Bathroom Remodeling Shopping List Tips

Have you been thinking of remodeling your bathroom?  Bathroom remodeling can be a complicated activity, but not if you work with Beautiful Home Services!

Below are a few terms that will ease you into the remodeling lingo, so you can feel better prepared to take on the challenge.  Don’t worry- we can help you make the rest of the process smooth and painless.  But first, familiarize yourself with a few important terms and materials.  Below we help you break those terms down, tell you what they mean, and explain how these elements can impact your bathroom remodel.




Shower Control Valve— Most shower faucets purchased from your local “big box” store will include this essential piece.  It is a brass mixing valve that is installed behind the tile.  The shower control valve goes behind the shower handle and faceplate.

**Special note:  Many people who find a great deal online for a shower fixture will quickly realize that it does not include this essential piece.  Manufacturers sell it separately because there are many different finishes that go with one control valve.  Therefore, make sure you always buy this piece with your trim.  It is brand-specific, so the brand of your faucet must match the brand of your shower control valve.


Durrock— This is the cement-based product we put behind most of our tile.  It comes in many thicknesses and can be applied to the walls or floor.  It is screwed directly onto your wall joists.  Durrock is used because it resists moisture and the tile adheres much better to this product than drywall.  It comes in sheets like drywall and can be cut in a similar way.


Recessed Box—  Recessed boxes installed on the shower walls are a better way to store shampoo, soap, razors, etc. than shower caddies or on the floor. You can buy these boxes pre-made, which helps with water protection, or we can construct a shower box for you.  They are usually 14” wide, and range from 4” to 24” in height.  For reference, a typical shower box is 16” tall. Here are a couple pictures of recessed boxes:


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Toilet— Everyone knows what a toilet is (we hope!), but there are a few key words that are important to know when buying one.  The backset is the distance from the center of the drain to the wall behind the toilet.  This is important because you need the toilet to have an adequate amount of space behind the toilet.  A typical residential backset is 12”.  An elongated toilet has an oval-shaped bowl, and a round toilet has a circular bowl.  Lastly, keep an eye on height.  Many people prefer a tall toilet, but most toilets in homes now are standard height.  Keep an eye out for this characteristic when buying toilets.


241 fort toilet


Tub—  This is another item with which everyone is familiar, but few know about the details.  One characteristic to consider is the handedness of a tub.  A tub is either left-handed or right-handed depending on which side the drain is on when standing outside the tub getting in.  Cast iron tubs are very expensive and heavy, but extremely durable.  A product that provides a good balance between cost and durability is the new steel tub.  These tubs have a nice enamel coating and hold up great, but are cost-efficient and easy to work with.  Lastly, the acrylic tubs are plastic and can be flimsy. However, if price is a factor for a tub, an acrylic tub will do just fine.


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Drain Kit— Every tub needs a drain kit.  There are many kinds out there.  The drain kit contains the plumbing parts that connect the overflow drain to the regular drain.  It comes in different finishes and styles.  Some drain kits are universal, but they need to work with the tub you buy.  Most websites recommend a drain kit for each tub.


Transition— This is the marble or stone piece that goes between the bathroom and the next room’s floor.  A typical transition is 4 1/2” wide— the thickness of a door frame.  Some transitions are a little smaller at about 2”.


Tile— There are a few terms associated with measuring tile.  Regular tile is measured in square feet.  Bullnose tiles (the rounded tiles on the edges) are measured in linear feet, along with accent pieces.  Pencil tiles are long, thin tiles that look like pencils, and are also measured in linear feet.  Mosaics usually come in 12” x 12” squares, mounted on a mesh backer.  These can be cut up to make accent bands around a shower or bath.  We recommend getting sealer for all natural stones and materials.  Ceramic tile does not need to be sealed, but the grout will need sealing.


190 Yasmin188 hicks226 Dedrick wallParker hall bathroom shower 6


GroutSanded grout is used for grout joints over 1/8”.  Unsanded grout is used for smaller joints.  Typical joints (i.e., the distance between tiles) in a builder-grade bathroom are 1/8” for the classic white 4” x 4” tiles.  We recommend a 1/8” joint for smaller wall tiles (6” x 6” and smaller), and a 3/16” joint for most other tiles.  For very large spaces, 1/4” joint can look nice.  We always recommend sealing the grout.


Look for our next blog post about the best places to get materials, and great ways to get the best look for the best price.  Don’t worry, if you ever have questions, Beautiful Home Services will be able to point you in the right direction!


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