Bathroom remodeling in Northern NJ

It's time your bathroom !

Bathroom is the place in your home where you get ready to begin your new day or relax after after all that stress that going on. It has to set you up with the good feelings every single time you use it and that’s why professional help is always recommended with this type of projects. It’s a pretty complicated room containing different kinds of electrical and plumbing fixtures which supposed to last at least for 20 years.

Here at Alexander Kitchens & Baths we offer years of experience in design and actual bathroom remodeling process. In our showroom in Denville NJ we offer great service, excellent tile and vanity selections, fixtures and everything else that you will need to complete your bathroom remodeling project. We prepared this helpful information so you would know what to expect during the process.

Bathroom design

The easiest way to start is google the pictures of the bathrooms and determine the general look that you would like to see everyday – things like colors, tile patterns, fixtures. Determine your style – classic or contemporary or may something in between. This usually helps to set color theme for your bathroom. For example contemporary style usually revolves around cool colors like white, black, silver, grey. Classic style usually will have the range of warm colors like light brown or beige.

You will have to make the following choices: Vanity, tile, grout, shower door, plumbing fixtures and accessories. We will go through the list to provide you with helpful suggestions. 

Vanity

  • Determine the maximum size vanity which may fit in your space.¬†
  • Determine the style of the vanity – wall hung, with open or closed bottom. If it sits between 2 walls, it may require additional parts to fill-in the space ( which usually comes from the cabinet-making companies)
  • Determine color and door style you love. Do not try to guess what the next owner will like when you decide to sell ūüôā
  • Note the location of the plumbing as it may affect the configuration of the vanity or the installation of optional accessories.

At first, take the measurements of the maximum size vanity which may fit in your space.  Determine color and door style, it also may need to have certain functional features which may not be available in all colors. For example, it has to be certain size or has to be a wall hung, plumbing has to be in specific location or you may need some built-t in accessories like the outlet inside the drawer. 

Optional vanity accessories

All of our cabinet lines offer vanities with the their door styles

Tile Options

Choosing the tile for your bathroom can become an overwhelming task. Nowdays tile comes from all over the world, in many shapes and colors. But not all tile is equal. The best quality tile manufactures are located in Spain and Italy as they have centuries of experience in the industry. Italian and Spanish companies invest a lots of money into cutting edge technology to produce really high quality products. Turkey on the other have hand is the leading supplier of travertine, limestone and marble tiles to US market. 

 

Pros & Cons

  • Pros: The hardest and the most durable material for the bathroom floor and walls. Super easy maintenance¬† material, comes in small and large format tile (up to 8′ long). Highly resistant to harsh chemical cleaners. Suitable for an outdoor application
  • Cons: really hard to cut material so may extend the installation time, cheaper quality thin tiles ( less then 1/4) actually can be very fragile. Limited choices in high gloss finish.

  • Pros: Great for really high gloss finish – an outstanding accent look. Much easier to cut even 1/2 thick tile so better for DIY projects. Lighter weight so easier to handle. Different surface/texture¬† of the finish available vs porcelain or stone.
  • Cons: Tiles are more fragile then porcelain and are NOT recommended for the floor installation. Ceramic is a porous material so required to be sealed – easy to do, we just can’t find the time for it.

  • ¬†Pros: Travertine, limestone and marble – really nice natural look. Unique finish in every piece. Comes in polished, matte, honed and distressed finishes. Timeless look used for centuries. Creates a nice accent touch when mixed in mosaics with glass & tile
  • Cons: Very soft and fragile material which required a lot of maintenance. Sealing required before and after the installation. We do not recommend it as the main wall floor surface in the wet areas – find the stone look in porcelain tile.

  • Pros: Unique designs, perfect for the accent walls or just boarders. Available in glossy and matte finishes. Glass tile reflects the light and visually provide an extra depth to the surface. No maintenance required when used in dry areas
  • Cons: Really expansive material. Requires special blades to cut and have a special requirements for the installation – this is not for DIY projects. Only e few tiles are rated for the floor but very slippery when wet. Water drop stains will be visible a lot if used in the shower and the main background.

  • ¬†Pros: Very rare you see this material used because there not that many choices available. But when you find one, it definitely gives a different feel and look. Most of it is made from the aluminum and used in mosaic applications
  • Cons: If not made of aluminum or stainless steel it may develop rust spots over the time. You can’t cut it without professional tools and in some cases you can’t do it period. Expensive and very hard to find with limited option.

Come to our tile showroom and view the latest tile trends from around the world.  Look at our stunning displays of quality imported and domestic porcelain and ceramic tiles, beautiful natural stones like travertine, onyx, limestone and an endless selection of glass and mosaic in just about every color and style. We offer everything from high-end luxury tile to affordable options for every budget and style. With the help of our in-house designers you will create the space you love. 

Don’t want to go anythere?¬†

Grout

Grout is very important component in the bathroom design the quality of which often gets overlooked. Grout lines can be as small as the 1/16″ and up to 3/4″ wide. Those lines can emphasize the pattern of the tile or help the tile to blend-in, and that’s why it’s very important for the grout to be consistent in color. It also serves as an additional layer of waterproofing in the wet area. All major companies manufactureres¬† usually have 3-4 different levels of quality/types. Let’s briefly take a look:

  • Basically, the difference between those two is the added sand for fill-in wide joints. Sanded grout is used for joints greater then 1/8″ and unsanded grout is used for joints of 1/8″ or less. Sanded grout should not be used with glass tile because it may scratch it.  To increase the odds of the positive result, use it with special additives instead of mixing with water. It will help with shrinkage  and discoloration once it cures. Required to be sealed frequently. These are the cheapest choices so the quality level should be expected accordingly.

  • It’s a step above the regular cement base grouts. It’s designed to be used with joints 1/8″ – 1/2″ (should double check the specs between brands). It claim that it’s not required and sealant afterwards, but we observed those grouts to change color when wet. It means it’s soaking water (may be not all the way through) but enough to become a little darker until the water evaporates. If we install that type of grout, we do use the sealer. The water amount while mixing is very important for the it’s performance in the future.

  • This type of grout already comes pre-mixed for your convenience so there is no prep needs to be done. It saves from the mistake of adding incorrect amount liquid to the mix (which is common mistake because no one reads instructions:)) This grout can be used for the joints of 1/16″ and up to 1/2″. Some brands actually using colored quartz pieces instead of just added color to the cement. It eliminates the problem with discoloration over the time or when is wet. There is no sealing required once cured and it stays a little flexible to help with slight movements in the floor. For the art projects, there are grouts mixed with glass – so it gives a nice sparkling touch.

 

  • Epoxy grout is the best material you can use in the wet area. It will not stain, shrink or change color. It so sticky that it can be used as an adhesive to set the tile. After it cures, it becomes a solid waterproof bond to whatever it touches. It come as a two part compound that requires per-size mixing and has pretty short life/working time. Most of the contractors don’t like to use because it takes longer to install but, for sure, is the benefit for the owner.¬† ¬†

Need help with the design? 

Drain and tile size options for the shower floor

  • These are the standard drains which are being used in most of the houses. Tile on the floor should be 3″ by 3″ or smaller in order to create¬† smooth slope around the drain. The disadvantage is that it creates a lot of grout lines so more cleaning. Best if epoxy grout used.

  • This is another version of the center drain, except lager format tile is used. Shower floor is not curved but all 4 sides sloped independently towards the drain. the cuts of tile must perfect in order for this set up look good. Fewer grout lines – less clean up. Will not work good if the drain is off-center.

  • This is really nice drain and getting more popular these days. You can use tile as big as you want. The whole floor is sloping in direction. We advise that it slopes towards the wall where you have the shower head because you may find yourself unbalanced when you close your eyes while in the shower. Otherwise, this is our favorite option.¬†

Curbless shower is a really high-end feature

Shelves in the shower

Shelves in the shower are very important. The capacity and overall design will effect your everyday’s enjoyment. As a lot of women know : “There is never enough storage”:)

Heated floor

Shower door

Shower doors are the easy part of the selection but the price range will vary a lot. 

These door are also known as builder grade. Only 2 or 3 glass options¬† The glass is very thin (only 5/32″) so it requires metal frame around it for¬† the stability. They are really hard to clean because of that metal edge/frame around it. These are the cheapest choices so the quality level should be expected accordingly.

These are the most commonly used doors. Glass thickness is usually between 1/4″ – 3/8″ . You still have the framing channels along the wall and the bottom but nothing on the glass itself. It makes them easier to clean. Those usually pre-made for certain opening range and pretty easy to DIY projects. Very wide range of glass and frame finish available. We are the dealer for Cardinal Shower Enclosures .¬†They carry all types of shower doors.

Frameless doors are custom made for each project. Once all the tile is installed, the glass company comes to take the exact measurements of the space. Thickness of the glass for the stationary panels is 1/2″ and 3/8″ for the door. Those are really nice and heavy doors.¬† Since these are just glass, you can that beautiful tile you picked out:)

Most of the time people choose clear glass with Low Iron option. When you normally look at the edge of glass it’s naturally green but with Low Iron option that edge becomes very light blue¬† or almost clear so looks much nicer with the tile.

Would you like to schedule the measure?

Bathroom remodeling - construction

Tip: Do Not start the renovation until you have all the products delivered to your house. It will help you reduce the time of the construction and eliminate the stress of making quick decisions on the fixtures and tile design. At the end, you supposed to have what you want and not what “they” had.

  • The bathroom supposed to last for at least a 20 years so picking the right bathroom remodeling contractor is very important. You will be comparing pricing between 2-3 contractors and wonder why one of them is 7k, the other 9 and the other 11k.  Request the detailed estimate and a scope of work . Take a look at the sample of our  bathroom estimate.
  • Permits – if your contractor tries to talk you out of it, do not hire him. It’s actually very simple process and in most cases you only need the electric permit because you adding more lights and running new 20 amp line to comply with the code. If you would like the inspector to check the insulation you will need a building permit. If plumbing fixtures stay at the same location you don’t need the plumbing permit. You will have two visits for each inspector – one before you close up the walls and the final when it’s all done. If scheduled ahead, there will be no delay in construction project.
  • Check the reviews about the contractor online , see the pictures of the previous work
  • Ask questions how your house is going to be protected during renovation. For example, we cover all the floors with heavy duty cardboard called a Ram Board. That protects existing flooring from scratches and other damage that may occur during construction. Probably the most dust occurs during demolition and drywall sanding. All doorways should be closed off with plastic to eliminate the spread of the dust during the process. In addition to that, we install 1200 cfm exhaust fan which creates the airflow out of the house and not into your rooms. During drywall sanding we use professional equipment which eliminates 99% of the dust. Check out this tool if interested – Festool – Planex.
  • Ask how your shower or bath tub surroundings will be waterproofed. 
  • Insurance is a must. There are 2 types – general liability and workman’s compensation. First one covers your property from the accidental damage which may occur during renovation, and the second will cover all the workers in case of personal injury while at your house. Here is our Certificate of Liability Insurance and Workman’s Compensation Insurance.
  • Standard size bathroom with the tub usually takes about 8-10 business days for two people. Master bathroom renovations with stand up shower can take up to 4 weeks to complete.

Bonus

Take a look at this great video from Julie Khuu – the interior designer!

Play Video

Would you like to schedule the bathroom remodeling estimate?