Declutter Your Home

It's officially the first day of spring and with spring comes spring cleaning! However, before you start deep cleaning your home why not get rid of the clutter that's in your way. Getting rid of clutter can reduce the time you spend cleaning and it really just feels so darn cathartic. For many of us, clutter in the home causes stress and discontentment and there are psychological explanations for why this is so. It bombards our minds with excessive stimuli and distracts us from where our focus should be. It then starts to feel like your possessions own you, and that's just no fun. Make your home a happy home!

Clear your stuff, clear your mind
— Eric M. Riddle

I do understand that sometimes it's overwhelming to even think about the stuff we have accumulated and the time it will take to go through it all. Choosing what to keep or toss can be a distressing process, but it doesn't have to be. I have created a free downloadable printable of a spring decluttering checklist if you don't know where to begin. It's just a rough list, but at least these are some things you can probably throw away guilt free. 

 
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QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF WHEN DECLUTTERING:

It's a good idea to set some rules for yourself before you begin decluttering in order to get rid of things you don't really need. Here are some questions you should ask yourself when you declutter.

  1. Do I have a duplicate?
    • It's not really necessary to have a duplicate of some items. It makes sense to have duplicate of some things, like kitchen baking trays if you like to bake large batches. Evaluate its purpose as a duplicate item and draw a fine line between being prepared and creating clutter if you keep it. 
  2. Have I used this in the last year?
    • We sometimes hold onto things that seem like they might be useful, but it's important to evaluate how often you actually use them. Be real with yourself, if you haven't touched it in 4-6 months, despite your best intentions, it's a good candidate for decluttering. 
  3. Does it make my life simpler?
  4. Am I keeping this out of obligation or guilt?
    • It's likely that there is something  you are holding onto not because you love it but because it was a gift and you feel obligated to keep it. It's understandable that you don't want to hurt someones feelings, but it's your home and you can decide what you want in it. Tell yourself that it's okay to declutter gifts, if it's still good why not donate or sell it, someone else can love it. 
  5. Am I not throwing this away because I don't want to waste money?
  6. Do I have a realistic plan to use this?
  7. If I were shopping right now, would I buy this?
    • People change, our style and tastes change, keep items that you can see yourself purchasing in the present.
  8. Is it easily replaceable or can I borrow it?
  9. Is this item worth cleaning and storing?
    • Your time and space in your home have value. Consider how much time or space an item takes up and is it really worth cleaning, sorting, and storing. 

Now that you have set yourself some guidelines lets dive into the process. 

 

5 - STEP DECLUTTERING PROCESS

  1. Choose an area to declutter

    • Make your way through each room in your house, one at a time. Gather everything together in one area and start going through it
  2. Ask yourself your guiding questions

  3. Separate items into bins/piles

    • Once you have evaluated an item, put it into a different pile or bin by category. You can have categories such as: Keep in this room, Keep in another room, Toss, Donate, Sell, or Repurpose. Choose what makes sense to you. It can be as simple having only a keep and toss pile or all those mentioned previously.. 

  4. Put everything in its new place

    • Make a home for everything you do keep, and make sure you put it back after you use it to avoid clutter in the future

  5. Get rid of items you are not keeping as soon as possible

    • Get rid of items you are not keeping as soon as you can, or else you will be staring at them second guessing yourself. 

I hope this guide can help you in your decluttering process. It is by no means the only way to declutter, it's just how I do it. Set your own rules, make the process somewhat enjoyable, by the end of it, you will most likely feel as though a heavy weight has been lifted off your shoulders.

HAPPY DECLUTTERING!

Guide To Kitchen Countertops: Part 2 of 3

We continue with our guide to kitchen countertops with part two covering stainless steel, marble, concrete, and recycled glass countertops.

 

7.  Stainless Steel

AVERAGE COST: $76 - $160 / Sq. ft.

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Pros:

Eco-friendly
Low maintenance
Durable
Stain resistant
Heat resistant
Anti-bacterial

Cons:

Shows fingerprints
Susceptible to scratches
Expensive
Loud surface

 

WHAT IS IT?

Stainless steel is an alloy of nickel, steel, and chromium that gives off a metallic shine. Often used in restaurant kitchens, it’s a popular countertop material in part due to the popularity of stainless steel appliances; it complements appliances and provides a high-end look.

ECO-FRIENDLINESS:

Stainless steel is not inherently green due to the impacts of mining, particularly the mining of chromium. Additionally, it takes a lot of energy to produce it. However, it is 100% recyclable or it can be repurposed.  

Color and Style:

Traditionally, stainless steel just comes in a silvery gray shade. Stainless sheets can come in varying colors like copper, bronze, blue, black, and red, but when it comes to countertops, it doesn’t seem the grading of colored stainless steel is suited for countertops. But don’t let that get you down, stainless steel does offer various finishes and patterns allowing you to give it more personality.

Cost & Availability:

Though lightweight, the price of stainless steel is comparable to solid-surface countertops and concrete, ranging from $76 - $160 per square feet depending on quality and thickness. As for availability, it’s likely that you will find a stainless steel fabricator in or around your area, you can also order them from some home improvement retailers.

Durability:

Culinary chefs will tell you that stainless steel is extremely durable and that it is! Stainless steel has a non-porous surface, so substances cannot penetrate into the material making it water resistant. This also means that it is not a breeding ground for bacteria, mold and common household germs, giving you a completely hygienic surface for food prep as long as the surface is cleaned regularly. Additionally, stainless steel is heat resistant, and of course, stain resistant.  However, stainless steel does dent and scratch easily. After some wear and tear, a scratch will most likely appear and you will want to cry, but it’s going to be the first of many. You can also expect to have some dents some time too, and the best way to avoid this is to have it installed professionally. With a tight installation, the risk of dents decreases.

Maintenance and care:

Depending on whom you ask, stainless steel can be high maintenance or low maintenance. Stainless steel will maintain themselves and you’ll never have to worry about stains as long as you own it, but the thing about stainless steel is that smudges and fingerprints will show. If you are someone who is bothered by these smudges and fingerprints, be prepared to wipe down the surface of your countertop more often. For daily cleaning use a non-abrasive towel with a mild cleaner. A mild abrasive may be used for a more thorough clean.

Installation:

Average lead-time: 1-5 weeks (depending on complexity)

Installing a stainless steel countertop is manageable for DIYers. However, professional installation is recommended. A tight installation will help prevent the likelihood of dents and provide a better sound buffer as stainless steel can be quite loud when impacted.

 

8. Marble

AVERAGE COST: $125 - $150 / Sq. ft.

Pros:

Natural material
Each piece is unique
Available in a range of colors and veining
Heat-resistant
Historic favorite in kitchens
Works with many different design aesthetics
Develops a patina over time (a con to some)

Cons:

Susceptible to staining
Susceptible to scratches
Requires ongoing maintenance
Etches if exposed to acidic liquids
Expensive
 

What is it?

Marble is a natural stone composed of calcium carbonate. Slabs, rather than tiles are typically used for countertops, where the dramatic veining can be displayed. Marble has a classic look that seems to be timeless. Marble is also a favorite amongst bakers as it's naturally cool temperature makes it great for pastry making.

Eco-friendliness:

Mining of stone disrupts local ecosystem and depletes finite, nonrenewable resources. However, you can salvage marble slabs, which makes them a little greener. You can also choose marble that is mined near your region to reduce emissions related to transportation.

Color and Style:

Marble is usually light in color. When marble has few impurities it will be white in color, and different mineral deposits will make marble vary in color from gray, yellow, bluish, or black in color, so it has quite the color variation. Like other countertops, it gives you the option for a variety of edge profiles and three different finishes (matte, polished, and leather).

Cost & Availability:

The cost of marble typically ranges from $125 - $150 per square feet, like jewelry the price varies depending on demand and availability, as well as the thickness of the slab. Marble countertops can be found at countertop retailers or with local fabricators.

Durability:

Marble is known for its patina more so than its durability. Marble is on of the more porous metamorphic stones, which makes it prone to staining and it has a low abrasion rating, meaning it scratches easily. The stones makeup also makes it sensitive to acidic solutions, which can result in etching. Although, on the plus side, marble is heat resistant, strong, and generally doesn’t chip or dent.

Maintenance and care:

Marble requires constant maintenance to avoid staining, etching, and scratches. You’ll want to seal your marble every year or two to keep it protected. Daily care is best limited to a non-abrasive towel and warm water or cleaners made specifically for marble, as mentioned before it’s sensitive to acidic products and can cause etching.

Installation:

Average lead-time: 1-3 weeks

As far as installing a marble slab yourself, I highly recommend against it. Although there are many guides and videos out there to help you, it really isn’t an easy DIY project and can cost you more in the long run. Go with a pro and save yourself the time and headache.

 

9.Concrete

AVERAGE COST: $70 - $140 / Sq. ft.

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Pros:

Customizable
Heat resistant
Scratch resistant
No visible seams
Industrial look

Cons:

Expensive
Susceptible to stains (if not sealed)
Periodic maintenance
Hairline Cracks
 

What is it?

Concrete is a mixture of cement, water, and an aggregate, typically sand. It is a highly durable material and can be poured into custom shapes. Concrete countertops generally are appealing to people who want something unique and personalized. What’s nice about concrete countertops is they have a natural, rugged look and texture, rather than a manufactured appearance.

Eco-friendliness:

Concrete isn’t a very green material. Cement production and transportation are extremely energy intensive. Sealers for concrete can sometimes give off high-VOC emission, so seek out low-VOC sealers for better indoor air quality. At the end of it’s life, your concrete countertop can be reused or cut for other projects. Moreover, unwanted concrete can be crushed to create new aggregate, this saves energy over mining resources to produce new concrete, and keeps it out of landfills.

Color and Style: 

Concrete offers the ability to customize your countertop shape, edge detail, finish and color in almost any way you choose, and they are often cast right in your kitchen. Over time, concrete countertops do patina and like mentioned before, some people welcome, while others scream, “it will look bad!”

Cost & Availability:

Concrete countertops can carry a pretty hefty price tag, but generally, they are no more expensive than granite or marble. If you are looking to make a concrete countertop more affordable you can limit custom features such as embedded drain boards, color, unique shapes, and finishes. Although do keep in mind the long-term value of concrete countertops, as they are durable, it is unlikely that you will need to replace it. As for availability, it is highly unlikely you will find a concrete countertop at your local home improvement store, so seek a fabricator in your area. 

Durability:

Treated well, a concrete countertop can last a lifetime. It’s important to have your countertop sealed as well to reduce the potential for staining and harboring bacteria. While concrete on its own is heat- and scratch-resistant, the same cannot be said when treated with a sealer or a wax. Harsh soaps, hot pans, and surface cutting can compromise the sealer, but like with any countertop you would use a mild soap, and trivets and cutting boards. It is also worth mentioning that concrete may develop hairline cracks, however, these cracks typically don’t compromise the countertop structurally.

Maintenance and care:

A properly sealed concrete countertop has the same daily maintenance requirements as a laminate countertop surface. Following the general rule of using a mild cleaner and non-abrasive towel to avoid damaging the sealer. However, do keep in mind that the type of sealer used will influence maintenance requirements. For example, the use of penetrating sealers don’t protect the surface from contact spills, it just prevents it from staining right away, which means if not wiped down, it can leave a stain. Concrete countertops should be sealed periodically.

Installation:

Average lead time: 2-5 weeks (depending on complexity)

Building a concrete countertop requires planning and knowledge of concrete and sealers. Even though it can be a manageable DIY project for some, It's highly recommended that you hire someone who specializes in working with concrete to get the best results. 

 

10. Recycled Glass

AVERAGE COST: $75 - $105 / Sq. ft.

Pros:

Eco-friendly option
Unique look
Heat resistant
Stain resistant
Scratch resistant

Cons:

Relatively expensive
May require periodic resealing
Susceptible to chipping
May not be a timeless look
 

What is it?

Recycled glass countertops can come in two styles, solid glass or terrazzo style that consists of crushed glass (glass chips) held together in a binder. Terrazzo style glass surfaces are separated into two categories, cement-based or resin-based.

Eco-friendliness:

When we hear “recycled glass,” there is a natural inclination to assume it’s a green option and no doubt it definitely is, but lets dig a little deeper. Not every aspect of some recycled glass countertops is as earth-friendly as it could be. In terrazzo style countertops, there are varying percentages of recycled glass in the countertops depending on the manufacture which can range anywhere from 80%-100%. Additionally, there are pitfalls to the cement and resin binders used. Cement-based products are energy intensive and resin-based products are problematic because they are derived from non-renewable resources unless it was formulated from plant-based sources. It’s also important to mention potential VOC emissions from the binders themselves, compromising indoor air quality. However, there are manufacturers such as Vetrazzo that offer zero VOC emission counters. So, when shopping for a recycled glass countertop, you should be aware of how green it is by asking about the composition of the surface.

Color and Style:

Recycled glass countertops have a unique look, and each countertop is its own piece of art as each slab contains pieces of glass that are different finishes, colors, and sizes. Manufacturers of recycled glass countertops offer a nice variety of colors and edge profiles. Some manufacturers do offer the ability to customize your surface by allowing you to choose the glass chips and binder colors in order to complement your color scheme. Although I do focus on chip-based recycled glass countertops, there are solid glass countertops that are made from recycled glass too. 

Cost & Availability:

This countertop surface may not be for you if you have a tight budget, recycled glass countertops range from $75 - $105/sq. ft. When it comes to availability this countertop surface is relatively easy to find, home improvement retailers tend to carry at least one brand, and you are likely to find it in a showroom as well. If you want to source materials locally, you can also seek out a company, which can make a countertop for you, however, pricing is usually similar to choosing a countertop from a manufacturer’s stock. 

Durability

Recycled glass countertops are a relatively new product and haven’t been thoroughly tested for longevity; however, its durability seems comparable to granite. It withstands heat, stains, and scratches really well. However, some homeowners have reported pieces of glass chipping from their countertops particularly on the edges due to heavy impact. If this is a concern, choosing a thicker edge profile can decrease the chances of it happening, or instead you can go with a solid recycled glass countertop. One thing to watch out for is leaving acidic substances on your countertop that may etch the matrix of the surface, but this is nothing a little clean up can’t prevent. However, if your countertop does become damaged most brands offer some type of warranty.

Maintenance and care:

This surface is easy to maintain daily. Again, like many other countertops it’s recommended that you wipe down the surface with a mild cleaner, wipe acidic substances up immediately, and although it withstands heat and scratches quite well, use a cutting board and trivets. However, depending on the brand, it may need to be resealed periodically, particularly cement-based products. Check manufacturers maintenance and care guide to see if the product you are interested in needs to be resealed, each brand is different!

Installation:

Average lead-time: 2-3 weeks

Installation of a recycled glass countertop is similar to any solid countertop such as granite, marble or quartz and it is possible to install yourself. However, installing the countertop yourself will void any warranty that comes with it. Moreover, there is the risk of chipping or damage if you install it yourself. So, it’s highly recommended that an authorized fabricator install it for you.

To read part 1 Click Here

Guide To Kitchen Countertops : Part 1 of 3

Are you thinking about renovating your kitchen, but you still have no idea about your countertop choice? Making a decision about your kitchen countertop material should not be a quick decision based purely on aesthetics. Countertops are not made equal and all too often sales reps, contractors, designers and installers do not properly provide enough information regarding a materials characteristics, durability, and maintenance requirements. So, I’ve compiled a list of different countertop choices available on the market and compared their pros and cons at a glance, but also provided in-depth information for those interested in knowing more. This is a three part post, so stay tuned for the other two!

 

1. LAMINATE

AVERAGE PRICE: $7-$50 PER SQ. FT.

PROS: 

Affordable
Quick & easy installation
Variety of colors and styles
Low maintenance

CONS:

Susceptible to nicks and scratches
Not heat resistant
Not anti-bacterial
Susceptible to staining

What is it?

Laminate countertops are paper or fabric sheeting glued to a particle board substrate and is definitely not plastic like some people might think.  Laminate has come a long way and is a master at imitating its more expensive counterparts (no pun intended), the quality of laminates these days has also improved, so it may be an option for your home if you don't want to blow your budget.

Eco-friendliness

Although the process of making laminate is energy intensive, it still uses less energy to manufacture than marble, granite or even composite countertops and the raw materials needed to manufacture them are available domestically, meaning they have a relatively small carbon footprint compared to other materials. Moreover, fabricating and installing them can also be done using low volatile organic compounds (VOC), but do be careful as some laminates are known to have high-VOCs and this can be especially bad for indoor air quality. It's good to know that Both Formica and Wilsonart brands are Green Guard certified, though!

Color and Style:

Laminate comes in so many colors, patterns, and finishes that you are sure to find one that suits your personal style. Printing technologies can make laminate look like marble, granite, or even butcher block at a fraction of the cost. You can also give laminate a custom look by adding bullnose edges, mitered corners, or end caps.

Cost and availability:

It is one of the most affordable options on the market, with prices ranging from $7-$50. This large range is due to your quality options, premium and designer laminate will cost you more, but you do get a more premium look. To add, laminate is also the most readily available material for countertops, and easily found at a home improvement store in standard lengths.

Durability:

Because laminate is made from paper sheets glued together, it is easier to damage the surface of the countertop. Hot pans can melt the top, and even a cigarette left unattended can melt a small area. The top is also susceptible to scratches from sharp knives and other items on the counter. In addition, the layers of laminate can peel over time with natural wear and tear and exposure to moisture. Laminate lasts about 10 to 12 years or longer if it’s cared for exceptionally well.

Maintenance & Care:

Laminate is low maintenance and doesn't require any special care products or yearly resealing. To clean the surface, use a damp cloth or sponge and a mild soap or detergent. Rinse thoroughly with warm water and wipe dry.

Installation:

Average lead time: 1-2 weeks

Laminate is a light product and It is easy enough for do-it-yourselfers to install. The new counter can be installed in a brand new area, or laminate sheets can be installed over an existing countertop (although it's not recommended). However, if you decide to let professionals install it for you, it is still less expensive compared to other countertop materials. Additionally, lead time for laminates are one of the fastest around especially if you just get one “off the rack” from a home improvement retailer.

 

 

2. TILE

AVERAGE COST: $10 - $70 PER SQ FT.

PROS:

Easy installation
Heat resistant
Stain resistant
Relatively affordable
Variety of colors & Styles

CONS:

Susceptible to damage
Grout can discolor
Not a smooth surface

What is it?

There are several types of tile but the most popular for kitchen countertops is ceramic and porcelain. A mix of clay, minerals, and water, ceramic tiles are fired at high temperatures. Glazed styles are then treated with a liquid glass coating and fired again, creating a hard, stain- and scratch-resistant surface. Unglazed tiles are sometimes referred to as “quarry” tiles. Porcelain tile is a type of ceramic tile that is fired at a higher temperature than standard ceramic, making it denser and less porous.

Eco-Friendliness

Ceramic tile is not typically considered and eco-friendly product unless it contains recycled ceramic content, and even then, the percentage of recycled content to new content is very low. Moreover, glazed tiles, for instance, are typically glazed with toxic chemicals. However, they are recyclable and durable. For a more eco-friendly option source tiles locally. 

Color and Style:

You can select from a large range of patterns and colors. You can even get tile finished to mimic granite or other stones. You can also get natural stone tiles, the real deal, if you like.  

Cost & Availability:

Tile can be a more affordable option depending on the type of tile you choose average cost ranging from $10-$70 / Sq. ft. Porcelain and ceramic are the most cost efficient whereas natural stone tiles are more expensive. Generally, they are also readily available in stores.

Durability

The tiles themselves are durable, both heat and stain resistant, as well as resistant to dings from knives, but tile doesn’t come without some downfalls. Cracking and chipping is one of the main issues with tiles. If a tile countertop chips or scratches, it can probably be refinished. However, if the tile breaks due to heavy impact,  it may be hard to repair so it must be replaced. So, it’s a good idea to have extra tiles on hand just in case.

Maintenance & Care:

I wouldn't consider a tile countertop low maintenance in my opinion. Daily cleaning is easy though like many others just wipe down with a mild cleaner. Maintaining the grout is where it get tricky. In kitchens, food scraps and liquids can easily get stuck in these areas making it a little difficult to clean. This also makes the grout susceptible to discoloration. However, you can try using an epoxy or acrylic grout, making the grout lines easier to maintain and keep clean, but it doesn't guarantee it 100%. So, sometimes you may need to do a deep grout cleaning using professional strength tile and grout cleaner, be sure to pick one that has low VOC levels.

Installation:

Average Lead Time: 1-4 weeks

Tile countertops are relatively easy to install and are manageable for do-it-yourselfers; it can, however, be a bit of a messy undertaking. The time needed to install tile countertops depends on the size of the tiles and area you’re covering, it is generally not much longer to install than other materials.


3.WOOD

AVERAGE COST: $30 - $100 PER SQ. FT. 

PROS:

Warm, classic look
Bio-degradable
Easy to repair
Quiet surface

CONS:

Not heat resistant
Not anti-bacterial
Prone to damage
Regular maintenance and care
 

What is it?

Well, to be frank, it's wood (haha). There are many types of wood countertops to choose from though. A common type of wood for countertops is butcher's block, which is typically made from hard maple. Reclaimed wood is also gaining popularity when it comes to wood countertops and it is usually salvaged from older homes or barns and made of mostly older trees, which means it’s much sturdier than countertops using new wood from younger trees.

Eco-friendliness:

Definitely a green option, but new wood countertops are not inherently all that green, when you think about it. It's not all that sustainable and there is quite an impact on the environment cutting down and transporting new trees. At the end of its useful life, however, wood can be reused/repurposed, given to materials exchanges or, if not treated with toxic materials, chipped and composted or allowed to biodegrade. Perhaps a more green option when it comes to wood countertops is reclaimed hardwood or bamboo - reuse is better than recycling! 

When it comes to indoor air quality of these products, they vary due to the use of different types of varnishes, sealers, and treatment process. Many of them produce various levels of VOC's so it's important to choose a reputable supplier that uses a varnish or sealant that has the low VOC emission or ones that are VOC free. All in all wood countertops are still a sexy option for green homes. 

Color and Style:

The number one reason people choose wood is the beauty in their warmth, not just in their appearance either, but it’s literally warmer to the touch than other materials. Wood actually offers quite a decent range of choice when it comes to style and color because you are able to choose the species of wood, color, stain, finish, and grain orientation. 

Tip: If you plan on cutting food right on the countertop, choose a non-toxic finish

Cost & Availability:

Wood is a readily available at home improvement retailers if that's the route you want to take. It is also highly likely that there is a local woodworker who can build you are custom countertop to your exact specifications. The price again varies largely depending on the type of wood chosen and whether it is custom or off the rack. Wood like maple can start around $40 / Sq. ft., whereas wood like teak can start around $100 / Sq. ft.

Durability  

Wood is definitely durable with regular maintenance and care! The hardiness of the countertop itself is largely dependent on the wood type was chosen. Hard maple wood countertops will scratch and dent easier than something like mahogany.  What’s nice about wood countertops is that you are able to sand out light scratches, dents and nicks with high grit sandpaper then refinish it.  

Maintenance and care:

Maintenance depends on the type of finish you have. It can be a bit much for busy homeowners. Wood countertops require reconditioning or oiling when wood gets dull or shows signs of cracking or aging, this helps protect the wood from water damage and fight against germs. This generally happens 2-3 times a year. For daily maintenance, you should wipe clean with a damp cloth and mild soap. Avoid the use of harsh detergents, chemicals, and puddles of standing water.

Installation:

Average Lead Time: 1-4 weeks

Wood can be cut, fabricated, and installed easily by a woodworker, or if you wanted to tackle it yourself, it's totally doable, just be sure to watch some videos or read a guide on how to do it properly. 

 

4.     Zinc

AVERAGE COST: $120 - $200 / Sq ft. 

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PROS:

Non-porous
Anti-bacterial
Elegant
Durable

CONS:

Expensive
Susceptible to scratches
Susceptible to heat damage
Tricky installation
Not readily available
 

What is it?

An uncommon choice for countertops in North America, zinc is a reactive soft living metal, which has been traditionally used in the finest European kitchens. When first installed it has a white/silvery gray appearance similar to the look of stainless steel. Overtime zinc develops a blue-gray patina (similar to pewter in color) as it reacts to different substances. This process can take up to a year – so, definitely not for someone who cringes at the appearance of a spot. However, you may be able to ask the manufacturer to pre-apply a patina using chemicals.

Eco-friendliness

Zinc is an intrinsically green material and more often than not you can find recycled zinc sheets to be used for your kitchen countertops. No harsh chemicals or sealants are needed to care for it either meaning it doesn't compromise indoor air quality.  

Color and Style

You are definitely limited when it comes to color and style. You are, however, able to select options for its finish such as matte, quilted, hammered or distress, and thanks to zincs malleability you can design fancy decorative edges.  

Cost & Availability

If you are looking for a budget friendly option that is readily available, this is not it. The cost of zinc is depends on its grading, thickness, edging and finish chosen. It typically runs between $120 - $200 / Sq. ft. To add, zinc isn’t readily available. Most home improvement retailers don’t carry zinc in stock, but you may be able to place a special order for fabrication, delivery and installation. You can also find zinc at local sheet metal shops, and have them fabricate it for you.

Durability

Zinc is considered a durable material for countertops. Yes, the malleability and softness of the metal makes it susceptible to warping from heat, dents, dings and scratches, but this gives it the lived in patina that some homeowners welcome. You are able to sand or buff away scratches, but it will also remove the patina, which will return with time, but in a different pattern.

Maintenance and care:  

Zinc countertops are relatively easy to clean and maintain. Care and maintenance will depend on the finish you choose but in general, clean with mild soap and water, and wipe liquids away with a paper towel. When you wax zinc counters it helps preserves their finish and provides resistance to water. If you want to try and keep a zinc counter shiny and new you can polish it frequently, but you’re going to be putting in a lot of work – in that case you’re better off with stainless steel.

Installation:

Average Lead Time: 1-5 weeks

Like other metals, zinc can be difficult to work with depending on the size and layout of the kitchen. Handy homeowners may manage to install a long fabricated sheet of zinc over plywood, but if welding is required it takes skill and experience to make the seams invisible. It is recommended you use professionals to fabricate and install a zinc countertop for you to achieve optimum results. As for time from picking your finish and design to complete installations, it’s a similar time frame to stainless steel, engineered stone, and wood, ranging anywhere between 1-5 weeks depending on complexity of work.
 

5.COPPER

Average Cost: $100 - $175 / Sq. ft.

PROS:

Elegant
Heat resistant
Anti-bacterial
Limited selection

CONS:

Expensive
Difficult Installation
Susceptible to Stain
Limited Selection

What is it?

Like zinc, copper is a soft “living” metal. Its reddish brown color brings warmth to the room and looks wonderful against dark cabinets. When copper is left unsealed, copper is a germ-free, anti-bacterial material.

Eco-Friendliness

The process to acquire copper isn't very green, however, copper is durable and recyclable. Moreover, it is not required to seal copper countertops, so like zinc, it does not compromise indoor air quality. 

Color and Style:

You are limited to the reddish brown appearance of copper, but it does vary in shade from light to dark. Copper is versatile with many interiors, where light shades tend to suit modern kitchens, whereas darker shades complement rustic styles. Copper is available in a mirror-polish, matte, or professionally paginated finish, but because copper is a living finish it will continue to patina as it reacts to substances over time. Like zinc, you have a choice of various edge profiles with can influence the look of the copper countertops. 

Cost & Availability:

Copper doesn’t come cheap. The average cost ranges from $100 to $175 / Sq. ft. It is also not readily available through home improvement retailers. So, you will most likely have to seek a fabrication shop in your area. 

Durability

Due to copper being a soft metal, general usage will produce unavoidable scuff marks and blemishes, although this can often be buffed out, it is also the rustic charm of copper. Copper is considered stain-resistant but does patina over time. However, for many homeowners that’s part of its appeal. Unsealed copper will gradually dull and transition to blends of matte reds, browns and greens, adding character to the countertops. If dents are a concerned you can opt for a hammered or distressed finish, but then again you can opt for a more durable material altogether if a pristine countertop is what you desire.

Maintenance and care:

Copper requires minimal long term maintenance, needing only treatment with wax or oil from time to time, but if you’re attached to the shinny new penny copper and aren’t concerned about maintaining copper’s anti-microbial characteristic then you can seal the countertop and be diligent about resealing to keep it looking new.  Otherwise, for daily cleaning, mild soap and water, or Windex will suffice, as no harsh substances are needed to keep it clean.  

Installation:

Average Lead Time: 2-6 weeks

Installing copper countertops is not difficult, however, installing it properly is incredibly difficult and not recommended for the average do-it-yourselfer, because unless you have experience fitting copper sheets, it is much more challenging than it appears to be. When not installed properly it can lead to problems down the line. 

 

6. SOAPSTONE

Average cost: $60 - $120 / Sq. ft.

PROS

Durable
Low maintenance
Anti-bacterial
Relatively affordable for stone

CONS

Limited selection
Susceptible to chips, scratches, and dents

What is it?

Soapstone is a metamorphic rock that is composed largely of mineral talc, lending to the smooth feel of soapstone. It is commonly used as an alternative to natural stones such as granite and marble.

Eco-friendliness:

Soapstone is made from natural material, which can be recycled/repurposed. It is also extremely durable, giving it a plus. Additionally no harsh chemicals or sealants are used on soapstone to protect it. However, the mining and transportation of soapstone itself is ecologically harmful. 

Color and Style:

Soapstone is not known for its colour choice; typically it comes in grey, blue-ish grey, green and black - the pigment varies depending on the mineral deposit. Soapstone will develop a patina darkening or changing the appearance of the countertop overtime. When it comes to the finish you are stuck with matte, so it is definitely for someone who doesn’t typically like the highly polished, shiny countertops. However, you can oil your soapstone for a low luster finish.

Cost & Availability:

The cost of soapstone is similar to that of granite ranging between $60-$100 on average. Soapstone is not readily available everywhere. Therefore, if it is not readily available in your area, be prepared to pay a little bit more to get it to your kitchen.

Durability

Soapstone gets two thumbs up when it comes to durability as it’s a material that will last for generations, because it is unaffected by heat, and is chemically neutral - meaning it’s unaffected by acids and alkalis in foods and cleaning fluids. However, soapstone is considered a softer stone and barely visible nicks and scratches may accumulate overtime. These blemishes can be sanded out without the help of professionals or it can be considered part of its living patina. It’s good to know that greener slabs of soapstone are often softer, so when selecting a slab seek one with less of a green tint if you would like a harder surface.

Maintenance and care:

Another nice thing about soapstone is that it is low maintenance. It’s non-porous so it is a hygienic surface to work on and is a surface that will not harbour bacteria. Unlike other natural stones, it’s non-porous character also means it does not need to be repeatedly sealed to prevent it from staining. Some homeowners do, however, apply an application of mineral oil  or special soapstone wax to enhance keep the colour consistent, but this is purely an aesthetic treatment. Other than that for daily maintenance, soap and water is all that is recommended.

Installation:

Average Lead Time: 2–4 weeks.

Soapstone can be installed yourself, but be sure to have patience, the right tools, and a strong back. So, perhaps you may want to leave this one to the professionals. 

Bathroom VS Kitchen Renovation

Are you trying to decide on a remodel and not sure what you want to put money into? This post is going to compare different aspects of a kitchen and bathroom renovation to hopefully help you in your decision-making process. The reason I focus on kitchen and bathroom remodeling and not something like say, a basement or deck is because kitchens and bathrooms generally get more attention, and tend to be hotspots of the home.  The kitchen is where you cook and socialize with family and friends. Whereas bathrooms are about taking care of your bodies. You can go ahead and spend a great deal of money on a deck and it could go unnoticed, but invest in a kitchen or bathroom and you are bound to get compliments on your home.

 

WHICH IS CHEAPER?

Short answer: Bathroom

 

Pulling some figures from 2016, the average bathroom renovation costs $9,348 for small to medium-bathrooms. Smaller projects can cost between $3,500 and $7,000, whereas larger more elaborate projects can cost you $13,000 to more than $20,000. Most homeowners spend between $5,666 and $13,031 on a bathroom remodel.

Using the same set of data for 2016, the average Canadian homeowner reports spending an average of $20,556 on a kitchen remodel. Smaller kitchens costing between $10,000 and $15,000, which may include painting, refacing cabinets, sink upgrade, and installing a tile backsplash. Larger renovation projects that include custom cabinets, new flooring, high-end appliances, stone countertops etc., can run upwards of $30,000. The vast majority of Canadian homeowners, however, spend between $12,759 and $31,733.*

 

Which is less invasive?

Short answer: Kitchen (by just a tad bit, but it depends)


Since eating, bathing and doing your business are all equally important things, it’s a close call. If there was only one bathroom in the house and you were to choose between a kitchen and bathroom renovation, you could probably do without a kitchen for a while since you can go to restaurants, order delivery, or microwave and hotplate. 

On the other hand, if you only had one bathroom in the house, and it’s going to be out of commission for a bit, there are little to no alternatives. It’s going to be disruptive to your lifestyle. You could make friends with a neighbor for when nature calls or take advantage of a gym membership and use the showers there.

However, my answer would quickly change to a bathroom being less invasive if there was a second bathroom in the home. 

 

WHICH IS FASTER?

Short answer: Bathroom


You can expect a bathroom renovation to last between 2-3 weeks on average, given there are no major hiccups. Whereas a kitchen remodel really depends on what's being done. Minor upgrades can be done in about 2 weeks, however, a comprehensive kitchen renovation can vary anywhere between 4-12 weeks. Again, this all depends on the time for design, demo, lead-time for products and materials (custom products take longer), and installation.

 

WHICH IS BEST FOR RESALE?

Short answer: Kitchen


This is another "it depends" answer, it depends on your geographical area and what buyers are looking for. I recommend talking to a real estate agent in your area to get a more accurate picture of what homebuyers are really looking for. Albeit, a larger majority of real estate professionals (52%) find the kitchen one of the most important rooms that influences a house sale according to consumer reports. They also have a higher return on investment over bathrooms on average. Although, the range for ROI is very similar for both renovation projects, ranging from 65% to 100%. 

BOTTOM LINE


Put simply, kitchen renovations are more invasive and expensive than bathroom renovations.  Yet renovated kitchens tend to provide more homeowner satisfaction and value added over bathroom renovations. However, every situation is different, you just need to weigh out these factors and consider which room is more appropriate to renovate for your specific needs.

 

Sources:

Home Advisor - Bathroom Spending

Home Advisor - Kitchen Spending

Consumer report

 

 

Warm Winter Decor

Winter is coming. The weather outside will be frightful heading into the cooler months, and we will all most likely be gathering with family and friends inside to warm up during the holidays. Don’t let the dropping temperatures drag you down, here are some tips to help you redecorate your space to bring some warmth inside your home and create your own cozy winter refuge. 

1.     Warm up those windows

If you are feeling a chill in the air, insulate your windows! Dress them up with drapes using heavy fabric that matches your existing style. When drawn during cold weather, drapes can reduce heat loss from a warm room by up to 10%. To reduce heat exchange or convection, hang them as close to the windows as possible a let them fall onto the windowsill or the floor. 

2.     Fuzzy floors

Hardwood, tile or stone floors are great in the summer months but during winter…. not so much.  Add a fluffy area rug in your living area – or any area you see fit really – to warm up those feet and make the room feel much cozier.

Image Source - Adorable Home

Image Source - Adorable Home

Image source - House to Home

Image source - House to Home

3.     Fire it up

If you have a fireplace be sure to rearrange your furniture towards it. This will create a warm and cozy gathering spot for friends and family. They will surely appreciate the warmth and ambiance the fireplace provides.  To give it an extra flare add textured pillows and throw blankets to stay warm and snuggly regardless of whether there is a fire going or not. 

Don’t have a fireplace? Have no fear. Candles are great too. Place candles strategically around the room to achieve the same warmth and glow. 

Image Source - Fresh Design Pedia

Image Source - Fresh Design Pedia

Image Source - Garrison Hullinger

Image Source - Garrison Hullinger

4.     Bring nature indoors

Bring the outdoors inside, because why not enjoy a touch of nature in the warmth of your own home.  Think sprigs of evergreens, birch branches, twigs of bright red winterberries, pinecones, etc.  There are so many ways to display and arrange these items inside your home during winter. Whether it be a DIY or store bought decor have fun with it! 

Image Source - Pottery Barn

Image Source - Pottery Barn

Image Source - Equallywed

Image Source - Equallywed

Image Source - Liz Marie

Image Source - Liz Marie

Image Source - Liz Marie

Image Source - Liz Marie

5.     Warm inviting smells

Décor and accessories can go a long way towards cozying your home, but filling your home with smells of the season is important too. A bowl of potpourri consisting of cinnamon, pine needles or evergreens can do the trick or you prefer diffusing essential oils PaLoHa Essentials has a post about wonderful winter essential oil blends you can try, here. Additionally, there are so many scent options offered in candles from various brands, they can range from earthy scents to sweet candy cane, the hardest part is picking them out.

6 Common Renovation Mistakes To Avoid

The thought of creating your dream home can be extremely exciting. However, there are certain things that you can overlook when it comes to home renovations. Here are some common mistakes to avoid when taking on a remodel to help you save time and money, as well as ensure you don’t gray prematurely in the process.

floor-plan-1474454_1920.jpg

 

1. Rushing into it.

Don’t get caught up in the excitement of a renovation project and rush into it without developing a good plan. Be patient. Before starting anything, come up with a design with your contractor, a realistic timeline, and look into whether or not your project needs a permit. Coming up with a good plan is tedious and time-consuming but having a bad plan or no plan at all can delay your project, derail progress, and increase costs in the long run.

2. Taking matters into your own hands (DIYers)

I love a DIY project as much as the next person, but just know when to hand over a project to professionals.  Realistically evaluate your own abilities before deciding to start a project without hiring a contractor. Sure a blog post or YouTube video may make it seem easy but just know that you may not end up with the result you were expecting or you may not be able to finish the project at all. Then...after investing your time and money into doing a  project on your own, you may have to hire a contractor to repair your mistake anyway. So realize that hiring a contractor is a worthwhile investment. They have the expertise to plan the project, maneuver through challenges, and apply best practices to ensure superior results. 

Tip: If you have made the decision to go about a project on your own, we offer home renovations consulting to help advise you on the project from start to finish. Read more about home renovations consulting here.

3. Choosing the first contractor you meet or a contractor with the lowest quote

 A contractor can make or break a project. Don’t make the mistake of choosing the first contractor you meet. Take your time.  Be sure to interview several contractors, communicating to them your expectations for the project and request an itemized estimate from each one. Moreover, the lowest quoted price might be tempting, but it can be misleading and unrealistic.  A low quote can mean that the contractor is not accounting for certain costs or even worse, they might cut corners once the renovation starts. 

4. Having an unrealistic budget

What I mean by “unrealistic” is creating a budget, which doesn’t allow for wiggle room.  A good rule of thumb to follow is once you have decided what you want to spend, increase that number by 20% and that should be your budget.  This 20% cushion will help prevent added stress when unforeseen events arise.

5. Choosing the cheaper option

It’s understandable that you are looking for ways to save money on a project, but don’t automatically choose the cheapest fixtures.  Talk to your contractor about the tradeoffs between quality and price for your certain aspects of your project. You’ll probably be better off selecting a better quality product that fits within your budget. Investing a little more on quality means you won’t be spending money on repairs in the long run.  

Tip: If you are in no rush at all, you may be able to find great deals on items that you do want throughout the year. You just need to keep your eyes peeled and you can save on material costs without compromising quality. However, make sure you have the right measurements before you buy it!

6.  Changing your mind.

 Try your best to stick to your initial plan once a renovation project has begun. Changing your mind throughout the project and doing last minute add-ons can get costly.  However, a good contractor will let you know what will cost extra if you do so happen to change your mind. Ultimately, coming up with a refined plan in the beginning in order to help you not doubt yourself throughout the renovation.

2016 Kitchen Trends Here to Stay

Well…. we’ve hit November and the year is coming close to an end with eight weeks left to the year. In this post, I want to revisit some of 2016’s biggest kitchen trends, which are here to stay. I haven’t touched on kitchens up until this point but they are undeniably one of the most central rooms in your home, and you want it to look it’s best. Even if you are not in the market for a full renovation, there are some ideas in this list that allow you to spice it up a little because every kitchen needs some spice. Am I right? 

 

Spa-Like Bathrooms | Part II: Decor

In our last post, I wrote about different types of ways to renovate your to achieve a spa-like bathroom. This second part addresses décor tips and tricks to achieve the same look. These tips are great for people who are unable to renovate their bathrooms, and for people who are fine-tuning an already renovated bathroom.

Greenery

I believe that some greenery breathes life to any room. Not only do plants reflect spa scenery, they add freshness to the air and make any space look more natural. However, some plants thrive more than others in the bathroom and The Joy of Plants has compiled a nice list of plants that not only look wonderful bathroom but thrive and prosper in that environment. On the other hand, if you do not have a green thumb (like me) or don’t want to worry about real plants, fake plants achieve the same result aesthetically.

Image via Homedit

Image via Homedit

Image via Inside Out

Image via Inside Out

Image via Airows

Image via Airows

Seating

The toilet does not have to be the only seat in the bathroom! Ever notice how some spas have a nice ottoman, stool or couch to rest on? Why not add one in yours? If you have the extra room to place a small seat, do it. It’s an elegant and upscale looking piece that provides you seating while waiting for the bath to fill or moisturizing your legs once you’re out of the shower. It can also double as a side table to hold your gadgets, books, and products while you're bathing!

Image via Day Design Decor
Image via Decozilla

Image via Decozilla

Image via Style File

Image via Style File

Bathroom Organization

Buying dispensers, trays, and containers that are the same style helps keep the room consistent and harmonized. Moreover, it makes the room appear tidier, because when you have different products on the counter or in the shower with different packaging, labels, and colors, it distracts the eye and makes the room appear messy and cluttered. However, when it comes to counter space I advise on keeping it as clear as possible by storing products and appliances in drawers or baskets but in case you want products out for your convenience such as skincare or perfume, put it on a tray.

Image via The Inner Sanctum
Image via Arianna Belle

Image via Arianna Belle

Candles

Light up a candle and fill the room with a relaxing aroma and a soft warm glow. However, if candles are not your thing try scent diffusers or potpourri. 

Towels

Nothing screams spa like large white fluffy towels to me. They are not exactly décor items, but it’s the placement and arrangement of towels that give off the spa-like vibe, thus I consider it functional decor. Some people prefer to keep extra towels stowed away in the hall closet, but there are ways to showcase them in the bathroom, which adds comfort and softness to the room.

Image via Homegoid

Image via Homegoid

Image via Tewes Design

Image via Tewes Design

Spa-Like Bathrooms | Part I: Renovations

Have you ever taken a good look at the significance of your bathroom? Ever think about how much time you spend in them, and the purpose it serves you? A lot of people, I feel, tend to underestimate what a great bathroom can do for them. This is one of the first rooms you enter in the mornings to get ready for the day and a room where you unwind at the end of it. Now think about how nice it would be to enter your bathroom, and just be transformed by the atmosphere, and ambiance.

Wouldn’t it be amazing to have a spa-like bathroom in your home? I mean a trip to the spa is the ultimate way to relax, and de-stress, but we don’t all have the finances to go to the spa every week or even every month. So, why not invest long-term in a spa-like bathroom, which gives you the ability to access a calming sanctuary 24/7, all year round. It would be a space in your home that can melt your stresses away, every day. Imagine that! There are really two ways we can achieve this, through renovations, and/or changing décor. Therefore, I’ve split this topic into two parts, part I: renovations, and part II décor. There is just so much information I want to share, but it would all be so overwhelming at once. Since this is part I, I want to begin with steam showers.

Steam Showers

Many people probably assume a soaking tub is a must-have in a spa-like bathroom. But what are the chances of you soaking in a tub every single day? It can also make a smaller bathroom feel crowded. So, above all else, if I can only recommend one thing on this list, it would be a steam shower.  However, if you have the luxury of being able to have both, do it, you won't regret it, but I digress. Many people enjoy steam showers for several reasons; it can help improve circulation, flush out toxins, alleviate sinus problems, and reduce muscle tensions. One way to makeshift an at-home steam shower is to have a glass shower enclosure that fits all the way to the ceiling, which has a vent that can close to allow steam to gather when you’re feeling like a steam shower and opens when you just want a regular shower. However, installing a steam generator will provide you with premium results. Some steam generators even come equipped with an oil caddy and atomizer, generating in-steam aromatherapy (like this one). 

However, keep in mind that with steam showers you want to be sure the enclosure is properly water- and vapor-proof. We would use products like Wedi to achieve this (click here to read our blog post about Wedi). Wedi boards can give you the versatility to design a steam shower according to your style preference, whether you want it to be curbless or a partial barrier, the design possibilities are endless.  Just take a look at some of these amazing at home steam showers.

Image via Pebble Tile Shop
Image via Houzz - Niki Papadopoulos; Ansley Park Master Bath

Image via HouzzNiki Papadopoulos; Ansley Park Master Bath

Image via Houzz

Image via Houzz

Shower Bench/Niche

To add more luxury to your steam shower, add a bench! Why stand? Relax. Have a seat. Enjoy the heat, and melt away. You can bring in a separate waterproof bench if you would like, but you can up the ante with a custom built-in bench made to match the rest of the space. And while we’re customizing, why not add a built-in shower niche to hold your toiletries. Installing a shower caddy can disrupt the clean lines we have created, and setback the zen vibes we are trying to achieve. However, do work within your budget. We can help you find a solution to achieve the look you want!  

Image via DecorPad - Tinsley Hutson Wiley Interior Design

Image via DecorPad - Tinsley Hutson Wiley Interior Design

Image via DecorPad - Martha O'Hara Interiors 

Image via DecorPad - Martha O'Hara Interiors 

Image via DecorPad - Chicago Mag

Image via DecorPad - Chicago Mag

Heated Floors/Towels

Now...what’s worse than stepping out of a nice steam shower just to encounter a cold icy floor? No spa-like bathroom can truly feel complete without spoiling yourself to heated floors. There are two basic types of heated flooring to choose from, electric radiant heat and hydronic heating. Both have their pros and cons, so if you want to install heated floors consider each option carefully. While heated floors can be expensive to install, it is definitely worth the extra investment to some. However, if this is not an option for you, there is still warmth within reach! The feeling of warm cozy towels after a long hot bath is absolutely blissful, especially during the winter months. That’s why towel warming drawers and racks can be a wonderful addition to any bathroom.

LUXURIOUS HArDWARE

Luxury hardware may seem unnecessary, but it can make all the difference. Remember, a spa-like bathroom is all about indulgences. When it comes to shower heads, there’s just something so luxurious about a rainfall showerhead. The softer flow on the skin just feels so relaxing. It’s definitely a gentle way to wake up in the mornings, and the most spa-like experience you can achieve during a shower. You can also opt for a handheld shower, as well, for days where you need the convenience of a quick shower. Although, there is other hardware to think about too; the faucet, hooks, handles, etc. Then, it's also important to consider the finish (e.g. brushed, polished, oil-rubbed, matte), and tone (e.g. gold, silver, bronze) of them. There are so many options to choose from that it warrants a post of its own, but be sure to pick one that matches the type of spa look you want to achieve, whether it be rustic, Asian-inspired, or a contemporary looking bathroom, the finish will pull it together. It's the sum of all the details that make the big picture. 

Color Scheme

Many spas use light earthy tones to induce a spacious, airy feel. However, I do realize different colors affect people differently. So, don’t go with a color scheme spas usually choose. Pick colors that feel calming to you, as a great color scheme can set the tone and ambiance for the room. Caitlin Sole has compiled a brief, yet educational, summary of calming color schemes on Better Homes and Gardens, click here to read more. Although personally, I tend to prefer neutral and earthy tones for an authentic spa-like feel, using a mixture of brown, cream, white, and grey tones.

Accent Textures

We can also mix in some textures that engage the senses, using varying tile patterns, wood, or stone -- generally mixtures of rough, and smooth textures can bring a room from “blah” to fab. A natural stone like marble is so glossy, versatile, and elegant; it truly has a clean modern feel to it. Whereas, rough textures like wood can balance out sharpness in the room by adding in warmth and dimension. There really are so many ways to use and mix textures, and really, there are no rules on how to do it. The key is to find balance.

Image via Feedpuzzle

Image via Feedpuzzle

Image via Freshhome

Image via Freshhome

Image via Freshhome

Image via Freshhome

Image via Minimalisti

Image via Minimalisti

Lighting

Last, but not least is lighting. Lighting is an art in and of itself.  Designer Geoffrey De Sousa offers his expertise in bathroom lighting for YLighting. He covers what is important to consider, common mistakes, how to light different areas of the bathroom, and which light bulbs he prefers. Click here to read more.

As for my own personal opinion, I'd say that in spa-like bathrooms that want more of an elegant feel, opt for some pendant lighting. Pendant lighting offers a bigger pool of light, but still makes you feel comfortable because it is not harsh. There are also some fixtures can be extremely stylish and help break up the monotony of a room. Lastly, for access to ultimate mood lighting, install color-changing LED bulbs or light strips . There's a color for every mood.  Whether you want to induce calm with blues, sensuality with red, reenergize with purple, or just have regular task light, you can change it with a push of a button.

Image via Decoist - Fiorella Design

Image via Decoist - Fiorella Design

Image via Decor Zoom

Image via Decor Zoom

Image via Home Designing

Image via Home Designing

Image via Zillow

Image via Zillow

Did this post give you any ideas, or additional things to consider on your potential bathroom renovation? Stay tuned for part II, where I talk about decor ideas to further make your bathroom feel like a spa. 

 

Lets Talk About Wedi

Wedi What? Let's talk about Wedi. Some homeowners may not be aware what Wedi is, and in this post I really want to shine some light on what exactly is a Wedi board, and the advantages of using a thin board method, such as Wedi, over the traditional method to waterproof and area or room. This post focuses more on advantages for homeowners rather than contractors, as we at Mikro Renovations already know the benefits of using such systems like Wedi.

The Wedi boards are building panels made up of foam, mesh, and mortar, and is used as an underlayment for walls and floors. It also has other applications where regular backer boards are used as well. So as a homeowner, what does this mean for you? Wedi boards are 100% waterproof and mold proof, and it's manufacturers boast about it being the preferred choice for steam showers and steam rooms for more than 29 years as it is functions as a vapor retarder. This makes it an excellent product for your investment. 

Moreover, Wedi systems are faster to install and then tile, compared to the traditional method. The amount of steps in the traditional method is rather time consuming especially waiting for drying time between coats of waterproofing. This means that you can have your bathroom done much faster, and is especially useful when the bathroom being renovated is the only one available in the home with a shower.

To add, this system opens you up to more creative design possibilities. The boards come in a variety of customizable styles that allow you to select, size, shape, seating, niches, drains, and finish. Wedi is also one of the better options on the market for walk or roll-in showers as well as eccentric shower shapes. However, we do recognize that sometimes the options are limiting so sometimes it's possible to mix product from different systems such as kerdi. This post, however, does emphasize the Wedi system and I have pulled some images from their website to showcase what can be done with a system like Wedi. 

(Image Source)

We can see that Wedi can have applications anywhere from the walls, to counters, and the floor. It gives you the possibility to completely waterproof a room. Again they have different options when it comes to shapes seating and niches as well. It's truly a system that can help your finished bathroom feel like a spa.  

So, if beautiful design, fast turnover, and a superior product and finish is what you are looking for then perhaps using a backer board system is the way to go for your bathroom. Whether it be all Wedi or a combination of backer board products we absolutely think it's a superior way of building.