Bathroom Remodeling: Where to Splurge

bathroom remodeling where to splurgeWhether you’re building a new house or starting on the bathroom remodel you’ve been dreaming of for years, you have a lot of choices to make when it comes to deciding where to spend and where to splurge. While you certainly want your bathroom to be functional, it’s also nice to add little touches of luxury to give it that spa-like feel, particularly in the master bath. There are certain areas of bathroom remodeling where it makes sense to spend a little more to get what you want. Incorporating these changes now will be less expensive in the long run than making them later.

Showers and Tubs

Once a house is built, adding, moving, or changing out a shower or tub can be difficult, particularly if you plan on moving the plumbing lines. As is usually the case with remodeling, difficult often means expensive. If you’re currently building a home, don’t be afraid to splurge on exactly what you want, whether it’s a modern steam shower or a quaint claw-foot tub. When doing a remodel, try to build your design around the existing plumbing lines. If they must be moved, spend the money to get just what you want now to avoid additional remodeling expenses later.

Floor and Shower Tile

If you really want to make a statement in the bathroom, invest in high-quality flooring, such as classic marble mosaic tiles, to create colorful or interesting patterns for the floor, shower, or even the backsplash. Small, intricate patterns tend to be more expensive, but also make the most impact. In addition, beautifully tiled bathrooms are always attractive to potential home buyers, and will help increase the home’s resale value.


If you’ve always loved wallpaper but are afraid to try using it in a larger room, consider papering your bathroom. Wallpaper adds instant elegance and elevates the look of a small space, as long as you choose a pattern that isn’t too bold or busy. Go ahead and splurge a little on the perfect wallpaper design to give your bathroom a unique look without being overwhelming.

Callen Construction is a remodeling company that believes in working with the customer, not just for the customer. This is why we have knowledgeable design specialists to help you create the special bathroom you’ve always wanted. Call Callen today at 414-765-2585 and see for yourself how we can help you achieve the bathroom of your dreams!



How to Plan for Your Bathroom Remodel

Remodeling a bathroom may seem like it’s not as extensive a project as a kitchen. After all, you’re working with basically four pieces – tub, toilet, shower, sink. But just like any other renovation, careful planning is necessary to ensure a successful outcome.

“There needs to be forethought before the project begins,” said Paulette Sodemann, a designer for Callen Construction. “Important considerations should be answered before you get started. It will be helpful for you to make a project plan to understand the steps necessary to get the job done.

“As you start planning your project, consider your lifestyle and how the bathroom fits into the picture,” Paulette advised. “Consider how you’re using it now and what you want this remodel to accomplish.”

March - bathroomHow long will you be in the home?

How long you plan to be in your home is a huge factor in the decision-making process.

“This will determine how much work and effort you will put into remodeling the bathroom. If this will be your home for the long haul, then you can give it a complete makeover, budget permitting. If you plan to move out in a couple of years, a refresh to increase the value of the house makes sense. Either way, this is something to consider so you and your designer can plan accordingly,” she said.

Know your budget.

It’s critical to decide what your budget will be. Know how much you want to spend and then plan for an additional 10 to 20 percent in a contingency fund for unexpected expenses. When you know your budget, the contractor can make the proper recommendations and help you prioritize your decisions.

Keep in mind that new configurations of tub, sink, or toilet may require additional plumbing and pipe placement, which also impacts the budget. It’s important to factor that into your overall plan and budget from the beginning.

Determine your wants and wishes.

Check out websites like Pinterest and Houzz, as well as shelter magazines and Callen’s project gallery on its website, to gather ideas of what you would like your new space to look like. Draw up a list of features you need to have and features you wish you could have. This will help your designer create a plan based on what you want to spend and the space available.

“There are many decisions when it comes to materials and finishes in the bathroom. This extends to cabinetry, flooring, backsplashes, countertops, lighting, exhaust fans, faucets, sinks, and more,” Paulette said. “Your designer should discuss with you different price points and differences in quality, maintenance, and durability.

“If this is your home for life, you also want to consider features that will allow you to remain in your home, should health or mobility issues become part of the picture in later years,” she said.

Find the right contractor.

Choose a contractor who has an established business and is knowledgeable about interior remodeling. Ask for references and follow-up on them.

Another key thing to consider is whether you have a comfort level with him/her. Can you communicate easily? While the contractor may not be the person who will be on-the-job daily, he should brief you on who will be, and how available they are for questions and project updates.

Expect the unexpected.

“Before you undertake your remodeling project, keep in mind that once that tub or shower is ripped out, the plumbing behind the wall may need to be updated, the same with electrical and the overall condition of the walls,” Paulette said. “There may have been an undetected leak and you might have a mold problem. This is something that your contractor will be able to remediate, but you need to be prepared that this can delay the project’s timeline and incur additional expense. If you are prepared for the unexpected, the process will be much less stressful.”

For more information on planning a bathroom remodel, or to schedule an initial showroom consultation, call Callen at 414-529-5509.



How to Design an Easy-to-Clean Bathroom

by Doreen Schofield, Callen Designer

Most people do not enjoy the task of cleaning bathrooms, with the worst part often being how much grime and clutter can affect a bathroom’s appearance. A beautiful, enjoyable space can become not so nice to look at or use when it’s dirty.

The bathroom that never gets dirty has yet to be invented. However, there are ways to help make bathroom cleanup easier.

Fewer Grout Lines

Tile is a popular choice for many aspects of bathroom design, and for good reason – it can look very nice. The downside of tile is the grout lines that come along with it. Grout is a magnet for dirt, grime, mildew, and general filth in the bathroom, especially in a shower or tub surround. Not only do grout lines attract a lot of dirt, but they can be especially difficult to clean properly. Design your bathroom with fewer grout lines, and you will have a space that’s much easier to keep clean.

There are a couple of simple ways to cut down on the amount of grout lines. The first is to select larger size tiles. Solid surfaces, instead of tile, are another method. Surfaces such as stone, glass, or marble are nonporous, resistant to bacteria and mold, and many are also stain resistant.

Keep Showers Simple

Like grout lines, showers just seem to attract dirt and grime. Soap scum is another nuisance. Glass shower doors and their metal frames can be especially difficult to keep clean and looking nice, so think about an open shower design if the room’s footprint will allow it. If you want or need to have a glass enclosure, opt for a frameless shower to cut down on the amount of hard-to-clean components.

Also consider the shape of your shower and any built-in shelves or cutouts in the shower wall. The more corners and surfaces within your shower, the more difficult it will be to clean. Finally, a handheld showerhead is a simple solution, since you can quickly and easily rinse shower surfaces.

Callen Blog - Easy to Clean Bathroom 083115Clutter-free Surfaces

Since bathrooms are so heavily used, they tend to collect a lot of dust, hair, and dirt. The most important solution to combat this reality is to keep a clear floor and have plenty of simple storage solutions. Generally, the fewer fixtures on the floor, the better off you’ll be from a cleaning standpoint. Consider a wall-mounted vanity and wall-mounted toilet. These will make sweeping or vacuuming the floor a straightforward task.

Another friend of dirt and grime in a bathroom is clutter. Toiletry items living on the vanity countertop can leave water rings and attract other messes. The same thing holds true for any items on the floor. Make sure your bathroom design uses enough built-in storage to hold everything you need.

At Callen, we pride ourselves on designing and building high-quality spaces that meet the needs and desires of the homeowner. When it comes to bathrooms, we can help you create an easy-to-clean room that looks as nice as you ever dreamed.

For more ideas to improve your home with high-quality bathroom remodeling in Milwaukee, Brookfield, and surrounding areas, call Callen today at (414) 765-2585.



Five New Year’s Resolutions for Your Bathroom

Callen Blog - Bathroom Photo_011215After all the foot traffic your bathroom saw over the holidays, it could probably use some attention and even some remodeling help. Resolve to give it a makeover in the new year with the following tips.

  • Stop bathroom mold. High moisture levels create the perfect environment for mold and mildew to thrive. To combat dampness in the bathroom, squeegee water off your shower walls after showering. Also be sure to run bath vents during and after a bath or shower to allow moisture to escape.
  • Spruce up the showerhead. The fine spray of a showerhead can easily become clogged by mineral buildup. Get the water flowing again by soaking the showerhead in a 50/50 solution of warm water and vinegar. If you cannot remove the showerhead, pour the solution into a plastic bag and secure it around the fixture so it can soak.
  • Scum proof shower doors. A water-repelling product such as Rain-X can be effectively used on shower doors as well as vehicles. This treatment forms an invisible film on glass that causes water and soap to bead up and run off. After cleaning the shower door thoroughly, apply for up to six months of repellency.
  • Set the water heater to 120 degrees. Water heaters that are set too high not only waste energy, they also can lead to burns. Because many water heaters don’t display a temperature, check it by filling a glass from the tap closest to the water heater. Let the water run for a few minutes before taking the sample. If the water is too hot, adjust the dial and repeat the process.
  • Go clutter-free. Bathrooms, especially small ones, can quickly become cluttered. Use every inch effectively by adding built-in storage for toiletries and appliances. Wall-mounted sinks and toilets are a great solution to open up bathroom space. Keeping the countertops and floor clear will make the space easier to clean and more attractive.

For more ideas to improve your home with high-quality bathroom remodeling in Milwaukee, Brookfield, and surrounding areas, call Callen today at (414) 765-2585. We can give you the bathroom of your dreams in 2015!