Obstacles to daily bathroom doings may not be on the top of your problem list now, but many of our forward-thinking customers are designing with the future in mind.
Design innovations now make it possible to renovate a bathroom with totally modern features and complete accessibility. Gone are the days when ‘accessible’ meant rubber stools in the shower and stainless steel grab bars around the toilet. Now, curbless entries with textured tiles, built-in seats, lowered vanities, open floor plans and taller toilets just make good design sense.
Simple things like task lighting and door hardware with easy-push levers can make a bathroom more beautiful and approachable. Many of our remodelers and designers are also thinking long-term and widening doorways and installing bracing for stylish stability bars as they renovate. Since we’re all staying in our homes longer, it makes sense to approach a bathroom renovation from that perspective and get the best return on your investment.
So, when you’re doodling your bathroom re-design, think about the things you might take for granted today:
— That curb you step over getting into the shower each morning — if you broke your hip in a car accident, would you be able to tackle that step?
— That bathtub you turn to for a nice, long soak – will you be able to get in and out when you are older and arthritic?
— The vanity you lean over to brush your teeth – will it be an obstacle if you are temporarily or permanently confined to a wheelchair?
Life these days is hard enough without having to figure out how to ‘climb out’ of your bathroom. Renovate for the long-term and eliminate barriers to your bathroom bliss.
Looking forward to participating in this week’s on-line conversation focusing on the universal experience of bathrooms. This year’s theme is Climbing Out. Check out posts at http://www.bathroomblogfest.com/
If you don’t want lemon juice to ruin your new stone, be sure to select the right type of rock. Tile and stone are among the most durable building products in use today, but the acids in lemon juice, vinegar, and cut tomatoes can etch calcium carbonate and calcite-based stones.
The key is to select the right stone for your project. The chemical makeup and the method of formation of each type of natural stone contribute to whether it’s suitable for a particular application. Calcareous rocks such as marble, travertine, and limestone are composed of primarily calcium carbonate mineralogy, and may not be the best selection for a kitchen countertop where they might come in contact with the mild acids found in some common foods. Quartz-based sandstone and granite are more dense stones and should be more resistant to acids.
In addition to acid sensitivity, abrasion resistance and water sensitivity are important considerations when selecting your stone. For safety reasons, only textured finishes are recommended for outdoor or wet area applications. Travertine may not be the best choice for a commercial application since high-heeled shoes and wheeled carts can fracture the areas where a thin shell of stone conceals a natural void just below the finished surface.
Many green-colored marbles and serpentines warp or curl, when exposed to water or water-based adhesives during the installation process.* For this reason, additional preparation steps and particular care during the setting of the stone may be necessary. Light-colored marbles and almost all limestones must be installed with white mortar in order to prevent staining during installation. Particular care must also be taken when grouting calcium-carbonate based stones as the sand in sanded grout is generally harder than the stone itself. (Masking the stones or using unsanded grouts need to be considered).
As you select natural stones for your next project, be sure to consult with a tile professional. Qualified installers and showroom designers are a great resource for making the right stone selection. And be sure to use a certified and experienced tile contractor who will stand behind your beautiful and long-lasting stone installation.
*2011 TCNA Handbook for Ceramic, Glass, and Stone Tile Installation — Tile Council of North America