How COVID-19 is Affecting Availability For Bathroom Vanities and More

It’s been several months since COVID-19 first began to spread on a global scale. At the time, some thought that any interruptions to daily life would be temporary, and that we’d soon be able to move back to our normal way of doing things.

Now, however, it is clear that we still have a long way to go before things truly return to normal. Even as many states have lifted their stay at home orders or loosened social distancing guidelines, cases have spiked in several parts of the country.

The result is that more people are staying home and finding themselves thinking of ways that they can improve their house. It’s a perfectly normal response to everything going on in the world right now. You may not be able to control the pandemic, but you can control your house by upgrading the bathroom vanities or your shower enclosure.

We at Kitchen & Bath Authority haven’t been immune from the effects of the coronavirus, either. Availability issues continue to impact many of our products. Here’s a closer look at how we got here, and where we stand moving forward.

More Than Just COVID-19

woman wearing face mask for COVID-19

The current stock issues we’re seeing across the industry are largely a result of COVID-19 disrupting the global supply chain. Many bathroom and kitchen products are sourced from China and Vietnam, areas that have been hard-hit by the pandemic. Factories in China were shut down for several weeks, and even though restrictions have been lifted in most areas, it has been hard to get production levels to return to normal.

Even after certain areas had restrictions lifted, factories were unable to return to normal production levels right away because many employees lived in areas that were still subject to stricter lockdowns. 

Another part of the problem is that in a global pandemic, many countries have placed strict limitations on imported products. Even when items can be manufactured, getting them shipped to the United States in a timely manner remains a significant challenge. Worldwide restrictions have affected demand and caused many factories to be less productive than they would normally be.

Factor in the recent reappearance of the coronavirus in Beijing, and it is clear that a full return to normalcy is still a ways off.

In reality, though, current product shortages are actually an extension of previous issues that popped up before COVID-19 shutdowns took place. The coronavirus outbreak and its associated lockdowns surged in China around the time of the Lunar New Year, the country’s biggest holiday. While the official holiday period is about a week long, many factories will shut down for 10 to 14 days to give employees time for travel.

During this two-week period, pretty much every factory in the country is completely shut down. Production grinds to a halt. In a normal year, bathroom vanity manufacturers and others often face temporary shortages after this period, even when they try to plan ahead and order extra stock before the holiday.

Combine a two-week holiday period with weeks of strict lockdowns, and it is easy to see how this could create ongoing availability issues for vanities and other bathroom and kitchen products.

Trade wars and tariffs are further complicating matters. Concerns about how a trade war between the U.S. and China would affect prices on a wide range of products was a major worry over a year ago, and the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t made things any easier. Now, increased tensions spurred by the coronavirus are causing additional fears that more complications to this trade war may be on the way.

The ever-shifting nature of the trade wars caused many bathroom and kitchen product manufacturers to begin looking for ways to diversify their supply chain to avoid increased costs. Unfortunately, this is a process that takes time, and often leads to a temporary slowdown in manufacturing. Many companies were still in the midst of this process when the coronavirus struck, forcing them to put plans on hold and further slowing down manufacturing.

As you can see, while COVID-19 has certainly created a lot of problems for manufacturing bathroom vanities and other products, it has also complicated other issues that were already affecting overall availability. 

What Items Are Available?

Fresca bathroom vanity

Of course, the big question on everyone’s mind is: What items are actually still available to purchase? Shortly after the outbreak, we saw a big rush on TOTO washlets as toilet paper shortages swept the nation. These washlets are still backordered, and we expect stock issues to continue for a while with them.

At the same time, ICERA offers a similar bidet seat attachment that works great and is not experiencing the same level of stock issues. The ICERA S-11.01 iWASH S-11 Electronic Bidet Seat in Glossy White includes features like an instant water heating system, self-cleaning nozzle, built-in deodorizer, an LED nightlight, and more. If you don’t want to wait to get a bidet seat, this is the best option for getting a quality product sooner rather than later.

Bathroom vanities are another product category that have been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 disruptions. However, some brands are handling the issues of supply and demand better than others. While pretty much every bathroom vanity brand has experienced some sort of supply issue, Avanity, Fresca, and James Martin seem to be doing better than others. 

While availability is still limited compared to normal, these brands do provide an excellent variety of vanities that could work for several different styles. For example, the Avanity MASON-V48-BKG Mason 48 Inch Vanity Only in Black with Gold Trim MASON-V48-BKG MASONV48BKG offers a sleek, contemporary look.

Fresca also primarily has contemporary vanities available, like the Fresca FCB31-301230ACA-FC Formosa 72 Inch Floor Standing Double Sink Modern Bathroom Cabinet in Acacia Wood Finish, though more traditional options like the Fresca FVN2302GR-CMB Hartford 24 Inch Gray Traditional Bathroom Vanity are also still available.

James Martin perhaps has the best current availability for traditional or classic-style vanities. Pieces like the James Martin 500-V48-HON Malibu 48 Inch Single Vanity Cabinet in Honey Alder and the James Martin 238-105-V72-CWH Providence 72 Inch Double Vanity Cabinet in Cottage White are just two examples of the varied traditional vanities that are still available.

Other categories, like kitchen faucets and shower doors, are also experiencing shortages, but not as severe as bidet seats or bathroom vanities. Still, as with these other product categories, certain brands and products are in shorter supply than others. If you’re planning a renovation project, your best bet is to place your order sooner rather than later so you can get the items you want.

The ever-changing situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic means that our stock situation is changing all the time, as well. While the brands mentioned above are doing better than others, supply is still relatively limited, and we are already low on stock of several of these brands’ products. That being said, we do expect the overall stock situation to gradually improve going forward as more brands resume operations and the supply chain gets back to normal.

With everything that is going on, we are working to keep our website as up to date as possible so you can have a clear idea of what is currently available. If you have questions about a specific product (particularly items listed as “low stock”), we recommend that you call our customer support line. 

Our team can give you more specific information about the item you’re interested in, including backorder status and how soon we expect to have more stock available. We want you to have accurate, up to date information so you can place your order with confidence — even if it means you won’t be getting it as soon as you normally would.

Hope For the Future

hand touching globe

As dire as things may look for many people right now, we are still confident that things will get better. Many places are learning how to go back to work safely so that needed products and services can still be provided during this unique time in our world’s history. Once producers get used to this transition, things should stabilize.

While we expect stock issues to continue for the foreseeable future, we are hopeful that the stock situation should improve significantly (and hopefully be relatively normal) by September. Despite current challenges, we still have a good supply of many items across several product categories. Our wide selection ensures that even if your first pick for a bathroom vanity or kitchen faucet isn’t currently available, you’ll probably find another option that you love just as much.

Many of the things our customers love about Kitchen & Bath Authority are still readily available. You still get free shipping on your orders, and we offer easy, hassle-free returns if there is an issue with your product. Many of our products are available at significant discounts off MSRP, allowing you to save hundreds — and sometimes even thousands — of dollars on each purchase.

If you sign up for our lifetime membership program, you’ll also unlock additional savings, enjoy expedited order processing, and have access to exclusive deals that aren’t available anywhere else. And available financing through Bread can make each purchase even more affordable by breaking it into smaller monthly payments.

Your house will still be standing after the COVID-19 pandemic passes. For some people, home renovation projects have helped provide a sense of control and accomplishment during uncertain times. We hope that even with current availability challenges, we can help you find what you’re looking for.

Don’t Wait — Today is the Day to Buy a Bidet!

To say that COVID-19 (or the coronavirus) has disrupted our normal routines seems like a major understatement. From the cancellation of major sporting events to school closures across the country, many are finding themselves forced to make significant changes to their lives in an effort to contain the global spread of this virus.

One side effect of the coronavirus panic is a shortage of consumer goods — particularly toilet paper. Whether people are fearing being placed under quarantine or are simply worried about there not being any supplies left the next time they need to stock up, the toilet paper shortage is becoming a major news item in and of itself.

National news publications are highlighting stores where toilet paper is still available, and in some areas, first responders are even complaining of 911 calls asking for toilet paper.

Needless to say, many households are now closely monitoring their toilet paper usage — or camping out at local grocery stores for the next time shelves are restocked.

But there is one group that is not stressed about the toilet paper shortage. Bidet owners have been enjoying improved bathroom trips for years. Now that toilet paper supplies are running low, an increasing number of homeowners are starting to realize that buying a bidet could be the perfect long-term solution.

The History of the Bidet

painting of woman using bidet

Bidets trace their history to 1600s France, and are now widely used in Europe, Japan, and other parts of the world. While the bidet has been slow to gain popularity in the United States, the number of households using these bathroom products had already been on the rise prior to the recent coronavirus outbreak.

Historically, bidets were a separate fixture that was placed next to the toilet. Users would straddle this wash basin, which featured a faucet that would spray a stream of water to clean themselves after going to the bathroom. This cleaning process was also quite popular for addressing feminine hygiene needs.

It wasn’t until the 1960s that the idea of combining bidet functionality with a standard toilet came into fruition. While early attempts at introducing this product to the United States failed, it helped lead to the development of the TOTO washlet in Japan. The use of control panels and the toilet/bidet combination quickly took off in the country.

While the separate bidet basin remains a common fixture in bathrooms throughout much of Europe, in Japan and the United States, modern consumers are much more likely to find either a toilet with a pre-integrated bidet system, or a bidet toilet seat attachment that can be used to replace the standard toilet seat.

How Does the Bidet Work?

TOTO Neorest bidet

A bidet replaces the need to wipe with toilet paper by sending a jet of clean water to your rear. This isn’t the same water that is in your toilet — the water used by a bidet comes from your normal water supply, so you don’t have to worry about potential contamination.

Modern bidet systems typically use a “wand” for the cleansing process. Various settings allow you to adjust the spray for the type of cleaning you need. In addition to choosing whether you need a front or rear cleanse, you can also select an oscillating or pulsing flow, and even make adjustments to the volume and warmth of the water. The spray wand is self-cleaning, ensuring sanitary conditions while minimizing your cleaning and maintenance needs.

Historically, people would use one or two squares of toilet paper to dry off after the cleaning, but many modern bidets also feature an air dryer to further improve the bathroom experience. As with the water, users can select from one of several temperature settings for a comfortable drying experience.

Most modern bidet toilets and electronic bidet seats are designed to offer a high-end bathroom experience. For example, TOTO Neorest products use auto open/close lids, auto flush mechanisms, heated toilet seats, and even an air deodorizer and nightlight to improve accessibility and keep the bathroom smelling nice. The TOTO Neorest also pre-mists the bowl with electrolyzed water to help sanitize the bowl without the need for harsh chemical cleaners.

To make the whole setup even more convenient, users can control settings with a handy remote. This allows you to set the seat to your preferred wash settings for future use. Most bidets with this feature can save multiple user settings, so everyone who uses the bathroom can quickly access their preferred cleaning setup.

Benefits of Using a Bidet

toilet paper

Though switching from the normal bathroom routine of wiping with toilet paper may initially take some getting used to, there are many good reasons to purchase a bidet — and not just because you won’t have to worry about toilet paper shortages any more!

First is the fact that bidets actually provide a more sanitary way to clean up after going to the bathroom. Toilet paper is typically not able to get rid of all waste residue. You will still have some waste left on your skin. Plus, if you think about it, the biggest risk factor for your hands getting dirty comes when you wipe. This is an easy avenue for spreading germs and disease, especially if you don’t wash your hands thoroughly after going to the bathroom. Even if you think you do a good job washing your hands, you probably aren’t doing enough. In fact, one study found that only five percent of people wash their hands properly to kill harmful bacteria.

While you should still wash your hands after using a bidet, you are less likely to expose your hands to fecal waste because you won’t have to reach down to wipe. In a time when concerns over the spread of disease have led to an increased emphasis on hand-washing, this can help give you much-needed peace of mind.

Dry toilet paper can also be rough on your skin, resulting in additional discomfort. This can be especially uncomfortable for people suffering from conditions like hemorrhoids or an anal fissure. The use of clean water is a much more sanitary way to clean, and it also greatly reduces discomfort for people with sensitive skin and other similar issues. Total control over water volume and temperature ensures that users can find the perfect setting for their needs.

Using a bidet can also have a major environmental impact. According to Scientific American, United States citizens use over 36 billion rolls of toilet paper per year. The production of all this toilet paper consumes 15 million trees, over 470 billion gallons of water, and 253,000 tons of chlorine. Those numbers don’t account for the energy costs that go into manufacturing and transporting toilet paper.

While washing with a bidet does consume water, that amount is actually less than the amount that goes into toilet paper production. Most bidets only use about one-eighth of a gallon of water per use, as opposed to the 37 gallons of water that can go into manufacturing a single roll of toilet paper.

Many toilet/bidet models go the extra mile in eco-friendliness by using centrifugal force to complete the flush with less water than a standard toilet. This further reduces your household water consumption, minimizing your impact on the environment and lowering future water bills.

Toilet paper doesn’t just create environmental issues during the manufacturing process. The waste itself can also contribute to various problems. Many households use plush toilet paper that doesn’t dissolve easily in water. Worse still, some homes send “flushable” wipes down the drain. Despite the claims made on their packaging, such wipes should never be flushed, as they can cause significant blockages in the pipes. Even regular toilet paper can increase your risk for clogs over time.

With a bidet, you don’t have to worry about dealing with surprise plumbing clogs. The cost of a repair visit from a plumber could add up quite quickly. By using a bidet, you will save money in the long run by no longer needing to buy toilet paper and by avoiding potential plumbing mishaps.

Installation Considerations

Bio Bidet wand

While installing a bidet will certainly be quite beneficial for your household, there are a few things to keep in mind before you make your purchase. If you are buying an electronic bidet seat, you will need to check the dimensions of your toilet to ensure that your new seat will fit properly. Even something as simple as knowing whether your toilet has an elongated or round bowl will affect whether the bidet seat you buy fits properly or not.

If adding an electronic bidet seat to your toilet, you will need to turn off the toilet’s water valve, then flush the toilet to drain all water. After removing the existing water hoses and toilet seat, you will place the new bidet seat on the toilet. Connecting a T-valve to the water hose will allow water to run to both the toilet and the bidet seat. Connect the bidet seat’s inlet to the water supply hose, and reconnect the toilet’s water hose.

Both bidets and electronic bidet seats often require electricity to activate all functions (such as the air dryer and night light). This requires access to a 120VAC outlet. If your bathroom does not already have an outlet conveniently located near the toilet, you will need to have a professional electrician install new wiring. Do not attempt any electrical work yourself, as this can be quite dangerous without proper safety equipment.

If you are installing a bidet as part of a full bathroom renovation, make sure that your remodeling plans account for both the plumbing and electrical needs of your new unit. 

Buy a Bidet Today!

If you’re worried about running out of toilet paper, it’s clear that buying a bidet will offer a great long-term solution. Best of all, when you buy your bidet from Kitchen & Bath Authority, you can enjoy significant savings on your purchase.

We offer a great selection of electronic bidet seats from Bio Bidet and TOTO, with some models available for under $400. We also sell toilets that come with an integrated bidet seat, such as the TOTO Neorest 700H. The vast majority of these products are available at significant discounts off MSRP, allowing you to save hundreds or thousands of dollars on your purchase.

In addition to our already-discounted prices, you can save even more with coupon codes, free shipping, and our membership program. Our lifetime membership program requires no credit card to join, and instantly unlocks additional savings on items throughout our digital store.

Great prices are backed by our in-house experts’ commitment to guaranteed fitment and easy, hassle-free returns. We want you to be able to transform your bathrooms according to your wishes. With great products, prices, and services, we know that this is possible.

While toilet paper supplies may seem to be in flux in the coming weeks, households that are adequately prepared will have one less thing to worry about. By buying a bidet, you will be ready for current events and whatever the future might bring.

7 Signs It’s Time to Remodel Your Bathroom

The bathroom is one of the most used parts of the home. From the master suite where you and your spouse get ready for the day to the bathrooms used by your children or guests, few rooms are more important.

Over time, however, wear and tear will cause your bathroom to no longer present the soothing, spa-like atmosphere that you once enjoyed. Alternatively, many people who move into a new house may wish to upgrade their bathroom to better fit their personal tastes and usage needs.

If you’ve been considering remodeling your bathroom, you’re not alone. A 2019 survey from Trulia found that “90 percent of homeowners plan to remodel their home at some point,” with bathroom remodels being the second-most popular project, named by 45 percent of homeowners.

If you’ve been debating whether you should spend your tax return on bathroom remodeling, you’re certainly in good company. But how can you be sure that a remodel is truly necessary? Here are a few key indicators that it would be worth your while to remodel.

1. Outdated Decor

remodel your bathroom

One of the best reasons to remodel your bathroom is surprisingly simple — you don’t like the way it looks. This is most common if you have lived in the same house for a decade or more, or if you have just purchased an older home.

Your bathroom decor reflects your personal tastes and helps set the mood for the room. If the decor doesn’t fit your personal preferences, every trip to the bathroom can feel a bit jarring. Even minor details, like the towel holders or faucets, can throw off the desired vibe of the bathroom.

Thankfully, there are a wide range of bathroom styles to choose from, from sleek contemporary looks to products that suit more traditional tastes. Generally speaking, however, you’ll want to give your bathroom a total facelift in these situations so that everything matches. You don’t want that medicine cabinet to stick out like a sore thumb after you’ve upgraded everything else.

Many upgrades allow you to take advantage of modern additions, such as medicine cabinets that come with electric outlets, mirror defoggers, night lights, and even USB ports. The combination of modern looks and functionality will make using your bathroom far more enjoyable.

2. Bad Lighting

lightbulb

Sometimes, your bathroom decor may be perfectly fine, but poor lighting can cause the room to look dark and gloomy. Inadequate lighting can also cause the bathroom to feel small and cramped. This is especially common of bathrooms that don’t have a window or skylight.

While you could certainly go with the more labor-intensive route of having a contractor install a skylight or a translucent window, an easier and more affordable choice is to simply upgrade your lighting fixtures. 

New vanity lighting can be installed in a position that better directs light throughout the room, taking advantage of mirrors to further increase the lighting. This will help the room feel much more inviting without the need for other major changes. Installing a glass shower door can also reflect artificial and natural lighting to help the bathroom feel larger.

3. You Have Changing Bathroom Needs

hand shower

The way you used your bathroom ten years ago isn’t necessarily the same as how you need to use it today. This is especially true of families with growing children, or for older individuals who plan to age in place.

For example, families with young children are typically best served by a shower/tub combo. This allows parents to take a shower, while also having the flexibility to use the tub for their kids’ bath time. As your kids get older and no longer use the tub, you might consider updating to a walk-in shower with sliding glass doors. This could be an especially nice upgrade after your kids grow up and move out of the house, and their bathroom is used by guests. An upscale, walk-in shower will make a great impression on visitors.

If you plan to age in place, you should make adjustments that will reflect your changing mobility needs. A walk-in shower with a hand shower attachment and a bench for seating will generally be much safer than a tub. Grab bars located in the shower and other parts of the bathroom can also reduce the risk of slip and fall accidents. Even toilets can be replaced with ADA compliant models to improve safety and comfort.

For these types of upgrades, it’s always best to think toward the future. Considering how long you plan to stay in your home and how your usage needs could change will ensure that your remodel will serve you well for many years.

4. You Want to Improve Your Eco-Friendliness

sprouting plant

More homeowners are becoming increasingly aware of how their decisions inside the house impact the environment. With so many water-consuming fixtures, the bathroom is one area where environmentally-friendly upgrades can have the biggest impact.

If you want to reduce your household water consumption, consider installing low-flow shower heads and faucets. You could even get a WaterSense Certified toilet to save water with each flush. These products still work efficiently, while reducing how much water your household uses as part of its normal bathroom routines.

You can also save electricity by upgrading your lighting fixtures and switching to LED bulbs. These bulbs use less energy than a typical lightbulb, and have a much longer lifespan so you won’t need to purchase replacements as often.

Reducing the energy use in your bathroom won’t just help the environment. In the long run, it will also lower your household utility expenses, which will help you recoup the costs of your upgrades. Every little bit helps!

5. Leaks & Other Damage

leaky faucet

While a single dripping faucet can easily be repaired by a qualified plumber, widespread damage is usually best remedied by a comprehensive remodel. Left unchecked, bathroom maintenance issues can quickly spiral out of control. A broken vent fan could lead to mildew growth or cause ceiling paint to crumble and peel away due to excess moisture. 

Brown patches on the walls or near the ceiling are often an indicator of hidden leaks behind the wall. Cracked or loose tiles could pose a major slip hazard, especially when they get wet. Leaking toilet seals could give the entire bathroom a musty odor that simply refuses to go away.

Such damage isn’t just unsightly — it could also lead to significant property damage or even pose a health and safety risk for your family. You don’t want a leak to get so bad that it will eventually require mold remediation or other costly services. When it becomes clear that a significant portion of your bathroom will need to be repaired, you might as well go the extra mile and invest in a full remodel.

After all, you will already be replacing fixtures or even cutting out pieces of drywall as part of the repair process. Converting the project into a full renovation will ensure that your bathroom looks complete and new after the repair work has been completed.

6. Not Enough Space

small bathroom

Not having enough space is a surprisingly common bathroom problem. While modern master suites are designed to be larger than ever, certain floor plans retain a relatively small bathroom area. This can cause the bathroom to feel cramped and uncomfortable, rather than open and inviting.

Adding space to your bathroom can be one of the most intensive parts of the remodeling process. Adapting the layout or even expanding the room can make the bathroom easier to navigate, or help you create space for added features like a soaking tub. Layout changes are very labor-intensive, often requiring adjustments to the plumbing and electrical lines. As such, this tends to be the most expensive way to remodel your bathroom.

A lack of storage space is another frequent concern in the bathroom. You don’t want to have to go marching across the house to get a new roll of toilet paper or replace an empty shampoo bottle. As part of your layout changes, you could close off part of the area to install a storage closet for bathroom products.

Alternatively, you can add storage space by installing a larger bathroom vanity or a linen cabinet. Though you should take careful measurements to ensure that these new additions will fit with your overall layout, they can provide the space you need to keep everything neatly organized within your bathroom.

7. You’re Prepping to Sell

house for sale

If you’re planning to sell your home in the near future, a bathroom renovation could make all the difference in helping you sell quickly and at a favorable price. Keep in mind that while statistics say you are best served with only minor remodels when planning to sell, a high ROI for your remodeling work isn’t the only thing to consider.

As Kiplinger’s Andrea Browne Taylor explains, “While you may not want to spend the extra cash, the cost of inaction can be far greater than the small loss you’ll incur on any home-improvement projects,” as failing to make even minor cosmetic upgrades “may cause your house to linger on the market longer. As a result, you’ll likely have to pay ongoing mortgage, maintenance and staging costs.”

While many homeowners may wish to make further upgrades to the bathroom after they move in, you can greatly increase your home’s appeal by making some changes before you list your property. In fact, bathrooms are often cited as the second-biggest selling point for a home (only kitchens are ranked higher), and minor remodels can even have a ROI over 100 percent.

Some of the most cost-effective remodeling tips when planning to sell are replacing an outdated vanity, updating the flooring, and repainting the walls. These projects don’t require major alterations to the layout, making them more affordable and easier to complete. They will also help the bathroom look better in photos for your real estate listing, which will get more people to come check out your house in the first place.

Finding Your Reason to Remodel Your Bathroom

No matter why you might wish to remodel your bathroom, there is no denying that the costs associated with this project can add up quickly — especially if you are doing a more extensive renovation. HomeAdvisor estimates that a small, partial bathroom remodel costs an average of $10,000, while a comprehensive remodel of the master bathroom can easily exceed $50,000.

Needless to say, finding ways to save money without compromising on the quality of the final result should be an important priority during the remodeling process. And that’s where Kitchen & Bath Authority comes in.

Here at Kitchen & Bath Authority, we offer everything from bathroom vanities and medicine cabinets to shower doors, faucets, and bathtubs. Not only do we carry products from many of the industry’s leading brands, but we also offer many of these items at significantly discounted prices.

As just one example, many of our bathroom vanities are available for several hundred dollars off their MSRP. With some models, you could actually save over $1,000 on your purchase. Joining our exclusive membership program unlocks additional discounts on many products, and with free shipping on all orders, you don’t have to worry about last-minute markups to your order.

We even offer financing on select purchases, making it easier for you to buy the materials you need to remodel your bathroom.

No matter what your motivation for remodeling, make Kitchen & Bath Authority your first digital stop. We’ll help you stretch your remodeling budget further, while giving you access to the best products available.

How the Coronavirus Could Impact Your Bathroom Products

The coronavirus has been dominating headlines for weeks. A rising number of infections and deaths, paired with massive quarantines in China, has sparked concern across the globe, especially as new cases are found in the United States and elsewhere. While all of this is concerning on its own, the impact of the coronavirus goes well beyond the risk for illness and disease. Because the outbreak is centered in China, it is also having an impact on global manufacturing — and that could very well affect your bathroom products.

China’s Current Status

coronavirus mask

Currently, an estimated 73,000 coronavirus cases have been confirmed, with 1,874 deaths. While that number may seem relatively small, that is actually a significantly higher fatality rate than influenza. Fears over the disease being able to spread quickly from one person to another have led to work closures and strict quarantines.

Just how big is the disease’s current impact on China? The New York Times estimates that 150 million Chinese citizens — roughly ten percent of the population — is under some form of lockdown. At the same time, roughly 780 million people within the country are dealing with travel restrictions.

According to CNN, “The cities of Wuhan, Huanggang, Shiyan and Xiaogan have completely sealed off all residential complexes and communities, while the use of non-essential vehicles on local roadways is also banned. Residents in each city receive daily necessities from neighborhood and community committees as they are not permitted to leave their homes.”

While such widespread restrictions seem like they should help limit the spread of the virus, there is no denying just how much this can impact daily life for people living in China. In many places, the normal daily routine has essentially ground to a halt.

Manufacturing Woes

China

China is a hub for global manufacturing. Everything from video game consoles and mobile phones to bathroom vanities and sinks — many of the products that we use every day — come from China. 

The coronavirus outbreak came right in the midst of Chinese New Year, a period when many factories close for up to two weeks. To circumvent this, many companies that depend on these suppliers adjust their orders and shipment schedules so that they will always have plenty of stock on hand.

Unfortunately, with the coronavirus’s impact, many of the factories that would normally have reopened have remained shut down several weeks longer than normal. Even though some factories are beginning to reopen, the country’s quarantines and travel restrictions are making it incredibly difficult to get things back to normal.

An NPR report that looked at the current state of factories found production lines that are typically staffed by 4,000 people having only a dozen at the factory. A big part of the problem is that many factory workers work in cities far from their homes where they spent the New Year’s holiday. A large number of these individuals are now restricted from returning to their place of employment. Those who are allowed to return are still subject to a 14-day quarantine before they can go back to work.

This is a widespread issue. An AmCham survey found that “While about 90 percent of the 109 U.S. manufacturers in the Yangtze River delta expect to resume production this week, 78 percent of them said they don’t have sufficient staff to run at full speed…nearly half said their global supply chain had already been affected by the business shutdown.”

Thus far, the most highly publicized global supply chain issues are those related to technology. Video game giant Nintendo has already confirmed that the coronavirus will cause shortages of its popular consoles in Japan, and other reports indicate that this shortage could soon spread worldwide. Apple’s shares dropped significantly after the company admitted that coronavirus disruptions will affect iPhone supplies.

How This is Affecting Bathroom Products

bathroom products

While bathroom products may not be as big of a headline-maker as tech devices, these manufacturing woes are hitting our industry, as well. We’re already seeing major back orders on products like vanities, tubs, and sinks as containers fail to reach manufacturers because of the coronavirus-related delays.

With bathroom products, many items are designed stateside, but then manufactured in China. Alternatively, many bathroom products that are assembled in the United States have their materials sourced from China. Either way, the coronavirus is poised to potentially disrupt the supply of new items needed for bathroom remodeling for months to come.

The plight facing toy manufacturers can help put the idea of a shortage on bathroom vanities and sinks in perspective. One manufacturer recently told the Los Angeles Times that production has dropped by 60 percent, and as a result, they can only fill partial orders to retailers, saying “if a retailer wants 100,000 pieces, we’re giving them 15,000 or 20,000.”

The Los Angeles Times article noted that many of the factories that have reopened in China don’t have access to the raw materials they need for manufacturing, and even completed products may not be able to get shipped because of the current travel restrictions. Analysts estimate that the full impact of “missing” items will be felt closer to April, as current stock at stateside retailers runs out.

Bathroom vanities, tubs, and sinks are larger and more complex than toys. They require far more material resources to be produced, and because they are more expensive, they tend to be ordered in smaller quantities. If toy retailers are only getting shipments of 15,000 to 20,000 toys when they originally ordered 100,000, you can be sure that bathroom product manufacturers and retailers are receiving even fewer items.

Once supplies run out, there is no telling how soon these items will be back in stock. We still have no idea how the coronavirus will spread, or how long it will take Chinese factories to get back up and running at full capacity. The only thing that seems certain is that there will be shortages and delays for bathroom products and other consumer goods in the coming months.

Adjusting Your Remodeling Plans

planning

As previously noted, so far we’ve been seeing back orders for vanities, tubs, and sinks — but this isn’t to say that shortages and delays won’t start affecting other bathroom products like medicine cabinets, shower doors, or toilets.

Unfortunately, because we don’t have any way of predicting how long or how severe shortages will be, there is no saying when products that are typically manufactured in China will be back in stock after manufacturers run out of their current supply.

This means that if you were planning to use your tax refund to help cover the cost of your bathroom remodel, you’d better get started right away. If you wait too long, the vanity you’ve had your eye on for completing the look of your bathroom could soon be completely out of stock, with no ETA for new shipments.

Even if you weren’t planning to get started on your bathroom remodel for another few months, it is probably still a good idea to finalize your product selections and place an order as soon as possible. Many shortages aren’t expected to fully impact consumers for another few months — but that means if you wait to buy what you need for your remodeling project, we could be out of stock by the time you’re ready to get going.

We know how frustrating it can be when you have major plans for your home that fall through because of shipment delays or because something you wanted was out of stock. Naturally, we will be doing everything we can to stay in touch with our suppliers and ensure that we have a good number of bathroom products available so you can get going on your project. 

However, we have no way of knowing for sure just how severe or long-lasting any product shortages caused by the coronavirus will be. We will do our best to keep you informed regarding supplies of specific products you are interested in, but it could be quite a while before we are able to get new stock readily available.

It may not be the most convenient to start ordering supplies before you are ready to have a contractor help you install them, but it may be what’s needed if you want to get your remodeling done on a similar timescale to what you had originally envisioned.

Planning Ahead

Only time will tell just how significant the impact of the coronavirus will be on a global scale. But it is clear that there are already major repercussions beyond the risk to human health. If you are planning to renovate your bathroom in the near future, you shouldn’t delay. The bathroom products you want or need to give your home the perfect look could be “on hold” indefinitely as the world responds to this crisis.

Manufacturing delays could push shipments back several months, meaning that once a particular product is out of stock, it won’t be available again for quite some time. 

The good news is that Kitchen & Bath Authority remains committed to offering a wide range of bathroom products from top brands at affordable prices. Many of these products are available at significant discounts off MSRP. In some cases, you can save well over $1,000 on your purchase, and those who sign up for our membership program can save even more! 

The current crisis isn’t going to change our ability to help you better afford your bathroom remodeling work through discounted prices, free shipping, and available financing. However, many of our products are relatively low on stock, and the number of major backorders seems to be growing every day.

If you want to give your bathroom the fresh look it needs, don’t wait. Call or email us so you can get your order placed and avoid missing out indefinitely.

Affordable Home Improvements You Can Make With Your Tax Return

If the deluge of commercials currently airing on TV tells us anything, it’s that tax filing season is officially here. While the paperwork associated with the filing process is dreaded by many, the reality is that the vast majority of Americans will get a tax refund — and this makes it a great time to think of possible home improvements.

In fact, according to data from the IRS, 73.2 percent of all tax filers (roughly 96 million Americans) received a tax refund in 2019. These refunds had an average value of $2,725.

Getting several thousand dollars back in your pocket to start off the new year is an exciting prospect for anyone. It’s a good opportunity to pay off debt, invest in a savings account, or splurge on something you’ve been wanting for a long time.

Of course, not all “investments” have to be in stocks or mutual funds. One great way to invest your tax refund is by making necessary home improvements — particularly in high-impact areas like the bathroom or kitchen.

While your tax refund may not provide enough funds to cover a full-scale remodeling project, it could be more than enough to take care of that one upgrade you’ve been itching to make. Here is a closer look at some affordable home improvements you can make using your tax refund.

Install a New Bathroom Vanity

bathroom vanity

The bathroom vanity is one of the most important parts of the bathroom, and it is also one of the areas where an upgrade will have the biggest impact on the overall look of the room. Many quality bathroom vanities are available for under $1,500, in a wide range of styles and configurations.

When installing a new bathroom vanity, it’s typically easiest to use your old vanity as a guideline. Selecting a vanity with the same measurements as the old model will make the installation process much easier, and could potentially allow you to complete the work without the help of a contractor. 

This could also serve as the time to make some needed vanity upgrades, such as replacing a single-sink vanity with a double-sink model, or buying a vanity with more organizational drawers. These changes can greatly streamline your daily routine. Be mindful of any additional work that might be needed to accommodate such changes. For example, an additional sink would require some plumbing updates. If you are switching to a larger or smaller vanity, take careful measurements so you know how the new model will fit with the overall layout.

As one of the visual focal points of your bathroom, you should also be mindful of how the new vanity will affect the room’s overall appearance. Whether you prefer a contemporary wall-mounted vanity or a traditional free-standing model, the vanity will set the tone for the rest of the room. The same is true of vanity color selection, which can be used to add a splash of personality to the bathroom.

Upgrade Your Kitchen Faucets & Sinks

home improvements

While many kitchen home improvements are quite expensive, updating your kitchen faucets and sinks can be surprisingly affordable. Many high-end kitchen faucets are available for under $200, while new stainless steel kitchen sinks are often available for $500 or less.

With a new kitchen faucet and sink installation, convenience should be one of your top priorities. For example, sinks like the Kraus KWU110-32 Kore Workstation 32 Inch Undermount 16 Gauge Single Bowl Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink with Accessories allow for integration with included items like a bamboo cutting board and a multi-purpose drying rack. Such additions allow you to conserve counter space and make kitchen prep easier than ever.

Kitchen faucets are available in a wide range of configurations to better meet your specific needs. Pull-out and pull-down faucets provide a greater spray range, which can streamline meal prep and cleanup. Other faucets feature built-in filtering systems, or utilize electronic or touch controls instead of typical knobs or handles.

When selecting an upgraded kitchen sink and faucet combination, consider how you use your kitchen on a daily basis. Choose features that will best serve your family’s needs in the kitchen so that these home improvements can deliver the greatest possible impact. Upgrading to a pull-out or pull-down faucet is typically one of the best ways to make an impact.

New Shower Doors

shower doors

While installing shower doors may require more work than some of the other home improvements in this article, there is no denying that they can help give your bathroom a much more luxurious feel. The shower doors themselves are much less expensive than most people would expect, with many falling between $300 and $800. 

Much of the cost associated with this bathroom upgrade comes with the labor required to install the new doors — especially if you are converting a tub/shower area into a walk-in shower (though tub doors are also available). You will typically be best served by getting quotes from local contractors so you can have a clear idea of just how much this upgrade will cost. Depending on the current configuration of the bathroom, you may also need to install new tile and a shower base.

Glass shower doors offer many benefits to your bathroom. They can help the bathroom feel bigger, and they tend to offer a more luxurious look than shower curtains. Most shower doors are also quite easy to clean, meaning you won’t have to worry about the potential for mold and mildew like you would with shower curtains.

Several different types of shower doors are available. You should make your selection based on your stylistic preferences and the layout of your bathroom. For example, neo-angle shower doors are a good selection for a smaller shower in the corner of the room. Sliding or bypass shower doors are a great choice for larger shower areas when you still want to conserve floor space in the rest of the bathroom.

Frameless shower doors are another upgrade to consider. The elimination of the frame gives a sleek, contemporary look to the shower doors. Thicker glass ensures that the doors are sturdy, stable, and built to last.

Upgrade Bathroom Hardware

home improvements

Upgrading your bathroom hardware may seem like a small change, but it can have a surprisingly big impact in helping the entire room have a more cohesive look. Replacing door handles, bathroom faucets, and even shower heads can help unify the separate elements of your bathroom.

For the best results, try to get a matching finish for all hardware components. Blacks, nickel tones, chromes, and bronze tones are among the most popular colors/finishes for bathroom products. If you are starting your bathroom upgrades with a new shower door or a vanity, use the finish for that product as a guideline for selecting the rest of your upgrades.

There’s more to hardware style than the finish. With bathroom faucets, you should also consider the theme and handle style of the faucet, as these can go a long way in giving your bathroom either a contemporary or traditional look. Make sure that you select a faucet with an installation type that matches the pre-drilled holes in your vanity countertop.

While looks are certainly important for achieving the desired look for your bathroom, you should still prioritize functionality — especially when it comes to shower panels and sink faucets. Many shower heads offer multiple spray settings so that each user can adjust the water flow based on their own preferences. If you are planning to age in place, it may also be good idea to consider hand showers like the Grohe 27736000 Power & Soul Shower Set, which are easier to use for elderly individuals.

Splurge on a Luxurious Tub

bathtub

A soaking tub may feel luxurious, but its price isn’t going to use up your entire tax refund. Many freestanding bathtubs are available for less than $1,000, so these home improvements fit well within your tax refund budget. As with other bathroom upgrades, various styles of tubs are available to help you achieve either a contemporary or traditional look for this part of the house.

The right materials and design will go a long way in ensuring that your new bathtub delivers the style and functionality you desire. Available bathtub materials include fiberglass, acrylic, cast iron, and even stone. Different materials offer varying levels of non-porosity and stain resistance. If you are replacing an existing bathtub, you should also be mindful of drain and pump placement. Matching placements with your old bathtub will make the installation much easier and cheaper.

There are a wide range of luxurious features that can make your new bathtub even more enjoyable. A bubble massage can create a true spa-like atmosphere. Many tubs are designed for ADA-compliance, ensuring that you will be able to continue enjoying your tub as you age in place. Added lighting and included hand showers further improve safety and convenience. Some tubs even include electronic control systems!

If you don’t already have a standalone tub in your bathroom, you will need to work with a contractor to determine how you could make a tub work with your current layout. Depending on how radically you need to alter your layout to fit your dream tub, your budget might go a bit beyond the amount you received for your tax refund.

Update Your Mirrors & Medicine Cabinets

medicine cabinet

Mirrors and medicine cabinets are often overlooked when making lists of possible home improvements, but updating these areas can have a significant impact on your bathroom’s overall style. Many bathrooms could be completely transformed simply by switching out an old bathroom mirror that doesn’t fit the space as well.

With medicine cabinets, you get the benefit of improving on your old mirror installation while also adding new storage space. Medicine cabinets are available in widths of up to 72 inches, and smaller cabinets can frequently be “ganged” together to better fit your available space. Interior shelves make it easy to keep toiletries organized so that you don’t run out of space in your bathroom vanity.

Many modern medicine cabinets offer exciting features to give your bathroom an even more high-end feel. For example, medicine cabinets in the Robern Uplift lineup include tech enhancements such as perimeter lighting, a glass defogger, night lights, and even additional USB and electrical outlets.

While the highest-end medicine cabinets could use up most of your tax refund, there are also many budget-friendly models available for under $400.

What Home Improvements Will You Make?

Whether you plan to replace your bathroom vanity or finally get that luxurious soaking tub you’ve always wanted, your tax refund can go a long way in helping you upgrade your bathroom or kitchen. By investing your tax refund on something you will be able to enjoy every day, you’ll get real value for your money.

Best of all, at Kitchen & Bath Authority, we will help you stretch your tax refund even further. We offer a wide range of kitchen and bathroom products, some of which are as much as 57 percent off MSRP — allowing you to save hundreds and sometimes even thousands of dollars on your purchase.

Add in free shipping on all orders, special discount codes for select offers, and even lower pricing with our exclusive membership program, and you’ll find that transforming these frequently-used parts of your home isn’t nearly as expensive as you might think.

Don’t waste your tax return on something frivolous. If you’re going to splurge, use your money on something that will deliver lasting value in the years to come. The right home improvements will make your living space more enjoyable than ever.

6 Things to Consider When Installing a Shower Enclosure

A shower enclosure is one of the most important parts of any bathroom. Not only will it get used every day, but its large footprint within the room means it will also be a visual focal point of the room. As such, you need to select an option that will provide the right combination of style and functionality.

Whether you are planning to give your bathroom a facelift or have more extensive remodeling in mind, the right shower enclosure selection will make all the difference in helping you design the bathroom of your dreams.

Here are a few important factors to keep in mind as you plan for your shower renovation.

1. Evaluate Your Current Space and Renovation Plans

renovation planning

Your bathroom’s layout will play a large role in dictating which type of shower enclosure best fits your needs. Your shower door will need to accommodate the available space. In a smaller bathroom, this might mean that you only have room for a small corner shower or a shower with a pivot entry. If you have a large bathroom (as is found in most master suites), you will have more options for the type of enclosure you could choose to install.

If you aren’t planning to make any major changes to the layout of your bathroom, then your shower enclosure choices will be limited to what would fit within the current layout. You might be able to remove the old bathtub to make room for a walk-in shower, but the shower itself won’t be able to take up more space than the old tub area. You will also need to be mindful of the placement of other bathroom features, such as the vanity or toilet.

Of course, if you are going to completely revamp your bathroom, you could use the shower enclosure as a starting point. Select the size and location you prefer for the walk-in shower, and then plan for the placement of other bathroom items around that. It may be helpful to work with a design professional to determine the best layout for needs.

Ultimately, this means you need to decide from the beginning what the scope of your bathroom renovation will be. Determine how much you can afford to spend for materials and labor so you can set a firm budget for your project. Decide which changes (in addition to the shower enclosure) are most important to you in upgrading your bathroom. Evaluating your budget and renovation plans will make it easier to finalize your layout decisions.

2. Consider Your Usage

shower enclosure

One part of the shower enclosure decision is considering how you currently use your bathroom and how you plan to use it in the future. While a walk-in shower may be great for the master suite, it isn’t necessarily a good choice for the kids’ bathroom, particularly if you have young children.

For a bathroom that will be used by young children, it’s typically better to stick with a shower/tub combo, as mom and dad will need to help with bath time during a child’s early years. This doesn’t mean you can’t upgrade the shower enclosure, however. Tub doors add the functionality of a glass shower door to a tub/shower setup, improving leak resistance and aesthetics without complicating the bath time routine.

Another usage factor to consider is whether you plan to age in place in your home. Mobility issues can present serious hazards to the elderly. In fact, a 2008 report from the CDC estimates that there are roughly 235,000 nonfatal bathroom injuries each year for Americans over the age of 15, with two-thirds of those injuries related to using the tub or shower. Unsurprisingly, injury rates increase with age, particularly once someone is over 65 years old.

Because of the increased risk for injury that comes with aging, individuals planning to age in place should be mindful of safety features they should add to a tub or shower enclosure, such as grab bars and non-slip strips. Some may need to use a shower bench and a hand shower, which would require more space. Planning for such issues now will help you avoid the need for additional renovation work later.

3. Understand Shower Door Types

bypass shower door

There are several types of shower doors available, each of which can have a big impact on the usability and looks of your bathroom. You’ll want to look at both functionality and aesthetics to determine which door option is the best for your shower enclosure. Regardless of which shower door type you choose, you should carefully measure the shower opening before placing your order so you get the right-sized door for your space.

Bypass or sliding shower doors are used for both walk-in showers and tub/shower combinations. These doors typically use two panels that slide along tracks. This allows for setups where one or both panels can slide open and shut for using the shower. The sliding mechanism also means that you don’t have to worry about leaving additional open floor space for the doors. However, this setup also typically requires a wider space, which means it may not work well with alcove showers.

When the shower opening is too narrow for a bypass door, you may want to consider a pivot door. These doors feature a glass door that swings open from a single side, much like a standard door. Depending on the size of the shower enclosure, they may or may not be combined with a narrower fixed glass panel. Doors can swing outward, inward, or both, depending on the hinge type and configuration. For doors that swing outward, be mindful of the extra floorspace you will need to keep clear.

For corner showers, neo-angle shower doors are a popular choice. These doors are specially designed to fit in the corner, making them better suited for small bathrooms. Many of these doors offer reversible right or left entry. Finally, there are open entry shower doors, which feature a stationary glass panel paired with a wide, open-air entry. This shields the shower exterior from water spray while helping create a modern/contemporary look.

4. Glass Selection

shower enclosure

Once you’ve determined which type of shower door is best suited to your needs, you’ll want to get into the smaller details: namely, choosing whether you prefer a framed or frameless shower door, as well as what type of glass you will look best in your space.

Framed shower doors typically use either aluminum or stainless steel to frame the glass panels of the shower door. They also use metal tracks along the top and bottom of the doors to keep them in place. The glass used for these shower doors tends to be thinner so it can be supported by the frame. Though less expensive than frameless doors, the metal frames can be somewhat harder to clean.

Frameless shower doors have hardware mounted through the glass and use thicker, heavier glass to eliminate the need for metal framing. This creates a more open, spacious, and modern look. The all-glass design is also easier to clean, helping to keep your bathroom looking great. However, the extra thickness of the glass means that frameless shower doors tend to be more expensive than their framed counterparts.

You’ll also want to consider the type of glass used for your shower door. Most homeowners prefer clear glass because it helps reflect the bathroom’s lighting and makes the room appear larger. Clear glass also provides a chance to show off the new tile that was installed as part of the bathroom remodel. However, others prefer frosted or textured glass, which offers greater privacy and can provide a unique style to your bathroom. Your best bet is to choose a style that best appeals to your personal tastes and will match the rest of your bathroom’s design.

5. Shower Heads and Panels

showerhead

While the shower doors get most of the attention, they are far from the only item that affects the final look of your shower enclosure. Shower heads and panels will have a bigger impact on the style and functionality of your shower than you might think!

Modern shower heads and panels can include a wide array of features, such as a detachable hand shower unit, multiple spray options, massage body jets, or even LED lighting. Additional available options include tub fillers and jets, giving you total control over your bathing experience. 

Shower heads can even be installed in an overhead “rain” configuration, such as with the Kubebath Aqua Piazza Rain Showerhead. These shower heads and panels are available in a wide array of finishes, which makes them easier to match to the hardware in other parts of the bathroom. Be mindful of any configurations that might require additional plumbing work, as this would increase the cost of your renovations.

Another area to consider when choosing a shower head is water efficiency. Many modern shower heads are designed with “low flow” settings to reduce how much water is used during your shower. This can help you save thousands of gallons of water over time, reducing your water bills and your impact on the environment. 

6. Choose a Leak-Free Shower Base

shower enclosure

Shower bases and drains may seem like an afterthought, but they can be a very important part of finishing your shower enclosure. Sometimes referred to as a shower tray, shower bases manipulate the flow of wastewater from your shower, ensuring that it goes toward the drain rather than in another direction. This eliminates the need to try to arrange tiles on the floor in a way that will direct water toward the drain. 

However, if you prefer the look of a tile floor, there are several drain configurations you can choose from to prevent leaks and ensure proper removal of water. Center and channel drains can both work with a wide array of tile configurations. Shower drains are also available in several different finishes, including stainless tones, bronze tones, and blacks. 

As with the installation of a shower door, you will want to take careful measurements to ensure that you get the right shower base or drain for your space. Many shower bases are designed to go with specific shower door brands, making it easier to find the right match. For a shower drain,  it is typically easiest to choose something that will fit in the same location as your current drain system to reduce the need for additional plumbing work.

Create the Dream Shower Enclosure

Putting together the dream shower enclosure is a lot more work than most people realize. From determining which type of shower door best fits the layout of your room to selecting the hardware and shower heads that will match the rest of your bathroom decor, there are many decisions that need to be made.

By taking time to research your options and plan out this important part of a bathroom renovation, you will be able to create the perfect shower enclosure for your needs.

While choosing the fine details for your shower enclosure may take some time, one area where you can make a decision quickly — and with confidence — is in choosing to buy from Kitchen & Bath Authority. From shower doors and hand sprayers to drains and panels, we offer a wide selection of all the components that go into building your dream shower enclosure.

Better still, these parts are available at significant discounts off MSRP, allowing you to get high-quality materials at far more affordable prices. Some shower doors are available for as much as 47 percent off their standard list pricing, allowing you to save hundreds of dollars on your purchase. 

We also offer free shipping on all orders and have financing available for select purchases. This will help you stretch your remodeling budget even further so you can afford nicer-looking bathroom upgrades than you might be able to otherwise. 

The bathroom of your dreams is closer than you think. When you work with Kitchen & Bath Authority to put together your shower enclosure, you will have everything you need for turning your bathroom into a luxurious spa. 

5 Essential Steps to Take When Preparing For Bathroom or Kitchen Remodeling Work

With 2020 now officially underway, it’s only natural that many homeowners would include remodeling work on their list of goals and resolutions for the new year. But knowing that you want to remodel your kitchen or bathroom and successfully carrying out this project are two very different things. This is especially true if you plan to DIY significant portions of your remodeling project.

By doing your research in advance to determine what you want for your remodel and how to carry it out, you can go a long way in ensuring that everything turns out according to plan. By accounting for the following important factors, you will be able to minimize mistakes and ensure that everything gets done right the first time.

1. Research Your Options & Determine the Scope of Your Project

new shower door

Unsurprisingly, you need to start by determining just how big of a renovation you want to do. Are you looking to completely revamp your kitchen, including by altering the layout and possibly even moving walls? Or are you simply planning to refresh its look while maintaining the same layout? 

While one option may seem more appealing than the other at first glance, it is essential that you consider how the scope of your project will affect its budget, timeframe, and even your return on investment.

One factor to consider when planning the scope of your remodeling work is how much longer you plan to live in the home. Research finds that while a minor, “midrange” kitchen remodel typically yields an ROI of 81.1 percent, a major kitchen remodel only yields a 59 percent ROI. For an upscale kitchen remodel, the return on investment is even lower. Bathroom remodels follow similar trends — the more intensive and “upscale” the remodeling work, the lower the ROI.

As such, if you are planning to remodel your kitchen or bathroom to prepare to sell a home, you will likely be better served by giving these areas a facelift, rather than undergoing intensive remodeling work. On the other hand, if this is your “forever home,” you are free to do as much renovating as you want — as long as it fits within your budget. After all, your personal enjoyment of your space is well worth the investment.

Most homeowners will need to find a balance between what their dream bathroom or kitchen would look like and what realistically fits within their budget and the layout of their home. The better you understand how different remodeling options will affect this plan, the easier it will be to finalize what you want.

2. Measure, Measure, and Measure Again

remodeling work

Regardless of the scope of the remodeling work you plan to complete, taking accurate measurements is an absolute must. Without accurate measurements of your kitchen or bathroom layout, you could order too much (or too little) of needed materials, or even waste time and money by ordering an appliance or furniture piece that doesn’t fit in the intended space.

To ensure that you get your measurements right, you’ll want to start with a tape measure and straight edge so you can get accurate numbers for each area. If you plan on creating a visual representation of your kitchen or bathroom, use graph paper to maintain an accurate sense of scale. When using graph paper, each square should represent one square foot of space in the room.

For easiest results, take your measurements in a clockwise direction, working along each wall and noting the placement of key features, such as countertops or appliances. Record numbers as you go. You will likely want to re-measure individual features separately later on. If you plan on doing work that affects the walls (such as installing new cabinets), you will also want to make note of windows and doorways.

Even seemingly small features, such as electrical outlets and switches, vents, and pipes, can influence your remodeling work. Taking careful notes of all existing features will streamline other tasks. From making sure the vanity you order will fit your bathroom space to ordering enough materials for installing new flooring or a backsplash, double checking your measurements now will save you a lot of stress and hassle later.

3. Consider Colors and Materials

color options

The right materials and color scheme are crucial for ensuring that your freshly remodeled kitchen or bathroom looks great and is cohesive with the rest of your home. 

When it comes to choosing colors, use the visual focal points of the room as your starting point. In the kitchen, this usually means that you will start by selecting the color of your cabinets or countertops. In the bathroom, the flooring or vanity is often used as the starting point. Limiting the room to three primary colors helps ensure a streamlined, unified look that ties all the individual elements together.

Once you have an idea in mind for these primary features, you will want to pick colors that fit within the same color scheme for other areas. For example, gray kitchen cabinets can be offset with a lighter-colored countertop. Cream-colored tile in the bathroom will likely be more appealing if you choose a vanity with a dark wood stain or a splash of bright color.

Regardless of whether you’re trying to create a bold splash of color or prefer something in a more neutral appearance, you will have a much easier time creating a cohesive look if you pick colors that are part of the same color scheme. Sand-colored walls may look great with white or deep blue cabinets, but they usually won’t be a good match for shades of red. On the other hand, gray works well with both warm and cool colors, making it a versatile option.

As part of your color selection, you will also want to consider the materials you are using for different parts of the remodeling work. Quartz and granite both offer a wide range of styles for bathroom vanity tops and kitchen counters. While granite countertops require daily cleaning and should be resealed on a yearly basis, they are extremely durable and heat resistant. Quartz countertops require less maintenance, but are more susceptible to heat damage. Acrylic and other materials could also get the job done for more budget-minded remodels.

Similarly, the right flooring can greatly impact future maintenance needs in the kitchen or bathroom. Luxury vinyl plank can be used to imitate the look of hardwood while providing superior water resistance. Ceramic and porcelain tile are also great choices for these high-moisture areas.

When selecting wood products like cabinets or vanities, make sure that they have been rated for use in wet or humid conditions. Not all hardwoods are created equal. Do your research so you’ll pick materials that won’t warp or experience other damage as a result of normal use. 

4. Know When You Need Professional Help

contractor

You’d be surprised at how many remodeling tasks you might be able to handle on your own — and considering that labor can add up to 30 percent or more of your total costs, any work you can do by yourself will help you save money on the project.

Examples of projects that homeowners often complete on their own include the installation of vinyl plank flooring, replacing a bathroom vanity, or repainting kitchen cabinets. Of course, whether you should do these tasks on your own largely depends on how much time you have available, as well as your confidence in your own abilities. Warranty coverage is also important to consider, as many manufacturers will void warranty coverage for products that aren’t installed by a professional contractor.

As SF Gate’s Emily Beach recommends, “Buying your own materials can save you big bucks, including the cost of time and travel to source these materials. When it comes to labor, don’t take on tasks that are over your head. Instead, consider simpler kitchen jobs like completing demo and trash removal yourself to avoid paying the contractor to cover these jobs. Some handy homeowners can also cut labor costs by taking on finish tasks, such as painting and tiling. Every hour you spend working on your kitchen is an hour you’re not paying for.”

Because you will likely need to hire professional contractors for at least some of the work, start researching them well in advance. Use the internet to narrow down a list of a few top contractors who you can then contact to get a pricing and timeline estimate. Check references and work samples so you can have confidence that they will meet your expectations.

5. Plan For How Remodeling Work Will Disrupt Your Normal Routine

construction

In addition to planning for materials and labor, you will also need to consider how your remodeling efforts will temporarily disrupt the household routine. Depending on the scope of the work, remodeling could take several weeks, leaving your kitchen or bathroom almost completely inaccessible during this time. 

For example, you might need to move the refrigerator to a different part of the house as you install new flooring and reface surrounding cabinetry. When installing new cabinets or a new vanity, you will need to temporarily find another place to store plates, silverware, toiletries, and other items. You will want to move displaced items to a safe, out of the way area. 

Moving furniture and decor away from the area that will be renovated will improve the workflow and protect your possessions. Depending on the type of work you have planned, you may also wish to protect nearby areas with dust covers or drop sheets.

One bathroom may need to be kept entirely off-limits during remodeling. You might need to come up with a schedule for when each family member will use the bathroom so that everyone can get ready for school or work. Determining how you will adjust your routine to remodeling work (and going over this plan with the entire family) will help reduce stress.

Schedule remodeling work with your family’s timing in mind. Having contractors come over during the day while the kids are at school can help the work go easier. Taking pets to a doggy day care or putting them in the backyard while indoor remodeling work is going on can further reduce stress and minimize the risk of an accident.

Are You Ready For Remodeling Work This Year?

Planning out the various facets of remodeling work in detail can sometimes feel like overkill — but these preparatory steps are well worth the effort. By doing your planning in advance, you will more fully understand how much you can expect your project to cost. You will have a clear idea of what changes you want to make, as well as which options will offer the greatest functional and aesthetic improvements to your space.

Regardless of whether you are giving your kitchen or bathroom a minor facelift or a complete overhaul, putting in the time to better plan and prepare for your project will ensure that you’ll get results you love — and Kitchen & Bath Authority is here to help.

We understand just how expensive kitchen and bathroom remodeling can get, especially when you’re trying to find high-quality components like vanities, shower doors, or tubs. That’s why we offer a wide range of kitchen and bathroom products from top brands like Water Creation, Robern, American Standard, DreamLine, and more, all at significant discounts off MSRP.

We want to help you be able to afford creating the kitchen or bathroom of your dreams, and with many products available for nearly 50 percent off their normal pricing, we can help you save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on key upgrades that will give your home a truly luxurious atmosphere.

That’s not the only way we help you save. If you sign up for our exclusive membership program, you’ll gain access to even more discounts on many of our products. All orders are fulfilled with free shipping. We also periodically offer additional coupon codes for select brands and products. All products are backed with guaranteed fitment and easy returns to ensure you get the right match for your needs.

Remodeling work is a big undertaking — but it doesn’t have to break the bank. When you include Kitchen & Bath Authority as part of your remodeling planning, you can have confidence that your new-look kitchen or bathroom will turn out exactly as desired.

How to Remodel Your Bathroom Without Breaking the Bank

Bathroom remodeling is one of the best ways to increase your property value and improve your living space. At the same time, however, these home improvement renovations tend to be among the more expensive upgrades you can make for your house.

The cost of bathroom upgrades doesn’t seem to be declining anytime soon, either. In fact, the 2019 Houzz & Home Survey reported that median remodeling costs rose 14 percent from 2017 to 2018. For major remodels of master bathrooms larger than 100 square feet, the median cost was a staggering $17,000.

The good news is that you don’t have to break the bank to give your bathroom a fresh look. Not all bathroom remodeling projects need to have expenses exceeding tens of thousands of dollars. By focusing on a few more cost-efficient upgrades, you can give your bathroom improved looks and functionality without straining your finances.

Here are a few simple upgrades you can make at a much lower cost that will still have a dramatic impact on your bathroom’s looks and functionality.

1. Replace Old Toilets

toilet

An outdated toilet can be a major eyesore and could even cause you to be wasting water. Many homes are stuck with a toilet that has faded from its clean white look, or may even be in an outdated blue or pink — something that was in style decades ago, but not anymore. 

Toilets are a surprisingly cost-effective upgrade, with many units costing only a few hundred dollars. While more expensive toilets are available, these tend to include luxury features such as  auto flushing, pre-misting of the toilet bowl, or specialty glazes that keep waste from sticking to ceramic surfaces.

A toilet upgrade can also help you make your bathroom more accessible for aging individuals. ADA-compliant toilets make it easier to sit down and get back up, especially with the assistance of properly mounted grab bars. You can also help the environment with a low flush model. Some toilets use as little as 0.8 gallons of water per flush — water savings that will really add up over time.

If you want to make this upgrade even more affordable, you could just replace the lid and toilet seat, rather than the entire unit. Upgrading from a cheap plastic toilet lid to something more comfortable will make each bathroom trip more enjoyable.

Alternatively, you could give your toilet seat a major upgrade by installing an electronic bidet seat. Bidet seats feature a wide array of luxury amenities, such as built-in deodorizing systems, auto open/close lids, self-cleaning water wands with adjustable water volume and temperature, and even a heated seat. Such upgrades give new meaning to the idea of a toilet as a throne!

2. Upgrade Your Fixtures

faucet

For many homeowners, replacing the vanity and sink may be a little bit out of the budget. However, you can still give your bathroom an updated look by replacing outdated fixtures — particularly the sink faucet and handles. 

A new sink faucet can help you cultivate a modern or traditional look for your bathroom, offering a more distinguished style. You could even get a waterfall-style sink to create a more spa-like atmosphere for your bathroom! As with toilets, low-flow options are also available to help you reduce your household water consumption.

When selecting a replacement faucet, be mindful of the installation type that will fit your sink. After all, a wide spread faucet won’t work as a replacement if your current sink was designed for a single hole installation. 

You should also be mindful of the spout height and spout reach. Use your old faucet as a guideline when determining which measurements will work best for the new faucet. Generally speaking, the tap should be above the center of the sink bowl, while having at least one inch of clearance above the rim of the sink.

A sink fixture upgrade can be further complemented by updating various accessories such as towel bars, robe hooks, and shelves. Even replacing the toilet paper roll holder so that it better matches your new fixtures will lend a more unified, cohesive look to your bathroom.

3. Install a Stylish New Vanity

bathroom vanity

If you’ve got a bit more space in your budget, you can give your bathroom’s style a major boost by installing a brand new vanity. As one of the bathroom’s main focal points, a dated or worn out vanity can quickly become an eyesore. 

Today, there are more vanity options than ever before. You could stick with a traditional furniture-style piece, or install a wall-mounted contemporary vanity. One popular option in master bathroom renovations is to upgrade from a single-sink to a double-sink vanity.

Of course, if your budget is a concern, it’s typically best to stick with a vanity upgrade that is the most similar to your current vanity. This way you won’t have to worry about home improvement expenses like altering plumbing or ensuring that the wall can support the weight of a mounted vanity.

Another thing to consider with a vanity is whether it includes a sink and countertop. Most vanities allow you to select your own faucet to customize the look of your installation, but many still come with a sink and countertop. However, the added cost of a separate sink and countertop can cause a vanity to be more expensive than you’d like. Before you finalize your purchase, it’s always a good idea to double check to see what does and does not come with the vanity.

4. Refinish the Tub & Shower Space

home improvement

Installing a brand new shower enclosure or freestanding bathtub may be an exciting way to rework your bathroom, but such extensive upgrades may be outside your home improvement budget. Refinishing or refacing the bathtub and shower area is a much more cost-effective option that can help this space look like new at a fraction of the cost.

Of course, fixture upgrades can make a big difference here as well. An updated shower head or bathtub filler will help give the shower and tub area a more modern look, even if you aren’t making any other major changes.

These fixture upgrades offer more than a style boost. Low-flow shower heads will reduce how much water you use each time you bathe. Many modern shower heads are available with varied settings, allowing you to set the spray in a way that you find the most comfortable. Some shower heads also include a detachable hand shower — a great addition for those planning to age in place.

5. Modern Mirrors & Medicine Cabinets

medicine cabinet

Another way to improve the vanity area without necessarily replacing the vanity itself is to upgrade your mirrors and medicine cabinets. Replacing a mirror or adding a frame around the edges of a pre-existing mirror is one of the easiest upgrades you can make. Adding a frame saves you the expense of purchasing a brand new mirror while allowing you to easily cover up the flaking that commonly occurs around the mirror edge.

A modern medicine cabinet can offer even greater versatility to your bathroom. In addition to providing a convenient space for organizing toiletries and other items, many medicine cabinets now include extra features like defogging mirrors, electrical outlets, and integrated night lights. If you are operating on a tight budget, be mindful of any additional electrical work or other home improvement costs that could be associated with a high-tech medicine cabinet installation.

If you are installing a new vanity, consider looking for models that come with a matching mirror set. This will help give your bathroom a more unified look. Choose mirrors or medicine cabinets with a size that won’t appear too large or small in comparison to the vanity.

6. Surface-Level Improvements

home improvement

Not all home improvement work in the bathroom has to be directly related to plumbing fixtures. Other surface-level improvements can greatly improve the look of your bathroom to create a more inviting space.

One of the least expensive ways to freshen up your bathroom’s look is to repaint the walls. Consider using a lighter color that helps the room feel more spacious. Current trending colors include soft gray, creamy or bright white, and light blue. You could also go bold by painting one wall in a brighter color that pops out from the rest of the room. While painting is far less expensive than installing tile, you should still invest in a satin finish, as this will help the paint resist mildew growth and other moisture-related issues. 

Another area that can make a surprisingly big impact is your bathroom lighting. New wall sconces or ceiling lights will help brighten the space — and more light is key to making a small bathroom feel larger. This can make an especially big difference in bathrooms that don’t have windows or skylights.

Modern or rustic lighting fixtures will provide the finishing touches to your bathroom design. Installing LED lighting will also help you lower utility bills thanks to the fixture’s reduced electricity use. 

Find More Ways to Save

home improvement saving

Focusing on cost-effective bathroom upgrades is a great way to ensure that your home improvement work doesn’t strain your family’s finances. Of course, even with these budget-friendly purchases in mind, there is still more you can do to keep your finances in check while doing your remodeling.

Start by making space in your budget for unexpected issues that you might discover during the course of your remodeling work. While surface level improvements are unlikely to reveal major plumbing issues, you never know when you might encounter a leaky sink that has caused mildew growth or other damage around the old vanity area. It’s typically best to allocate at least 10 percent of your total budget to dealing with unexpected repair costs.

Depending on your level of handyman expertise, it is also worth considering what tasks you can handle on your own. A HomeAdvisor study determined that contract labor can account for anywhere from 40 to 65 percent of bathroom remodels and other home improvement projects. DIY work has the potential to significantly lower your project costs. This is especially true of many of the upgrades listed here, as they tend to be less complex and labor-intensive than tasks like rerouting plumbing or installing tile.

Realistically gauge your DIY abilities before committing to doing the work yourself. While avoiding making any changes to the bathroom’s layout and sticking with these easier bathroom upgrades will reduce the complexity of the work, you don’t want to take on something that is beyond your abilities. It’s better to pay for someone to do the job right the first time than to make costly mistakes attempting things on your own. Some product warrantees also require professional installation — another important factor to consider.

Because the upgrades listed above are less complex and labor-intensive than a full-scale remodeling project, it also becomes easier to take things slow and gradually upgrade the bathroom. For example, you could replace your old toilet now, and wait to upgrade your vanity six months later, when you have room in your budget again. Spreading out the costs associated with improving your bathroom will make it easier to keep your budget in shape.

If you need to space out your bathroom improvements, prioritize items based on areas with the greatest need. Inefficient, broken, or extremely outdated bathroom elements should be addressed first. Then you can move on to the less urgent areas.

Save Even More With Kitchen & Bath Authority!

Of course, one of the best ways to save on bathroom remodeling and other home improvement projects is to buy your supplies at a discounted price — and this is where Kitchen & Bathroom Authority comes in.

We have you covered with an incredible selection of bathroom products, including vanities, toilets, medicine cabinets, faucets, and accessories. This includes products from top brands like Fresca, Water Creation, and Robern.

More importantly, many of our bathroom products are offered at significant discounts off their suggested retail price, allowing you to save hundreds — or even thousands — of dollars on your purchase. Those who sign up for our membership program gain access to additional discounts on a vast selection of products. Special discount codes and limited-time sales can help you save even more.

We further enhance the affordability of your home improvement projects with free shipping on all orders and available financing through Bread. Select buyers can even qualify for 0 percent APR financing with three or six-month payment plans.

Home improvement projects may be expensive, but they can dramatically improve your ability to enjoy your property. By taking using Kitchen & Bath Authority for your cost-efficient bathroom upgrades, you’ll be well on your way to creating your dream home.

Why a Bathroom Remodel Could Be the Perfect Holiday Gift

The holiday shopping season is upon us, and that means hordes of shoppers will soon be crowding department stores to get great deals on big-screen TVs, smartphones, and other technological gadgets. But have you ever considered a bathroom remodel?

While the toys and tech that you get for yourself and family members will likely be outdated or broken within a relatively short period of time after all the presents have been unwrapped, you could always invest in your home and get something that will last. A bathroom remodel may be a somewhat unconventional holiday gift, but it could very well be the best thing you get for your family this year.

Bathroom remodeling has a wide range of benefits for your home. Here is a closer look at just some of the reasons why investing in these valuable upgrades is a great idea this holiday season.

1. Fix Ongoing Maintenance Issues

leaky faucet

With so much plumbing involved, it should hardly come as any surprise that an old, outdated bathroom can be a frequent source of maintenance issues. A dripping faucet may not seem like a big deal, but it can result in thousands of gallons of wasted water per year, driving up utility bills. If something goes wrong when you have friends or family over for a holiday party, you could be in serious trouble.

The problem can be even worse when you have a leaking or burst pipe. As Angie’s List notes, “If left untreated, a plumbing leak can cause damage to your walls. When pipes running behind walls burst or begin to leak, they moisten the drywall; eventually, this moisture makes its way through the walls and produces wet spots […] Over time, the moisture may lead to black mold, requiring not only the services of a mold remediation company, but also requiring the removal of large wall sections. This can be very costly. For example, 100 square feet of drywall can cost as much as $400 to replace, while mold remediation can run anywhere from $500 to $3,000.”

The ongoing maintenance costs of repeatedly fixing leaks and other problems can also add up quicker than expected. Failure to address such issues in a timely manner can eventually result in damage to the flooring, further adding to repair expenses.

If you find yourself dealing with repeated maintenance issues, a bathroom remodel could serve as a more proactive way to stop the problems in their tracks. Completely replacing problematic fixtures and pipes will help you avoid future maintenance expenses. Life will be a lot easier (and less stressful) when you don’t have to call a plumber every month.

2. Address a Less-Than-Desirable Layout

bathroom remodel

A poorly designed bathroom will often result in a cramped, cluttered feel that hardly creates the peaceful, relaxing atmosphere you desire. This is further compounded when the room doesn’t have adequate lighting, which can make the bathroom feel more like a cave than a spa.

Though more expensive than a simple facelift, many homeowners find it beneficial to completely revamp their bathroom’s layout as part of a remodel. Moving the location of the vanity or other features can make the area easier to navigate. Installing additional storage solutions such as linen closets or open shelves will provide more space for towels and toiletries. 

Depending on the extent of your renovation needs, you might even expand the size of your bathroom or install a skylight to bring in additional natural lighting. Of course, not all renovations need to be so involved to help the bathroom seem more spacious. For example, installing a frameless shower door can help the bathroom feel larger by showing off more space and reflecting natural and artificial light.

For aging individuals or those who are caring for elderly family members, it may also be helpful to consider layout changes that will more easily accommodate changing physical needs. ADA compliant toilets, additional grab bars and railings, or a seated ledge in the shower area can reduce the risk of slip and fall accidents and improve accessibility. Such changes are also good to consider if you plan to age in place in your current home.

3. Improve the Look of Your Bathroom

bathroom remodel

Sometimes, your bathroom could be functionally sound but look extremely outdated. Styles from the 1980s will probably look out of place in your home, especially if the rest of the house has received upgrades over the years. In such situations, a bathroom remodel that provides a facelift for your space will go a long way in helping you cultivate the desired ambiance inside your home.

One of the easiest ways to update your bathroom’s looks is to replace your old vanity. Not only is the bathroom vanity relatively easy to replace, but there are more styles available than ever before. Both free-standing and wall-mounted units are available in a wide range of configurations so you can find the scheme that best fits your preferences. Complete the look with an upgraded faucet, and you’ll have gone a long way in improving the look of your bathroom.

The walls and flooring are also areas that most often benefit from an upgrade. Ceramic tile and luxury vinyl plank flooring are popular material options for the bathroom, as they offer superior water resistance and are available in a wide range of styles. Even something as simple as a fresh coat of paint can help your bathroom feel renewed and refreshed. 

A modern, redesigned bathroom will help foster a more relaxing environment, creating the perfect place to unwind. When your bathroom becomes an oasis where you can escape from the rest of the world, coming home from a long day at work will be even more enjoyable.

4. Add Luxurious Features

towel warmer

Of course, you can do much more than simply give your bathroom a facelift. A bathroom remodel is the perfect time to consider luxurious features that will give your bathroom a true spa-like atmosphere.

One surprising area where you can make a luxury upgrade is the toilet. For example, the TOTO Neorest 700H Tankless Ms992CUMFG Dual Flush Toilet With Integrated Washlet Seat and Ewater+ integrates bidet functionality into the toilet seat, providing adjustable comfort sprays for a superior clean. Other features include automatic flush, automatic open and close lid, and the use of electrolyzed water during each flush to sanitize the toilet bowl. This means you won’t have to spend as much time scrubbing the toilet in the future!

Medicine cabinets are another area where increasingly luxurious options are now available. For example, the Robern UC4827FPL 48 Inch Uplift Cabinet includes a built-in electric column, LED interior lighting, a night light installed in the handle, and a mirror defogger that can be turned on for when you are using the shower. Of course, there is still plenty of interior storage space to help keep your bathroom items organized.

You could even make getting out of the shower a more enjoyable experience with towel warmers! Not only will such devices give you a cozy, warm towel to wrap up in after you get out of the shower, but they will also quickly dry your towels after use so they don’t get damp and mildewy.

Even seemingly minor feature upgrades, like replacing a one-sink vanity with a two-sink model, can go a long way in streamlining your bathroom routine. With two bathroom sinks, you and your significant other won’t have to fight for space as you try to get ready in the morning. Consider which features could make the biggest difference for you on a daily basis as you pick your favorite upgrades.

5. Become More Eco-Friendly

washing hands

We live in a time when homeowners are increasingly conscious of how their property impacts the environment — and the bathroom can play a large role in this. One of the best ways to decrease your home’s impact on the environment is to install low-flow fixtures as part of your bathroom remodel.

Low-flow options are available for bathroom faucets, shower heads, and toilets. By reducing the amount of gallons of water used per minute (or per flush), you will be better able to conserve water in your area. Those gallons that you save each month will also help you lower your water bill.

Such additions will likely have a bigger impact than you would expect. According to The Balance Small Business, “Low-flow toilets can save more than 20,000 gallons of water per year for a four-member family.” Such toilets can also reduce clog problems thanks to a wider drainage passage and pressure assisted flush features. 

Water fixtures aren’t the only area where you can make eco-friendly improvements as part of your bathroom remodel. Upgrading to LED light fixtures will reduce electricity usage in the bathroom, helping you lower yet another utility bill. Many LED light bulbs have a rated lifespan of up to 50,000 hours — many times longer than a standard incandescent or halogen lightbulb. As a result, you’ll also be able to save on lightbulb replacements.

6. Increase Your Home Value

bathroom vanity

Even if you plan on staying in your home for many years to come, there is no denying the fact that a quality bathroom remodel will increase your home value. According to Investopedia, bathroom remodels historically deliver some of the greatest return on investment of any home improvement project. This is true for every part of the country, regardless of changes to the market. 

On average, homeowners can expect to recoup between 70 and 78 percent of their remodeling costs, though in some areas, the increase in property value can be even greater. In fact, HGTV reports that minor bathroom remodels can easily earn back 102 percent of their investment at resale. You can get even more value for your money by doing some of the remodeling work yourself and shopping around to find discounted prices on key bathroom additions.

Of course, for many, even more important than the potential increase in the home’s resell price is the increased enjoyment that they will get from an improved bathroom on a daily basis. HGTV also reports that over 70 percent of home buyers already have remodeling plans in mind when purchasing a home. Between 30 and 40 percent will make improvements less than six months after they move in.

Regardless of whether you’ve recently moved into your home or have been living in the same place for a while, it is important to consider more than just the increased home value you will get out of a bathroom remodel. You should also be mindful of the increased value you will get out of your home.

By making your space more usable and enjoyable, you will ultimately get far greater value out of your bathroom remodel and other home improvement projects. Being able to sell your home at a higher price sometime in the future is just the icing on top.

Give the Gift of a Bathroom Remodel

According to some surveys, as many as 28 percent of all holiday gifts are returned at the end of the season. Rather than spend your money on frivolous items that may only get a few months of use at best, invest in your future by giving your bathroom a much-needed makeover.

Think that a bathroom remodel is out of your holiday shopping budget? It doesn’t have to be — particularly if you only plan to upgrade one area, like the vanity or medicine cabinet. Here at Kitchen & Bath Authority, we have a wide range of bathroom products from the industry’s leading brands, many of which are available at significantly discounted prices. You can literally save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on select bathroom products!

The savings get even greater when you join our exclusive membership program. Members enjoy expedited order processing and additional discounts on a wide range of items, helping to make your shopping even easier. Free shipping is also available, so the price you see in our store is exactly what you’ll pay.

Don’t fight the crowds this Black Friday. Place your orders online here at Kitchen & Bath Authority, and you’ll be well on your way to giving yourself the gift of an amazing new bathroom.

7 Essential Factors to Consider When Planning a Kitchen Remodel

The kitchen is one of the most-used parts of the home, so it should come as no surprise that it is also one of the most popular areas for renovations — even if a kitchen remodel tends to be among the more expensive home improvement options.

In fact, according to HomeAdvisor, the average kitchen remodeling project costs approximately $150 per square foot — or $24,174 for most normal-sized kitchens. Even a relatively low-scale remodeling project that involves upgrading the kitchen sink, refinishing cabinets, repainting walls, and adding a tile backsplash can easily exceed $10,000.

Whether you’re upgrading your kitchen to increase its style and functionality for your own enjoyment or you’re hoping to increase your home’s resale value, proper planning is essential for ensuring that you get your money’s worth from this project. Here are a few crucial factors that you should be mindful of when planning for a kitchen remodel.

1. Know What You Can Afford

budgeting

As with any home improvement project, you should always start by carefully considering what you can and cannot afford for your kitchen remodel. Of course, you can also look for ways to cut expenses so that you can make more of your desired changes to your kitchen. Home equity loans are also available to help you fund the renovations.

One good rule of thumb is to consider how long you plan on living in your home after you remodel it. Generally speaking, the longer you plan on staying in the home, the more it is acceptable to spend. This is because the new upgrades could actually help you avoid repair and maintenance expenses later on, and you will get more personal value from large-scale changes because of how much you’ll use them. If you plan on moving shortly after the renovations, a smaller facelift will be the more cost-effective option.

Another factor to consider for saving money is whether there are certain tasks you can take care of yourself. While many elements of a kitchen remodel — such as replacing countertops or installing new plumbing — are best left to the professionals, other tasks could be safely performed on your own. Repainting the walls or even installing a new faucet are tasks that can often be handled by the homeowner.

You should also be mindful of the potential for unexpected expenses that pop up during the work. Mold, leaky pipes, and other serious maintenance issues are often discovered during a kitchen remodel. These will add to your total renovation costs, which can be problematic if you aren’t prepared. Allocating up to 20 percent of your budget for such mishaps will help you stay financially on track.

2. Evaluate the Layout & Workflow

kitchen remodel

One common area that is evaluated during a kitchen remodel is the room’s layout. While revamping the kitchen layout can dramatically increase the total costs of the renovation, it can also make a big difference for the kitchen’s usability.

To create an effective kitchen workflow, you should primarily focus on what is referred to as the “work triangle.” This is the area that includes the stove, refrigerator, and kitchen sink. These are the busiest areas of the kitchen. When preparing a meal, most kitchen users will go back and forth between these three areas.

As such, the ideal layout will minimize how far you need to go to get from one part of the work triangle to another. You don’t want to trek to the opposite side of the kitchen to get from the refrigerator to the sink. If the current layout is not conducive to convenient cooking, it is likely worth working with a designer to see how you can change it.

Of course, these changes can significantly add to the cost and complexity of your kitchen remodel. Moving the sink or stove will require major adjustments to the plumbing, electricity, and/or gas lines. Because of this, it is generally best to leave your kitchen layout as-is if it already has an efficient work triangle in place.

3. Prioritize Convenient Storage Solutions

shelves

While upgrading the look of the countertops and cabinets can vastly improve your kitchen’s style, you should also be mindful of ways that you can add to your storage and work surfaces. This is especially true of smaller kitchens, which can quickly become crowded when you start running out of room for storing plates and utensils.

Even seemingly small add-ons can help provide meaningful expansions to your kitchen storage space. Pantry pullouts and lazy Susans will make it easier to access items inside your cabinets. Many kitchens have unused space in the corners that could be converted to additional cabinet shelving.

Unexpected and underutilized areas can also be converted into additional storage space. For example, the toe kick underneath your cabinets could actually be converted into a small drawer for lesser-used items. Or you could mount a spice rack on the inside of a cabinet door. You could even add storage shelves under the kitchen sink. Reducing the empty, wasted space in your kitchen will ensure that you have plenty of room for your stuff.

Amidst all the storage upgrades, you should also consider the possibility of expanding your available counter space. The countertops are an essential work surface, and extending their area — even by a tiny amount — can streamline many kitchen tasks. This is especially true if you add a kitchen island. The additional countertop surface and storage cabinets make this an ideal way to create more space.

4. Be Mindful of the Home’s Overall Scheme

modern home

As exciting as a kitchen remodel may be, it doesn’t exist in a vacuum. While you’ll naturally want to make sure that all the design details of your kitchen tie together in a cohesive manner, you should also make sure that the upgrades will be cohesive with the rest of the home.

After all, having an upscale modern kitchen while the rest of the house is old and outdated will create a strange contrast. This is especially true if you are planning to sell the house.

This doesn’t mean that you should avoid investing in a kitchen remodel because you’re worried that the rest of the house won’t look as nice. However, taking the overall scheme and style of your home into consideration can help guide you with additional remodeling decisions.

For example, if your home’s architecture is more rustic, then you would want the kitchen upgrades to reflect that look, rather than an ultra-modern style. Using similar materials that are found elsewhere in the house as a guide can help create a more cohesive look.

Kitchen renovations also present an opportunity to evaluate other portions of the house. Even if you don’t have the budget for major remodeling, repainting neighboring rooms, upgrading the lighting, or buying new furniture can help the rest of the home better reflect the changes you’ve made in the kitchen.

5. Don’t Neglect Appliances & Other ‘Minor’ Details

kitchen sink

Cabinets, countertops, and flooring tend to get most of the attention when planning a kitchen remodel. However, the seemingly minor details of new appliances and updated faucets and sinks should not be ignored. 

In fact, HGTV recommends, “You should choose your kitchen layout first, then choose appliances that fit. If you fall in love with a side-by-side fridge, will you have room for two wall ovens and a cooktop? See, there are compromises.”

When selecting appliances, be mindful of the features that will best address your performance needs. Do you want to replace your microwave with a range hood for better ventilation? Is a double oven going to help you with meal preparation? The appliances you choose could very well impact the cabinet and countertop installations that will work best for your kitchen.

Similar ideas apply to choosing a kitchen sink and faucet. For example, an undermount kitchen sink will typically need to be installed first, with the counters then placed on top. If you choose this type of sink, you will want to choose a durable, high-quality option, as future repairs or replacements would require removing the countertop to get to the sink!

The kitchen backsplash is sometimes overlooked in the midst of more practical upgrades, but it can greatly enhance your kitchen’s style. Tile backsplash is a popular choice, as are using slightly different shades of the same color. Choose a design that will blend well with the cabinets and countertops for a stylish outcome.

6. Look For Quality Lighting

kitchen remodel

Lighting is another “minor detail” that can dramatically impact how you perceive the kitchen. Quality lighting helps the kitchen feel more open and inviting, and can also make it easier to take care of meal preparation.

One way to enhance your kitchen lighting is to install touch lighting underneath the cabinets. This task lighting will enhance visibility when chopping vegetables or taking care of other tasks that require a bit more visual focus. Upgrading to LED fixtures can improve your energy efficiency. Dimmer switches will also give you greater control of lighting throughout the day.

While adding a new window or skylight is a more costly way to improve kitchen lighting, this is often a necessity in older houses. Many older homes only feature a small window above the kitchen sink, which can cause the room to feel dark and dreary. 

Letting in more natural light during the day with a larger window will make the room much more pleasant. Quality lighting will enhance the rest of your kitchen upgrades, allowing you to more readily showcase and enjoy them.

7. Find the Right Team For the Job

remodeling contractor

A kitchen remodel is one of the more complex home improvement projects you can undertake, which means that regardless of the scope of the work, you will likely need help from a professional. Of course, you should be mindful of the level of assistance you need. Some contractors provide design consultations, while others only assist with the execution of the work. 

Your first step is to create a shortlist of remodeling contractors who seem to best fit what you are looking for. Check local listings to find contractors whose list of services cover what you need for your project. Look at online reviews, certifications and licensing information, warranty coverage, and the number of years the company has been in business to identify quality candidates.

Once you have narrowed down your list of potential contractors, you should meet with three or four candidates to get a better understanding of their process and a written estimate. Consider factors such as compatible communication style and a timeline that works with your remodeling needs to find the right match. While pricing is important, you want to be sure that your chosen contractor will deliver the desired results before signing an agreement.

Getting the Most Of Your Kitchen Remodel

Upgrading your kitchen can be an expensive undertaking, even if you’re only performing a few minor renovations. However, a well-planned and executed kitchen remodel can greatly improve your ability to enjoy your home. 

After all, the kitchen is much more than a place where you prepare meals. Depending on your home’s layout, it may also be where the family gathers for breakfast and where the kids do homework after a long day at school. Even if you don’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen yourself, giving this area a facelift can make a positive impression on potential buyers when the time comes to sell your home.

At Kitchen & Bath Authority, we’re here to help make your kitchen remodel more affordable with a fantastic selection of kitchen faucets and sinks, as well as other accessories that will enhance the style and functionality of your kitchen. 

Even better than a wide selection, however, are the amazing discounts we offer on products from top brands like Brizo and Delta. Some of our faucets are available for as much as 64 percent off MSRP, allowing you to literally save hundreds of dollars on these individual kitchen upgrades. With free shipping and available financing to help you save even more, we’ll help you be able to afford the kitchen of your dreams.

Don’t let yourself be stuck with an ugly kitchen that doesn’t match your lifestyle. With a little help from Kitchen & Bath Authority, you can start making the upgrades you need.