Category Archives: DIY

Top 50 Bathroom Design Ideas & Costs: Smart Bathroom Designs

When focusing on your home’s interior design, bathrooms are often overlooked and neglected spaces. Reclaiming your lavatory as a stylish space that fits well with the rest of the house not only increases the value and enjoyment of your home, but it can also turn a functional space into your personal sanctuary.

Read on to learn how to spice up your bathroom space for functional, visual, and sensual enjoyment!

To help you navigate this list, it’s broken into the following categories:

Style
Features
Elements
Colors
Lighting
Tiles

Style:

1. Asian-Inspired

Asian designs are minimalist and serene. Open layouts and flowing design incorporate natural elements such as wood and bamboo, stone, natural light, accented with oriental indoor décor.

Japanese bath house inspired bathroom via Right Arm Construction

The above project makes a normal-sized bathroom seem very spacious and lush. It incorporates a skylight to create a sense of natural light shining onto the waterfall that is your bathroom. With the skylight already in place, it’s all about wrapping bathroom walls and the tub with natural wood. It’s a simple design, but it’s not trivial and requires masterful work to complete. Estimated cost of this minimalist bathroom design and remodel is $20,000 to $30,000.

With Asian-inspired bathrooms, minimalist design doesn’t mean small. The project below is a great example of a spacious, oriental style bathroom where walls become curved, showers transform into waterfalls, and stone motifs make you feel as though you’re in a garden.

via Steuart Gray

Steuart Gray: This projected consisted of redesigning a small bedroom next to a master bedroom into a master bedroom bath and connecting to the master bedroom, creating a large master bedroom suite.

This is a major remodeling project with an estimated cost of $75,000 to $125,000.

2. Spa-Inspired

Spa-inspired bathrooms bring the feel of being on vacation to your home. The design is modern, yet tranquil and luxurious. It turns the bathroom into a place of escape and rejuvenation.

via The Schimberg Group

The above project features His-and-her vanities resting opposite of each each other in this luxurious master bath with a spacious walk-in shower and freestanding soaking tub that overlook the ocean. An adjoining makeup vanity and cushioned seating area add to the elegant design.

The cost of this entire project is not for the faint of heart, and is estimated at between $100,000 to $200,000, depending on the initial setup and the amount of work required. But the concept can be replicated for significantly less money. The central element of this design is the freestanding soaking tub overlooking the ocean, something that can be realized for a lot less.

3. French Country Style Luxury

French designs are luxurious with modern elements. This style often incorporates modern comforts and richness coupled with marble, wood vanities, and crystal chandeliers. Think glamorous dressing areas and beautiful, stylish, and curvy free standing bath tub, often placed within an open layout.

via Peter_visual / Getty Images

Features:

4. Open Space

Credits: Willman Interiors

Regardless of the style, open space is the key feature of modern bathrooms.

5. Large Showers

Large, open-framed showers with waterfall or multi-showerheads are another key element of modern design.

6. Large Free-standing Tubs

Built-in tubs with jets are being replaced with large, free standing tubs such as a hammock-shaped, bowl-shaped, vessel-shaped, or Japanese soaking tubs. Image Credit: Splinter Works

Continue reading

How to Mix Concrete – Step by Step DIY Guide

There are many great projects a DIY person can do without the assistance of professionals. Some examples include the following:


* Making your own decorative concrete patio
* Pouring supports for fencing
* Pouring steps
* pouring small slabs for sheds
* Making your own decorative pathway stones
* Pouring a small sidewalk
* Making cement ponds
* Pouring your own support columns for a porch

concrete-patio Image credits: Concrete Network

The list can go on and on. You are only limited by the scope of your imagination. Keep in mind that concrete can also be colored, so decorative work can be done even from a plain concrete.

Origins of Concrete

Dating back to the time of Ancient Egyptians, cement (one of the parts comprising concrete) was used in structural formation and as a binder for stone. The Egyptians used a limestone cement and it worked well, but it took weeks to cure properly.

Although concrete has been in existence for a long time, its widespread usage did not really gain popularity until the time of the Roman Empire. The Romans created a blend of cement that rivals what we use today. If you look at the ancient buildings structures, many are still preserved in a wonderful shape, which is more than 2000 years after their construction.

The aqueducts, the Parthenon, and many other ancient buildings were made in whole or in part with the use concrete. Unfortunately, shortly after the fall of the Roman Empire, the formula for cement was lost, and was not until 1824, when Joseph Aspdin created what is now known as Portland cement. Today, concrete is used more than any other man-made building material in the world.

Concrete Mixing Tips and Good to Know Facts:

Concrete is not flexible, therefore it has zero tensile strength. When it comes to impact or load weight, concrete is very strong. In order to strengthen concrete, a material known as a re-bar can be used. Re-bar can be made of steel rods, or a steel mesh, which when properly set in concrete, gives it a much added strength to a project such as a sidewalk, pouring of a concrete slab, or a support column.

Concrete is a somewhat porous material, so it is recommended to apply a concrete sealer after a full cure (about 3 days) for a longer project lifespan. When pouring a sidewalk, or slab, it is important to cut in expansion joints. This gives room for the concrete to expand and shrink without cracking. Expansion joints can be added once the material is slightly firm. You can use a thin straight edged piece of metal, or wait until the cure, and then use a tile saw.

Preparing a strong foundation for a concrete pour:

When laying a slab, sidewalk, or a concrete step, make sure you prepare the location in order to provide a firm foundation for the concrete. Dig down about 6 inches deep, and lay a layer of about 2-3 inches of crushed stone in the bed. Then pack it down as firmly as possible. You can tamp it, or rent a roller to assist you in this process, or if you have enough room, you can actually drive your car’s tires over it.

Concrete Mixing and Pouring Project – Proper Planning and Preparation Tips:

The bigger the project, the more help you should have. You cannot delay the curing process of the concrete, so once it sets, you are all done. A good rule of thumb is to have one extra person for every five bags of concrete you plan to mix.

To give you an idea of how far an 80 pound bag of concrete would go, a one yard of concrete is approximately 48 bags of cement. This can provide enough concrete mixture to cover a sidewalk that is 21 feet long, 4 feet wide, and 4 inches deep.

Concrete Mixture Area Coverage and Prices:

As you can see, 1 bag does not go very far, and it is a lot of hard work mixing that much. Many concrete companies require a 2 yard minimum for delivery, and concrete mixture prices will range based on your location, but a ballpark price is $400.00 for 2 yards of concrete delivered.

Continue reading

Top 10 Countertops: Prices, Pros & Cons in 2020 – Countertop Costs

In this guide, we’re exploring countertops and solid surfaces for kitchens and bathrooms.

Selecting a new countertop for your kitchen can not only be exciting, but it can also be a bit overwhelming. After all, there is such a wide variety of materials to consider, along with their thickness, benefits and drawbacks, colors, costs, and other options.

It’s not at all surprising that many homeowners are easily dazed and confused by the wide array of choices and options. In fact, many people who have already been through the process of installing a new countertop in their kitchen or bathroom will readily attest that it’s not at all an easy choice! 😉

Some of the top questions being asked by many of the “quality and cost” conscious consumers, have to deal with the cost of materials and installation costs for most common surfaces including granite, Formica, quartz, marble, and the good ol’ laminate.

If you have not faced any major remodeling decisions before, then you should know that all modern countertops have their inherent strengths and flaws. It’s up to you to decide which particular factors and material characteristics are most important to you.

Yes, it’s all about your wants and needs! 🙂 — Some of the main ones to consider are: durability, luster, heat resistance, maintenance, price and style.

In this guide, will cover the top ten most common materials for countertop surfaces. We’ll give you the necessary information, so you can make an informed decision.

| 1. Granite |
| 2. Quartz |
| 3. Solid Surface |
| 4. Wood |
| 5. Laminate |
| 6. Concrete |
| 7. Nanotech Matte |
| 8. Glass |
| 9. Stainless Steel |
| 10. Soapstone |

1. Granite

For years granite has been one of the most popular surface choices among the US homes, owning to its natural beauty, durability, and ruggedness. It’s a natural stone, so every individual slab is 100% unique in its hue, pattern and shading.

Mediterranean-style-granite-countertop-McCullough Design Development

By McCullough Design Development

Since each piece is different in appearance and size, many consumers will often have go to their local granite warehouse and select the actual pieces of granite that will go into their kitchen or bathroom.

Each slice of granite is approximately 9 to 10 feet long and 5 to 6 feet wide. There are some places carrying granite slabs as large as 12 feet long for those extra long open-space kitchens.

If your countertop is larger than this, the granite will need to be installed in pieces, thus inevitably resulting in some seams.

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Unique – One of a Kind!
  • Scratch-resistant
  • Stain resistant
  • Heat resistant
  • Water resistant (when sealed)
  • Easily cleaned
  • Variety of colors and patterns

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • High maintenance
  • Can break when exposed to excessive stresses during transportation or installation

Price: Granite has an average material cost of $55 to $100 per square foot depending on the size, pattern, and thickness of the slab. Although, some select species of granite can be as expensive as $150 to $250 per square foot! It will be a grand total of $3,000 to $6,500 for an average 40 square feet granite surface installed.

Tips: Save money by using a thinner slab of granite, or use granite tiles for a fraction of the cost.

2. Quartz

Quartz can give granite a run for its money (especially considering the cost of higher-end granite) surfaces, with the durability and look of natural stone, minus the maintenance. It’s a very hard, impervious to water drops or moisture stone quarried out of the earth, ground into small pieces, mixed together in a sheet layer and held together in a resin as part of its manufacturing process. As with all countertops, it has some advantages and disadvantages.

White Quartz Countertop by Marble of the World

By Marble of the World

Like granite it will have seams, but they will be less noticeable. Its consistent look and pattern allows the seams to blend more easily.

Quartz is a nonporous pre-engineered material, so it doesn’t need to be sealed. However, it’s not completely heat resistant. A hot pot can be sat on the counter, but it can’t be left there for very long, as the heat will react with the resin and leave a burn mark!

Pros:

  • Durable
  • More flexible than granite, which makes it stronger and more tolerant to stress
  • Available in glossy and matte finishes
  • Non-porous
  • Stain and crack resistant
  • No sealing
  • Wide range of colors
  • Easily cleaned
  • Antibacterial

Cons:

  • Not heat resistant
  • Seams

Price: $65 to $100 per square foot. It will cost you in the range of $3,500 to $5,500 for an average 40 square feet pre-engineered quartz surface installed.

3. Solid Surface

An acrylic manmade product created by DuPont under the brand name, Corian. The seamless material provides a durable, hygienic and nonporous surface.

Orange Corian Countertop Kitchen - Susan Jay Design

By Susan Jay Design

Corian comes in a variety of colors, hues and patterns that can be designed to fit anyone’s style. Choose a stone pattern for a warm, traditional decor, white or black for a minimalist style or brighter colors for a more eclectic look. Custom colors are also available.

Its look is consistent and lends itself to soft curving designs and integrating features like sinks, drain boards and backsplashes.

Pros:

  • Nonporous
  • Stain resistant
  • Easily repaired
  • Seamless
  • Customizable
  • Several colors, patterns and finishes
  • Quick installation
  • Easily cleaned

Cons:

  • Not heat resistant
  • Can be scratched and dented
  • Not a natural material

Price: $45 to $90 per square foot instealled

4. Wood

Wood countertops have been used for hundreds of years. They’re unique, natural and add warmth to any space. Various types of wood and finishes can be used to fit different decor and lifestyles.

For a traditional style use cherry, teak, yellow cedar, mahogany or white oak with an oil finish. For a modern or more carefree wood countertop, you can finish the wood surface with a waterproof varnish. For an eco-friendly, rustic style, reclaimed wood can be used.

rustic-wood-kitchen-top

By Hill Farm Furniture

Wood naturally contains enzymes which attack and kill bacteria, making it an excellent choice for the kitchen. Although it’s very durable, it’s not impervious to damage.

While the thought of using a butcher’s block countertop as one long chopping block may sound convenient, it’s not advisable. It would cause scratches, chipping and damage to the surface. Other options are to have a separate chopping block or have one built in.

Pros:

  • Appearance
  • Works with all designs
  • Durable
  • Gentle on glasses and dishes
  • Heat resistant
  • Recyclable

Cons:

  • Maintenance
  • Requires special care
  • Must be kept dry
  • Not scratch and dent resistant

Price: $50 to $100 per square foot installed

5. Laminate

Although it’s often scoffed at by natural material lovers, laminate is still a widely used countertop option. Not only is it budget-friendly, new designs are helping laminate make a huge comeback.

Laminate Countertop Travertine Silver Formica

By Formica

Manufacturers are teaming up with top designers to create amazing on trend designs.

For a fraction of the cost, you can have the look of marble, granite or wood. Or, if your tastes are more modern, you can choose to go with bolder, brighter colors and patterns.

Pros:

  • Budget-friendly
  • Variety of styles
  • Low maintenance
  • Easily cleaned
  • Stain resistant

Cons:

  • Laminate can crack, scratch and scorch over the years
  • More difficult to repair

Price: $10 to $25 per square foot installed

Continue reading