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The Rage on Luxury Vinyl Flooring

Out of all the flooring that we sell to our clients—and we sell A LOT of it- our #1 selling flooring is…

LUXURY VINYL

Have you heard of this? There are many reasons we LOVE this flooring material, including that it is 100% waterproof and scratch-resistant! Wouldn’t you love to have the designer look of wood without the worry of ruining your floor with life’s messes?

Luxury Vinyl is also available in designer looks including ceramic, stone, and wood. It is embossed and registered so that the texture of the flooring comes to life with the many small details incorporated into the flooring look and feel. It is also warmer to the touch, unlike other tiles like ceramic.

AND… it is LOW MAINTENANCE! Since it is waterproof, this flooring requires basic maintenance—sweeping and mopping regularly. Use non-abrasive cleaners and be sure to clean up after any spills to ensure your flooring lasts and looks great for years to come!

So now you know WHY Luxury Vinyl is all the rage! Let’s talk about all the details that accompany this popular and durable flooring choice.

The two main terms for Luxury Vinyl

When it comes to this flooring type, there are two main ways to differentiating between LVT and LVP.

  • Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT)- This type of flooring is designed to mimic ceramic tile or stone. LVT also is the common term for this whole category of flooring.
  • Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP)- This flooring has the design looks of wood floors with all the added benefits of vinyl.

The CORE differences

Luxury vinyl is a HOT item in the flooring industry, and this product has evolved since coming to the market in the 1970s. Below are a few terms used to describe the type of flooring and its core, giving you different benefits.

  • Stone Plastic Composite (SPC) is a Single Polymer Foamcore made of calcium powder, PVC powder, and stabilizer. SPC along with WPC are considered rigid cores that are stronger and more durable. Since this core contains more limestone, it is slightly cooler to the touch and is denser and has a higher resistance to dents made by heavy furniture.
  • Waterproof Foamed Core (WPC) is an Expanded Polymer Foamcore comprised of normal LVT layers and a foaming agent. Due to the foaming agent in the core, it is more comfortable to walk for those on their feet all day and provides more noise reduction.

 Pro Design Tip

Flooring sets the tone for your room. BEFORE purchasing your flooring determine if you would like your flooring to be the main design element in your space or if you would like the furniture to be the dominant feature. Statement flooring contains more variation in the pattern lay and sets the ton for your entire space, determining what kind of furniture you will buy. If you’re furniture or décor is going to be the more dominant feature of the room, choosing a flooring that is more fluid would be best.

If you’re not sure what you’d like to do, check out Floorvana Plus where you can upload a photo of your room and see how various floors will look in that space.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there is a lot to navigate through when selecting your Luxury Vinyl flooring for your home. It is best to work with an expert to help you with the various decisions to make on which core is best for your home and decide the right installation method—floating over the subfloor or glued down.

Ready to get started on your flooring project?

Click below to schedule your free design consultation with one of our professional designers.

Countertops 101

There is a lot of chatter about which countertop is best for you! There are a variety of choices to make when choosing the right countertop for your home and lifestyle. Learn about the materials, finishes, and edge profiles to make the right decisions on which tops are good for your home.

Materials

Although there are more countertops materials available to purchase, below are our top 3 recommendations due to their long-lasting qualities. We are confident in the following material choices to recommend to any of our customers.

  • Quartz is a man-made composite of 95% quartzite and 5% polymer resin. By combining the two materials, this is a very strong material that is nonporous making it scratch and stain-resistant. It has a higher resistance to heat, but we still recommend using trivets to protect your countertop. Quartz countertops require no maintenance except for regular cleaning. This means you don’t have to worry about sealing, polishing, or reconditioning the surface to maintain the natural luster. From a design perspective, there are many colors of quartz, but the look is generally consistent but can have movement. This is a popular choice among our customers since it is stylish and great for a busy lifestyle with no maintenance.
  • Solid Surface by Corian is also a man-made product that is seamless. You can seamlessly integrate your sink and/or backsplash into your design. It is hygienically sound and you will oftentimes see this product in hotels, restaurants, and hospitals. It is also nonporous and stain-resistant. If you do happen to damage this countertop, it easy to repair, unlike other materials. One of the characteristics of solid surface is being able to form mold to create custom shapes. It is a go-to material to use in various applications including countertops and showers. To top it off it is sustainably made and has a GreenGuard Indoor Air Quality Certification.
  • Granite is a naturally occurring stone from the earth that is harvested in rock quarries throughout the world. Since it is stone from the earth it is more porous which means it can be stained. It is best to clean your countertop promptly after any spills, especially from wine. It is also best practice to seal your granite once a year, especially around high use areas like the stove and sink. It is tolerable to heat, but we still recommend using trivets to protect the countertop. This countertop material is known for the wonderous unique movement in each individual slabs. This stone, along with quartz are slabs you can pick out from the manufacturer with your designer, making quite a unique experience… you get to pick the exact slab for your countertops from slabs available across the globe!

Finishes

Once you decide what countertop material is right for you, you still have a few more decisions to make, including your finish!

  • Polished– this is the standard high-gloss finish that is most popular in homes today. It is reflective and can add a glamorous feel to your space. Be sure to keep this surface clean since stains will be more noticeable.
  • Honed– this is a matte finish that is accomplished by sanding the manufacturer’s polished surface. It is smooth to the touch and still offers a lesser degree of reflection to the top that is soft. This style is becoming more popular in the industry.
  • Leathered– this finish offers a rustic touch to your space. It is non-reflective and has a textured characteristic to the surface. Since it isn’t reflective, this is perfect for camouflaging stains for high use areas and a busy lifestyle, depending on the color.

Edge Profiles

Once you have the countertop material and finish you just need to figure out which edge profile you would like. Depending on the color and type of materials chosen, the edge profile can add the final touch of your design. See the image below to see the basic cuts for the edging of your countertops!

Cost

The cost of the above materials varies in each category. There are different levels of granite, quartz, and solid surface that determines the cost. For example, granite can cost more depending on where it is sourced and how far away it is. Other factors could simply be the color choice and amount of movement within the design. However, you can find these materials in any budget for a remodel.

Final Thoughts

Countertops are an integral part of your home design and we highly recommend using quartz, solid surface, or granite for the various reasons listing above. If you have an island, consider making your countertops “two-tone” by having contrasting tops in your space, or the sleek design of a waterfall look (seen in first picture above that features a double waterfall countertop).

Have fun picking out your countertops!

Our #1 Bathroom Remodeling Project Type: Tub to Shower Conversions

Have you considered converting your old tub to a spacious shower? If so, you’re not alone!

In the last 38 years of business, this has become our #1 project type for bathroom remodels. There are many reasons people ditch their tub for a shower including function, accessibility, safety, and style. Here we will explore these topics more in-depth and hopefully you can decide if this is the right project type for you.

Plus, check out Tom Poulin, owner of Poulin Design Center, talk about his favorite aspects of Tub to Shower Conversions.

Function

When considering an update to your bathroom, think about the way you use your bathing area the most and what is important for lasting function.

Do you prefer baths? Or showers? Do you plan to stay in your home longer? Do you have any injuries? These are just a few questions to ask before customizing a design for your space.

If you are a shower person, then ditching the tub should be an option. Removing your tub gives you extra space in your shower to stand and allows you the option of adding other features such as seating and a slip-resistant shower base.

If you value your baths, check out walk-in tubs as an option. These are ADA accessible, incorporate grab bars for extra safety, and are very therapeutic. I like to think of walk-in tubs as a personal jacuzzi for everyday use. You may not know that walk-in tubs are actually a tub and shower combo by simply placing a curtain around the area and placing a handheld shower head with a hook on the wall surround to give you the shower experience.

If you plan to Age in Place, updating your home with your future needs in mind would be a wise investment and can make your home more marketable if you decide to sell it.

If you’re facing an injury that makes stepping over a tub difficult or nearly impossible, consider a tub to shower conversion. We have numerous clients that need an ADA accessible space for bathing, including many of our veterans.

When you’re facing any type of chronic physical injuries, it can be difficult to take a shower safely or without help when there’s a traditional tub in your space. Many times, ditching the tub (or installing a walk-in tub) gives people back their independence of showering without worrying about their safety. It allows your bathroom a place of rejuvenation again, instead of a hazard.

If you are a veteran or know one, check out the program by Veteran’s Affairs here.

Safety

As we have talked about in our past blog Safety Bathroom Guide over 80% of the falls in your home is from getting in and out of your bathtub! And the Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that your bathroom is one of the most dangerous rooms in your entire home.

Creating a safe bathing environment is important for any age, but can be more of a concern for those that would like to Age in Place, or have their parents stay in the home instead of moving to assisted living.

Depending on your needs, converting your tub to a shower will let you control the height of your shower pan (threshold): curbless, low threshold, or standard threshold.

When you convert, be sure to go with a company that offers slip resistance technology for the shower base, to keep safety top of the mind.

Style

Let’s face it, if you’re considering an update, most people will want their remodel to be in-style! And the standard tub and shower combo is traditional! Having a larger shower space with built-in seating is the new way— it’s MODERN. As the homeowner you have the freedom to make your bathroom reflect your style and give you the function you need! Why not make it safer and more functional in the long run as well?

Below are our Top Tips to “Deck Out” Your New Shower Area

  • Showerheads
    • Install Handheld shower head
    • Have multiple shower head installed
    • Install smart showerheads
  • Functional and stylish grab bars
  • Use easy-to-clean wall surrounds like our Durabath™ SSP or Natural Stone
    • It’s non-porous, mold & mildew resistant and easy-to-clean
  • Add niches to store bathing supplies, instead of using a hanging storage unit around your showerhead
  • Add seating to your shower: Fold down seats or built-in benches
  • Add a footrest to make shaving easier

Final Thoughts

In addition to making your bathroom more functional, safer, and stylish, tub to shower conversions are a cost-effective way to update your space. This is a trending style in the remodeling industry and will keep the look of your home fresh.

If you would like to learn more, check out a few of our resources below:

Giving Back with the Albuquerque Isotopes

Last week we had an opportunity to GIVE BACK!

The Albuquerque Isotopes and Poulin Solar Pro PAID for Jose Nunez’ electric bill.

You may have seen this young man in the news recently…

He was the guy that returned $135,000 CASH to local authorities…

And since then he’s been recognized as a leader in the community sporting good character.

We recognized this act of INTEGRITY—as it’s one of our company’s CORE VALUES, and wanted to bless this young man…

Check out the video below to see what we did!

We want to GIVE BACK to YOU!

During the Isotopes season, we typically pay for 1 lucky fan’s electric bill during Saturday night home games.

As you know, the season is delayed, but we decided we would not delay our giveaway!

For our 1st Electric Bill Giveaway during the month of May, all you have to do is ENTER online.

We will call or email the winner and post it on our social media accounts!

👇 Click below to ENTER right now and see last year’s winners! 👇

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Kitchen Remodel Survival Guide

Remodeling your home can improve your space in many ways, making it more FUNCTIONAL, expanding your STORAGE, and UPDATING your area among other improvements. However, with the pleasure of a remodel comes the inconvenience of not having that specific space for a short period of time. How do you live in your house without a kitchen while it’s being remodeled?

To help you and many of our customers, we have created this guide to give you the basics of how to best PREPARE for your remodel.

Step 1. Decide where your food station will be during your remodel

You can set up a food station complete with your fridge, microwave, coffee maker, and paper goods. Select a part of your home that is out of the way of your remodel, has electricity, and preferably a water source. Examples include the laundry room, bathroom, garage, and backyard.

The key to the location of your food station is being out of the way during the remodel. This ensures that you won’t have to move it halfway through. Be sure to consult with your remodeler about what areas of your home to keep clear during construction.

Step 2. Plan your meals during the remodel

Not having a kitchen is an obvious concern and throws a wrench into your normal meal routine. With some planning, eating at home doesn’t have to be a hassle.

Plan meals that don’t need a stovetop, including:

  • Blender for Smoothies
  • Crockpot/Instantpot meals
  • Grill your proteins and veggies
  • Cook on an induction hot plate
  • Toaster oven or convection oven
  • Prepare salads and opt for fresh veggies
  • Prep meals and freeze them for the week, use the microwave to reheat
  • Plan to eat take out 1-2 times a week
  • Go to a friend or family member’s house for dinner

Now that you have an idea of the types of meals you’ll be preparing, it’s time to move out of your kitchen!

Step 3. Move out of your kitchen

Your plans for your remodel are set and now your install date is coming up. It’s time to “move out” of your kitchen and set up camp in your designated food station.

Prep your boxes to sort through your current kitchen supplies. You can use moving boxes, plastic storage bins, or foldable storage crates. Be sure to have labeling supplies so you don’t lose your everyday items.

We suggest having 3-4 boxes to sort your goods by:

  • Your everyday items- sorted by cabinet
  • Items you never use that you’d like to donate
  • Items that are worn out that you can trash
  • Pantry goods

Clearly label what each box contains and keep any boxes that you’ll use more often easily accessible.

Pro tip: Since your new kitchen is set up for better function and organization, consult with your designer on the best use of storage spaces. You can sort your boxes accordingly and label them for your new cabinet layout.

Step 4. Prepare your mindset

Your kitchen is now ready for your remodel now… but are you mentally prepared? Here are a few tips to prepare your mind for a positive experience:

  • Make sure you’re in good communication with your contractor. If you have any questions or concerns before or during the remodel, know who to contact and have their information handy.
  • Remember why you’re having your remodel done in the first place. In just a short period of time, your kitchen will be complete, and you’ll be the envy of the neighborhood! You can even pin up a photo of your virtual render to remind you of the beautiful space that is being transformed. Patience is a virtue.
  • Be flexible with your contractor. There are many factors that go to completing a remodel and making sure your home is structurally sound as well as up to code. Although there are many meetings and hours preparing for a remodel, sometimes there’s a problem that doesn’t arise until the remodel starts… you never know what’s behind walls until they’re removed or uncovered. There’s always speed bumps along the road during a remodel, so be flexible with your contractor—they will work through it with you.
  • Visualize your new kitchen and enjoy the remodeling process. You’ve had many memories in your kitchen, and now you’re re-making your space for more memories to be had. Take photos of your progress and talk to your installer about what they’re doing. Good installers will give you a daily update so you can follow along in the progress.
  • Take a break from your everyday dusting and cleaning in your house—you’re on a CLEANING VACATION! Use this extra time for yourself and do something fun during your remodel—take a nice walk, read a book, take a bubble bath, do an art project, spend quality time with your family, or just have “me” time. Your kitchen is being remodeled and you can remodel your time as well to rejuvenate.

Closing Thoughts

Remodeling your space is a journey and with the right preparation, it can go smoothly and help you be ready for anything that may happen. Like our Design Center Manager, Laurene Johnson likes to say, “Prior proper planning makes all projects go smoother.”

If you’ve already remodeled your kitchen and need helping moving back in, see our Kitchen Organization Guide here.

Refinish, Reface or Replace your Cabinets

Changing out your cabinets can give you a fresh, new look to your kitchen and create a more functional space. There are many ways to update your kitchen cabinets and choosing the right method for you could make or break your experience. That is why we have outlined the 3 most popular methods people consider when updating their cabinets.

Be sure to read before choosing the method you’d like to go with.

Refinish Your Existing Cabinets

This is a great option if …

  • You have the right type of cabinet material
  • Cabinets are in great shape—no water or structural damage
  • You are not changing the layout of your kitchen
  • You are not changing out your countertops
  • Don’t mind spending some extra time on this project, since it is time-intensive
  • Budget-friendly, if you have all of the above

Things you need to know BEFORE you refinish your cabinets…

  •  What is the material of your existing cabinets? If you have laminate, thermal form, or painted cabinets, this is not the best option to update your cabinets. It is best to use a solid, good quality wood cabinet material to refinish, that preferably hasn’t been painted.
  • Be sure to use a finish that allows your completed cabinets to be easily cleaned. Since there are many finishes for your cabinets, consult your local paint expert for the best option for your cabinets.
  • Handles and knobs can be an easy update but keep in mind that your existing hole locations and sizes will determine what options are available for your update.
  • Drawer hardware, such as soft glides and soft closed doors/drawers, will be much harder to install due to industry upgrades in standard drawer dimensions.
  • This is a time-intensive project, so make sure you have an ample amount of time and are ready for the disruption in your everyday life.

Our advice…

If you have the right door material, don’t want to change your kitchen layout, and have the time for this project, this is a great option that will give your kitchen a fresh new look! This is a labor-intensive project, so be sure to do your research before starting since there are many factors that will determine your success.

Reface Your Existing Cabinets

This is a great option if …

  • Cabinets are in great shape—no water or structural damage
  • You are not changing the layout of your kitchen
  • You are not changing out your countertops
  • Want a new door style and color
  • Want to update your handles and/or knobs
  • Want to update your drawer hardware, such as soft glides and soft closed doors/drawers

Things you need to know BEFORE you reface your cabinets…

  • Your cabinet doors and drawers will be replaced, but your cabinet and drawer boxes will stay structurally the same
  • You may need to re-do your drawer sizes since the standard sizes have evolved and new drawers may not fit your existing drawer with the new hardware.
  • Not all cabinets are refaceable, so seek the guidance of a professional since there can be many complications.
  • Warranties will vary according to cabinets manufacturer and the professional you choose
  • This option generally saves you 25% of the cost of new cabinets. However, there are many factors that will determine your cost savings, if any over replacing your cabinets.

Our Advice…

If your cabinets are in great shape, and you want a new, updated look, this may be the right option for you. However, you will need to crunch the numbers to decide if this will be more cost-effective over completely replacing your cabinet for your kitchen.

Replace Your Kitchen Cabinets

This is a great option if …

  • Your existing cabinets are damaged
  • You want to do a complete remodel of your kitchen including layout, countertops, backsplash, flooring, appliances, etc.
  • Need a more functional space
  • The cost of refacing your cabinets is about the same as replacing

Things you need to know BEFORE you replace your cabinets…

  • Consult with a professional to discuss your project goals in updating your cabinets and/or kitchen, and decide if replacing your cabinets is the right option.
  • Keep in mind, when replacing your cabinets, your flooring footprint will change and so will your countertops. If you don’t want to replace your flooring or countertops, be sure to talk with your professional on what can be done in your situation.
  • Many times upgrades to your home will be needed to get it up to code
  • Any structural changes, such as removing a wall, will need to be checked by a construction expert
  • Talk with a professional designer to guide you through the many design and product decisions to get the most out of your project
  • Consider your timeline for completion, and what is realistic for the scope of your project—whether replacing just your cabinets or completely remodeling your kitchen
  • If you are changing the layout of your kitchen, consider your appliance needs and if they need to be updated at this time.
  • To ensure you made the right product and design decisions for your remodel, use a company that utilizes Virtual Reality technology so you can see your remodel before it’s finished. See examples of Virtual Remodels here.

Our advice…

If you’re contemplating an update to your kitchen or need a more functional space, this is a great option. Be sure to consult with your remodeling professional to learn more about what an update in your space would require.

There are many consideration when updating your kitchen cabinets, so be sure to do the proper research for your space and reach out to your local remodeler to learn what your best options are.

If you’re ready to get started on your kitchen update, start here:

Use our Kitchen Visualizer to start designing your VIRTUAL KITCHEN with various layouts and products

Set up a Free Design Consultation with one of our PROFESSIONAL DESIGNERS

EXPLORE our Virtual Remodels here

SEE what our Customers Experienced with their kitchen remodel

Remodeling with Pets in Mind

Many of our furry friends are extensions of our family. When preparing for a remodel, consider a few designs that incorporate your pet’s needs in your space. Below are a few ways that you can better organize your space with your animals in mind.

Kitchen Island Feeding Station

Make a place for your animal’s feeding spot at the end of your kitchen island. Your kitchen is the heart of your home, so it's a great place for you and your pet to enjoy a tasty treat. Photo: Brevin Blach

Pet Food Storage in Kitchen

Although storing dog food is not always done in the kitchen, you can utilize a bin in your pull-out drawer. If you are feeding your animals in the kitchen, this will give you a convenient place to store bulk pet food, as well as help control the feeding times for your pets. Photo: Wood-Mode Fine Custom Cabinetry

Mud Room Feeding Station

Instead of the laundry room or kitchen as a place to feed your pets, your mud room is a great alternative. Photo: Dovetail Construction

Built-in Crate for Laundry Room or Master Suite

Having a bed time spot for your pets helps them both build a routine and ownership of their special spot. Photo: Wesley Wayne Interiors

Pet Cleaning Station

Having a dedicated cleaning station is great and can be added to your laundry room or bathroom. This can be your utility wash station for your pets, and other items that get dirty. Photo:Oliver Designs

Built-In Bed Under Stairwell

Do you have stairs with unused space underneath them? How about adding a pet apartment underneath your stairwell, complete with a feeding station! Photo: San Francisco Showhouse

"Oops" Proof Flooring

"Oops" proof flooring such as Luxury Vinyl Tile is an excellent option when designing with your pets in mind. It is waterproof, easy-to-clean, durable and even reduces the noise level when walked on compared to other flooring. Photo: Coretec

Tile Flooring

Tile flooring is also an excellent choice for pets. They are highly durable and easy to clean.

Built-In Cat Litter Box

Let’s not forget our beloved cats. Consider having a built-in litter box and scratching post for a purr-fect hangout spot for your furry friend. Photo: DIY Network

Outdoor Access

If you’re pets have indoor and outdoor rights, don’t forget about access to the outdoors. Add your typical doggie door or spruce it up like this one.

Want to update with your pets in mind?

Click below to get started

How Solar Works In New Mexico

Have you ever thought about plugging into the sun? Even the inventor of the lightbulb thought that using nature’s resources as a power source was important.

How does solar produce energy for my home?

Solar basically uses the sun’s light to be converted to energy to power your electricity needs. Once panels are installed, the energy produced by the sun is converted in your solar system via your inverter to be used directly in your home. For an easy way to understand solar, look at our graphic below.

Reasons to Go Solar

There are numerous benefits to going solar. Below are the top benefits of converting to renewable energy.

  • Save money and control energy costs- this by far is the biggest reason most people go solar. People are able to invest in their own energy source and own it. Instead of ‘renting’ electricity from their utility company, they are harvesting power from the sun to power their lifestyle.
  • Increase the value of your home—when you move you can list your home at a higher market value since it will be more attractive to new buyers, if you own your system. Your home can qualify to be listed in green categories, depending on your county requirements, since your house is more energy efficient and energy conscious. This allows to compete with new energy certified homes being built.
  • Help the environment—making choices with your wallet, even with utilities is making a difference for clean, sustainable energy. Reducing your carbon footprint will have an environmental impact!
  • Store energy for future use—the unused energy produced by your system will be stored for you to use at a later time. If you go over the energy produced by your system, you’ll be billed for that extra energy by your local utility provider. So you don’t have to worry about running out of power and it’s trackable through your solar app monitoring system and utility meter.

Reasons to Wait to Go Solar

  • Planning on Moving—it’s best to wait until you relocate to your new residence to go solar.
  • Bad roof—placing solar on a good roof is integral to a good experience with solar. If you’re roof is in need for a replacement, consider asking your solar advisor to bundle your roof loan with your solar loan to make the most out of your investment.
  • You want to Lease solar– OWNING solar is our highest recommendation on this subject. When you lease solar, you as the homeowner do not reap the massive tax benefits that come along with owning solar. Below is a graph we created to show you the difference.

Current Tax Benefits

The federal government and the state of New Mexico have several tax incentives to go solar. These incentives have certain deadlines you need to follow and should be filed with your tax professional.

Federal Incentives

  • 26% federal tax credit—expires 12/31/20
  • 22% federal tax credit—valid calendar year of 2021

New Mexico State Incentives

  • 10% state tax credit—valid 3/1/20- 12/31/27
  • $0 State Sales Tax—current rules, subject to change
  • $0 Property Tax—you will still be charged property tax, just not on your solar system.

How much will I save?

You swap your electricity bill for a solar bill. Once your solar bill is paid off (at a fixed monthly rate), you won’t have an electric bill, except for a small fee to stay on the grid. On the other hand, your utility bill is subject to yearly rate increases and will never be paid off.

The cost of doing nothing is that you will pay approximately to the utility the same amount of money in a 10-year period as you would be buying your own solar system.

Final Thoughts

Thousands of people in New Mexico are reaping the benefits of our AMAZING sun by investing in solar.

Click below to see how much you’ll save by going solar.

Plus, through April 30, 2020 we are PAYING for your electricity bill until you Go Solar with our company with 6 months deferred payments.

Safety Bathroom Guide

During our training as a Certified Aging in Place specialist, we learned that over 80% of the falls in your home are from getting in and out of your bathtub!

There is also research from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention that your bathroom is one of the most dangerous rooms in your entire home.

Data like this is astounding when you consider that your bathroom is generally considered a place of rejuvenation—not a place to have that kind of accident that can send you to a hospital.

With thousands of bathroom remodels under our belts, we have a lot of experience in making our customer’s bathrooms SAFER.

Below are our TOP WAYS to improve the bathroom SAFETY or your home.

Convert Your Tub to a Shower

Are you a shower person? If so, converting your tub to a shower may be a great option for you, along with thousands of our customers who have “ditched” the tub.

The switch can help reduce falls and gives you the option of varying shower pan thresholds to step over:

  • Standard threshold—easy to step over, especially if you don’t suffer from any physical injuries that could make the step harmful.
  • Low Threshold—this height is the ADA standard for those with disabilities. This threshold is lower to the ground and is great for those stepping out of a wheelchair or walker.
  • Curbless—this even surface rids your shower of trip hazards and complies with ADA accessibility standards.

Don’t forget to opt for hygienically sound shower pan products such as Re-Bath Durabath SSP or custom Corian shower bases. These are non-porous, low maintenance and easy-to-clean.

For additional safety purposes, a slip guard can be added to reduce falls.

Walk-In Bathtubs

What if you love your time relaxing in a bathtub? Instead of “ditching” the tub, you can keep your tub and add grab bars, OR update to a walk-in bathtub. Besides bathing in this type of tub most models come complete with air jets, heated seats, aromatherapy, ozone therapy, chroma therapy, and more.

This option is a SAFE bathing experience for everyone and planning for future needs.

Consider Handheld Showerheads

The technology of showerheads has greatly improved and there’s no need for you not to have a showerhead that doesn’t suit your needs.

You can choose from handhelds from all varieties for your showering needs—stationary, detachable, and located in convenient locations. There are designs for people with special needs, including palm showerheads which are great if you’re facing grip issues such as arthritis.

And, wouldn’t a handheld showerhead make it easier to clean your area than a bucket of water and a sponge?

Consider the way that would make your showering needs better and if installing a handheld showerhead is applicable for your situation.

Grab Bars

Grab bars are useful in tubs, showers and around the home. They can be multi-functional and stylish when added to your showering space. Grab bars with function gives you the opportunity to store your bare necessities for your shower and provide safety. Check out the photos below for ideas for your shower or tub.

Shower Seating

If your space allows, a seat is a MUST for safety. It provides a relaxing experience and built-in safety for current and future needs.

Shower seats are especially useful for those with physical limitations from standing long periods of time and are an asset when recovering from surgery, providing a secure way to bathe.

Seats come in many shape and sizes depending on your needs: fold down, bench seat, corner seat, and removable seat.

And don’t forget your footrests for shaving!

Final Thoughts

As you consider any of these updates, think about WHO will be using the bathroom. Do you want it safer for your aging parents that have moved back into your home? For you and your spouse as you retire? OR just for an all-around functional space with added safety features for your own peace of mind.

As our Design Center Manager, Laurene Johnson, likes to say:

“Plan for the here and now with your future safety needs in mind.”

For more ideas for bathroom design and features, visit our bathroom page here.

Organize Kitchen Cabinets for More Functional Space

How to Organize Your Kitchen Cabinets for a More FUNCTIONAL Space

Many of our customers ask us how to organize their cabinets after their remodel. Where to put their spices, dishes, pots, pans, utensils, pantry items…you name it! And we have spent a lot of time thinking of the most functional design with each customer’s layout and unique needs in mind!

Below are our TOP TIPS to organizing your kitchen according to your appliances for the best use of your space.

CLEAN Out the Clutter.

Before you start organizing, you need to take out everything that you are not using. This could include utensils for cooking that you may have had for 30 years and have never used! Or a pineapple corer, but you hate pineapples. Take an inventory of your items, and throw away the ones that need to be thrown and add a pile of items in good condition that you can donate or put in a garage sale.

Now that you have downsized you can start the organization process.

Organize Your Cabinets Around Your APPLIANCES

Storing your kitchen items in a way that makes it more convenient for you can help make your space more functional! We suggest that you store items surrounding your appliances so that when you’re in your kitchen, it makes sense.

  • Kitchen Sink– Store items that you use most when around the sink include a small trash can or compost bin for easy access for rinsing and chopping veggies and fruits, cutting boards and knives. It’s also good to have your cleaners under the sink for easy access, as well as kitchen towels nearby to clean up messes.
  • Dishwasher- Do you store your plates, cups and utensils in a cabinet far away from your dishwasher? Save yourself the extra trouble and start placing your everyday items in a cabinet or drawer right by your dishwasher.
  • Stove & Oven– It is most convenient to have storage of your pots and pans, baking sheets, cooking utensils and oven mitts nearby. This would also be an excellent area for your spices, whether you have a pull-out spice drawer or use an upper cabinet for storage.
  • Refrigerator- It is best to keep your fridge nearby a countertop so it’s easy to place any food on top. This is useful in everyday use and when hosting a party.

First bonus tip— we suggest having your pantry goods out of the way of your baking and cooking stations. This can help you have a better traffic flow by not interfering with others working in the same space.

Second bonus tip—if you are a Coffee or Tea drinker, consider having a drink station that has everything you need for your daily dose of caffeine. Your coffee maker, tea bags, sugar, cream, mugs, etc. You know what you like, so make space for your everyday items.

Third bonus tip—if you have a small kitchen or have limited storage, consider installing aftermarket pull-out drawers and drawer organizers. These will maximize your storage space so you can have easier access and better organization. Think about how many times you’ve had to sit on the floor to find your pots and pans, or a lid to your Tupperware—such a backache.

Create the RULES of your Kitchen

“A place for everything, everything in its place.”—Benjamin Franklin

Now that your kitchen is organized in a systematic way, it is time to get your family on board. Take them on a tour of your hard work and explain the new locations of your kitchen storage. For instance, “Our dishes are now stored above the dishwasher so you can easily put them away after they’re clean,” OR, “With our new coffee station, you have everything you need for a great cup of coffee in the morning.”

Getting everyone on board will be KEY to maintaining an organized kitchen. In time, you’ll get used to the new system and enjoy the benefits of a more functional storage space for your needs.

Happy Organizing!

Design Center

Founded 38 years ago by Tom Poulin CGR, Poulin Design Remodeling, Inc., has become a mainstay of Albuquerque home renovation.

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