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7 Critical Questions You Need to Know Choosing Between Matte or Gloss Finish for your Bathroom or Shower

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

Difference between matte and gloss bathroom | Innovate Building Solutions | #BathroomRemodel #HighGlossPanels #MatteWallPanels

Updated March 31, 2019

Don’t you wish in life, and in bathroom remodeling, choices were simpler? While the Internet has delivered us a world of information, this hasn’t made selecting bath remodeling products simpler. In fact, it’s made selections harder.

Recently I could feel this painful decision-making process oozing into my headset while talking to Pam about her bath remodel. She was looking for input on whether to use matte or gloss finishes for her shower pan, shower wall panels, flooring and fixtures.

Having to choose between gloss and matte finishes made the product selection task even more complex. As Yogi Berra would have advised Pam, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Pam’s ‘fork in the road’ was determining the right choice between gloss and matte finishes.

To step back, you can think of a gloss finish as a shiny reflective surface. A matte finish can be defined as flat or non-reflective surface.

So, you may be asking, “What did you tell Pam?”

Like a ‘good politician’ (does one of those exist? Sorry for digressing), I told her ‘it depends.’ Depends on what, you may ask? It depends on the answers to 7 critical questions.

Read these 7 questions and at the end I’d love to hear your vote on what finish you think is best (don’t worry there won’t be a pop quiz). Would you choose matte or gloss for your shower pan, shower walls, bathroom floor and fixtures. As your Math teacher never said, “There are no right answers, but IMHO there are choices which make more sense than others.”

Let’s check out the 7 questions.

Our top 10 remodeling blog posts of 2018 – Innovate Building Solutions

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

Our Top 10 home remodeling blog post of 2018 | Innovate Building Solutions | #HomeRemodeling #ShowerTubWallPanels #WallPanels #BathroomRemodel

Updated March 31, 2019

2018 was another record-setting year for traffic on our remodeling blog. Thank you for reading (and hopefully learning) from my articles.

From the top 10 remodeling blog post list this year it doesn’t take a guy with ‘Genius-bar’ intelligence (This would not be me, but I’m also not sold those Dudes and Dudesses at the Apple Genius Bar are really geniuses either – but I digress!) to figure out you’re frustrated with your bathroom. Here’s some of the key interests you had in the top-ranked posts this year:

  • You don’t want to repeat the mistakes of the past – Although you want to upgrade your bathroom, you don’t want to mess up and repeat other’s mistakes. Our #2 and #5 most popular posts tackled the problems with shower systems and bath remodeling and the most common mistakes and blunders.

 

  • You want products which allow you to chuck your scrub brush – If anything is obvious from this year’s top posts, it’s while you may LOVE tile, you HATE the grout which comes with it more. This fact explains your fascination with articles about grout free products like laminated wall panels and solid surface and cultured stone showers (see top posts #3, #4, #6, #7 and #8).

 

  • You’re looking for ‘divine inspiration’ to ‘get you through’ a bathroom remodel – While some talk about ‘visiting the thrown’ when using the bathroom, I wouldn’t have thought people were looking to ‘go to the mountaintop’ to get bathroom remodeling input. However – this is exactly what happened in 2018. The top post – BY FAR – was The 10 Commandments of Bathroom Remodeling Success. While I won’t claim to be Moses (or to have seen any burning bushes – other than fires I used to make with my Dad) this article struck a nerve with you.

So, without further delay let’s get the top 10 list. I will do this in ‘Johnnie Carson fashion’ (for those of you not in the ‘slightly-graying’ set that would be from bottom to top).

7 Essential Tips to Design an Easy to Clean Modern Farmhouse Bathroom

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

7 essential tips to design an easy to clean modern farmhouse bathroom | Innovate Building Solutions | #ModernFarmHouse #FarmHouse #ContemporaryHomes #InteriorDesign

Updated March 31, 2019

Warm, cozy, relaxed, vintage and inviting. All qualities associated with a Modern Farmhouse bathroom.

Nowhere in these ‘good qualities’ are the downsides associated with vintage, distressed and older elements in a bathroom. These negatives would be scrubbing, re-painting, replacing old wood or moldy tiles. The reality is, if you’re not smart designing your Modern Farmhouse bathroom, you’ll end up with a high-maintenance space as moisture and dirt invade.

Vintage and rustic are good. Old, worn and rotten are not.

Here’s your challenge. How do you get the best of both worlds – a vintage, rustic look AND a bathroom which cuts down time-eating maintenance?

In this article my goal is to move you towards the best of both worlds. Modern farmhouse old-world rustic charm with easy cleaning. After all you live in a time-starved world. Towards that end I’m dolling out 7 essential tips to get you there. Let me know which tip helps you the most, other tips you’d like to add, and additional questions you have. Let’s get to the ideas.

7 Steps to Create a Contemporary Bathroom Which is Easy to Clean

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

 

7 Steps to create a contemporary bathroom which is easy to clean | Innovate Building Solutions | #BathroomRemodeling #ContemporaryBathroom #WallPanels #LowProfileBase

Updated March 24, 2019

If your bathroom is stuck in a Brady Bunch (or worse yet, Leave it to Beaver) time warp, I totally understand your pain. Here is a small sampling of the problems I hear from customers and see on project sites:

  • Little mosaic tiles on your shower floor which look as dirty as your dog after rolling around in the mud.
  • Cheap vanity cabinets with dated swirly marble tops and doors half falling off.
  • ‘High quality’ (sarcasm intended) framed sliding glass doors sitting on your tub. They’re not only hideous but can cause a slip and fall and be an ER visit if your mobility is not the greatest.

Let’s face it, your bathroom hasn’t aged gracefully. It looks OLD and dated!

And to capture the famous words of your Mother, “You’ve had it up to here (wherever ‘here’ is exactly) with your outdated, hard-to-clean bathroom. You’re determined to transform it into a contemporary space – if it’s the last thing you do.

The challenge is – where to begin? What products should you use? What products should you avoid like the plague?

In this article, I’m going to dish out 7 steps to create a contemporary bathroom which is not only stylish, but simple to clean. After all a cool looking space which is hard to keep up, eventually becomes a pain in your butt. I’ll also let you in on a secret. I’m going to use this 7-step process to help my wife Rose and I plan for the ‘empty nester’ home we’re beginning to think through (I can’t believe almost old enough to be an empty nester. How did that happen?).

10 Assumptions about Shower Wall Panels You Need to Throw out Your Bathroom Window

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

Assumptions about shower wall panels you need to throw out your bathroom | Innovate Building Solutions | #ShowerWallPanels #LaminateWallPanels #DIYBathroom #BathroomRemodel

Updated March 24, 2019

Just think about the assumptions and ‘old wives’ tales’ you heard growing up you know today are a bunch of hogwash. Here’s a few assumptions I’ve put in my rear-view mirror:

Assumption #1) If you eat watermelon seeds, you’ll grow a watermelon in your stomach. As a little kid (before seedless watermelons) I ate a tone of watermelon seeds and I haven’t grown a watermelon yet.

Assumption#2) Eating chocolate causes acne. Studies have shown it’s not the chocolate which is the problem, it’s the sugar and dairy in the chocolate. I wish I would have known this as a pimply-faced teenager. It’s cool to know today my “Hershey bar with Almonds pick-me-up strategy” won’t cause me to break out (especially since Mr. Hershey takes all the sugar out just for me).

Assumption #3) Eating carrots will improve your eyesight. While carrots do contain nutrients like Vitamin A, it’s been shown they have no positive effect on your eyesight. I’m calling my Mom right now to give her a piece of my mind (…. just kidding Mom).

The reality is we can’t believe everything our parents and friends tell us. We can’t believe everything we read. However, there is one source everyone can believe. We can believe all the political news on the Internet (a bit of sarcasm thrown in).

Just like you can’t (and shouldn’t) believe all the old sayings rummaging around in your head, you can’t believe the ‘half-truths’ and assumptions you’re hearing about shower wall panels (even from your contractor or the guy/gal in the orange smock at the big-box store). As a guy who has been in the shower wall panel installation and supply industry from (what seems like) the time Moses was a boy, when I think I’ve heard it all, I hear another gem coming from homeowners and contractors alike.

In this article my goal is simple:

I want to blow up the B.S. circulating about shower wall panels. Here’s how.

I’m going to list 10 assumptions about shower wall panels you need to throw out your bathroom window right now. Killing these assumptions will help you make sound purchases based on better information.

At the end, let me know other ‘false-truths’ you’ve heard you now know are full of it.

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

Updated March 24, 2019

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

Updated March 24, 2019

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

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 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

Updated March 24, 2019

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 are 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.
  • You mentioned wanting colored glass blocks. I have no clue where to find them.

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

Updated March 23, 2019

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.

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