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Concept bath

Debbie Hereau, left, and Heather Sherman of Concept Bath in Bettendorf show just a few of the new metal/glass/stone tile combinations that are being used as backsplashes in kitchen and bath remodeling.

You’re a homeowner who has made the important decision to remodel your kitchen or bath. Now, the real work begins.

While the experienced staff at Concept Bath in Bettendorf can help you design your dream project and make it a reality, they also suggest that preparation is key to a successful project.

That preparation includes researching trends, knowing what your particular needs are, whether you are remodeling to sell your house or will enjoy the updates long-term, and, perhaps most important, what your budget is.

“Anytime is the right time to remodel as long as you’re ready to do it,” says Debbie Hereau, who owns the business at 2203 Grant St., along with her brother-in-law, Robert Graziano.

“Kitchen trends can make or break your kitchen remodeling budget,” said Hereau. “Going back to simple economics, as demand goes up, so does the price. When certain materials are trending, such as quartz countertops, those prices go up. After all, if you can expect more in return the day you sell, you should expect a higher upfront cost.”

Consumers have a number of ways to research trends, from following Pinterest sites, reading trade magazines, watching home shows on television or visiting a showroom like Concept Bath’s.

There, kitchen/bathroom designer Heather Sherman can discuss the homeowner’s needs and wants, taking into account the newest materials and remodeling techniques. For example, she noted during a recent interview that decorating with glass or metal is trending. That translates to a number of options for backsplashes, for example, that include a combination of shiny or brushed metal, clear or textured glass, and stone.

“Texture is becoming very popular,” Sherman said. “People don’t want a lot of color, but by adding texture, it can pop a little more.”

But just because something is trending doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for you.

Consider the trend toward all-white kitchens, from white surfaces to cabinets to flooring, a popular feature in brand-new homes.

“They call it the white on white on white design,” Sherman said. “Once customers see other options, they’re not totally with the white,” especially considering the upkeep of keeping a white kitchen sparkling clean.

“The look is great, but the upkeep is a little different,” she said.

Hereau notes that the budget is the biggest part of a kitchen remodel.

“Like any renovation project, always have a contingency budget,” she said. “Surprises can and will happen when you open up the walls, floors or other components you can’t see before the remodel begins.”

If you’re looking to sell your home and want to freshen up a dated kitchen, Hereau suggests a simple update, including replacing laminate countertops with stone, repainting and replacing the hardware on your cabinets.

However, if you’re planning on staying longer than 10 years in your home, “we’re going to talk about what’s going to be comfortable for them, adding more storage solutions and better lighting” as well as higher-grade kitchen appliances.

Today’s trendy eat-in kitchen is more likely to include a large island with multiple seating options over a traditional table and chairs. And, the kitchen desk that was popular a few years ago has given way to a charging station for laptops, tablets and cellphones. Hereau and Sherman are also seeing the installation of more “coffee nooks” in kitchens, replacing the solitary coffeemaker with several coffee-making appliances, mugs and places to set condiments for that morning cup of joe. One customer, they said, even had a coffee bar installed in a master bathroom.

“If you know more about the homeowner, it’s easier to fulfill their needs,” Hereau said, a truism that comes from more than 25 years of working in the business.

With a strong economy, Concept Bath has three crews busy working on jobs throughout the area, so if you’re considering a remodel, it’s never too soon to stop in and meet with the staff.

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