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Pity the poor toilet. It’s usually one of the least considered parts of a bathroom. When renovating, we give lots of thought to the style of sink, whether or not we’d like to install a luxurious steam shower, or whether we should cover the floor in tile, wood, or vinyl.

There are, however, lots of options when it comes to toilets. Here’s what you need to consider:

  • regular or low-flow Toilets use a lot of water. So, in the last decade or so, manufacturers have developed really good low-flow options that actually work (meaning that you don’t need to flush them twice!). Opt for the best toilet you can afford. Gravity toilets and pressure-assist toilets may cost more up-front, but they will save you bundles in the long run.
  • go to the pros I know it’s often more convenient to shop at home hardware stores. But, because you’re buying a piece that should last a lifetime, spend more time perusing the aisles of showrooms that specialize in bathroom products. They will have greater selection and a greater price range.
  • get the rebate Since you’re spending more money on a toilet and opting for a low-flow one, look for those models whose companies offer rebates. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t save some money in the process, too!

Over to you: How much thought do you give to the toilet?

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There’s just something so horrible about spotting mold, isn’t there? You get that sinking feeling of dread in the pit of your stomach the second you lay eyes on it. It’s that same feeling you get when you watch that horror flick you know will keep you up for nights on end. The difference is that the mold in your bathroom isn’t a movie. It’s real, and it’s aiming to take over.

Once you’ve spotted it, it’s of vital importance that you move quickly. Your first course of action must be to remove it completely.

First, mix up a batch of mold-killing solution. Stir together 1 part bleach and 10 parts water. Pour the solution into a spray bottle. Don a mask, gloves, and I’d go so far as to put on some protective eyewear, too. Mold spores can spread easily if disturbed. Don’t risk it. Spray the area affected by mold and scrub it clean.

Now that the mold is gone, you need to understand why it took root in the first place. Bathrooms are naturally wet and steamy. That’s the perfect habitat for mold growth. Although steam showers contain the steam while in use, some may escape when the shower door is opened.

Get into the habit of wiping down every damp surface after you’ve used the bathroom. That little clean-up trick will help to keep mold at bay. The next step, though, is a little bit more involved. Consider calling in an expert to assess why your bathroom is prone to mold growth. Ventilation may be poor. Insulation may be non-existent. Whatever the reason, it’s a good idea to have it examined and repaired. Mold is not only ugly, it’s unhealthy. Keep your indoor air clean by making whatever modifications necessary to the structure of your bathroom.

Over to you: Have you ever had to deal with mold in your bathroom?

Photo: decoist.com

The cult of new is experiencing a bit of a backlash. Forget brand new counter tops, floors, or even walls, recycled and reclaimed materials are what bring character to a bathroom. Used materials can be cleaned up and re-used, not because doing that is ultimately more affordable. Rather, there’s something truly beautiful and durable about those pre-used materials.

Barn wood, for instance, can be used as a wall, floor, or ceiling. It lends warmth and color to a warm. If you’re thinking that reclaimed wood is best used in a rustic, cottage look, think again. Modern design is all about recycled and reclaimed materials. Of course, some things should be brand new, like the steam shower!

Photo: bathroomdesigns.com

Have some aluminum lying around? You can have it remolded into a sink or countertop. Now, that’s an original concept, isn’t it? Add a touch of warm, natural wood to complete the look.

Photo: dmbl.co

Did you find an old dresser out by the curb or in a thrift store? Don’t pass it by! Instead, use it in the bathroom. An old dresser can be spruced up with paint and new hardware, and it will give you lots of available storage.

Photo: houzz.com

You’ve heard of reclaimed wood. But, what about recycled glass? It can be a beautiful addition to the vanity.

Over to you: What’s your favorite way of recycling materials in design?