Ten Great Websites (Besides This One) To Help With Your Bathroom Remodel

Written by bprescottFebruary 8, 2012
A fancily designed bathroom

Ten Great Remodeling Web Sites

When you need help planning a new bathroom, spend some quality time online. Many Web sites are worthy of a long visit. You can get help visualizing colors and styles and find design tools to create a floor plan that lays out the fixtures and furnishings. Many of these design tools are simplified versions of the software that professional designers use, and some are just fun to use because they're interactive and let you play around with different color schemes and palettes. If you have access to the Net, let your fingers do the walking - on the keyboard, that is. Visit these sites, and you'll come away with some good insights and ideas, along with printouts of floor plans or product spec sheets and shopping lists.

National Kitchen & Bath Association

The National Kitchen & Bath Association is a nonprofit trade association that has educated and led the kitchen and bath industry for 40 years. Use the Web site (www.nkba.org) as a resource for everything from finding a design professional in your area to obtaining information on industry trends, products, and services. The association will send you a free consumer workbook that offers remodeling tips and guides you through the process of redesigning your kitchen or bath from beginning to end.

Internet Wallpaper Store

The Internet Wallpaper Store (www.wallpaperstore.com) is an e-commerce site that makes it easy to peruse wallpaper patterns, styles, borders, and murals because, unlike in the store, you don't have to manhandle the wallpaper sample books. The site is well organized and convenient to use, and your selection appears quickly on the screen. Search by brand name, pattern number, or theme and topic, or make your own search criteria. For $2, you can get a sample of wallpaper sent to you, a nice feature that eliminates the temptation to clip a sample from the wallpaper books in the store. Because the image of the pattern was scanned and the colors may vary from monitor to monitor, a sample is the only way to see the exact colors of a particular wallpaper.

ebuild

If you're looking for a particular manufacturer or product for a project, the ebuild site (www.ebuild.com) is the ultimate reference. It's a massive database of manufacturers in the construction industry, so it's the ultimate resource that includes everything from descriptions, diagrams, and dimensions to installation instructions, reviews, and supplier locators.

Kohler

At Kohler’s site (www.kohler.com), you'll find a dizzying array of its products, along with two interesting design tools you can use to generate some high-level floor plans. The Virtual Shower Planner and Virtual Bath Planner have Flash tutorials that explain how to use the design software. These are elaborate programs designers use, and they help you develop and create a specific design. Plan to spend time finding out how to use the tools and fine-tuning your design, and you'll come away with a bathroom floor plan that makes the most of your space.

American Standard

American Standard (www.americanstandard-us.com) is another large manufacturer with an extensive site, along with a Room Planner, a 2D planning tool to create a new bathroom. You place the products into a resizable and printable bathroom template that you can use to order products. Before you start designing, however, you should get an idea of how much your bathroom will cost. To do that, use the Project Estimator, a series of basic questions about the fixtures you're replacing, what you're doing about the walls and floors, and whether you plan to do it yourself or hire a contractor. The calculator generates a rough estimate that will be very useful in your planning.

GELighting.com

General Electric’s Web site (www.gelighting.com) has a Virtual House that allows you to see the different effects of lighting in a bathroom (and many other rooms). You’re given an image of a bathroom and then prompted to choose the type of fixtures- ceiling, recessed, vanity, or wall sconce- that you're considering. Then the bathroom is lit using the type of fixtures you chose. By repeating the process with a combination of different fixtures, you can compare how they work together to create the best lighting for your needs.

Baldwin Hardware

Visit the Baldwin site (www.baldwinhardware.com) if you're uncertain about choosing a style of hardware for your new bathroom (and all the rooms in your house). The site features the Architectural Style Guide to help you establish a theme for your home by using their categories of architectural styles and suggests using them as a guide to create your personal style. You find the architectural style you have and then look at the bath products to see what type of accessories will complement your home.

Dutch Boy

This paint manufacturer’s Web site (www.dutchboy.com) helps you visualize different color schemes to use in your new bathroom with the Project Planner. You see palettes of colors and how they look together, which is a nice feature when you're deciding about a color scheme. Through a series of quick qualifying questions about the type and condition of the walls in the room, you create a bathroom that virtually paints the colors on the walls. This approach is much easier than actually painting the room forest green with taupe trim and then realizing that you hate it. But remember, the color you see on your monitor may be different from the actual paint color.

Armstrong

Armstrong’s site (www.armstrong.com) has a design tool called Design A Room that takes you through the process of creating all the rooms in a house and seeing what different flooring materials would look like in that setting. Because the floor is such an important choice for a bathroom, you’ll find it very useful to experiment and see whether vinyl, laminate, or tile would look best in your bathroom.

The Bathroom Diaries

The Bathroom Diaries site at www.bathroomdiaries.com is one we just couldn't resist including here. What a hoot! Here's the site you want to visit before traveling because it lists thousands of free, clean restrooms around the world. No kidding. You can even link it up to your PDA. We agree with a quote we found on the site that says, “The huddled masses deserve a clean place to sit.”

 

From ‘Bathroom Remodeling For Dummies’
Copyright © 2003 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

 

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