Tips for Installing the Perfect Kitchen Backsplash

Tips for Installing the Perfect Kitchen Backsplash

Say Hello to a New Kitchen Backsplash

Frame the Heart of Your Home with Style
The kitchen backsplash evolved from necessity, as a way to protect walls from damage. Over the course of time the backsplash has become so much more: a way to personalize a space that is the heart of the home and provide a seamless transition from countertop to wall. A kitchen without a backsplash is like a picture without a frame – backsplashes complete the space and add the perfect finishing touch to tie your room together.

If you have decided to re-do your outdated tile kitchen backsplash or install one of the many unique kitchen backsplashes available, here are a few important tips to help you navigate the process:

Consider Your Countertops

A common but huge mistake that many homeowners unknowingly make is selecting a tile kitchen backsplash that clashes with their countertops or cabinets. A good way to prevent this is by taking home many different samples of tile. Even if the first impression of the sample is that it doesn’t match, you may be pleasantly surprised by how well different types of materials, sizes, shapes, colors and styles can compliment each other.

Consider Your Materials

Classic kitchen backsplashes were typically ceramic tile. Today, if your individual style calls for something different, there are many unique materials available that can be used to create a backsplash unique to your home. From an eye-catching glass tile mosaic to the timeless elegance of a travertine backsplash, it’s critical to select the material that works best for you and for your project. Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers offer installation services that will bring your ideal backsplash to life.

Consider the Value

A new or updated backsplash can easily add value to your home and help it stand out from others. The kitchen is one of the most important selling features, and a stylish backsplash will leave a positive impression on even the most particular buyers. It’s very important that the backsplash is designed and installed well, otherwise it achieves the opposite effect and detracts from your home’s beauty and value. Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers will make sure that you get the most value from your backsplash with skillfully executed professional installation that truly makes all the difference. Whether your new backsplash is part of making your dream kitchen a reality or to market your home for selling, a crooked or uneven tile installation is an eye sore. Using Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers will give you confidence that your kitchen will be a true show-stopper that stands the test of time.

Posted in: Remodeling, Tile

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Open Concept Bathroom Ideas

Open Concept Bathroom Ideas

At one time, upgrading your bathroom to allow for ultimate accessibility might have meant the installation of a new door. Today, many homeowners are simply doing away with the walls and doors altogether to create an open, airy bathroom space during their bathroom remodeling.

These open concept bathroom spaces are steadily gaining popularity with contemporary homeowners who would like to maximize the perceptual spaces of their bathrooms by minimizing the presence of doors, walls, and curtains.

Open concept bathrooms have inadvertently incited passionate reactions with homeowners on both sides of the fence. As with all new design options, time will prove just how practical or impractical open concept bathrooms really are. Listed below are some of the advantages and disadvantages of open concept bathrooms to aid you in deciding whether or not this design choice is right for your home.

Advantages

Ready accessibility is the main advantage offered by open concept bathrooms. When one is in a particular hurry in the morning, stepping directly into your bathroom after getting out of your bed is quite practical, and multi-purpose rooms also offer a significant saving of space. Whenever your floor area is limited, you might accomplish a lot more by simply placing your sink and shower in your bedroom. This combination is not unusual, especially since both the bathroom and the bedroom are considered intimate spaces. A bathroom remodel to the open concept bathroom design additionally results in smaller rooms appearing larger than they actually are, and knocking the walls down allows for better air ventilation and natural light. As a result of the open concept, instead of your bathroom remaining a purely utilitarian zone, it acquires a new spa-like feel and ambience. In addition to the unique appearance offered by this modern design, a whole new dimension is added to your enjoyment of long baths, creating the feeling of being in a luxurious hotel every single night.

Disadvantages

The strongest argument against the idea of an open bathroom is the absolute lack of privacy, with some individuals arguing that separate bathroom spaces are actually guardians of happiness inside marriage. Because open concept bathrooms are a bold and unique choice, they are not always right for everyone. For a bathroom remodel, the idea of an open bathroom does not necessarily call for the inclusion of toilets – and probably shouldn’t due to transmission of odors.

Privacy can still remain intact during a bathroom remodel if the orientation is in a sensible manner, especially with the utilization of blinds, etched glass walls, sliding screens, or smart electric glass walls.

Another issue might be the differences in daily routines, with early risers waking their partners early every morning and vice versa due to the lack of noise control. Of course, this is a nonissue for those who live alone and do not share their bedroom space with anyone.

Wider bathroom spaces also mean cooler bathing spaces as a result of the increased airflow, which might pose a problem for the individuals who are temperature-sensitive. However, this problem can be solved by putting up transparent dividers to reduce the flow of air while at the same time preserving the openness of your bathroom space.

The migration of moisture from your bathroom and into the bedroom can also pose a challenge, and to make an open bathroom space work, you might need a proper dual function ventilation system: one with a negative flow in your water closet and a positive flow in your sleeping area.

For those planning to sell their houses in the near future, unconventional designs and trends are always quite tricky, especially since such ideas might either increase or decrease the overall value of your home. Ultramodern bathroom spaces can either unnaturally stick out in a more traditional home where each of the rooms has a separate function, or add a nice contemporary touch.

Additional Requirements for the Success of Open Bathrooms

Depending on how open your design is and where you plan to place the bath, you might have to dedicate an area at least 6.5 feet in every direction.

You need adequate drainage for curbless open showers, and floors should slant to facilitate drainage. Depending on size, you may consider the installation of an extra drain or long trough drain to ensure water does not sit on your bathroom floor.

Open showers can result in the rest of the bathroom being exposed to more moisture, especially in the form of splashed water and steam, which should be kept in mind when choosing bathroom cabinetry and flooring materials.

The specialized requirements of an open bathroom together with its overall impact are some of the reasons you should seek and engage the expertise of qualified professionals for your renovation project. Should you opt for a remodel to an open concept bathroom, choosing Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers is an excellent way to ensure all elements are considered to make your project a success.

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General Contracting vs Project Management

General Contracting vs Project Management

Remodeling or restoring your own home has become a popular choice with the rising costs of housing. It offers increased equity and ultimate control over a project. There are a couple of ways an individual can remodel or renovate their home: using a General Contractor or a Project Manager. What are the differences between these two options? To answer this question, we must look at what each offers.

General Contractors

General Contractors assume responsibility for the entire project. They handle the permitting process, completing work, and ordering materials. The owner simply secures the financing or pays the contractor at regular intervals. Stress levels are minimal since the owner is not involved in day-to-day operations. However, these services come at a price. It is common to see General Contractors charging up to 20% of the total cost of the project. If you have the financial means to pay or finance this fee, a General Contractor may be the right choice for you.
A General Contractor is responsible for providing all of the material, labor, equipment (such as engineering vehicles and tools) and services necessary for the construction of the project. The General Contractor hires specialized subcontractors to perform all or portions of the construction work. Responsibilities may include applying for building permits, securing the property, providing temporary utilities on site, managing personnel on site, disposing or recycling of construction waste, monitoring schedules and cash flows, and maintaining accurate records.

Project Managers

The second option involves hiring a Project Manager. This individual will have residential construction experience, and will be on site throughout the project. He or she will find subcontractors and schedule them, order materials, and oversee the entire process. They may or may not actually participate in the construction process, but rather manage a group of individuals. They charge less than a General Contractor, but may not have ultimate control the way a General Contractor would.

The Project Manager’s role is to plan, execute, and finalize projects according to the deadline while keeping within budget. This includes coordinating all team members as well as any third-party contractors in order to complete projects according to plan. The Project Manager is also responsible for defining the project’s objectives and overseeing quality control of the project.

So, which one is right for you? It usually comes down to which one you can afford. Hiring a qualified General Contractor is the easiest option, but also the most expensive. Or, you may want ultimate control over the project – so working with a General Contractor may cause tension. A Project Manager is a viable alternative, but they also charge fees for their services. If you have little time to manage a project, a General Contractor may fit your needs best.

An Easy and Stress-Free Remodeling Experience

At Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers, our 25+ years of experience enables us to find solutions that most newly formed construction companies cannot. We’re a secure, safe and reliable contractor with a reputation for excellent service! Here is what our customers have to say. And we offer free estimates on all home improvement and remodeling projects.

Find out how we can help with a free estimate!

Want to compare prices? No problem. Contact us for a no-cost estimate for your project.

Custom Home Projects

You want it? We design and build it. You enjoy it! Let us give you that workout room, home office, entertainment area or whatever you can dream up. Want a deck? We’ll design and build that for you too. It’s time to experience the home you always wanted and Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers can help.

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Bathroom Remodeling for Accessible Living

Bathroom Remodeling for Accessible Living

As more and more people choose to age at home, there is an increased demand for bathrooms for the disabled and those with limited mobility. At Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers, we have a few suggestions on bathroom remodeling for accessible living.

The Handicapped Bathroom – Before the Remodel

There are many things to consider when starting accessible bathroom remodels. One of the most important is the floor itself: is it strong enough to support the combined weight of a person and a wheelchair? Before starting your remodel, it’s best to have the floor checked for any strength issues. Another possible issue may be the plumbing; can a wheelchair turn around in the space provided with all fixtures in their current locations, or will you need to move the fixtures to accommodate wheelchairs, walkers, and canes? Bathroom remodeling for accessible living is more than simply installing a few grab bars outside the shower. Bathrooms for the disabled must be compliant according to the ADA’s most recent standards published in 2010. Our service personnel at Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers would be happy to help you ensure that your handicapped bathroom is compliant with all ADA guidelines.

The Floor

Now that you have had the subfloor tested for strength, it is time to look at the materials used on the floor itself. Here are some questions to ask: is the threshold into the bathroom low enough to prevent trips and to allow wheelchairs easy access into the room? What type of material is the floor made of? Is the shower floor a non-slip surface? As you look at the flooring, make careful note of any issues in relation to slips, trips, and non-access. All accessible bathroom remodels should include a survey of the floor.

The Doors

Most interior residential doors are only about 24” to 30″ wide. To accommodate a wheelchair, the door will have to be widened to 34-36”. One great option for the door itself is the pocket door option. No need to make adjustments in the room or hallway for a door that swings.

The Tub/Shower

When considering the tub/shower combo, generally the handicapped bathroom will have either separate tub/shower areas, or eliminate the tub completely in order to build a shower that will accommodate a wheelchair. This is also one of the places to be sure that the flooring is the same height with no threshold. Installing grab bars according to ADA guidelines, as well as single-hand faucets, will help to keep your special needs person safe. If they will be unable to shower by themselves, be sure the shower area is big enough for two people.

The Bathroom Sink and Mirror

You may really like the cabinet sink, but chances are it will not accommodate a wheelchair. You will need to replace that cabinet sink with either a pedestal sink or a wall-mounted sink. The sink fixtures can be single-faucet, automatic control, or foot pedal. Using the single-faucet allows the person to keep their other hand available for stability. The mirror will need to be re-installed at a lower height or replaced with an angle mirror.

The Toilet

ADA recommends that a toilet be 17-19” high. This makes it much easier for the disabled person to sit and rise from the toilet. Be sure to allow enough room around the toilet for grab bars so the person can easily move from wheelchair to toilet and back again. Another consideration to keep in mind is the placement of the toilet paper roll. A recessed toilet paper roll holder would work much better than a stand-alone holder sitting on the floor where it could easily tangle up a cane and cause someone to trip and fall.

Storage

Because of the need for a lot of floor space, as well as the possible need to accommodate someone confined to a wheelchair, storage space should be designed with these considerations in mind. Storage is best when built into the wall, such as recessed shelving in the shower for shampoo, soap, etc., and additional recessed storage near the sink for other hygiene items. You may also want to consider even more storage in another area of the room for items like towels, spare toilet paper, and medications.

There are many things to take into consideration when planning an ADA-compliant bathroom remodel. No matter if you choose to do it yourself or hire a professional like Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers, keep in mind that safety must be first and foremost in every aspect of the final product. We would be glad to help you with each and every phase of your remodeling project and help to ensure that your disabled or aging person’s transition to your home is a successful one, so give us a call today.

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Ideas for Finishing Your Basement

Ideas for Finishing Your Basement

Thinking About Finishing Your Basement?

Creating the Room You Want Out of the Basement You Have

If you are looking to expand your living space without moving, finishing your basement is an excellent idea. To get your basement renovation started, you need to first evaluate your basement for its moisture levels, ceiling height and overall stability. Once you know what you are working with, you need to decide how you want to use the extra space: maybe a functional workshop, a cozy family rec-room, or a luxury entertainment room. Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers can you help you with the planning, installation and the finishing touches for all of your basement remodeling needs.

Evaluating Your Basement Moisture Levels, Height & Stability

Ceiling Height

Before putting time, money and effort into remodeling your basement, you need to first figure out your basement’s potential. First, measure the floor to ceiling height. Eight to nine feet of clearance is optimal for the best results.

Moisture Levels

Next you need to measure your basement’s moisture levels. Is the humidity below 60%? Even after a rainstorm in the hot summer months? If the walls or the floors have dark moisture spots, or if they feel damp to the touch, you might want to look into adding a moisture barrier. If your basement is just a little musty in general, a correctly sized dehumidifier can fix the problem easily.

Unexpected Flooding

Since your basement is the lowest point of your house, you should also consider a plan B to protect your basement flooring against any unexpected flooding. If you have a large source of water, such as a water heater, washing machine or boiler, check to see if they’re sitting in pans. Is there a wet room, such as a kitchen or bathroom, over your finished space that could potentially overflow? Installing a drain with a sump pump in a far corner of your basement and choosing appropriate flooring as a preventative measure can prevent potential problems.

Flat & Level Floor

Finally, check the overall level and stability of your basement floors. Does your floor have any cracks that would indicate shifting? What about high or low spots? The more effort you put in to making your basement floor flat, dry, and insulated, the nicer the finished flooring will turn out and the longer it will last.

Leveling the floor with cement-based floor leveling materials or laying a subfloor of 2X4s and plywood can correct most imperfections and create the stability necessary for tile or wood flooring. An even better solution are subfloor panels that have both insulation and a moisture barrier integrated in the system.

Choosing Your Flooring by Budget & Type of Space

Functional Basement Workspace

If you have low ceilings, high humidity levels and a cracked, uneven concrete floor, your best bet is to create a functional workspace in your basement. There are many waterproof flooring options that are cheap, easy to clean and easily replaceable in case of unforeseen problems.

Epoxy paint is a great choice. Costing around only 35$ per gallon, the paint will seal the concrete and make cleaning easy with a wet-vac. Another options is waterproof vinyl tile flooring that snaps together. This type of flooring is nice looking, soft underfoot, and can be removed and put back down if water gets underneath. Indoor/outdoor carpet is also affordable and replaceable if it gets damaged. Tile is ideal, however: just shop-vac and set up air movers in the event of flooding — nothing to replace.

Family Rec Room

If your basement has a little bit of headroom and is relatively dry, you might want to put a little more time and energy into creating a cozy, welcoming space. There are many inexpensive flooring options that will help create a comfortable and inviting ambiance. Carpet squares that can be laid over a subfloor will definitely be soft and warm underfoot. These squares can easily be changed out if they are damaged. Another good choice is engineered wood flooring. Unfortunately, it won’t survive a flood, but it can handle some humidity without bowing or discoloring like traditional hardwood flooring, making it a good choice for most basements. Finally, you might consider luxury vinyl flooring that can mimic wood, stone and marble to perfection for merely 4$ a square foot.

For a Fabulous Finished Basement…

It is time to call Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers. They have the experience and design flair you need to create the basement of your dreams. Whether you prefer modern or traditional styling, they can recommend the best materials for walls, trim and flooring that will withstand moisture and complement your furnishings, ensuring that your finished basement is beautiful and designed to last.

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