Bathroom Design Elements
Do you have lots the space and are planning for a shower stall and a soaking tub in your design? Conventional tubs are good for the kids bathroom, a necessity. But soaking tubs are designed for adults. If you have the room that would be a great choice.
What elements do you want in your bathroom design? How do you even go about designing a new bathroom? Maybe your thinking about expanding the area by a couple of feet, or perhaps just a fresh modern look.
Do you want high key (mostly light) or low key (mostly dark) or an earth tone feel? On which areas do you want wall tiles and on which areas will you do something else? I addition to paint you can also use wainscoting as a accent rather than all tile. It’s a more traditional and homey look.
Do you want a new tub? There are many designs to choose from. Please also consider warranty on the finish and get one that will hold up over the years. Same with the fixtures, dramatic is a style choice, but please get one of the top quality products available. Warranties on these are 1 year, 5, year or life. If you get quality-built it will not breakdown anytime soon.
Take a look at the newest designs in vanities and faucets. A good place to browse is Weinstein’s Design Showroom in Broomall Industrial Park. Again you’ll want to stay away from the low-end stuff because it’ll soon look very cheap.
Kitchen Design Essentials
There are several places from which you can buy cabinets, but your first concern should be the design layout for the space. I’m amazed had how complicated it is to get a really good design. All the cabinet vendors will help you with that, but not all the options are created equal, as it were.
If a cabinet retailer sells their own brand cabinets you will probably pay less, but somehow I always feel their quality assessment is not objective. That doesn’t rule them out, but consider them more of a budget item, and they’ll usually require assembly.
Kitchen Design Process
You will need an advocate for the design process so that you get the best possible kitchen design for your space. I include this video because I think you’ll engage the design process and settle for the first design you see. But you want to get the best possible design for your space and should think of it as a process.
Bring us in, or any good contractor, and they’ll review the design you receive and make sure you’ve asked the right question so you get the design that best matches your stated desires and the space.
Picking Stone Details
Of course you know the elements involved but probably not too much about which stone is best for the counter-top and why. Did you know the granite is your least expensive choice and why quartz may well be the most expensive? Each has it’s own good and bad points, like quartz doesn’t have to be sealed while granite is impervious to heat.
Please pick your counter-top early because it gets installed along with your lower cabinets. The last thing to be installed will be the tile back-splash, but can be made after your choice of cabinets and counter-top.
Lastly, don’t go it alone, pick your contractor first and then go from there, so you end up with what you really wanted in the beginning.
Finished Basement Floor
Let’s start with the floor. This may be the most difficult decision in turning your basement into a living space. I’ve been to houses that had no water problems and once the wall-to-wall carpet went down then they got water. It doesn’t take a lot of water either.
They make sub-floors designed for carpet to let the water run under the finished floor. The only problem with that is whatever water gets trapped down there and it never really drys out.. So I don’t think those sub-flooring systems are useful in the long run.
There are choices though that will work. One is you can glue down a carpet without any pad. No it’s not as soft but if it gets wet you can wet-vac it up really good and run a dehumidifier 24/7 until the odor goes a way.
The other choices are 12 inch square VCT vinyl floor tiles, which are glued down. If the installation is done properly it should hold up pretty well and even if it doesn’t it’s not terribly expensive to repair the lose tiles, provided you have a couple extra boxes of tiles.
And the other choice is ceramic tiles. While 12 inch square ceramic floor tiles can be purchased for as little $1 a square foot, the installation of ceramic floor tiles is very expensive so it’s your high end choice. However these will likely survive the water.
Finished basement ceiling
Oh my, I’m not a fan of drywall on a basement ceiling because it limits your access to the joist bay with it’s wires and pipes. Also you’ll be working around air conditioning ducts which is time consuming.
Make sure you get all your electrical service up to snuff before you cover it up. That means you’ll need 200 amp service and all the outlets you could possibly ever desire, plus any lines that would have to be run for any future improvements.
When it comes to the pipes, if all your shutoff valves are in one place, then we can construct an access panel at that spot in the ceiling. Because traditional shutoff valves tend to leak over time, you’ll have to access them if they do. Plus what’s the sense of having a shutoff valve if you don’t have access to it? It would be great if they were all in the area of the heater, which I assume you would wall off and make a separate unfinished room.