Health and Relaxation with a Steam Bath

Health and Relaxation with a Steam BathA steam bath is an enclosed shower unit installed in your bathroom that provides the benefits of a sauna without the extra expense. The reasons for installing one of these luxuries are numerous. People who partake of steam bathing on a regular basis are healthier, look better, and experience less stress than those who don’t. If you’re interested in installing one of these innovative baths in your residence, talk to a contractor experienced in bathroom remodeling about getting your new bath up and running as soon as possible.

Why Install a Steam Bath?
People have been taking advantage of the healing potential of a good steam induced sweat for thousands of years. Raising the body temperature a few degrees results in more efficient immune systems, helps flush toxins from the body, cleanses the skin, and fosters physical and mental relaxation. In ancient Rome, Turkey, and Northern Europe, public steam houses were the norm. Today, however, there’s no need to leave your house. By installing a self-contained unit in your bathroom, you can experience all the benefits of steam bathing in your very

Master Bathroom Remodeling

Master Bathroom RemodelingA small affordable remodeling project that can have a big impact is a master bathroom remodel. Any changes you make to your master bath are guaranteed to make a difference in your daily routine. Here are some master bath remodeling ideas to help get those creative juices flowing:

1. Increase Your Space
If space is an issue in your master bath, consider a remodel that will expand it in any direction possible. Extra square footage will open up your cramped bathroom and increase the possibilities.

Taking out a wall and replacing it with a window allows natural light in the bathroom and creates a more open feel. Choosing the right window treatment is important since you want sunlight to come in but at the same time you’ll need something that gives you privacy.

If new windows aren’t an option, consider adding skylights.

2. Add Storage Areas
Since most people have many hygiene products, a bathroom remodel is the perfect time to increase your storage space to ensure better bathroom organization. Add bathroom cabinets, drawers, shelves or

Budget Bathroom Makeovers

Budget Bathroom MakeoversIf the cost of a major bathroom remodel isn’t in your budget, simply updating a smaller aspect of your bathroom can still have significant impact. New tile, cabinets, lighting or plumbing fixtures can give the room a whole new style. Update the walls with a fresh coat of paint or use drywall to provide texture for a faux look. To keep up with recent trends, some people are even updating their electrical systems to accommodate in-bathroom TVs, stereos, and towel warmers.

To get the most out of your makeover, keep in mind how the bathroom is used and choose projects that will have the greatest impact as well as will positively affect your daily routine. The key to a small bathroom makeover is to pick one or two projects and focus all of your creativity and budget on those.

1. Add colorful tile for personality
Brighten up a neutral bathroom with brightly colored tile. If tiling your entire bathroom is out of the question, mix and match tile colors above the sink or bathtub to create your

Ready Set Concrete Countertops

If these words seem unrelated, perhaps you have yet to behold one of the hottest new trends in high-end kitchen and bathroom design: concrete countertops.

Previously relegated to such supporting roles—literally—as slabs, footings or foundations, today the near-ubiquitous building material often finds itself the design star in some of the finest homes. You might be familiar with stained and scored concrete as a colorful, texture-rich and cost-effective alternative to floor tile. Now concrete is becoming a hard-and-fast alternative to traditional countertops.

If you envision concrete countertops looking like chunks of city sidewalks resting atop your cabinets, think again. Concrete countertops come in a wide variety of thicknesses, colors, textures and finishes. Like solid-surface countertops such as Corian, concrete can be custom-molded to fit any space and create a seamless flow between sink and workspace. Additionally, metal, stones, tiles or other items can be embedded into the concrete to add artistic flair or serve as a transitional motif between rooms.

Concrete is the newcomer to the field of countertop choices. So it can be difficult to know where to start evaluating it or finding a reputable contractor to install it. Use the following questions and answers to learn more about concrete countertops and help

Pool Service Skim or Whole Nine Yards

Nothing compliments a hot day the same way as a pool. Whether for fitness or pleasure, it’s hard for even a swing set to compete with a backyard swimming pool. As with many things, increased enjoyment comes with increased responsibility; when you own a swimming pool, upkeep is the most crucial element in protecting your investment and maintaining a pool that is an asset rather than an eyesore. Whether you do it yourself or hire a pro, swimming pool maintenance is a necessity; neglecting your pool can certainly make it less inviting, and it could end up costing you plenty in the long run!

DIY Swimming Pool Upkeep
For the die-hard do-it-yourselfer, few things are as gratifying as maintaining a pool. While it might take you several hours a week to keep your pool in tip-top shape, those hours will pay off in months of enjoyment.

Physical Cleansing The first step in keeping a pool perfect is, of course, using a dip net to remove any bugs and debris that enter the water. This should be done every day that the pool is open. Not only will this create a more appealing aesthetic, it is the number one way of preventing filter

Who Needs Steam Install An Infrared Sauna.

An infrared sauna is an excellent choice over traditional Finnish (or hot rock) saunas for a number of reasons. They’re more efficient, easier to install, and less expensive to purchase. And since the health benefits of the two are basically the same, it’s clear why infrared saunas have cornered a significant portion of the home sauna market.

Sauna 101
It’s important to understand the benefits of a sauna in general before delving into the differences between infrared and traditional saunas. Whether infrared or Finnish (i.e. steam), the basic theory behind saunas is that when you raise your core body temperature to extreme temperatures, you sweat and in turn expel unhealthy toxins from the body.

Infrared vs. Hot Rock
Traditional saunas accomplish this feat by raising the temperature of the environment around you. Hence the heat and the steam. An infrared sauna, however, works on a different principle altogether. Infrared saunas take advantage of infrared heat, a form of invisible light wave that creates heat on all surfaces it comes in contact with (it’s why sunlight feels warm on your skin even on a cold day). An infrared heating element in the sauna produces infrared waves that heat up your core body temperature

Turning Cement Surfaces to Stone

When installing a floor, patio, or driveway, many people would love to have the unique colors and warm textures of natural stone. Slate, tile, brick, and even marble are some of the hottest materials on the market due to their sophisticated look and irreplaceable charm. However, any kind of natural stone comes at a heavy cost. Since they’re rare, difficult to manufacture, and harder to work with, they are never cheap. Therefore many people invest in cement: it’s easy, inexpensive, and effective. But recently homeowners have been able to find the best of both worlds: imitation natural stone. Whether inside or out, decorative concrete offers the look of natural stone without the price tag.

Concrete Stamping
This has become the most common form of decorative concrete today. Since wooden decks and porches are actually becoming a thing of the past, natural stone patios is the newest wave in exterior design. But it costs. Therefore, stamping allows cement to take on the look of any natural product. During production, certain dyes are mixed into the product to create the right look. Then it’s laid like regular cement. Before it dries, a unique pattern is gently tamped into the wet material. So when

Learn to Share with a Jack and Jill Bathroom

Every family has to deal with hectic morning rituals. Wake up the kids, get them showered, get them dressed, get them fed, and get them out the door—all this hassle just to get ready for the day. And if you have teenagers, it’s a whole new level of chaos. But the one room in the house that gets fought over the most is the bathroom. Everyone needs to use it at the exact same time, and it can be the cause of many arguments. If any of this sounds familiar, you may want to think about a joint resolution: Jack and Jill bathrooms.

Separate but Equal
A Jack and Jill bathroom is often defined as a shared bathroom that adjoins two separate bedrooms. They are often popular among larger families who have more than one child. It would be nice for everyone in the house to have their own place to get ready, but installing a full bath for each person in the house is expensive. And in big families, cutting down on household costs is essential. Therefore, these shared bathrooms offer full privacy when needed but can open up the space when busy schedule’s demand it.

Custom Bathroom Designs with Standard Tile

Nothing compares to tile for adding personality and practicality to a home. One of the most versatile of home decor materials, tile can dress up a bathroom, kitchen or nearly any room in your home. It can be used in countertops, flooring or simply as a decorative wall design. The best in bathroom design is nearly universal in its implementation of tile in at least one or two areas of the bathroom. Without a doubt, bathroom tile is a key element in creating a dramatic look in your home. Relatively inexpensive to install, care and careful planning must still be used to ensure that your tile is a cost-effective asset for your home that boosts its resale value.

Bathroom Design and Tile Basics
Since price and quality of tile, grout, design, and installation can vary so much, homeowners often feel too confused to make a decision from tile estimates alone. Understanding the basics can help consumers decide how much expert help they need with the selection, design and labor to get the best return for the time and money spent.

Many homeowners are unaware of the wide array of patterns, designs and appearances that bathroom tile

Get Taken away with a Home Spa

In today’s fast paced world, sometimes it seems like the most relaxing minutes of the day are those spent in the shower or bath. Upgrading your existing system shower and tub to a home spa is one of the ways many homeowners are taking advantage of that time and using it to the fullest.

The Standard Home Spa
As the home spa comes in many different forms, it would be difficult to state that one in particular is the standard. It can be as simple as a multiple showerhead or as extravagant as a bathroom hot tub. The price range for a home spa is just as varied; there is most likely a model that is right for any budget.

Home Spa Bathtubs
One of the most common and desirable home improvements on the market is the installation of a spa bathtub. A spa bathtub is a wonderful place to relax and get rid of the tension of the workday. Soothing jets of water can be adjusted to massage strength or a low, gentle current. The air jets can bring large bubbles or a soda like fizz depending on the mood.

A bathtub spa

Creating a Country Bathroom

In one sense, bathrooms are the perfect fit for a country decorating theme. Country is all about a slower-paced, relaxing atmosphere, and nowhere else in the home is relaxation more coveted than the bathroom. Every successful bathroom remodel starts with working with a designer or contractor to plan everything, from installations and fixtures down to the final decorative touches. You can’t pick a countertop, sink or vanity without knowing how it’s going to fit into your bathroom décor. Here are some things to keep in mind when constructing your country bathroom.

Country Bathroom Fixtures
Country bathrooms are dominated by classic bathroom fixtures and installations. If you’ve always had a thing for clawfoot tubs, you’re already well on your way to creating a country bathroom. On the other hand, you may like the feel of a country bathroom but still want your luxury shower stall. There’s nothing wrong with this, but you may want to avoid shiny, metallic materials. You can have a luxury shower stall or whirlpool tub that will give you the best of contemporary bathroom design without clashing with your country bathroom décor. In fact, combining contemporary bathroom design with the relaxing feel of the

Warm up Your Home with Heated Towel Bars

You guessed it. Heated towel bars are racks that warm up your towels. You may have seen them in fancy hotel rooms or when you’re spending a day at the spa. And though they sound like a high-end product made only to indulge and pamper, they also serve more practical purposes. And if used in the right way, they can even help you save some money on energy bills.

Practical Purposes
Although it’s certainly nice to have a warm towel when you get out of the shower, especially on those cold winter mornings, a heated towel bar can produce more than its fair share of real work. These units are extremely energy efficient and safe, so most of the time they are left on 24-hours a day (though they come with timers and on/off switches, of course). Why do this? Well, it costs about the same as lighting a light bulb. But the real beauty is that they can act as a low-impact heating unit for the home. They’re great for warming up cold bathrooms, which tend to chill off quickly with their tile and porcelain surfaces. And heated towel bars can also dry out the humid

Bathroom Remodeling Ideas

Most home improvement projects go wrong from poor communication between the homeowner and the contractor or from lack of a cohesive plan. In particular, having a plan for home remodels is critical to prevent costly and time-consuming headaches during the actual remodel. Long before construction begins, brainstorm different bathroom remodeling ideas to investigate your options. Talk to architects, interior designers, and contractors about what’s out there and what might work best for you. Here’s some bathroom remodeling ideas to get you started thinking about how you can transform your old bathroom.

Small Bathroom Remodeling Ideas
Small bathrooms may not be the first candidate on your list of home remodels, but it can be one of the most valuable. Remodeling a small bathroom is naturally a cheaper project than a full or master bath remodel. Plus, getting the most from the space in your small bathroom is imperative to making it a functional addition to your home. Remodeling your small bathroom can help you find ways to open this room up.

One of the best small and half bath remodeling ideas is to use the corners of your bathroom. Installing corner sinks, faucets, cabinets, or small bathroom

Steam Showers Can Massage Away Your Worry

A few decades ago, it you wanted to soak in a hot tub, take a dip in the pool, or sweat it out in a sauna, you had to either join a gym or stay at a luxury hotel. But with new technological advances and more affordable prices, a lot of this equipment can now be installed in the home. However, what if you want to have a combination of all these fixtures? What if you want to have a soak, a sweat, and a bath all at once? Then you may want to look into steam showers which provide all three capabilities and more.

Controlled Condensation
Steam showers are a traditional stall with regular heads and fixtures. And though you can take a regular bath within the enclosure, you also have the ability to turn this space into a steamy sauna. A generator heats the water to a boil and then this hot water vapor is pushed out through jets that line the walls and ceiling. The surfaces are constructed of specialized material made to withstand the extreme heat without damage (the surrounding temperature can range anywhere from 90-115 degrees). Plus, the unit is thoroughly sealed

Get Toasty with a Bathroom Heater

Bathroom heaters are available in a various range of styles. If you’re looking for old reliable, you can’t beat the standard radiant heater/fan/light combo for a functional and comfortable bathroom. If you like to think outside the box, consider wall-mounted panel heaters, towel warmer/heater combos and radiant floor heating. Your bathroom should be one of the most comfortable rooms in your home. Keeping it nice and toasty is a big part of making it so.

The Benefits of Bathroom Heaters
Any heater allows for a room to hold more moisture so your mirrors won’t fog up as quickly, and heater/fan combos do a nice job removing excess moisture from your home. In the end, the primary reason to install a bathroom heater is personal comfort. That being the case, think about which creature comforts sound best to you so you can make your bathroom experience as pleasant as possible.

Overhead heaters—This is the standard fare and usually consists of a radiant heater, fan and light combination. For most people these units are more than sufficient for their bathroom heating needs.

Wall mounted heaters—If you’re looking for something more stylish, these thin, contemporary bathroom heaters can

Dual Pane Windows

Dual pane windows are great to reduce energy loss and to make homes more comfortable by insulating against noise and drafts. But when moisture forms between the panes of glass, homeowners usually have no idea whether to call a window expert, the local glass company or a general handyman.

Q: One of the dual-pane windows in my kitchen nook has developed moisture streaks between the panes. My house is ten years old and this is the first time something like this has happened. Do I absolutely have to replace the window? Or can I wait until later in the summer after the moisture has dried out, then caulk around the inside and outside of the window? Or do you have another suggestion?

A: The window does not have to be replaced but the glass thermal pane unit does. Once seal failure between the glass has occurred, caulking the inside and outside of the unit will not stop moisture from penetrating into the unit. Subsequently, the unit needs to be changed.

If it is an aluminum window, your local glass company can change it out. But if it is a wooden window, you should

Kitchen and Bath Contractors

Kitchens and baths are where it’s at. Year in and year out, they continue to be the most popular home remodels and the focus of many home improvement projects. Real estate agents know they are also the two areas of the home that have the greatest influence on the selling price—and for good reason. We spend a lot of time in our kitchens and baths. As much television as we watch in our living room, as much time as we spend in the home office surfing the web, food and cleanliness are still our most fundamental needs. Kitchen and bath contractors are always looking for ways to improve these important areas of your home. Whether you want a complete kitchen or bath remodel or you’re simply looking for new cabinet hardware and countertops, these contractors can add considerable value to your home and your quality of life.

Kitchen and Bath Remodeling Contractors
For full kitchen and bath remodeling contractors, a comprehensive plan is critical. You can create this plan with remodeling decisions and budgetary constraints largely on your own or with your kitchen and bath remodeling contractors. The key is once you have a plan stick to

Cabinet Contractors in Houston

Houston Cabinets

Homeowners looking to improve their homes on a budget, or at least to get the most bang for their buck, should look at areas of their home where small improvements can make a big difference. A new deck or a fully renovated kitchen can’t be topped for transforming the look and enjoyment of your home, but these projects demand an enormous investment in time and money. Bathrooms, by contrast, are used every bit as much as kitchens, despite their smaller area. Of course, a full bathroom remodel, including a new tub/shower installation, countertop, and bathroom fixtures is no small project, either. Installing new bathroom cabinets, however, can usually be done out of pocket without the need for home financing that will be eating at your monthly income for years.

Houston Cabinet Remodeling
If you’re looking into bathroom cabinets, you probably already know the answer, but the first question you must ask is whether your cabinets look tattered, don’t provide sufficient storage capacity, or both. To increase your bathroom storage, you need a new cabinetry design. This can mean installing larger cabinetry in essentially the same place as your old cabinetry, or it can

Basement Finishing Contractors in Denver, CO

Denver Basement Remodeling

For as long as we can remember, the old mantra “kitchens and baths sell houses” has always been true. For most of that time there hasn’t even been a close runner up when it comes to remodeling projects that add value to your home. In the Mile High City, and elsewhere across the Mountain West, there’s been a change in the winds, however. While kitchen and baths are still neck and neck at the top of the list, Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report 2006 reveals that the dynamic duo has now become a happy threesome with basement remodeling in Denver joining the ranks as one of the smartest remodeling investments a Denverite can make.

Why Are Basement Remodels So Popular?
There isn’t a lot of specific research available that answers exactly why basement remodeling has become so popular of late, though it doesn’t take a person too long to piece things together when you sit down and think about it. More than anything else, the climate on the Front Range is perfectly suited for basement remodeling projects. With an average annual precipitation rate of less than 16 inches per year, basements

Basement Finishing Contractors in Boston MA Massachusetts

Remodeling a Basement in Boston

Basement remodeling is one home improvement that hasn’t caught on yet in Boston like it has in some other parts of country, probably because many Bostonians have a hard time visualizing how it’s possible to turn the typical damp, dark, and musty New England basement into something fitting to spend any time in. The truth of the matter is that it is possible. Not only that, basement remodels in Boston are also one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to increase square footage and add valuable living space to your home.

Costs for Remodeling Basements in Boston
Before we get into the nitty gritty of basement remodels, let’s cover what most homeowners want to know from the get go: the bottom line. HomeAdvisor doesn’t stake its reputation on blindly referring contractors to homeowners. Instead, we follow up on every job by contacting homeowners and collecting information on the final total price, how satisfied homeowners were with the work they had done, and how long the job took from start to completion. When it comes to Boston basement remodels, our research shows that the average cost of the basement