Distinctive Kitchens and Baths
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Southern Maryland Bathroom Remodeling Done Right!

Southern Maryland Bathroom Remodeling

Frank Lloyd Wright Master Bath

Distinctive Kitchens and Baths by Truly Custom Homes has been doing bathroom remodeling in Southern Maryland since 1998.  We offer everything you might need for your bathroom remodeling project.   Our professional staff will work closely with you throughout your entire bathroom remodeling process.  We will help you design your new bathroom or use your own design and then create a computerized design which can be used going forward. We obtain all permits for the work that we do, and use our own installation staff to perform the work A bathroom designer can help you figure out how to make best use of your space.

We recommend you complete the Bathroom Remodeling Questionnaire to get started on your bathroom remodeling by defining how you and others in your family currently use your bathroom.  We also help you determine what you think your future needs might be.  This will help us to zero in on improvements that can be made on your bathroom design.  For example, you want a shower and a bath. or you want just a walk in tiled shower and central evacuation water hole.  All these needs should be taken into consideration to help weigh your options

Start with the choice of bath or shower, maybe both if you have room. The sink and toilet come next. Your floor plan will be set. Arranging these fixtures in the best possible fashion if you are starting from scratch is key. Keep in mind your intimacy, how the room opens up to the others.  Is there a window? Can anyone see in? Sometimes technically you are stuck depending on where the evacuation pipes are located. Sometimes you can be free to experiment and put the tub right under the window… Go crazy or be conventional. The ergonomics of the faucets, perfectly fitting your touch, quickly giving you just the right temperature or just the right pressure. The sinks can be sunken into the counter top material, or free standing, modern or old style. The Resurrection of the “Bidet”  into our new bathrooms is a new old touch. extremely practical and efficient, they now again have their place in the modern world.

  • Large Shower for Master Bath

    Large Shower for Master Bath

    What are your plans for your bathroom redesign? Do you prefer beautiful tilework that you can see through modern glass doors, or a free-standing vintage tub to spend hours relaxing and soaking? Are you doing a major shower or bathtub changeout or remodel or just changing out the showerhead in your existing shower or faucets on your existing tub? A large tiled shower with big shower faucet can be fun. New thermostatic valve shower heads keep the temperature ideal. It is a lot easier getting into a shower. These are some of the considerations you should have before we get started. If choosing a bathtub keep in mind how often you will use the bath, what size tub is appropriate for the room during the planning process. Then, find the tub made out of the best material for your needs and budget: enameled steel, enameled cast iron, and acrylic are all popular choices.
    • Questions to Ask Before Buying a Tub

      Bath Tub, bathroom remodeling southern maryland

      Built in Bath Tub

      Taking a bath is the ultimate in relaxation, but buying a bathtub can be stressful. There is a huge variety of shapes, sizes, and materials available today, but it's a decision you want to get right. Ripping out and replacing a tub isn't high on anyone's list of fun activities, so take time to answer these questions before you buy.
      • How do you plan to use your tub? Is your goal to use it simply for soaking or maybe you are looking to add a whirlpool or jetted bath to your bathroom.  The standard bathtub only to be used for soaking has few options to be selected, mostly limited to head or arm rests, grab bars and slip resistant bottom.  Whirlpool, air-bath, or combination tubs have many more options, including adjustable jets, underwater lighting, heated blowers, automated cleaning systems and more. The more elaborate your tub, the more expensive it will be.
      • How much space do you have? The first thing you should do before selecting a tub, is determine what will fit in your bathroom. A standard tub is 60 inches long, 30 inches wide, and 14 inches deep, but many other sizes and shapes are available. To determine how large the tub can be, take careful measurements of your space and doorways. Make a note of where the drain is located in the floor to make sure it works with the tubs you are considering.
      • Are there special installation considerations?  If you're considering a jetted bathtub, you'll need to plan for the pump, air switch, and electric timer. Many pumps fit within the tub unit, but some manufacturers have remote-location pumps that can be placed up to 5 feet from the tub and hidden in a closet or vanity cabinet. The air switch, which is nonelectric, may be located on the tub unit. Plan on installing the electric timer a safe distance -- at least 5 feet -- away from the tub to satisfy code requirements.
      • Can your water heater handle the task? The size of your tub will affect your monthly expenses. A typical bath consists of one-third cold water and two-thirds hot water. If you have a hot-water tank, can it supply enough hot water? Tubs vary in size, holding 25-150 gallons of water. Make sure your water heater is large enough to fill about two-thirds of your tub with warm water.
      • Is weight an issue? Tubs, depending on what they are made of can range from 50 pounds (plastic bathtub) to 1,000 pounds (cast iron bathtub). When considering a heavy tub, make sure that your floors are strong enough to handle the combined weight of the filled bathtub with people. You may find it necessary to reinforce the floor under the bathtub. It also may be problematic to install a heavy tub in a second story bathroom.
      • Is the tub comfortable? Before buying a tub, try it on for size -- literally. Climb in, settle back, and imagine yourself soaking. Does it fit and feel comfortable for you? Don't be embarrassed; it's the best way to determine if you'll be satisfied with it.
    • Bathtub Choices

      Pedestal Tub

      Pedestal Tub

      • Plastic, either fiberglass or acrylic, offers the greatest design flexibility because it can be molded into many shapes. It's warm to the touch and insulates well, so water doesn't cool as fast as in enameled-steel or cast-iron tubs. Plastic is also the lightest tub, weighing in at 60-70 pounds. Although it doesn't chip easily, abrasive cleaners will damage the surface.
      • Enameled steel, formed steel with a porcelain-enamel coating, is the least expensive tub. But the material has drawbacks: Steel conducts heat, meaning tub water cools quickly; the surface is prone to chipping; and it weighs about twice as much as plastic.
      • Cast-iron tubs, like steel, are coated with enamel. However, they don't chip as easily as steel because the enamel coating is thicker than on steel tubs, and cast iron is more durable and resistant to impacts. At first, a cast-iron tub will pull heat from water, but once it heats up, it will keep water warm for a long time. Cast iron's main drawback is its weight, 350-500 pounds, which may complicate second-floor installations.
      • Cast-polymer tubs traditionally replicate the look of marble, granite, or onyx, and they're available in a range of solid colors. Cast polymer costs a little more than acrylic; however, its surface doesn't stand up as well. With time, the gel-coat finish on cast-polymer tubs can become brittle and expose the material underneath, leading to cracks.
      • Proprietary composites, relatively new entrants to the bathtub marketplace, include heavy-gauge steel, porcelain enamel, and resins. These combine to create a tub that offers all the benefits of cast iron with half the weight.
    • Choosing a Shower Head

      • Standard wall mounted shower head.The standard wall-mounted shower head ranges from simple designs to more elaborate, feature-heavy models with adjustable angles and multiple spray modes. Such fixtures also include technology to counteract hard water buildup, corrosion, and tarnishing. Some have only one setting, while others boast mist, massage, and assorted other shower effects. Prices run the gamut, but if you’re economizing, this is where to start your search.
      • Top mount shower head. Opt for this type of shower head if you like the idea of your daily deluge falling from above. A top-mount model either installs directly onto the ceiling or hangs down from an extension arm.
      • Handheld shower head. Removable from its mounting, a handheld shower head performs well in bathing applications and can also be useful for washing things other than adult bodies (e.g., pets and kids). If you can’t decide between a handheld or a traditional fixture, why not settle on a two-in-one combination? Remember to select a model that is easy to grip and maneuver when your hands are wet and soapy.
      • Sliding bar shower head. In response to the height and personal preference of the user, a sliding bar shower head moves up and down along a wall-mounted base. For a bathroom shared among family members, a shower head like this, whether it’s fixed or removable, ensures that everyone enjoys an optimal experience.
  • Vessel Sink, Bathroom Remodling Southern Maryland

    Vessel Sink

    Considerations for your bathroom sink(s)

    If you’re just replacing the sink, your vanity and countertop may limit your choices, so note their width, length, and, if you’re considering a vessel sink, height. Updating all three? Then you’ve got more options. You can even add a second sink so that two people can wash up at the same time, although some folks prefer more counterspace over an extra sink. Also keep these points in mind:
    • Consider the Room

      Master baths are the second most popular room to redo, after the kitchen. So this is where to treat yourself. Stick with a sink that can take wear and tear for a child’s or frequently used bathroom. For a guest bath or powder room, where storage isn’t as crucial and space is tight, a pedestal or wall-mount sink will work. The latter can be installed to any height, making it a good option for tall, short or disabled people.
    • Consider the Style

      You can use drop-in sinks, which fit in a hole in the counter, and vessel sinks, which sit on top of the counter, with any countertop material. Just be sure overall height of the vanity plus the vessel sink isn’t too high. Under-mount sinks require waterproof countertop materials, such as stone or solid surfacing. Seamless installations, where the sink and the counter are made of the same material, have a nice clean look. But because they’re made as a unit, if the sink or counter is damaged, you’ll have to replace both.
      • Vessel Sinks.  Vessel sinks are pure luxury, 100% indulgence: they go in your personal space, the master bath. Vessel sinks are unique, they add a bit of extra counter space, and just simply look cool when full of water--glass vessel sinks, at least
      • Drop In Sinks. Drop in sinks have been the standard for many years. They are inserted into the cut-out from the top of a counter and hang from an overlapping rim. The reason for their being standard is sheer affordability. Plus, they are easily installed into any stock countertop. Typically, many counters tend to be standardized, allowing you to buy any drop-in sink despite depth, shape, or size. They are a good option for remodels if you don't plan to change out your countertops
      • Undermount Sinks. An undermount sink as the name implies is mounted under the counter - it presses up from the bottom of the countertop so it lays equal with the surface. They're often installed in stone countertops like granite. The faucets and handles are sunk from below as well, popping out of openings in the countertop.
      • Pedestal Sinks. One of the great advantages of a pedestal sink is its sleek, space-saving design. Whereas a large sink installed in a console table or vanity might overwhelm most bathrooms, pedestal sinks can fit easily in just about any space, leaving room for other important accessories or features.The white pedestal sink with a square basin may be an icon, but pedestal sinks now come in a wide variety of styles and materials. Rounded versions with flowing lines are widely available, and materials ranging from stainless steel and copper to glass are quite common.
      • Wall Mount Sinks.  Wall mount sinks are growing in popularity as they give greater flexibility to position the sink at whatever height you prefer. The disadvantage of a wall-hung sink is the piping’s visibility and lack of counterspace. However, it will allow you extra wall surface for installation and results in more space for easier room navigation.
    • Faucets

      Contemporary Bathroom Faucet , Southern Maryland Bathroom Remodeling

      Contemporary Bathroom Faucet

      Check how many faucet holes the sink has and where they’re located. If you’re keeping your current faucet, the sink will need to have the same number of faucet holes as the sink you’re replacing, or you’ll need a decorative plate to cover the extra holes. Sinks without faucet holes usually require holes in the countertop or a faucet that’s installed on the wall. Regardless, the water should flow to the bottom of the sink—hitting the sides can cause splashing.Your faucet should match or complement the tub faucet as well as other hardware in your bathroom, such as towel racks, hooks and the toilet paper holder.  Even if you don't opt for exact matches between all your plumbing fixtures, stick with the same finish or color. And that brings you to an array of choices, from the ubiquitous — for a reason — chrome, to polished or brushed nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, brass, copper or even colors. Whichever you choose, consider how it will look with all your other design choices and pay close attention to the manufacturer's warranty.Faucets come in several varieties,  4 inch, 8 inch widespread, single hole and wall mount. The 4 inch, 8 inch widespread and single hole are typically deck mounted.
      • 4 inch  and 8 inch widespread.  If the span is 4 inches, a 4-inch faucet is what you need. These usually have a base and come in one solid piece. Another option is a 4-inch mini-widespread — a seeming contradiction in terms — that comes in three pieces, like an 8-inch widespread, but it will fit a smaller sink with a shorter spread. Again, some of the mini-widespread models can be used with less-than-standard measurements.
      • Single-hole.  Single-hole faucets have one stem and may have a single lever to control the water flow and temperature, or they may have two handles attached to a single spout. Either way, it needs only one hole for installation.
      • Wall mount.  For a vessel sink, you can choose either a wall mount or a deck mount, and drill the appropriate holes in either the wall or the counter. If you choose a wall mount, some general rules for apply. It should have a long enough tap to reach over the sink — ideally with the spout above the center of the bowl — and the tap should have a minimum of 1-inch clearance above the sink rim.
  • Before choosing a toilet, you'll need to consider a few factors, such as what sort of flush you prefer and whether you want amenities such as a bidet or heated seat. You'll also need to consider what your budget will allow. Other considerations include the size and layout of your bathroom and what sort of toilets are typically found in similar homes in your area. Mainly white or off white nowadays, the styles vary from modern wall mounted to the classic floor mounted we all know. You may want to consider a low flow toilet which is economic and environmentally friendly.  Standard toilet height is 14- 15 inches, but 16-17 inches is becoming increasingly popular for taller or physically challenged individuals.

    Toilet Options

    bathroom remodeling southern maryland, toilet selection

    Contemporary Toilet / Bidet Combination

    • Two piece or one piece toilets

      The traditional two-piece toilets haveseparate tanks and bowls, which make handling easier, especially for DIY installations and for getting a toilet into tight spaces. The water inlet hole and the bolts used to fasten the tank to the bowl are sealed, and the seam between the two pieces is sealed with rubber gaskets. While the gaskets are good for years of service, they'll eventually fail, causing leaks. Replacing the gaskets can be a hassle because the bolts and nuts tend to rust and "freeze," requiring cutting.One piece toilets eliminate the seam between tank and bowl. The result is a sleek design with no crevices to trap dirt. One-piece toilets tend to be more expensive than comparable two-piece models.
    • Round front or Elongated bowls

      The Round-front snub-nose bowl design fits smaller spaces. Before the advent of the elongated toilet, the round-front was the only shape made.The elongated bowls with a pear-shape has several additional inches of bowl space in the front of the toilet. It works well for people who appreciate the extra room.
    • Solid or partial foot

      This refers to the part of the bowl in direct contact with the floor—some foots are small and result in an opening between the foot and the back wall. Solid-foot bowls extend all the way to the wall, meaning there's no wiggle room for retrofits. Mismatching the foot is a frequent cause of headaches when replacing a toilet.
    • Wall-mount toilets

      Rather than rest on the floor, these models attach directly to a wall. The tank is concealed inside the wall cavity, resulting in more usable floor space—especially handy for tight quarters. Common in public restrooms, wall-mount toilets enjoy some popularity in residential designs because it's easy to clean underneath the bowl. For retrofits, additional structural material must be added to the wall.
    • Tankless Toilets

      Instead of using a tank of water to clear waste, a tankless toilet uses water directly from a supply line connected to the toilet bowl. In cases where there may not be enough forceful pressure to clear the bowl, such as in most single-family homes, the flush is helped along with pumps or other devices.Tankless toilets have a small profile and are quiet—there's no tank to refill after every flush. Pump-activated flush technology may require electricity, which means the toilet won't work if the power is out.
    • Color options

      Color options. Color choices lean toward the conservative. There are stages of beige, along with airy blues and greens, and black for that executive sensibility. However, upwards of 90 percent of all toilets sold in the United States are white. You can avoid having your color choice go out of style if you simply pair basic white with a colored toilet seat.
    • Bidets

      Bidets are fixtures that look similar to toilets but are actually used for personal hygiene.  Bidets are typical in European bathrooms, but are not very common here. Bidets can also be useful for anyone who has mobility problems and finds it difficult to get into a bathtub or stand in the shower.
  • Bathroom cabinets are important to both function and the design  aesthetic of a bathroom. Therefore, it is important to choose cabinets for your bathroom that meet your practical needs, fit well inside the space you have and appeal to your tastes. follow these guidelines for how to select a bathroom cabinet.
    • Closet Cabinets

      Closet cabinets are floor to ceiling units with doors, and have the appearance of built in furniture. They may be used as linen closets, or to conceal a water heater or other appliances.
    • Base Cabinets

      Base Cabinets are freestanding cabinets that sit on the floor. These cabinets come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and can be placed anywhere in the bathroom.
    • Wall Cabinets

      Wall Cabinets are hung on the wall, usually over a bathroom fixture. For example, medicine cabinets are narrow units that are generally placed within reach from the sink area, while open shelved cabinets may be installed over the toilet area for toilet tissue storage.
  • What style vanity lighting is available? Consider your bathroom’s décor to decide what style will work for you. Wall sconces in particular often come in unique designs — you can even get a swing arm light for added style and convenience. If the design is limited, spruce up a bland light by opting for a unique finish. Brass, bronze and copper add a warm, inviting tone to your bath, while nickel, chrome and stainless steel are slick, trendy options. For a more classic look, try white, gold or black. Regardless of your pick, choose a finish that matches your bathroom hardware to ensure a cohesive design.Where should I place my bathroom lighting? In order to avoid unwanted shadows that make bathroom grooming difficult, it’s essential to get the placement right when installing your lights. If you have a small bathroom, such as a powder room, it’s possible that light from one source will be sufficient. Cut down on shadows and create even lighting by installing a strip light above the mirror instead of a fixture or recessed lighting in the ceiling. Though that may create enough light, you may want to consider installing additional lights at the side of the mirror to further reduce shadows. In larger bathrooms, you may need a combination of mirror, shower (make sure it’s waterproof) and overhead lighting to appropriately light the entire space.What types of lighting works best in bathrooms? Because a bathroom is often a small space, opt for space-saving units instead of oversized chandeliers or floor lamps. Strip lights, recessed, ceiling and wall fixtures are all popular options.
    • Strip Lights

      When placed above or alongside your bathroom mirror, strip lights will significantly reduce shadows, helping you shave or apply makeup. Available in a variety of styles, including globes, upturned or downturned cups, strip lights work best with halogen or fluorescent bulbs.
    • Recessed and Overhead Lights

      For general or task lighting, particularly above the shower or commode, recessed or overhead fixtures are generally your best bet. Depending on the light bulb and wattage you use, they can provide a soft glow or a bright light.
    • Wall Lights

      A wall light, such as a bracket or sconce, is ideal for accenting and complementing overhead lights. They can add a decorative flair to the bathroom and can also be installed beside mirrors to help reduce shadows.
  • When you’re looking for great bathroom design ideas, you’ll find flooring selection high on the list. Many flooring options offer both durability and aesthetic appeal, but you also need one that will hold up in a high moisture environment.
    • Tile

      Ceramic tile as a bathroom floor is one of the most popular bathroom flooring options. Ceramic tile is easy to maintain, attractive and available in many options. It's also extremely durable, waterproof and stain-resistant. It's a good idea to choose a tile that is slip resistant in order to avoid slip-and-fall accidents in the bathroom. Since tile can be cold underfoot in colder climates, it is worthwhile to consider installing a radiant floor heating system.Stone tile, if it's in your budget, is a beautifully elegant treatment for your bathroom floor. Expect to pay from $2 to $100 for natural stone tiles made of marble, granite, slate, limestone, and travertine. Installation adds $5 to $10 per sq.ft. Honed and polished stone tile can be slippery when wet, so choose stone that has a textured, skid-resistant surface. Tumbled varieties of stone—stone that has been mechanically mixed to knock off rough edges and soft spots—have rustic textures that provide good slip resistance.The hardness of various types of stone affects its ability to resist moisture and staining. Softer stones such as sandstone and limestone can be used for baths but should be finished at least every two years with a quality stone sealer. Harder stones, such as granite and marble, should be sealed every 4 to 5 years.
    • Vinyl

      Vinyl is one of the most economical floorings you can choose. It is easy to clean, waterproof and stainproof. If you decide to go the vinyl route, you should consider choosing a top-quality sheet vinyl (rather than peel-and-stick tiles) which will allow you to reduce seams where water can seep under. A felt or foam backing makes vinyl softer than wood or tile, which is helpful in bathrooms where slip-and-fall accidents are common on wet floors.
    • Hardwood Floors

      Hardwood floors rarely lose popularity, and create a warm, classic look in the bathroom. Wood veneer backed by plywood, also known as engineered wood, is more resistant to humidity than solid wood and is a smart choice for a bathroom. There are also many pre-finished options that withstand heavy foot traffic and are water resistant. Budget-friendly laminate gives the look of wood but is actually a photographic image sandwiched between two wear layers. The material is exceptionally scratch and stain resistant. When considering wood, be aware that wood is sensitive to water, and extensive damage can result from one big water-line leak.

This just gives you an idea of how demanding a nice bathroom really is. If all is well thought out, you will have a harmony of sensations every time you use it. So come to see us and we together will really make it happen. Just like the kitchen, the bathroom needs to work for you, and get you ready for the day or dream time you deserve.

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