Monthly Archives: August 2016

Bathroom With These Decorating Ideas

This homeowner is maintaining this bathroom’s classic, traditional feel with an acrylic claw-foot tub. Note the side-mounted fixture–a feature to help save space and let the bather stretch out all the way.


Why go with the typical wimpy, translucent “bathroom window” when you can install a full-size double-hung or casement window to further push the “classic” envelope? Not only that, but installing a real window allows for fresh air (cutting down on your reliance for noisy bathroom fans) and gives you a convenient ledge for magazines or votives!

A skylight in the shower? Why not? Unless you’re worried about jets at 32,000 feet seeing you in your birthday suit, a skylight over the shower or bath is a great way to bring in natural light–and to naturally mitigate any mold and mildew growth.


This bathroom incorporates a framed-glass shower at the end of the room, allowing light from two directions. The cantilevered bathroom cabinet gives the impression that it is “floating” several inches off the ground, and the white marble bathroom counter further maximizes light.

Bathroom Shower Ideas

To help generate bathroom shower ideas, one thing to do is decide which type of shower you want.  Basically, showers are divided between tiled and prefabricated units.


Tile Only


Created from scratch by tile installers. Your own imagination is the limit. The pan (or floor) is also tile.


  • Pros: Capable of being fashioned into any kind of unique design you wish.
  • Cons:  An expensive option, as pricey labor is involved.


Tile With Pan


Because tile pans are difficult to create, DIY tilers often use one-piece prefabricated tile pans. This also keeps the angle of drainage consistent.


  • Pros: Less attractive than the all-tile shower.
  • Cons:  Better at preventing leakage.


Prefabricated Shower Units:  Single-Piece

Expensive, but seams are reduced or eliminated altogether. Keep in mind that single-piece units may be difficult to get into an older home with limited access.

  • Pros: Continuous surface with no (or few) seams is less prone to leaks.
  • Cons:  Difficult to move into small spaces.


Prefabricated Shower Units:  Multi-Piece

Coming in 3 or 4 separate pieces, these showers are easy to get through doors and up stairs.  Once inside the bathroom, they reassemble to form a single unit.

  • Pros: Inexpensive.  Easy to move because each section is relatively light.
  • Cons:  Less desirable than single-piece units.


Prefabricated Shower Units:  Corner Multi-Piece

Relatively inexpensive units which have two walls of glass and allow for maximum light. You can either pair up the glass walls with two tiled walls or use prefab wall unit panels.

  • Pros: Plenty of natural light flows into corner glass units.
  • Cons:  Require an available corner, which many small bathrooms do not have.

How to Choose Bathroom Flooring

Choosing bathroom flooring is far different from choosing flooring in other parts of the house.

Once you get past the commonalities–durability, looks, cost–you have to confront one factor that is found in no other area except the basement: massive amounts of water.

Water is prevalent in bathrooms and it will quickly ruin the wrong flooring. With that in consideration, from best to worst, your floor covering options for the bathroom:


1. Porcelain or Ceramic Tile

Summary: Porcelain tile is the best of all worlds for bathroom flooring–waterproof, stylish, and cost-effective.

Like stone, porcelain tile can achieve a rich, textured, solid feeling. Like vinyl, it is waterproof and is fairly inexpensive. Like wood flooring, it looks great.

But should you choose porcelain or ceramic tile? Is there even a difference?

Porcelain is part of the ceramic tile family with one slight difference: water absorption. The Porcelain Tile Certification Agency (PTCA) certifies types of tile as “porcelain” if they have a water absorption rate of 0.5% or less.

If this is a half bathroom or powder room, you will not need to purchase porcelain tiles because there are no bathing facilities.



Because there are so many different types of ceramic tiles, you can create the exact floor you want. You can even find ceramic tile that looks like wood or stone.

Individual tile comes in sizes between 4″ x 4″ to 2′ x 2′, and in a wide variety of shapes such as octagonal and hexagonal. Smaller mosaic tiles are pre-mounted on plastic mesh sheets, so you do not have to individually set each tile. With tinted grout, you can be even more creative.

Best of all, tile cleans up well and bravely resists even standing pools of water



Like stone, tile is cold (though radiant or heated tile is available.

Tile can be slippery. But texturing solves that problem. Smaller tiles are less slippery because more grout is used and the grout acts as a non-skid surface.

2. Vinyl: Sheet, Plank, or Tile

Summary: Reasonably good aesthetics, supreme practicality.

Vinyl is the most popular choice for bathroom flooring for several reasons. Vinyl is very much a do-it-yourself job (you can install vinyl tiles in a weekend, easily). Plus there are thousands of style options.

Sheet vinyl flooring is your best option if extreme amounts of water are expected, such as in children’s bathrooms or laundry rooms. Gappy and poorly laid seams are floor killers. Sheet vinyl may have as few as zero seams in a small bathroom.

Luxury vinyl plank flooring comes in narrow widths (about 5″) and long lengths (up to 48″).


Luxury vinyl plank is very easy to install.


Sheet vinyl is difficult for the do-it-yourselfer to install.


3. Natural Stone

Summary: Good choice, but only if you can afford it.

There are few moisture problems with marble, granite, limestone, and the other stone flooring options. Stone is mid-level is this list and not at the top because of a number of issues.

The first one is that it is cold. The second issue: it tends to be slippery. This can be solved by having the stone textured by sandblasting or by purchasing naturally textured stone, such as slate.

But the main issue that pulls this bathroom flooring option down is cost. Real stone flooring is by far your most expensive flooring option.