How to Choose Bath & Shower Accessories
It’s often not until AFTER you move into a home you realize how poorly designed (or the lack of) bath and shower accessories make your bathroom a pain to use. For example, are you experiencing these problems:
- Your lack of tub/shower shelving caused you to buy an ugly plastic shower caddy you now (embarrassingly) hang over the shower head.
- You worry about a loved (who doesn’t have good mobility) climbing into the tub/shower because there’s no grab bars.
- You practically need to be a gymnast to shave your legs in your old one piece fiberglass tub/shower unit. You worry about falling.
- You have no place for medicines. Today they’re living ALL OVER your vanity counter. You worry your little ones or grandkids might get into them
- The window in the shower makes you nervous. What if your creepy neighbor is watching?
- The recessed tile niche is moldy and dirty. It’s so disgusting, you’re afraid to put anything in it.
The list of problems caused by bad shower, tub, and bathroom accessories can go on and on. The challenge is what can you do about it? How can you choose the right bath and shower accessories so your bathroom is simple to use, stylish, and safe?
In this article I’ll provide 11 questions you should ask about accessories BEFORE you remodel your bathroom (or build your new home). You need the best bathroom and shower accessories, so your space lives like a dream (NOT like a nightmare!).
Question #1 – Do you have enough room for your bath and showering products?
As you and I get older, doesn’t it feel like the number of ‘products’ we use to ‘try’ to look younger grows exponentially? And I swear if I could only find the right anti-aging cream my 63 year old self could magically become a dyslexic 36 year old!
And as my wife likes to say, “the time from ‘wake up to pretty’ keeps getting longer and longer!”
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Making the most out of your bathroom remodel
And if your existing shower has one (lonely) soap dish, or a shallow ledge in your fiberglass surround which causes shampoo bottles to CONSTANTLY fall to the floor, you know when you remodel you’ve got to do something about this.
And if you’re wondering how can you improve your bathtub/shower storage even if you don’t have room for a larger shower, here’s two ideas to grow your storage WITHOUT more space.
- Idea #1 – Use an oversized recessed niche – What’s wonderful about longer and taller shower niches is they’re tucked into the wall and take ZERO extra room.
- idea #2 – Look for ‘2 for 1’ opportunities – If your space is tight (and if you’re like most people your bathroom IS FAR SMALLER than you’d like), you need ‘2 for 1’ products. These products serve double-duty. One idea are ‘grab shelves.’ It serves as a grab bar AND a shelf for storage. Or look for a towel bar which is doubles as a grab bar.
Question #2 – Do you have a place to sit and shave your legs or shower safely?
Oh, to be as limber as you were in high school! The bad news is the body is a bunch of ‘wear-parts.’ It becomes harder to shower standing up as you age. The good news is, you CAN (believe it or not) incorporate seating in even the smallest of showers.
The way to accomplish this is with a space-saving fold down shower seat. Fold it down when you need it. Fold it up when you don’t.
Question #3 –How can you stop mold and mildew from ruining your accessories?
There’s nothing like ‘getting’ to clean moldy tile grout joints in your shower floor pan, shower surround walls, recessed niches, or tile shelves. Who loves being the ‘lucky family member’ to do that job? OK – that’d be…..
The question becomes, if you’re looking to choose stylish (yet simple to clean) shower accessories, how can you win the battle over mold and mildew?
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Making the most out of your bathroom remodel
The first defense is to add an exhaust fan (or if you have a window to open it while showering to let steam out).
The second idea (if you’re like me and forget – ALL THE TIME – to turn on the exhaust fan) is to use grout free niches and corner shelves. Look for units made of solid surface, SMC (this stands for sheet molded compound), or stainless steel. The options in shower niches and shelving have never been better. They’re not the cheap junk you used to see years ago… and still see ‘gracing’ the shelves of the Dollar Store.
Question #4 –Will water spots on your bath and shower accessories be a ‘nails-on-a-chalkboard’ experience for you?
If you’re like me and my wife and love contemporary chrome fixtures, you’ve got to be willing to continuously clean water spots off them!
On the other hand – if low-maintenance is your groove, yet you don’t want to sacrifice style, then opt for the uber-popular brushed nickel and matte black accessory finishes.
Question #5 – Are you ‘V.C.’ (Vertically Challenged) by birth, or by circumstances?
Let’s face it – when you buy ‘standard’ one piece bath and shower kits with ‘shelving’ (and I use the term lightly) and seating built into the molded walls, the accessories likely aren’t the right size (or in the best location) for you.
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And if you’ve always been on the smaller size (even though your parents told you, you were going to ‘sprout up’ someday – but that day never arrived), or you had an accident or medical condition where you now require the use of a wheelchair, you know ‘predetermined’ shower surround accessories are not designed where you need them or sized properly.
It’s for this reason, look at shower wall panels (or tile walls) where you can place the accessories at the height you need. Don’t strain or risk falling because your accessory locations don’t work for you.
Question #6 – Will your window compromise your privacy?
For the feel of your bathroom – and for safety and air circulation– it’s wonderful to have a window in your bathroom.
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However, if you’re worried about privacy, windows are not your friend. The good news is this DOES NOT have to be the case. If you love light but worry about your ‘snoop-doggy-dog’ neighbor, there are solutions to get the best of both of worlds. Here’s three ideas to solve your bathroom window problem:
- A glass block bathroom window – Glass block windows are durable, simple to clean, and come in high privacy patterns. Obscure glass blocks don’t cost more than see-through patterns, in fact they cost less!
- A stained glass or decorative window – Make a fashion statement with a decorative window and keep people from looking inside.
- An obscure glass window – While most windows come standard with see-through glass, you can get an obscure glass window in a double-hung, slider, casement design. Then you’ll have air flow and privacy.
Question #7 – Could you use ‘hidden wall cavities’ to improve storage and/or make your bathroom safer for the kids and grandkids?
Leaving pill bottles on your vanity top not only steals valuable counter space, it’s an accident waiting to happen if you have little kids (or older kids who might want to ‘experiment.’).
So – how can you use accessories to make your bathroom safer and improve your medicine storage?
Well – one bright (OK, excuse me for the bad pun) idea is an LED mirrored medicine cabinet. Your space will be brighter. You’ll gain counter space. You’ll keep medicine from being within reach of little ones.
Question #8 –Can you make your ‘routines’ simpler (and less physically taxing)?
Is bending over to shave your legs becoming harder?
Bathroom Remodeling Ultimate Guide
Making the Most of Your Bathroom Makeover!
Would it be nice to have a magnifying mirror in the shower for shaving, or by your bathroom vanity when you put makeup on?
Would smartly placed grab bars help you feel more secure getting in or out of your tub or shower?
Accessories should make life easier. So, if bending over to shave your legs is a ‘feat’ (no, not feet), then a smartly placed corner leg ledge is the answer.
If a mirror for shaving would be wonderful – add one where you need it.
And if a grab bar will help you (or a loved one) have a safer bathroom, when you remodel or build a new home – give yourself peace of mind and put one in.
Question #9 – Are your shower or bathroom floors slippery?
You liked the acrylic shower pan you purchased because as the old game show used to say, ‘The Price was Right!’
However – when your spouse fell (and broke their arm), your ‘world-view’ of (supposedly) cheap shower pans changed. Cheap (and slippery) pans can cause BIG hospital bills…and no longer was cheap.
So, if you have a slippery shower pan or bathroom floor what can you do if you don’t want to rip the entire shower out?
Consider a teak insert for your shower pan or a better bathmat for your bathroom floor.
Question #10 –Do you have a nice-looking, and effective place, to put towels?
Does it drive you nuts when your spouse throws their wet towel over the top of the glass shower doors? It looks so sloppy!
Having a nice looking, yet effective, place to store towels is important. However, if wall space is limited, you need to be creative to find places for towels.
If you have room on the wall – towel hooks, rings, and bars are options.
And if wall space is limited – then a decorative towel stand is smart. It can be placed anywhere (even in front of a window).
Question #11 –Did you forget to include accessories for your little things?’
If you’ve struggled to find your wedding ring or favorite earrings you KNOW you put down (somewhere) before showering – you know storing the ‘little stuff’ causes big aggravations.
And if this is the case consider items a jewelry ring holder or a tip out tray in your vanity. It’ll keep valuables secure, and they will NOT end up accidentally down the drain. Now that’d be a nightmare!
So, would you like additional input (or wholesale pricing) on shower and bathroom accessories? How can we help?
I know – unfortunately – there’s a ton of details when it comes to planning a bathroom remodel – or new home. And it’s hard to get all the small (yet important) details correct (not to mention the big items).
It’s for this reason, you should reach out to a Bath and Shower Specialist at Innovate Building Solutions. Our team works with bathrooms every day (aren’t we lucky?) and will help with accessories, and shower, tub, glass doors, or vanities.
Call Innovate Building Solutions at 877-668-5888.
Or if it’s after hours, ask for a Free Design Consultation.
Thanks for reading. I hope this article provided a lot of value to you.
And BTW – if you’re an installing contractor and would like to learn about becoming a dealer of laminate wall panels (and have access to a wide variety of shower accessories) call Mike at 888-467-7488.