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It is always fun to start the process of looking at different websites, talking to friends, and going to the various home stores to start putting together a plan for redoing your bathroom.  You will soon discover that there are far more options out there than you even realize and all of the information can soon become overwhelming.  Honestly, there are just too many choices.


Fortunately, today I thought we would give you a list of just 9 ideas that you should truly consider when you get ready to remodel your bathroom.  Some of these you may have already thought of while others you might never have realized were even an option.  Either way, these simple additions to your design will look/feel great today and will serve you well when the time comes to sell your home.


  1. Heated Ceramic Tile Flooring

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In today’s environment, almost every bathroom has either a ceramic or porcelain tile on the floor.  Ceramic tile can range anywhere from $1-$20/sf for materials depending upon the style you are looking to achieve.  The one thing that has never changed about these tiles, since the beginning of their use on floors, is the cold feeling you get on your feet, especially if you live in a cold weather environment like we do here in Chicago.  You can eliminate that cold feel by installing thin electric radiant mats on your floor prior to installing the new tile over the top of it.


A typical systems uses about the same amount of electricity as 3-100 watt standard light bulbs.  In addition, radiant heat is often more efficient than forced air heating systems because of it eliminates heat loss through the ducts.  It also distributes the heat equally across the floor so it actually takes less time to heat the room than the use of other types of heat.  Radiant heat mats will add somewhere between $5-$15 per square foot to your overall budget.


Other ceramic tile accompaniments you might want to consider:
1. No-slip ceramic tile. Whether for young kids or those with limited mobility, a finely tetures surface has great traction and can help eliminate potential accidents in the bathroom.


Look for one of two ratings on the packaging.

A.  A COF (coefficient of friction) standard of .60 or greater means the tile is rated as non-slip when wet by the Ceramic Tile Institute.

B.  The DCOF (dynamic coefficient of friction) AcuTest measurement, the new gold standard now coming on the market, requires a value of .42 or above for non-slip tile.

Tip: The downside:  No-slip tiles have a tendency to trap dirt and will require extra work to keep clean.


  1. Epoxy grout.New formulas resist staining and discoloration over time better than traditional ones. They’re also more flexible than regular grout and less likely to cracking, making them ideal for flooring installations.

    Make sure your contractor is familiar with epoxy grouts as they require more finesse to shape and handle. You’ll pay an extra $1-$5 per square foot to cover a bathroom floor with epoxy.

    3. Programmable radiant heat thermostat.To really ramp up that Master Bath start your winter morning with a pre-heated warm floor by adding a wall-mounted programmable thermostat (approximately $100 to $200) that’ll start warming up your floors before you enter the room so the floors are toasty when you walk in the door.


  1. Curb less Walk-in Shower

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Stylish, safe and easy to clean are all good reasons to think about a curbless shower.  They are becoming more and more popular and they look awesome.  You can have one continuous surface that moves seamlessly from shower to the main bath area or mix it up with different color tiles.

On top of the good looks they are also becoming more desireable for new home buyers. As the population ages, a contemporary walk-in can be a selling point.

Be sure to hire a remodeling contractor with experience.  The shower floor has to slope to the drain hole, which means the new drain will be located below the surface of the existing floor. This means your contractor will have to remove old flooring and subflooring and alter the framing underneath the floor.



  1. Quartz Counter top

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Quartz is becoming more and more popular and for good reason.  It is more resistant to soaps and lotions, and this surface is so impervious that bacteria cant lodge in it.  It will look good year after year.


Quartz countertop material is a synthetic composite made up of about 90% quartz particles held together with binders. It’s virtually maintenance-free.  It also never needs to be sealed and comes in dozens of styles and colors.



  1. One Big Sink Instead of Two Small Ones

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Looking for something different and out of the norm in your new master bathroom, how about a large single sink vanity with 2 faucets?  You could be the envy of your friends, family and neighbors with just a little imagination.  You would still have your own faucet but you share a sink.  One big sink saves more counter space than two, and still lets you both wash up simultaneously.


  1. Motion-Activated Faucet

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Start saving water today by installing a motion activated faucet.  Stop the water from running continually while you are washing your face or brushing your teeth.  They tend to be a bit more expensive than the traditional bathroom faucets but wouldn’t it be nice to not have to clean around all those handles?  They are also great for kids as you don’t have to be constantly reminding them to turn off the water.  They are a win-win for everybody.



  1. Humidity-Controlled Exhaust Fan
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    The most requested feature in a new bathroom is the exhaust fan. A fan or an operable window is required by building code but nobody wants to open a window on a cold January morning in the Chicagoland area to get rid of the excess humidity.  So if you are looking to have a fan installed why not think about having a fan with a humidity sensing on/off switch.  It turns on when the moisture levels are high and automatically shuts off when the humidity is gone.  This will help control any potential moisture problems as well as help you save energy.



  1. High-Efficiency, Dual-Flush Toilet

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A dual flushing toilet is not only stylish but also works to reduce water usage which is becoming more and more of a concern as the water shortage becomes more and more of a concern.


Federal law requires all toilets to use no more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush.  States such as California are even more stringent than that.  However, you can even go more stringent than both codes by going to a dual flush toilet that utilizes 1 gallon flushes for liquid waste and 1.28-1.6 gallon flushes for solid wastes.

  1. Pocket or Sliding Barn Door

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With space at a premium in most homes why not look at installing a pocket door or barn door that slides out of the way without requiring any clearance.  This will give you an additional 14 square feet of storage space to use as you see fit.  The barn door has become more and more popular as more people try to find a way to incorporate them in to their homes.


How do you choose between a barn door and a pocket door?  Either can work well depending upon your budget and what you are looking for in style.  Many complain that the pocket door can be dangerous because of the potential for pinching fingers but new technology has all but eliminated that.  In a rehab situation it is more expensive to do a pocket door than a barn door due to the modifications that will be required to the existing wall.


  1. Calm Colors

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It’s always cool to be up on trends, but we say make your bathroom an exception. It’s your sanctuary — it should be soothing and filled with light.

It doesn’t have to be boring. Color can be added with a painted wall surface that can be changed easily when you feel the need for a change.  Accessories such as artwork, mirrors and towels can add taste of your personality and can be done quickly and inexpensively.

On the other hand, permanent items such as countertops and fixtures need quiet, calm neutrals. White, beige, and gray are great choices and they will stand the test of time.  Plus, lighter colors help bounce light around, helping you see what a fantastic bathroom you’ve put together.


Life is too short not to enjoy where you are living!  Have fun!

By:  David Appelt