Picking Tile 101: The Bathroom

There are thousands of different tiles on the market to choose from; and countless numbers of color, finish, size, shape, and style possible. Are you overwhelmed yet? I’m not surprised! Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you’re selecting the “perfect” tile. These tips will help you narrow down your search and keep you focused.

Size Does Matter


There are many factors to consider when determining what size tile will best fit in your bathroom. In a well-lit, rectangular room, with vaulted ceilings, you MIGHT be able to accommodate large tiles without making the room look smaller. However, a bathroom that has angles, curves, or bench shower seating would be best suited for small tiles or mosaics. Generally, The rule of thumb here is: The larger the tiles, the smaller the room will look.

 

 

Use Different Tile Types


You can get really creative with using different tile types. Don’t go too crazy here; try to keep it to three different types. Keep your eyes from being too overwhelmed. Backsplashes are not just for the kitchen! Try using small tiles like a mosaic to create a feature wall in your bathroom with a backsplash. Combined with large neutral tiles and you’ll create a smooth flow to your bathroom.

 

Neutral Goes a Long Way


Neutral tile on the floor will allow you to focus more on the walls. Whether you’re tiling the walls or painting them, as long as your floor and ceiling are neutral, you can experiment with an accent color wall or a fun tile backsplash. Backsplashes are not just for the kitchen!

Texture


Smooth, sleek tile looks beautiful and is very easy to clean! However, they can also be hazardous, especially in the shower. For that reason, it’s a great idea to choose a slightly textured tile for the floor. No slipping in your bathroom!

 

 

 

 

 

Finish Strong with Grout


If you’re looking for that dramatic look in your bathroom and you want each tile to stand out, pick a grout that is contrasting in color to your tile. Otherwise, go for soft neutrals that blend in, mask stains, and let the tiles be the focal point. By selecting grout that is similar in color to the tile helps create a unified look.  Here are some tips to use with grout:

  • While sanded grout is used for most installations, Use unsanded grout for stone tiles.
  • Sanded grout adds stability which helps increase the slip-resistance of a shower floor
  • Minimize maintenance in your bathroom by selecting darker grout colors and applying a sealant to the grout.
  • Boost grout flexibility, this is really a thing!! Include a polymer additive to the joins as wide as 1-1/4 inches.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss updating the tile in your home, contact us today!

Picking Tile 101: The Kitchen Floor

Tile on the kitchen floor is a great idea!  It’s durable, easy to clean, and lasts just about forever. There are a few timeless style options when it comes to the kitchen floor: ceramic, porcelain, natural stone, slate, travertine, and granite are just a few. 

Ceramic


Ceramic tile is a favorite among homeowners due to its durability. In addition to being durable, it’s also resistant to stains, heat, and water. This option is perfect for any kitchen, especially if you have high traffic. There are endless colors and styles to choose from, so options won’t slow you down. On top of the versatility of ceramic, it’s affordable as well.

Porcelain


Porcelain is very similar to ceramic. It’s durable and affordable and great with high-traffic areas, like the kitchen.

What sets porcelain apart is the fact that it is denser and is more water-resistant than ceramic tile. Porcelain will last longer with minimal care.

Slate


Slate is a natural stone that mostly comes in charcoal, green, or gray and has an uneven texture. Slate is very unique because no two tiles will look the same. It’s a little more on the expensive side, but the durability of slate will last decades. It can be slightly chilly, especially in the winter, but slate is perfect to  pair with radiant heat underneath.

Granite


Granite is a popular choice for many kitchen countertops, but it’s also a great choice for the kitchen floor. Granite tile is extremely durable, and resistant to scratches and heat. You’ll pay a pretty penny for its beauty and it’s a little on the high maintenance side, but you can depend on granite to last!

 

Marble


Marble is another slightly expensive tile choice. It provides a unique look with swirling patterns and shade variations. Installation will definitely require a professional who specializes in marble installation as the tiles can be difficult to match. Marble is a porous natural stone and will have to be sealed and cleaned regularly.

Travertine


Travertine is perfect for the open floor plan. It’s a gorgeous look and will last forever. As long as travertine has been properly honed and sealed, it’s easy to maintain.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss updating the tile in your home, contact us today!

Picking Tile 101: The Backsplash

Remodeling a kitchen is hard; there so many choices and decisions to you have to make. Cabinets, countertops, and the kitchen sink are just a few. However, the kitchen backsplash is a crucial detail that should be given some thought. Choosing tile for your backsplash can be complex; there are a variety of things to consider when making this decision. Here are several to keep in mind…

Color

Color is one of the most important decisions you’ll make when choosing your backsplash. Are you someone who loves color? Do you want your kitchen to make a statement? Or are you someone who prefers more of the neutral tones? Neutral tones can be very peaceful and calming. Both of these options can be great in your kitchen.  

Height

The backsplash can be the focal point of your kitchen depending on the material, color, and layout. An important detail that is often overlooked is the height of the backsplash. However, there are several you have options when making this decision. After all, the backsplash has to end somewhere, but where is up to you!

 

Backsplash to the Cabinetry

Backsplash to The First Shelf

 

Backsplash to The Ceiling

Material

What material will work best with your overall kitchen design? This decision is based on a combination of personal preference and the look you are trying to achieve in your home.

Ceramic Tile


Gives your kitchen a crisp, clean, and contemporary look.

 

Brick


Gives your kitchen a rustic or industrial look.

 

Handpainted


Adds that WOW factor to your modern-looking kitchen.

 

Countertops

The backsplash and the countertop will go hand and hand, so it’s important to make sure they work well together.

Shapes & Patterns

Which pattern or design best fits you: classic shapes or fun patterns? 

The tile backsplash serves a very fundamental purpose: to protect the wall around your cooking area. To be honest, it’s actually so much more than that. Of course, with no shortage of ideas to choose from, the kitchen backsplash has evolved into a statement of its own!  It tells a story about you AND what you’ve got cooking.  So, what’s your story and what does your backsplash say about you? 

If you have any questions or would like to discuss updating your home with a new backsplash, contact us today!

Which is Better, Building Up or Out?

Did you buy a small home in the neighborhood you love and can’t bear to leave? Are you starting to feel cramped in your one-story house? Don’t worry! You have a few options that will help. You can build up by adding on a second story, or you can build out by putting on an addition. It is always wise to consider the cost in this decision, as well as the nature of your needs.

What Kind of Space Do You Need?

When making these decisions, it’s always wise to take your family’s needs into consideration. Is your family getting bigger, creating a need for more bedrooms and bathrooms?  In that case, building up would be a good idea.  Then again, if you’re just looking for extra space, like a playroom or den, you might want to consider an addition.  Generally, it is less expensive to build up than out.  However, that’s just the construction end of things. That doesn’t take into consideration the fact that you will most likely have to relocate until the construction is finished.  

Second Story

Adding a second story to your ranch is a great way to add more space to your home while increasing the value of your home.

Playroom

When you need a little more space for kids toys and space for them to play.  Building an addition onto the back of the house may be what you need.

Home Office

Working from home and the kitchen table isn’t cutting it any longer?  Adding an addition to the back of the house for your home office would be a great solution.

Sunroom

Adding a sunroom is a great way to extend your living space.  Add heating to your sunroom to use all year long or make it a three seasons room.

Attic Conversion 

Most older homes were built with A Framed roofs and loads of available height making an attic conversion pretty straightforward.

Basement Renovation

Finishing your basement is a great way to add more space to your house without having to add on a whole new addition.  Depending on the layout down below you can add an extra bedroom and bathroom for additional living space.


 

When it comes to creating more space in your home, you really do have several options.  Ultimately, you’re going to want to create space and increase the value of your home.  You’re never going to get a 100% return on your investment.  However, with a 75% return and years of enjoyment in your home  I’d say that’s a win!

If you have any questions or would like to discuss building up or out, contact us today!

Digging Deeper: The Home for Aging Adults

Many older adults still live in the same house where they raised their children and have created countless memories. Would you want to move away from that? With a few accommodations, older adults can continue to live in the same place and keep making memories.


Accommodations 


 

Certain changes will make their home safer to live in, and while it may not be possible for an older adult to live independently forever, it will be possible for them to remain in their own home longer. This can help to save a substantial amount of money on senior living or assisted living centers.  These changes to the house will also accommodate those with handicaps or who use wheelchairs to get around. 


A Clear Path of Entry



Wider Doorways



Wheelchair Ramp



Higher Ceilings & Columns


Adding columns throughout the house will give your home a warmer feel to rooms that might feel otherwise cold due to their openness. Ceilings can be raised to 12 feet, providing a more expansive feel. These accommodations will also make it easier for the homeowner or those who use a wheelchair to move through the house more freely.

 

The Bathroom


Install Grab Bars



Wheelchair Accessible Sink



Plenty of Space


The Kitchen


Lower Kitchen Sink



Dishwasher Accessible from Either Side



Accessible Cupboards


If you have any questions or would like to discuss updating your home for aging adults, contact us today!

Digging Deeper: Update Your Home with Lighting

Lighting is one of those things that is relatively inexpensive to update. It can give your home a fresh new look without breaking the bank. In  2018, LED light and light fixtures were very popular. LED is so efficient and has a longer lifespan than any other bulb. For a more rustic look, the exposed bulbs are also very popular. They can give you a traditional feel with more of a modern look. Talk about a win-win! The options are endless, but your future will be bright!

 

Add a Little Class

Which room would you like to spruce up? You can add a little class to any room with an eye-catching chandelier. They don’t have to break the bank either.

 

The Bathroom

Does your bathroom have overhead lights? Wall-mounted lights can add warmth and value to your bathroom without the cost of a full bathroom remodel. Remember to add light around your mirror that won’t create unwanted shadows.

The Kitchen

Having proper lighting in your kitchen is imperative. It’s not only the workspace for every meal prep, but it’s also space for kids to do their homework. Light is key! Kitchens can be divided into three categories:

  • General Lighting – overall illumination
  • Task Lighting – detailed tasks
  • Accent Lighting – mood illumination

Lighting can change the mood of any room. Lighting can make a room look larger or smaller. It can magnify color and improve functionality.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss updating your home with lighting, contact us today!

Digging Deeper: The Mudroom

The mudroom is unlike the front entrance, which is seen by everyone and used by guests; the mudroom is usually a secondary entrance. Personally, I would love one; even a small mudroom would be helpful for keeping the house picked up and organized.

What Every Mudroom Needs

1. Hooks and Racks

Hooks and racks are a must! Coats, hats, scarves, umbrellas whatever it may be, they all need a place. Currently, my kids think it’s the floor of the entryway; I’m not a fan.

 

 

2. A Bench

A bench is next on the must-have mudroom list. The first thing you want to do when you get home is sit down and take your shoes off. A bench is a perfect place to do that, and it can also be used for shoe storage by putting a boot tray underneath the bench, or by using a bench with a flip-up seat for more storage space.

 

 

 

3. Cubbies or Lockers 

Cubbies or lockers will take your mudroom to the next level. Each member of your family can have their own designated storage space. Each cubby or locker should come with the essentials: low storage for the shoes, hooks for the coats and backpacks, and high storage for seasonal items like hats, gloves, and scarves.

4. A Closet

A closet can also come in handy in your mudroom. It’s not an absolute must-have, but it would provide a designated space for out-of-season things, such as sports equipment, winter/spring essentials, cleaning supplies, or any other items you want out of sight.

5. Utility Sink

Also useful in the mudroom would be a utility sink!! This is great for spring, when you’re gardening and need a quick place to clean up without tracking mud throughout your home. It’s also excellent for cleaning up paint and crafts, or a quick washing of clothes. You could even use it for bathing your pets.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss creating your mudroom, contact us today!

Digging Deeper: The Attic Space

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I’ve always liked the idea of turning a good size attic into a usable living area, such as an extra bedroom.  This type of renovation does take some planning.  However, with an experienced general contractor who pays attention to detail, you can add a cozy new living area to your home.  Many older homes were built with A-framed roofs and loads of available height, making an attic conversion pretty straightforward.

Where to start?

There are many things to take into consideration before tackling this project. Building codes may make permits incredibly difficult to get if certain requirements are not met.  All of these things must be considered before you start construction:

  • Roof Design
  • Structural Integrity
  • Support
  • Accessibility
  • Lighting
  • Head Room
  • Safety

Grab Your Flashlight

Now go grab your flashlight; we’re going to the attic!

If the first thing you see a bunch of W-shaped trusses supporting your roof, stop right there.  Forget this project. You could build an addition much more cost-effectively than you could remodel this kind of attic. If, however, you find beams that form an A shape to support the roof and open space underneath, you’ve got a remodeling candidate.

Lighting

I am a huge fan of natural light, especially in a smaller space.   Windows or skylights may have to be added for natural lighting. Also, if you are going to use the attic as a bedroom, several codes require an escape route through a window in case of fire or emergency.

How are you going to get up and down from the finished attic space?

Keep in mind that adding a stairway will affect the space below the attic as well.  Whether you are planning to enlarge your existing stairway or create a new one, it will take some careful planning and open communication with your general contractor!  There are several options, but it really depends on your space below and, of course, following all the building codes.

Spiral Stairway

Straight-Run Stairway

Intermediate Landing & Two Runs

Organization

Once you have figured out all the nitty gritty details of following all the safety and structural codes, the fun can begin!!  Now, it’s all about organization and function.  Clutter will no longer be welcome in this attic!!

If you have any questions or would like to discuss creating your attic space, contact us today!

Digging Deeper: The Basement Escape

Do you have an unfinished basement and wish it could be more than that dark space used for boxes, bins, and old Christmas decorations? I know, the thought of even going down there to clean it all out is so overwhelming. However, finishing your basement is a great way to add more space to your house without having to add on a whole new addition.

A remodeled basement doesn’t have to look like an afterthought either. Bringing style and aesthetics from the upper levels down to help connect the basement with the rest of the house.

Basement Escape - Before & Afters | Taft Built - Renovation and Custom Homes Basement Escape - Before & Afters | Taft Built - Renovation and Custom Homes Basement Escape - Wet, Dry, or Mini Bar | Taft Built - Renovation and Custom Homes Basement Escape - Wet, Dry, or Mini Bar | Taft Built - Renovation and Custom Homes Basement Escape - Wet, Dry, or Mini Bar | Taft Built - Renovation and Custom Homes Basement Escape - Wet, Dry, or Mini Bar | Taft Built - Renovation and Custom Homes Basement Escape - Extra Bedroom | Taft Built - Renovation and Custom Homes Basement Escape - Extra Bedroom | Taft Built - Renovation and Custom Homes Basement Escape - Extra Bedroom | Taft Built - Renovation and Custom Homes Basement Escape - Before & Afters | Taft Built - Renovation and Custom Homes Basement Escape - Lighting | Taft Built - Renovation and Custom Homes Basement Escape - Lighting | Taft Built - Renovation and Custom Homesl= Basement Escape - Storage | Taft Built - Renovation and Custom Homes Basement Escape - Wine Cellar | Taft Built - Renovation and Custom Homes

Lighting

Lighting is one of the most important aspects in remodeling your basement, especially if it doesn’t get a lot of natural light. Good lighting can take your basement from cold and dark to warm and cozy. If it’s possible to add a window or two  even small ones  this would add charm and make your space more pleasant to live in. Now, if windows aren’t an option, try adding elements to help set the mood. A fireplace or large flat-screen TV would do the trick. Also, the main socializing area should be in the spot that gets the best natural light, as this will help draw people in.

Storage

Many people like to hide their storage stuff in the basement. You can still do that if you plan accordingly. Building storage is so fun, and with adequate room, you can always “hide” your treasures and give that unused space purpose.

Extra Bedroom

Are you thinking of adding a spare bedroom to your basement escape? It is an excellent idea if you have space. Remodeling a basement can be a bit of a puzzle, but that’s why we’re here!! We will fit all those pieces together for you, just right. All bedrooms need a window for an emergency escape, so the bedroom will need to be located at the perimeter of the house.

 

 

Wine Cellar

Another excellent addition to the basement escape is a wine cellar. If you’re really into wines and do more collecting than drinking, this addition is perfect for you. A wine cellar provides your wine with a solid, stable storage temperature.

Wet, Dry, or Mini Bar

No need to call for an Uber! Let’s face it: going out can get costly. Why spend up to $15 per cocktail when you can drink at home for free? Invite your friends over, host a game night, watch a movie, or simply hang out in the comfort of your newly remodeled basement. If you don’t have enough space for a full bar, try a dry or mini bar to complete your basement.

When creating your perfect basement escape, you really do have so many options to choose from. At Taft Built we will walk you step by step through the process making your new living space easily attainable and designed to fit your family’s needs.

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If you have any questions or would like to discuss designing your basement escape, contact us today!

Looking to Update Your Master Bathroom?

The Master Bathroom

The master bath is just as much of a retreat as the master suite, and if you don’t have small children, it can be a place of peace and solitude as well.

As you are creating this “master retreat” it is a good idea first to determine who will be using it and design it accordingly.  Usually, two people will use a master bathroom, and you will need to design it for co-use. That simply means that both of you will be able to use it at the same time.

The efficiency of the master bathroom is just as important as its comfort. Here are some tips to help you plan a functional and gorgeous bathroom.

Master Bathroom - Focal Point  | Taft Built - Renovation and Custom HomesMaster Bathroom - Shower Details  | Taft Built - Renovation and Custom HomesMaster Bathroom - Wow Shower  | Taft Built - Renovation and Custom HomesMaster Bathroom - Cabinetry and Storage  | Taft Built - Renovation and Custom Homes

The Focal Point

It’s imperative when you’re designing your master bathroom to determine the focal point. Due to its size, a soaking tub is a perfect focal point for most master bathrooms. It’s large enough to accommodate two people and can be the centerpiece of a restored master bathroom. This soaking tub can be freestanding or a jetted tub. Whichever style or use fits your family best.

The “Wow Factor”

 

How do you create that WOW effect? For a room to take your breath away every time you step into it, what would it take?

A luxurious rain shower and bathtub might do the trick, but what really completes it is stacked stone walls. Even though the color is neutral, the feel is earthy. Who would not want this shower?! I’m WOWED just writing this!!

The Shower

Next on the WOW list is just how many flexible design options are available when it comes to open showers. These designs continue to inspire families wanting to remodel a master bathroom. A shower shared by multiple people can really benefit from some upgraded amenities. Even if you’re not sharing a shower, these upgrades can help increase the value of your house. Now, that helps everyone out!!

Shower Amenities

  • Shower benches
  • Programmable Thermostatic valves
  • Handheld showerhead and slide bars
  • Sauna or steam shower
  • Customized shower sprays/body sprays

Heated Flooring

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a HUGE fan heated flooring in the bathroom. When old man winter tries to keep you in bed, radiant floor heating can provide a burst of comfort under your feet. It removes the chill from a cold tile floor as you make your way across the bathroom, and it brings a touch of luxury into your home. Nuheat radiant floor heating systems combine this great feeling of comfort with your home’s heating system in innovative ways – making sure you get the most out of your experience. 

Cabinetry

A lot of thought was put into finding the right cabinetry for your kitchen, so do the same for your bathroom! Think about what kind of function you want your vanity to have and what kind of things you will need to store (hair dryer, flat-iron, curling iron, make-up, face towels). Then, furnish the doors and drawers with solutions to enhance the function of your bathroom. A full vanity can have clothing storage and even a laundry hamper built right inside. There are so many options for creating the perfect vanity to meet the needs of your family.

Those Little Extra Touches

  1. Go the extra mile by adding a towel warmer to your master bathroom. This little extra will add luxury to your master bathroom. After all, wouldn’t you want to get out of your luxury shower and have a warm towel waiting?
  2. Accent tile is another perfect way to create a focal point in your bathroom. A sweet touch to your bathroom is tiling the ceiling. Not only is it practical, but it’s beautiful as well.
  3. Lighting from above can cast shadows that make shaving or applying makeup a challenge. Try a mix of natural light and overhead lighting to decrease shadows.
  4. A privacy toilet in a shared bathroom is a must-have. Adding a pocket door with frosted glass will let light in while keeping the space private. If space is an issue, try using a half-wall to conceal the toilet.

 

 

 

 

If you have any questions or would like to discuss updating your master bathroom, contact us today!