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posted: 11/12/2017 6:00 AM

Bathrooms on a budget

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  • Many homeowners are replacing their tubs with walk-in shower units.

    Many homeowners are replacing their tubs with walk-in shower units.
    Photos Courtesy of Bath Planet

  • Bath Planet's acrylic products feature the elegant look of ceramic tile, granite or marble.

    Bath Planet's acrylic products feature the elegant look of ceramic tile, granite or marble.

  • Bath Planet installs accessibility products and aging-in-place bath systems to ensure independent living for as long as possible.

    Bath Planet installs accessibility products and aging-in-place bath systems to ensure independent living for as long as possible.
    Courtesy of Bath Planet

  • Want a new tub or a walk-in shower? Why not both.

    Want a new tub or a walk-in shower? Why not both.
    Courtesy of Bath Planet

 
By Jean Murphy
Daily Herald Correspondent

Nothing screams the age of a home like its bathrooms. Generally speaking, for instance, heavy pink, yellow or light blue tile screams the 1950s, while dark earth tones and oranges proclaim the bathroom was redone during the 1970s or '80s.

Today's modern residential bathrooms, on the other hand, generally feature grays, whites and tans, oftentimes with acrylic liners covering or replacing tile in the showers.

In addition, old bathtubs, as well as bath/shower combinations, are being supplanted by walk-in showers because homeowners no longer want to deal with climbing in and out of a tub that doubles as a shower. They hear horror stories about friends and family members who have fallen during this daily chore and don't want the same fate to befall them.

Younger homeowners are also choosing to get rid of their old tubs, preferring to enjoy a walk-in shower. Few have the time or inclination to enjoy a lengthy soak, so why take the chance on a tub/shower combination when they just want to take a shower?

Friends and family members often share tales of expensive bathroom rehabs and those dark tales prevent others with smaller budgets from taking on similar projects. But less expensive options do exist.

Bath Planet of Chicagoland, based in Streamwood, has been the solution for many. They offer stylish, cost-effective, low-maintenance acrylic bath improvements that are made locally -- in a 200,000 square foot facility in Libertyville.

Many Bath Planet products install right over the existing ugly wall tile and chipped or faded tub or shower for maximum cost-effectiveness and minimum mess.

Bath Planet's products feature the elegant look of ceramic tile, granite or marble -- in a wide variety of colors and finishes -- but without the grout, mess and irritating maintenance because the liners are made of a nonporous, easy-to-clean material. Add to that the array of finishing touches that are available, including shower caddies, soap dishes, grab bars, curved shower rods and a selection of shower doors, and homeowners can easily create a complete, unique bathroom that meets their particular desires.

"Our exclusive product line, ranging from spa showers to walk-in tubs, is constructed out of the toughest acrylic -- specially designed to withstand the wear-and-tear of daily bathroom use," the Bath Planet website states. "The acrylic is custom fitted to your existing bathroom and installed with triple-seal technology. Not only will your new bathtub or shower be stunning, but it will also fit seamlessly into your current design and protect your home from harmful water damage."

In addition, all of that tough cleaning of grout, using harsh chemicals, will be a distant memory. A little vinegar or dish soap and hot water is all that is required to effectively clean a nonporous Bath Planet acrylic shower, said Kevin Gustafson, Bath Planet sales representative. And you don't have to count on workers invading your home for days or weeks. Installation is usually completed in just one day, he added.

Bath Planet offers replacement tubs and shower bases in a wide selection of colors, sizes and styles to add value to the bathroom within your home.

Bath Planet also has a full-line of accessibility products and aging-in-place bath systems to ensure independent living for as long as possible. Roll-in showers, walk-in tubs, soaking tubs and even jetted tubs are all available.

"Our products have been huge for elderly people, in particular, because research has shown that 80 percent of sicknesses are transferred in conventional tile bathrooms and that doesn't happen as readily in nonporous acrylic environments," Gustafson said.

Last spring, Jan and Harry Raimondi of Schaumburg won a $7,000 renovation of their bathroom in the second annual Bath Planet-Daily Herald tub-to-shower transformation sweepstakes in which 360 entries were received.

The Raimondis had Bath Planet remove the old tub in Jan's bathroom, replacing it with a white shower base, a smooth finish acrylic wall system in a custom color (which installed right over the aging tile), a glass shower door with chrome trim, a shower accessory and chrome fixtures.

"I have to admit that it sounded a bit scary when they said they were going to rip out the old tub to replace it with a shower, but they did a great job and now the bathroom feels luxurious," Harry Raimondi said.

For more information on Bath Planet, call (877) 705-7177.

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