Debbie Hereau hears it all the time.
“I hate my bathroom.”
Hereau, owner of Concept Bath, 2203 Grant St., Bettendorf, along with her brother-in-law Robert Graziano, says that statement is the beginning of a meaningful conversation between the homeowner and Concept Bath about what’s called “smart bathroom remodeling.”
In other words, if you hate scrubbing grout between the tiles in your current bathroom, you might want to consider going with a grout-free wall in your shower, she says.
Smart bathroom remodeling, Hereau says, is working with a contractor who gives you in-depth information about the products and services that will fit your specific needs.
“We ask the question, ‘why don’t you like your bathroom?’” she said.
That’s followed by other questions like: Who uses the shower? Do you need a seat? What do you need now and what’s going to work for you in the future?
“We’re going to find solutions,” she said. “If you need more storage, maybe it’s just adding a cabinet above a toilet or a slide-out drawer in a bathroom vanity, or maybe it’s a hair organizer or a recessed niche in a shower for all your shampoo bottles.
“We will take away all the reasons why you hate your bathroom, and cause you to love your bathroom,” she said.
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The Concept Bath showroom (the company also does kitchen remodels) is full of the trendiest materials, colors, bathroom fixtures, tile, and tub and shower options to choose from.
A key issue for empty nesters is wanting to remodel to a stylish bathroom, but also one that will allow them to “age in place” and stay in their homes.
“There are so many products out there today that are designed for safety in the bathroom that are very trendy,” Hereau said. “We even have grab bars with angles on them so they don’t look like an institutional bar. Walk-in showers are very fashionable, and you can do them with a low-profile base. That may be something we would suggest to them.”
Bathrooms can also be designed to be free of clutter and allow space in the event the homeowner needs to use a walker in the future.
“One thing I stress with people is not to be stressed about taking out a bathtub you’re not using,” she said. “A fall would be way more detrimental to you.”
Adequate lighting and ventilation in a bathroom are also important considerations when remodeling.
“I always recommend a light in the shower for task lighting,” Hereau said. “Good ventilation is really important because it draws moisture out of the air. When moisture sits in the air, you’re going to see mold and mildew.”
Which brings us back to that issue of scrubbing the grout between bathroom tiles.
Wall panels made from a variety of materials are an attractive and low-maintenance option for showers, Hereau said. One of the newest varieties is a “wave panel” with a rippled surface.
For those who may want a complete a bathroom remodel in time for the holidays, now is the time to stop in and talk to a consultant at Concept Bath about your project. Jobs are currently being scheduled four to six months out, although smaller jobs like a tub-to-shower conversion can be slotted earlier.
“We’ve been in the remodeling business for decades, and we are known for our high-level craftsmanship and aggressive pursuit of perfection,” said Hereau, an active member of the Downtown Bettendorf Business Women. “Our goal is to exceed your expectations.”
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