there’s a plastic piece that finally beaks on the interior parts of the hinges. This problem happens on several different hinge styles. There are European concealed hinges that do this and externally mounted decorative hinges. The only way to remedy the problem correctly is to install new hinges. An alternative would be to install a magnetic catch. Obviously, this would not eliminate the clicking sound.

A couple of years ago, the Blum company had a defective piece that would go bad on their concealed European hinges after about five to ten years of use. It was noticeable by the clicking sound that was made every time the door was opened or closed. The doors would often be very difficult to close or open as well. Luckily for many homeowners, the hinges have a lifetime guarantee. The company has since corrected the problem.

Something Inside of the Cabinet is Sticking Out
Believe it or not, sometimes there’s a dish that is just slightly too deep for the cabinet and the door hits it.

Usually it takes a limited amount of tools to adjust cabinet doors. A Phillip’s or flat-head screwdriver is about all that is required. In a case where you need to install magnetic catches an electric or cordless drill will make the task go smoother. If you are dealing with a clicking set of hinges, you will most definitely need to have a power drill on hand.

Reverse Floating Walls in Basement Construction

When you are working in expansive soil such as clay and other soils that expand with moisture content, you need to take special precautions to keep from having structural damage to the foundation and basement walls. One of these precautions is floating walls. A floating wall is not attached at top and bottom like most walls. Floating a wall is able to move with the house and keeps you from having cracks open up in your floor, foundation and walls as the moisture content in the soil changes.

Floating basement walls are usually attached to the floor joists for the first floor and then spiked to the floor allowing a space below the wall. This space is covered by the baseboards and isn’t seen.

A reverse floating wall is attached to the floor. You place the floor on the base plate on the floor and you spike it at the top so that the wall is stable but only attached at the bottom. This is done on wet walls to keep the plumbing stable. The open space is at the top of the walls and is covered by moulding. You can cover the whole wall with sheetrock but you need to take care to leave the top open for movement. This means you cannot attach drywall to the wall all of the way to the top or it will crack as the wall moves with moisture changes in the soil.

For reverse floating walls follow the basic instructions for floating a wall but instead of hanging the wall from the floor joist, you will attach the floor to the base plate and spike to the top plate. Make sure your wall is plumb. If you do not have the wall exactly square it will cause problems. A space of 4 ½ inches is needed at the top of the wall. The wall needs to be spiked in the same way as a normal floating wall too, just at the top instead of the bottom. See instructions for floating wall for more information.

To cover the open area at the top of the wall you can use moulding. Many people do not like the look of moulding around their ceiling. If you want alternatives you can look into having a drop ceiling that can move with the walls and floor. You would need to attach the framing for the ceiling to the frames for the walls. When the house breathes your whole room will move and you will not notice it.

Women Can Urinate – Any Place/ Anytime (Wheelchair and Bed Confined) Updated

Are you confined to a wheelchair? Do you know anybody confined to a wheelchair? Is it hard for you to get up and down from the toilet seat? Do you like to be independent? Do you like to travel? Does urinating make this impossible and embarrassing for you? If your answer is yes, read on.

A few years ago I had emergency surgery on my knees and I could not walk for a few months. I never felt so helpless in my life. In the past I was always able to jump out of bed and go to the bathroom on my own without any trouble. When I was wheelchair bound I felt like a rolling dead person. My independence was snatched away from me.

Suddenly, I needed assistance to just get in and out of bed. I had to be assisted into a wheelchair where I spent my entire day until I was helped back into bed at night.

I required help to get to the bathroom every time nature called. Something so ordinary and simple had turned into a major production, especially since I lived in a mobile home.


The most embarrassing problem was just going to the bathroom. I had to lose my dignity when someone else had to help me stand, disrobe, and help me sit down onto the toilet. I felt humiliated and helpless.

When I needed assistance, I had to call a friend who came over for potty patrol. I was not completely useless. I had my mind, my hands and arms. All I was missing were my legs.

My friend had to wheel me down this long narrow hallway and then squeeze me into a small bathroom which was never designed for a wheelchair. I had to hobble painfully a few steps and then I had to be partially lifted onto the commode.



I was lucky. I remembered back to when I was younger and used to transport my elderly aunt to her doctor’s appointments. She used this little external urinal that enabled her to stand and urinate, or she could use it while sitting in her wheelchair.

I remember when she first learned about this new fantastic, small urinal that drastically changed her life. It was a device made for women that can be slid inside your clothes and had a tube that slipped into a reusable vinyl bag.

I called her about my problem and she told me where it could be purchased. I ordered it immediately, and re-entered the human race.

Presto, now the deed is done right from my wheelchair and nobody needs to know. I can do it by myself without assistance.



I had the long tubing run into a jar during the night and I could urinate easily and freely without leaving my bed.


During my last month confined to my wheelchair I had to make an unexpected trip by airplane to see my sister. I at first panicked for the simple reason I did not know how I was going to urinate while on the plane.

After a few minutes I realized I could use my little urinal device discretely in my airplane seat and nobody would ever be the wiser.

I covered my lap with a blanket, used the collector bag, tied the neck into a knot, and when done, put it into the “barf” bag and asked the flight attendant to dispose of it. She asked if I was feeling better, and with a big sigh, I could honestly say yes.


When I was able to walk again, I still had difficulty getting up and down from the seat. This time I had the answer. I could stand and go using my little secret.



1. It slips discreetly under clothes and has a tube which directs the flow into a vinyl disposable/reusable bag.

2. It is external, easy to manage, and small enough to fit in your purse.

3. It gives you independence during the day and night.

4. You do not need to be lifted out of your wheelchair to use.

5. When in a store or restaurant you can use your urinal and aim the plastic tubing into the toilet.

6. Can be used sitting in your seat on an airplane.

7. Can be used sitting in your seat in a car.

8. Can be used in bed by attaching a long hose to disposable plastic bags or jar.

9. Can stand and urinate.

10. Can be used by adults and children.



All women and some men need to know about this device and how it can help people with difficulty toileting. Become independent in this tremendously important part of your daily living.

Thank you for reading my article. Please let me hear from you.

Copyright 2006 Linda Meckler

African Fashion – Amazing Cow Horn Jewellery

For African fashion lovers, a little known secret is the use of African cow horn jewellery to complement African dressing. It is unbelievable how much use can be made out of a cow horn. The hand crafts can be as many as one can produce but the main uses are in jewellery, tableware, office desk items and bathroom accessories. In tableware, they are mostly used as serving forks and spoons, salt and pepper shakers, sugar bowls, sauce boats, butter knives and Flower vases among others. And the cow horn is the most authentic vessel for drinking alcoholic African beverages. For the office desk, you get ash trays, letter openers, pen holders and many more. For the bathroom, you find combs,soap dishes, shoe horns and bathroom glasses.

It is in jewellery that the artisan mostly expresses himself. Due to the intensive process involved, the crafts men work on custom orders whether for retail or for quantity. Basically without giving out their secrets,the process is as follows. To get the most out of a cow horn, the Turitu craftsmen start with a careful selection of large horns imported from the famous Ankole cattle of the neighbouring country Uganda. The horn is then sawed into pieces depending what products have ordered. The horn is boiled in oil to soften it and molded into the desired item. After cutting and trimming into shape, it is sanded, varnished and painted and then hanged to dry. It is a slow and delicate process that requires many years of training and experience.

For Jewellery, the crafts men usually make ear rings, bangles, bracelets, finger rings, hair clips, belts, necklaces and chokers. They also combine the horn with brass depending on their customers orders. The beauty of the horn jewellery is that it is durable, unique,attractive, is not fragile and can be custom designed. And one can order as much as one needs but they have to give advance orders due to the lengthy and delicate process involved. And since the horn can be molded into almost anything, the crafts men also welcome new designs. However, for simple items like rings that don’t require much handwork, a large quantity can be produced within a short time.

The craft men have been quietly, exporting this jewellery and other cow horn items like combs for the last 30 years to many countries including United States of America and Europe. The manufacturing is done by men while retail selling is done by women in the local cultural markets. This small but highly skilled industry has created many opportunities especially for the youth who would otherwise be engaged in vice. For some reason, little is known of this Kenyan cottage industry even in Kenya itself. However, with more support from African fashion designers, government and other stakeholders, the industry can be a major foreign exchange earner.