Monday, March 25, 2013

Amenities to Make Your Bathroom Extraordinary

by  Anne Higuera CGR, CAPS

Go Beyond the Basics for a Luxury Bathroom Experience


"Tub, shower, toilet, sink": It’s the mantra of bathrooms. But even if you have them all and more (two sinks!), you may be missing some essential bathroom amenities. Add these top 9 to get on your way to the perfect bathroom for your house.
1. Thermostatic valves. Shower valves have either one handle that controls both volume and temperature with a turn, or separate controls for volume and temperature.

A thermostatic valve controls the temperature and volume, giving you the opportunity to have a trickle of hot water or a full shower of cold. If you want to get particular about the amount and temperature of the water coming out of your showerhead, a thermostatic valve is the way to go.
2. Electric floor heat. Tile is a cool surface — literally! If your toes shrink at the thought of crossing your frigid tile floor, make sure your tile setter installs an electric heat mat before putting in the tile. The mats come as custom self-contained mats or as wire strung between plastic pegs (known as an RPM system).

Installing two sensors to the thermostat is a good idea too, so if one breaks, the other still functions. When you program the thermostat to go on at 5 a.m., you will be rewarded with warm toes at 6, and that’s worth every penny of the cost.
3. Hidden outlets. The scourge of bathrooms is the clambering masses of electronic devices that demand an outlet and adjacent counter space: hair dryers, electric toothbrushes, electric razors and curling irons. Don’t you wish they would all vamoose to where you can’t see them? That could be a real possibility if you install outlets inside medicine cabinets and drawers. Out of sight, out of mind until you need them.

4. Humidistat fan. It used to be that exhaust fans in baths had two options for controls — the on-off switch and the timer. Now the options have multiplied, with motion detector and humidistat fans. My favorite is the humidistat — you set it to a humidity level you deem reasonable, and it will run if the humidity goes over that level, and keep running until the humidity decreases to below your set level. It doesn’t address all of the reasons you might run a fan in a bath, but it does handle the one that can make a mess of paint and other finishes: moisture.
5. Hard-wired makeup mirror. Once only for movie stars, the lighted makeup mirror made its way into luxury hotel rooms over the past decade. It is actually a surprisingly affordable fixture to install. The only thing you’ll have trouble with is deciding how high to hang it and who will get to use it.

6. Dimmer switches. A dimmer is the best friend of kitchens and baths alike. When you need good light, you need it. And when you don’t want it, the dimmer is there to help.  Having the ability to control the amount of light in the bathroom, though, is priceless.
7. Shower niche as footrest. Shaving legs in the shower is an ongoing conundrum for women. The water cascading down washes away the soap before you can get the razor there, and there’s nowhere to position your leg out of the water’s way. An elegant and low-key solution is the shower niche — not for shampoos and soaps, but as a footrest about 18 inches off the shower floor. Another solution is corner shelves inset into the tile — a few for shampoo and one as a footrest. They can be made from the remnants of your counter stone to tie the shower in visually to your vanity. Simple and functional.
8. Fancy commodes. There’s a growing market for bidet-style toilets and urinals in residential bathrooms. Toilets arrive with accoutrements like heated seats (don’t forget you’ll need power for this), multiple settings for water (including the option for warm water) and seats that open and close for you. If you are seriously considering a urinal, look carefully at the water supply requirements and local plumbing codes. It may require a larger supply line than is currently in your bathroom.
9. Handheld showerhead. If you are still mulling over your showerhead options, don’t leave out the handheld ones. While they can be a bit unwieldy with their hoses and pivoting heads, they have a distinct advantage over their fixed-in-place cousins: They make it easy to clean the shower stall. The showerhead that comes from the ceiling? Supercool, but good luck washing the walls of your shower with it. Same thing with showerheads on the wall. A nice compromise between the two, if you can afford it, is to get one of each with a diverter. That will allow you to use the main showerhead most of the time, the handheld one for cleaning and both at the same time if you want a spa experience.
At Cabinet-S-Top we can help you go beyond the basics and include these must have amenities in your bathroom.  Stop by our showroom located at 1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH ~ 330-239-3630; we'd be happy to assist you in making your bathroom perfect!



Monday, March 11, 2013

18 Knockout Ideas for Wooden Floor Showers

by Mitchell Parker

Look to an often-forgotten material choice for shower
loors that radiate beauty in almost any style bathroom

If there's one area homeowners overlook most often when doing a bathroom remodel, it's probably the shower floor. After all, the idea that our feet should stand on tile or fiberglass while we're showering is so ingrained in us — why would anyone assume they have more options?

Enter the wooden floor shower. It's an elegant upgrade to the materials of yore, and much more versatile. Wood slats create a cozy ski-lodge vibe in winter and a sunny deck-like experience in summer, making it a win-win for anyone looking to spiff up a bathroom design. Just ask Austin, Texas, architect
MJ Neal, who uses the material frequently. "It's a lovely way to handle the floor itself, and really warms the space up," Neal says. "It almost harkens back to Japanese baths as well. It can be very calming."



Because water trickles through the slats into a large shower pan, a wood floor conceals unsightly drains, making way for a fluid, minimalist statement. With less splash back, a doorless, no-threshold shower works perfectly in a small space.





Dark, rich stained woods create a bold design statement even in light-happy modern spaces.

This raised platform of wood gives the shower a sturdy, rustic feel.


Paired with tiles and other wood accents, slatted floors fit right in with any decor scheme.


Contrasting a sleek, contemporary aesthetic with the texture of wood creates a calming vibe.



The material also has the uncanny knack of instantly making a bathroom just a bit more sophisticated.


Here, a lighter stained wood floor effortlessly emboldens the ash-colored tilework.


Want that resort-spa feel in your bathroom? The secret is in the wood.


Not all wood has to look equal. This white wood floor perfectly matches its elegant counterparts.

Of course, a few challenges do arise with wood shower floors. Apart from being slippery, wood and constant water don't exactly go hand in hand. That's why it's best to go with tropical woods, like teak, ipe or massaranduba, which are naturally water resistant (though naturally pricier, too).



But, thankfully, a little wood goes a long way and can appear glamorous when done right. 

Showers that open to outdoor decking are great spots for wood flooring.


Add a few indoor plants, and a wood-filled shower can quickly become a Zen-like refuge. 

Not everything has to be over the top. A smartly chosen wood can work wonders even in modest spaces.
A dark stain, a curved design and no door make this tiny corner shower a standout.
A few wood slats are all that's needed to complete a design-minded minimalist shower.


The material also coordinates wonderfully with colorful tiles.
A wood shower extended to create a pier-recalling walkway turns this bathroom into a small paradise.
Don't overlook the floor in your new bathroom.  At Cabinet-S-Top, we can help you design the space you're looking for.  We are located at 1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH ~ 330-239-3630







Monday, March 4, 2013

Trend Alert!: Why You Should Conceal Your Kitchen Appliances

by terracottaproperties
Recently, I was browsing through my collection of kitchen magazines and was shocked to witness the transformation of kitchen appliance design over the past 10 years. Yes, kitchen appliances have been reinvented over and over throughout the decades, usually due to improved technology, but today it's about more than faster cooking speed and refined functionality. As kitchen living and cooking have taken center stage in our lives, the balance between style, function and budget is often tipped by the desire to make a statement.

 Whether we choose streamlined, minimalist appliances, pro-style industrial-grade appliances or even retro-chic units that channel a 1920s playfulness, all of them are designed to perform not only efficiently but beautifully. Of the many options we now have, one of my favorite new trends is the introduction of fully flush, concealed appliances, known in the industry as integrated appliances. As the name suggests, these products are designed to fit flush with the face of the cabinets and be outfitted with custom panel fronts and hardware.
The panel fronts can be designed to match the surrounding cabinetry, thus making the appliance virtually disappear without sacrificing an inch of capacity or effectiveness. This design is most often used for refrigerators and dishwashers, but it's also found as an option for trash compactors, ice makers and other bar-related appliances.
Why do it? As a designer, I specify concealed appliances whenever I can. It allows me to focus the design around one great element in a kitchen, such as a statement-making hood or an eight-burner gas stove fit for a five-star restaurant, rather than have all appliances competing for attention. While these appliances shine, the rest of the space can remain visually uncluttered yet seriously functional. Think dual dishwashers that flank a sink yet can’t be seen, or a refrigerator that disappears into a wall of pantry's like a little dose of design magic!



For historically sensitive renovations, integrated appliances can bring modern technology into a kitchen while maintaining a vintage aesthetic (i.e. hiding a refrigerator behind beautiful white beadboard). Likewise, concealed appliances can be placed anywhere in the house without sacrificing style. In rooms beyond the kitchen, refrigerator drawers and ice makers that look like built-in cabinets can show up in a media room or a library. They are also useful in small kitchens, where too many appliances and changes in material can make the space feel crowded.

Currently, only a few manufacturers offer these truly integrated appliances—some of my favorites are the Asko dishwasher and the 36" Sub-Zero refrigerator. Both are quiet and efficient, and the refrigerator is small enough to fit into almost any sized kitchen. As the trend gains popularity, expect to see more options appear on the market.
Keep in mind that if you select concealed appliances, you'll need to let your cabinetmaker know in advance and provide the shop with manufacturer's specifications that detail the sizes and mounting requirements for the panels. Luckily, most appliances follow standard dimensions that correspond to cabinet dimensions, but some European manufacturers may differ slightly, so be sure to double check before you place the order.

At Cabinet-S-Top, we can help you balance your kitchen design between style, function, and budget while making statement.  Stop by our showroom located at 1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH  44256 ~ 330.239.3630.