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Posts Tagged ‘custom shower pan’

15 Things Smart Bathroom Remodelers Never Do

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

smart bathroom remodelers never do | Innovate Building Solutions | #Remodeling #BathroomRemodel #SmartBathroom #BathroomRemodels

I know what a pain it is finding a bathroom remodeling contractor. As a matter of fact, I talked to a homeowner this week who said the wait time for a reputable contractor in her town was 2 years! Wow – 2 years, that’s crazy!

However, whether you’re doing a complete gut and bathroom redo or a makeover of your alcove with a bath to shower conversion, you’re investing a lot of money (likely in the range of $6,000 to $60,000). The stakes are high. If you hire an idiot, you could end up stranded with a job half-done trying to figure out how to pick up the pieces.

You need a smart bathroom contractor. Not necessarily one with the cheapest price, but one who knows their stuff and delivers value. You need a professional who knows how to run a project, work with you and is an expert in products and processes to get your job done efficiently and effectively.

So, in this tight labor market where do you find a needle-in-a-haystack contractor? During the quoting process how can you know if they’re someone you should work with, or can turn into the contractor from H-E-double-hockey sticks as your kids used to say?

Read 15 things smart bathroom remodelers never do so your money won’t go down the drain (OK – bad bathroom remodeling pun, but I’m sticking with it).

A Brutally Honest Guide to Choose the Perfect Shower Pan

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

Brutally Honest Guide to Choose the Perfect Shower Pan | Innovate Building Solutions | #ShowerPan #PerfectShowerPan #BathroomRemodeling #InnovateBuilding

Updated March 31, 2019

Let’s get real. There’s no such thing as a perfect shower pan, just as there’s no perfect person. Shower pans are not a one-size-fits-all proposition.

There can be, however, a perfect shower pan for your specific situation.

Here’s the problem you’ve likely run into trying to find the perfect shower pan for your job. When you visit shower base manufacturers web sites what do you think they’re pushing? This is not a trick question.

They’re pushing their pans. They’re claiming their units are the ‘ultimate fighting warriors’ against all shower evils. They have the best pan known to man, woman and child (as if kids are even interested).

You’re left to sift through the B.S. You’re left to read on-line reviews (to the extent you have the time and desire to do this). You’re left to come to your own conclusions (even though you’re not a bathroom remodeling – or shower pan expert – and don’t play one on TV. Come to think of it, no one plays one on TV either).

As a guy who leads a business which daily is knee-deep in wholesaling and installing different types of shower bases, I’ve had the ‘pleasure’ (sarcasm intended) to see the good, the bad and the ugly in shower pans in our journey to make bathrooms great again (OK – if I’m being hones, most bathrooms weren’t great in the first place).

The goal of this article is simple. It’s to help you find the perfect shower pan for your situation. To do this we’ll look at different goals you may have. Here’s some popular shower pan goals. See if yours is on the list.

  • Goal #1 – You’re looking for a cheap base. You own a home in a not-so-great section of town you’re looking to flip. You need a pan which fits a tight budget.

 

  • Goal #2 – You’re looking for a base which is simple to clean. You’re tired of living your life scrubbing grout joints or staring at a dirty fiberglass shower pan you can’t get clean no matter what you do.

 

  • Goal #3 – You want a contemporary design. Most shower pans you’ll find are big, bulky and ugly. You’re trying desperately to find a design which looks modern.

 

  • Goal #4 – You need a roll in or one level shower pan. Sometimes a shower pan isn’t a want, it’s a need. A member of your family isn’t getting around like they used to. You need to find a pan which works but doesn’t like it belongs in a hospital room.

 

  • Goal #5 – You want a shower pan which is built like a tank. Since the last pan cracked and leaked onto your mahogany dining room table you vowed this will never happen again. This time you’ll look for a shower base built like a tank.

 

  • Goal #6 – You need a custom size. You don’t want to pay an arm and leg for it. So many shower floor pans – from walk in designs to odd sized tile showers to drains in weird locations – require custom sizes. You don’t buying one to cause you take out a 2nd mortgage, but you want a nice-looking shower which lasts and won’t be a pain to maintain.

So, now that you’ve checked out the 6 goals, let’s dig into the brutally honest guide to the perfect shower pan which will help you achieve you find the best one for your situation.

Shower Base Guide Download

7 Alternative Solutions to Ugly Shower Pans

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

7 Alternative solutions to ugly shower pans | Innovate Building Solutions | #BathroomRemodeling #ShowerPans #UglyShowerDesign

Updated March 31, 2019

The moment before you crank-up your reciprocating saw, rent the jackhammer or bring out the hand tools to demo your old fiberglass or tile shower pan do you look down and say to your shower base, “I’m going to miss you buddy. I’ve loved our time together.” If so, you may need psychological help.

The words used to describe shower pans don’t come from a place of love. More common words would be its ugly, disgusting, moldy, dangerous (but not in a ‘Baker Mayfield’ of the Cleveland Browns sort of way), grimy, yellowed or grungy. Negative words about shower pans could go on and on.

No where on this list is beautiful, sleek, contemporary, durable, shapely and safe.

But let’s play a ‘what if’ game.

What if your shower can could be stylish and safe?

What if your shower pan wasn’t the ugly red-headed-stepchild (sorry red headed stepchildren out there) of your shower enclosure or roll in shower?

What if you could be as proud and thankful about your shower pan as you were when your son FINALLY completed his 6-year college plan, and picked up the long-sought-after sheepskin (are diplomas actually made of sheepskins?) from State U?

I’m here to announce there are cool and safe alternatives for ugly shower pans. You don’t have to put up with cheap, clunky, yellowed fiberglass shower bases any more. You don’t have to deal with teeny-tiny tiles with fat grout joints which get dirty, moldy and bring you (literally) to your hands and knees.

When you think about it, your shower base is THE FOUNDATION of your shower. If it fails, everything above it becomes garbage. Money down the drain (literally and with a bad shower pan pun thrown in for bad measure).

As Gene Kranz said in the movie Apollo 13, “Shower base failure is not an option.” (OK – maybe the shower base portion of the line was left out to keep the movie tighter).

In this article I’ll present 7 alternative solutions for standard-sized, custom and roll in shower pans. Don’t accept the first clunky fiberglass shower pan your remodeler grabs off the home center shelf. Don’t accept ‘old-school’ mud set tile shower floor pans which are a pain in the drain for you to maintain.

Shower Base Guide Download

Elevate your shower pan. Choose these 7 alternatives.

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?).

The 10 Commandments of Bathroom Remodeling Success

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

10 Commandments of Bathroom Remodeling Success to Save Time, Money, and Get a Stylish Bathroom | Innovate Building Solutions | #BathroomRemodeling #ShowerTips #BathroomTransformation

Updated September 15, 2019

You’ve decided to venture out into the harsh-cruel world of bathroom remodeling for your own home or one of your rentals. You’re no longer willing to be a slave to an outdated, unsafe and flat-out ugly shower, tub, vanity, toilet – you name it. You desire the promised land of a Pinterest and Houzz-inspired bathroom. A space which is relaxing, well-light, safe for your family, with plenty of storage. This bathroom won’t have you on your hands and knees praying for a savior to liberate your hand from your scrub brush.

Making the decision to remodel is easy. Planning and doing the job -whether you hire a ‘professional contractor’ (you may debate if there is such a thing) or rolling up your sleeves and doing it yourself – is another thing.

You need guidance and support.

At times you need a savior to bail your butt out. Ouch!

How can you move from the vision of a beautiful spa-inspired bathroom, minimize the trials and tribulations of the construction process and be ‘saved’ from the nastiness which is your current space?

You could go into the Mojave Desert looking for a stone tablet with words of bathroom remodeling wisdom. I doubt you’ll find anything useful. You will locate funky lizards, cougars and tasty prickly pears (if you haven’t tried this fruit, you should – but I digress). Bathroom remodeling inspiration will be in short supply.

A better strategy – crank up your electronic tablet and put into practice the 10 Commandments of bathroom remodeling success below. Will they save you from all trials and tribulations along the way? I doubt it. They will get you a more inspired bathroom with less hassle along the way. Your friends and family may exalt you and your bathroom transformation – and even want to check out your ‘throne’ (I’m getting too flowery here). Let’s check out the 10 Commandments.

5 ½ Essential Tips to Conquer Your Odd Shaped Shower

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

 

5 essential tips to conquer your odd shaped shower | Innovate Building Solutions

Updated March 16, 2019

Freddie sent me the pictures – and even a drawing – of his odd shaped shower and he was absolutely on the money when he said, “Mike – this thing is one of the funkiest bathrooms you’ll ever see. What were the last owners thinking when they created the weird angles in this space? Even though I’ve done a bathroom remodeling project or two in my past I’ve never encountered a beast like this shower. Can you help me figure this puzzle out?”

Unfortunately, Freddie is not the only one in this country with an odd shower which is funky with a capital “F!” It’s simple to identify and say – Man, that is an odd space – it’s much more challenging to get a game-plan to conquer this crazy shower and transform your bathroom into a functional, stylish and maintenance free place. Even after Freddie sent me pictures and a drawing it took 45 minutes on the phone to BEGIN to get a plan together to get this weirdness under control.

This brings up the question, “What do you need to know to tame a lion-sized bathroom remodeling challenge? What assistance is required to not only conquer this beast, but to create a space which is much better than the fungus-infested, dirty-grout, odd shaped shower you’re stuck with today?”

My goal in this article is to give you practical tips to get your arms around this project – whether your man (or woman) enough to tackle it as a DIY’er – or plan to bring a contractor in (note – if you look for a professional contractor you’ll need to find one who likes a challenge, knows what they’re doing, won’t demand your first- born child or force you to take on a second job to pay for this remodel to ‘get ‘er done). Let’s look at these 5 ½ tips (the ½ tip is the cherry on the top) and stop putting up with the nastiness that is your strange shower today!

DIY Bathroom Remodeling – 6 Words of Wisdom from Dad You Need to Pull You Through

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

DIY bathroom remodeling 6 words of wisdom from Dad to pull you through | Innovate Building Solutions

Updated March 16, 2019

George Vickroy said to me, “Mike this was the hardest DIY remodeling project I’ve ever done, but I’m getting so much more than I expected back from it!”

Doing a DIY bathroom remodeling project can be a pain. Plumbing, electrical, drywall, heating, heavy materials you’ve got to lug in and out of the home. The need to get constant input from the people leading you along the way. You have to have so many skills to – as Larry the Cable guy would say “get ‘er done” – it can be downright mind-boggling. The challenge becomes once you’ve decided to bite the bullet and tackle the job how do you pull yourself through it? How do you prevent from leaving a half-done trail of a “job-almost-well-done?” You don’t want your family asking, “So when are you going to finish the bathroom exactly?”

When I visited George and Tena Vickroy’s house to take pictures of their new bathroom (we worked together on the glass block walk in shower and solid surface shower pan in this job) it was amazing how George and I started reflecting on how our Dad’s advice was still ringing in our heads today (and in my case my Dad passed away 28 years ago!) – even while toiling through a bathroom remodel.

Maybe George and I got nostalgic about our Dads because we’re just a tad bit older (I’m 57, but think I can look 37 at any time after I use my magic $9.99 bottle of Miss Clairol for men hair coloring. I also think being “delusional and happy is a good thing- but I digress). Maybe it’s because as you get older you start to realize how much you don’t know. Maybe it’s because Dad had a lot of wisdom – but when we were young we sometimes blew him off and said to ourselves, “What does the old man know anyway?”

In the article below I’m going to show off the DIY bathroom remodeling project George did in conjunction with his wife Tena, his son Clayton, son in law Mike, friend Neil and even a former student KC Weber. We’ll look at this project through 6 thoughtful words of wisdom from our Dad’s. At the end of the article let me know if any of these “Dad-isms” (not sure that’s a word, but it should be) ring true with you. I know Dads can also be wacky (yes, I do resemble that remark – ask any of my 3 kids and they will back that statement up) – but sometimes the “old man” knows a thing or two, or six.

How to remodel an odd shaped custom shower enclosure

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

How to remodel an odd shaped custom shower enclosure - Tips and tricks to make any shaped shower work for you! | Innovate Building Solutions

Updated January 20, 2019

As your kids might have phrased it when they were younger (if they talked about shower enclosures…which would have been kind of strange), “Do you have the odd shaped shower from “H-E-double hockey sticks?” Do you think the person who designed this “gem” must have been on something because custom shaped doesn’t even do it justice! It’s cramped and dark and the old tile grout joints look horrendous. You’d like to just throw your hands up and say HELP – but that strategy alone won’t be enough to create a new shower you’ll actually want to use and won’t kill your budget. So how can you tackle this mysterious odd-shaped shower puzzle you’ve got?

In the article below I’d like to take you through a 5-step process to remodel your crazy custom shower into a space you WILL want to use. I wish I could tell you you’ll also be able to get this shower done as cost effectively as a standard alcove 60 x 36 kit you see at your local home center store – but that’s a pipe dream (sorry to burst your bubble here – but I need to give it to you straight!).

Without further delay let’s dig into these 5 steps.

How to Select a Stone Solid Surface Shower Kit

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

How to select a stone solid surface shower kit

 

Updated January 20, 2019

When I use the term “solid surface” most people have no idea what I’m talking about. So the question you might have is, “why are you writing about stone solid surface shower kits when most people don’t even know what they are?” The answer is simple. These kits are durable, flexible and growing rapidly despite being relatively unknown. My goal with this article will be to grow your knowledge of this shower product.

What is stone solid surface exactly?

At this point you may want to know “what the heck is stone solid surface?”

……..It’s kind of like Corian………

Most people have heard of the countertop brand Corian made by Dupont. What they don’t realize is Corian is actually a man-made stone and epoxy aggregate (also known as stone solid surface). Basically “Corian” is to solid surface what “Kleenex” is to facial tissue…. it is a brand name which is synonomous with an entire product category.

With that being said this article is not about Corian or about countertops – it is about stone solid surface and its’ use as a contemporary low maintenance shower kit. Read further to learn 3 steps to take to evaluate selecting this material for your next shower remodeling project.

How to Compare Shower Pans for a Glass Block Wall

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

3 Steps to simplify your glass block shower wall project


how to compare glass block shower pans

Updated February 10, 2019

I have to tell you I hate when I get a call and the person on the line says, “We’ve got our shower pan completely done – now we’re ready to include the glass block wall.” While at first glance this sounds good because the project is ready to go, I know it can be a bad situation for this person. They might have wasted money, or got the design wrong, by installing a base which may not work well with the glass block wall.

When you’re designing a glass block shower wall it’s best to remember Stephen Covey’s saying to “begin with the end in mind.” Just like a new home you should design the plans for the foundation (a glass block shower’s “foundation” is the shower pan) before you start to frame the upper level walls (in this case the glass block shower walls). If you don’t design the shower pan first (especially in the case of an angled or curved wall) you can end up with a situation where the wall doesn’t fit correctly. This error can cause the joints to be too big and/or to have block sizes which aren’t symmetrical or the best choice.

My goal in this article is to help you eliminate the problem of your shower base not working with your glass block wall. Let’s take a look at 3 steps to design a glass block shower (a sound layout + the right shower pan + a prefab glass block wall) which can simplify and foolproof your project.

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