I am a remodeling expert that loves to build beautiful homes. I write about our beautiful place in Fairfax and the homes that I have help over the years.

modern undermount sink with granite vanity top

Tips for Choosing a Sink for Your Bathroom Upgrade

Tips for Choosing a Sink for Your Bathroom Upgrade

Small bathroom upgrades pay back more than you put in when you make strategic choices. The choice of bathroom sink, for instance, is more for function than design. However, simply replacing the sink can make a big difference in the look of the bathroom. The right one can even make the kitchen even more functional.

The best thing about replacing the sink in your bathroom is you can do it at any time. If you are putting in granite or marble vanity tops or making any structural changes, you probably need a professional to do it for you. Otherwise, you can probably do it yourself. Below are some tips for choosing a sink for your bathroom upgrade.

Space

bathroom being measured
The size of your bathroom will determine the amount of space you can dedicate to your sink. That usually depends on space needed by other elements in the bathroom, such as the toilet and shower. A remodeling company can help you figure it out, but general information about space requirements should give you a good idea of what type of sink you need.

Sink

You need at least 2.5×4 feet of space in front of your sink or vanity, although a clearance of 2.5 feet out of the 4 feet is acceptable if you have a wall sink with no vanity, which provides some knee space. You also need to plan for at least a clear 15 inches of space measuring from the center of the sink to the sidewall.

Toilets

You need at least a 15-inch clearance all around a toilet, measuring it from the center of the seat. There should also be minimum of 2.5 feet from the sink and other sanitary units, again measuring from the center of the toilet and the center of any sanitary component. If you have a bidet, you need at least a clearance of 2 feet in front of it.

Bathtub

If you have a bathtub, or plan to put one in, you need a 5×2.5 feet space for it, and easy access to any exposed plumbing and motors (if you have a hot tub).

Shower

You will need at least 32 inches of interior wall space, and the area of the interior of the shower of any shape should have a diameter of 2.5 feet.

The overall space of your bathroom will limit your options when it comes to your choice of sink, more so because of the required clearances of each element with relation to each other. This is not a major problem if you have a large bathroom. With small bathrooms, however, it requires some careful measuring and selection.

Function

Vanity with ample storage space
The sink primarily serves a sanitary function, so that is a given no matter what type of sink you choose. However, it can serve other functions as well with the right add-ons.

A vanity serves as a workspace and repository for frequently used tools and products for hygiene and grooming. You will want to have the vanity top in some durable material, such as granite or engineered quartz. The standard vanity is 24 inches wide, but they are also available in widths of 18 inches and depths of 16 3/8 inches. If that is still too much vanity for you, you can always have one custom made.

Vanities may or may not have storage space, which is desirable if you have a small kitchen. This puts the space under the sink to good use as a keep towels, cleaning products and tools, and extra toiletries out of sight.

Mounting

floating sink in modern bathroom
Still on practical matters, the space available and function of the sink will determine the type of mounting. If you want a vanity, a wall-mounted or pedestal sink is not going to let you do that. On the other hand, if the space makes it impossible for you to have even a tiny vanity, these are your best sink options.

This is not necessarily as bad thing, as pedestal sinks has a graceful and clean profile that hides the plumbing without using up a lot of space. Wall-mounted sinks are even more space saving, and the exposed plumbing fit very well with an industrial style of bathroom.

Style

Victorian-style bathroom with pedestal sink
Bathrooms need to be functional, but that does not mean they have to look strictly utilitarian. You are sure to use the bathroom daily, so it is a good canvass for expressing your personal style. One way to do this is in your choice of sink. If you are the conventional type, a plain, porcelain sink with standard fixtures is a good choice. If you have a modern flair, integrated granite sinks with state-of-the-art fixtures is more your speed. You can introduce this one element in any style bathroom and pull it in the direction you want.

Material

cast iron sink from Kohler
The material of the sink is a secondary consideration when it comes to size and function. The plain porcelain sink is available in a wide variety of colors, sizes, and shapes. They are also very durable and inexpensive. However, if you want a little bit of drama in your life, you can consider other materials for your sink. These include glass, stainless steel, cast iron, granite, marble, concrete, solid surface, or engineered quartz. There are even wood sinks, which are gloriously unexpected, expensive, and generally impractical.

Conclusion

These tips for choosing a sink for your bathroom upgrade should help you get an idea of the type of sink you can have. You can further narrow your choices (and they are many) by consulting with a reputable remodeling company. Fairfax Kitchen Bath is can help you with free in-home design consultation and quote for your bathroom upgrade and other remodeling projects.

Fairfax Kitchen Bath services the DC, MD and Northern Virginia metropolitan areas. We are a Class A, licensed and insured contractor, registered in the Commonwealth of Virginia. We have a showroom in Fairfax, Virginia, which houses all our products.

We sell only top-quality products for all your bathroom upgrade needs, ranging from top-brand bathroom sinks of all types, fixtures, cabinets, and vanity tops using natural and engineered stone slabs. We carry products from Schrock Cabinetry, Fabuwood, Silestone, Blanco, Kohler, and Mosaic Décor.

Contact us today to get free in-home design consultation and quote for your bathroom upgrade. We guarantee you will love your new kitchen for life!

Bathroom Vanity Tops

Four Edge Profiles for Bathroom Vanity Tops

Four Edge Profiles for Bathroom Vanity Tops

A complete remodel is one way to upgrade your bathroom, but it is not the only one. You can make quite an improvement on its look and function by putting in a vanity or, if you already have one, putting in a granite or marble vanity top.

One of the decisions you need to make when putting in any type of granite or marble countertop is the edge profile. The fabricator hews the edge profile at the same time as the sink cutouts, so you need to indicate your choice after choosing the stone slab you want. It may not seem like a major issue, but it may be more important than you first realize.

The primary purpose of the edge profile is to enhance the countertop by showing off the beauty of the stone. In some cases, it also has a practical function. A description of four edge profiles for granite or marble vanity tops below will demonstrate its importance for you and your bathroom.

Square edge profile

bathroom with square edge vanity
The square or standard is a classic, one of the simplest and most common edge profiles. It is popular for both kitchen countertops and bathroom vanity tops, particularly popular for modern designs because of its clean, sleek look.

The square edge profile may seem to have sharp, straight lines at a casual glance. However, a closer look will show the edges are actually slightly round. Fabricators put in “kerfs” or tiny cuts in the granite or marble to soften the sharpness. A truly sharp edge may cause injuries, especially to the heads of small children that are just at the right height for it. Rounding the edge also makes it less likely to chip or break over time.

Variations of the square edge profile include the eased top and eased top and bottom. The eased top edge has a much more obvious rounding at the top and flat front, while the eased top and bottom has a rounded top and bottom edge, still with a flat front.

The square edge profile is suitable for granite or marble slabs of more or less solid colors and few noticeable features, and in smaller rooms, as the simple construction gives an illusion of spaciousness. It also focuses attention to other elements in the bathroom, such as an ornate mirror or dramatic light fixtures.

Beveled edge profile

bathroom with beveled edge vanity

The beveled edge profile is also a popular style for bathrooms as well as kitchens in both traditional and modern styles. The angled cut of this edge treatment is reminiscent of classic architectural styles, but also has a sleek look. Designers recommend this style as it provides additional reflection of light at the edge.

The popularity of the beveled edge style is due to its subtle elegance, an ideal element in most bathrooms. It was also a treatment used to prove that it is really granite or marble and not some cheap imitation, as the cut provided an inside look into the distinctive grains and features of the stone. Of course, this is no longer a reliable way to assess the nature of the material today. Engineered stone and laminate countertop manufacturers can mimic these features by incorporating these types of edge profiles into their products. However, this does not detract from the esthetic value of edge treatment for your countertops.

The bevel, also known as a chamfer, refers to the 45-degree slope at the top edge of your granite or marble countertops that extends nearly to the bottom. A simple beveled edge will feature just that. However, several variations of this type of edge treatment are available. One is where the angle is much steeper than 45 degrees, and called an extreme bevel or knife-edge profile. Another is a 45-degree cut at the top half of the edge, or alternately, a 45-degree cut at both the top and bottom of the edge, or a double bevel.

In some cases, you can direct your fabricator to customize an edge profile by combining a beveled edge profile with other edge profiles. Expert fabricators will almost always put kerfs along the sharp edges, but the beveled edge profile will always present a strong element to your design.

Mitered edge profile

bathroom with mitered edge
Granite and marble countertops are much more affordable today than a few decades ago. Nevertheless, they are still among the more expensive materials for countertop materials, so a mitered edge profile can help you save some money.

Granite or marble stone slabs typically come in 2 cm and 3 cm thicknesses, with some producers producing even thinner ones. As you might have guessed, thinner slabs are less expensive than thicker ones. If you are on a budget, you will probably choose the thinner, less expensive options, which is good enough for bathroom vanity tops. However, if you want to mask the fact that it is a thin slab, a mitered edge profile can create the illusion that it is much thicker than it really is.

A mitered edge profile presents as a simple square edge, so you can use it for any style of bathroom. However, this edge treatment joins two pieces of the stone set at a 90-degree angle to create this look. The fabricator cuts the edges of the stone at a 45-degree angle so that they fit together seamlessly. Using a special type of adhesive, the installer attaches the two stones together after installation. If you want something a bit more rounded, you can request your fabricator for an eased mitered edge.

The important thing with this type of edge treatment is the precise cutting of the stones in such a way that there appears to be no break in the stone where the two edges meet. This requires considerable skill on the part of the fabricator, as natural stones are notoriously random in terms of color and pattern.

Bullnose edge profile

bathroom with bullnose edge vanity
You have probably seen the bullnose edge profile in many bathrooms and kitchens in your time, and you may even already have them for your kitchen countertops. This type of treatment is popular because it has a soft, graceful look, and it is particularly safe for young children.
A bullnose edge is round from top to bottom with not a sharp edge or angle in sight. It is suitable for many types of bathrooms, but particularly attractive in contemporary designs.

Two variations are available for this edge treatment: demi-bullnose, and half-bullnose. Some people might point out that “demi” also means half, but in this case, at least, they refer to slightly different treatments. The demi-bullnose has a round top and angled bottom. The half-bullnose is similar, but the bottom half is more rounded.

Conclusion

These four basic edge profiles provide homeowners with additional design options for their bathroom vanity tops. Some companies offer these basic edge profiles as a freebie in their packages, but edge treatments are actually a complicated process requiring considerable skill on the part of fabricators.

If you are still feeling doubtful about your ability to choose the right edge profile for your bathroom upgrade, consult with a reputable remodeling company about it. Fairfax Kitchen Bath services the DC, MD and Northern Virginia metropolitan areas. We are a Class A, licensed and insured remodeling company, registered in the Commonwealth of Virginia, with a showroom in Fairfax, Virginia.

When you contract with us, you can be sure you will get a quick turnaround on your products, and receive it much faster than ordering what you need from big box stores. We specialize in fabricating kitchen countertops to specifications, and installing them within budget and on time.
Fairfax Kitchen Bath guarantees you will love it for life. We sell only top quality products for all your remodeling needs manufactured by leading brands in the industry.

We carry the products you need for your bathroom upgrade, from natural and engineered stone slabs, cabinets, shelves, sinks, faucets tiles, backsplashes, knobs and pulls, and hardwood flooring. We carry only the top brands for these products, such as Schrock Cabinetry, Silestone, Blanco, Kohler, and Mosaic Décor.

Our products come with manufacturer warranties that ensure your satisfaction with the quality and installation.
Contact us today to get a free quote for your bathroom upgrade.

beautiful kitchen with an open layout

Budget-Friendly Ways to Home Renovations

Budget-Friendly Ways to Home Renovations

Home renovations are always a good thing. If you are planning to sell your home in the next few months, you should certainly consider making it more attractive. It is a good investment right now because the real estate market is on the uptick, so you are more likely to sell at a good price if you do some renovations before putting it up for sale.
Even if you are not planning to sell anytime soon, renovating your home can still benefit you. You can make it more comfortable and attractive for your own pleasure. If you have a small budget for these renovations, many levels of renovations are possible. Here are some budget-friendly ways to home renovations.

1. Curb appeal

well-tended-lawn
One of the easiest ways to do a home renovation is to make the front lawn look attractive. Most people have a good first impression of the quality and care of a home when these see a well-laid and maintained front lawn. It does not matter if you are selling the home or not. You can increase the value perception of your home by simply having a nice lawn.

The first thing you need to do is to have a landscaper lay down the basics if you have just bare ground at the front o your house. This typically means grass, plants, maybe a couple of trees. If you already have a working lawn, have a gardener get it in order and put in some vegetation to cover any bare patches. If you have some landscaping or gardening experience, this is something you can do on a tiny budget.

Once your lawn is in good heart, make sure you make it part of your daily routine to keep it that way. Mow the grass regularly, do weeding when necessary, and sweep up dead leaves. Keep an eye out for dead branches, flowers, and twigs, and remove them as soon as possible. This is especially important for any large dead branches, as they can do some serious damage to your home during a storm, or even just a strong wind. You also need to make sure to keep branches from growing too near your gutters, as the dead leaves can clog them up.

2. Painting spells

paint kitchen

Another budget-friendly way to renovate your home you might be able to do yourself is painting. Paint is available in a wide variety of color and types, and none of them is very expensive. Paint is that it can breathe new life into any home in amazing ways, and the great thing about it is you can do it in spells. You can tackle one part of the home at a time if you do not want to disrupt your routine too much, and you can do it yourself during weekends. You might even make it a fun family project, or an excuse to invite friends over and have a few laughs.

In line with improving your curb appeal, you might want to start with the exterior of the house. Nothing detracts from a home’s value as much as cracked, weathered paint, and this might also mean potential issues with weatherproofing. If the paint is a good color and condition, just do a bit of touching up any chips, cracks, or worn areas. Otherwise, prepare for a couple of weekends painting your exterior walls. You might also want to show your front door a bit of love by painting it a cheery or welcoming color.

You can move to the interior of the home, prioritizing rooms that need it most. You can choose the same color as before, or make some changes to the ambiance by choosing a different one. If you are planning to sell your home soon, you might want to choose a neutral color.
Whatever you do, make sure you have plenty of ventilation in the room. Take the time to prep the surface properly before laying on new paint. Otherwise, you might get splotchy, uneven, peeling, or unattractive results. If you are not sure how to do that, consult a remodeling company in your area to handle the painting for you.

3. Bathroom upgrades

low-flow shower
You can create quite a bit of an impact on the look of your home by simply upgrading your bathrooms. Experts say that you get back 70% of whatever money you put into bathroom renovation in terms of overall value of the home. Of course, this is for major bathroom remodels, but even small improvements can go a long way.

Budget renovations might be as simple as changing your fixtures or cabinet hardware, or replacing your showerhead with low-flow ones with temperature control. Dig a little deeper by replacing the grout of the bathroom tiles or the caulk of the bathtub, shower enclosure, and windows. If you really want to elevate the look of your bathroom without spending a fortune, put in marble, granite, or quartz countertops for your vanity.

4. Add more cabinets

more cabinets

The kitchen and bathroom are the top two rooms that affect the value of a home, and an important feature of both these rooms is storage capacity. You can benefit greatly if you can maximize your storage space in these rooms, for either your own comfort or that of a prospective homebuyer. The best way to do that is to add new cabinets and drawers.

Many top cabinetmakers offer a variety of special cabinets and accessories designed to fit awkward spaces such as corners, small gaps, and deep areas. If you have no cabinetry at all, or you can afford it, consider modern storage systems with soft-close features and other bells and whistles. It will up the wow factor in extraordinary ways.

5. Open it up

kitchen and living room with matching kitchen countertops and fireplace
It might seem a bit excessive, but the best way to make the most of a small space is to open it up. Knocking down a couple of walls can make a big difference to the amount of light and space that goes into the home, and it can make even tiny homes look much larger than it really is. An open layout also improves the energy of the space, especially the kitchen.

If you already have an open layout, you can make it even more effective by choosing flat-panel cabinets with no hardware, matching walls, countertops, and flooring from one room to the other, and strategic lighting.

Conclusion

Effective home renovations are possible even on a small budget. These tips can help you make the most of your investment.
When considering home renovations, you might want to consult with an experienced renovations company in your area for some advice and insights into your project. Fairfax Kitchen Bath is a reputable remodeling company that can help you with free in-home design consultation and quote for your home renovations.

Fairfax Kitchen Bath services the DC, MD and Northern Virginia metropolitan areas. We are a Class A, licensed and insured contractor, registered in the Commonwealth of Virginia. We have a showroom in Fairfax, Virginia, which houses all our products.
We sell only top-quality products for all your renovation needs, from top-brand kitchen cabinets of all type materials to natural and engineered stone slabs. We carry products from Schrock Cabinetry, Fabuwood, Silestone, Blanco, Kohler, and Mosaic Décor.
Contact us today to get free in-home design consultation and quote for your home renovations!

granite vanity top

Ten Bathroom Upgrades for the Holidays

Ten Bathroom Upgrades for the Holidays

Christmas is coming, and it is coming fast! The holiday season is usually the time when friends and family come to visit most in any two-week period, so you want to make sure your home is guest-ready.
Put up your holiday decorations and spiff up the display cabinets, but don’t forget that most of your guests will go to the guest bathroom at some point. If you have people staying over for the holidays, this is a certainty. You have to make sure the bathrooms are all guest-ready and awesome as well.

Here are 10 bathroom upgrades you can do for the holidays before the masses converge.

1. Replace the vanity top

bathroom vanity top
The bathroom vanity is especially important when you have guests, because this is where they are most likely to spend the most time. You want it to be gorgeous and ready for anything, and a stone one will do the trick. You can probably get one for as little as $50 per square foot, installed. Get a free estimate for an idea of the cost.
In most cases, you might think this will be too much too late, but replacing the vanity top with granite, marble, or quartz is not that big a deal. Get in touch with a reliable remodeling contractor in your area today with a quick turnaround. They should be in and out of there in a couple of days, and you have the awesome vanity top you always wanted.

2. Replace the hardware

shiny new sink fixtures
Another great and easy way to spruce up your guest bathroom is to swap out old and tired-looking hardware and fixtures for new ones. You can ask your remodeler to bring them in and install them, or you can buy and put them in yourself. New cabinet or drawer pulls and faucets can make a big difference to the look of the room.
Bonus tip: You might want to invest in a faucet with motion sensors so your guests will never have to touch anything to turn the water one. It is a good way to step up hygiene, especially when lots of people are using the bathroom.

3. Add some shelves

fun shelves holiday-themed decoration
Most guest bathrooms have a modicum of storage, so you probably have quite a few blank spaces in there. Put in some unusual and interesting shelves to store stuff in. It is easy enough to do on your own. It can also serve as décor you can spruce up with holiday-themed hand towels or tissue paper.

4. Put up cheerful curtains

holiday themed window curtains
If you guest bathroom is a full one, you can swap out the ducks with Santa or a snowman for your shower curtains. If you don’t have a shower or tub, you can still get into the holiday spirit by putting up seasonal window curtains. You can also opt for simply adding a splash of cheery color like a bright yellow or cheerful orange to plain curtains with fabric paint if you don’t want to go over the top with the holiday theme.

5. Break out the displays

spa products on marble vanity
If you have nice vases, decorative trays, guest soaps, scented candles, holiday-themed hand towels, and other display worthy stuff, the guest bathroom is a good place to put them. Place the extra tissue rolls on the tray to form a Christmas tree or fill a glass vase with guest soaps to add flair to your bathroom at no added cost to you.
It is also a good idea to lay in a supply of lotions, powder, and other spa items for the use of your guests, and encourage them to do so. These extra touches give your guest bathroom spa-like vibe.

6. Put in plants

indoor plants on granite vanity
A bit of green is also a great way to spruce up the guest bathroom. Some plants are merely decorative, while others actually absorb bad smells or give off good ones. Ask your local nursery about indoor plants that will thrive in bathroom conditions, and you will have them the whole year round. Poinsettias, amaryllis, and anthuriums are some great-looking holiday plants.

7. Replace or spruce up the mirror

decorative mirror in bathroom
If you have a plain mirror in the guest bathroom, dress it up with garlands or other types of Christmas décor, preferably in line with the overall theme of house. You can also replace your old mirror with something a little more ornate and decorative.

8. Put wallpaper

pink flamingo on black background wallpaper
Putting holiday-themed wallpaper is a bit much, but you can actually use wallpaper to upgrade the look of your bathroom. Choose a wallpaper design that reflects your personal style or overall feel of the house and go to town with it. You can go for demure Victorian or flaunting pink flamingoes, and they will look fantastic in their own ways. It is also something you can do on your own quite easily at very little cost.

9. Splurge on luxury mats

bathroom with matching mat and toilet cover
Nothing feels more luxurious than a deep pile bath mat with matching toilet cover. These are ideal for guest bathrooms as they look fantastic, but will not bear up with regular use. You will want two of these bath mat and toilet cover sets so always have a clean set in there when guests come.
An alternative is to do away with fabric mats altogether and replace it with a wood one. It still looks fantastic, but it is much easier to keep clean.

10. Install a towel warmer

towel warmer in bathroom
If you have guests staying over for the holidays, you want to make sure they are comfortable. Install a towel warmer that keeps towels nice and toasty. A towel warmer in the guest bathroom ensures your guests will not shiver in a chilly draft after taking a shower. It is sure to impress your guests.

Conclusion

Bathroom upgrades do not have to be expensive or time-consuming. You can make your guest bathroom ready for the holidays by doing some of the suggestions above. The most impactful would be replacing the bathroom vanity top and the hardware, and for that, you want a reliable contractor that can do it on time and on budget.

Fairfax Kitchen Bath services the DC, MD and Northern Virginia metropolitan areas. We are a Class A, licensed and insured contractor, registered in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

When you contract with us, you can be sure you will get a quick turnaround on your products, and receive it much faster than ordering what you need from big box stores. We specialize in fabricating bathroom vanity tops and backsplashes to specifications, and installing them within budget and on time.

We carry the products you need for your bathroom upgrade, from natural and engineered stone slabs, cabinets, shelves, sinks, faucets tiles, backsplashes, knobs and pulls, and hardwood flooring. We carry only the top brands for these products, such as Schrock Cabinetry, Silestone, Blanco, Kohler, and Mosaic Décor.

You can see the products before you buy so you can decide for yourself if the quality is what you expect. We have a showroom in Fairfax, Virginia that houses all our products, including actual granite, marble and engineered stone slabs from which you can choose.
Our products come with manufacturer warranties that ensure your satisfaction with the quality and installation.
Contact us today to get a free quote for your timely bathroom upgrades.

Green Bathroom Remodeling

How to Do a Truly Green Bathroom Remodeling

How to Do a Truly Green Bathroom Remodeling

Going green is something that has caught the imagination of the socially conscious population, and that is a good thing. The drive to keeping to a small carbon footprint and protecting the environment have permeated into everything, including bathroom remodeling, and product manufacturers are happy to oblige.

However, the hype around the buzzword “green” has triggered a flood of products that may not necessarily mean environmentally friendly. Companies in the remodeling industry are jumping on the green bandwagon to cash in on the movement by touting their “sustainable” and “green” products and services, when they are not really all they claim to be. Products claim everything from energy efficiency to low toxic content with little or no foundation.

In many cases, these companies are not actually lying about their products. They exaggerate, misstate, or mislead with their claims in a growing practice called “greenwashing.” They use trigger words such as eco-friendly or sustainable to make their products more attractive to consumers, but fail to disclose everything about it.
For instance, a product may contain recycled materials, which makes it environmentally friendly, but the company fails to mention the high amount of energy required in manufacturing it. They are walking a fine line here, but greenwashing companies have it down to a fine art.
In other cases, the claims have no basis whatsoever. The companies simply use the terms that are music to the ears of eco-conscious consumers, and leave it at that.

If you truly want a green bathroom remodel, you need to put in a little more work into finding out more about the products you choose. You want to avoid greenwashed products, and for that, you need to know how to spot them. Here are some tips to help you with that.

Look for certification

labels
The best way to identify genuinely green products is to look for certification. A seal of approval or certification from WaterSense, Cradle to Cradle, or Energy Star goes a long way towards reassuring consumers about green claims by manufacturers about their products. These and other reputable certifying organizations carry out meticulous investigations and analyses before giving out these sigils of approval.

You will often see these symbols or logos in the label, so make that your first stop of inquiry. It is not enough to see them on the company website, as this does not necessarily mean all the products they produce have passed muster. If you do see them on a label, it is a good sign of a true claim. If you are not sure if a seal or logo is from a reputable certifying organization, look it up.
That said, you should know that not all genuinely green products would have certification. The process of certification is often a long, arduous, and expensive one, and some companies are too young or too small to have them at the time of your purchase. In those cases, you have to look a little deeper into the claims.

Research online

Google search box
If a green label is not in the offing, you can easily do a bit of research online to find out more about the company and the product. Go to the company website and pay special attention to any specific mention of the manufacturing process for a particular product. You might also look into reviews and comments about the products to find out what other consumers know about it.

You can also get the contact information of the company and make direct inquiries about green claims. For example, if the company claims the product is from recycled materials, you should ask them for specifics regarding nature and composition of the recycled material. If the product contains 10% recycled material, it is still a good thing, but perhaps it is not what you expect. In another example, if a product is supposed to be energy efficient, ask them to qualify in what sense.
Once you have all the information you can glean online, you can either come to a conclusion about the genuineness of the claim, or investigate further.

Look for trade offs

fine print in contract
Sometimes, companies use half-truths and technicalities to get their way. For instance, they may claim to the high heavens that their product is eco-friendly in one way, but murmurs about how it is not so eco-friendly in another way. It is a bit like a magic trick, where they misdirect you with one hand while doing something else with the other. They are not technically lying, but they are not upfront about it, either.
For instance, the company trumpets about using recycled wood for a product by saying so repeatedly in large letters on the packaging, in commercials, and so on. In the meantime, they slip in information about certain toxic resins or adhesives they use in the product in much smaller letters in the inset they include with the product. Technically, they have disclosed everything, but bank on the fact that most people do not bother to read everything.

You have to look at everything that goes into the product, including shipping and packaging, to determine if they are truly green, or there is some trade off somewhere. All these factors have an overall effect on the environment, so you must be vigilant.

Know about regulations

skeptical looking person
The drive to becoming friendlier to the environment has been going on for a long time, and many regulations are in place to ensure that manufacturers are doing their part. This means that they have to follow these regulations or face severe fines and sanctions. Claiming that they are following these regulations do not make them unique, yet some companies manage to make it seem as if they are voluntarily doing their part in the green movement.

For example, the government banned the use of lead, asbestos, and CFC in any consumer product a long time ago. A product that is “lead-free” is not something to admire about it. It’s the law. Do not be hypnotized by this type of sleight of hand. Know the regulations they must follow so you can distinguish between a compliant company and a truly green one.

Conclusion

If you are considering doing your part as a consumer and doing truly green bathroom remodeling, remember these tips for avoiding greenwashed products. If you are not sure you can do it as thoroughly as you would like, you can take a shortcut by consulting with a reliable contractor. They will tell you everything they know about the products they offer, and you can take it from there.

Fairfax Kitchen Bath is contractor you can rely on to carry out your green bathroom remodel in the DC, MD and Northern Virginia metropolitan areas. We are a Class A, licensed and insured contractor, registered in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

When you contract with us, you can be sure you will get a quick turnaround on your products, and receive it much faster than ordering what you need from big box stores. We specialize in remodeling bathrooms to specifications, and executing them within budget and on time.
We have the expertise to carry out any type of remodeling you need, including a truly green one. We carry the products you need for your bathroom remodeling, from natural and engineered stone slabs, cabinets, shelves, sinks, faucets tiles, backsplashes, knobs and pulls, and hardwood flooring. We carry only the top brands for these products, such as Schrock Cabinetry, Silestone, Blanco, Kohler, and Mosaic Décor.

You can see the products before you buy so you can decide for yourself if the quality is what you expect. We have a showroom in Fairfax, Virginia that houses all our products, including actual granite, marble and engineered stone slabs from which you can choose.

Our products come with manufacturer warranties that ensure your satisfaction with the quality and installation.
Contact us today to get a free quote for your green bathroom remodeling.

unappealing guest bathroom

Four Paths to a Budget-Friendly Bathroom Upgrade

Four Paths to a Budget-Friendly Bathroom Upgrade

Regular bathrooms are an essential part of your home, and often get the most attention when schemes for home improvement come to the fore. Guest bathrooms tend not to get as much love, however, which can be a mistake.

Guest bathrooms are not as crucial to daily life as regular bathrooms, and more often than not homeowners tend to use it as auxiliary storage spaces for stuff they have nowhere else to put. However, guest bathrooms are the ones guests see, so you want it to look its best. An awesome guest bathroom also makes a great first impression with potential homebuyers in case you plan to sell your home in the future.
The bottom line is you need to pay more attention to your guest bathroom, and make the most of it with some key upgrades. You can do this even on a small budget if you are smart about it. Here are four paths to a budget-friendly bathroom upgrade.

Mirror magic

white half-bath with mirrors
A smart trick for making a guest bathroom look bigger is to use mirrors. Guest bathrooms tend to be on the small side, and in many homes, they are more of an afterthought than part of the grand design. In some cases, they are little more than a closet with a sink and toilet, so cramped is a generous description. Making them bigger without knocking down a wall is a challenge, but mirrors usually do the trick quite nicely.
You want to choose a large, frameless mirror so it reflects the opposite wall, giving the illusion of space. It would be even better if your bathroom walls were a light color such as white, light blue, or lemon yellow. This will reflect light better, giving the room a more airy look. If the walls are dark, consider repainting the walls, and maybe put in a white marble or quartz vanity top to complete the picture.

Wall bling

guest bathroom with decorated walls
A great way to upgrade your bathroom with just a little effort is to add some accents to plain walls. You can go with decals, or you can use stencils to put in something fun or interesting such as a flock of birds, butterflies, or flowers.
You can also put in some eye-catching artwork, maybe a reproduction of something famous like the “Sunflowers” series by Vincent van Gogh. If that’s a little off for you, consider framing some fun or motivational quotes such as “If at first you don’t succeed, keep trying!”
Whatever you choose, it should be in line with the general theme and color palette of the bathroom. You want it to be striking, but not jarring. It won’t cost a lot of money, but the impact is beyond price.

Say it with hardware

close-up of interesting bathroom faucet
Another easy way to create some drama in your guest bathroom without enacting one on your wallet is to replace all the hardware. You can replace your boring old faucet with a stylish one in black matte metal the shape of an old-fashioned water pump. You can also do a number with your cabinet pulls, toilet paper holders, towel bars.

Try to have a theme when choosing your new hardware, and see if you can work with some unique items. There are many options out there from top brands as well as garage sales, so don’t limit yourself to just one place to get some ideas.
If you are DIYing, find some tutorials online for putting them in your new bathroom. If you don’t have the budget to buy new hardware that will make a difference to the look of your bathroom, look online on how to give your existing stuff a new finish and make them look more interesting.

Match and match

matching bath towels/seashells/decorative soaps on vanity
Sometimes, all you need to is to put in the right kind of accessories to make your guest bathroom much more appealing. You can get some decorating ideas from Pinterest or other such website to make your own guest bathroom look fabulous. Most of it is just about staging such as putting decorative soaps, choosing the right soap dispensers, getting thematic trashcans, scented candles, and matching hand towels.
You can get a lot of stuff to match and accessorize your bathroom without breaking the bank, and you guest bathroom will look fantastic. Anything goes as long as you focus on the effect you want to create.

Conclusion

You don’t have to spend a lot of time and money in upgrading your guest bathroom if it is not in the cards. These tips should help get you there. Of course, the best way to really make your guest bathroom awesome is to do a major overhaul with the help of a reliable remodeling company. Fairfax Kitchen Bath is just the contractor for you in the DC, MD and Northern Virginia metropolitan areas.

We are a Class A, licensed and insured contractor, registered in the Commonwealth of Virginia. You will love your guest bathroom for life.
When you contract with us, you can be sure you will get a quick turnaround on your products, and receive it much faster than ordering what you need from big box stores. We specialize in remodeling kitchens and bathrooms to specifications, and executing them within budget and on time.
We have the expertise to carry out any type of remodeling you need. We also carry the products you need for your bathroom remodeling, from natural and engineered stone slabs, cabinets, shelves, sinks, faucets tiles, backsplashes, knobs and pulls, and hardwood flooring. We carry only the top brands for these products, such as Schrock Cabinetry, Silestone, Blanco, Kohler, and Mosaic Décor.

You can see the products before you buy so you can decide for yourself if the quality is what you expect. We have a showroom in Fairfax, Virginia which houses all our products, including actual granite, marble and engineered stone slabs from which you can choose.
Our products come with manufacturer warranties that ensure your satisfaction with the quality and installation.
Contact us today to get a free quote for your fabulous bathroom upgrade.

winter time

How to Do Smart Bathroom and Kitchen Renovations in Winter

How to Do Smart Bathroom and Kitchen Renovations in Winter

Most homeowners would shy away at the idea of doing any major home improvements during winter. The winter months are chock full of holidays, what with relatives coming over, massive food preparations, and endless rounds of parties. They have enough on their plates without having to worry about bathroom or kitchen remodeling. However, wintertime is actually the perfect time to do renovations because it is the off-season for renovations and you are more likely to get great deals. As long as you plan it carefully, you should be able to pull it off with just the barest of inconveniences.

Start making a list early

calendar

Guests and parties are bound to start coming around in late November, so you need to start planning any major renovations around the early part of November. Start making a list of anything you want to fix or do to make your home ready for your holiday guests, such as brightening up your kitchen with new paint or hardware, or replacing the guest bathroom countertops with granite or marble. Some of the projects you can do yourself, so put that on your calendar. Other things you should leave to professionals, as they can do it better and quicker.
If you make a list at the start, you know what needs to be done, when to do it, and how much wiggle room you have in case something goes wrong. You are not going to overlook anything and prevent rushing around at the last minute trying to get it done.

Focus on the kitchen and bathrooms

kitchen remodeling
The holidays mean lots of parties and people, which is precisely why you need to focus on making improvements in your bathroom and kitchen. These are the rooms guests are most likely to see, and they are the most difficult to renovate. A lick of paint and some colorful pillows are probably all you need to make your dining room and living room guest ready, but bathrooms and kitchens need a bit more doing.
It may not be realistic to do anything major such as rip up the floors or knock down walls as these can take a minimum of four weeks to complete. Unless you are going away for the holidays, that is not a good idea. You will not be able to use your bathroom and/or kitchen while remodeling is going on.

However, you can do some cosmetic changes to these rooms that will transform them in as little as a couple of days if you get a professional contractor to do them. Among these changes may be putting in backsplashes, replacing countertops, putting in new cabinets, and putting in new light fixtures. Any one of these can change the look and feel of your bathroom, and you can do them all without disrupting your holiday schedule too much.
Of course, these changes do come with a price tag, but it may not be as much as you think. The wintertime is often slack season for remodeling companies, so you may be able to pull off these minor upgrades for an incredibly low price.

The point is, if you have a limited budget and time for your winter renovations, your best bet is to put it in making improvements to your kitchen and bathroom. These are where it will have the most impact. Moreover, they represent the most expensive renovations for the home, so you should take advantage of the off-peak prices when you can.

Forget about outside work

snow laden roof
Weather conditions may not make any external improvements and repairs feasible. Even if a contractor is willing to do it, it may result in problems with the concrete, paint, roofing material, and the like. Forget about doing anything outside, and concentrate more on making improvements inside.
One of the things you may need to focus on is the pipes, which tend to need repairs when the weather turns cold. You might also want to see to the repair or replacement of some kitchen appliances, the water heater, and the HVAC system. If you are doing renovations in the kitchen and bathroom, this is the perfect time to do all of these things. If you wait for the summer months, your costs could double for inside work.

Save time and money with professionals

bathroom remodel
Most people try to avoid hiring remodeling contractors to do their renovations to save on money and do it themselves. However, when it comes to bathroom and kitchen renovations, DIY is a bad idea. Hiring professionals ensures you get the job done right the first time, and on time.
As to cost, you may be surprised at how much you can save when you hire a pro. A reputable contractor can give you valuable advice on how to do smart kitchen and bathroom renovations so that you don’t have to spend on anything you don’t need. In most cases, the contractor will work with you to stay in budget with suggestions on how to get the most bang for your buck. You should also keep in mind that you can probably ask for deep discounts from remodeling contractors at this time, so don’t be afraid to ask for one.

Of course, not all contractors will be so forthcoming or helpful. You want to find a contractor that will not only go to your home, discuss the details of your planned renovation, and offer recommendations on the things you should do, and the things you can leave as is. You want one that will also give you a free, detailed cost estimate so you know into what you are getting. Finally, you want a contractor that stays on schedule and budget.

Take the time to find such a contractor by searching online for remodeling contractors in your area and reading the reviews. Get in touch with the reviewers to find out more about their experience.

Conclusion

Kitchen and bathroom renovations are a good way to wow your guests and you can get it done during the winter when your costs are bound to be lower. However, you need to be smart about it, or you could end up with a disaster in your hands. Fortunately, you have a reliable contractor that can help you with smart renovations in wintertime if you live in the DC, MD and Northern Virginia metropolitan areas. Fairfax Kitchen Bath is a Class A, licensed and insured contractor registered in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

When you contract with us, you can be sure you will get a quick turnaround on your products, and receive it much faster than ordering what you need from big box stores. We specialize in fabricating kitchen and bathroom renovations to specifications, and doing them within budget and on time.

We carry the products you need for your kitchen and bathroom renovations, from natural and engineered stone slabs, cabinets, shelves, sinks, faucets tiles, backsplashes, knobs and pulls, and hardwood flooring. We carry only the top brands for these products, such as Schrock Cabinetry, Silestone, Blanco, Kohler, and Mosaic Décor.
You can see the products before you buy so you can decide for yourself if the quality is what you expect. We have a showroom in Fairfax, Virginia that houses all our products, including actual granite, marble and engineered stone slabs from which you can choose.
Our products come with manufacturer warranties that ensure your satisfaction with the quality and installation.
Contact us today to get a free quote and valuable advice for your wintertime kitchen or bathroom renovation!

cool person

Cool Trends for 2018 to Consider for Kitchen and Bathroom Remodeling

Cool Trends for 2018 to Consider for Kitchen and Bathroom Remodeling

If you are thinking about kitchen or bathroom remodeling this year, you are in good company. According to a Home Adviser survey of US homeowners, almost 40% are planning to do the same thing within 12 months.
Since this is usually a major undertaking, you probably want to have some idea of what the trends are for kitchen and bathroom remodeling. You don’t have to follow all of them, but one or two may be worth your consideration.

The “green” wagon

eco friendly symbol

Environment or eco-friendly solutions in the kitchen and bathroom have been in style for quite a few years, and it shows no signs of abating. It makes perfect sense, really, as it does take everyone pitching in to get the environment back on track. It also translates to some real savings when you choose energy saving appliances and reclaimed materials for your build or renovation. However, you need to make sure you really are making the green choice and not just calling it. Find out if your new refrigerator or countertop has the proper stamps of approval from established eco-friendly certification agencies.

Stainless steel cabinets

stainless steel cabinets
Stainless steel cabinets may seem like a strange idea to many homeowners, and it does not have the versatility of wood-type cabinets. However, it is trending for 2018, so if your kitchen or bathroom is ultra-modern, it might be a good choice for you. Note, however, that stainless steel cabinets are heavy and considerably more expensive than wood cabinets. You might want to consider the next trendiest materials of walnut, birch, and maple.

Reclaimed wood floors

reclaimed wood
Hardwood floors will always be popular, but reclaimed wood is enjoying some big attention from environment-conscious homeowners. The good news is reclaimed wood can still be hardwood, so you can satisfy both esthetic and social impulses. If you prefer something else for your kitchen or bathroom, you may want to consider natural stone, which is also trending quite well.

Engineered quartz countertops

quartz countertop
Engineered quartz has been gaining on granite as the countertop material of choice for quite some time, and 2018 is when it finally becomes the trend leader. There is little to choose between engineered quartz countertops and granite countertops on all points, so you can take your pick based on personal preference. Concrete is also a current favorite, but that is probably a passing fancy considering its high cost and maintenance issues.

Metal finish for refrigerators

metal finished refrigerator
Refrigerators have run though the gamut of finishes, from porcelain to wood. However, most homeowners agree that a sleek, metal finish is the pick of the lot. It is functional, sophisticated, and versatile. A metal finish on a refrigerator goes with a traditional and modern kitchen equally well, so it is great choice for any kitchen upgrade in 2018, and probably beyond that. An interesting trend is pairing metal finished refrigerators with custom cabinets, but this may be beyond most homeowner’s budgets.

Induction cookers

induction cooker
Gas burners are the practical choice for many homeowners because of the low cost of natural gas. However, concerns about accidental fires and gas leaks have made it a little less popular for some homeowners looking to update their kitchens.
The trend now is for induction cook tops, usually hobs built into new granite countertops or islands. The best thing about induction cookers is the no contact, no power feature. The typical induction cook top will shut off automatically if there is no contact with compatible cookware over a few seconds. Child safety locks, easy cleanup, and user-friendly interfaces are also great benefits.

Table as a kitchen island

table as a kitchen island
A surprising trend leader in 2018 is using an ordinary table as an island. This makes sense from a cost and utility perspective, because you can repurpose any old table as a kitchen island, and you can move it away if it is in the way.
However, it does not make much of an esthetic statement, unless you top it with granite or engineered quartz. This may be the reason why a full island with cooking center is a close second in this category. In addition, the one thing most experts say you should have in a kitchen island is outlets, and that presupposes a fixed, full island.

Conclusion

These trends should give you some idea of what to do when it comes to decision time during a kitchen or bathroom remodel. What should remain constant at any time is a reliable contractor to help you with it. Fairfax Kitchen Bath is just the company for you if you live in the DC, MD and Northern Virginia metropolitan areas. We are a Class A, licensed and insured remodeling contractor, registered in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
When you contract with us, you can be sure you will get a quick turnaround on your products, and receive it much faster than ordering what you need from big box stores. We specialize in fabricating countertops and backsplashes to specifications, and installing them within budget and on time.

We carry the products you need for your kitchen remodeling, from natural and engineered stone slabs, cabinets, shelves, sinks, faucets tiles, backsplashes, knobs and pulls, and hardwood flooring. We carry only the top brands for these products, such as Schrock Cabinetry, Silestone, Blanco, Kohler, and Mosaic Décor.
You can see the products before you buy so you can decide for yourself if the quality is what you expect. We have a showroom in Fairfax, Virginia that houses all our products, including actual granite, marble and engineered stone slabs from which you can choose.
Our products come with manufacturer warranties that ensure your satisfaction with the quality and installation. Fairfax Kitchen Bath guarantees you will love it for life.
Contact us today to get a free quote for your kitchen or bathroom remodeling project.

before and after bathroom remodel

Bathroom Remodels Outpace Kitchen Remodeling in 2018

Bathroom Remodels Outpace Kitchen Remodeling in 2018

Home improvement projects are always a great way to make your life, and home value, better. However, major remodeling projects are often something you undertake on impulse. These involve a considerable amount of resources, so you want to make sure it is worth it.
Most people will think of the kitchen as the place to pour most of any remodeling budget they may have, and in many cases, this is justified. However, converting your kitchen into a smart kitchen or putting in sleek granite countertops and new kitchen cabinets is not the trend in 2018. Almost one in four homeowners are more concerned with fixing up their bathrooms.

A recent Home Adviser month-long survey of 1,000 homeowners shows that almost 25% are planning a bathroom remodel, compared to the 15% determined to pick up the tab for a major kitchen remodel. In many cases, homeowners homing in on a bathroom makeover want to turn it into some type of spa with a walk-in shower in lieu of a bathtub, with built-in speakers for music, and even bathroom mirrors with built-in televisions.

Read more

elegant bathroom

Design Tips for Elegant Bathroom Remodeling

Design Tips for Elegant Bathroom Remodeling

They say the devil is in the details, and that is not necessarily a bad thing. Details can make a big difference when it comes to design, especially in the bathroom that has just a few elements with which you can play around. You need to focus on these elements to get the look you want.

Of course, bathrooms today are getting larger as homeowners choose to combine it with walk-in closets, dressing rooms, or even small adjacent bedrooms. Some master bathrooms are even larger than the bedroom to make space for a tub-shower pairing, fireplaces, television, and even sauna rooms. Most people would love to have all those features, budget permitting. Nevertheless, they do not an elegant bathroom make.
To achieve elegance often means a high price tag, which is why many bathrooms lean more towards the simple look. You don’t have to choose, however. You can have a simple yet elegant bathroom that will fit most budgets. Here are some tips to ensure you get the elegant bathroom you want in bathroom remodeling. Read more