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Posts Tagged ‘low maintenance shower’

9 Reasons You Shouldn’t Build a Tile Shower

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

Opening - tiled shower | Innovate Building Solutions | #TileShower #GroutFreePanels #BathroomRemodel

OK – I’m not writing this to take down the tile industry, and I’m certainly not arrogant enough to think this post has that kind of power.

However, I’ve been on the receiving end of countless homeowners (and even bathroom remodeling contractors) calls who are ‘sick and tired’ (as my Mom used to say) of problems with tile showers. They’re desperately looking for better solutions.

Admittedly, a tile shower can look beautiful once its finally completed. However, how long will it hold up? Will it be a pain to maintain? Will you be protected by a warranty if the shower pan or walls leak?

When it comes to those looking for a richer-looking showers tile is the A#1 top choice… but should it be? And even if you’re sold on tile, are there installation approaches and materials you should use to get a better finished product which lasts longer?

In this article I’ll focus on frustrations surrounding tile showers, and alternatives you need to research if you hate grout (which is the evil-stepbrother or stepsister to tile). I’ll also provide examples of better performing products to use instead of tile (or improved products to use with tile, is you’re set this is the way for you to go).

Let’s check out the 9 reasons you shouldn’t build a tile shower.

How to Convert a Tub into a Low Maintenance Walk in Shower

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

How to Convert a Tub into a Low Maintenance Walk in Shower | Innovate Building Solutions | #TubShower #BathroomRemodel #RemodelingDIY #RemodelOnABudget

Even though he won’t admit it, it’s not easy for John to climb over the tub to take a shower.

And though you will forcefully admit it (and complain about it also), cleaning the scummy grout joints which are barely keeping together your dated 4” x 4” powder blue ceramic tile bathtub surround is a task you can do without.

You’ve had it with this sad excuse for a tub/shower ‘system’ (if you can call it that). You’d like to convert your tub into a shower before something bad happens to John, or you throw your tile scrub brush through a wall.

The problem is, you’re unsure how to get started. You don’t know the best products and designs for a walk-in shower. You’re not sure how to create a space which is safe for John (although you’re certainly not telling him this is one of your motivations), but also one which oozes style and reduces cleaning time. The reality is bathroom and shower remodeling are not what you do for a living.

You know you need help. Where do you start?

If this describes your situation (even if you don’t have a stubborn spouse named John or Joan for that matter), you need to read on. In this article I’ll dish up 5 practical ideas to convert your tub into a walk-in shower to add style, safety and reduce how often you have to clean it. I’ll also make sure these ideas won’t force you to take out a second mortgage.

Let’s dig into the ideas.

7 Crucial Steps for a Stylish Low Maintenance Shower Installation

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

Learn 7 Crucial Steps for a Stylish Low Maintenance Shower Installation | Innovate Building Solutions #ShowerRemodel #WallPanels #ShowerInstallation

Updated March 23, 2019

I took the all-too-familiar call from James and his wife Linda.

Linda started out saying, “Mike – I HATE the ugly white fiberglass stand up shower in our hall bathroom, and the tile shower in the master is a mess. The grout joints are black and nasty. I’ve finally convinced James it’s time to blow up these 2 bathrooms now that the kids are “mostly” grown and out of the house (she mentioned her son Michael was on the 6-year college plan and almost ready to graduate). I am not going to deal with the maintenance or an ugly shower again. I’ve had it.”

James chimed in and said, “Linda and I went to the local big box store only to find the same crap we have right now. Lots of ceramic tiles. Basic cheap fiberglass shower pans and walls in stock sizes which won’t work for our tile shower. I am thinking about installing this job myself. I tried to ask the guy with the orange smock the steps to get this job done. He was clueless. Linda and I need your help with two things. First, what stylish, low maintenance products are out there? Second –I’m not sure what the right installation steps are. Can you help us?”

I understand where Linda and James are coming from. As a homeowner – no matter how handy or construction-savvy you are – you’re not researching shower products or installing a new shower every day (hopefully this will be the first and LAST time you do this). So – if you want a cool shower, which isn’t a pain to clean and maintain and don’t want to screw up the install (or have a contractor you hire mess it up either) you need to know the right steps to “get ‘er done” (as Larry the Cable Guy would say) right the first time.

In the article below I’ll look at 7 crucial installation steps I shared with Linda and James for a stylish low maintenance shower. For this project I would recommend to take your time. Be methodical. When you get this job done using the right steps, you’ll end up with the shower which is cool AND done – once and for all!

5 secret facts about high gloss acrylic shower and tub wall panels

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

5 secret facts about high gloss acrylic shower and tub wall panels | Innovate Building Solutions

Glacier high gloss panels in a one level wet room

Updated February 3, 2019

Are you sick of ceramic tile shower and tub walls? They are the traditional “go-to” product of every custom builder and remodeler who does business in the United States. For today’s owners traditional ceramic tile projects and the not-so-glorious grout joints everywhere are losing their luster. Why – you might ask? Simple – if you’re like my wife Rose and I you want to be enjoying friends, family and living cool experiences (bicycling, hiking, running or experiencing nature). You don’t want to be sweating like a pig inside some cramped shower cleaning grout joints. Also, something tells me these builders and remodelers who were eager to “push” a tile shower are nowhere to be found when you’re stuck cleaning your yucky enclosure!

What do you want in a new shower or tub design? What’s making shower and tub wall panels hot today vs. a tile shower? Here’s the big trend I’m seeing in bathroom product selections. From Millenials moving into their first home to empty nesters who have finally gotten the kids “off the payroll” want sleek, clean, contemporary and low maintenance showers. High maintenance is out!

One luxury product growing rapidly is high gloss wall panels. They are sleek, easy to clean and ultra-contemporary (if you want boring traditional tile shower and tub walls stop reading NOW!).

I’m excited to share with you 5 secrets facts about high gloss wall panels (and one new secret fact you won’t want to miss at the end IF you’re on a tight budget). Why am I excited? It’s because I love contemporary and thought this was the hottest product “ever” (gotta say it in a “Valley girl voice) when I saw them at the International Builders Show 5 years ago. The only reason these are “secrets facts” about this product is because we live in the United States. If you lived in Europe or Asia these products would be as common to you as sliced American bread (or loaves of French bread I should say). Let’s check out these 5 secrets facts.

5 Awesome Tricks for a Lean, Luxurious and Low Maintenance Shower

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

5 Awesome Tricks for a Lean Luxurious and Low Maintenance Shower

 

Updated August 18, 2019

Shower budgets are tight (anyone with 3 kids like me can relate to budgets!) and time to maintain them is even tighter. People want to have more function in less space (just check out the growth in the “not so big home” and “tiny home” movements). To make things even more challenging the desire for a higher level of style and luxury escalates every time we check into a sleek, contemporary hotel room.

How do you combine lean (in size and price), luxurious and low maintenance into a new shower project? You’ve got to dig into these 5 “tricks” to get the “treat” of a shower which will last (without a lot of maintenance effort from you) and look great. Let me know at the end which trick can help you the most.

4 Sure-Fire Strategies for Shower Walls which Last

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

4 sure fire strategies for shower wall surrounds which will last | Innovate Building Solutions

 

Updated March 3, 2019

Shower walls which are spongy, mold infested, cracking, have dirty tile joints or out of style are a real bummer to look at. What’s even worse is bad shower walls may be messing up your families’ health. For many people the options in shower walls are largely unknown, and in many cases their contractors and builders just want to install the “same old same old.” The common materials your contractors will often want to use are one-piece fiberglass shower surrounds (which are usually flat-out ugly – especially as your home ages) and/or tile (and you know the contractor who installed your tile IS NOT the guy who has to worry about cleaning it – that would be YOU!).

Whether you’re looking to do a DIY remodel on your bathroom or hire a contractor it will pay you (especially in lower maintenance bills) to know how to make sure your shower walls are built to last (whether you’ve decided on a tile surround, fiberglass unit or one of many grout free shower wall panel systems). In this article I’ll give you 4 sure-fire strategies to make sure your shower walls will stand the test of time. Let’s dig in!

“Susie Vila” Gets Her Black and White Bathroom

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

Black colored solid surface stone walls with a NEO angle acrylic shower base

When Susan Tow (also know as “Susie Vila” by her friends for her passion for remodeling) began her yearly (and not very much fun) task of cleaning the grout in her master bathroom she didn’t realize the problems she was about to encounter. When she started scrubbing the grout joint – and then the tile – fell out to reveal a sopping wet backer board system. Then Susan noticed the tiled shower pan had also become waterlogged she came to the conclusion the time was right to upgrade and transform the bathroom into a low maintenance, high style black and white design she always dreamed of.

In this article I’ll look at Susan’s three goals and the products and construction steps she took to turn her vision into reality.

3 Ideas for a Low Maintenance High Style Shower System

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

Euro inspired high gloss walls with contemporary chrome hand held shower | Innovate Building Solutions

Updated September 15, 2019

While tile showers or those with natural stone or granite walls can look cool – they also have their drawbacks. Let’s face it – they’re a pain in the butt to clean and can be costly. If you’re looking for a different alternative the question is what can you use for a low maintenance, high style and affordable shower system? The article below will look at 3 combinations of products to achieve this goal which include a cultured stone shower bases and walls, a stylish glass enclosure with matching acrylic base and Euro-inspired high gloss wall panels.

Eliminating a Shower Door with a Low Maintenance Glass Block Walk in Shower Kit in Lincoln Delaware

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

Glass block walk in shower kit with acrylic base and DIY interior shower wall panels

Glass block walk in shower kit with acrylic base and DIY interior shower wall panels

“I really needed to ditch that ugly shower door. The one piece fiberglass shower surround had a flimsy framed shower door which was to tough to clean and rusted,” said Debbie Kee about her bathroom in Lincoln, Delaware.

 

The door dilemma started a one year Internet research project for Debbie to find a stylish, low maintenance alternative to transform this shower space and her bathroom. Learn below how Debbie (in conjunction with Innovate Building Solutions and her contractors Stu Welch and Barry) used a glass block shower kit and DIY shower wall panels to create a easy to clean and good looking walk in shower.

Old fiberglass 36" x 36" shower with a flimsy framed shower door

Old fiberglass 36″ x 36″ shower with a flimsy framed shower door

Converting a jetted bathtub into a low maintenance high style shower

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

Close up view of new decorative Interior shower wall panels - Cleveland Ohio

Close up view of new decorative Interior shower wall panels - Cleveland Ohio

In the 70’s and 80’s many bathrooms used products like jetted tubs and fiberglass wall surrounds. While jetted tubs might have made sense for that time – these products just aren’t a fit with homeowners today who lack the time to take baths. In addition the low cost fiberglass tub surrounds in many homes are beginning to show their age (many have yellowed or cracked) and are hard to keep clean. This is exactly the dilemma that faced the Mockabee family of Cleveland Ohio (who had an existing jetted bathtub/shower surround combination with old fiberglass walls). Learn below how they converted their tub and showering area into a low maintenance, high style and functioning shower.

Before image - jetted tub with fiberglass wall surrounds

Before conversion to a shower - jetted tub with fiberglass wall surrounds - Cleveland Ohio project

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