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What was your best / worst bathroom remodeling decision?

Posted by cruzinpattis (My Page) on
Thu, Feb 13, 14 at 17:09

I am in the beginning stage of a bathroom remodel.
I remodeled it back in 1980's with major mistakes. I don't want that to happen again.

Can you give advice
tell us what you love - best part of your bathroom.
What products you love / hate....
Plus worst/upgrade purchase you made.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What was your best / worst bathroom remodeling decision?

Best part of my old bathroom (previous home) was the ledge we created along the long side of the shower to hold "products" (rather than a niche - I'm not a fan of niches).

Loved the Toto toilets we used throughout the house.

In our current remodel, my favorite thing is the Porcelanosa tile we chose for the shower walls.

I always hated the gigantic Jacuzzi tub that didn't get used once my kids were old enough to take baths/showers by themselves.

We had a step up in our bathroom that was a terrible idea. Basically the sinks and vanities were on one level, and the toilet, shower and tub were a couple of steps up. The architect was being "creative" and at the time, we agreed. Awful.

We installed body sprays that no one ever used.

We installed a shower bench that no one ever sat on.

On the other hand, we had two shower heads and so were able to shower concurrently which was often a good thing.


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RE: What was your best / worst bathroom remodeling decision?

This thread may be just what you are looking for...

Here is a link that might be useful: Your best bathroom remodeling decision thread


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RE: What was your best / worst bathroom remodeling decision?

I am near the end of my second remodel. The first bathroom has been done for almost a year. I borrowed some of the ideas and put them in the second remodel that is underway. I designed the first bath, keeping some of the features that worked, and reworked the areas that didn't. I did a lot of the work too. I learned a lot.

I kept to my plan and didn't deviate unless necessary. I was willing to let go. I tried to have the design work as a cohesive unit. When I struggled over a part of the project I came to GW for help. I also hired out the plumbing and electricity. I had a cabinet maker make my cabinets and install them.

The first bathroom. The Good:

1) Rearranged the plumbing, everything got moved.

2) Reenforced the joist system by adding joist between the existing joist to support the stone floor. Know your joist deflection before you install any sort of tile, ceramic or stone.

3) Put in a 18" vanity, instead of a 21", to keep good distance in the walkway.

4) Safety bars at the tub. I even used a safety bar as a towel bar, because it was over the tub and if I were to fall I'd want a safety bar and not a towel bar to grab.

5) Tub filler fixture that included a hand spray. So convenient for washing hair, cleaning tub, washing a dog, washing a kid, watering plants.

6) Under tile heating, along with the regular forced air heating that we have. Only needed in the winter months though. A luxury not a true need.

7) Pull out drawers on the built in cabinets that I had made. One cabinet fills in the extra space at the end of the 5' tub. It is about 31" deep. The pull outs really maximize the use of the area. I had this same configuration in my old setup but it turned into a big black pit, and I never used it. It was spooky in there. Now with the pullouts, it is very useful. The pullout depths are not the full depth available, due to the toilet location. Again it is so handy that I don't miss the extra 6-8" in the back of the cabinet that is not getting used.
low shot of tub photo IMG_3885_zps71183be4.jpg
tub cabinet pullout photo IMG_3893_zps2cc06f1f.jpg

8) Pullout in my corner tower that makes the space more useful than the last tower that was there. Again the pullout takes up some space but the usefulness and tidiness for storage really outweighs the loss of square inches.
tower pull out photo IMG_3917_zps381ee201.jpg

9) Having an LED toekick light for night lighting.

10) Putting in an exhaust fan with timer.

11) Advanced toilet seat (bidet). I had the wall wired for this ahead of time so I could install the seat without having to retro fit the outlet.

The Bad (not too bad though):

1) Wished I would have waited on the lighting sconces and bought them from the same company where I got the mirror, for a better match in style and material.

2) Wished my advanced toilet seat was the other model so it would look better with my toilet, would have been a little cheaper too.

Here is a link to the Photobucket set of reveal pictures:
Bathroom Reveal East 2013

With regard to style and decor, I have held to the philosophy that less is more.


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RE: What was your best / worst bathroom remodeling decision?

Toto toilet with Washlet 300 seat.
12X30" Porcelanosa tile in shower, few joints means easier cleaning.
LED lights on dimmers
Panasonic fans
Victoria Albert Asia tub beneath two 3x4" windows. So nice in the winter to get in the tub and open the windows.
Tankless water heater to enjoy either long showers or baths...although with the drought there isn't much of that going on.
Marmoleum floor. We used it in both bathrooms. I don't miss the tile. Unless you heat it, tile is cold, cold, cold.
Soapstone vanity top. It has worked out very well and cleans up easily.


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RE: What was your best / worst bathroom remodeling decision?

The good:

**Walk in shower - ditched the tub, which would have looked nice (clawfoot), but would have gotten little use. Our walk in shower is *nice*! It has a small mural with matching accent tiles. It *works* for this house!
**Shower head on sliding bar. Dh is tall; I am shorter. This works for both of us.
**Grab bars by the toilet. One of which is also a tp holder - tp slides right on. Easier to change the tp than the spring loaded holders, and it looks nice.

The bad:
**The bathroom is too large. Doesn't feel cozy. We have a space of about 5 feet long that is currently empty. We're planning on putting a bench there (which will be a good thing!), but not sure when that will actually happen.


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RE: What was your best / worst bathroom remodeling decision?

enduring
Love how your bathroom came out...Especially the listello border. Would like that around my counter top instead of a backsplash.
Can you give me more info on it please.
I like the Safety bars on the tub wall too. I might do that, since I had both knee and hip replaced. It would make it easier getting in and out of the tub.


gladys1924
I would love to get rid of the tub and install just a shower. Unfortunately I have only one bathroom. If ever I decide to sell the house, I think most would families prefer to see a tub.

~~~
The attached photo is a what I like to have in my bathroom.
Light color scheme for a small bathroom.
Quartz countertop with glass / marble mosaic backsplash.

Maybe a tiled shelf in the Tub area to hold soap/shampoo/etc.


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RE: What was your best / worst bathroom remodeling decision?

Thanks Cruzinpattis. It looks to me that you have a very clear vision of what you want. This will be a fun project. I have one question though, what is the picture with the dark charcoal blue about, in the lower left hand corner. It is so different than the rest. Is it the floor you're looking at for inspiration? Or is it the high contrast? Get this concept down before you start. A few years ago there was a thread on the kitchen forum where someone illustrated with visuals and with text, how a design and vision gets lost with changes during the process. These changes could be due to availability, cost of product so a substitution was made, and distraction. Keeping the initial vision is important so when the going gets tough, you have your plan/vision that you stick to. What I see above is a clear use of light creamy whites. I don't see a commitment to a style. Get that nailed down too. I see traditional and contemporary in your inspiration photos.

The listello was a mosaic 2x4 tile that came in a 12x12 sheet. The Tile Shop, that has many locations, is were I got it. You get to select which tiles to use. I then cut it up and set it individually, because I had trouble setting the whole sheet of tile and keeping it smooth. But on the other hand, I could cull the irregular tiles out of the mix. Some of them were not cut totally square. I also washed the individual marble tiles to get the glue off the backs, and because I'm part raccoon :) I love to wash things.

The name of the selection was Hampton Carrara. The Tile Shop is a great place to see a ton of vignettes and a very large selection. Some of their stuff I wouldn't use and some things are good. I used Latacrete and Bostik thinsets in my installations. I have another bathroom going on now. I did not think I'd go with the products from The Tile Shop because I didn't know the quality. I didn't use Custom Build thinset from HD either, because I heard varying reviews on that too. I went with Laticrete grout because reviews here and on the John Bridge forum are very positive. There are other grouts too. I used epoxy to help minimize stain in my heavily used bathroom on the farm.


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RE: What was your best / worst bathroom remodeling decision?

enduring
The picture is ceramic tile in a glossy finish that I like...It is off white (taupe color) with light veins of brown and gray. I really like the look of polished stone marble, but fear it will be too slippery in a bathroom. The tile comes in Matt finish.

As for style, that's my problem... I like too many.
Head is spinning! I do like clean, crisp lines, more on the transitional side. No over the top contrasts.
Wish you had a link to that thread you speak of. Sounds interesting.

Funny you should mention The Tile Shop. I went last week to look around. Nice selection, however I was taken back when the sales rep told me they make their own products. Most tiles that I've been looking at are made in Italy...
My favorite store is Old Country Tile. I am like a child in a candy store......They have a huge selection of tiles...Too many to choose from.. Decisions! Decisions! Can't decide....Want it all! How do you pick?


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RE: What was your best / worst bathroom remodeling decision?

I will have to check out the tile your referred to.

I am a DIYer and have just picked up the information about these things over the last 3 years.

I used the small marble and some marble thresholds from The Tile Shop. The marble I used is not under any stress, such as flooring. I don't think the quality is up to the demand for flooring. But I don't know for sure. Some of the tiles in the mesh mosaic were not strong like the others. So overall I would not want it on my floor. But for an accent it is pretty. The strength of tile, the wear surface, the slipperiness are all factors that are part of choosing floor tile. Also the joist deflection, if you have a floor that flexes too much a tile floor will fail. The John Bridge dot com forum is a great resource. They have a calculation tool to figure out your floor deflection. If you are on concrete then it isn't an issue. GW wont allow links to JB. Check it out.

You could use porcelain. There are some terrific porcelain marble look alikes. Real marble can always be honed, but I don't know how much it helps. If you like shinny surfaces, you could always get that in your fixtures, tub, sink, counter, etc.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tile Council of North America articles on new DCOF


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RE: What was your best / worst bathroom remodeling decision?

Not a remodel; new build. Master bathroom.

Good: Under floor heat. Two pedestal sinks. Two recessed 'medicine cabinets' that look like flush-hung mirrors from the outside, plus a full closet with shelves for more stuff and for towels. Over-sink cabinets have electrical outlets. Ultra Bain jet tub 'just my size' that fills in a flash and has side hand-holds so I can get OUT. Separate spray to hose down the tub. Shower head on a slide bar that also detaches to hose down the shower. Frameless glass shower side and door that swings out and IN. Sconces and ceiling fixture on dimmers. Towel bars beside the sinks that are directly over the forced air heat supply vents in the floor -- accidentally great! Powerful and quiet room exhaust fan. Separate toilet room *with a window*.

Bad: American Standard faucets. (I liked 'the style'. What a dope.) Three body sprays in the shower -- never used.


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RE: What was your best / worst bathroom remodeling decision?

My best decision was going with a custom cabinet maker for our vanity. He made self closing/full extension drawers that went around the plumbing instead of the usual doors with pull out shelves. I now have two sinks and more storage space than I had before with 1 sink in the same exact space. I measured the things I wanted to put in the drawers and went from there. Hooray.

No regrets.

-Babka


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RE: What was your best / worst bathroom remodeling decision?

Enduring
For a dIY - you did an outstanding job! Pat yourself on the back!

Chisue
I am a little confused... you said you had under floor heat, so why a vent?
How well does flooring heat warm up the room? I would think that since tile is a thick material it would take a great deal to warm up the room...
Like your idea about recessed medicine cabinet. The original 50's cabinet that came with the house was built that way, When I remodeled my bathroom back in the 80's I had the contractor sheetrock over it. Sorry I did that.....
I have AS faucets for over 25 yrs...never, ever have they given me a problem. They still look like they are brand new.

Babka
Love to see a pic of your extension drawers. That's exactly what I want... Just not sure if it can be done due to the plumbing pipes....


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RE: What was your best / worst bathroom remodeling decision?

cruzinpattis, thanks for the comments. It has been a lot of fun. Though not without stress.

The underfloor heating really just warms the floor tiles, in my case anyway. I get a bit of room warmth. I still have forced air heating. In the summer I don't use the floor heating and just enjoy the cool tile on my feet.

DH loved our infrared heating lamps in the ceiling of our old bathroom. It really warmed you up after a shower. He wanted them with this remodel, so I will be using them again in the new remodel. I am happy with this too.


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RE: What was your best / worst bathroom remodeling decision?

best: pullout laundry hamper, heated tiles, undersink shelf with receptacle so toothbrushes don't have to be plugged in on counter, epoxy grout in shower.


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RE: What was your best / worst bathroom remodeling decision?

Best: heated floors,
vent on a timer,
electrical outlets in both medicine cabinets - we each have our electric toothbrushes in our medicine cabinet and he has his electric shaver there too,
electrical outlets for the top drawer in both vanities - I keep my blow dryer plugged in - I love it
American Standard Cadet 3 - this is a great toilet. After putting it in my master during the 07 remodel I put the same model in all the other bathrooms, plus in my daughter's house, and in my mom's house
I absolutely love the tile job I did. I did really great if I do say so myself.
The only thing I'm not happy about is that I couldn't find a way to make my shower bigger unless I gave up having a tub. I really like my tub because it's deep, but I don't use it nearly as often as I thought I would, so perhaps I should've made the shower size the priority.


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RE: What was your best / worst bathroom remodeling decision?

I swear the POs designed the bathroom on the back of an envelope...

Things I don't like about our current master bathroom
-The tub is HUGE and triangular shaped, like sticks out into the room obnoxiously big.
-There are no towel holders anywhere, and no place really to put them either. Likewise for anything by the sink.
- The vanity is a repurposed 100 year old piece of furniture. To a degree it's a matter of taste (exact opposite of what we like) but there is no storage in that thing and the drawers don't work well. The top is also wood and wood + water = bad idea.
- Small mirror (mirror that went with whatever piece of furniture the vanity is).
- The bathroom is large and the toilet is in the corner instead of in a water closet. If you need to use the bathroom, keep an open ear for anyone who might walk in.
- When we moved here there was no bathroom door at all. WTF? Easy fix though.
- The light switches are on the outside of the room. WTF?
- The shower is built like a gym room. Big enough for two people, with two separate valves. Ummm......?
- Exhaust fan way over by the toilet instead of near the shower.
- Glass block shower surround = mildew
- The bathroom is far from the water heater. It takes forever for warm water to get there.
- Floor deflection issues.
- Shower and shower floor were not built properly (not waterproof).
- Outlets are far from the vanity.

All of these things will be fixed when we remodel.

Things I liked about our previous master bathroom
- Built in hamper. This was so convenient.
- Frameless shower = easy to clean if you squeegee it down after use
- Water closet and doors to the bathroom preventing awkward moments.
- Huge mirror. These may be out of style now but there was no need to stay in the right position while looking in it or doing things.
- The bathroom had a heater
- The shower had a Kerdi waterproof membrane and was waterproof
- Panasonic fart fan with night light
- Marble flooring that I installed on the concrete slab foundation... easy and no worries about deflection.
- The design just worked... it's a hard quality to convey but it looked and functioned well.


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RE: What was your best / worst bathroom remodeling decision?

Best decisions: Heated floor. Two fans, one over the toilet which is a motion sensor, one you switch on over the shower and tub. Hand held sprayer in shower and in tub. Built in seat in shower.

Bad: Really nothing except the first shower head we had seemed over sized for the space and could not be positioned well. We purchased the same we have in another bath and are very happy. Could not return the first one.


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RE: What was your best / worst bathroom remodeling decision?

I love my:
Towel warming drawer
TV in a mirror
Hidden tile niche
Cabinet with storage instead of a pony wall.
Moen Iodigital controls for the shower and tub.

Bad decision: They only put one vent in the room and it's a big room w/ windows on 2 sides at the opposite end of the house from the heating system. It can get a little cooler than I'd like when the weather is chilly (we have under floor heat but it doesn't really make that much of a difference as far as warming up the room)

Hidden shower niche:
Now you see it

Now you really see it:

Now you don't:

Built-in panel-front towel warmer drawer:

Pony wall:


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RE: What was your best / worst bathroom remodeling decision?

Beagles, please explain your hidden niche. I must be looking at if wrong as I don't get how (in what direction) it opens.


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RE: What was your best / worst bathroom remodeling decision?

Great posts

I like that idea of heated floors...
Did you hire someone who is an expert installing it?

I also like the idea of a fan over the toilet... no need to go into details as to why....

Beaglesdoitbetter ~
Wow! Nice Shower.
First pic I can see the cover tile to the niche but the second picture it looks like it was removed. Where did the cover of the niche go?


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RE: What was your best / worst bathroom remodeling decision?

In Beagles picture of the niche, the second picture shows the tile at 45 degrees, inline with the view of the camera and almost invisible because of the angle.


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RE: What was your best / worst bathroom remodeling decision?

Ok, now I see it.... Had to take a closer look.

It's a clever idea.


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RE: What was your best / worst bathroom remodeling decision?

I see it now its at an angle.

We DIY everything so we did DIY the heated floors. The bathroom also has a vent for forced air heat.


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RE: What was your best / worst bathroom remodeling decision?

What kind of electrical power requirements are there for heated flooring? We're interested in doing the same next year but I'm not sure what to expect.


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RE: What was your best / worst bathroom remodeling decision?

Regarding Floor Heating

I did my own floor heat installation and I'm a girl :) The electrician put in 240v for my system. Be sure to make that determination before you purchase anything. The 240v is faster heating, and I believe less resistance. The systems come in 120v or 240v. My electrician recommended 240. Once I had it laid, he wired it up to my system (extending from the finished floor).

The floor gives minimal room heat though. In the spring and fall I do notice it will warm the room up a bit more than I like, but otherwise the heat just takes care of the tiles. Every time DH walks into the guest bathroom (being used now as our primary bathroom) he comments on the comfort. I have it set to come on twice daily, early morning and at bedtime. We wear house shoes at other times of the day. Our forced air is our heat source.

We have a radiant heating source in our ceiling in the room currently undergoing renovation. The heat source is very nice and we loved it stepping out of the shower in the old bathroom. DH definitely wanted another one installed in the new space. Now, that nicely warms you up while standing there wet and in the nude.

Look at the link below for a very nice description of installing warming wires under tile. There is a tutorial over on the JB forum too that is very helpful. Some slight differences.

Here is a link that might be useful: stacyneil's thread


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RE: What was your best / worst bathroom remodeling decision?

enduring, is the reason for putting an exhaust fan on a timer because you might forget to turn it off? Is it that quiet? I don't have fans in either of my bathrooms, but my hall bath is so centrally located that I'd have to be pretty out of it not to notice a fan was running.


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RE: What was your best / worst bathroom remodeling decision?

linelle, we have our bathroom fans on a timer so they can exhaust for about 30 minutes after we're done showering.


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RE: What was your best / worst bathroom remodeling decision?

SJ, so you don't have to think about it or mentally keep track of the time? Since I've never had a fan in the bathroom, it's a whole new concept to me.

Haha, a couple of weeks ago my neighbors were on vacation and I was feeding their cats twice a day. The litter boxes are in the master bath. One evening I went to scoop and hit the light switch, but instead hit the 5-minute button for their fan/light near the tub/shower. The light flashed once every second and made a clicking sound. No fan. I hit the off button and nothing happened. Nothing happened when I hit any of the buttons or waited for the time to expire.

Long story short, I called the neighbors and turned off all the lights at the breaker box. An electrician came out and replaced the switch. The communication went from me -> neighbor -> business office -> electrician. By the time the message got to the electrician, it was all messed up. Comedy of errors.


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RE: What was your best / worst bathroom remodeling decision?

As sjhockeyfan says, it is to give the bathroom ample time to exhaust the moisture from the shower.

In my "guest" bath that is sort of old fashioned looking I put an old timey twist timer, the ones you have to turn beyond 10min then set. I think it is easy and anyone can figure it out from across the room. In my current remodel I have the modern type timer, with the push button selections. They have tiny print and is harder for me to see.

Lee676 had a link to a very sophisticated switch, but I can't remember where. Ultra modern looking.


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RE: What was your best / worst bathroom remodeling decision?

SJ, so you don't have to think about it or mentally keep track of the time?

If I'm still home, yes, I've been known to leave the fan on all day. Usually, though (on work days at least), I leave my house within 30 minutes of showering.


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RE: What was your best / worst bathroom remodeling decision?

>>enduring, is the reason for putting an exhaust fan on a timer because you might forget to turn it off? Is it that quiet

We got one not because the fan is quiet, but because either of us would walk off and completely forget about the fan until some time later. Like when getting ready to leave and you hear some distant noise and realize the fan has been running all day.

>>I did my own floor heat installation and I'm a girl :) The electrician put in 240v for my system. Be sure to make that determination before you purchase anything. The 240v is faster heating, and I believe less resistance. The systems come in 120v or 240v. My electrician recommended 240. Once I had it laid, he wired it up to my system (extending from the finished floor).

Cool. I've set lots of stone and tile before but never did anything with floor heating. I'm curious about the power requirements though - what size breaker is it on? I think we're about at the limit for our 150A main panel so stepping that up to 200A may become a part of our bathroom redo.


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RE: What was your best / worst bathroom remodeling decision?

Enduring-which bidet seat would you choose today?

Sjhockeyfan-do you have a picture of the ledge you describe in your earlier post?


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RE: What was your best / worst bathroom remodeling decision?

Duplicate

This post was edited by peony23 on Wed, Mar 12, 14 at 20:32


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RE: What was your best / worst bathroom remodeling decision?

Peony, I'm out of the country right now and haven't been able to find a picture on my ipad - sorry. To describe it, the shower was tiled floor to ceiling except for the door area. On the back (short) wall we had a bench (which we never used). The ledge was a little higher than elbow height and about 6" deep, on the far long wall (away from the door). it took up about 30-36" on that wall (so 30-36" long x 36-40" high x 6" deep). It was completely tiled in the same tile as the walls.


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RE: What was your best / worst bathroom remodeling decision?

peony23, I would still go with the Inax, though I would get the mid-ranged model, called the "R". I have the "L". They both have a wall mounted remote which I like, though others have said the seat mounted type on the "C" is working fine for them without issue. The "C" is the lowest priced model of the 3. The middle priced model "R" still has a blow dryer like the highest priced "L", but not the higher wattage fan that the model "L" has. But I hardly use the fan. The "R" looks like it has a lower profile in the tank area too. What I wish though, is that I could switch the one in this guest bathroom (referred to above) to my progressing remodel, and get the "C" Inax for the guest bath, as it has the lowest profile at the back and would go much better with my traditional toilet. But my new remodel has an elongated toilet seat and my guest bath is a rounded front. I will link the website to Inax.

The price listed on the web site is not what you will have to pay. I think I paid around $800 for the "L" online. Terry Love forum sells them but I don't know if he has the "R", I only saw the "L" and the "C" on his site.

The reason I would stay with the Inax is that I have had very good use with mine over the last year. They've been producing the advanced toilet seat for years and were the pioneers of the system. They have a good reputation. Another reason is that there are two wands that do the washing, one for the front area and a second, at a different angle, for the posterior area. These were strategically angled to provide the best cleaning of these differing areas.

I went with the Inax initially because of recommendations by Herring_Maven who has very detailed comments and thoughtful post here, and on other forums at GW. I really appreciate the post H_M provides.

Here is a link that might be useful: Inax advanced toilet seat

This post was edited by enduring on Thu, Mar 13, 14 at 10:55


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RE: What was your best / worst bathroom remodeling decision?

Peony, I think I will go with the "L" again instead. I was looking over the specs, and the "L" as a button that you can do an extra nozzle rinse where the others don't show that feature. I think they all auto rinse before they extend. But I like being able to rinse the wands again.


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