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7 Affordable Bathroom Design Ideas First Time Home Buyers Will Love

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

7 Affordable bathroom design ideas first time home buyers will love  | Innovate Building Solutions | #bathroomdesign #homedesign #bathroomremodel #laminatewallpanels

You’re not quite sure how and when you ‘evolved’ into ‘adulting’, but boy has it hit you now. With a baby on the way you and your spouse knew your tiny apartment in the city wasn’t going to cut it. It was time to buy your first home.

However, with few new homes on the market and prices higher than you’d like, your vision of the perfect turnkey home (no remodeling required) in a walkable neighborhood turned out to be the impossible dream. You adjusted your expectations and found an “OK” home which needed some work.

You took the big step- bought the home and signed soooooo many forms you figured the real estate and mortgage industries must not have got the memo about minimalism. You were all smiles turning the key for the first time entering your new home. You’re also proud of yourself for not posting another ‘we just moved into our new home’ selfie on the front porch like so many of your friends.

After getting settled in you now know its time to update your time-warped bathroom, or you and your husband might kill each other when getting ready in the morning. The challenge becomes how can you get a functional space which is fashionable while not blowing your budget (after all your new baby isn’t going to feed himself)?

If only you had unlimited funds and could afford the sleek designs, you see in Architectural Digest or while watching The Properties Brothers (you think – if only the Properties Brothers would choose our home for their next show. A nice dream. Probably not going to happen).

The question becomes how can you create an updated bathroom in a small space without a big budget?

In this article my goal is to present 7 affordable bathroom design ideas you can use to create an updated bathroom in an older home with a smaller bathroom. At the end I’d love to know which ideas you think will help you the most and/or specific questions you have about your bathroom remodeling project.

How to Choose Shower Wall Panels to Fit 9 Hot Interior Design Styles

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

How to choose shower wall panels to fit 9 hot interior designs | Innovate Building Solutions | #ShowerPanels #BathroomDesigns #BathroomIdeas

It used to be if you wanted the maintenance free benefits of shower wall panels you were subjected to ugly, cheap plasticky sheets you hoped no friend or relative visiting your house would ever see. You know the type I’m talking about. Either the slap- ‘em-up ‘bathroom in a day’ panels sold (or pushed might be a better term) by Danny DeVito Tin-Men inspired sales sharks. Or perhaps you’ve seen the stamped out of mold shower enclosures everyone in your neighborhood has in their hall or kids’ bathroom which were put in originally by ABC Bang-Em-Out Production Builders Inc.

If these old-school panels and enclosures discussed above aren’t exactly the look, you’re after for your next bath remodel – I get it.

The shower wall panels of yesteryear have no place in stylish bathroom remodels today. Just think if you’ve ever spotted shower wall panels in fashionable interior decors like these:

  • Project 1) A rustic modern farmhouse or shabby chic bath in a home in the country.
  • Project 2) A bold modern, minimalist, or industrial loft space with an edgy look in the city.
  • Project 3) A relaxing coastal or Zen-inspired bath design in the ‘burbs.

I’ll bet you haven’t seen traditional shower wall panels in any of these projects.

So, if you want a stylish bathroom – and if the you think old-school shower wall panels look butt-ugly and wouldn’t be caught dead with them, what alternative do you have? You know you don’t want the back-breaking grout joint maintenance of a tile or stone shower.

The good news is you do have better (low maintenance) choices than tile. However, most people don’t know what they are.

In this article I’m going to identify the top 9 interior design styles and pair them with grout free shower wall panel options to compliment your decor. My goal is to show you how wall panels have gone beyond the slap-them-up mass-production fiberglass units used in new homes – or the thin (we look like we belong in your local hospital) wall panels being pushed by high-pressure Bath in Day franchises. At the end I’d love your Siskel and Ebert feedback (OK – I’m dating myself here) on which panels you think are hot and which are not.

5 Surprising Reasons You Should Care about Your Shower Drain

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Uncategorized

5 Surprising Reasons You Should Care about your Shower Drain | Innovate Building Solutions | #ShowerBase #ShowerDrain #BathroomRemodel

I bet money you’ve heard the saying, “You’re a pain in the drain.” If the truth be told, shower drains aren’t associated with anything good. If you Google articles about this product the first 10 entries are going to be ‘how to unclog your drain.’ Not exactly sexy and fun reading!

So, you might think I was smoking something wacky, or had a few too many, if I told you a shower drain can actually be important, exciting (OK – maybe a bit dramatic here) and beneficial to you in the following 5 ways:

  • Paying attention to your shower drain before starting your remodel will help the project get done quicker, reduce coordination and aggravation, and give you a nicer finished bathroom.

 

  • Drains can make your bathroom more stylish (you’re probably thinking right now, that’s a stretch!).

 

  • Choosing the right type of drain will reduce the time you spend on your hands and knees cleaning a tile shower floor pan.

 

  • A drain can create a clean, minimalist look.

 

  • A thoughtful drain location can cut down the frustration of standing in a pool of dirty water.

Do I have your attention now that it can be worth a few minutes of your time to not treat the drain as the red-haired-stepchild (no offense to red-haired stepchildren here – I need to keep things P.C.) of your next bath remodeling project?

If so, buckle up and get ready for me to serve up 5 surprising reasons strategizing your shower drain can make your next shower remodel more cost effective, add to your design and keep you off your hands and knees cleaning the shower pan (and who exactly wants to spend time doing that?).

7 Secrets about Glass Block Shower Walls Your Contractor Doesn’t Want You to Know

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

 

7 Secrets about glass block shower wall - contractor | Innovate Building Solutions #GlassBlock #GlassBlockShower #GlassBlockInstallation #ShowerRemodel

You’ve finally gotten a hold of Pauly Path-Of-Least-Resistance, President of Krazy Cool Contracting Inc. You’ve set up a Free in-home estimate for next Thursday. Your goal of upgrading the bathroom for you and your husband Bill – now that your 3 kids are (almost) out of the house – is about to become a reality.

Pauly’s the hard to get contractor in your small town. Despite his funny name (and company name for that matter) he’s known for high quality bathroom remodeling work and stands by his warranties. Your neighbors and friends have told you to use him.

Since the 3 other companies you’ve called haven’t even sent you a quote (after meeting with them a month ago) you’re ready to rock n’ roll with Pauly. He’s a shoo-in to get your job. This is a fact you’re trying to keep on the Q-T, so his price won’t force you to get a 2nd job!

Everything’s going well during your initial appointment until you break the news to Pauly. You tell him you want a partially colored free-standing walk in curved glass block shower wall. You also mention you want grout free wall panels and an easy to clean shower pan. You want simplicity at all costs (OK – maybe not at all costs) but certainly simpler to maintain is high on your list.

Pauly starts ripping off all the reasons he CAN’T do this job based on your product choices. Here’s some things he rants about:

 

  • I don’t know how to do a glass block shower – and I don’t know any subcontractors who know their way around this material either.

 

  • I’ve never installed a curved glass wall of any sort (glass or glass blocks for that matter) before.

 

  • He asks, why do you want glass blocks? They’re out of style anyway.

 

  • You know the block wall will fall if it’s not supported on all sides.

 

  • Why do you want grout free wall panels? They look cheap and plasticky.

 

After he’s done ripping off all the reasons it CAN’T be done you’re tempted to chime in with the trite motivational statement, “Can is just can’t without a T.” You bite your tongue and think better of it (after all he’s the best contractor in town and you don’t want to piss him off).

However, you’re not ready to give up on your glass block shower dream– and you’re prepared for his objections. You’ve got a list of 7 secrets (I’ve given you the cheat-sheet below) your chosen ‘path-of-least-resistance’ contractor, Pauly, may not want to know, but you can share to get him over to your side.

6 Things You Shouldn’t Do When Replacing Your Tile Shower

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

6 things you shouldn't do when replacing your tile shower | Innovate Building Solutions | #ShowerPanels #TiledShower #BathroomWallPanels #BathroomRemodel

Old tile showers are a pain.

Moldy and dirty grout joints. Shower curbs which are too tall and dangerous to step over. Cracked shower pans which leaked onto the floors below. And I haven’t even mentioned the constant maintenance. Who doesn’t love spending time with a scrub brush cleaning grout joints (sarcasm intended)?

If you’re looking to replace your old tile shower – the last thing you want to do is repeat the mistakes of the past. If your shower is screaming ‘replace me,’ the question becomes what mistakes do you need to stay away from this time? How can you get a new tile shower (or a look-a-like tile shower – more about this later) without the hassles your last one caused you?

In this article my goal is to give it to you straight. I’m going to tell you 6 things you shouldn’t do when you replace your old tile shower. These tips will help you get a nicer looking shower stall with less effort and maintenance from you down the road.

Maybe Shower Wall Panels aren’t a Crazy Idea After All…

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

Maybe shower wall panels aren't a crazy idea after all | Innovate Building Solutions | #ShowerPanels #GroutFreeShower #BathroomRemodel

Patty came into my office to look at a glass enclosure for a new tile shower she and her husband Mark were installing in their upcoming bathroom remodel. The appointment was going well until I said to Patty, “Have you ever considered using grout free shower wall panels instead of tile?”

Patty looked at me like I had a third eye.

She said, “Mike – you’re either a little crazy or you’re filming me for the next episode of America’s Funniest Videos. I told you, Mark and I are designing this bathroom to be the LAST to be the last one we do. This bathroom is going to be stylish. It’s going to work for us until they wheel us out of this place. Why would I even think about putting in colorless, plasticky, cheap and hard to clean (oh – and did I mention ugly) shower wall surrounds?”

I thought to myself (sarcastically), “Well – that idea went over well!”

The reality is Patty is right on the money with how most people think about shower wall panels. They’re thin. They look like cheap plastic. They’re boring. They’d hard to install. And lastly – and maybe most importantly – you can’t keep them clean.

There’s nothing more embarrassing than a ‘white shower’ which is now a dull gray or yellowish-brown color. That’s just one reason you’ve kept those ugly high-privacy curtains on your hall bathroom with the fiberglass tub/shower surround. You’re hoping no one will see how bad the interior shower wall surrounds and pan look behind the curtains.

In this article I’m going to give you 5 reasons why people don’t want to use grout free shower wall panels in an upgraded bathroom remodel. Then I’ll serve up new information to expand your knowledge (and possibly change your thinking) about why shower wall panels are a smart option instead of tile.

The No-Tile, Tile Shower & Bathroom Wall Panels – 5 Reasons You Need to Check Them Out

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

The No Tile Tile Shower and Bathroom Wall Panels | Innovate Building Solutions | #NoTileTileShower #TiledShower #BathroomTrends

I had to laugh when I saw the following blog comment from Bobbi about our upcoming introduction of laminate wall panels (also called ‘The no-tile, tile shower).’ She wrote,

“Mike, you’ve mentioned the ‘No Tile, Tile Shower’ so many times, but it isn’t available in the U.S. yet. Now it’s time to cough up the goods! You’ve been teasing about this product for ages. I have multiple clients this would be ideal for.”

Bobbi – had a right to ‘call me on the carpet’ for this one. I’ve been writing about these laminate panels since they blew my mind when I saw them at the International Builders Show in February of this year.

I had never seen a shower and tub wall panel system with the realistic look and feel of tile before (and as many of you know from reading my blog, I’ve seen quite a few grout free wall panel systems in my day).

Well – the time has come Bobbi for me to ‘cough up the goods!’

I’ve finally chosen  21 different laminated wall panel patterns I think will fit the United States market. There are styles to fit traditional, transitional, contemporary, modern minimalist, shabby chic or even Modern farmhouse designs.

I’ve finally got the wall panels on order and coming from Norway to our warehouse in Cleveland Ohio (they are due to arrive in late November).

I’ve finally got our laminate wall panel web page launched so you can see (and get a deeper explanation of what Bobbi told me I’ve been teasing about for too long).

In this article I’m going 5 reasons you should not only ‘give a hoot’ about these panels – but should seriously not only consider them to replace your ugly fiberglass one-piece surround or moldy tile shower – but also to use them ALL the walls of your bathroom as well.

Below – I’ll explain to you what all the fuss is about. At the end of the article let me know if you agree with my excitement (and Bobbi’s as well) over these panels or whether (in your humble opinion) you think I’ve been smoking something wacky!

5 Hot Bathroom Design Trends You Need to Know from the 2018 Columbus Parade of Homes

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

 

5 hot bathroom design trends from the parade of homes | Innovate Building Solutions | #BathroomDesign #ShowerRemodel #ShowerIdeas #ParadeofHome

If you’ve got a bathroom which is long in the tooth (OK – if we’re being real, its as old as the Partridge Family or The Brady Bunch) and in desperate need of remodeling, it’s difficult knowing where to start first. As you begin to get your arms around this remodel you may be asking:

  • What finishes are in style? You know the pitted brass framed shower door in your fiberglass shower has seen its better days.

 

  • What tile trends are hot today? What you know for sure is the 4” x 4” pink and gray tiles in your current bathrooms aren’t HOT (unless you’re the reincarnation of June Cleaver or Carol Brady – if you know who they are)!

 

  • How can I get my bathroom to function safely for me and my family over the next 15 to 20 years? You’re not getting any younger (even after maxing out your Botox treatments). With your husband Michaels’ arthritis, he’s not finding it any easier climbing over the tub to take a shower either.

 

  • How can I add impact and style without the bathroom looking over the top?

 

  • What should I include in my bathroom? A larger shower? A freestanding bathtub? A smaller shower and a tub? You don’t have unlimited space – it is a bathroom after all. How can you find room for everything you want?

The questions are simple, it’s the answers to these questions which are tricky.

A way to get a head start on the right solutions (and answers) is to see live and in person the latest and greatest in bath design. One place this can be accomplished is by attending a local Parade of Homes. Even if you’re not building a $1,000,000 luxury custom home (unless you hit the lottery) the ‘best of the best’ designers and trends are in display in these homes. You can ‘steal’ (OK -not literally) some great ideas from them.

Top builders and interior designers are all in one spot to showcase what’s hot in home (and bathroom) design. I took my annual pilgrimage to the Columbus Ohio Parade of Homes to check out these trends myself.

Since I’d consider myself somewhat of a B.D.G. (Bathroom Design Geek) – and if I’m being honest I’m over-the-top obsessed with the topic), I wanted to report back to you 5 hot design trends I saw from this years (2018) Columbus Parade of Homes which will help you no matter if you’re building a new home or remodeling. I will also share 3 additional trends I’m seeing which weren’t at the Parade (after all there is only so many things these builders can pack into 7 homes – and they already packed in a ton – IMHO).

At the end of the article let me know which trends are a must-have for your next bathroom remodel or new home, and if there’s any you can do without (thank you very much).

5 ½ Little Known Secrets to Design a Handicap Accessible Shower Which Doesn’t Look Ugly!

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

5.5 Little known secrets to designa handicap accessible shower | Innovate Building Solutions | #HandicapAccessible #ShowerRemodel #BathroomWallPanels

You and your husband have had ‘the talk’ about Mom moving in. You both know it’s the right thing to do. It certainly won’t be simple. Since Dad passed away 2 years ago Mom’s mobility has been headed in the wrong direction.

You worry about her living alone.

If only she would wear the panic-alert necklace you bought her last year.

If only you didn’t have to worry about her climbing over the tall tub rail. Entering a slick bathtub is an accident you don’t want to see happen.

If only she didn’t live 40 minutes away. Then you could check on her more often.

As Mom is aging – you’re aging too quickly also just worrying about her.

You and John have come to the conclusion Mom moving in with you the kids is the right plan. Mom has finally (after many long-nights of conversation) agreed. Giving up her completely independent lifestyle is not an easy thing to do. Now you need to make your home safe for her (since this is a key reason you’re making this move in the first place). You know the bathroom is the first place she’s at risk of falling. You know your one-piece fiberglass shower on the first floor isn’t any better than what Mom has today.

The ‘ADA showers’ you’ve seen look like a bad flashback to when you visited Mom in the hospital – yuck! You and John are looking for an answer to the question of how you can create a stylish accessible shower which doesn’t scream out ‘Mom or Grandma lives here!’

In this article my goal is to give you 5 1/2 practical (and little-known) secrets to design a contemporary and stylish accessible shower. At the end I’d love to hear your feedback which ideas can help your next project and other ideas you have I haven’t mentioned. Let’s check out these secrets.

5 Euro Bathroom Design Trends You Should Use Right Now

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

 

5 Euro Bathroom Design Trends You Should Use Right Not | Innovate Building Solutions | #NoTile #TileShower #ShowerPanels

If you remember the song Smoke on the Water and can think back to when it was HOT to have a cassette player or ‘car phone’ (my first car phone cost $795 and boy was I cool), you know how quickly trends change.

Just like in music and technology, bathroom trends have evolved greatly over the last decade. You know this is true if you’re currently staring at 4” x 4” mauve colored tiles in your shower which are as up-to-date as the ‘Charlie’ perfume or Calgon bubble bath your Mom used to use. While your spouse may be OK with this time-warped bathroom, they’re not trying to clean the dirty, dingy, moldy tile grout joints. As a matter of fact, they don’t even notice the chipped-up porcelain bathtub either.

If you’ve ‘had it up to here’ (now, you’re even thinking like your Mother!) with This Old Bathroom you owe it to yourself to not only spruce up this tired space, but to design it to work flawlessly over the next 25 years as well. After all you know the problems an outdated bathroom has caused your Mom and Dad who are mobility challenged today. The question becomes, where do you begin tackling this project?

Even though I love our country as much as the next person, I will make the argument the place to start your journey to an updated bathroom is ‘across the pond’ – in Europe. You may be asking, “Mike, why Europe?” Here’s 3 reasons why:

  • Reason 1 – Europe has been setting the fashion bar – whether it’s designer dresses from Milan, fun fashion-forward tiles from Spain or Italy, or Scandi-chic cost-effective furniture from IKEA in Sweden.

 

  • Reason 2 – Europeans are used to living in smaller spaces. Since their homes and apartments are tighter they’re already ‘on-it’ designing bathrooms which work in little areas.

 

  • Reason 3 – Europeans realize a less complicated life is a good life (that’s why many countries in Europe have 1 month off for vacations). In bathroom design their designs are simpler and organic.

In this article I’ll show you 5 Euro bathroom design trends you need to consider in liberating your bathroom from its time-warped past (or at least, hopefully it’s past). Let’s look at these trends.

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