Taking a shower is part of most people’s daily routine. A good shower can do wonders for your mind and body. Cold showers can increase alertness, help muscles to recover and even improve immunity, while hot showers can detox your body, repair cells and ease anxiety.
Showering may be beneficial for your well-being, but if you fall into a couple of common bad habits, it can take its toll on your plumbing. If you’re not careful, you may find that a relaxing shower quickly turns into a stressful morning where you have to deal with some rather serious plumbing problems!
Here are six bad shower habits you should try to avoid in order to keep your bathroom looking great and your plumbing in Chicagoland working properly:
If you’re in a rush in the morning, then cleaning up the little puddle of water on your bathroom floor from your shower may be the last thing on your mind, but perhaps it shouldn’t be. You wouldn’t ignore a water leak, and you certainly shouldn’t ignore water spillage from the shower!
Leaving water on the floor of your bathroom is a recipe for disaster. That water could cause mold growth, ruin your floor and potentially cause much more widespread problems. Investing in a bath mat and cleaning up water spills after a shower will help to prevent serious water damage.
If you’re used to seeing a puddle of water next to your shower, then you may not notice immediately if you have a leak – which could result in a flooded bathroom, or worse!
Did you know that just turning the water on in your shower could be damaging to your plumbing? Hard water, like the water in Chicago, is often rich in certain minerals that can clog your showerhead.
When hard water dries, it leaves deposits. Over time, these deposits will block the showerhead nozzle and reduce water flow. Thankfully, this common problem has a very easy solution!
Just a little white vinegar is normally all that’s needed to remove calcium deposits, improving the appearance and function of your shower head in minutes.
If you’re partial to taking long showers, then there’s a good reason to curb the habit – mold! All the steam that builds up in your bathroom during long showers can result in the development of mold, which is not good for your family’s health.
Mold will quickly spread to all the nooks and crannies in your bathroom if you don’t have good ventilation. Shower curtains and loofahs are also breeding grounds for mold and bacteria and may need regular cleaning if you’ve noticed signs of mold.
One way to prevent mold growth is by reducing the temperature and length of your shower. You can also increase ventilation and reduce mold by opening a window or installing an exhaust fan.
One of the worst shower habits for your plumbing is letting hair get into the drain. Over time, a few hairs can become a lot of hair and suddenly the drain is blocked and you’re making the call to an emergency plumber in Chicagoland to fix the problem.
Like most bad shower habits that can ruin your plumbing, this one has a simple solution – a drain stopper. Drain stoppers are an affordable and effective way to stop hair and other debris from clogging the drain.
If you’ve noticed a clog in your drain – whether from hair or other debris – then one of the worst things you can do is reach for a chemical cleaner. Chemical cleaners may get rid of the clog, but they could potentially leave you with a more serious problem.
Not only are chemical cleaners bad for the environment, they’re also bad for your plumbing. Those harsh chemicals will corrode your pipes, which isn’t as easy or affordable to fix as a simple clog.
Plungers and plumber’s snakes are safer tools to remove blockages that won’t cause damage to your pipes in the process. If ever in doubt about how to unclog a drain, it’s always best to call a trained plumber in Chicagoland who’ll be able to assess and solve the problem quickly.
Many plumbing problems come with plenty of warning signs before true disaster strikes. This is especially the case in the bathroom, where your shower is likely to give you a fair bit of advanced warning if all is not well!
Constant dripping may not seem like a major problem, but it could be a sign that you need to adjust water pressure before you ruin the plumbing. Similarly, hot water not lasting as long as you hoped is not only annoying, but it may also be a sign of a serious problem with your water heater.
Faster running water, slower running water, oddly colored water, poor drainage and any other alterations to the way your shower works or how the water looks need addressing quickly. It’s always better to call a plumber as soon as you notice small problems than to ignore the problems and risk them escalating.
Not all habits are bad habits. If you can get into the routine of booking regular plumbing inspections and start paying attention to warning signs, then you can enjoy healthier plumbing and a reduced risk of disasters occurring!
For advice and guidance in a plumbing emergency or for the answer to any questions you may have about your bathroom plumbing, simply get in touch with Arco Plumbing. Arco Plumbing is one of the most well-established and trusted plumbing services in the Chicagoland region, and the only experts you need to call for plumbing advice in Westmont and the surrounding areas.
Whether your existing toilet seat is old or broken and in need of replacement or you’ve just installed a new toilet, fitting a toilet seat & lid should only take a few minutes when you know what you’re doing. This quick and simple DIY project is an easy way to brighten up your bathroom without much effort or any professional tools.
Here are seven tips for replacing a toilet seat & lid and one ultimate trick to bear in mind to keep your bathroom plumbing in tip top condition:
If you’re considering installing a new seat & lid on your toilet because your existing seat isn’t working properly, then you may not need a new seat at all! An unsteady or sliding toilet seat can often be fixed with just a simple hinge or bolt adjustment.
Tightening a loose hinge or bolt or replacing a broken bolt may be all that’s needed to make the seat steady. Adjustments to the hinge position will also prevent problems like the toilet seat falling down or the seat not covering the bowl properly.
Just replacing some or all of the fittings could save you some money and mean that you don’t need to spend time trying to find another toilet seat & lid that matches your bathroom design.
One of the most important tips to bear in mind when replacing a toilet seat & lid is to take measurements. You’ll need to measure the existing toilet seat and take note of the shape to make sure that you buy a replacement that fits properly.
If your toilet doesn’t have a seat, then measure the width of the toilet bowl, the space between the holes, and the length of the bowl from the middle. The likelihood is you’ll either need a round or oval seat, as these are two of the most common toilet seat shapes.
While you’ll need to match your existing toilet seat for shape and size to get the correct fit, it doesn’t mean that you can’t upgrade your toilet seat in another way.
One thing to consider when replacing a toilet seat & lid is the option of a soft-close toilet seat. These can cost more than a traditional seat, but they close smoothly and quietly by themselves. Some soft-close seats also come with other advanced features like built-in night lights.
If you’re replacing your toilet seat anyway, it’s worth shopping around for an upgrade if you’re budget can stretch to it.
As with any project, it’s best to start with the tools you need ready. Thankfully, replacing a toilet lid & seat doesn’t require much equipment, but you will need a:
You may also want to wear gloves while working on the toilet or clean it thoroughly first with an anti-bacterial spray. As you’ll likely need to kneel down when removing and replacing the seat, it may be easier to use knee pads or place a towel or soft rug on the floor.
On most toilets, there’s a bolt on either side that needs to be removed to take off the seat. You’ll need to remove the bolt caps and hold the nuts in place while you unscrew the bolts, or alternatively remove the nuts first and then the bolts.
For older toilet seats where the bolts don’t come off easily, you may need to spray them with WD-40. WD-40 will loosen the bolts and make it much easier to remove them.
If WD-40 doesn’t do the trick, then the other option is to cut the bolts using a hacksaw. Simply protect the toilet bowl with tape and saw off the bolts beneath the hinge.
Installing your new toilet seat & lid may be as simple as following the same process for removing the seat but in reverse. However, it’s always best to read the instructions carefully before attaching the new seat & lid.
Much like removing the toilet seat, the installation process will vary depending on the type of toilet seat you’re installing; different types and brands of toilet seat will also come with different hardware. The installation process will go much simpler when you know what you’re doing before you begin!
To get the perfect fit for your new toilet seat & lid, make sure that you leave the nuts loose during the installation. Tightening the nuts too much while you’re still fitting the seat will limit the adjustments you can make. Only tighten the nuts fully when you’re 100% happy with the final position.
If you’re using plastic nuts, then you may not want to tighten them all the way. Plastic nuts that are too tight may break sooner and mean that you’ll need to replace the fittings again. Over-tightening metal nuts may also prove problematic at a later date if you need to remove or adjust your toilet seat.
Much more can go wrong with your bathroom fixtures than an old or broken toilet seat. There are many problems that can affect your toilet, such as issues with the flush, constantly running water in the tank and moisture around the toilet fixtures.
For peace of mind over the health of your plumbing, booking a home plumbing inspection is a great idea. The inspection will cover everything from the pipes and lines in your home to toilets and sinks to give you the ultimate reassurance that your plumbing is in excellent condition.
Contact Arco Plumbing in Westmont IL for bathroom plumbing maintenance, installations and replacements as well as repairs, or give us a call for advice about any aspect of your plumbing.
Bathrooms are one of the most unique rooms in the house, but when it comes to health and safety at home, that’s not always a good thing. An abundance of hard tiles, smooth porcelain, and sleek metal, combined with a lot of water, creates an environment where it’s very easy to slip and fall.
Nobody is exempt from the dangers of a bathroom environment, people of all ages injure themselves in the bathroom every year, a figure that is in the hundreds of thousands. A bathroom can be very dangerous, but it doesn’t have to be!
There are many small ways that you can upgrade your bathroom to make it safer, more practical, and better-looking – none of which have to break the bank. Here are ten excellent ways to lower the risk of slipping in the bathroom, whilst still keeping the beauty of your bathroom intact:
Tip One: Buy A Quality Bath Mat
Buying a bath mat is one of the least expensive and simplest investments that you can make to upgrade your bathroom. The small purchase can make getting in and out of the shower or bath much safer, and make sure that your feet are dry before you step onto your bathroom tiles or laminate flooring. Most types of bath mats will suffice, as long as the mat doesn’t slide around on the floor of the bathroom.
Tip Two: Invest in Shower Mats and Bath Tub Mats
While it’s understandable that you may not want your bathroom to become ‘the room of many mats’, twinning your bath mat with a non-slip mat inside your shower or bath tub is a wise investment.
It can get very slippery inside baths and showers, and a non-slip mat will help to make sure that you can stand and move around a lot safer. Slip resistant bath mats will also making getting out of the bath much easier.
Tip Three: Upgrade to Non-Slip Flooring
A step above a mat outside your shower or bath is to upgrade to non-slip flooring. Bathroom flooring is often made from materials that are easy to clean, to lower home maintenance, and materials that are resistant to water damage. Changing to a specialist non-slip material will still mean that your bathroom is easy to clean and resistant to water damage, but the surface will be a lot safer.
Tip Four: Install Bars in Your Bathroom
It’s often not the actual slip that causes an injury but hitting the hard bathroom floor. Grab bars or hand grips are an incredibly effective way to prevent most types of slipping accidents in the bathroom.
Bars can be installed anywhere in a bathroom, but they can be most effective in places around the bath or shower and around the toilet, where slipping is very common. There are many design styles to choose from for an aesthetically pleasing bar, so you don’t need to alter your bathroom design too drastically.
Tip Five: Keep Water Contained with Shower Curtains
Shower curtains are more than just a design feature, they’re very important for keeping water inside the bath tub and shower where it’s less likely to cause you to slip and fall. Investing in a quality shower curtain will help to prevent those dangerous little puddles forming just outside the tub that can very easily be slipped on.
Tip Six: Make Sure Your Bathroom Has Good Lighting
Being able to see the dangers in your bathroom is one of the best preventive measures that you can take to avoiding them. Good bathroom lighting, that lights up every corner of your bathroom, will help to make sure that you don’t miss any puddles of water or slippery spots on the floor.
Good natural lighting and night lights can be just as helpful as the main artificial lighting, so it’s worth making sure that your bathroom windows are unobstructed and even think about investing in a small bathroom night light.
Tip Seven: Install a Chair in Your Shower
A shower seat is a bigger investment than a bath mat, but it’s an essential if you or one of your family members has trouble standing for prolonged periods in the shower. Being able to sit in the shower can prevent a lot of accidents and make showering easier for many people.
There are different styles of shower seat available, including ones that easily fold up, so the shower can still be used as a standing shower for other members of the family.
Tip Eight: Refinish Your Bath Tub
An alternative to a mat inside your bath is to refinish the bottom of the bath tub. There are a range of textured agents available that transform the bottom of the bath tub into a textured surface. These can make the tub surface much easier to grip without having to add a separate mat to the tub.
Tip Nine: Invest in A Taller Toilet
A taller toilet is a brilliant investment for adult-only homes where there is unlikely to be a child that needs to use the toilet. Taller toilets are easier to use and can lower the risk of falling around the toilet area when sitting down or standing up.
Many general plumbing services in the Westmont, IL area cover the installation of standard and taller toilets, so you shouldn’t have any problem getting one installed in your home.
Tip Ten: Keep Your Bathroom Plumbing Maintained
There is a lot that you can add to your bathroom to make it a safer environment, but there’s also a lot going on behind the scenes that needs to be considered when trying to make sure that your bathroom is as safe as possible.
All that plumbing for your shower, bath, sink, and toilet should be regularly maintained as part of your standard home maintenance. Good plumbing home maintenance will help to prevent leaks that can lead to slippery surfaces and pools of water that may go unnoticed.
Arranging for a Chicago plumber who provides general plumbing services in your area to inspect your plumbing after any installation, or every now and again, will give you a peace of mind about the general safety of your bathroom.
You don’t need to completely overhaul your bathroom to make it a safe part of your home. Just taking on board a handful of the top tips here and getting your plumbing regularly checked, will improve your bathroom and make it safer for the whole family to use every day.
You’ve fallen in love with a new apartment or home; it’s everything your heart desires. Except for one thing…it’s got a bathroom the size of a broom closet. You find yourself opening the door, half anxious, half determined, as you imagine a redesign that will bring the petite washroom to life.
But where does one begin? Working with a small bathroom presents its own set of design, decorative, and plumbing challenges as you seek to merge functionality and beauty in the same small space. Recognizing some of these challenges, the team at ARCO has outlined a series of small bathroom hacks that’ll help you turn your own small bathroom into one of the most commanding spaces in your home.
When it comes to the bathroom, the vanity is typically the focal point of the room, and in a small bathroom, it’s important to find the right model for size and look. If feasible, have a custom vanity built, or search for a unit with some space beneath, a great strategy for holding necessary bathroom items in lieu of closet space and/or shelving. A few trips to your local hardware or furniture store and some online searching will reveal a number of optional heights, depths, and widths that will be perfect for your needs.
Sink, Shower & Toilet
Like the vanity, there are a variety of sinks that will aid you in your quest for the perfect mix of size and appearance. Common to small bathrooms are pedestal sinks, which only require a few inches of floor space and do wonders for making small bathrooms appear larger. You’ll lose some countertop space, a sacrifice to some, but pair the pedestal sink with a deep medicine cabinet or awesome shelving and charming jars to house everyday bathroom items.
If you’re working with an extremely small space, take a page from well-designed restaurants and opt for a wall mounted sink. What you lose in storage, you’ll gain in added space in the bathroom overall. This technique works especially well if you’re designing a guest bathroom that has no need for the additional storage necessary in full bathrooms.
Additionally, if your bathroom is ridiculously small, you’ll need to be even more clever in your approach. How about shifting your sink to the corner? There are a plethora of beautiful styles made just for this purpose that are either wall mounted or come with a pedestal or vanity. Of course, with the vanity beneath, you can try an open model that you can leverage for more storage. And for those of you with long, skinny bathrooms, consider a corresponding long and skinny sink that flows nicely with the pre-existing shape of the room.
When looking for accent or functional furniture pieces, search for wiry or thin-legged furniture, which takes up less space and contributes to the illusion of more space overall.
If you’re lucky enough to build a shower from scratch, try installing an indented shelf within the tiling to remove the need for bathroom shelving that juts out from the tiles. As well, if your shower is exposed, make use of the ledge space looking out to your window: instead of using this space for shower accouterments, add decorative items.
When considering toilets, there are a plethora of new, modern styles available. Not only are these newer models beautifully designed, some have slimmer tanks that rise vertically to compensate for the lost horizontal space. You can easily find an inexpensive model to install in your small bathroom and reap the rewards of additional space and striking style.
Storage – Shelving
How you leverage shelving will be one of the most important parts of working with a small bathroom. Without a linen closet to rely on, the shelving in your bathroom could be very important. Design and decorate your shelving for beauty and functionality: try something industrial with dark pipes and reclaimed wood, or go with something sleek and modern like painted blocks or reflective surfaces.
Once you’ve got those shelves up, try to avoid clutter, which will detract from the aesthetic of the room. Add wicker baskets for an added pop. Face your baskets forward and tuck inside rolled towels, the way they present towels in hotels, gyms, and spas.
Similarly, if you’ve opted for a vanity with open space beneath, add metal or wire baskets—the look tidies up the storage area beneath and adds a cool industrial vibe so popular in the design space at the moment.
Another trick is to use the full length of your bathroom walls when mounting your shelving. Keeping the shelves in the eye-level range can crowd the visual, but if you leverage more height when planning your shelving, the spacing between shelves will give your bathroom the illusion of height.
As far as towels go, take advantage of the length of your door. Set a towel rack near the top of the door and another in the middle. With two towels now hidden behind the door, your walls are free for shelving and art.
Have you ever walked into a gym or restaurant lined with mirrors and had your eyes tricked by the illusion of added space? Installing a large or long mirror in your bathroom above or across your vanity will have the same effect of making your small bathroom feel larger than it is.
Clever use of color plays a big role in highlighting certain details of your small bathroom and contributing to a sense of greater size. For example, opposing color schemes can create an illusion of depth and space. Try pairing together white tiles with dark floors (or the opposite if you’re so bold). The same technique can be beautiful if your bathroom’s walls are halved by a chair rail or a wainscoat. Pair white on the bottom with a darker color up top—maybe a chocolate or beautiful gray—to create a contrast that makes the room look beautiful, dramatic, and more spacious.
On the contrary, there’s nothing like an all white bathroom to further the illusion of size. With furniture and bathroom pieces in pure white, it’s difficult for the eye to discern where spaces and shapes end and begin.
When it comes using of patterns and color, beautiful and unique patterns in your wallpaper, tiling, and shower curtains can work wonders. Create depth and intrigue with bold tile selections. Consider a stylish backsplash over the sink. Or, try contrasting one large and one small related pattern on your floors and walls to break up a small space. If you’ve still got extra space after shelving, hooks, and tiling, hang art pieces that add pop to the walls or try a set of pieces above your toilet.
Now that you’ve got a million hacks for your small bathroom, you’ll want to make sure you welcome the right team to help turn your dream bathroom into a reality. When it comes to vanities, fixtures, plumbing, and showers, keep the team at ARCO plumbing in mind.