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There’s absolutely no doubt that marble makes a beautiful addition to the bathroom. Whether it’s used solely as a countertop, walls, floor, or for every part of the bathroom, it screams luxury. Marble soaks up the ambient warmth of the room so that it’s soft and comfortable for bare feet. That’s a huge bonus when you step out of that super luxurious steam shower!

Despite the beauty, many homeowners are left wondering if it really is the right choice for their bathroom. To help you answer that question, I’ve pulled together a handy pros and cons guide.

Pros

The Look As I already mentioned, there’s little that beats the look of marble. It comes in a wide variety of naturally formed patterns. So, finding the perfect look to match the style of your home is pretty easy.

Durability Marble may be soft to the touch, but it’s strong enough to last forever.

Value Many people don’t worry about the initial cost of purchasing and installing marble because it really does pay for itself in the long run. The look never goes out of style.

Cons

Stains Marble can show stains and scratches. Soap, shampoo, and other liquids that drip onto the stone must be wiped cleaned immediately.

Maintenance Marble must be resealed every year. Sealing products are available in any home hardware store. But, if you’re not the type of person who’s interested in adding that task to your cleaning routine, then marble might not be the best choice. Regular cleaning might also pose a problem for some. Care must be taken to use the gentlest and most natural cleaning products. Any that are the slightest bit harsh can end up ruining the surface of the marble.

Cost Yes, marble will eventually pay for itself because you will probably never need to replace it and it never seems to go out of fashion. However, the initial cost of purchase and installation – because it does need to be installed by professionals – can be prohibitive for many people.

If you’re still not sure if marble is the right bathroom material for you, contact your local tile seller and have them come take a look at your particular bathroom set-up.

Have you installed marble? Do you love it?

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Now that the holidays are over, you may have noticed a little extra puffiness around your tummy. Or maybe you’re extra serious about the New Year’s resolution you made to get fit. Whatever the case may be, I’ve got a plan to help you achieve your goals.

New Year’s resolutions, especially those that involve getting fit, are notorious for not working out (pun intended!). Once you factor in extra time to go to the gym, and the added cost of the membership, most people opt for a more simplified approach.

By all means, a short walk with family or friends every day before or after work is a great way to get fit and enjoy a breath of fresh air. But sometimes even that extra 15 or 30 minutes added to the start or end of the day adds too much strain to our schedules. On top of that is the weather. I’ll admit that I’m not always keen on stepping out when it’s raining or when it’s particularly cold or hot.

So, here’s a better idea. Why not tack on an extra minute – literally, just one extra minute – to something that you already do at least once per day. In the morning, when you visit the bathroom, linger for one extra minute and run through an exercise routine that will see you reach your fitness goals quickly, (fairly) effortlessly, and with no added cost. How’s that for the perfect plan to keeping your resolution throughout the year?

Here’s the plan. Before you jump into the shower, do:

  • 10 squats. Don’t worry if you can’t quite manage that many just yet. Start with a number you’re comfortable with and go up from there.
  • 10 countertop push-ups. Just like they sound, place your hands on the edge of the countertop. Stand about three feet back, feet shoulder width apart. Bend your elbows and allow yourself to lean down toward the countertop, then push up and straighten your elbows. You can also do this exercise on the edge of the bathtub.
  • 10 tricep dips. These sound complicated, but they’re actually the countertop push-ups done in reverse. Turn your back to the countertop. (You can also do these off the edge of the bathtub.) Stand about three feet back from the counter. Place your hands on the edge of the countertop. Bending your elbows will bring your back closer to the countertop. Straightening your elbows will push your back away from the countertop.

Do as few or as many repetitions as you can handle. You can even set a schedule with the intent of adding one or two repetitions per month throughout the year. The routine should take you no more than a minute. Once you’re done, hop into the shower for a regular wash or, better yet, a luxurious steam shower experience.

What resolutions did you make this year?

 

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There is nothing quite like a sparkly, fresh, clean bathroom, right? If you’re like me, you can put up with a bit of grime. But, as soon as I know I’ve got guests coming to visit, the bathroom is the first place I visit with cleaning products in hand. It’s such a personal space, it really should be as clean as it can be.

Are you the type of person who likes to set aside a few hours to clean from top to bottom? I have to admit that I’m not. I like to clean in small doses over a number of days. I’ve got it down to an art. On Mondays, I dust my entire home. On Tuesdays, I wash down surfaces. Wednesdays are all about bathrooms (top to bottom). I pull out the vacuum and mop on Thursdays. Fridays are all about giving the kitchen a really good scrub down. Each task takes me about 20 minutes, and I get it out of the way first thing in the morning. Cleaning done. I like the idea of doing a little bit every day. It keeps my home looking neat and clean throughout the entire week.

Every once in a while, though, I find I need to do a really deep clean. Spring might be the time most people think of pulling out the rags and wiping down areas that never see the light of day. It makes sense, of course. If you live in climes where winters are cold and icy, the last thing you want to do is throw open the windows while you’re cleaning.

I do really like the idea of doing a deep cleaning right now in January. It’s the start of a new year. Better yet, many businesses slow down a bit over the holidays. So, it’s naturally a time when many people have more time off. Why not use at least some of that time to wipe away last year’s dust and grime?

Here’s how:

The Shower Head Solution Have you ever poured a cleaning solution into a bowl, then held that bowl up over your head, submerging the shower head in the solution? I tried that for all of two minutes before my arms began to ache! Here’s a better idea. Pour enough white vinegar into a plastic bag. Make sure that there aren’t any holes in the bag! Lift the bag until the shower head is completely immersed in the vinegar. Tie the bag securely in place, and leave it to soak overnight. Run the water in the morning to give the shower head a rinse.

Sparkly Shower Doors Shower doors end up with a lot of soap scum over time. The transformation happens so slowly that you might not realize it. Try this tip. Stir together a cup of baking soda and enough white vinegar to form a paste. Use a damp cloth or sponge to apply a thick layer of paste to the door. Let it sit for about an hour. Rinse and dry. Use this method for vinyl shower liners or tile, too.

Tile Grout I have a love-hate relationship with tile. I love the look. But, after a while (and especially if, like me, you forgot to seal the grout!), that pristine and stylish look can turn grimy pretty fast. Here’s what to do. Turn on the fan and, if possible, open the windows just enough to encourage ventilation. Pour bleach into a cup. Dip a grout brush or firm-bristled toothbrush into the bleach and scrub the grout. Once the grout is clean, apply a sealer.

The Walls Have you ever actually washed the walls of your bathroom? They actually do need it every once in a while. Just like soap scum accumulates on shower doors and walls, condensation builds on bathroom walls promoting bacteria growth and staining. Use a natural all-purpose cleaner to wipe down the walls from top to bottom. Don’t forget the ceiling, too. The same cleaner can be used on the floor as well.

The Toilet If you clean the toilet regularly, you might not think it needs a deep clean. But, it does. Pour a cup of baking soda into the toilet bowl. Let it sit for about 5 minutes. Then use a toilet brush or a sponge to scour the bowl. Once you’ve done that, hold the toilet brush over the toilet bowl. Disinfect the brush by pouring pure bleach over the bristles. Then rinse it off.

A final word of advice when it comes to toilets. Always put the cover down before flushing. The spraying water will send bacteria (like E. coli and salmonella) flying out of the toilet bowl and onto nearby surfaces. Toilet seats or even toothbrushes sitting out in the open can end up contaminated.

Cleaning never ends, does it? But, that’s no reason why it can’t be enjoyable. Put on your favorite music, comedy program or audio book and have fun with it!

What’s your best cleaning tip?