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How to Install a Drop-In Bathtub

By: Karine Dutemple

How to Install a Drop-In Bathtub

By: Karine Dutemple

Interior renovationsBathroomHow to Install a Drop-In Bathtub

The luxury of having a bathtub in the home is wonderful: It can help relieve stress, restore balance, and enable you to truly relax. Of course, not every single home has a bathtub. Thus, if you’re looking to have one installed, you may want to consider a drop-in tub. As opposed to claw-foot tubs, drop-in bathtubs are easy to clean and conceal all plumbing elements. These tubs will give your bathroom a modern, classic finish.

So, how difficult is this installation project? Well, lucky for you, we’ve detailed a list of the steps involved. This’ll come down to more than simply connecting plumbing to the tub, so it might be good to ask a friend for a helping hand or hire a professional to do the work for you.


Here’s How to Install a Drop-In Bathtub

Source: Canva


What's a Drop-In Bathtub?

A drop-in bath is designed for an installation strategy that is inherent in its name. This type of tub has a self-rimming edge, and this edge rests on a frame or structure that surrounds the tub. The surrounding material is usually made of tile or stone, but of course, will come down to your bathroom decor. As we mentioned in our introduction, the beautiful thing about these tubs is that they conceal all of the plumbing beneath the structure, leaving only the rim visible to the eye. This type of tub is popular for a number of reasons, including their low cost, variety of shapes, sizes, and design versatility.

The surrounding part of the tub should be located alongside a wall, in an alcove, corner, or even freestanding depending on the layout and space available in your bathroom. Another appealing quality of drop-in bathtubs is that they can be easily replaced and thus are great for homeowners who are forever changing their minds!

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Permits and Regulations

First things first, you need to do some research and find out which permits are required for this type of renovation project. This is a very important step if you intend on making any changes to your plumbing as well as taking on any major renovations to the walls or floors. Large-scale renovations almost always require a permit, and if you’re planning on moving a wall to fit your bathtub, then you’ll most likely need one.

When it comes to moving the pipes around or changing the plumbing in your bathroom, you’ll need to work with a professional. In most North American cities, undergoing any plumbing work without a professional is illegal. Once you’ve applied for the correct permits in accordance with your municipality and, if necessary, hired a plumber, you’ll be able to get your project started!


Drop-In Bathtub Plumbing

Source: Unsplash

If you plan on moving or reconnecting any plumbing, that’ll need to be done prior to any other steps involved in this project. If this is a necessary step for you, then the specifics of it will come down to your current plumbing as well as the layout of your bathroom. The only plumbing work you should have left to do once the tub is in place is to connect drain pipes, faucets, as well as shower heads.


Measure and Build

Start off by carefully measuring the area where you’re hoping to position your new bathtub. You’ll need to know these measurements to properly craft or purchase a frame which will secure your tub. Once you know how large of a frame you need, you can start building. The frame will need to mimic the height and width of the bathtub all the way up to the ledge, which will rest on and overlap the top surface of the tub.

There are two types of drop-in tubs, and the dimensions of the frame will be determined by the style: those with three walls surrounding them (alcove) and those with no walls (island). This aside, the frame will need to be sturdy and able to withstand the weight of the tub. Once the frame is built, custom-made or purchased, you can start installing it.


Install the Frame and Mortar Base

If you’re positioning your drop-in tub in an alcove, then it should be affixed to wall studs wherever possible. If your tub is to be positioned as an island, then the same rules applied to house formwork, meaning that nails need to be at 16-inch intervals, should be followed.

Although the frame supports most of the weight, it won’t be enough once it's filled with water and the weight of a grown human being. Therefore, the tub will require a mortar base before it’s installed. You’ll want to put 4 to 6 shovel-fulls worth of the mortar where the tub will sit. Before putting any mortar down, add an underlayment to the subfloor and underneath the tub, as well as directly on top of the mortar. The plastic will allow you to easily remove the tub at a later date if necessary.


Position and Affix the Bathtub

drop-in bathtub_renoquotes

Source: Canva

In most cases, holes for plumbing fixtures will be made before the bathtub is affixed. You can temporarily put the bathtub in place to outline the holes dedicated for the plumbing fixtures, and then remove it to then drill the holes. Once this is complete, place the bathtub into the frame. We’d recommend doing this while the mortar is still wet so that it’ll cure and mould around the base of your tub.

Again, once positioned, make sure that the edges of your bathtub are level. Insert screws in the holes you’ve predrilled to secure it to the frame. When completed, the frame of the tub can be finished with tiles or other materials to match your bathroom decor. Check the faucets and enjoy a long hot soak once everything is dry and in working order.

By: Amanda Harvey

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Last modified 2023-04-01

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9 min read 19 Jul 2023

How to Choose Glass Inserts for Your Front Door

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To help narrow down, and guide, your research, here are the main characteristics of exterior glass inserts: A lite or half-lite door Unlike a solid front door—whether wood, PVC, or aluminum—a lite door is made of, from top to bottom, a glass insert that sits between narrow lite door frames. Since it blends in seamlessly, it suits most architectural styles. This type of door can match the colour of the siding of the house or window frames. On the other hand, a half-lite front door strikes the perfect compromise between a solid and lite door. While these doors used to be made with a full panel on the bottom, and a glass insert on top, newer, more modern, models go above and beyond single-glazing, offering triple- or quadruple-glazing. Standard or tailor-made glass Currently, the market boasts a wide array of front door models, and that’s not to mention the companies that specialize in crafting exclusive, custom designs. 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Different Types of Glazing Source: Canva Right off the bat, one might think that triple glazing is better compared to double, but that’s not always the case. Before choosing, consider the different factors involved. Here’s everything to know about the different types of glazing: Double-glazed Double-glazing is achieved with two layers of glass, separated by a cavity filled with either air or gas inserts. Air, argon gas, or krypton (immobilized between two glass panes) are great insulation. Given that it’s more resilient than single-glazing, the latter can effectively insulate a home, thereby slowing down heat transfer and limiting heat loss. As such, cold air is retained throughout the summer much like warm air during winter, preventing issues like condensation. Additionally, the home isn’t affected by external noise pollution. Triple-glazed Triple glazing is the preferred option to optimize the energy efficiency of low-energy or passive homes. 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No storage fees When detailing a business plan, budgetary constraints are often overlooked, yet storage fees are especially important to consider in construction work. Heavy machinery, especially those needed to carry out excavation work, require a decent amount of space. To store said equipment, you have two choices: lease or; purchase a lot. Should you lease a plot of land, note that the rent due amounts to 6% of its market value. Should you purchase the lot, you can pay between $2/sq.ft. (North Shore) and $25/sq.ft. (Montréal), excluding GST (HST), QST, and administrative fees. Consequently, it can be difficult for a company to pay back such significant investments. As such, at the very beginning, it may be best to resort to excavation equipment rentals. Machinery You Can Rent Source: Canva Excavator An excavator is the ideal tool to efficiently dig up dirt. The quality of the work done by such machinery far exceeds that of the result obtained with a backhoe, for example. 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7 min read 16 Aug 2023

Get Quality and a Stylish Design with Glass Tile

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ANSI A137.2 standard divides recycled glass tiles into 3 categories, based on their composition: Category 1: at least 25%; Category 2: at least 40%; Category 3: at least 60%. Are you looking for general contractors for your renovation project? Fill in our form to be connected to top-rated contractors! Glass Mosaic: Its Multiple Uses Source: Canva Glass mosaic is a very sought-after tiling technique that consists of assembling pieces of glass together to design colourful and complex patterns. The durable and shiny finish achieved with glass tiles allows for a variety of uses: inside, both as flooring or as wall treatments; outside, as a pool liner or terrace surface. Glass Paste Glass paste, or “pâte de verre,” is most often used to make glass mosaics. It’s a cold-casting technique that consists of moulding glass sheets. A known technique since Ancient history and rediscovered at the end of the 1800s in France, this process gives glass mosaic a texture that’s similar to that of ceramic. The tiles are then glued together to create a mosaic that can withstand the following: scratches; shocks; heat. All that, treatment-free. Bathroom or Kitchen Wall Tiles Glass mosaics are perfect for wet areas: kitchen; wet room; bathroom. The reason why is that glass tiles are super easy to clean. Whether it be grease or soap residue, simply wiping the surface with a sponge will suffice in most cases. Glass Mosaic Flooring Glass tiles used as indoor flooring are typically fused glass tiles. They can be laid on every type of rigid infrastructure, such as: cured concrete slab; cement panel (0.5-inch thick) on a plywood subfloor; double-layer plywood; mortar bed on a plywood subfloor. Prior to installation, spread a crack insulation membrane over the surface to be tiled. Large glass tiles will then be laid atop this very membrane. To prevent air bubbles from forming in the tile mortar, use as little as possible. As such, avoid following the manufacturer's recommended mortar thickness. In fact, since the tiles are see-through, air bubbles forming beneath the tiles are clearly visible once installed. How to Cut Glass Mosaic Tiles Source: Canva For clean and precise cuts, it’s best to use a glass-specific diamond blade mounted on a wet saw. Naturally, not everyone can whip out a wet saw at a moment’s notice, and purchasing such a tool runs about $120 to $500. Luckily, there’s a more artisanal method that can be used, requiring a glass-cutting knife. This cutter-like tool isn’t equipped with a metal blade but a diamond-shaped tip. With this tool handy, follow along with the steps detailed below. Step 1: Mark the tile Lay your glass tile on a flat surface. Grab a second one to use as a makeshift ruler and place it where you want to make the cut. Run the glass-cutting knife’s diamond tip along the tile to mark it. To effectively mark the tile, avoid pushing down on the tool too hard, or not pushing down hard enough. Step 2: Snap the glass tile To snap the glass tile, you’ll need to use something to lift up one side of the tile where it was marked. It could be a piece of cloth or neoprene foam. The only thing left to do is to push down the glass tile’s edge to break it along the guideline. Once the cloth or neoprene is in place, simply push down on the edge to break up the tile. Step 3: Use running pliers However, if you only need to cut a small section of your tile, rather than cutting it in half, you risk having a hard time doing so using the cloth or neoprene method. To successfully cut a small section of a glass tile, you can use running pliers to snap off a small section of the tile. Some are used much like straightforward pliers, others like grip pliers, but both are easy to use. A Few Examples of Glass Tile Prices Source: Canva Given that glass tiles basically come in every shape and size, they can mimic pebbles, hexagons, or bricks. The cost of the following creations are as follows: Random shape and size mosaic: $11.50/sq.ft.; Hexagon mosaic: $16/sq.ft; Brick tiles: $13/sq.ft. To cover an entire wall with recycled tiles, budget about $38/sq.ft.

5 min read 09 Aug 2023

Translucent Concrete: When Innovation Meets Nature

Concrete is one of the most common construction materials on the planet. Up until the end of the 1900s, it was bestowed with numerous qualities, but none were that of luminosity… Well, consider it done! Since the dawn of the new millennium, this solid grey mass stuns with light-filled shadows. In fact, the arrival of translucent concrete, a robust and versatile material, marks the beginning of a new era. Once again, it revolutionizes the architecture and construction industries with its somewhat incredible light effects that are rather dazzling. And, let’s not forget that this type of concrete retains the valuable properties of standard concrete. It was first exclusively used when building cutting-edge hotel and tourism facilities, but little by little, it’s increasingly used across the industry. And despite its steep price tag, the residential sector sees grounds for innovation. Without further ado, let's shed some light on translucent concrete. The Definition of Translucent Concrete Source: Canva Translucent concrete—or light-transmitting concrete—was invented in 2001 by a Hungarian architect, and possesses optical fibre properties that aren’t readily visible to the naked eye. These fibres arranged perfectly parallel to one another, attract and transmit natural or artificial light across pre-fabricated concrete panels. This interplay of light and shadow is reminiscent of the shoji concept unique to traditional Japanese architecture. However, the translucent sheet of washi is replaced by the solidity of concrete. With the quick-evolving nature of technology, the latest process currently incorporates optical fibres that guide light emitted by an LED source, to then transmit it to the outer surface of a building. Software-activated and controlled, LEDs make for great light shows, from displaying static elements to conceiving colour schemes and animated images. As such, in broad daylight, building structures channel that of any standard concrete or stone façade. However, once night falls, and backlighting kicks in, the siding comes to life with a dazzling display. Concrete, which was once a simple mixture that included cement, water, and aggregates, bedazzled itself into a literal artistic gem, igniting the creative mind. What are the properties of translucent concrete? As of now, translucent concrete is being used in building the façades of exceptionally avant-garde buildings or as interior wall treatments for high-end constructions. With dynamic lighting breathing life into silhouettes, using translucent concrete in a shower for example may be an interesting way to benefit from this unique technology without so much as paying through the roof. (The price of translucent concrete can easily be 5 times that of standard concrete.) Transparent concrete allows light to filter through, making for brightly lit interiors. As such, there no longer is a need to worry about window placement or positioning or which direction a particular room is facing. What’s more, it allows natural light to stream in, while blocking UV rays. Based solely on aesthetics, it’s important to highlight that the incorporated optical fibres won’t result in any particular constraints. The material benefits from all the much sought-after properties of standard concrete—solid and durable. It’s definitely a technology that suits the masses. However, keep in mind that translucent concrete is an expensive construction material. Aside from the list above-mentioned regarding its uses, interior design architects often employ it in the making of stairs, guardrails, countertops, and other strictly decorative features. We’re ready to bet that the success of translucent concrete will drive major breakthroughs over the next few years, perhaps making it more accessible. Are you looking for a general contractor for your renovation project? Fill in our form to be connected with top-rated contractors! How is translucent concrete made? Source: Canva Throughout the years, two processes have made translucent concrete attainable. The first method consists of changing the formula for concrete in terms of binders and aggregates. The material becomes translucent when glass pieces are added or resin is injected into the cementitious matrix, while still retaining a sufficient strength. The second technology features optical fibres embedded in the matrix allowing light to shine through. Using simple electrical systems, the light intensity can be controlled, much like the walls’ colour rendering. Composition and materials Translucent concrete is retailed as custom, pre-fabricated panels (of various shapes and sizes), or as concrete construction blocks. The polymer-based process can transmit up to 90% light, which results in as much as 20% translucency, while still retaining the material’s strength. Translucent concrete is often used without traditional rebar. In cases where reinforcement is necessary, plastic rebar can serve as a viable substitute to steel rebar, ensuring the distinctive properties of translucent concrete remain intact. When translucent concrete contains polymer, the binder (cement) is partially replaced by a transparent polymer. This technique ensures the translucency of the material from all angles. Translucent concrete is typically neutral in colour (white, light or dark grey), but its colour can be altered upon request. It also boasts a wide range of colours, courtesy of a set of LED bulbs. Benefits of Translucent Concrete In the making of translucent concrete, mixing in transparent compounds solely account for a mere percentage of its overall composition. As a result, it benefits from all the same properties as traditional concrete. Concrete is resilient and durable—it’s basically fire-, fungus-, and insect-proof, and is resistant to physical impacts. It’s also highly resistant to adverse weather conditions and temperature fluctuations. Lastly, it’s thermally inert and has a high porosity. Translucent concrete not only harnesses the above-mentioned properties but also introduces an unprecedented level of luminosity. It’s contemporary, unique, and distinctive—transforming structures and buildings through visually stunning light shows. In broad daylight, it brightens up rooms while effectively blocking UV rays. As such, natural light replaces artificial lighting, thus limiting energy consumption. Last but certainly not least, translucent concrete is recyclable.

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