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Remodeled bathroom with new tub, sink, and toilet
January 28, 2012

Reinventing Your Bathroom with a Splash On emotional, practical, spiritual, and financial levels, a remodeled bathroom can be a very good thing. Maybe you’re thinking that colorful new wall tiles will lift your spirits when you walk in there each...

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Hand typing on a calculator with cash underneath it

Adding Up the Costs

 Before you can begin to plan your bathroom makeover or addition, you have to get a realistic handle on how much the job will cost. This chapter gives you a ballpark idea of what you’ll probably have to shell out to accomplish a simple bathroom makeover, a deluxe master bathroom addition, or anything in between.

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Bathroom cork floor

Floor Surfaces- Cork

Americans have been putting cork on their floors since the turn of the century- the twentieth century that is. Cork is a very versatile product made from the bark of the cork oak tree. Cork flooring, which you can find in parquets, tiles, or sheets, is warm, comfortable, and easy to maintain. The cork doesn’t look like your bulletin board; it’s available in colors and patterns and assures a soft-on-your-feet surface.

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A bathroom with laminate floors

Floor Surfaces- Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is a popular choice for any room in the house. This product was developed in Europe and introduced to the United States market by Pergo. Manufacturers like Wilsonart, Mannington, Formica, Bruce, and others now offer laminate flooring systems. This hard-working surface continues to be a popular choice because it can withstand heavy traffic and is easy to clean.

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A floor with two different types of flooring

Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring is durable, water resistant, and easy to clean. Available in sheets and 12-inch square tiles, vinyl flooring is a composite material made up of a sandwich consisting of the top wear layer, a mid layer, and a backing layer. Printed floors are made by taking a picture of a pattern and placing it on a foam layer that is then placed on the backing material. On inlaid floors, small vinyl granules are placed directly on the backing. On both types of floors, the wear layer is placed on top of these layers, and all the layers are fused together with heat and pressure.

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Bathroom floor with sink in the background

Floor Surfaces- Underlayment

Beneath any great flooring materials is a great underlayment or subfloor. The purpose of the underlayment is to create a flat, sound surface for installing the flooring material. And you’ve never had more choices for flooring material for a bathroom. From simple vinyl floor tiles to designer ceramic tiles, the floor in a bathroom is a backdrop just waiting to happen.

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bathroom with lighted ceiling and fancy bathtub

Giving your ceiling the top treatment

Years ago, some decorating magazine must have featured a picture of a bathroom with wallpaper on the ceiling. It was a bad idea then, and it still is today, but many people thought it a clever idea. Unfortunately, the moist conditions in even the best-ventilated bathroom will force the corners of paper to peel off. Avoid the temptation and save the wallcovering for the walls.

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bathroom with synthetic solid counter top

Considering the Solid Characteristics of Solid Surfaces

Today’s solid surfaces are durable, long-lasting, and low-maintenance materials used for countertops, backsplashes behind sinks, shower and bathtub enclosures, and flooring. Many of these materials are available, and you’ll find them in displays at home design centers and at bathroom design firms, where you’ll find qualified fabricators to install them.

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bathroom with ceramic tile

Tooling Around with Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile is made of clay. The raw materials- clays, talc, and other minerals -are quarried and refined. The tile manufacturer must be careful to get the proper mixture of these materials. The ratio of the mix of these ingredients determines the characteristics of the tile. After the formation of the tile body, ceramic tiles go through a firing process in a kiln under very high heat (2,000 degrees F) to harden the tile body (and undergo a second firing to create a surface glaze). Today some tile manufacturers use a single fire process that forms the body and glaze together.

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shower with glass block

Opening up Spaces with Glass Block

In the 1920s, glass block was all the rage, and it’s making a big comeback today. Glass block has many advantages for use in and around the bathroom. First, it is totally waterproof, and second, it transmits light while still providing a high level of privacy. The more heavily patterned blocks provide more privacy but also block more light. Conversely, less pattern in the block means less privacy.

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bathroom with tile board

Tapping the Power of Paneling

One of the most popular looks in bathrooms today is wrapping the walls or part of them in paneling. Whether finished naturally or painted, wood adds warmth and interest to any room, no matter how small or large. It’s a good coverup for less than perfect walls, and provides an attractive wall detail to an otherwise ordinary bathroom.

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