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How to Remodel Your Shower on a Budget (without buying junk)

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Uncategorized

How to remodel your shower on a budget without buying junk | Innovate Building Solutions | #AcrylicShower #BathroomRemodeling #ShowerRemodel

You dream of owning the luxury shower you saw on Fixer Upper with Chip and Joanna Gaines. You saw an article in House Beautiful with a shower to die for. It had marble floors, Brizo fixtures, Toto toilets and you thought to yourself, “With this shower it won’t look like I live in generic ‘builder-special’ (sarcasm intended) home anymore.”

These luxury showers and bathrooms you see on TV or in fancy magazines, while completely drool-worthy, aren’t your reality!  

Maybe your life resembles the following …

Example #1) You’ve started your family and now have a two-year-old. You stretched to buy the home in the walkable neighborhood. You want to kick up your version of This Old Bathroom (‘er that would be your master bathroom). Money is tight, but you still want it to look cool. But how?

Example #2) You’re getting close to becoming an empty nester (which sounds weird to say). You plan to be in this home another 5 years. However, the bathroom in your ‘Chevrolet-esque’ neighborhood doesn’t justify ‘Mercedes-Benz’ shower products.

In addition, you’re tired of moldy, brown grout joints, the dated builders-grade shower pan and flimsy framed shower doors. However, you’re not going to sink a lot of bucks into a fancy bathroom remodel. How can you improve this shower on a budget, but not have it look cheap at the end?

In this article, I’ll tackle the hard question…the how. We’ll look at how to remodel your shower on a budget (without buying junk) and not have to do the following:

 

  • Have your 2-year-old run around without diapers because you spent all the money on the remodel.

 

  • Put off adding money into the already-too-small college fund for your 14-year-old daughter because your budget was blown up on the shower remodel.

 

  • Spend ALL your kid’s inheritance pretending to be your own version of Joanna Gaines or Tim ‘The Tool Man’ Taylor (if you remember him).

While I’m (partially) joking about the three points above, it just makes good common ‘cents’ (OK – bad play on words, but I’m goin’ with it anyway) to be thoughtful (and careful) with how and where you spend money on your next shower remodel.

In this article I’ll share 7 practical tips to stretch your shower remodeling budget – without buying junky products (do flimsy framed shower doors and fiberglass shower surrounds ring a bell?) which are as disposable as your last pack of razor blades. Let’s check out the 7 tips.

5 Reasons Bigger Isn’t Always Better When It Comes to Shower Wall Panels

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Uncategorized

Bigger isn't always better when it comes to shower wall panels | Innovate Building Solutions | #WallPanels #EasyInstallPanels #ShowerWallPanels #LaminateWallPanels

When it comes to a bowl of Graeters Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, in my book bigger is always better. My wife Rose (who is also a Doctor), has a slightly different opinion. She thinks my obsession with the big bowls of ice cream I eat at the end of the night is a bad idea. She brings up the fat content. She mentions my cholesterol. She mentions grams of sugar.

I say to my ‘delusional self,’ where’s is Rose coming up with all this crap anyway?

When it comes to shower wall panels (much like my desire for big bowls of chocolate chip), it’s assumed by professional contractors and DIY homeowners that bigger is always better. However, this simply is not the case.

In this article I’m going to dish out (no – you’re not getting my ice cream), 5 reasons you should pause before assuming bigger one-piece shower wall panels are best for your next bathroom remodel.

At the end of the article, let me know if you agree that smaller can be better (in shower wall panels, not in my ice cream consumption).

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

Updated March 24, 2019

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 Deadly Sins of Building a Glass Block Shower

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Uncategorized

7 Deadly Sins of Building a Glass Block Shower | Innovate Building Solutions | #GlassBlockShowe #BathroomRemodel #ShowerSystem

Updated March 24, 2019

You know you’ve been ‘around the block’ a time or two when you’re on an appointment and the potential customer asks if the younger person with you on the call is your son. Yes – this really happened to me earlier this week. Of course, I joked and said I was going out to buy my hair coloring and get rid of that pesky gray color later that day!

You may ask, what does my embarrassing moment have to do with 7 deadly sins you shouldn’t commit when building a glass block shower? Here’s what.

In reality I’ve got a ‘few notches around my personal tree trunk’ (and maybe a few extra pounds as well) designing and working with glass block showers. To be exact I’ve been working with glass block walls and windows since 1985 (my standard line is I started working with this stuff since the age of 10. I’m lying, but I’m going with that line anyway!).

What this means is I’ve seen a LOT OF mistakes along the way. I’ve had homeowners and contractors waive their imaginary white flag trying to figure out a glass block shower and call saying, “Mike, can you help get our arms around this doggone mess?”

The problem with glass block showers is they aren’t the kind of thing you do every day, every week, every year or even every decade for that matter. Bathroom remodeling is something you hopefully (for your pocketbook’s sake) do every 10 to 30 years (as your needs, styles and home you live in changes).

My goal in this article is simple. I want to save you from taking an unnecessary beating (with expenses and frustration you don’t need to endure) while doing a glass block shower for the first time.

If I’m successful you won’t commit these 7 glass block shower sins and get burdened with the costs associated with them. I can’t promise you won’t commit other sins. Those you’ll have to take up with the ‘person upstairs!

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5 Critical Questions to Choose the Right Type of Shower Base

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling, Uncategorized

5 critical questions to choose the right shower base | Innovate Building Solutions

Updated January 12, 2019

Isn’t it a pain trying to plow your way through the material choices and products in a bathroom remodeling project? What is the best type of shower base? Should you get a wall mounted vanity or a furniture grade unit which sits on the floor? Should you go with a single or double bowl vanity? The list goes on and on.

When it comes to remodeling a shower, I would argue the single most important decision is the shower base (or shower floor or pan as some call it). Why do I say the base is so critical? Well – the base is the foundation of the shower. Just like your home – if the foundation of your shower cracks or gets moldy “Houston, you have a big problem!”

Failure of your shower floor pan can cause leaking onto the floor below and result in needing to redo your entire shower (the glass enclosure, interior shower wall surround panels and base) and whatever additional repair work is needed in the level below. My Dad used to tell me, “Mike – don’t be penny wise and pound foolish.” Buying the cheapest pan you can find (or hiring somebody who doesn’t know what they are doing install a site built pan for you which fails) can have disastrous results (and be penny-wise and pound-foolish as my Dad used to say).

How do you keep the bathroom remodeling project you’re doing today from being a nightmare home improvement failure of tomorrow? It begins with asking the right questions. In this article, I’m going to give you the 5 critical questions you need to know to choose the right type of shower base. At the end give me your opinion which question you think is most important (and if there are other questions to add to the list).

Shower Base Guide Download

7 Hot 2017 Bathroom Design Trends You Need to Add Style to Your Space

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Uncategorized

7 hot bathroom design trends for 2017 you need to add style to your space | Innovate Building Solutions

Updated February 10, 2019

Do you have the June Cleaver throwback bathroom from the 1950’s, or maybe a “modern” 1970’s bathroom straight out of the Brady Bunch which are practically begging you for an update? You know you NEED a bathroom makeover so bad. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the partially rusted tub, pealed wood on the window sills, tired old particle board vanity with a dated laminate top and nasty looking grout in the shower. The challenge is what are you going to do about it? How can you update for a fresh, clean look? How can you create an updated design which takes advantage of the latest trends and keeps maintenance to a minimum? The question is – where do you start?

One excellent place to begin is to take a sneak peek at the products which are hot today and include these elements in your remodeled “bathroom of tomorrow.” In this article, we’ll look at what’s hot now (both in 2017 and now updated with some new ideas for 2019). At the end, I’d love to hear your “Siskel and Ebert” – two thumbs up or thumbs down on these products.

The Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts of a Shower Remodel so You Won’t Pull Your Hair Out!

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Uncategorized

The top 10 do's and don't of a shower remodel | Innovate Building Solutions

Updated January 20, 2019 (with 3 new bonus Do’s and Don’ts & 1 hot new product) 

Figuring out how to remodel a shower can be tough. What products should you use to have a stylish space which won’t be a pain to clean? Should you hire a remodeling contractor or do it yourself? How do you figure out the best shower pan, wall surround material and type of entry to use? Who you gonna call (it probably won’t be Ghostbusters) for help and guidance so you won’t end up pulling your hair out (if you have any left at the end)?

I wish I could tell you there was one magic formula, a silver bullet, a one-size-fits-all shower remodel recipe. That would be nice, but it’s not reality. What I can (and will) say is there are things you absolutely need to ask yourself (the Do’s) and things you’ll want to stay away from (the Don’ts) like the plague which will either lead you to a victorious shower project or down the road to home improvement “h-e-double hockey sticks (as our kids used to say when they were young so they wouldn’t say hell). Without further delay, let’s dig in.

5 Compelling Reasons You Need to Eliminate Your Shower Pan Threshold

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling, Uncategorized

5 compelling reasons you need to eliminate your shower pan threshold | Innovate Building Solutions

Updated January 12, 2019

Figuring out the right shower pan to use can be a pain. Do you get a traditional shower base with a 4 to 5” step over curb? Would a low-profile curb (which is 1 ½” tall) be the ticket or would it allow water to spill out onto the bathroom floor? Could you ditch the shower curb entirely and choose a ramped entry or one level wet room?

I’ve talked to thousands of homeowners over the last 20 years (wow – has it been that long?) about shower pan options, and I’ll tell you the case for blowing up the shower curb (having no threshold at all) has never been stronger! In this article I’m determined to lay out 5 compelling reasons you should seriously consider going with a curbless shower for your next bathroom remodeling project. Let me know at the end of the article whether you agree with these reasons or whether I’m all wet (OK – that’s a bad attempt at bathroom humor).

5 Little Known Tips About Custom Shower Wall Panels

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling, Uncategorized

5 little known tips about custom shower wall panels | Innovate Building Solutions

Updated February 3, 2019

Custom shower wall panels are like a mysterious medical problem (note- I’m living this mystery right now as I’m in an Emergency Room Observation area while writing this post!). You’ve got to research, to poke around for the best options (while not necessarily accepting the first theory or product espoused from an “expert”). You want to find out not only what’s not good about your current custom shower (so you don’t repeat the same mistakes), but also what shower panel system will look nice and last down the road. You need to determine what options will fit your style and budget so you don’t have to deal with nasty tile grout or ugly, yellowed, and cheap fiberglass shower panels ever again. This research process can be painful. You’ll have to sift through the “baloney-ish” (not sure this is a word) sales pitches on company product web sites to find what’s right for you – not just what others want to sell you.

My goal with this article is to help you focus your research and  find the right custom shower wall panels. I want to tell you simple untold truths to save you time and money. At the end of this article let me know how I did. Without further delay let’s check out the 5 things nobody tells you about custom shower wall panels.

7 Answers Revealed Unlock the Mystery Behind Glass Floors and Decks

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Glass Flooring, Glass Floors, Uncategorized

7 Answers Revealed Unlock the Mystery Behind Glass Floors and Decks

Modular glass deck planks to move light to a level below

Updated February 3, 2019

Nothing quite gets a debate stirred up like walking on a glass floor. They are cool, scary, fun, sleek, crazy, contemporary and stylish all in the same breath. The word which is no one’s vocab about them is – boring! If you’re looking to create an exciting, light-filled and dramatic design in a luxury home, professional workspace or public building which can move light (and your eye) from one level to another a glass flooring system is the ticket. At this point you may be saying, “Not so fast buddy – I’ve got a million questions about these floors before I would even consider using this crazy product!” If you said this you would not be alone.

Glass floors are not well understood and viewed by some as risky and crazy. The fear of the unknown will do that to all of us. Have you heard the popular acronym fear is False Evidence Appearing Real? My goal with this article is to “take you behind the curtain,” to give you the straight scoop and reveal the answers behind the mystery which is the glass floor. So strap it on and let’s step out “onto the ledge” and learn the answers to 7 questions about intriguing glass floors.

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