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Design Inspirations







Entries in Hand Shower (5)


The Non-discriminating Shower

What is a non-discriminating shower?  The non discriminating shower is a good thing for everyone.  Everyone can use the shower and can have a showering experience just as good as the next person regardless of their sex, height, age, gender, or mobility. Interpreted to remodeling jargon, it is a shower that has a zero threshold entrance (no curb), has a hand shower that is accessible to people of all heights including those seated in wheel chairs, has a large enough area for a person in a wheel chair to turn around, has shower niches so that the shampoo is not on the floor, usually has a place to sit down and has grab bars for safety.

As I continue to remodel bathrooms, I am aware of the trend of 'non-discriminating' showers and I believe that it is more than a  trend - It is here to stay!    Everyone loves these showers, they love that they are large, they love the hand showers, they love the shower niches, they love the benches (I use it to shave my legs) (more information than you probably want to know)  I always recommend extra blocking in the walls for future grab bars even if the client does not want them at the time of the remodel.  It virtually costs nothing to add in blocking while you have the walls open.  Children, adults, and elderly of all abilities enjoy showering in these showers.  It is really an all for one and one for all remodeling winner!


Who do you shower with? I shower with Marble!

I shower surrounded by marble and I love it.  There is something both peaceful and elegant when showering in marble enclosures.  Natural stone triggers our body to relax, as does landscape pictures, and other symbols of nature.  Marble also gives a sense of elegance that ceramic tile just doesn’t have. Marble Tiles, Bellmont Cabinets

Marble is relatively low priced (compared to granite) and polished marble tiles can be used on the walls of your shower.  When having a marble tile shower enclosure installed, I request that my installer uses a very small grout line, just a hair.  That way we see more of the natural material and less grout.

 One extremely successful option that I recently explored is using entire slabs of marble on the walls of the shower and adjacent walls.  With few to zero seams, you really will not ever have a ‘grout problem’ and the result is spectacular. Marble Slabs An easy way to go about this is to visit a ‘stone yard’ and look at marble slabs.  There will be a wide variety of selections and with it, a wide variety of prices.  But some of the most beautiful stones are the most ‘common’ ones and many of those are in the lower price section.  Stone slabs come in different thicknesses.  3 cm is for counters, 2 cm can be used for counters OR shower walls.  Some slab yards have 1 cm slabs that are specifically for walls.  These are even lower priced because they are very thin.

A popular finish for stone is ‘leather’ (it comes in a variety of names).  This finish is not polished, and it is not honed.  It has a textured ‘hand’ which feels very ‘natural’ and ‘unproduced’ AND it is difficult to stain.  Leather finished marble is perfect for a shower enclosure.  It has the beauty of nature and the elegance that only marble brings to the table. 

So, Who do you shower with?  I shower with Marble!



KBIS goes Green

Straight from Chicago’s KBIS---- This year’s Kitchen and Bath Show featured more Green product than I remember in recent history! MANY manufacturers have realized that not all consumers are made of money and that there is a big market for ‘affordable’ remodeling options.

Kohler came out with a new product called the ‘Hydro Rail shower column’  which looks like a hand shower bar, but is actually a ‘plumbing bar’  that allows you to select any shower head and add it to the top of the bar and any hand shower and add it to the bar, without having to re plumb your shower wall.  In other words, you do not have to remove the old valves and add new valves just because you want to change your shower head and/or want to add a hand shower.

Another super cool solution to the hand shower re plumbing issue is solved by Delta .In2ition features a detachable handshower, which can run separately from or simultaneously with the showerhead.  It comes with its’ own diverter allowing you to select the shower head and hand shower, showerhead only or handshower only. The handshower ‘docks’ inside the shower head and is held in place with magnetic force.  There is a pause function to save water while you are lathering as well as the super impressive stretchable hose!

Finally, another great remodeling product is the new flexible drain pipe from Kohler.  PureFlo features a flexible overflow ell as well as a drain ell for easy installation to fit various bath angles.  In laymens terms, it reduces plumbing costs by not having to move the tub drain.   It offers standard 1 ½” OD flexible tubing and you can choose from a number of tub drains and overflow trims to finish off your remodel!

 Keeping Green,



Bathing in Style in a 60x32

I have found that people either love to take baths or really don't like or use bathtubs.  For those who love to take baths, it is often a therapeutic, ritualistic experience.  Steamy hot water, bath oils or salts, scented candles, music, a good book...There are thousands of wonderful bathing options that help you achieve this experience, but when limited to a 60" x 32" area (the typical size of an existing bathtub), those options become limited.  Here are some ways to create the Personal Spa Experience that you have dreamed of in your 60x32  space.

Select a tub that allows you to personalize your options.   MTI Whirlpool tubs (left, Andrea 6) allow you to select water jets, air bubbles, heated (inline heaters), aromatherapy, chromatherapy, pillows, factory installed hand held showers, non slip bottom, integral grab bars in many finishes, stereo speakers, integral arm rests and a removable teak seat to use with the arm rests.  The teak seat is great if you are like me and like to sit slighting above the tub floor.  MTI also offers a teak seat that is attached to the wall and can fold down. 

 If you recall my foot surgery experience, you'll remember my new found appreciation of bathroom fixtures that use 'universal' design concepts.  This means designing for people of all ages and abilities.  In my case, I asked 'how do I safely get in and out of the bathtub while standing on one foot?'  The first option is a seat or bench that acts as a 'transfer' area. (The drop down teak bench is a good example)  It is a bench that is easy to sit on (because it is at chair height), allowing you to swing your legs around into the tub.  This is the safe way to enter the tub, from a seated position.  The next step in the transfer solution is to sit down into the tub.  Since the tub is presumably filled with water, it can be very slippery so a carefully placed grab bar is the safe solution.

While there are tubs made specifically to 'walk in,' (SafetyTub), that fit within our 60x32 space, they look fairly institutional and you still have to 'walk' in, stepping over the curb, through a fairly skinny opening to sit down on the seat.  The plus side of this tub is that it has a ONE MINUTE drain feature.  Which means you will be shivering for only one minute while the hot water drains.  It also features all the bells and whistles as options, aromatherapy, different hydro massage options, etc. 

There is a new third option available.  It is the Kohler Elevance Rising Wall Bath.  Basically, the bottom of the tub is at chair height, the side of the tub slides down, allowing you to easily transfer and sit in the tub.  You swing your legs into the tub, raise the 'wall' and voila! You are in the tub and seated safely.  The tub has a nice design and offers a bubble massage and integral hand shower option.  The grab bars are integral to the tub, and Kohler boasts that the tub will drain in under two minutes. Upside, it provides a safe way to bathe.  Downside, it is only offered in white, it is 33.5" wide and we lost most of our hydrotherapy, chromatherapy and aromatherapy options. 

These are the latest bathing options for your bathroom remodel that stays within your existing space and layout.  Talk to you soon - I am going to take a long, hot bath!




Who Needs a Hand Shower?

On my checklist for 'must include' in bathroom remodels is the hand shower.  For those who have never used a hand shower, many ask 'Why do I need a hand shower, I've been just fine without one?"  Good question!  Just think of the hand shower as a parallel to the sprayer in your kitchen sink.  A hand shower is connected to the wall via a hose so you can 'hose' down particular areas of the tub/shower in cleaning as well as hose yourself down without having to strategically stand in 'the spot.' 

These are added features to the real benefit - hand showers can be used for people of different heights such as the taller of our species as well as the small ones we refer to as children.  Hand showers can be used by people who are sitting down whether on a bench or in a wheel chair.  They allow YOU, the person holding the hand shower to direct the water to or away from your body.  Many hand showers have a selection of shower styles, from forceful to raindrop style (ala Northwest), so you can imagine yourself at the base of Mount Saint Helen during the blast or naturally moisturizing yourself in the produce section of your local grocery store.  There is a shower style that fits everyone.  And with a hand shower, everyone can shower.