Monday, July 7, 2008

How to Add a Touch of Warmth to Every Home: It’s as Easy as 1-2-3

How to Add a Touch of Warmth to Every Home: It’s as Easy as 1-2-3
by: ARA

(ARA) - It seams that as we spend more and more time in our homes we are always looking to make our quality of life better. We are constantly seeking new ideas that embody both form and function. It is no surprise that people remodeling and upgrading their homes look to the bathroom to add luxury. The bathroom is quickly becoming one of the most lived in rooms in your house. After all, everyone wants to have that warm feeling when they are spending time in their living space. With the right changes you can create a spa like feeling with products such as heated tile, impressive baths with multiple shower heads, and towel radiators. Here are some tips for warming up your bathroom -- literally.

Start with a wall full of shower heads, to provide a pampering, steam-filled, hot shower. These days you can find all of the luxuries that you could possibly want, from multiple massage settings to the water coverage area; you can specify everything right down to the size of the water drops. These products can be found at any of the major bath fixture companies or your local kitchen and bath showroom. They start at under $100 and can be an inexpensive way to make a big splash in your new spa-like space.

Second, beautiful tile floors can give you that instant spa feel, but no one likes to step onto cold tile when getting out of a warm shower. Heated tiles systems can change the entire feel of your floor and your room. They come in two systems, electric and hot water. Your kitchen and bath professionals can help you decide what would work best for your space. If you’re doing even the smallest renovations, a system like this can make a large impact in your comfort level.

Lastly, there is a new product reaching the American market that has been a staple in Europe for years. Towel radiators differ from towel warmers in that they actually heat up the bathroom, as well as offering the added luxury of warming and drying your towels. If you are short on heat in your bathroom, this is an easy way to take it up a notch. The best part is they fit anywhere that you would put up your normal towel bar. “If you have to have heat in your bathroom it might as well be pleasing to the eye and give you the added benefit of a warm towel,” says Kate Bosley of Zehnder, a towel radiator company.

These unique products even come with programmable controls that give you the ultimate in flexibility, convenience and efficiency. You can set the radiator to turn on before you get up in the morning and shut itself off so you don’t waste energy. Wake to a warm bath and towel with no worries, because it only costs pennies a day. On top of that there is the count down timer. “Say it’s been a stressful day and all you want is a long soak in the tub. Well, you hit the timer function before your bath and by the time you get out you have a wonderfully warm towel to wrap up in. After 1 ½ hours the unit shuts itself off and returns back to its original program,” says Bosley.

Homeowners can easily install a towel radiator themselves. They can be hung on the wall with four screws and the proper wall anchors. After that, they just plug right in to your standard bathroom outlet. Check with your local professionals or the manufacturer about the appropriate installations on the new showerheads and radiant under floor heating systems. It is always best to do your homework and purchase top quality products that will last a lifetime.

As winter sets in the trend is for people to start to retreat to their homes and these days the house is not just a place to live, it is our sanctuary. Just imagine a long hot shower, stepping out onto a heated tile floor into a room that is cozy and warm, and grabbing that fluffy towel. Could you ask for more?

For more information on Zehnder’s towel radiators please call (888) 778-6701 or see them online at www.zehnderamerica.com.

Courtesy of ARA Content


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Courtesy of ARA Content




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Bathroom Remodeling Made Easy

Bathroom Remodeling Made Easy
by: ARA

(ARA) – These days, you can’t turn on the TV without viewing a new episode of home improvement shows like “Trading Spaces” or “Hometime.” A report issued this year by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies calls home improvement the new “great national pastime.” In 2001, Americans spent an estimated $214 billion on home improvements, maintenance and repairs. All indicators point to this remodeling-mania continuing for sometime.

Take a look around your own home. Is what you’ve been referring to as your “time-honored home d├ęcor” really just old fashioned? If so, maybe it’s time for you to join the remodeling parade. The good news is: there are lots of easy, low cost ways to give your home’s look a nice pick-me-up.

The bathroom is one of the most popular targets for home improvement. While any project involving plumbing tends to intimidate the average homeowner, there is a lot of new product technology designed with the do-it-yourselfer in mind.

One of the easiest and most cost efficient ways to spruce up a bathroom is to replace the faucets. “Improvements like this have a huge impact on the functional and aesthetic value of the space. You can create an entirely new theme for your bathroom -- such as contemporary, old world, or European -- based on the design of your faucet,” says Angie Coffman, director, Delta product marketing for Delta Faucet Company.

Before purchasing a new faucet, it’s a good idea to do some preliminary research. You may also want to consider a budget before beginning your search, as prices can vary widely. You will find that there are many different styles and designs in bathroom faucets. Consider ahead of time whether you want a single-handle or a double-handle faucet. Notice how the handles feel in the palm of your hand. Do you want something that is delicate or more heavy-duty? Explore different spout designs and finishes as well. Decide whether or not you want an escutcheon, the decorative plate beneath a faucet. An escutcheon will also cover extra holes that might be drilled in the sink.

Look for a faucet that installs easily -- you may notice language like “quick connect ” or “no adjust,” indicating that minimal tools are required. Pay close attention to the existing hole configuration on your sink. How many are there and how far apart are they? Do you need a single-hole, 4-inch center-set, or a wall-mounted faucet? Your single-handle faucet may have three holes underneath, but you don’t necessarily have to replace it with another single-handle. There’s a design, called a “mini-widespread,” which provides flexibility for customers who have a single-handle faucet, but are looking to switch to a double handle, widespread look. The Victorian Mini-widespread from Delta is an example of a faucet that offers intricate, old-world styling in a smaller sink setting.

Make a Lasting Improvement

Look for a design that won’t soon be outdated and one that will complement the rest of your bathroom, “one that will stand out without sticking out,” according to Coffman. “Keep in mind that you will probably be using this new faucet for years, so choose something that is durable, versatile, and a brand that is considered reliable.”

Installing high quality products in a bathroom will result in a high return on your home remodeling investment. That is why it is important to choose a faucet that offers long-lasting, worry-free performance. You want to look for things like solid brass construction and a company that offers a lifetime limited warranty, along with customer support, in case you have questions while installing the faucet yourself.

Now that you are ready to give your bathroom the facelift it has been waiting for, have a few tools handy for the installation. A pair of adjustable pliers, along with an Allen wrench and basin wrench, will probably be necessary. Also pick up some silicone or caulk, and Teflon tape. Always double check the instructions on your faucet for any other tools or supplies needed.

If you are looking for additional support, try consulting your local home improvement store. Or, check out manufacturer Web sites, such as deltafaucet.com, for installation tips. As you join the millions of Americans remodeling their homes this year, choose your projects wisely and remember that even seemingly small changes, like a bathroom fixture upgrade, can add value to your home.

Courtesy of ARA Content



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Courtesy of ARA Content




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