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Mr. Coleman

Architecture & Design

8 Tips You Should Know Before Upgrading Your Hotel Bathrooms

By James Coleman, Senior Director of Relations and Business Development, Luxury Commercial Bath

You have probably read the reasons why you should update your hotel's bathrooms. And you're now certain that your bathrooms should be upgraded to save space, please your customers, and give more aesthetic appeal to your hotel. However, choosing to upgrade your bathroom isn't as simple as calling your interior designer and telling them to overhaul everything in your bathroom and hoping for the best. After all, a complete upgrade for the sake of aesthetic might only waste your money when done improperly. You might also end up changing something and displeasing your customers, especially if you don't know what they want.

But you're probably thinking: "How should I start renovating?". There are 8 tips you should think about before you start looking at catalogs for bathroom fixtures.

1. Replacing Vs. Restoring

Some of the things in your bathroom can skip the replacement if you can give them an upgrade to fix their problem. For example, if the claw feet of the bathtubs are starting to show obvious discoloration, just replace them instead of buying new bathtubs to replace everything. You can also save money this way, especially if what you are replacing does not require regular maintenance.

However, some fixtures badly need replacement if they're not working properly anymore. If your sinks are constantly clogging and no number of repairs have permanently solved the problem, it's better to upgrade or replace them than spend more on calling a repairman the fourth time this month. Salvage what can be saved, but replace when it cannot be.

2. You Don't Need an All-Out Modern Design

A common mistake that goes into redecorating is thinking that everything should be super modern in overall appearance and style. If your hotel is based on a more classical design, a modern bathroom will only be out of place. Upgrading to something new doesn't mean you should sacrifice what your hotel's personality is. However, this doesn't mean that you can't have modern elements in your bathrooms. Some bathroom fixtures that look modern can still fit in a traditional design - it just depends on how you dress it up with the other things in your bathrooms. "Floating" sinks can easily work for classic looks just as well as it could work for streamlined, modern styles. It's all about fitting it seamlessly with its surroundings.

3. Give Your Lights Dimming Settings

Not everyone will be pleased with how bright or dim your bathroom lights are. Women will appreciate the brightness so they could apply makeup in the optimal lighting, while men might think your bathrooms are over lit. And not everyone appreciated Hollywood mirrors with lights blasting at their faces. It's hard to strike the balance when lighting is involved because everyone has differing opinions.

What you can do is invest in dimmers. Whoever is using the bathroom at that moment can brighten or dim the lights according to their preference, and you'll avoid people complaining that your lights are both too dim and too bright.

4. Create the Illusion of a Bigger Space

Bathrooms can be cramped spaces when the whole atmosphere makes it seem smaller than it already is. Customers want to feel relaxed in the bathroom, and a cramped space makes the entire place look unappealing, leading to more negative reviews. However, expanding your bathrooms is out of the question - most of the time.

What you can do is make it seem like your bathroom is bigger than it is. Keeping the colors in the same tone or shade makes objects blend together, creating an expanded look. If you want a pop of color, do it with an object like a cabinet or the light fixtures.

You should also let your customers' eyes transition through the materials you use seamlessly. Consider using the same tiles for all the walls, and use the same flooring throughout. Stopping them midway creates a divider and makes space look smaller. Mirrors and clear glass also lend to creating bigger space. Use big mirrors that seamlessly go up to the ceiling to lift them up, or across the window to make it seem like you have two windows in the same space. As for clear glass, use it to divide to your shower instead of textured glass, as it gets ample light in, creates privacy, and stands as a visual barrier without feeling like another wall.

5. Free up Space

It's one thing to create the image of a bigger space. It's another thing to optimize your bathrooms so you can open more actual space for your customers. You don't need to knock down a full wall and rebuild it a few steps from its original spot - you can get more space while still being in the same dimensions.

Switch to sliding shower doors over swinging door - that way, you only need the actual shower's dedicated space to get in and get out. Swinging doors hoard space when you need to use them, and they can knock over items, too.

Consider remodeling a part of your wall with recesses that will act as shelving. They move in towards the wall, not outside from it, which doesn't add to space already taken up by other items. If you're unwilling to have the walls carved out, you can opt for floating shelves that are sturdier than they look.

For an added space-saver, consider switching our bathtubs for showers in most of your bathrooms, except for rooms where families frequent. Businessmen clients won't probably need bathtubs more than showers, anyway, and showers are cheaper on the water bill.

6. Consider Environmentally-Friendly Options

Hotels can also cut down costs and contribute to the environment by using environmentally-friendly materials. An environmentally-conscious hotel also appeals to customers who might prefer places that try to be "green". A lot of bathroom remodeling companies are also starting to promote the usage of these environmentally safer materials. Some of the ways your hotel can participate in this are by looking to replacing fixtures with their "greener" counterparts. Toilets can be replaced with low-flow models to conserve water. They may have had a bad reputation of having less flushing power than their normal counterparts, but modern low-flow toilets now provide proper flushing without sacrificing its low water usage.

Installing aerators on faucets and showerheads also reduce the amount of water used - half the water flow for twice the power. Faucets can also be upgraded to have motion sensors, which turns the faucet off when movement near the faucet is not detected, eliminating the instance of wasted water when brushing teeth or washing your hands or face.

Instead of using incandescent light bulbs, switch to LEDs when lighting your bathrooms. They may cost more than what they are replacing, but the energy they are saving will make up for the cost. They also up to 10 times longer than other light bulbs, making the need for replacements less frequent.

Tankless water heaters reduce the amount of energy consumed by tanked models, as well as the cost of heating water, as they only heat what is needed, and when it's needed. It also emits less carbon dioxide and can improve air quality because it doesn't require a pilot light.

Even the type of paint that you use in redecorating can be a factor to help turn your hotel bathrooms "green". Paint labeled with low-volatile organic compounds (VOC) are less toxic, therefore they do not pollute the air and cause health problems, unlike regular paint. There are also variations that have completely managed to rid of harmful VOCs, which can be a selling point for health-conscious customers.

7. Don't Forget Your Essentials

Sometimes the big things occupy our minds when we try to redecorate a room, that we forget the small stuff that matters just as much. The same goes for bathrooms; we concern ourselves too much with showers and bathtubs and tiles and paint that we forget the other essentials. Toiletries, towels, small grooming items and equipment and even the air freshener should also be upgraded when necessary.

Believe it or not, some consider the bath and beauty products to be such an important part that a list of hotels with the best bath and beauty products exists. You don't need to splurge on extremely-luxurious brands. Some lesser-known lines of bath amenities can have as much quality as high-end products, so take the time to test their quality (or have someone do it for you). Even more powerful hairdryers can gain you satisfied customers.

8. Listen to Your Clientele

At the end of the day, it's what your customers want that matters the most. You can renovate multiple times, but you can only hit the target when you ask them about their experience and what they wish your hotel's bathrooms had. Perform surveys if you can, and list down their recommendations and critiques as it'll help you get an idea on what areas are you lacking in terms of your hotel's luxurious bathrooms.

Stephanie Rosenbloom mentions in her New York Times article that "the hotel bathroom is more than a place to freshen up. It's considered an indicator of how upscale, current and clean a hotel is, an extension of its identity", and it's something to worth thinking about.

James Coleman is the Senior Director of Relations and Business Development of Luxury Commercial Bath which involves hotels, restaurants, bars, etc. Luxury Commercial Bath has been proven a leader in the Hospitality Bathroom Remodeling Industry and aims to provide the best services for bathroom remodeling in the hospitality industry. He is also the President of DIRECT Show Flooring, and was the Vice President of Sales/Product Development at J International, where he was directly involved in the cultivation of new and existing dealers. He was also in-charge of developing new products and implementing the J Green initiative. He also handled procedures from start to finish – designing, building, shipping logistics, I&D. Mr. Coleman can be contacted at 815-317-0601 or info@luxurycommercialbath.com Please visit http://luxurycommercialbath.com for more information. Extended Bio...

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