Wednesday, July 3, 2013

7 Steps to Create a Safe and Stylish Universal and Accessible Shower Design

Showers and bathtubs can be dangerous places for most anyone. Climbing over a bathtub rail, water and soap on the floor, a dark shower area which limits visibility are just a few common problems. How do you solve these challenges and create a relaxing, inviting shower which is safe as well? Read on to learn how:
Step 1 – Begin from the ground up –Shower safety and style begins with the shower base. Add a sleek contemporary European flair and greatly reduce the risk of a fall with a curbless barrier free shower base system (also called a wet room). In this system the shower base is set below the subfloor creating the structure of a universal shower which can be used by everyone.    
Step 2 – Floor it – Use slip resistant flooring in the shower. Consider a matte finish porcelain tile to reduce the slipperiness of the floor. Use urethane grout between the joints to minimize future maintenance.
Step 3 – Back your walls up – Long lasting and safe walls begin with what you don’t see – what’s behind the walls. If you’re using tile shower wall surrounds on the inside use either waterproof (extruded polystyrene) or water resistant (cement board) behind the walls for sound construction. If you’re using acrylic wall surrounds make sure to put solid wood backer boards behind the wall for future safety grab barinstallations.  
Step 4 – Change your plumbing valve to save water and add safety – New shower valves come with anti-scald features that prevent your water from getting too hot and will provide significant water saving benefits as well.  
Step 5 – Let the light shine in – Shower windows, glass shower enclosures, and lighting can add style and dramatically improve shower safety. If you’ve got an opening directly in the shower space consider using either a glass block window or an operable acrylic block window. For the shower stall consider either glass block walls (which are very sturdy) or a thicker frameless glass shower system. While your remodeling the bathroom add plenty of task lighting as well.
Step 6 – Take a seat – Get a more relaxing spa type shower experience (and improve safety) by adding a shower seat. If you’ve got a small amount of room use a fold down seat (there are some extremely cool teak and Brazilian walnut choices here), a moderate amount of room you can use a corner seat, and for large shower spaces a bench seat can work great.

Step 7 – Add cool, multi-purpose decorative grab bars  – The new styles bars don’t scream out Grandma any more. You can now get safety bars that add (not detract) from the looks of the shower and they can even double as towel bars and shower shelves.

Introducing a High End Curved Glass Shower Enclosure for Bathtub to Shower Conversions with a Cost Competitive Price

If you have a small bathtub you’d like to convert to a shower while improving the looks of your space and obtaining a high end look – you need to check out the new Novara curved glass shower enclosure with a “bowfront” style acrylic (or ready for tile) shower base. This unique system combines the low maintenance aspects of an acrylic shower base with the sleek styling of 5/16” thick curved glass with an easy rolling door system that slides smoothly and effortlessly. 
The Novara curved glass system – What makes this system so appealing (in addition to it’s contemporary style and the 5/16” thickness of the tempered glass) is the curvature of the glass increases the space inside the shower by approximately 5” – even though the shower is still confined to the alcove space previously occupied by the tub. This extra space allows for more comfortable showering and eliminates the need for ugly curtains that can get old and moldy. The clear glass provides the opportunity to show off high end tile, wall or decorative interior wall panels. Since this curved glass is mass produced in a standard size it is much more cost effective than custom made curved and bent glass – so you’ll get the style of a custom project without the high price associated with customization!
The Novara shower door hardware options – Sturdy and good looking hardware makes a door operate easily and lasts a long time. The Novara shower door system uses a heavy duty rolling system which is available in chrome, brushed nickel and ultra chrome finishes which can create a high end shower look even in a tiny tub space. These sliding shower doors can be configured to open from either the left or right hand side as well.
A curved acrylic base designed to fit the curved glass shower enclosure – Making a custom base fit a curved shower enclosure can be a coordination challenge for a bathroom remodeling contractor. With the Novara system by Fleurco the construction coordination is eliminated because the system can be supplied with a sturdy fiberglass reinforced acrylic base. This base measures 30 3/16” on each of the sides – but expands to 36” in the center to maximize showering space (a very cool design). It is 60” wide which is equivalent to the width of a standard tub enclosure. Acrylic has the advantages of being warm to step into and is easy to clean.
Premade custom ready for tile bases– If you’re not a fan of acrylic bases there is also a custom ready for tile base available for this curved bathtub to shower enclosure system as well.
What do you think about this curved glass bath to shower enclosure system? Do you have any questions about them? Please comment below.
If you’re looking for more information or an estimate to install this Novara curved glass shower enclosure visit The Bath Doctor of Cleveland (216-531-6085) or Columbus (614-252-7294).For nationwide direct product sales call Innovate Building Solutions (877-668-5888). For complete bathroom remodeling contact Cleveland Design & Remodeling(216-658-1270).

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

How to Adjust Sliding Shower Doors

A dragging shower or bathtub door can permanently damage both the door and the track if ignored for too long. Learn the steps needed to fix it and get it running smoothly again.1: Remove the guide
Unscrew the guide at the lower edge of the sliding door. Protect the shower or tub from scratches with a drop cloth.
2: Remove the doors
Lift the door out of its track inside the upper rail. Tilt each door in or out to remove it. Wipe both tracks clean.
3: Adjust the rollers
Raise or lower each door by repositioning the roller in its slanted slot. Loosen the screw to move the roller.
4.Close up of rollers
Make sure all your rollers are either round or flat. Don’t mix the two types.
If the sliding doors on your shower or bathtub don’t glide smoothly, repair them soon. A door that drags on the lower track will eventually do permanent damage to both the door and the track. A dragging roller at the top of the door will wear and require replacement.
First, make sure the rollers on both doors are riding on the tracks inside the upper rail. Sometimes, one roller falls out of the track and the bottom edge of the door skids along the lower rail. In that case, you only have to lift the door and guide the roller back onto the track.
If an off-track roller isn’t the problem, you’ll have to remove the doors to adjust and possibly replace the rollers. Many doors have a small plastic guide at the middle of the lower rail. To remove this type of guide, just remove a single screw. Others have a guide rail screwed to the door (Step 1).
With the guide removed, lift the doors out of their tracks (Step 2). Then make sure the rollers turn easily. If not, apply a little silicone spray lubricant. Some lubricants can harm plastic, so check the label. If the lubricant doesn’t do the trick, replace the rollers. Most home centers and some hardware stores carry replacements. Take an old roller with you to find a match. In many cases, you can use a replacement that’s slightly larger or smaller than the original. But be sure the original and replacement edges match—either rounded or flat (see photo of roller types). If you can’t find rollers locally, type “shower door parts” into any online search engine to find a supplier.
Screw the new rollers into place and rehang the doors. You’ll probably have to remove the doors once or twice to adjust the rollers for smooth operation

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Top 10 Mistakes in Bathroom Design

If you don't know that "walking the privies" means visiting the old outhouse, don't feel too badly. For most of us, the days when nature's call meant getting up close and personal with the out of doors are a few decades in the past -- at least. When the facilities moved indoors, some conscientious housewives were less than enthusiastic. They were sure that bodily waste belonged out back behind the well, or adjacent to the chicken coop. That mindset didn't last long, though. Since the 1970s, the number of homes with not only one bathroom, but two, three or more, has increased more than 30 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Building a better bathroom might look easy, but there are definitely elements of bathroom design where you can step in it -- well, not literally, but in your planning strategy. Let's look at 10 bathroom unfriendly design considerations that will dethrone your plans for a successful upgrade.
10. Small Budget for a Big Project
When you plan your bathroom project, expect to be over budget. Some people feed in a fudge factor of 15 to 20 percent for unseen circumstances, while others cross their fingers and hope for the best. The second approach has some serious potential consequences, including having to use the bathroom down the road at the gas station until you resolve billing disputes with your contractor.
Unforeseen issues with mold, dry rot, electrical service, antiquated plumbing and insufficient water pressure can blast a hole in your budget and leave you with a gaping void where your new shower was supposed to be. If you're scraping pennies together to afford that imported tile you want, you might consider waiting until you have a few 
9. Improper Installation
Without putting too fine a point on it, even without installation screw ups, the bathroom can be a dangerous place to hang out. When you put electricity, water, slippery surfaces, breakables and hurried people together in a small room, it's no wonder that 70 percent of home accidents happen in the bathroom.
An improperly installed electrical outlet, poorly mounted shower door or mirror, or about a thousand other things can pose risks to your safety and possibly even your life. From structurally weakening your home to making your family vulnerable to electrical shocks and toxic mold, improperly installed bathroom upgrades can cost you. If you aren't an accomplished DIYer, get professional assistance from an experienced contractor who can help you build your dream bathroom safely.
8. Uncomfortable Spacing
If you've ever tried to fit into a pair of jeans that are a size too small, you can appreciate the discomfort and inconvenience of using a tiny bathroom day after day. Yes, building codes do mandate some minimal spacing guidelines, but the minimum legal requirements don't take into account your love affair with cheesecake or the fact that your favorite chenille bathrobe takes up as much room as a bedspread. When it comes to the bathroom, more is definitely more -- spacewise, anyway. If you're converting a closet into a bathroom, you'll have to make some compromises, but if you're starting from scratch, consider space a luxury item and indulge yourself.
7. Lack of Storage
Remember back when the airlines served petite and adorable little meals that were still, somehow, really dissatisfying ? Living with a bathroom that has limited storage can be like that. It may look good and appear charming to visitors, but having to schlep your hairdryer back and forth from the bedroom every day gets annoying.
If you're opting for a delightful pedestal sink at the expense of a built-in cabinet with extra storage potential, don't say we didn't warn you. For a guest bath, fine, let your relatives balance their toiletries on the sink rim. If this is your everyday bath -- the one that sees all the real action -- add cabinets, put in shelves, make good use of the walls (for towel racks) and don’t forget to add solid doors complete with sturdy hanging hooks. You can never have too much storage.
6. Thinking Short Term
Anticipating your future needs and keeping your bathroom's appeal universal can save you money in the long run and pay dividends when you go to sell your home. Not everyone will appreciate that antique claw-footed tub or imported marble vessel sink, but a double vanity could go a long way toward making your bathroom more functional and family friendly.
When you traded in your sporty two-door for the family van or crossover vehicle, you adapted your driving habits to suit your changing lifestyle. (We can stop here to mourn with you for a moment or two). Trading in a vehicle is a lot easier than overhauling your bathroom every few years. Do yourself a favor and incorporate quality workmanship and classic styling into your bathroom design.
5. Going Too Trendy
An illuminated faucet and waterfall showerhead may seem like the latest thing in personal indulgence, but what's very in today will probably be very out within five years, maybe less. This goes for fixtures, materials and especially for your design palette (the color scheme you use). Embrace this expert advice: Stick with neutral colors, classic styles and quality, natural materials. If you want to go a little wild, do it with accessory items -- anything you can remove without a wrenchscrewdriver or sledgehammer.
4. Choosing the Wrong Materials
Your average bathroom is an environmental nightmare. It can get hot, steamy and cold, all in the course of a few hours. That's hard on materials like wood, textiles, paper and even porous stone. Choose products that are designed specifically for the bath. It's the safest way to ensure that your wallpaper can take the humidity and your hardwood cabinets will retain their smooth gleam until after you've paid off the remodeling loan.
3. Ignoring the Environment
Water conservation is becoming more and more of an issue in the United States. Flushing, showering, bathing, and hand and hair washing all use precious water resources. Low-flow showerheads, auto-shutoff faucets and high-efficiency toilets save water, and they save money, too. Pre-1980 toilets can use more than five gallons of water per flush. If you're changing out one of these dinosaurs, your local water district might offer to foot part of the bill via a rebate. Not only that, a new toilet will pay for itself in water savings over time.
While you're exploring the design options for your new bathroom, consider a gray water system, too. These mini water reclamation stations reuse water from other areas of your home in places like your toilet where fresh, sparkling clean water isn't essential. It's another ingenious way to be environmentally conscious.
2. Inadequate Lighting
That blemish on your face is actually a toast crumb. The reason you're confused is that the lighting in your bathroom is so terrible you can't tell the difference between a chocolate dribble and a freckle. If you think muted lighting will make your yellowing teeth or receding hairline less noticeable (to you anyway), get a grip on yourself.
Poor lighting conditions in a bathroom can be dangerous. Don't take an unexpected tumble because you prefer candlelight to the harsh light of a fluorescent fixture. Install bathroom-rated lights over your sink and near your tub or shower. It'll save your guests the inconvenience of having to carry a flashlight around with them.
1. Improper Ventilation
The ceiling fan you usually forget to turn on is an important piece of bathroom equipment. Good air flow has a number of advantages -- one of which could save you from relying on a stash of air freshening matches. The air in your bathroom doesn't only get stinky, it gets very humid, too. Humidity trapped in a small space like a bathroom will eventually begin to rust metal, like the hinges on your doors and cabinets, unless you have a consistent method for venting excess moisture. It can also cause mold and mildew problems.
There are lots of ventilation options available, from multiple units at stations around the room to the central overhead fixture arrangement you're probably familiar with. Provide your retailer, contractor or building inspector with the dimensions of your bathroom for guidance on sizing. If the location allows, you should also consider adding a window. Windows offer good ventilation as well natural light. They can make a small bathroom look larger, too.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Germs in your bathroom

Germs on Faucet Handles 
Bathroom faucet handles are germ-catchers. According to a survey by the Hygiene Council, faucet handles carried more than 6,000 bacteria per square inch.
Fix it:  "Regularly clean your faucet handles with a disinfectant cleaner spray at least once per week," suggests Charles Gerba, PhD, professor of soil, water and environmental science at the University of Arizona, who has researched microbes extensively. 
Germs in Toilet Bowl
Would it surprise you to learn that the toilet is the winner for the most germs? Probably not. The Hygiene Council survey finds the toilet bowl (but not the seat) with 3.2 million bacteria per square inch. But would you believe they found that a kitchen cutting board has 200 times more fecal bacteria than a toilet seat?
Fix it: Toilet bowl germs develop a biofilm, which is a slimy layer that when bacteria attach to a surface such as the bowl. Clean  that film with your chlorine bleach and water solution.
Germs in Your Bathtub:
Around the drain of the bathtub is nearly 120,000 bacteria per square inch, according to calculations made in the Hygiene Council Survey.
Fix it: Give your bathtub a cleaning with a store bought bath cleaner or a chlorine-water cleaning solution made up at home.
Germs in Your Shower Curtain
The germs in the soap scum that collects on your shower curtain is  Sphingomonas and Methylobacterium bacteria,says Norman Pace, PhD, professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology, University of Colorado.
They found an abundance of Sphingomonas and Methylobacterium bacteria on shower curtains that were older than 6 months old, these germs pose a problem for people who are immune-compromised, such as those who are HIV positive, or who have other diseases that make them prone to infections.
Fix it: Regular cleaning or replacement of the curtains is advised.

Why You Should Hire Rocky Mountain Bathrooms To Remodel Your Bathrooms?11 Reasons

Why working with us on your project will be unlike anything you may have experienced with another remodeling company.
1.Getting it right the first timeWe don’t take short-cuts, and aren’t afraid to take a little extra time to get it right the first time. This avoids the hassles to you of us having to come back over and over again to fix and tweak things.
2.Bathroom remodeling is all that we do
The dedication of all of our resources to doing only one thing allows us to deliver impeccable attention to detail and high-quality craftsmanship, while creating  beautiful bathrooms, that are completed in one-third the normal time.
3.We have high standardsWe believe in aiming high and always trying to exceed your expectations. When you contact some of our references you will hear in their words how great we are to work with.
4.We show up on time
It is this simple : We do what we say we will do, when we say we will do it. Isn’t it about time you worked with a company that respects your time? No games, no excuses, we are on time, we don’t keep you  waiting.  
5.We work jobs from start to finish:
Once we start your project we will be using a construction schedule that minimizes non-construction days as best as possible. You don't ever have to worry about us leaving your project for weeks and weeks at a time without anything being done.  Not only  will you see real progress, but this helps minimizes the time you are forced to live in a dusty construction site.
6.A strong warranty:

When you are doing excellent work you can provide an excellent warranty. Our two year free from defects in materials and workmanship warranty is twice as long as the rest of the industries.
7.No middleman or salesmen:

You have the advantage of dealing directly with the owner of the company instead of a salesman on commission whom you would probably never see again once the job starts.  Since I am on your job everyday when you have questions you simply talk directly to me, nothing will get lost in translation.
8.We are highly organized
We spend a lot of time pre-planning your project before it ever starts, we know that 1 hour of planning will save 4 hours on the construction site. Making sure everything is in place before we begin ensures your project run smoothly, on time and on budget. 
9.We are good communicators
Communication is essential for success. Putting everything in writing  eliminates confusion, that’s why we spell everything out in our estimates, often including pictures and brochures of the actual products that we will install. In addition, we keep you informed of the all the details so you always know what is going on during your project. 
10.Permits and inspections

The permit process puts an expert, independent, third party in the homeowner’s corner to inspect the project and make sure it at the very least meets minimum standards of safety. The permit process can protect you from sloppy or unscrupulous contractors who take short-cuts in materials and building techniques, potentially saving you thousands of dollars not having to correct something not built to code if you ever sell you house.    
11.Building with quality in mind
Many things  in your project are built over the code requirements because I want any project with my name on it  to be built to last, using the best materials for the job and the best techniques to ensure a finished project we can both be proud of.  

Monday, June 17, 2013

How to Clean Fiberglass Surfaces in Bathroom

Fiberglass is often used in new bathroom installations, like bathtubs and shower stalls. It is lighter than porcelain and easier to install because it does not require caulking or grout. Unfortunately, it is also more fragile and easy to scratch. If you find that your fiberglass shower stall or bathtub has accumulated soap scum and mildew, you need to remove it without the use of common abrasive cleaners or sponges. Read on to find out how to clean fiberglass bathroom surfaces.
1.Open all the windows in your bathroom to create a well-ventilated cleaning area.
2.Remove tough or dark stains with nail polish remover or paint thinner. This is useful for oil-based stains, adhesives, iodine and tar.
  • Wear rubber gloves while working with turpentine or nail polish remover.
  • Soak a soft, white cloth in the nail polish remover. Gently rub the stains until they are removed.
  • Remove the excess nail polish remover or turpentine with a wet cloth that you can dispose of in the garbage. It should not be rinsed down the drain.
3.Mix a solution of baking soda and warm water. Add enough water to make a paste.
  • You can also use mild detergents or bathroom cleaners, if you do not have baking soda. These include: hand dish washing soap, liquid laundry detergents and all purpose cleaners.
4.Wet the surfaces of the tub or stall, if they are not wet already.
5.Rub the paste all over the surfaces of the stall or tub with a soft sponge. Use a nylon brush to get into crevices or seams.
  • If you use a brush, make sure it is made with nylon, polyester or polyethylene. Also, make sure it is characterized as a non-abrasive brush on the packaging.
6.Scrub the surfaces thoroughly.
7.Rinse well, making sure that no residue from a cleaning agent remains.
8.Dry the area with soft cloths.

How to Bathtub Recaulk

Caulk keeps water out of joints between objects. In bathrooms this is especially important because water is always ever-present. When caulk around a bathtub begins to crumble, water can get into joints, and mold and mildew can develop. This is when it is time to start over with fresh caulk to provide a stronger seal. This is how to recaulk a bathtub.


1.Clean the tub or shower area with a bathroom surface cleaner that also removes soap scum. It is important that all surfaces you may be dealing with be clean and free of any substance that would come between the surface and the new caulk.
2.Strip the existing caulk from the tub or shower area.
  • Using a sharp knife, decide what kind of caulk is already in your tub or shower area. When you cut into the caulk, if it is soft and rubbery it is most likely silicone based; however, if the caulk is hard and crumbly then it is most likely water based, latex or PVA.
  • Determine the best manner of removal based on caulk type. Silicone based caulk may be removed using a razor blade scraper with a plastic handle, and the other types are removed best when warmed using an ever-moving hair dryer on a low heat temperature and then scraped using the tool.
3.Scrub the joints where the caulk had previously been with rubbing alcohol. This will help to get rid of any remaining bits and pieces of caulk left after the scraping.
4.Vacuum out any pieces of caulk that may have gotten stuck between the tile and the tub or shower pan
5.Spray on a 10% bleach to 90% water solution that will kill mold and mildew that may have grown when water got into the loose caulk joints. Let this sit and take effect against the mold and mildew for at least 5 minutes before scrubbing down with fresh, clean water.
6.Allow the tub or shower area to dry at least overnight. You do not want the dampness that crept into the joints when the previous caulk was loose, or the dampness that resulted from the cleaning you have just done, to impact the ability of your new caulk to adhere and stay in place.
7.Choose a type of caulk to use for recaulking. PVA and acrylic latex are best with ceramic fixtures that meet tile because the caulk is hard and easily removed in the long run. Silicone based caulk is best with fiberglass fixtures meeting tile or other fiberglass surrounds because the caulk is relatively soft when it dries.
8.Cut the tip off of the tube of caulk. Make sure not to make the hole in the tip too large because that will control how much caulk comes out at once, and a smaller tip will help your caulking to be a success.
9.Squeeze a bead of caulk no more than � inch (0.6 cm) evenly down the vertical joints first.
10.Smooth your finger over the fresh bead of caulk to press it evenly into the joint. Your finger should capture any excess caulk which you can wipe off on a damp sponge.
11.Squeeze a bead of caulk no more than � inch (0.6 cm) evenly into the horizontal joints around the tub or shower.
12.Smooth your finger over the fresh bead of caulk to press it evenly into the joint. Your finger should capture any excess caulk which you can wipe off on a damp sponge.
13.Apply an additional small amount of caulk to any places that seem a little thin and seem to need a little extra caulk.
14.Allow the caulk to set and dry for 24 hours before using the tub or shower area.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

How to Anchor Your Pedestal Sink to the Tile Wall With Toggle Bolts?

A pedestal sink comes in two parts, with the sink bowl being separate from the pedestal piece. If the pedestal sink’s bowl were to shift while you use the sink, the plumbing connections may come loose or the water in the bowl may spill out onto the floor. Pedestal sink bowls have holes in the underside where they contact the wall. Toggle bolts offer a way to bolt the bowl to a hollow wall when you do not have a stud to anchor the bolts into


1.Position the sink’s base so it lines up with the plumbing in the wall. Peel the backing off the adhesive side of rubber pads and press the pads onto the edges of the sink’s pedestal so the bowl does not slide around during the installation.
2.Place the sink’s bowl on the pedestal and lay a level across the bowl. Position the bowl until it sits level. Mark the location of the bolt holes on the sink against the wall using a pencil, and then remove the sink bowl.
3.Make an X with two pieces of masking tape at each location where you marked with the pencil. The tape provides a surface your drill will not skip or slide on, ensuring your drill bites into where you marked.
4.Drill pilot holes with a carbide or diamond-tipped drill bit, drilling where you marked the sink’s bolt holes. Peel off the masking tape from the tile.
5.Place the sink’s bowl back on the pedestal, positioning it so the holes in the sink line up with the holes you drilled into the wall. Drive the toggle bolts through the holes, tightening them until the bolt heads sit firmly against the sink.

Reinstalling a Toilet After Bluestone Tile in Bath

Blue stone tile, which adds a bright, cheery color to a bathroom, is easy to match to other accents in the room. After you've finished laying the tile, you can reinstall the toilet once the tile grout has dried. Because you should have tiled right up to the flange around the hole on which the toilet sits, you can carefully reinstall your existing toilet so that it sits on your new tile. The process is not difficult, but it's ideal to have a helper as the toilet is heavy to lift. 
1.Scrape off any residue from the old wax ring with a putty knife. Because the new wax ring will sit directly on to the flange, the flange must be void of old wax that could cause the toilet to sit unevenly. 
2.Turn the toilet upside down and set the new wax ring around the hole of the toilet as indicated in the toilet's installation manual. Press the ring firmly into position. 
3.Have a helper hold one side of the toilet with you and slowly lower it into position. The wax ring should sit directly around the flange in the floor and the flange's mounting bolts should extend through the mounting holes on the base of the toilet. When you have the toilet aligned correctly, push it downward and back and forth firmly to create a seal with the wax ring. 
4.Tighten the mounting nuts on to the mounting bolts with a wrench, and then screw the plastic caps over the bolts to cover them. 
5.Lower the tank onto the mounting bolts on the rear of the toilet. In some toilets, you'll have to screw the mounting bolts into position before mounting the tank. In others, the bolts will already be installed. Tighten the nuts on the mounting bolts with a wrench or screwdriver. 
6.Connect the water supply line that runs between the shutoff valve located in the bathroom wall or floor and the tank of the toilet. Water supply lines can be rigid or flexible. The flexible variety, which is made of braided metal, is easy to install because you can position it as needed. Tighten each end of the supply line with a wrench. 
7.Turn the water on by turning the handle of the shutoff valve and check to ensure the toilet is not leaking in any way. Flush the toilet a few times to ensure it drains and fills correctly. Read more: Reinstalling a Toilet After Bluestone Tile 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Installation Instructions for Aqua Glass Corner Shower?

You may install your Aqua Glass corner shower unit in a new bathroom or existing shower area. However, the preparation you need to do before installing the Aqua Glass corner shower depends on whether you are working in a new construction project or installing in an existing room

Preparation of Space:
1.Frame out a wall, extending from the back wall of where the shower unit will sit.
2.Cut out a 6 inch by 6-inch drain hole in the center of the floor where the shower will go.
3.Plumb the shower appropriately, according to the manufacturer's directions.
4.Place the shower unit into the area.
5.Place shims under the floor until the unit is positioned to drain.
6.Remove the shower unit from the space.7.Set the shower unit aside.
Installation of Shower Unit:
8.Cut holes for each of the shower's fixtures using a hole saw.
9.Mark the position of the showerhead and water supply lines on the back of the shower unit.
10.Drill holes for each of the fixtures or supply lines.
11.Place the unit into the shower area, aligning the drilled holes with the fixtures and supply lines.
12.Fasten and shim with screws. Shims will ensure there won't be shifting over time.
13.Place holes 8 inches apart around the nailing flanges using a 1/8-inch drill bit.
14.Screw the unit to the drywall using drywall screws in the holes on the nailing flanges.
15.Put silicone over each of the screw and around the holes for the fixtures and supply lines. Remove excess silicone.
  1. 16.Connect all remaining plumbing.
17.Caulk all seams in the unit where the unit was cut for holes or exposed edges.
18.Cover the nailing flanges with drywall.

How to Install a Backsplash for a Bathroom Countertop.

Take time to make your tile selection. Tile lasts for years and is time consuming to replace, so make sure the tile you select is at least somewhat timeless and reflects your style and taste. As with many home improvement projects, the preparation is more than half the project. The effort spent preparing the wall for the tile will result in a long-lasting design.
1.Dry fit your tile on the floor to make sure it will fit in the space you've selected for the backsplash. Lay out the tile in an area the same size as the wall area, complete with spacers. This will give you an idea of how many tiles you'll need to cut.
2.Remove all light switch plates and outlet covers, and sand the wall with 80-grit sandpaper. Wipe off the dust.
3.Center the backsplash on the countertop if it isn't bordered by walls. If there are walls, then find the center of that area. Mark vertical and horizontal center lines with a level and sharp pencil.
4.Apply the mastic to the wall. Cover one small area at a time, about eight tiles' worth. According to This Old House, certain mastics require a trowel with specific-sized notches, and the thickness of the grooves will determine how well the tiles adhere, so check with the manufacturer to make sure you have the right size trowel. Apply the mastic with long, sweeping motions.
5.Set the first row of tile along the bottom of the vertical center line. The bottom of the tiles should line up with the center. Leave 1/16-inch between the bottom row of tile and the top of the counter, as Tim Carter of recommends.
6.Press tile into the mastic. Insert plastic spacers between the tiles if you're using them. Continue to set tile, working in both directions from the center line.
7.Use a motorized wet saw to cut notches in tiles that have to fit around cabinet corners or electrical outlets. Remove hard-to-reach material with tile nippers.
8.Install bullnosed tiles along edges that aren't bordered by walls.
9.Let the mastic set overnight and apply the mortar the following day. Use unsanded tile grout for grout lines 1/8 inch or less, and use sanded grout for lines 1/8 inch wide or more. Move the float across tiles diagonally. Do not grout the line between the countertop and the tile.
10.Wipe the tile clean with a large wet sponge. Rinse it frequently. Wipe in the same direction you applied the grout. After 30 to 45 minutes, buff the tiles with a clean dry cloth to remove the remainder of the milky haze.
11.Caulk the bottom line with a specialty caulk that matches the grout. According to Tim Carter, these tinted caulks are available at specialty tile supply stores. Run your finger along the caulk line to smooth it, and let it dry. Wipe away any excess.

Monday, June 3, 2013

How To Find The Leak In Your Shower Or Bathtub?

As the owner of Rocky Mountain Bathrooms I've diagnosed a lot of leaky showers and bathtubs over the years. Lots of relationships with customers have started with a phone call from an exasperated customer who has been suffering water damage from a shower or bathtub for years and is ready to fix it once and for all.
I'm going to show you how we go about diagnosing a leak. Leaks let you know they exist by water appearing and pooling, soaking or staining something. It could be a ceiling below, the floor next to the bathtub or shower or even in a hallway floor outside the bathroom. While the proof does let you know that you have a leak, don't read to much into the location. I've seen ceilings get water damaged not from the bathroom directly above them, but from a bathroom above them and 50 feet on the other side of the house. Water has a funny way of running down hill and finding the path of least resistance, it can leak from one area and run all the way to another place before it shows itself.

The first rule is not to jump to conclusions. Think logically of course. Bathroom directly above water damage, could be that bathroom is the culprit, but keep an open mind don't get to narrowly focused yet you could be on a wild goose chase and you don't ever want to start tearing open walls and ceilings until you are reasonably positive you are in the right place.
Rule #2 is the mind will play tricks on you. It's very easy to associate circumstances and confirm circumstances in your mind. I can recall one particular problematic leak that the homeowner swore was related to running the shower. The ceiling was damaged directly under the shower upstairs and they connected in their minds that every time their son who took a shower after work in the afternoon it would leak, but it wouldn't leak any other time. If someone took a shower in the morning it wouldn't leak. Well it turned out it was a plumbing vent pipe unrelated to the shower that went right up next to the shower and through the roof of the house. The roof around the vent pipe was damaged but the roof was configured in a way that rain wouldn't cause much water to get into the hole, but that winter we had a big snow storm and every day after it got warm the sun in the afternoon would melt the snow that had accumulated around that vent pipe and it would leak down and run all the way down that pipe and pool in the ceiling below the bathroom. It would take it 3-4 hours and sure enough it would coincide with about an hour after their son took his afternoon shower. So be careful what you assume and what you associate, the mind will try to find ways to confirm your suspicions.

The final rule is to confirm your suspicions. You must always test your suspicions. And think about how you are testing it, make sure the way you are doing it isolates any other possibility. This is the only way to truly find the leak. You must do isolated tests of each suspicious item one at a time.
So lets take a typical shower or bathtub with a tiled surround and either a bathtub or a fiberglass shower pan. You've got a leak of some sort showing up either outside the tub/shower and you've observed and eliminated that it isn't the kids splashing water over the side at bath time or water leaking out the shower door.
The culprits are: 
1.The tile surround, which could be the grout, the corners or the connection where the tile meets the tub or the shower pan.
2.The drain, which would be the drain itself or the overflow in the bathtub
3.The valve in the wall.
4.The plumbing connections in the walls such as the hot and cold feeds to the valve and then the connection of the valve to either the shower head or the tub filler.
So we have only 9 individual things that it could be. So that at least makes it easy. 9 Is a lot but if we are systematic we now have a list and a process to find out which one it is.

Lets start with the drain.
Start with examining the drain itself and the area around the drain, are their any cracks is the drain loose or nice and firmly seated? Get in there and step around it, put some weight on it see if a crack shows up that you didn't see until you put some weight on it. If you see anything like that you might have your culprit right there. But like I said don't jump to conclusions we must test, test, test!
Let's isolate the plumbing that is attached to the drain. We need a rubber hose running to a water source not in the shower or bathtub (remember we need to always isolate our tests, you can't run the shower or tub valve to test the drain without running the risk of the problem is really the valve right?) Most home improvement centers will sell different types of rubber hosing by the foot. You can purchase a length of it that will be big enough to go over your vanity faucet aerator. So get your rubber hose and stick it into the drain and run the water for 15 minutes. Come back and see if you see your leak appear where ever it has always shown up. If it usually doesn't show up for an hour, wait an hour. If you see your leak, it's the plumbing attached to the drain and you are done testing. No leak, now it's time to test the drain itself, take your rubber hose out and run the water into the shower pan or tub and do your wait and check. If you get your leak it's something to do with the drain itself, or that crack you found. See how easy this is.
Now lets say no leak yet. Well, now we know that it's not the drain or the drain plumbing let's now move onto the valve and the plumbing in the walls. If you have a leak before the valve you would have a leak all the time. So obviously we don't have leak in the hot and cold water lines attached to the valve in the wall or you would know it by the constant leak. If it's a tub, lets test the tub filler, since we know the drain is not leaking, just turn on the tub filler and fill the tub. Let it run for 15 minutes and check. If you see your leak you've got a leak between the valve and the tub filler, there is probably a copper elbow or a joint that is broken. If you didn't find your leak let's check the tub overflow while we are at it. Close the drain and fill the tub up to the overflow and let it overflow into it for 15 minutes. Find your leak? It's the overflow connection where it is attached to the tub.

Okay let's check the shower head plumbing. The shower head is connected to the valve by a copper pipe all we need to do is plug the shower outlet and turn on the valve, this will pressurize that pipe in the wall with water. To do this you will need to take off the shower head and cap the shower pipe stem with a threaded cap you can buy. Or remove the entire shower head and stem and insert a threaded pipe with a cap into the elbow in the wall. However you do it, just plug it and turn it on for 15 minutes, the pipe will be filled with water under pressure and now if you find your leak it's the connection of the valve to the shower head. 
Okay if you still haven't reproduced your leak it's pretty easy from here, you've eliminated everything else but the tile surround which by the way is usually the number 1 or number 2 most likely cause of leaks. So from here all you need to do is turn on the shower head and aim it at the walls, now this is not scientific and will not usually result in a very accurate locater of the exact spot. A better way is to take your rubber hose, hook it up to the shower head stem and hold that hose over each wall for 10-15 minutes apiece until you find your leak. This way you will know for certain exactly where it is. Examine the tile, look specifically at the grout, do you see any hairline cracking or missing grout in the area? That's usually all it takes. Press firmly is it spongy?
The final thing to do is after you think you found your leak, is to wait a day and try it again. Double check it and make it leak again. Stop now and think about it, make sure you have it positively isolated. If you do all that and you are systematic you should now have found your leak!

Bath Tubs View .

Saturday, June 1, 2013

How to Fiberglass Shower Bases?

Over time the base of a fiberglass shower can show damage. Fiberglass is a very durable material that you can restore to its original strength using materials you can find at your local marine supply store. If the floor of a shower becomes damaged, repair the fiberglass before you run the water again to avoid water damage underneath the shower
1.Clean the base of the shower using a scrub brush and soap and water to remove the soap scum and buildup. Rinse the shower clean and let it dry.
2.Remove the drain and any other metal fixtures in the base of the shower.