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Double Sinks for Matrimonial Bliss (and Other Bathroom Remodeling Ideas)

When remodeling a kitchen, bathroom or other rooms in a Livonia home, what’s one of the most requested features? While many answers will differ (with husbands often wanting extra garage space and most wives wishing for a bigger kitchen pantry) there is one thing that couples always agree on, and that’s having double sinks in the master bathroom! Often called “his and her” sinks, they provide much-needed elbow room for couples getting ready at the same time.

Most bathroom remodelers recommend having a vanity area with a minimum length of forty-eight to sixty inches if possible to accommodate two sinks. This provides an optimal scenario for spacing and countertops. At a minimum, there should be at least thirty inches from the center of one sink to the other. The good news is that for homeowners planning to remodel an old, existing single sink bathroom vanity to a double sink layout, it is surprisingly simple. In fact, most experts say that the two sinks can share a single drain trap, so re-plumbing work is not as complicated as most people think. Realtors recommend remodeled bathrooms to accommodate dual sinks in the master bath as one of their top returns on investment, meaning the homeowner will not only benefit from the increased convenience, but also recoup a major part of the expense when it comes time to sell.

Bathroom vanities have come a long way since the Formica versions of the sixties. They now come in as many combinations as custom kitchen cabinetry, and often resemble high-end furniture. Savvy homeowners are incorporating drawers into the vanity instead of cabinets with shelves. One smart homeowner even installed a cabinet with a drawer for undergarments so she could start getting dressed immediately after getting out of the shower!

One of the best things about remodeling a bathroom is that walls seldom need to be taken down. New vanities, showers, tubs and sinks can be installed within the current footprint and provide much-needed updates and functionality. An outdated, stained and yellowed plastic shower enclosure can be taken out and a new tiled shower with frameless glass doors installed.

Shower Door Styles

Choices are nearly endless when researching the type and style of glass for a new shower. Older sliding glass doors are being replaced with new “barn door” type hardware that eliminates the bottom railing. This not only increases functionality and is a major component of universal design, but also makes it much easier to keep clean. No more trying to get those grimy rail guides clean!

From clear glass to opaque designs, there are even options with built-in antimicrobial coatings to keep the shower door literally cleaner longer. Newer heavy glass doors range from one-fourth to one-half inches in depth. Cast glass can be designed with swirls, linear designs, and even in color. Glass styles include clear, obscure, rain, affinity, paint, everglade, bamboo, glacier, and more.

Finishes, Finishes!

Most homeowners planning remodeled bathrooms for their home are unaware of the vast array of hardware finish choices. For example, they include satin nickel, polished nickel, brushed nickel, polished chrome, brushed chrome, antique brass, polished brass, and oil rubbed bronze…the list goes on and on. And that’s not to mention a nearly unlimited variety of custom, powder-coated colors! Shower handle styles popular in remodeled bathrooms include “C pulls”, square, crescent, and ladder configurations to match the look and feel of the bathroom.

Lighting for the Bathroom

Since no one wants to be greeted in the morning by harsh bright lighting, it’s no surprise that new lighting for the bathroom is integral to the design. Many older homes have bar lights above the mirrors, but experts now recommend lights be installed on either side of the mirror for the most flattering effect. Upper lights may create undesirable shadows across the face and do not provide the best environment for shaving or putting on makeup.

LED lighting can last for twenty years or more, but can be confusing to choose. Its brightness is measured in lumens ­– for example, an LED bulb with 1600 lumens is the equivalent of an incandescent bulb with 100 watts. Brightness and light appearance are two factors to consider. The light appearance is measured on a range from warm to cool. Cool lighting is more of a bluish cast and is less flattering than warmer bulbs. Installing dimmers for bathroom lighting is an excellent choice when remodeling.

New Toilet Innovations

Remodeling a bathroom gives homeowners a rare chance to upgrade their existing toilets. For starters, the new “comfort height” models are a must have — they’re about two inches taller and provide much needed support for those with aging knees or bad backs. Another innovation that has been popular in Europe for some time is the water saving “dual flush” feature, allowing for different flushing needs. And, heated seats aren’t just for luxury cars anymore…they’re even available on new toilets!

For the ultimate home spa experience, remodelers can now select a toilet with an integrated bidet with a remote control, aerated spray, and even a warm air dryer. A motion-activated sensor raises the lid as the user approaches, and lowers it after use. The “no touch flush” feature utilizes an infrared sensor instead of a handle. Built in nightlights are a convenient safety feature. Most people aren’t aware that they may need a Bluetooth compatible toilet, but they make those, too! Who wouldn’t want their favorite song playing as they go? And for the ultimate in high-tech, homeowners can now choose a toilet that cleans itself, such as the “double vortex” or “double cyclone” models that provide extra swooshing power.

Remodeling or installing a bathroom in a backyard “She Shed?” Check out an environmentally friendly composting toilet. Most models use electricity to power a circulating fan for airflow and a heater to facilitate the breakdown of materials.

Whether remodeling a kitchen or bathroom in Livonia, homeowners should start early to select the many components that will make their dreams a reality. For choosing vanities, tile, toilets, showers, and lighting, the expertise of an experienced and trusted remodeling company can help them achieve the outcome they desire.

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Ann Arbor, MI 48104
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