Bathroom Window Buying Guide

clogged toilet

Image: Astronaut Images/Getty Images

Bathroom window buying guide

Changing your bathroom window can help you maximize available light while maintaining privacy. When choosing a bathroom window, you should consider lighting, privacy, and ventilation. A window with the perfect mix of these features can help you create the bathroom of your dreams.

What is a bathroom window?

A bathroom window protects your home from the elements while offering natural light. You should be able to open at least one window in your bathroom to allow for proper ventilation. Opening the window for 15 minutes after showering can decrease the likelihood of your bathroom developing mold or mildew. A good bathroom window also offers privacy.

How to buy the best bathroom windows

Bathroom windows are available in various types, sizes, and prices. Additionally, consider whether you plan to use a window covering, like curtains, or if you prefer the window itself to provide privacy. This guide includes bathroom window privacy ideas to help you choose the best option for your needs.

Types of bathroom windows

There are many types of bathroom windows available. Below are several common choices for homeowners.

Crank windows

This type of window opens and closes using a hand crank. Crank windows come in two styles: casement and awning. Casement windows open to the outside, like a shutter, which can allow rain and snow to get inside. Awning windows open from the bottom and keep out rain and snow, even when open.

Crank windows can accommodate window treatments, including any of your bathroom window curtain ideas.

Hopper windows

Hopper windows open downward. They provide excellent ventilation but allow rain and snow inside the bathroom. These windows are typically placed higher on the wall, so they do not require window treatments.

Textured glass or glass block windows

Textured glass windows provide privacy without any window treatments. Textured glass is available in various textures and patterns, which each offering a unique level of transparency and light filtration. The more difficult the glass is to see through, the less light it allows inside the bathroom. Homeowners who do not like the appearance of window treatments often choose textured glass windows.

Glass block windows comprise stacked bricks made of opaque glass.

Transom windows

A transom window is a single long, skinny window placed high on the wall, often above the shower. This type of accent window provides ample sunlight, and its location encourages privacy.

These decorative windows do not open and provide no ventilation.

Choose the right size

The ideal size of your bathroom window depends on your budget and how much light you want. For example, a wall of windows would cost more than a small transom window above the shower. You may also want to consider your desired level of privacy and whether you plan to use a bathroom window covering.

Compare bathroom window costs

Any simple bathroom window generally costs less than a window with complicated mechanisms. Transom windows are typically the most affordable, followed by sliding windows and hopper windows. Crank windows are usually the most expensive. However, crank windows let out less air than other options and may reduce heating costs.

Read bathroom window reviews

When shopping for a new bathroom window, reading customer reviews can help you make an informed decision. Visit Freshome.com for advice and insights on installing a new bathroom window.

Installation

The price of installation is one of the most significant costs of a new bathroom window. Installation costs include labor and supplies, as well as necessary changes to the structure of your home. Installation costs are lowest when replacing a window with one of the same size. However, any necessary adjustments to the window frame or the siding of your house increase the installation cost.

bathroom remodel

Image: ImageFlow/Shutterstock

Bathroom window brands

When choosing a bathroom window, consider various brands and manufacturers. Researching options can help you select a window that seals tightly and is energy efficient. To discover the best replacement window brands of 2019, read reviews at Freshome.com.

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30 Modern Bathroom Design Ideas For Private Luxury

Modern bathroom design is centered around a simple, clean, minimalistic look and feel. Think geometric shapes and patterns, clean lines, minimal colors and mid-century furniture. Your bathroom, large or small, can easily become a luxurious, modern sanctuary for function and relaxation. 

Since bathrooms are spaces that we use everyday, designing them to suit our personal style is important. From bright and cheery to sophisticated and elegant, these modern bathroom design ideas transform utilitarian spaces into relaxing and refreshing escapes.

Mid-Century Modern Style

Mid-century modern design is defined as the architectural, furniture, graphic and interior style of the mid-19th century (1933-1965). The mid-century modern look is made up of geometric shapes, natural colors and straight lines. Bathroom fixtures and furniture is great place to start when designing your modern bathroom. 

Create a focal point by placing a modern chair in the corner or even a small sofa. Look for patterns and colors that fit mid-century style. You can also find this style used in modern bathroom faucets, showerheads, mirrors and other bathroom hardware.

“Design is a plan for arranging elements in such a way as best to accomplish a particular purpose.” —Charles Eames

Minimalist Design

Simplicity is a rule of thumb for modern design, so make sure that you are keeping your bathroom open and free of clutter. Use built-in shelving and cabinetry to hide unwanted personal items. Tuck away toiletries and novelty items and focus on a clean space for relaxation. Avoid the temptation to add accessories and clutter. Choose tile and backsplash with geometric shapes to add interest and character without sacrificing minimalistic design.

Simplistic Bathroom Decor Ideas

  • Arrange framed geometric shaped mirrors on the bathroom wall
  • Place small white flower pots on shelves to add an organic feel
  • Hang framed modern prints
  • Add a floor-to-ceiling mirror
  • Showcase concrete and wood elements
  • Skip the “pop of color” and go for white and grey towels

Freestanding Bathtubs

Freestanding tubs are a staple for modern bathroom designs. Balance is key, so keep things symmetrical and sharp by strategically placing your tub in a spot that enhances the feng shui of your bathroom. Traditionally bathtubs are the familiar oval shape, however a rectangular or pedestal tub makes your bathroom look and feel more modern.

modern-tub

Greenery in the Shower

Adding a touch of greenery in your bathroom creates a connection between the indoors and outdoors. Organic design coincides with modern design, meaning that the natural outdoor space should easily mesh with the indoor space you are designing. Bring the outdoors inside by adding a houseplant or two — they look great in the shower, next to the sink, or on a windowsill.

modenr-greenery2

Modern Lighting

Choosing lighting is a crucial part of modern design style especially in the bathroom. Modern design is all about lines and geometric shapes, so keep that in mind when shopping for light fixtures or windows, and considering the placement of lighting.Don’t forget that the quality of the light is just as important as the actual light fixture. Skylights are a fresh and functional design trick for modern bathrooms, because they add more natural light and visual interest to your bathroom.

“The quality of the light around us has a profound effect on our well-being that should not be underestimated.” — Thomas Fuchs

Modern bathrooms, from small to large and in homes or apartments, can easily be achieved by adding the mid-century elements and ideas we’ve shared. Try including some element of them all to create a complete modern feel in your bathroom. 

  • Mid-Century Furniture
  • Simple & Minimalist Design
  • Freestanding Bathtub
  • Greenery
  • Lighting

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Home Organizers that Add Color to Your Space

If you love bright color, you’re probably always looking for ways to add shots of bold color into your home. An easy way to add color is to keep it in mind while you’re organizing. After all, who says home organizers have to be boring? Many organizational ideas can be easily modified to add color to any room.

These ideas are also so easy, they’ll typically take only one afternoon to implement. Some ideas are as simple as buying colorful cloth home organizers and bins, and others require some paint. So take a look below to find some easy ways to add color while using home organizers.

Home Organizers Cloth Style

A stacked system would add plenty of color. Image: Michael Kraus / Shutterstock

Colorful Cloth Home Organizers

One of the easiest ways to get some color into your space is to go for simple colorful cloth home organizers. You can use a stacked style, like the organizer in the photo above. These do well hanging in corners. Another idea is to place a bright cloth organizer on a shelf for a splash of color.

These also tend to come in any style or color you can imagine, so there’s sure to be a cloth home organizer that fits in with your tastes. For a more funky and artistic style, try one with a bright pattern. A solid bright color can work well in more traditional spaces.

Home Organizers Colorful Shelving

Bright shelving adds a fun accent. Image: Photographee.eu / Shutterstock

Colorful Shelving Displays

Another idea is to select a colorful shelving option, like in the photo above. You can get this look by using cloth box home organizers, as we touched on above. Also, you could consider panting a shelf directly.

You can see in the photo above how well a colorful shelving option goes with the rest of a funky, artistic space. Simply pair a colorful shelving system with wild accents like throw pillows, picture frames or poufs. Your home organizer can easily fit in with the rest of the room that way.

Colorful home organizers also work great as part of an accent color theme. Consider choosing one accent color for your home organizers and using that throughout the room. For instance, your shelving might be a bright cherry red. And then you can place other elements of cherry red around, like an accent chair or a throw blanket.

Home Organizers Painted Boxes

Create your own organization with a bright display using wooden crates. Image: Africa Studio / Shutterstock

Creative Displays Using Paint

Another option is to get creative with paint and some organizational displays, like in the photo above. You can see how easy it would be to simply paint some wooden boxes. Then you stand them on one end and put colorful decorative accents in them. As the photo shows, you can also combine them with colorfully painted chairs and end tables for an eclectic look.

It’s a fun idea for when you need to organize your decorations in a space. This style also shows that home organizers don’t have to be all cloth boxes and traditional shelving. Feel free to get creative.

Home Organizers Bin System

Plastic bins come in many bold colors. Image: Africa Studio / Shutterstock

Colorful Bins

Another mainstay in home organizers is plastic bins. And this option is easy to find in a colorful style. You can see in the photo above how some exposed colorful bins add a playful feel to this children’s room. The bins do a great job of matching the colorful rugs in the space.

This space goes to show how colorful home organizers were made for children’s spaces, too. Children’s spaces can get pretty messy, with all the toys and art supplies about. So you can easily organize the space and add some bright tones using a colorful bin system.

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What is a Transitional Bathroom and How Can You Get This Look?

The transitional bathroom is the most popular bathroom design style, according to the 2019 Bathroom Design Trends report by the National Kitchen + Bath Association. And according to trend spotter Elle H-Millard, Industry Relations Manager at the NKBA (and also a cast member on season 2 of HGTV’s Design Star), the transitional style is projected to remain the most popular style for the next three years.

But what is a transitional bathroom and how can you get the transitional look?

transitional bathroom

Easily accessible spaces are a trademark of transitional design. Image: Dit26978/Getty Images

A mix of two styles

A transitional bathroom can have several meanings, according to Joan Kaufman, Licensed Interior Designer and President of Interior Planning & Design in Naperville, IL. “Most commonly, transitional refers to the style that is between traditional and contemporary,” she says. “The style would be more clean lines, yet not overly contemporary, with a warm, comfortable feeling that is not too cold or sleek.”

Easily accessible spaces are a trademark of transitional design.

Easily accessible spaces are a trademark of transitional design. Image: deliormanli/Getty Images

Easy access

However, Kaufman says a transitional bathroom can also refer to a design that allows homeowners to age in place. “This means accommodations are made to the bathroom to increase safety and provide supports without being completely ADA.” For example, she says grab bars are added to the shower area and close to the bathtub. She adds that these bathrooms may include handheld spray showerheads “with the valve controls at a lower height. And the tub would have a lower profile to aid entry/exiting.”

In some designs, homeowners remove the tub and replace it with a shower that includes handheld sprays and a bench seat. “Mirrors and other fixtures will be mounted low enough to be viewed from a seated position and/or wheelchair,” Kaufman says. Another popular feature is under-toe kick lighting. “Having toe-kick lighting on a motion sensor is an added benefit,” Kaufman explains.

Showers may hold 2 (or more) people.

Showers may hold two (or more) people. Image courtesy of Case Design and Remodeling Charlotte.

Stylish safety

However, this is not your grandparent’s bathroom. “A transitional bathroom is both attractive and safe and can make your life comfortable, regardless of your age or physical ability,” according to Chelsea Allard, VP of Design at Case Design/Remodeling in Charlotte, NC. For example, she says those grab bars are decorative and can coordinate with your faucet suite. “Not only can they prevent a dangerous fall, but they can also be used as towel bars,” Allard says.

Likewise, those bench seats and handheld showers can also serve a dual purpose. “Benches can act as a foot prop for shaving your legs as well as being a seat if you are unable to stand due to an injury,” Allard explains. And those handheld showers are convenient if you need to bathe while seated, but she says they also make it easier to clean the shower or wash your dog.

“Comfort-height toilets are easier on the knees — but they are also great for tall users. And single handle or touch-activated faucets are great for people with arthritis or for people who just want a more convenient experience,” Allard says. Touch-activated faucets are just one of the 2019 bathroom technology trends being incorporated in transitional design.

Chandeliers add a touch of elegance.

Chandeliers and sconces add a touch of elegance. Images courtesy of Dawn Totty Designs.

Uber stylish

Another reason transitional bathrooms are so popular is the sheer beauty of the design. Bathrooms today are transitioning from a place of basic necessities to a space of luxury, according to Interior Designer Dawn Totty of Dawn Totty Designs in Chattanooga, TN.

“With today’s fast-paced lifestyle, designers and homeowners are implementing luxurious features such as chandeliers, saunas, free-standing tubs, beautifully papered walls and heated floors,” Totty explains. “It’s a spa-like place that they can escape to, but without the inconvenience and expense.”

Wood grain cabinets and floating shelves are natural warmth.

Wood grain cabinets and floating shelves add natural warmth. Image: in4mal/Getty Images

Storage and workspace

H-Millard notes that the cabinets and vanity in transitional bathrooms are quite distinctive. “We’re talking free-standing, built-in or floating styles, with recessed panel facing and plenty of drawers,” she says. This bathroom style commonly uses wood grain, painted wood and mixed materials with decorative hardware.

GRAFF Incanto Rose Gold Faucet.

The GRAFF Incanto Rose Gold Faucet. Image courtesy of GRAFF.

Countertops, sinks and faucets

“In transitional bathrooms, countertops and sinks tend to be quartz, quartzite, granite or marble,” H-Millard says. White porcelain and cast iron are popular for sinks, and undermount sinks are a common staple.

Transitional bathrooms incorporate the latest faucet design trends. “Faucets can be motion, touch-control or manual and are typically nickel, chrome, stainless or rose gold,” H-Millard says. Popular finishes for transitional bathrooms include polished, matte, brushed and satin.

Safety doesn’t have to be boring.

Safety doesn’t have to be boring, as you can see with the Trinsic Bath Collection. Image courtesy of Delta.

Flooring

Popular flooring options in transitional bathrooms include ceramic, porcelain or stone tile, according to H-Millard. Other options include luxury vinyl, ceramic wood or marble.

“Using matte-finish tile flooring is a great way to decrease the likelihood of slipping, without sacrificing style,” Allard adds. Durable flooring is particularly important when designing the perfect kids’ bathroom.

Valspar Fragile Blue.

A bathroom painted in Valspar Fragile Blue. Image courtesy of Valspar.

Colors

Since color choices are important, transitional bathrooms have a light and relaxed feel: whites, grays, beiges, bones, blues – and also silvers. “One good choice for a transitional bathroom is Fragile Blue, which is crisp and clean,” explains Sue Kim, Color Marketing Manager at Valspar. “It is a sophisticated white with a tint of blue, and its freshness creates a luxurious, spa-like environment, creating a room you never want to leave.”

Valspar Gotham Gray.

A bathroom in Valspar Gotham Gray. Image courtesy of Valspar.

Another option is Gotham Gray. “This color adds a dose of drama to your transitional bathroom space and brings carefully-selected fixed features to life with clean elegance,” Kim says. Just make sure you follow the 10 commandments of painting to achieve the desired result.

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2019 Bathroom Trends: What’s In and What’s Out

Kitchens might be the heart of the home, but bathrooms are definitely the muscle. After all, which room in your home has to double as a dog wash and a makeup station? Of course, making your bathroom one of your favorite rooms in your house has as much to do with style as it does function. As you work to create a bathroom that is fashionable and functional, you’ll want to know about all of the latest 2019 bathroom trends. We’ve rounded up some of the trends that are on their way in and some on their way out.

Powder room with floral wallpaper

Statement wallpaper makes the most of a small space. Image: yampi/Shutterstock

Instead of paint, try statement wallpaper

After years of being out, wallpaper is back in a big way. And while you might not want to commit to wallpaper in a large space like your living room, the bathroom is the perfect place to experiment. Try a statement wallpaper in a powder room by opting for a bold, graphic print with plenty of contrast. Instant style update!

Black painted bathroom with natural accents

Black is a fresher take for 2019. Image: PlusONE/Shutterstock

Instead of gray, try black

It’s one of the oldest pieces of interior design advice: use lighter colors to make a room feel bigger. But darker colors can actually convey more depth, which is a great choice for bathrooms. Skip the gray and paint one wall black to make a room feel deeper, or opt for black fixtures to increase contrast and call attention to the room’s features.

Industrial loft bathroom

Exposed pipes and a masculine design bring more style. Image: PlusONE/Shutterstock

Instead of glam, try industrial

Glam bathrooms (think all-pink, heavy chandeliers and gold features) are on their way out. One of the biggest 2019 bathroom trends is the complete opposite of glam. Industrial chic means heavier fixtures, metal and a more masculine aesthetic. Something as simple as swapping out lighting or even leaving exposed pipes makes a bathroom look more stylish.

Separate tub and shower in bathroom

A wet room makes your bathroom feel more spa-like. Image: ImageFlow/Shutterstock

Instead of a separate tub and shower, try a wet room

If you have the luxury of designing your bathroom from scratch, consider going with a wet room approach. A wet room is basically a separate tiled space in your bathroom that contains a shower and tub. It makes your bathroom feel more spa-like while still being incredibly easy to clean. An added bonus? It creates separation so someone can use the rest of the bathroom, including sinks, even when someone’s in the shower.

Modern bathroom with floating cabinetry

A floating vanity creates a sleek look. Image: Beyond Time/Shutterstock

Instead of a console vanity, try a floating vanity

Console vanities are inexpensive and easy to find. But for some bathrooms, they can look clunky and limit storage options. For a 2019 bathroom trends update, check out floating vanities. By bolting the vanity directly into the wall, the result is streamlined and modern. Floating vanities also let you store smaller things inside while tucking larger items (think baby tubs or step stools) underneath.

Modern industrial bathroom

Metal mirrors streamline your bathroom style. Image: Peshkova/Shutterstock

Instead of fussy frames, try mod mirrors

The overdone carved mirror is out. Let’s face it: a mirror with nooks and crannies isn’t always the best choice for bathrooms. They’re hard to clean and can collect dust. For 2019, it’s all about the mod mirror. Metal frames and even frameless mirrors are both streamlined and easy to wipe down. Simplifying your bathroom to-do list? Very 2019.

Bright bathroom with blue tile

Use tile to bring color and texture into the room. Image: Image Flow/Shutterstock

Instead of subway tile, try statement tile

For the last five years, subway tile has reigned supreme. From kitchen backsplashes to shower surrounds, subway tile is always a classic choice. But for 2019, the tile trend is leaning toward making more of a statement. Patterned tiles are less overwhelming in small doses, so they’re great for limited spaces in showers or around tubs.

Attic bathroom with wood accents

Wood tones make a more organic bathroom. Image: Wolfgang Zwanger/Shutterstock

Instead of stained cabinets, try natural wood

Natural wood tones are back in a big way. If your goal is to make your bathroom feel more spa-like, lightly stained natural wood is a great option. It looks best when accented with light tile and other natural elements like bamboo or cotton. Try opting for a light pine vanity or bring in natural tones with wood shelves piled high with fluffy towels.

Painted vintage bathtub

Use paint to update a vintage tub. Image: sylv1rob1/Shutterstock

Instead of a jetted bath, try a colored tub

Jetted tubs are one of those polarizing topics: you either love ’em or you hate ’em. But personal preferences aside, the heyday of the oversized jetted tub is coming to an end. Instead, tubs are becoming less utilitarian and more of a statement piece for your bathroom. Colored clawfoot tubs put a modern spin on a classic fixture. They’re essentially painted on the outside but still porcelain on the inside. Some of our favorites are coral, turquoise or even terracotta.

Matte surfaces are easier to keep clean. Image: Archi_viz/Shutterstock

Instead of high gloss, try matte finishes

From your fixtures to your tile, one of our favorite 2019 bathroom trends is the pivot toward matte finishes. A matte marble tile or matte showerhead adds a layer of texture and sophistication. It’s also easy to take care of since you’re not constantly trying to achieve a high shine. It’s one of those trends that is functional and fashionable, the holy grail for bathroom trends.

From home haircuts to pre-party primping, your bathroom is the true workhorse in your home. By keeping up on some of the best 2019 bathroom trends, you can combine fashion and function to come up with a space that works for you, your family and your design style.

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What to Do About a Clogged Toilet, Sink & Other Common Plumbing Issues

Is there anything worse than a clogged toilet? First, there’s the sheer panic as you pray it doesn’t spill over onto your floor. Then, there’s the frustration of attempting to successfully plunge it. And all of this doesn’t even take into account the potential for embarrassment. Fortunately, if you’re dealing with this situation, we’ve got two pieces of good news. First, you’re not alone. Second, we’ve got tips and tricks to help you out.

clogged toilet

Protect your sparkling bathroom by neatly handling your plumbing issues with this guide. Image: Astronaut Images/Getty Images

Fast stats on common plumbing issues

Mr. Rooter Plumbing, a Neighborly company, recently commissioned a study about this exact situation — and all the other plumbing challenges homeowners and renters face. Here are some quick facts and figures the study uncovered:

  • Nearly one in five homeowners deals with a clogged toilet on a regular basis
  • 15 percent of homeowners have recently spent time fixing a backed up drain
  • Almost one in ten regularly deals with a clogged sink
  • 6 percent have low water pressure
  • 4 percent have garbage disposal troubles

Sound familiar? Whatever plumbing issue is plaguing you, you want to get it dealt with as quickly as possible. And fear not! If you’re one of the 46 percent of people who’ve turned to the internet for support, we’re here to help. We talked with Mr. Rooter Plumbing to get some expert guidance for you.

How to fix a clogged toilet

First things first, step away from the handle! Continuing to try to flush your toilet when it’s clogged will just leave you with a mess all over your bathroom floor.

Instead, grab your trusty plunger. Oh, wait, not that one. James Doyle, President of Mr. Rooter Plumbing, gave us a crash course in plungers. And taught us that not all are created equal. The most common plunger type is a sink plunger, which is a simple flat rubber cup attached to a handle. Your toilet needs something extra.

Toilet plungers have a soft rubber flange running along the inside of the plunger cup, which makes them much more effective at plunging your toilet. “With the flange plunger’s universal design, it can also be used on sink and toilet clogs,” Doyle points out. “But don’t use the same plunger on both surfaces! Keep one plunger strictly for the toilet and another one for flat surfaces.”

clogged toilet - toilet bow

You need a plunger designed to fit well inside your toilet bowl. Image: bymuratdeniz/Getty Images

How to properly plunge, as explained by a pro

Ready to get plunging? Once you’re armed with your flanged plunger, Doyle offers step-by-step guidance for optimal results:

  • “Take your plunger (make sure you have a good connection with the plunger and the toilet) and begin the plunging motion with a good amount of force behind it. The goal is to push the blockage through.
  • “Be quick and repetitive with the plunging motion and keep your eye out for movement in the toilet, which means the blockage is being pushed through.
  • “Make sure the water is draining before you try to flush the toilet. Never pour a chemical drain cleaner down your toilet; harsh chemicals can irritate your skin and eyes or cause damage to your plumbing pipes.
  • “If you can’t repair a clogged toilet on your own, contact a professional plumber for assistance.”

With the right tool and the right action, you’ll have that toilet cleared in no time at all.

clogged toilet 1

Plumbing issues can arise pretty much anywhere in your bathroom. Image: dit26978/Getty Images

Fixing other common household plumbing issues

Unfortunately, Mr. Rooter Plumbing’s survey revealed that a clogged toilet is far from the only plumbing issue you could face. Fortunately, they offer other tips and tricks you can use.

Clearing a backed up drain or clogged pipe

Whether you’ve got a drain that’s moving slowly or it’s completely clogged, a simple household item could be the solution. Mr. Rooter Plumbing recommends taking a wire coat hanger and straightening it, then creating a small hook with one end. Use that hook to fish down into your drain and pull up any hair or other buildup, clearing your pipes.

If your fishing expedition doesn’t yield results, Mr. Rooter Plumbing recommends a natural but effective way to reach further into your pipes. Mix 1/3 cup of baking soda with 1/3 cup of vinegar and pour it down your drain (be prepared to move quickly, because this mixture will foam — and fast). Let it sit as long as you can. An hour works, but overnight is best. The fizzing action will help break up any gunk in your pipes, allowing water to run freely through them.

Still stumped? Keep reading for more guidance on clearing your drains.

clogged toilet - aerator

Your sink’s aerator can be screwed off to making it easy to clean. Image: PAVEL IARUNICHEV/Getty Images

Restoring water pressure to a sink

Fix your sink’s low water pressure in minutes. Simply screw off the aerator, the little cap at the end of the nozzle that prevents your sink from splashing. Clean it out, screw it back on and voilà! You should have improved water pressure.

Fixing a clogged garbage disposal

It’s tempting to run a chemical pipe cleaner through your garbage disposal, but it will likely be ineffective and can hurt the disposal itself. Instead, take the garbage disposal off and visually inspect it. You can do this by simply unscrewing it from the base of your sink. Don’t forget to disconnect it from power when you do to keep your hands safe!

Once you’ve located your issue, safely remove it, reattach the garbage disposal and test it to confirm you’ve found — and resolved — the issue.

See, being your own plumber doesn’t have to be a huge headache or mess. That said, don’t be afraid to call in the pros for support. If the above tips don’t do the trick, getting a hand from a professional can save you a lot of hassle.

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How to Share a Bathroom (and Keep the Peace)

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As far as house drama goes, the bathroom has got to be one of the most common key players. With real estate at a premium and more people than bathrooms, sharing can definitely land you in hot water — and not the soothing kind. Whether you’re sharing with a roommate, spouse or your kids, you can take some of the stress out of splitting the space. With the right organization, you can take the drama out of the bathroom routine and save it for more important places. (Don’t even get us started on the kitchen!) Try these tips to learn how to share a bathroom and restore the peace.
European style white bathroom

Cut down on clutter by keeping stuff off-site. Image: Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

Invest in bathroom caddies

When you keep all of your gear in the bathroom, the problem is two-fold. First, it clutters up a space that might already feel too small. Second, it makes it hard to get to your stuff if someone is using the bathroom. If possible, keep your bathroom stuff with you using a caddy system. Assign each person in the house their own caddy, which keeps their soap, shampoo, toothbrush and all the rest of their goodies close at hand. Growing up, I shared a bathroom with my four brothers and a caddy system was invaluable in keeping the peace. The caddies can be carried into the bathroom and right back out again. This keeps the space neat and everyone’s paws off of stuff that isn’t theirs.

White bathroom with towels on the door

Color coding towels makes laundry day easier. Image: Jodie Johnson/Shutterstock

Separate towels

I’m lucky enough that I don’t have to share a bathroom with my three kids. Still, they have a way of migrating into my master bathroom every so often. One way I keep everything organized is to assign a specific color of towel to each bathroom. This makes sense whether you have several bathrooms or several people sharing one bathroom. Assigning a color to each person or each bathroom makes laundry super simple. It also can give you an idea of who’s been leaving their towels on the floor.

With color-coded towels, you don’t need to divvy up towel bars or add hooks to the walls. Each person is responsible for their color, their laundry and keeping their towels neat.

Master bedroom with view of master bath

Save the bathroom for specific activities only. Image: Breadmaker/Shutterstock

Limit time

We recently finished a master bathroom renovation that was so extensive, it required we move our stuff into the kid’s bathroom for a few weeks. In sharing with five people instead of two, we quickly learned that the best way to learn how to share a bathroom and keep the peace was to limit bathroom time altogether. Instead of my daughter doing her makeup and hair in front of the bathroom mirror, our new rule was this: the bathroom is for showering, brushing teeth or going to the bathroom only. Everything else could be done in other rooms without tying up the bathroom for other people. A strict bathroom-stuff-only rule means it stays open for the important stuff.

Get creative: you can take contacts out at the kitchen sink or set up a makeup mirror at your desk. No need to use the bathroom for stuff that can easily be done somewhere else.

Natural light master bathroom

Skip the morning rush by resolving to get up earlier. Image: Artazum/Shutterstock

Schedule around peak times

Let’s face it: no matter how sensitive you are about sharing a bathroom, there’s always going to be certain times where you feel the crunch. With everyone rushing around first thing in the morning, it’s peak bathroom time. This can definitely cause spats and stress, so it’s best to plan around those times. If some of the household members can shower at night to relieve the pressure, make sure to schedule that time. Or resolve to get up a half hour earlier to get in and out of the bathroom before the rest of the household starts stirring. Take note of when bathroom usage seems to be the highest and schedule your day around times when it’s not so crazy.

Clean modern bathroom

Assign cleaning days to keep the peace. Image: Robert Kneschke/Shutterstock

Assign the cleaning

You hope that all of your roommates — be they spouse, friend or child — will clean up after themselves. Bathrooms can get cluttered, messy and downright dirty and, unfortunately, not everyone is willing to keep the bathroom as tidy as you are. Instead of just hoping the bathroom stays clean, be proactive. Schedule cleaning times and assign the cleaning to someone specifically. Without assigned cleaning, it’s all too easy to blame that toothpaste on the sink on someone else.

Skip the cleaning drama and make sure everyone takes a turn. That way, if the bathroom remains messy, you know exactly who isn’t pulling their weight.

Hey, we put a lot of pressure on bathrooms. The small space is everything from a spa to a makeup chair, catwalk and quiet place. Make sure that it doesn’t become the main source of stress in your home. While the bathroom in your home might not be perfect, knowing how to share it can help everyone stay organized and reduce the daily squabbles in your space.

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Water Closets: Essential or a Waste of Bathroom Space?

When you’re designing a bathroom, you’re probably going to view the 2019 trends in bathroom technology and the latest faucet trends for inspiration. A water closet is another bathroom feature that is popular among some homeowners — but it’s considered unnecessary by others. So, how do you know if it’s the right choice for your home?

If you’ve never heard of a water closet, Elle H-Millard of the National Kitchen + Bath Association (NKBA) explains, “The water closet is basically a toilet in its own room.” Do you need a toilet in its own room? Let’s find out.

Advantages

Water toilet privacy

A water closet provides privacy. Image: Sisoje/Getty Images

Nathan Outlaw, President at Onvico, a general contracting and design-build company in Thomasville, GA, tells Freshome that he always recommends water closets for master bathrooms. “They help add privacy for the toilet user and allow a spouse to continue to use the bathroom when it may have been too embarrassing otherwise.”

In fact, H-Millard says homeowners could even have two water closets in the master bathroom. “You could have water closets off to the side and you can have two — his and hers — guaranteeing each person their own true privacy.” This would be an ideal scenario in a Jack and Jill bathroom, too.

Water closet stylich

A water closet can be quite stylish. Image: fiphoto/Shutterstock

She says that water closets are trending. “This is a very European movement that is taking the U.S. by storm.” Ironically, H-Millard says Americans are opening up their showers just as they’re cordoning off their toilets. “The shower zones are totally exposed, but we are closing off the more private functions in the bathroom,” she explains. “Bathing in front of others seems to be more acceptable but we are still needing our privacy when using the water closet.”

Water toilet and toothbrush

A water closet puts distance between the commode and your toothbrush. Image: MartinPrescott/Getty Images

One advantage of a water closet is that it can make your bathroom more sanitary.  For example, toothbrush holders are one of the “Nasty 9” — the nine germiest places in your home. When we spoke with Dr. Charles Gerba, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona who is better known as “Dr. Germ,” he warned against storing your toothbrush holder close to the toilet. When the toilet is flushed, all of those particles sprayed through the air may land on the toothbrush holder. A water closet ensures that your toothbrush — and other toiletry items — are a safe distance away from the commode.

Disadvantages

Water closet claustrophobic

A small water closet can induce claustrophobia. Image: zilber42/Getty Images

So, how much additional space does a water closet take up? Not much, according to H-Millard. “If it’s not an ADA-necessary water closet, they can be as small as 3’ x 5’,” she says. But when they’re too small, they might make the user feel claustrophobic.

Another concern is that water closets can sometimes take up valuable space that could be used for something else.

Sometimes, water closet space could be better utilized. Image: Breadmaker/Shutterstock

“We have several master bathrooms that we have removed the water closet from to help open up the bathroom,” Outlaw says. “In some cases, the addition of the water closet just takes up too much space and makes a bathroom feel dark and cramped.”

However, he has another solution. “In these cases, we generally recommend a freestanding shelf or some type of furniture to help block the view and provide privacy to the person using the toilet.”

Other considerations

Water closet with windows

Looking at the mirror, you can see that this water closet has windows. Image: pics721/Shutterstock

A water closet can be as small or large as you need it to be. However, always consider resale value if you’re thinking about making it expansive. Homebuyers may not appreciate that it’s taking up valuable bathroom space.

Even though it’s a small room (within a room), don’t skimp on design. There are several types of fabulous bathroom wallpaper designs that can make the water closet the bathroom’s most stylish area. A frosted glass door is another option to keep the water closet from looking bland. It will also keep this enclosed space from looking dark and drab.

Even though the water closet will have its own light fixture, keep in mind that the door will be closed when it’s in use, so make sure the lighting is sufficient. In addition, if space is an issue, consider using a pocket door.

Another consideration: Outlaw says guest bathrooms wouldn’t really need a separate closet since they’re less likely to have more than one occupant at a time.

Water closet sufficient lighting

Make sure there’s sufficient lighting in the water closet. Image: Sisoje/Getty Images

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9 Pro Secrets for the Perfect Tile Backsplash

Contemporary Kitchen Backsplash

Make your DIY kitchen backsplash a focal point. Image: Artazum/Shutterstock

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When you’re remodeling or creating a new home, your kitchen and bath are the rooms that will need the most attention. Luckily, they can be the most fun to design. No matter your favorite decorating style, your kitchen and bathroom tile backsplash can be the focal point of your room.

Choosing a beautiful tile for your backsplash is just the first step to creating a memorable kitchen or bathroom. If you have the confidence and the right tools, your backsplash project can be a DIY victory. Because of the time-sensitive nature of setting tile and difficulty undoing tiling mistakes, you’ll need tips to create your own pro-style backsplash. Here are our favorite pro secrets:

1. View Your Tile in a Large Sample Before Committing

Many homeowners and designers have been surprised when the tile they ordered arrives at the job site. What seemed like the perfect tile when looking at a small sample can be quite different over several square feet in a kitchen or bathroom backsplash. If you are unable to see photos of a project of a similar scale to yours, consider purchasing a few square feet of your tile in sheets to see how it will look in your space.

2. Choose the Right Grout Color for Your Backsplash

The dark grout trend has been popular for a few years, but it’s not for everyone. Choosing white grout or matching your grout to the tile will give you a seamless look, especially in a large backsplash area. Dark grout lines with light tile is stylish but can be busy for large-scale areas.

3. Follow Seam Size Recommendations for Your Tile

Grout lines matter when setting tile. Tile comes with grout line size recommendations that are important to follow for a professional look. If you’re doing a DIY backsplash, invest a little in tile spacers, even if you are using tile adhered to mesh sheets. Tile sheets make it easier to set tile, but it’s important to match your grout lines between each sheet to the lines already established in the pattern so that the overall design is symmetrical.

Bathroom Tiled Wall Backsplash

Tiled walls are a trending choice for bathrooms and kitchens right now. Image: ImageFlow/Shutterstock

4. Know Where to Stop Your Backsplash

There’s nothing worse than finishing your tile backsplash project and realizing that it doesn’t line up with a cabinet or window line. Plan out your backsplash stop and start before you begin setting tile. You can play with it, too. The latest kitchen and bath trends feature floor-to-ceiling tiling, instead of a small backsplash.

5. Use a Tile Border or Bullnose for a Finished Look

Installing a border or matching bullnose tile to your backsplash edges is a crucial step to achieve a professional-looking design. Buying tile that has matching bullnose edging available will make your project so much easier, but you can improvise with a tile border in a similar color.

6. Purchase 10 Percent More Tile for Breakage

Tile breakage is a fact of life when installing tile — even for the tile pros. The pros purchase 10 percent more tile than they’ll need for a backsplash to be sure that they have enough. Some tile can have color and texture variations from batch to batch, so it’s best to purchase all at once like the pros do.

Kitchen Tile Designs

Create a focal point with a tile accent above your range for a designer look. Image: Alabn/Shutterstock

7. Create a Tile Accent Design Behind Your Range for a Luxury Look

Your backsplash is a major focal point for your new kitchen. Take your design to the next level by creating an accent design on the wall above your range or cooktop. Using your vent hood or built-in microwave as your size guide, you can create a backsplash within a backsplash. Your accent can be as simple as using your backsplash tile in a different pattern or color, or as elaborate as an intricate mosaic with a tile border.

8. Electrical Outlets Can Be a Problem for Your Backsplash

Let’s be honest: the electrical outlets in many kitchen and bathroom backsplashes are an eyesore. Even in professional backsplash projects, badly placed or poorly chosen outlets can ruin a beautiful design. We need those outlets and the placement may be out of our control, but there are ways to work around them and maintain your gorgeous backsplash design. Here’s how:

  • If you are designing a tile accent stripe in your backsplash, place it above or below your outlet line.
  • White backsplash tile and accents can incorporate standard white outlets stylishly, as they disappear when put together.
  • Shop for outlet cover options in colors that coordinate with your backsplash tile. There are options beyond just white or beige available now.
  • Clever companies have created pop-up outlets for kitchens that can leave your backsplash free of wall-mounted outlet covers. Your electrician can give you more information on making this work in your kitchen.

9. There’s No Shame in Hiring a Tile Pro for Your Backsplash Project

You may be an absolute rockstar when it comes to home DIY projects, but perhaps tile is just outside of your comfort zone. It’s totally okay to hire a professional for your backsplash if you don’t want to take it on yourself. You can save your time and talents for another project. 

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15 of the Best Open Design Showers

One of the popular ways to get a sleek, modern bathroom is to opt for an open design shower. As the name suggests, these showers are typically fully open to the rest of the bathroom, or at least only partially covered. Many are even simply behind clear glass partitions. This design opens up the bathroom space visually. And the lack of a shower curtain allows the bathroom to look more modern and spa-like. If this is something you’d like to try, or you’re just curious about how others incorporated the style, below are some of the best open design showers.

Fully Open Design Showers

First on the list of different open design shower types are showers that remain fully open to the rest of the bathroom. These have a few different benefits. They can be good for those with limited mobility since there is often only a lip to step over into the shower. And many designs are even flush with the floor and have a drainage system that allows water to stay in the shower area.

As mentioned above, they can also visually open up the bathroom space, making these good options for small space bathrooms. And, of course, open design showers have a luxury, modern feel to them, like something you’d find in an upscale hotel.

Open Design Showers Small Style

Open showers can make a smaller bathroom look bigger. Image: Artazum/Shutterstock

Open Design Showers Middle Style

An open shower fits well into the middle of a bathroom space. Image: Artazum/Shutterstock

Open Design Showers Stone Style

Natural stonework can give an exotic spa feel. Image: Kalen Armstrong/Shutterstock

Open Design Showers Texture Style

An open shower can show off the tile texture. Image: Kristi Blokhin/Shutterstock

Open Design Showers Rounded Style

A rounded door design can fit in just about anywhere. Image: KUPRYNENKO ANDRII/Shutterstock

Open Design Showers Two Tubs Style

Different floor textures can visually separate the open shower from the rest of the bathroom. Image: alexandre zveige/Shutterstock

Partially Open Design Showers

You may not be completely on board with a shower area open to the rest of the bathroom. If so, you can opt for partially open design showers. These give the best of both worlds. Most of the shower still opens to the rest of the bathroom, but part of the shower area will remain behind some type of partition. That serves the purpose of opening up the bathroom visually, but also allowing for some privacy.

The partitions themselves can also be wonderful additions to a bathroom. From partial walls to frosted glass, the partitions below add a sense of texture and style to the space.

Open Design Showers Partition Style

Creative, geometric partitions can add style to a space. Image: Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

Open Design Showers Wall Style

Another idea is to have a minimalistic partition right next to the shower space. Image: David Papazian/Shutterstock

Open Design Showers Frosted Style

Frosted glass is a good way to partition off partially open showers. Image: khunkorn/Shutterstock

Open Design Showers Small Wall Style

A partial wall can add some organization to an open bathroom design. Image: alabn/Shutterstock

Open Design Showers Background Style

An open shower can also sit farther back in its own space. Image: Rade Kovac/Shutterstock

Showers and Tubs

If you like the idea of being able to soak in a warm bath, these styles featuring open design showers and tubs are right up your alley. They blend an open shower design with a tub of some variety right into the same space.

An open design shower actually goes quite well with a soaker tub nearby. The shower and the tub are often placed right next to each other to minimize how much water is splashing about the bathroom. And the open showers help keep the space visually unimpaired so these designs can easily fit both showers and soaker tubs without anything feeling cluttered or cramped.

Open Design Showers Soaker Style

This style shows how well a clear glass shower goes right next to a tub. Image: alexandre zveige/Shutterstock

Open Design Showers Blue Style

The open shower design can also help keep color patterns more uniform in a space, like this blue tile and gray wood texture. Image: design.at.krooogle/Shutterstock

Open Design Showers Square Style

A square tub fits well next to an open shower. Image: BondRocketImages/Shutterstock

Open Design Showers Geometric Soaker Style

Geometric soaker tubs add some style and class next to glass shower doors. Image: Artazum/Shutterstock

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