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Bathroom remodeling: 5 steps to make your bathroom a perfect match for your family

Bathroom remodeling includes a dizzying array of decisions. Choosing from among so many beautiful styles, shapes, materials and innovative technologies is at once exhilarating and exhausting. Here are five steps to help you narrow the field to make the best choices:

1. Evaluate the needs of the bathroom. Do you prefer soaking in the tub or are you a showering family? Do you often need to share the bathroom in the mornings as your family gets ready to go off to work and school? Consider possible users of the bathroom: guests, family members and future owners. Will your new space work for all ages and abilities?

2. Find your style. It’s in the pictures you’ve saved as you’ve been planning your dream bathroom. Bathroom suites of fixtures, faucets and accessories designed together with just the right touches make it easy to feel confident about your product choices. Need help? Check out the “Style Advisor” at www.americanstandard.com to answer six simple questions designed to help you find your perfect style.

3. Open up some space. If you rarely use your bathtub, consider pulling it out and replacing it with a shower to gain more space. A fixed showerhead paired with a handheld showerhead that has multiple spray functions at the touch of a button is a nice little luxury. If you are remodeling to accommodate an elderly or disabled family member, replace your old tub with a comfortable and accessible seated shower, designed to be easily installed within an existing tub recess.

4. Take comfort. Look for vanities like the Savina from Porcher at 36 inches high. Most adults find this height more comfortable and convenient to use. Consider toilets that are “right height” designed to be typical chair height at 16 to 17 inches from the floor to the bowl rim rather than the conventional 14 inches. Single-handle faucets with advanced drip-free performance have smooth and easy operation for temperature control. Look for sink and shower faucets with an adjustable hot limit safety stop to reduce the risk of scalding by restricting how far the handle can be pushed to the hot side.

5. Should you go green? First check to see if you get green for going green. Toilet rebates can be as high as $300 in some jurisdictions, and will help extend your remodeling budget. A good siphonic dual-flush toilet can cleanly and completely flush as much as 2.2 pounds of solids on the high setting, while using as little as 1 gallon of water for liquids. Look for the WaterSense label to assure you’re getting a top performer. Visit www.responsiblebathroom.com to view all the product options.

Planning a bathroom remodel can take time and research, but having a comfortable, stylish and functional bath to come home to can make your efforts all worthwhile. Whether you are seeking a luxurious sanctuary, a space for the kids to get cleaned up in the mornings, or a place to safely and gracefully grow older, it can all be within your reach.

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