Expert Interview: Bathroom Remodeling with Jill Moskowitz of Bathroom Magic

Posted by Paige Thomas ~ March 25, 2009

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We've covered kitchen remodeling, home lighting and historic homes, and now we're moving on to bathroom remodeling with the guidance of another industry expert: Jill Moskowitz of Bathroom Magic.

A bathroom, next to kitchens, is often the most remolded room in a home. So, it's likely that if you haven't already done a bathroom remodel, you might actually be considering one at this very moment. Jill will offer her insight on starting your own remodel, including planning, making the most of your budget, and other tricks of her trade.

Jill has been in the bathroom remodeling industry for 7 years, two of those years with her current position as a design consultant at New Jersey based Bathroom Magic. Jill spends much of her time going to customer's home to provide them with a free consultation and help them start considering all the possibilities with their bathroom remodel.

Jill offers her insight into the world of bathroom remodeling:

1. For a homeowner who is considering a bathroom remodel, but who also has have a strict budget, how would you recommend they get the most value from the amount of money they can put in?

A tub liner with matching wall surround is a fabulous alternative to replacing an old cast iron or steel tub. Both functional and beautiful -- without the mess and expense of removing the existing tub. If your vanity is in good shape, replace the countertop with a new one in CORIAN® and update the knobs. Choose a dynamic new faucet in a different finish. Paint the walls--color makes all the difference. These changes will all transform the room at a lower cost than a complete rip out.

2. Are there any major differences between planning a remodel for a full bath versus a half bath? If so what should the design focus be for each one?

A half bath will be making a statement to your guests. It is typically very decorative -- functionality is not the major objective there.

For a full bath, I usually approach the remodel in a different way. Consider who will be using the bathroom. Will it be for children or adults? The remodel should absolutely take this into account. Unlike a half bath, the objective is first function and then beauty.

3. If a homeowner was going to splurge on one aspect of their bathroom remodel, what part would you tell them to splurge on?

Every case is different. If you are the person who uses your shower or bath experience for unwinding and relaxing, the tub and shower area would be the one I would suggest. Great showerheads and handshowers, body sprays etc. would make a huge difference. If you tend to enjoy your ""me"" time where hair and makeup take place, I would focus on the vanity and mirror upgrades - great lighting and cabinets with door and drawer space is always essential.

4. What are some of the most common problems that occur during a bathroom remodel that homeowners might not have foreseen?

Mold and mildew is the first problem most people have, especially interior bathrooms with no ventilation. Bathroom Magic is always prepared and ready with a solution for any unforeseen bathroom problems. Windows in tub areas are also an issue as many older homes have this situation and homeowners often want to close off the window. This now affects the outside of the home (siding, etc.) and becomes more of a project than they anticipated.

Homeowner Bathroom Before Remodel

5. If a homeowner cannot do a complete gut and replace remodel, what projects could they focus on to still make some major changes in the room?

You can still accomplish a total renovation without gutting a bathroom as long as existing plumbing and electrical can remain in the same place. An acrylic system is perfect for an existing tub/shower area. An updated vanity area as well with new mirror/medicine chest and changing of existing lighting fixtures. A new floor and toilet --- a coat of paint on the walls and you have a brand new bathroom!

Finished Bathroom Remodel

6. Are there any new products or materials on the market that you really like for the bathroom?

We are working with CORIAN® surround systems in tub and shower areas. We create walls routed to appear like tile without the nuisance and maintenance of grout. We install this system in over 140 colors and offer fashionable tile patterns--giving you virtually hundreds of combinations. For those tile lovers that realize the issues associated with grout, this is the perfect bathroom solution-and very glamorous. CORIAN® wall surrounds are offered exclusively by Bathroom Magic.

Remodeled acrylic tub and shower in Travertine

7. If you had one piece of advice for a homeowner starting their own renovation what would it be?

Let your bathroom be reflective of who you are. There are thousands of options available and this can be an overwhelming task. Work with a qualified design and build company, such as Bathroom Magic who can offer you solutions at different price points. All that matters is that in the end you will have the bathroom that you are envisioning. Look at this project as an investment in your home and your family. Once completed, this will be something you will enjoy each and every day.

Thanks again Jill!

Check out these past Expert Interviews for more advice on your home improvement projects:

Home Lighting: Michelle Steinback of Schoolhouse Electric Co. Historic Homes: Diane Foreman of Neil Kelly Co. Kitchen Remodeling: Linda Fennessy of Kitchen Magic

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