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Bathroom Living Blog

  • How to Care for Natural Stone Counter Tops

    Granite and marble are two natural stones that make for beautiful countertops. Whether in the kitchen or atop your solid wood vanity, taking care of your natural stone counter tops can be tricky if you don’t know what to do. The best thing is to be proactive with any spills, but if you don’t know what’s the right way to clean your counter top you may end up causing it more damage than you prevented.

    To prevent damage, etching or stains here’s a list of 4 things to know before getting started:

    1. Have your natural stone counter tops sealed with the appropriate sealer. Contact a professional stonemason to place the sealant before you begin using your countertop. 
    2. Have your natural stone counter tops sealed annually to prevent wear and tear on the seal creating pores that may cause stains or etches. 
    3. Clean your natural stone counter tops regularly with a soft towel and soap free cleaner. 
    4. If you must drink coffee (or other liquids) while in the bathroom, place your cup on top of a coaster to prevent water rings from forming.

    If you take the precautions mentioned above, you’ll see a much longer life of your natural stone counter tops.

    So now that you know what you need to do proactively, what else do you need to know about how to care for natural stone counter tops?

    Here is a short list of a few things to do that will help you maintain the life and beauty of your natural stone counter tops:

    • Use a clean soft, towel, or sponge to wipe the counter top and edges.
    • Blot any liquids, don’t rub it or scrub it, as it will push the liquid into the stone’s pores creating etching or staining. 
    • Use disinfectants specifically designed for your specific natural stone counter tops. Others may cause harm to the sealant and creating pores that liquids can get to the stone.

    Now that you have an idea of what you need to do, there are some things that you need to know what NOT to do to preserve your natural stone counter tops. These tips will help you save time and more importantly money as they will save the integrity of your granite and marble stone counters.

    The most important thing to know is that the number one cause of damage to a counter top is improper cleaning and is also the leading cause of stone restoration. Additionally, know these dangers below before you clean, and you’ll save yourself the headache of having to call a professional stonemason to refurbish your counter tops.

    • Never use scouring powders, creams and cleaners. These will wear away your sealant and burrow themselves into the stones pours creating stains and etches.
    • Never use any cleaner that has acids.
    • Never use cleaners designed for other types of cleaning such as grout, tile, tub or glass cleaners. These will damage your seal and the stone.
    • Never place or use nail cleaners, polish removers, perfume or cologne on your natural stone counter tops. These all have chemicals that will damage your stone.

    By getting to know these dangers can help you maintain the health of your counter tops. And by knowing how to care for natural stone counter tops will save you money in the long term.

  • Remodeling a small bathroom

    If you've been thinking about remodeling your bathroom chances are that you're in the same boat as the majority of us. That is you don't have much space. Of course you want something that looks good but let's not forget that the room also needs to function in order to meet the needs of your family. So that means you need storage space.

    Sites like Pinterest & Houzz are great resources for you to start planning your perfect re-model. Not only will they help you keep up on current trends, they will help make sure that design and storage don't become an afterthought.

    http://www.pinterest.com/bathroomliving/bathroom-storage-and-organization/

    Aside from the cabinets, shelves and storage in a small bathroom, it's important to select the right vanity. Often times people will select a small vanity in a small bathroom believing that they are saving space. By selecting the largest vanity for your space you can add not only valuable cabinet space but counter space as well. Small or petite vanities may seem like a good idea at first but you end up sacrificing the valuable counter space for your everyday bathroom items.

  • Five Bathroom Remodel Tips

    Once the decision to remodel has been reached, there are many things to consider during the beginning phases of your project. Here are our top 5 bathroom remodel tips that should not be overlooked.

    1. Make A Plan and A Budget:Take into account the bathrooms in your home. If you have multiple bathrooms, do they all need a face lift? Many companies offer discounts for larger purchases. You may save in shipping fees or receive a discount if supplies are purchased in quantity. Consider remolding multiple bathrooms at once to take advantage of these savings.
    2. Order Samples: Once you've begun looking into bathroom materials and furniture options, find out if paint, tile, wood, grout or stone top samples are available. Obtaining samples can streamline the remodel process. Having quick references to the tones, colors and textures you have selected can aid in smaller decision making with items such as hardware and fixtures. Selecting as may items up front will save you time and money.
    3. Buy Quality: Consider the quality of your items. Make sure you are purchasing good materials. Take into account all the options including name brands. Spending a little more time researching and a little more money in the beginning can pay off in the long run and will add to the value of your home.
    4. Check Stock and Order Early: Think about timing. The beginning of the year is the busiest time for home remodels. Make sure you check available as soon as you are close to making your final decisions. Even if you do not need an item until the end of your remodeling project, order it at the beginning of your renovations. If you delay, it is always possible a crucial element to your design could be discontinued or go out of stock, derailing renovation plans. If an item is damaged during shipping, replacements take time as well.
    5. Lighting and Colors: Color and lighting play a large part in bathrooms. Keep this in mind when remodeling as they can enhance your space significantly if done correctly. Stay away from darker colors in small spaces. A neutral color pallet and natural lighting is best, especially for resale in the future. Supplement natural light with overhead lights and large mirror to make any bathroom feel larger and more welcoming.

    If you keep these few remodeling tips in mind when starting your own bathroom renovations, your experience is sure to run more smoothly. Being prepared and making good decisions from the beginning will ultimately result in a beautiful end product which you can enjoy for many years to come.

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