Saturday, July 26, 2014

Three Tips for Your Bathroom Paint Job

For homeowners who cannot afford the expense of a full-scale bathroom remodeling project, a fresh paint job just might be the most cost effective way to transform the look and feel of an old, stodgy bathroom. Better yet, a budget-friendly paint is the simplest of all bathroom upgrades.

 But before you go the DIY route, you should know: in terms of paint, the bathroom is unlike any other room in the house. Of course, the bathroom’s excessive moisture and humidity pose a unique challenge. Yet the very room itself calls for a special attentiveness to detail.

More than any other room in the house, for example, the bathroom and its ever-changing lighting patterns can reveal the flaws of a bad paint job. And since the room itself is often small, the choice of color can dramatically influence your perception of the space. Also unforeseen considerations, like ventilation (see below), can effect the durability of the paint job.

So before you head to the store for a few cans of paint, read our Three Essential Tips. Whether you’re planning a full-scale bathroom remodeling project or a simple DIY bathroom makeover, following these tips will ensure that you receive the best paint job money can buy.

In this Philadelphia area MKBD project, a soft yellow paint job is beautifully complemented by the stained backsplash and shower tiles.
1. Check Your Ventilation

In addition to removing odors, good bathroom ventilation will remove excessive moisture—the same moisture that can ruin even the most attentive paint jobs. So before you even consider your choice of colors, make sure your ventilation is up to par.

Now, most bathrooms come equipped with the luxury of windows, which can certainly help diffuse moisture. To use this simplest of all ventilation systems, simply open your window! However, the best option for bathroom ventilation is a fan. A bathroom fan will quickly send moisture and humidity outside, keeping the room—and the walls—relatively dry. If you already have a fan, try a simple test to see if it’s in good working order. A good fan should completely vent the air in your bathroom every five minutes. Next time you take a shower, note how long the steam remains on your mirror after you exit the shower. If you find yourself staring at a cloudy image after five minutes—well, then, you might need to service your fan or purchase a new fan.

2. Buy the Right Paint 

Certain paint manufacturers market special "bathroom paint" designed to resist mold and moisture. While this paint might offer certain benefits, if your bathroom has been designed and renovated efficiently, with proper ventilation and an even drywall texture, you will not need any special paint.

Instead, focus on the best paint for your space. Both high-gloss and semi-gloss offer good water resistance, but the sheen might highlight any textural flaws in the drywall. If you have a sound texture and solid natural light, try these paints. If not, you might try satin paint, which has a bit of gloss, and is good for those who prefer less shine.

Paint that provides flatter finishes, like a matte or eggshell, also tend to absorb moisture. This is why some paint companies have made special "bathroom paint"--matte paint designed to also repel moisture. For more information about bathroom specific paint, check out this article: "Should I Use Bathroom Paint? What's the Difference?"

3. When Choosing a Color, Pay Attention to Light

Bathroom light can vary significantly throughout the day so you want to make sure your color choice is amenable to both light and shadow.

A good way to examine the way colors look in different light is to wear different colored clothing in your bathroom throughout the day. No kidding. Try a navy shirt one day and a yellow the next. If you can, take a look in the mirror in the morning, afternoon, and night.

Do you like the way the colors look in each respective time? If so, that color might just be a good choice for your bathroom walls.

Better Homes and Gardens offers nine handy tips for choosing bathroom colors here.

In this French country-style  MKBD project in Abington, PA, the olive green wall is subtly illuminated by overhead lights.

Special Offer from MKBD:

This summer, MKBD is happy to offer an essential toilet upgrade: a FREE TOTO Washlet with a full bathroom remodeling project! Here's a description of the TOTO Washlet from TOTO's website:

"The pursuit of cleanliness can be better in every way, from a clean perspective to a green perspective. The Washlet uses water to cleanse and refresh and can significantly reduce the consumption of toilet paper. It makes perfect sense.

We bath and shower with water. We wash our faces and hands with water. Nothing cleanses like nature’s most soothing and essential element, which is why Washlets purify and clean in ways that you cannot experience with traditional bathroom rituals.

The Washlet offers a lot of amazing technology, cleverly disguised as a toilet seat that fits virtually any standard toilet. At your command, Washlet extends an integrated wand to release a warm, soothing stream of aerated water to provide the ultimate in personal cleansing.

But this is not a conventional bidet; the wand self-washes and retracts after each use. The S300e/S355e models feature eWater+, a function that mists the bowl with electrolyzed water before and after each use, making the bowl easier to maintain and reducing the need for chemicals during cleaning.

For more, read here.


To take advantage of this offer, call MKBD today: 215-355-4747. But hurry! This offer is only valid from June 14, 2014 to September 1, 2014!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

A Bathtub Style Guide

A bathtub is a wonderful addition to a full-scale bathroom remodeling project. And not withstanding the ease of a quick shower, nothing beats warm soak in a luxurious tub.

If you are considering a bathtub as part of a bathroom remodeling project, you have plenty of options. However, your personal selection might be limited by your available space or style preference, so it's best to research the most suitable bathtub style for your family's needs.

Before you perform your research, though, make sure a bathtub is a viable option for your bathroom. Your first consideration is space. It might be best to ask a professional if a bathtub is a reasonable option for you.

Second, consider costs. Many homeowners wish to replace a bathtub without renovating the rest of the bathroom, yet this can be a costly job with little appreciable ROI. As the popular remodeling site This Old House writes:

"Most tubs are set in an alcove or corner, lapped by the flooring and wall finishes to create a watertight seal and tied down in at least two places by plumbing. If you're ready for a full-scale bathroom remodel, replacing the tub makes sense. If you're not, you're looking at creating a real mess and spending $2,000 to $3,000 for little visual change."

If a bathtub is in the cards for you, check out our handy bathtub style guide below. 

Clawfoot Bathtubs

You've probably heard of the famous clawfoot bathtub, the oldest and most elegant bathtub. Clawfoot tubs are designed with deep basins and high, sloping backs for supporting your arms and back. The front is often straight or flat.

Clawfoot tubs get their names from their free-standing supportive legs, which are often designed to look like "claws." As Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote memorably in his famous book, Love in the Time of Cholera:

"The house was modern and did not have the pewter tub with lion's-paw feet common in the mansions of the old city."

As the quote implies, the clawfoot tub can lend an elegant, vintage appeal to your bathroom.

We love a good clawfoot tub at MKBD. In this Abington, PA project, we installed a clawfoot as apart of a French country theme.

Freestanding Tubs 

Like clawfoot tubs, freestanding bathtubs are simple bathtubs that stand independent of surrounding walls. Unlike clawfoot tubs, the sculpted basin rests on a solid base. The faucets might be mounted on the tub or a nearby wall.

If you have the space, and you like the appeal of a bathtub that stands independent of your bathroom's surrounding walls, yet you don't like the antiquated look of a clawfoot tub, you would do well to research freestanding tubs. You will find many options for simple freestanding tubs made in a variety of materials from porcelain to cast iron, and even acrylic.

Drop-in Tubs

Drop-in tubs are installed in an enclosure that can be finished to match your bathrooms cabinets or vanity: At MKBD, we're partial to this bathtub style. We've successfully installed many drop-ins for happy clients.

In the above MKBD project, a full-scale bathroom remodeling in Huntingdon Valley, we installed a beautiful air bathtub surrounded by custom panels from Decora Cabinets. Imagine sitting in this tub with the twilight streaming over your shoulders as warm jets massage your back!

Corner Tubs

A variation of the drop-in design, the corner tub is a tub that is simply designed to be installed in the corner of a bathroom. Like the drop-in tub above, a corner tub can be placed beneath a window to maximize the bathing experience. At MKBD, we've also successfully installed plenty of corner tubs:

In this MKBD project from Vorhees, New Jersey, we installed a Toto soaker tub surrounded by columns for a Roman bath feeling.

Alcove Tubs

Most Americans are familiar with the popular alcove tub, the style found in most bathrooms, tucked into a three-walled enclosure. With added tiles or shower panels, the enclosure can also include a shower. With a standard length of 60 inches, the alcove tubs maximizes space, although alcove tubs can also include options like the drop-in and corner tubs pictured above.

FREE In-Home Remodeling Estimate!

If you have any questions about your next kitchen remodeling project, please feel free to call MKBD for an individualized consultation. Let's talk budget and more! Call now! 215-355-4747.

Better yet, check out our Free In-Home Remodeling Estimate on this very blog!