The Ultimate Bath Combines Form, Function, and Indulgence… All While Being as Green as Possible

August 10, 2012 by admin No Comments

Influences shaping bath design trends this year are emerging from all directions. The desire for comfort is driven by our chaotic, time-pressed lifestyles, and the search for a little bit of respite from the ongoing stress. Wellness is becoming a factor in design as we learn about how disturbances in our sense of well-being can become stressors in themselves. There are probably as many definitions of comfort and wellness as there are bathroom users, but in general, it involves outfitting the bathroom with careful planning and a product mix that makes the experience of maintaining the hygiene of the body feel easy, beautiful, calm, and secure.

The simplest way to to achieve a soothing environment is the use of soothing colors and clean, uncluttered design elements. The proper flow of colors in all facets of the room, and throughout the house for that matter, creates a sense of well-being as occupants are not constantly having to re-adjust to their environment, it is just peacefully and subtly “there”.

These spaces tend to be of simpler design; uncluttered clean lines dressed in neutral tones with soft accents that compliment natural materials. The green movement continues to spur a return to nature with materials that are associated with tranquility, such as honed and acid washed stone, pebble rocks, simple mosaics, and woods such as bamboo and bird’s eye maple. A big trend that is having an impact in current bathroom design is the use of “found” objects and reclaimed wood, in the sense that they offer some eco-friendliness, are fun and expressive, and cultivate a feeling of personal space.

Where color can be introduced we are seeing it done often with glass tile.  The color has a delicate, airy quality because it is transparent. Light blues, soft turquoise, or sage green are timeless choices because they evoke both the stillness and the energy of water. Other tiles being chosen are natural stone, and porcelain or ceramic that resembles natural stone. They are a good flooring material to combine with glass wall tiles, which can’t be used for floors.

Since frameless glass shower enclosures started gaining in popularity several years ago, they have become standard equipment, unparalleled for adding an open feeling and enhancing the contemporary look of the space. Curbless showers are also a growing trend, not only for their accessibility, but for their clean aesthetic. Alcoves and shower benches are also key to modern shower design.

The features that facilitate trans-generational use of the bathroom, are comfortable to use, and are of enduring quality also happen to be the epitome of green design, for when a bathroom functions well it’s life is longer, reducing the need to replace it.

Gorgeous New Kitchen Ideas From Kohler

March 28, 2012 by admin No Comments

Lots of interesting uses of contrasting surfaces and finishes can be seen in these kitchen designs, fresh from Kohler’s online design gallery. Click on the thumbnails to view full size. With one of these looks in mind, it’s easy to put together all of the elements of the kitchen so the end result pops! See many of the faucets in person at Buffalo Plumbing Showroom.

Can Stainless Steel Rust? Expert Advice on Avoiding Stainless Steel Sink Problems

May 27, 2011 by admin 5 Comments

John Oldach, Buffalo Plumbing Showroom’s representative for Elkay sinks, has a favorite phone call that he regularly receives. It starts out,”My Elkay sink is rusting. I need a replacement.” When he responds that stainless steel sinks do not “rust”, the usual rejoinder is,”Well, if you don’t believe me, come out and inspect it. Then give me a new sink.”

The stainless steel that Elkay sinks are made from is known as Type 304, or 18-8. It is distinguished from other types by the percentage of chromium (18%) and nickel (8%) that is added to the other metals and elements that go into the product.

Type 304, or any other type employed in the manufacture of sinks will not stain, but it will corrode when it comes in contact with certain chemicals. Most common is pitting that results from bleach. Occasionally chemicals used on a construction site, like hydrochloric acid or calcium chloride, can ruin stainless steel. One substance that can cause rust-like eruptions if left in contact for an extended period of time is Triclosan. Triclosan is an organic chemical made up of three chlorine molecules that is used in most anti-bacterial soaps, such as Dial. The fact that it can corrode stainless stainless steel may be of concern not just for your sink, considering it is regularly used on your skin!

Actually, something as simple as table salt or garlic salt can also cause corrosion, if left on the surface for a few days. The key to keeping your sink like new is to wash it regularly. Stainless steel resists most adverse chemical reactions because it develops an inert surface layer that protects it from the environment. Regular washings remove contaminants, and allow the natural passive layer to renew itself.

The best news is that once these rust-like eruptions occur, they are easily removed with a maroon Scotch-Brite pad and a cleanser such as Barkeeper’s Friend or Bon Ami, available at most large grocery or home improvement stores. For severe cases, Elkay makes a cleaning kit (#LK34) that can be ordered –  the consultants at Buffalo Plumbing Showroom can have it sent directly to your home at your request.

New Statement Bathtubs from Kohler

March 28, 2011 by admin 1 Comment

Adding the “wow” factor to a bathroom can start by designing it around these dramatic freestanding bathtubs just released by Kohler. The graceful, sculptural forms are sure to be a focal point in any scheme, making sure that an item that usually takes up a fair amount of space in a small room does so with high style.

Kohler K-1805 Aliento freestanding bath tub

What was once almost a given in any bathroom – a 5 foot tub with a front apron, set into a tiled alcove – can now be reconsidered, for those who prefer to make an individual statement. And what a great showcase for your beautiful, costly, ceramic tile. Instead of hiding it in a small space behind a curtain or door, it will be seen in big, luxurious expanses as a backdrop for your incredible tub.

Kohler K-1801 Askew freestanding bath tub

Put ‘Visit Buffalo Plumbing Showroom’ On Your Project List

February 16, 2011 by admin 1 Comment

With so much everyday use, your kitchen and bathrooms need to be outfitted with plumbing products that provide durability, functionality, and of course, beauty. At the Buffalo Plumbing Showroom, you’ll find the latest style and technology innovations offered by the world’s premier plumbing manufacturers. Browse all of the interesting colors, finishes, and design possibilities…but don’t be overwhelmed. One of the experienced consultants will be happy to assist you in making all of the selections that result in the perfect combination of form and function for your needs.

Maybe you’ve been dreaming about a total remodeling of your bathroom and the idea of a spa-like ambiance appeals to you. This trend has really caught on in the industry, and you will find fabulous whirlpools with options for chromotherapy lights and champagne bubbles. For healthy cleansing and muscle relaxation, your shower can be equipped to double as a personal steam bath. Or you can customize your spa shower with body sprays, a rain shower, a hand held shower massage, and stereo speakers…all digitally operated and temperature-controlled. Then complete the serene feeling by enclosing the area with custom frameless glass shower doors. What was once an ordinary, uninviting bathroom is now a special place to rest, renew, & recharge.

Are you looking for inspiration and resources to create your dream kitchen? The choice of cabinets, sinks, and faucets is staggering, yet with professional help you can pinpoint the exact items that express your style and carry out the theme of the room beautifully. The detail of a vintage style oil-rubbed bronze faucet mounted over a massive front apron farmhouse sink will be a pleasure to use every day if you love the charm of a country cottage. For those who appreciate sophisticated, modern kitchen design, the clean lines of a stainless steel gourmet sink mounted under a granite or marble countertop make an understated background for a dramatic, glittering chrome high arc faucet. There is simply no reason to live with a bland view in this room that we all spend so much time in, when there are now so many options for “kicking it up a notch”!

If your project calls for more basic plumbing items, the Buffalo Plumbing Showroom has those available, too. They supply plumbing tradesmen and homeowners with all of the essentials, as well as specialized systems, such as radiant floor heating, tankless water heaters, and water purification.

Access the showroom’s website at for links to the most respected names in decorative plumbing products. To get a closer look, stop in Mondays through Fridays 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Saturdays 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. Whether you’re in an old Victorian or a swanky downtown co-op, they will help you pull together the perfect look.

600 Bailey Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14206

Safety With Style: Keeping the Home You Love

February 12, 2011 by admin No Comments

As we grow older, our living requirements change, but many prefer not to make the move to a different home. Aging in place involves modifying your existing home to accommodate your needs as you grow older. What changes can be made to provide safety, security, and independence for the future? Today’s graying homeowners don’t want ugly grab bars and toilet seat extenders. Here are some ways to be proactive on safety in one of the most accident-intensive rooms of the house – the bathroom – without the merest suggestion of the sterile nursing home atmosphere.

Because falling is an extremely serious problem, grab bars should be placed anywhere in the bathroom where footing could be compromised: inside and outside the shower entrance, near the toilet, and within reaching distance of the tub. The key to making grab bars look attractive in your setting is to select decorative ones that coordinate with vanity, tub, and shower faucets. Kohler and Moen offer styles and finishes that will look great with any of their faucets.

Another relatively simple fix as strength and dexterity decrease is to add faucets with lever handles and anti-scald valves. Sleek and smooth-operating one-handle faucets by Grohe are an outstanding example of high style combined with quality and function. They can be turned on and off with one finger! Even easier, Moen Showhouse and Kohler make touchless lav faucets that operate with motion sensors.

To eliminate the difficulty of using a traditional toilet that is low to the floor, change to a comfort-height model. The extra few inches give a welcome boost and can extend independence without having to add a special seat. No one will notice the difference when they see how perfectly the toilet ties in with the other tasteful elements that surround it.

The time may come when converting the bathtub to a shower makes sense. Durable and attractive retrofit shower bases by Swanstone fit into the typical 60” footprint of a bathtub and are available with the drain positioned either right or left for simplified installation. A shower seat and a hand shower mounted on a slide bar add luxury today and accessibility tomorrow.

At any stage of life, start making the needed changes to age in place, and still have a bathroom that suggests youth and style.