Wednesday, February 24, 2016

What Makes a Bathroom Custom?

Last week we answered the question, "What does 'custom' kitchen remodeling mean?" The word "custom" has no standard definition in the remodeling industry, so MKBD believes it is important to clarify our own definition. For kitchen remodeling, "custom" means designs and fixtures created from scratch. The same is true for bathroom remodeling.

Just like our kitchen remodeling projects, MKBD takes a custom approach to designing and building bathrooms. We draft original layouts suited to each client's needs. We source unique materials for showers, bathroom floors, and vanities. And, of course, we build fixtures from scratch.

As we noted last week, "Depending on your budget, you may choose certain 'custom' fixtures and some standardized fixtures. When you work with MKBD, though, your design will always be unique, and each fixture will be installed by expert craftsman."

For a preview of our "custom" approach to bathroom remodeling, please take a look at our gallery below.
A custom walk-in shower is a luxurious addition to any bathroom.

Custom Showers

At MKBD, a shower is never merely a shower. We build each shower to client specifications, including custom-tiled walls and floors, custom benches, and showerheads and jets. Most showers are prefabricated, made from plastic and fiberglass, in uniform shapes and sizes. To accommodate a custom layout, however, you likely need a custom-built shower.

Witness the mosaic tiles in the MKBD project below. Mosaic tiles can be made to fit curved or uneven surfaces, so they're a perfect example of "custom" shower tiling made to fit a unruly space.

Shower mosaics on the wall and floor

Tiles are a great way to add flair to any bathroom design. We source tiles from Italy, yet we're willing to scour the globe to find a perfect fit for our clients. Our clients are fond of accent tiles, which can be used to offer a unique counterpoint to primary tiles in showers and across the bathroom.

In this Cheltenham project,  accent tiles juxtapose the stone tiles lining the shower wall.

Another custom feature of MKBD's showers is our use of water jets and showerheads, which, by nature, are manufactured to suit varying tastes. Do you prefer more or less spray volume? Do you prefer a gentle or vigorous water flow? According to your preferences, we help you find the right showerhead and jets for your shower.

Custom Bathroom Floors

Most bathroom tile is installed in a uniform manner, running in a bonded fashion, from wall-to-wall. With a custom floor, you can experiment with unique tiles and placement, emphasizing different sizes, colors, and patterns.

Rustic tumble-finished travertine is a perfect custom flooring option. 
In the project above, tumble-finished travertine, often said to have a rustic appearance, creates a perfect look for our client's former farm house. This floor is a good example of the "custom" remodeling approach. Travertine's rough edges can present installation problems--it takes a skilled craftsmen to install and seal this rustic material.

In this project, tiles of various shapes and sizes outfit the entire bathroom, including the floor, wall, and bathtub--a truly custom fit!

Custom Bathroom Cabinetry

Much like kitchen cabinets, custom bathroom cabinets can be built to fit specific dimensions. More than even kitchen cabinets, however, custom bathroom cabinets can be especially useful for the bathroom space, which is usually much smaller than a kitchen space.

A double vanity with custom cabinets for storage

In a bathroom, cabinets can come in handy for storage. The project above highlights custom cabinets, built from scratch, for the master bathroom. To accommodate the storage needs of our clients, we built large cabinets and deep drawers.


Many homeowners choose to call a remodeling company at the very beginning of the exploration process. We believe this is the best option--and not simply because we are a remodeling company!

A remodeling company can guide you in your exploration, saving you time. A home remodeling company can also help you set reasonable parameters for your project. How long might the project take to complete? What are the best materials for your lifestyle? And how about the cost?

At MKBD, we offer a FREE In-Home Remodeling Estimate for all custom bathroom designs.
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!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

What Does "Custom" Kitchen Remodeling Mean?

Are you researching your kitchen remodeling project online? If so, you've likely come across certain remodeling companies claiming "custom" quality work. In the context of home remodeling, the word "custom" conjures certain connotations: unique, hand-crafted, built from scratch. Unfortunately, for many remodeling companies, the word is meaningless.

Like the word "natural" in the food industry,"custom" has no defined meaning in the remodeling industry. Companies simply use these terms to project a certain image--yet the "image" is often not reality.

For many companies, custom simply means "to your taste." your kitchen design is based on a mere template, replicated from prior projects. Likewise, most remodeling companies build "custom" kitchens with prefabricated materials.

"To your taste" is anything but unique. Those beautiful kitchen cabinets? They're likely a dime a dozen.

Worse, as we note on our website, "the supposed advantage of standardized materials - low cost - is actually a disadvantage: low cost usually equals low quality."

In light of the misuse of the word "custom," MKBD suggests asking any prospective remodeling company a simple question: "What does 'custom' mean to you?"

The answer should be revealing.

At MKBD "custom" means designs and fixtures created from scratch, explicitly for you. Depending on your budget, you may choose certain "custom" fixtures and some standardized fixtures. When you work with MKBD, though, your design will always be unique, and each fixture will be installed by expert craftsman.

For a preview of our "custom" approach, please take a look at our gallery below.

Custom white cabinets

Custom Cabinets

In the world of kitchen cabinetry "custom" means built to specific dimensions. Since each kitchen is different, custom cabinets can be made to meet the unique size demands of your space. We build cabinets to fit any number of nooks and crannies--and, really, any space requirements. In the project above, the cabinets were built extra deep--13 inches--to accommodate our client's storage needs.

Custom Shaker cabinets with wine rack

Custom cabinets can also refer to any stylistic detailing, like dovetail drawers or knife hinges, or unique additions like the custom wine rack in the project above.

In addition to custom cabinets, you are likely to find "semi-custom" cabinets which refer to a standardized selection of prefabricated cabinets, and "stock" cabinets for a one-size fits all, budget fixture. At MKBD, we build custom cabinets exclusively.

Custom Flooring

A custom floor means you choose the exact flooring material as well as the stain. The key here is in the handiwork: a custom wood floor is cut and installed by hand with special attentiveness to any details you might desire.

In this Glenside project, the customer preferred a durable Brazilian redwood floor. 

A custom floor means that you take advantage of every square inch of floor space. Each board is cut to size to fit your needs, a boon for homeowners with odd kitchen layouts. 

Custom also means that you can choose the exact right fit for your family's needs: some wood floors offer more support; some offer better sound-proofing. When you go custom, you design the floor to your exact requirements. 

Finally, for some projects a "custom" floor means restoration-getting back to the original flooring, which often requires a fair amount of handiwork.

 In this Fort Washington MKBD project, we refinished the original hardwood floors. 

Custom Details

At MKBD, we pride ourselves on solving problems. Each new project presents a set of challenges--and we aim to answer each challenge with a custom solution. Small or large, a custom solution requires inventive thinking and cutting-edge design.

In this MKBD project, a growing family required more kitchen space. We fused the small kitchen with a dining room to create an open floor plan that could accommodate a busy family of five.

FREE Kitchen Appliances with any Full Kitchen Remodeling Project

At MKBD, we partner with our customers to provide competitive prices. And now, for a limited time, we’re leveraging our buying power to offer you a tremendous deal: FREE kitchen appliances with a full kitchen remodeling!

To qualify for this offer, you simply have to schedule a FREE, no obligation kitchen design consultation—a value in itself! During our brief consultation, we will help you draft the kitchen design and layout of your dreams. Best yet, all consultations include a FREE, no obligation estimate.

Call now to take advantage of this limited time offer: 215-355-474.