Even if you don't have the budget for a five-star master bathroom, add a little luxury with these expert tips.
Bathrooms - particularly master baths - are no longer strictly utilitarian. Instead, they've become a pampering space, serving as a sanctuary for comfort and luxury. Here are some design ideas from trendsetting log home owners, along with some cost-saving strategies.
Start by analyzing your budget and determine how many bathrooms you'll install. When you add flooring, electrical systems and plumbing fixtures, bathrooms can represent one to 10 percent of your overall budget (much depends on the bells and whistles you select).
If you're on a limited budget, designers recommend that you determine which high-end fixtures you can afford now, as well which ones might be replaced later when you have more money for custom work.
Size & Placement Puzzle
Experts recommend stacking baths in a two-story design or placing two baths back-to-back in a one-story design to consolidate multiple plumbing lines.
Tile showers or bath enclosures placed directly against log walls can interfere with the settlement of logs. Plus, the expansion and contraction of the wood with changing humidity can cause loose tile and cracked grout. One solution is to place the shower or tub against an interior framed wall. Another is to use stand-alone framing to allow the log wall to settle naturally, without becoming hung up on the shower stall or tub.
Designers recommend venting all bathrooms, either through the roof or an outside wall. They also suggest installing adequate lighting (more light fixtures rather than fewer) since log homes absorb a lot of light.
Cabinetry & Countertops
The more hardwood in your cabinets, the better constructed, more durable and more expensive they'll be. Many cabinetmakers blend engineered wood such as particleboard with hardwoods to make cabinets both attractive and more affordable.
When shopping for cabinets, pay close attention to drawers and pull-out accessories. Are the sliders and fasteners made of plastic or metal? Metal is more durable, plastic is considerably more affordable. If you want the look of stone without the hefty price tag, consider a stone-tile countertop for one-third the cost.
When shopping for cabinets, pay close attention to drawers and pull-out accessories. Are the sliders and fasteners made of plastic or metal? Metal is more durable, plastic is considerably more affordable.
If you want the look of stone without the hefty price tag, consider a stone-tile countertop for one-third the cost.
Fittings, Faucets, Fixtures & Flooring
First and foremost, shop for quality craftsmanship. The best faucet choices are those with solid brass, brass-based metal or corrosion-resistant workings. Also, consider ceramic-disk and plastic-disk valves - they're easier to maintain than washer-based designs.
To read the complete article and for resource information, see the 2004 September issue of Log Home Living.
Story by Charles Bevier
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