News from the Block, Innovate Building Solutions Blog
News from the Block, Innovate Building Solutions Blog
Bathroom, Kitchen, Basement Design & Remodeling Ideas for the Nicest Home or Business on the Block
Bathroom, Kitchen, Basement Design & Remodeling Ideas for the Nicest Home or Business on the Block

Our top 10 remodeling blog posts of 2016 – Innovate Building Solutions

Our top 10 remodeling blog posts of 2016 - Innovate Building Solutions

Thank you for reading our remodeling blog this year! Your support has resulted in the blog growing over 2x what it was in 2015 – and I can’t thank you enough.

Before writing posts for next year I wanted to give you a glimpse into those articles you liked the best and some input about trends and happenings in the remodeling industry. You’ll see from the list below your interest in showers (walk in showers, shower design, shower kits and even shower accessories) was through the roof. For the articles written about glass blocks you showed most interest in the “secrets nobody tells you about glass block windows” and the unfortunate departure of Pittsburgh Corning as a manufacturer (it’s always disappointing to see a US manufacture decide to exit an industry and take jobs with it!). Lastly – although I only wrote two articles on a cool tiny home project you were all over it. If you missed any of these blog posts, please go back and take a look by clicking on the article title links below.

Without further delay let’s get to the top 10 remodeling blog posts for 2016! I will tell you the top story was completely surprising to me (I never would have “thunk” it).

#10 – 5 Proven Questions to Get the Size of Your Shower Opening Right

5 proven questions to get the right sized shower opening. This article provides input on how to size a shower opening - Innovate Building Solutions

A successful shower project requires thought. The opening to your shower is like the door to your home – it needs to be designed right. In this article, you’ll see why you need to think strategically about whether you design a shower with or without a door. You’ll learn about the types of shower openings (doorless, with a curb, roll in, low profile etc.) and even see how your “personal width” (In the article I even took a picture of me as an example of personal width. I’m thinking I could benefit a bit from reducing my personal width next year – ha! ha!) of those using the shower should impact your design.

Mike Foti of Innovate Building Solutions measuring his personal width to determine the size of a shower opening

#9 – 9 Frequently Asked Questions about Solid Surface Shower Pans   

9 frequently asked questions about solid surface shower pans - one of top 10 2016 blog posts from Innovate Building Solutions

It’s ironic the #9 top post is about 9 questions! It makes sense that solid surface pan questions are on your mind because this has also been our hottest selling material in 2016. These FAQ’s are not surprising. You want to know what “solid surface” is, how it’s cleaned, the options in these pans (standard and custom) and of course what color choices are available to match your décor. This product is “solid” in every sense of the word.

#8 – Taking a Behind the Scenes Adventure into an Ingenious Upscale Tiny Home  

Raul Bajuski of The Tiny House Escape installing faux marble grout free shower wall panels. This is a top 10 blog post of 2016 from The Innovate Building Solutions remodeling blog.

Tiny homes are downright intriguing – to me and to you! I was certainly thrilled when I had the chance to not only supply some DIY shower wall panels to The Tiny House Escapade home of Kristi and Raul Bugaski – but also to interview Kristi about their journey to build this “big” tiny home. And a journey it was.

In this article, you’ll learn why they built the home, get a behind the scenes view into some cool luxury products they put into it (you don’t have to rough it to live in a tiny home) and learn a few “life lessons” this project can teach any of us.

#7 – Pittsburgh Corning to Stop Glass Block Manufacturing – Now What?   

Pittsburgh Corning curved glass block wall in a luxury home. This article about Pittsburgh Corning not making glass blocks was a top 10 blog post from the Innovate Building Solutions remodeling blog.

Quite frankly it pained me to write this one (losing US jobs and excellent quality products is a shame)– but it was big news in the glass block industry and will forever change the landscape of this glass building block product. This article needed to be written. You’ll get an inside view about the reasons Pittsburgh Corning decided to close, some advice on how to get replacement parts and where the future of the industry is headed (it will actually get brighter!).

#6 – 5 Secrets Nobody Tells You about Glass Block Windows  

5 secrets nobody tells you about glass block windows. This article was a top 10 remodeling blog post for 2016 from Innovate Building Solutions.

There are more to glass block windows than most people realize. This article digs deeper into this product. You’ll learn about different fabrication methods, how you can get a completely private glass block window – yet still get a lot of light. In addition, see how the strongest window is not mortared together and even see how this “timeless” material has evolved beyond the days of Miami Vice. If you want to take a “deep dive” into a glass block window project this article is for you.

#5 – 5 ½ Amazing Glass Block Shower Designs with Personality

5 secrets nobody tells you about glass block windows. This article was a top 10 remodeling blog post for 2016 from Innovate Building Solutions.

Even though this article was written in the middle of the year – it is already blowing up on Pinterest (over 1,200 pins and growing rapidly every day). If you want a “same old same old” glass block shower, don’t bother reading this article. On the other hand, if you like a little personality thrown in with your remodeling (and love glass blocks) this one’s for you. You’ll see how your glass block wall can have the curves of Beyonce, colors to enhance your décor, and can even be designed with exotic woods (yes – you can actually use wood effectively in a shower – who woulda’ thought!).

#4 – How to Select a Stone Solid Surface Shower Kit

How to select a solid surface shower kit. This was a top 10 remodeling blog post from Innovate Building Solutions

If you’re a DIY’er, you don’t want to buy things piecemeal when you can get a shower kit which pulls everything together. See how to select the best solid surface shower base, wall panels and even accessories (in this article I call the accessories cannoli’s because they are the way to “top off” your shower and make it really work for you, As an Italian I’ve got to work cannoli’s into everything!).

#3 – Pros and Cons of a Walk in Shower Design – The Untold Story

Pros and cons of a walk in shower design. This article was a top 10 remodeling blog post from Innovate Building Solutions.

Walk in showers can be controversial. This article looks at the fun, funny and functional aspects of this type of shower. Some advantages of walk in showers are they are easy to get in (which can be critical if you have a family member whose mobility is limited), they can help you save money and even create a sleek minimalist look. Some of the drawbacks are the concerns of water coming out, getting a cold butt and not wanting to “show” (your glorious body – ha! ha!) off to the world around (note: if I had a body like this there is no way I’d have a problem with a walk-in shower – well maybe one day I’ll have this type of body…..OK probably never!).

The pros and cons of a walk in shower. This article makes the point it's easier to have a walk in shower if you have a great body like this picture. This article was a top 10 remodeling blog post for 2016 from Innovate Building Solutions.

#2 – 7 Shower Design Tricks – This Isn’t Your Fathers Shower Any More

7 shower design tricks this isn't your fathers shower anymore was a top 10 remodeling blog post of 2016 from Innovate Building Solutions

It’s not hard to see how my life has changed since I grew up as a boy in the 1960’s. It’s faster paced (we are chained to rapid-fire texts and cell phone exchanges) and we’re living longer – but it’s debate-able if we’re truly living better. With our changing lives, our shower designs need to change with them. This article looks at features which are cool and hot (and I’m not talking about temperature) today’s designs which didn’t exist when my Dad was alive. One level showers, hidden drains, cool walk in shaped enclosures are just a few of the fun (and functional) features we can incorporate today.

#1 – 3 Steps to Add Trim and Borders to DIY Shower Panels

3 steps to add trim and borders to DIY shower wall panels was a top 10 remodeling blog post of 2016 from Innovate Building Solutions.

Nostradamus I am not! If you would have asked me to predict my top remodeling blog post of the year, there is no way I would have predicted this one! I know DIY grout free shower wall panels are hot-sellers in the marketplace (we field bunches of calls every day on them) but an article about trims and borders for these panels being a hot topic? I never would have predicted this – but as long as you’re reading and getting value out of the post I am honored this post has over 2,500 views!


I don’t know about you but 2016 has had its share of ups and downs. I was fortunate to launch a new home organization business (Innovate Home Org) which in the short run has created a lot more work, but also a lot more learning (and I love learning new stuff!). It was also a bit of a downer with the passing of my father in law Luigi Gabriele (as kind hearted a person as you would ever want to meet. He even liked me as a son-in-law!).  

Throughout it all – for 52 weeks – I’ve had the chance (and discipline – and boy it takes discipline) to write remodeling articles for you. Thanks for reading and sharing them. Writing can be lonely work – but when I see they help you with your project I know my effort is worth the time! If I (or my company) can help you with a remodeling project in 2016, 2017 or anytime beyond we would be honored.


For nationwide supply of various bathroom, glass floors, glass blocks and window products contact Innovate Building Solutions at 877-668-5888. For a complete bathroom, kitchen or basement remodeling in Cleveland contact Cleveland Design and Remodeling (216-658-1270) or The Bath Doctor in Columbus (614-252-7294). For a glass block project in Cleveland call Cleveland Glass Block (216-531-6363) or Columbus Glass Block (614-252-5888).

Mike Foti

President of Innovate Building Solutions a nationwide supplier and regional (Cleveland and Columbus) remodeling contractors. Some of our product lines include glass counters, floors, backsplashes, glass blocks and grout free shower and tub wall panels

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