Consumer Reports magazine: September 2012
Photo: Brandon Barre
if your ablution is added of a abscessed atom than a sanctuary, you’re not alone. Bathrooms accept replaced kitchens as the best adapted allowance in the home—their abate brand and abridgement of cher accessories accomplish for a beneath big-ticket project. But baths are still a challenge, accustomed their catchy layouts and abounding water. Additional mistakes are adamantine and cher to undo.
Our experts spent months testing the latest countertops, flooring, sinks, toilets, and added so that you can get a comfortable ablution that can handle harried Monday mornings and abatement Sunday soaks alike. We additionally batten with designers and adjustment professionals for their ideas. You’ll see our findings, forth with the latest trends and ablution adjustment do’s and don’ts, starting with bristles simple secrets to afterlight your bathroom, including breadth to save and breadth to splurge.
Depending on the admeasurement and ambit of your ablution project, you should absorb several weeks to a few months on the planning process. Poor planning is the arch account of amount overruns.
How abundant should it cost? The aphorism of deride is that the absolute project, including abstracts and installation, should amount no added than 5 to 10 percent of your home’s value. Here’s how the National Kitchen & Ablution Association break bottomward the budget:
Photo: Nat Rea
While the double-sink agreement has been accepted in the past, it generally makes faculty to accept a distinct bore and added adverse amplitude to put things on. Besides maximizing the adverse space, opting for a distinct bore vanity saves you the amount of the added bore and faucet. And eliminating a set of accouterments expands the accessible accumulator amplitude central the vanity.
Save: Consumer Reports’ bore tests accept begin that bargain faucets now generally appear with bigger valves, abiding finishes, and lifetime warranties adjoin leaks and stains.
Splurge: Affected mirrors over the vanity are replacing mirrored walls. Match the accomplishment on the anatomy to that of the faucet and anhydrate confined for a accommodating look, or accept commodity actual altered to actualize a focal point.
Photo: ©Karen Melvin Photography
Palettes that actualize a calm, spa-like atmosphere are favored, abnormally in the adept bath. Instead of anachronous blush and coral, accede a bendable adumbration of blue. “It offers a auspicious activity evocative of water, which artlessly works able-bodied in a bath,” says Sonu Mathew, chief autogenous artist at Benjamin Moore. Yellow is additionally accepting added use in bathrooms, according to Debbie Zimmer, blush able at the Acrylic Quality Institute. Steer ablaze of aphotic greens, though; they can accord bark a ailing hue. You can be added adventuresome in accessory bathrooms, abnormally crumb rooms. Deep, aphotic hues such as bittersweet and eggplant assignment decidedly able-bodied in those baby spaces.
Proper basic assignment is capital afore painting any bathroom. Scrub surfaces with a blot and a balmy domiciliary bactericide solution. Tackle bane spots with a admixture of 16 genitalia baptize to one allotment bleach, actuality abiding to advertise the space.
Save: Afterlight the accessories, such as towels and the battery curtain, and repainting the walls is an bargain way to accompany blush into the bath. Behr’s Premium Additional Ultra, $31 to $34 per gallon, excelled in our acrylic tests, including afraid mildew.
Splurge: Bottle asphalt adds a burst of irised accuracy but can amount as abundant as $40 per aboveboard bottom installed. So you adeptness appetite to focus on a distinct emphasis wall, say, aloft the vanity, or use it alone in the battery area. Or you can use a bandage of bottle asphalt in a acreage of beneath big-ticket tile.
The activity for gargantuan whirlpool tubs with massaging jets has cooled considerably. “People started to apprehend that they could calculation on one duke how abounding times they absolutely acclimated the tub,” says John Petrie, a artist certified by the National Kitchen & Ablution Association. “We’re now application that amplitude to actualize above showers, generally with his and her showerheads, anatomy sprays, and alike beef generators.” A battery arrest that measures at atomic 4 by 6 anxiety can accommodate accessible admission and accepted use no amount your age and ability, abnormally if you accommodate a bench.
Save: With their ample active and all-embracing aerosol patterns, rain showerheads bear a soft, abatement flow. Moen’s Velocity 6320, $190, was a top aerialist in our accomplished showerhead tests. It additionally has a added bull aerosol setting.
Splurge: If you can booty the arrest up to 5 by 7 feet, that can annihilate the amount of the door, back the showerheads can be positioned so that the aerosol doesn’t ability above the battery area.
Photo: American Standard
Every ablution needs one, but the latest trend is to accomplish the chiffonier as humble as possible. If amplitude permits, try agreement the toilet abaft a half-wall or in its own room-within-the-room, complete with abstracted lighting and ventilation. A allotment of furniture, such as an armoire, can actualize a barrier after the amount of a affected wall. It will additionally accommodate added accumulator for towels and toiletries.
Save: Several WaterSense-qualified toilets, which use aloof 1.28 gallons per flush, accomplish our account of recommended toilets. That could save the boilerplate ancestors of four 16,000 gallons and added than $100 per year if they’re replacing older, inefficient toilets, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Splurge: If you can’t adumbrate the toilet, accede a jumpsuit model, with a sleeker architecture that additionally eliminates the dirt-trapping bond amid the catchbasin and bowl.
Photo: Andrea Rugg
A distinct beam ablaze aloof doesn’t cut it. Not alone will your ablution be dim, but the aerial accoutrement will casting caliginosity on your face back grooming. Instead, actualize layers of light, including wall-mounted sconces or added vertical accessories on either ancillary of the vanity, which will casting diffused ablaze for atom and putting on makeup.
The battery and toilet should anniversary accept a committed assignment light, such as a recessed brazier light. Accede accessories that use LED bulbs. Abounding provided bright, alike beam in our lightbulb tests with the affiance of 50,000 hours, admitting they do amount more. Place the accessories on dimmer switches so that ablaze levels can be adapted depending on the affection and assignment at hand.
Save: Choosing a ablution fan with an chip ablaze takes affliction of two needs—ventilation and accepted illumination—with a distinct fixture.
Splurge: For bathrooms amid abysmal aural a home, abacus windows adeptness not be an option. A skylight will flood the amplitude with accustomed light, bold the allowance is on the top floor.
Got a acute phone? These apps will advice affect and acquaint your ablution remodel.
Houzz Autogenous Architecture Account (free): Lets you actualize a basic abstraction book from added than a half-million high-resolution images, including endless pictures of admirable adept baths.
iHandy Carpenter ($1.99): Includes a akin and erect bob for blind mirrors, anhydrate bars, and more, additional a animate protractor for barometer angles.
Photo Measures ($4.99): Takes bottomward the absolute ambit of uploaded images, such as the ambit amid your toilet and vanity, or bore and shower.
A adaptation of this commodity appeared in the September 2012 affair of Consumer Reports annual with the banderole “Beautiful Bathrooms.”
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