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Charlie Glahe WIN Broomfield

The best bathroom ideas around

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Your bathroom can get pretty messy sometimes. It also happens to be one of the biggest drivers of resale value. A spiffy bathroom can be as eye-popping for buyers as a dingy bathroom can be unappealing. By making a few changes, you can not only increase the value of your home, but also add significantly to your comfort level.

Heated tile flooring
HouseLogic raved about heated tile floors in your bathroom, and you or any guests certainly will as well. A survey from the National Kitchen and Bath Association found that 83 percent of consumers favor ceramic tile over any other type of flooring in their bathroom. It's obvious why they are the preferred choice, being waterproof and easy to clean. But now, many are opting for what seems like the space-age version of the classic flooring option. It's possible to install radiant mats that fit underneath the tile but don't raise the level of the floor. HouseLogic noted that the most common system uses about as much electricity as three 100-watt light bulbs, so this option isn't too extravagant or costly. In fact, they can even be more energy efficient than central heating systems, since heat isn't lost inside ducts or walls. The heating mats range from $5 to $15 per square foot to install, making them a relatively budget-friendly option.

Besides this extra feature, there are several other great tile add-ons that will make your bathroom experience much more pleasant. You could try no-slip ceramic tile, which will prevent any harmful (or at least embarrassing) spills after stepping out of the shower. This is perfect for small children or the elderly. You'll want to look for a coefficient of friction standard of more than 0.60, which means the tile will provide adequate traction when wet. The latest standard, the dynamic COF AcuTest, recommends a value of at least 0.42 for non-slip tile. Be aware that non-slip tile can be more difficult to clean than conventional flooring.

Tile is versatile and practical, but the grout often makes upkeep and cleaning a pain. HouseLogic suggested an epoxy grout that will resist staining and discoloration more so than conventional grout. It is also more flexible, meaning it won't crack as easily. When installing epoxy grout, ensure your contractor is familiar with the substance and is aware you are using it. This grout requires a unique sort of handling to get just right. You may need to pay a premium of $50 to $100 to get this specialized form of grout properly installed.

To compliment your luxurious heated floors, add a programmable thermostat. This device will automatically begin heating the tile before you wake up in the morning and hop in the shower. For just an extra $60 to $200, the thermostat will also help you cut down on any excess energy the heating pads may consume, not to mention make things much easier for you.

Curbless walk-in shower
The truth is, bathtubs just don't cut it anymore. Most homeowners don't have time for baths, and may only use them if they have small children. Then once they grow up, there's little use for them. Some enterprising remodelers are now opting for a curbless walk-in shower. A recent survey by the American Institute of Architects suggested that as many as 60 percent of homeowners now have one.

The benefits of these types of showers are many, and not limited to just their sleek design. The lack of a large lip to step over when entering makes these showers much safer than the conventional option. That's perfect for people of advanced age who may have limited mobility. Curbless walk-in showers also meld well into ceramic or tile flooring, making installation easier and the overall look more cohesive.

HouseLogic recommended hiring a contractor who has experience specifically with curbless walk-in showers. Given their unique shape and design, these showers do require an extra level of craftsmanship not needed with typical bathtub/shower combinations. The floor of the shower must properly slope into the drain, which means removing old flooring and adjusting the framing underneath. Check your local building codes to ensure the shower remains compliant. It may not be a bad idea to schedule a home inspection as well, in order to make sure conditions are good for a new shower, or to make sure the installation has been successful.

One sink, two sink?
It's common in many American households to have two sinks in the same bathroom, ostensibly to allow more than one person to use the bathroom at the same time and make busy mornings a little less hectic. However, it might be more economical - for both money and space - to just design one large link. HouseLogic recommended a basin no smaller than 38 inches. This allows for more accessible counter space without sacrificing practicality.