Our Family of Companies

Bathroom, Kitchen, Basement Design & Remodeling Ideas for the Nicest Home or Business on the Block

Posts Tagged ‘wet rooms’

5 Simple Tricks to Design a Walk in Shower for a Tiny Bathroom

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling, Glass Block

5 simple tricks to design a walk in shower in a tiny bathroom - Innovate Building Solutions #Bathroom #Shower #WalkInShower

You’re strolling through Pinterest enjoying a rare quiet moment on your den computer. You feel bathroom envy bubbling up. Your mind starts to wander. You think about expansive luxury walk in showers, separate free-standing bathtubs, and beautiful chandeliers gracing the wide-open spaces. What would it be like to have a bathroom like that, you think. Then your 17-year-old son barges in and says, “Mom, what’s for dinner?” Now you’re grounded back into the reality which is your life.

You don’t have an expansive bathroom. You have a tight 5’ x 8’ space like most suburban Cape Cod, ranch or 2 story homes.

You don’t have space for both a free-standing tub and a shower (unless you can figure out how to bolt the tub in upside down on the ceiling and determine how to have water suspended in mid-air – that’s a bit crazy).

A chandelier also isn’t happening. You would probably walk into it with your 8’ high ceilings.

You want the luxury, style and low maintenance features of a walk in shower. You realize you’re stuck with a 5’ x 8’ space unless you get creative. Maybe you could blow out the wall into your son’s bedroom and make him sleep in the basement? That’s an idea. OK, maybe it’s not too practical.

The challenge becomes how can you design a walk-in shower which will work in your 5’ x 8’ suburban bathroom (or tiny loft apartment or cramped historic home for that matter)? In this article I’m going to give you 5 simple tricks to make a cool walk in shower possible even if you don’t have the benefit of the mega “Pinterest-esque-sized” bathroom you wish you had.

5 reasons you shouldn’t buy a ramped roll in shower base (2 little-known better alternatives for aging parents)

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

5 reasons you shouldn't buy a ramped roll in shower 2 little known better alternatives | Innovate Building Solutions

The aging problem has hit your Mom and Dad’s doorstep

Mom’s mobility and balance isn’t what it used to be (when she fell last year it created quite a scare for you and your brother Michael). Dad’s knees are so bad from his years of hard work at the plant, going up the stairs to their master bedroom has become a project. You and your brother can see the handwriting on the wall (even if Dad cannot). The family home they raised you both in is becoming a big safety hazard for Mom and Dad. You’re starting to do what all responsible brothers and sisters do today. The “behind-the-scenes” research and family meeting process has begun.

You’re debating if Mom and Dad should move in with you or Michael’s family and modify your home to fit their needs (perhaps giving them your first-floor master bedroom and you move upstairs). You know the bathroom with it’s 5” high tile shower curb is just one of the challenges you’ll have to eliminate IF you can get them to move in with you.

You’re also discussing if Mom and Dad would benefit from a move to an assisted living facility. At a cost $3,500/month you have no idea not only how they’re going to pay for this, but Dad will put up such a major fuss you can’t imagine this happening. Staying in their existing home is an accident waiting to happen. Something has got to give….and soon!

The decision is made for Mom and Dad to move in with you. Let the home modification process begin!

After way too many family meetings Mom and Dad have finally agreed to move in with you, your husband Bill and 2 kids (it’s not exactly how you planned your home living situation would evolve – but family has to come first). You, Bill needed got to do and know your existing bathroom “ain’t gonna cut it!” The custom tile shower with the 5” step over curb to get in is not happening with Mom and Dad’s mobility challenges. You’ve decided a ramped roll in shower is the answer… but is it really the best solution?

A ramped roll in shower has its drawbacks

While it’s not my goal to be the guy who rains on your parade and home modification game-plan, there are 5 negatives of installing a ramped roll in shower (it can be a good option – but it may not be the best option) you should be aware of before buying products for the bathroom remodel. Also, there are 2 little-known alternatives you should consider before making your final choice. Read below so you don’t waste money on the wrong selection for your parent’s current needs and your future needs.

4 critical questions to find a progressive bathroom remodeling contractor

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

4 critical questions you need to find a bathroom remodeling contractor from the Cleveland Design Remodeling division of Innovate Building Solutions

Phyllis just got done firing her second (ouch) remodeling contractor when she called me in tears! She said, “Mike these guys were as dumb as rocks. They (incorrectly) built half the wall you supplied and then asked me for the directions. All they care about is getting paid – not about delivering a quality job with the materials I want to use!”

As a nationwide bathroom building material supplier and a local bathroom remodeler (in Cleveland and Columbus Ohio) I wish I could tell you there was anything unique about the frustration Phyllis tearfully expressed above. Construction is often a process you must “endure” to get a stylish and better functioning bathroom. But should bathroom remodeling be a process you need to be “drug through” (and you may feel like you need drugs – just kidding – to get you through) when you’re spending so much money???

IMHO (in my humble opinion) these bad bathroom remodeler experiences have to stop. Bathroom remodeling should not be the following:

  • A “one day process” where a high-pressure franchise salesperson sells a one-day bathroom system with an offer “you must sign today” or it will be gone forever. Why should you be uncomfortable and feel like your arms (and every other limb) are being twisted in the sales process?
  • A contractor driven project where they are telling you, “Lady this is how I’m going to build your shower.” Aren’t you the one paying to get this done after all? It should be about what you want.
  • A one size fits all “solution.” You have different members of your family with unique needs. Shouldn’t your bathroom be designed with everyone’s needs (both today and tomorrow) in mind?

It’s simple to spew out frustration about bathroom remodeling. The challenge is to know the right questions to ask in the research and contractor selection process. With the right questions, you won’t get a dud you then need to figure out how to get rid of in the middle of the job without getting tangled up in a huge lawsuit.

How can you find a progressive bathroom remodeling contractor (yes there are actually a few these companies out there) who will treat you the way you deserve to be treated? Ask these 4 critical questions so you don’t have to suffer through the contractor from hell!

How to Make a 4’ Wide Walk In Shower

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling, Glass Block

opening image

Herb called earlier this week and said “I love the open look and feel of a walk in shower but I only have a 4’ wide space. Is there a way to make a walk in shower in a space this small?”

The short answer I gave to Herb is yes it’s possible…..the longer answer is it takes careful planning and access to the right products. The article below will present 3 strategies to make a walk in shower in a 4’ wide space.

5 Design Tips for a Small Bath Remodel in 2015

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

5 Design Tips for a small bathroom remodel

In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s home building was about supersizing everything. McMansions with large rooms, vaulted ceilings in foyers, big living rooms and dining rooms were all the rage. The average size home in the 1950’s of 983 square feet had become bloated to 2,434 square feet by 2005.

As we get ready to celebrate the new year in 2015 trends have changed significantly. The average size of the home is now decreasing (this can be seen in the popularity of the book The Not So Big Home by Sarah Susanka). Features which have contributed to homes becoming smaller include tighter access to financing, improved design, and the desire for more green and sustainable spaces.

As homes are shrinking bathrooms are getting smaller as well – but this is not to imply style and function are becoming victims of this down-sizing process – quite the contrary actually. Learn below 5 fun and intriguing design tips to make a smaller bathroom more stylish and better performing!

5 Questions about Accessible Barrier Free Wet Room Shower Systems

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

Barrier free shower pan from AKW for an accessible wet room

Barrier free shower pan from AKW for an accessible wet room

As people are looking to stay in their homes longer the need for accessible showers has never been greater. Since most people have not remodeled their bathrooms for accessibility they generally have a lot of questions going into the process. Some of these questions might include:


  • What is needed to make a showering space accessible? What is the difference between a zero threshold shower and one that is barrier free?


  • What options are available in zero threshold showers? Can they be used with various types of floors?


  • Who(m) can install this type of product? Is it something I can do myself?


  • Do I need to follow ADA guildelines?


  • Where can I get a shower base and the proper accessories to make my space accessible and also provide a way for a caregiver to assist in the showering process?


The article below will provide answers to these questions and also offer some information on what type of accessible showering system to consider:

5 Steps to Design an Accessible Wet Room Walk In or Roll In Shower for Style, Safety & Resale Value

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling, Glass Block

Wet room roll in shower
Wet room roll in shower
Accessible walk in or roll in shower
Accessible walk in or roll in shower wet room

Is your bathroom ugly, outdated or just doesn’t work for you? Do you think climbing over the bathtub and stepping over the shower enclosure is an accident waiting to happen? Here’s a way to add a sleek contemporary bathroom with a high level of safety – add a European design inspired wet room walk in shower.  Using an open design this system combines a shower pan which is set below the surrounding floor. Since the base is below the floor you end up with a curbless roll in or walk in fully accessible design. Here’s 5 steps to turn this concept into reality

Join Our Newsletter to Receive a Free Remodeling eGuide

Get the Free Remodeling eGuide
© Innovate Building Solutions | All Rights Reserved | Log In