Categories
Hobbies

Five Alcohol Hobbies Gaining Popularity

Spirits, wine, and beer have been a part of society’s food and beverage scene since historical times, but humans are extremely inventive when it comes to enjoying these old favorites with a new twist. Trends in alcohol exist just as in any other aspect of modern life, and current trends are running hot on quality and small-batch products created in boutique distilleries, wineries, or microbreweries. Many consumers are even making their own spirits and cordials legally in the privacy of their own homes. We’ve come a long way since Prohibition, and society’s general attitude toward alcohol consumption is evolving into a more mature outlook. Intoxication isn’t the goal; an added enhancement to an already high quality of life provides the motivation for many modern adult beverage connoisseurs.
Wine
Cruises

Modern wine lovers now have the option of enjoying vacations on the water while sampling and sipping some of the finest wines from around the globe. Wine tours range from sojourns on small, intimate ships that explore hidden coves and serve evening meals by the light of the sunset to grand adventures that sail through the heart of Europe’s wine country, stopping to celebrate centuries-old village wine festivals with the locals.
Beer
and
Food
Pairings

Wine and food pairings are old school, but beer and food pairings are still relatively cutting-edge, and we don’t mean mass-produced domestic beer and pizza. Many small craft breweries routinely host pairings as well as beer tastings. The atmosphere at these gatherings is almost always casual and friendly, and they provide an excellent way for craft beer lovers who are new in town to find a sense of community.
Home
Distilleries

The average householder in many states can now produce spirits in the privacy of his or her home without having to worry about attracting the unwanted attention of federal law enforcement agencies. However, bear in mind making spirits is for hobby purposes only and not to be viewed as an opportunity for entrepreneurship. Laws vary by state and also by county, so be certain to check local statues before ordering that copper still from Kentucky.
Home
Wineries

Although home wine making has been legal in the U.S. for decades, the current trend among wine connoisseurs is to grow a mini-vineyard in their back yard and use the grapes they grow in their home wine producing projects. Others who’d rather not become amateur vintners can have the fruits of their labor turned into wine by local companies that specialize in small-batch, custom wine and beer making.
Healthy
Drinks

The practice of crafting unique cocktails with healthy ingredients and embellishing them with all manner of fruits and vegetables as garnish has been around the trendy eating and drinking establishments for several years now, but most homeowners are just now beginning to get on board. The grandmother of these drinks is undoubtedly the classic bloody Mary with her celery sticks and pickled green bean decorations. A couple of fingerfulls of culinary herbs are the hottest new addition to the garnish tray at residential cocktail parties.

Other alcohol hobbies and trends will come and go. Some will fizzle into the sunset while others will be recycled somewhere down the road. A few will prove to have the staying power to become adult beverage classic. We’re putting our money on bacon-flavored vodka.

Categories
Techies

How To Create Your Home-Made Security System

There was a time when people could go into town to do some errands without fear of returning to a ransacked home filled with disheveled drawers and upside down furniture. Theft and burglary are crimes that have been a nuisance to society since the beginning of time, however. The rise of crime in recent decades has spawned a backlash of technological savvy home security equipment that rely on security codes to protect all the nervous nellies out there. Although nothing should keep you from checking in with your local home security company (preferably a ADT Authorized dealer) , we have some ideas that can help. Here are some alternative home-made security systems to consider that are not only more affordable and effective, but may also save your life.

They say that dogs are a man’s best friend, but not if you’re wearing a ski mask at two o’clock in the morning climbing the fence of foreign territory to meet a sweaty-toothed pot-bellied pit bull. Guard dogs are excellent home security systems because they’re an alarm and a weapon wrapped up in one package. Their first reaction, barking, wakes up the homeowner and lets him or her know that there is trouble. This gives the homeowner time to react and if the intruder makes a move, the dog will attack.

Another effective home-made security system is a booby trap mechanism. These can be made from household items and are relatively harmless. For example, an intruder can be temporarily blinded with just a bucket, black paint, and string. First, pour black paint into a large bucket. Second, tie the string from the bucket handle to a latch or doorknob. When a burglar opens the door, the bucket will spill, unleashing gallons of paint on his head and over his eyes. This will distract him long enough for you to defend yourself.

Don’t know what to do with that leftover gum that’s lost its flavor? Gum can even serve as a wonderful home-based security system. Simply find a piece of thin board approximately four by two feet in length and align one side with wet gum. Nail the board to the floor in the walkway of the front entrance. For added protection, you should probably make multiples of these and place them under each entrance into the house, including windows. Camouflage these as much as possible to blend with the rest of the home. When the intruder walks in, he will step on the gum, rendering him paralyzed and helpless.

Finally, you can make use of some more household items to protect against those annoying bandits. Before leaving your house or going to bed, gather as many marbles as you can and place them about an inch apart in front of the entrances of the home. If you have carpet, find a flat wooden surface that will hold the marbles to place in front of the door. When the burglar steps on the marbles, he will trip and fall.

With all of the fancy high tech security systems out there, it’s easy to forget that the best security defenses are those that are literally lying around the house. Instead of investing thousands of dollars in a state of the art alarm system the next time you hear a bump in the night, consider these low-cost yet efficient options.

Categories
Hobbies

The Beginners Guide To Time Lapse Photography

Time lapse photography can capture some incredible scenes, but it may seem a little overwhelming for those just getting into photography. No worries, here we have a step-by-step guide for you on how you can begin to take time lapse photos and have them look incredible.

What Do I Need?

There are a few basic things you’ll want to make sure you have. You definitely want a sturdy tripod, as time lapse photography absolutely depends on stability. As far as your camera, any DSLR camera will make it easy for you to take beautiful time lapse photographs.

You will also need an intervalometer of some kind, which does automatic shutter triggering. If you have one built into your camera, you’re all set, but if you don’t, you will need to purchase one separately. For an inexpensive option, we suggest something by Linkdelight. If you’re willing to spend a bit more, consider a Satechi brand.

time elapse

Last but not least, you’ll need neutral density filters, or ND filters. These filters allow for slower shutter speeds, limiting the amount of light going into the camera without changing the colors.

Getting Ready For Shooting

Like any good photographer, you want to make sure you capture the best possible aspects of whatever it is you’re photographing. In this case, you’re looking for things that will change over time. What will change over time in your scene? How can you best capture this change? What do you want in your foreground? Are you going to follow the rule of thirds? Make all these decisions before you set up your camera.

Once you know where exactly you want your camera to be, set it up with your tripod. We suggest using the gear in the center of the tripod or even just a heavy bag of rocks to help really press your tripod into the ground. Take the extra time to make it stable now will keep you from having correct a shaky time lapse.

Choosing Your Time Lapse Interval

Your time lapse interval will determine the speed at which the scene moves in the final video. Your time lapse interval must exceed your exposure time by twenty to forty percent. Your camera needs time to clear the image buffer before taking the next frame. If you’re not sure what interval to choose, consider this. For time lapse photography, moving traffic or fast-moving clouds are typically photographed at 1-second intervals, sunsets and sunrises at 3-second intervals, and the sun moving across the sky at 15-30 seconds.

Setting Your Exposure

There are various exposure settings you can use on your camera, and which one you should use will depend on what you are photographing. If you are pretty comfortable with your camera, you can play around with the various settings to find the look you want. We suggest shooting in manual mode if you have relatively constant light, as this will reduce any “flickering,” which is when photos in your time lapse are constantly changing brightness. If your light is going to change, however, Aperture priority mode is likely to be the most helpful setting for you. In the end, you may have to play around with it, shoot photos for half an hour, and then look through them to see if you’re getting the effect you want.

Putting It Together

You’ve taken all the photos, now what? You can put together your photographs with software like LRTimelapse and Photolapse 3 (both free) or Adobe Software (not free, but excellent software). Once you’ve put together your first time lapse compilation, share it with your friends, family, and whoever else you want to show. Be proud of it. You’ve worked hard on it. Then, sure, go ahead and start planning your next time lapse project!

Categories
Biz

4 Crafty Entrepreneurs Who Will Inspire You To Follow Your Dreams

Some very creative people have been using the website Etsy to launch their own businesses. People like Katrina Gordon and Amy Stringer-Mowat found ways to create a brand with businesses that began at home while being busy with work and children. These women offer a source of inspiration and hope for crafters and jewelry designers all over the world.

Beth Orduna

Beth is from Mexico and uses nature to draw attention to her art and jewelry. She uses simple yet defined techniques that have now become fashion statements in the jewelry industry. She uses what is called a wabi-sabi technique; this technique combines the eye catching elements called “bling” with natural and even old items like cloth or colorful stones. Beth offers her own version of ying-yang when it comes to jewelry and art.

Stacey Effman

In just two short years, Stacey went from working part-time in her Etsy shop, Kind Label, to working full time because business has increased so much. Stacey created her company as a backup to her day job in business administration. She tried to sell her custom silk-screened t-shirts and tank tops on another website but ended up losing money until she found out about Etsy. Her business has not stopped growing since the switch in 2011. Her custom clothing offers customers an inspiring piece of art instead of just another t-shirt.

Amy Stringer-Mowat

Amy began in the same way as Stacey Effman, by dabbling in her creative ideas before she was laid off from work. Amy was in the midst of planning her wedding and used her architect background to design state shaped cutting boards. After the wedding, she posted the cutting boards on Etsy and her business went through the roof with orders. People really liked the novel idea and it has been non-stop ever since. She now needs to find a way to slow down so she can make time for the new addition to her family. Amy has been featured in U.S. News online and several magazines for her unique ideas and quick transition between being laid off and working full time again. Amy’s store is now one of the most prosperous businesses on Etsy.

Katrina Gordon

Katrina had no intention of starting her own business. She learned to crochet from her aunt Carol and she made handmade cards for special occasions. Her crafts were gifts and a hobby. One day her husband commented that she should sell her work. She says that it was never the same afterwards. She sold one item on Etsy and began her career as a popular wedding bouquet designer and card maker. She now sells items in her online store and in local markets and shops in the town where she lives.

None of the designers featured were planning to open their own business. It was an afterthought or perhaps an idea for later in life when retirement was closer. All of the women have developed their brand through hard work, determination, practice, and networking with others who have their own businesses. They chose to follow their creative side and work on making a small living when circumstances warranted. Reading about these women offers a source of inspiration for the thousands of stay-at-home moms, busy executives, or budding college students because of the possibilities.

Categories
Hobbies

4 Common DIY Auto Repairs That May Be Better Off Left To Professionals

It’s no doubt that your car is a valuable piece of machinery. With the terrible economic climate, more and more people are trying their hand at repairing their own cars. This is a great thing! People are becoming more independent and don’t end up breaking the bank at shops for every little problem. However, it isn’t very uncommon for people to try to repair their own car and end up completely in over their head. While repairing your car can be a great idea, there are still some common repairs that are better off left to professionals. This can prevent further damage to your car and save you money in the long run.

1. Getting A New Paint Job: Whether there are a few spots on your car that need some touch up paint or you just want to give your car a new paint job altogether, paint jobs are best left to those who paint cars for a living. Painting a car is not the same as painting a house. It requires a lot of precision and patience to get the paint job just right. An inexperienced person trying to paint their car is going to walk away with awful results. Plus, there’s a reason why professionals paint cars in those sealed rooms: They are dust free. Not having access to a dust free booth while painting will leave you with a terrible looking paint job.

2. Repairing An Air-Conditioner: Fixing your air-conditioner can amount to a lot more than changing some Freon. The A/C system is very high tech and involves a lot of understanding of how it works. There are a bunch of tubes and components that are connected to the computer. Everything is extremely specific. If you don’t know exactly how the A/C system works, you would probably be smart to just leave it alone. No one wants to drive without A/C during a hot summer.

3. Repairing Factory Car Stereo Systems: While you may have been able to repair the stereo system 20 years ago, things have changed quite a bit. Newer car stereo systems have become a lot more advanced and complicated. Things are connected to computers and stereo systems have a lot more functionality these days. A lot of cars have their stereo system connected to the navigation system. Fiddling with all of these different electronics will probably just leave with an entire system that doesn’t even work. Good thing there are professionals who specialize in repairing factory car stereos!

4. Oil Changes: While there aren’t any huge dangers in changing your own oil, it simply isn’t worth the hassle. A lot of people will tell you that you save a ton of money by changing your own oil. However, most shops get oil in bulk. The price differential is modest at best. It doesn’t save a lot of money when you do it yourself and you’re the one doing all of the work. Changing the oil is messy and not usually an option if you don’t have your own garage. All in all, unless you enjoy doing it, there’s no real reason to change your own oil. You don’t save a lot of money and an expert will always do a better job than you will.

Saving money is always a good thing. Wanting you repair your own car is perfectly natural. However, if you don’t want to have to keep repairing your car, it’s important to know your limits. Sometimes, professional help is the best way to go.

Categories
Home

5 Festive Holiday Craft Ideas That Will Wow Your Friends

Making your own festive holiday crafts is rewarding and fun. It all starts with a creative idea and a colorful imagination. If you need a little help, here are five festive craft ideas that are sure to wow your friends.

1. Flocked Snowflake Wreath

This snowflake wreath is made from five winter greenery branch picks. Spray paint the tips of each branch with faux snow. Arrange the branches in a snowflake shape by putting two branches on each side, and one on the top and bottom. Attach the branches from the back with florist wire. Glue pine cones to the center and edges of your snowflake with a glue gun.

Hang this charming snowflake wreath on your front door or in the entryway of your home to impress your guests. Enhance your snowflake wreath by spraying it with an evergreen potpourri scent.

2. Monogrammed Holiday Wreath

Personalized décor is always popular. Make a lovely monogrammed holiday wreath for your home. Glue red berries on the front and sides of a large paper mache letter that represents either your last or first name. Glue a variety of round ornaments throughout the front of your letter.

Creatively display this letter wreath by hanging it on the front of a large mirror. You could also make small versions of this letter wreath, and use them as ornaments for decorating your tree or garlands.

3. Holiday Chalkboard Sign

Paint a decorative piece of wood with blackboard paint. Stencil or write a holiday saying on the center of it. Glue holiday ribbon around the edges of the sign for added beauty.

This sign would look stunning leaning against a fireplace mantel wall with a decorative garland placed in front of it. You could also use this sign to write your holiday menu on it. Hang your menu sign in the dining room where your dinner guests can see it.

4. Glitter Branch Centerpiece

Gather a few branches from outside. In a well ventilated room, spray your first branch with a glue spray. Sprinkle tiny crystal beads and glitter over the branch until it’s completely covered. Lay it on a newspaper to dry. Repeat this step for the remaining branches.

There are so many ways you can use these beautiful branches. Display your magical branches in a fancy vase with a metallic ribbon tied around the center of it. This holiday centerpiece will be the standout décor piece in any room it’s displayed in.

5. Mason Jar Luminary

Put either a string of battery-operated lights or a flameless candle inside a mason jar. If you use a string of lights, make sure the switch is accessible so you can turn them on and off at your convenience. Decorate the inside of your jar with frosted pine cones and greenery picks. Tie a piece of raffia around the rim of the jar.

Display a group of these festive luminaries together on a shelf, table or window sill for a stunning holiday display. These luminaires would also look lovely displayed on a covered porch.

Whether you give these festive crafts as gifts or you display them throughout your home, you can proudly take credit for creating these stunning homemade pieces.

Categories
Home

Get Ready to Transform Your Old Dresser into a Classy Vanity

You’ve just finished pricing new bathroom vanities, and you’re still reeling from sticker shock. And then you look at your somewhat timeworn dresser and think, “Could I make that into a vanity?” Yes, it’s just crazy enough to work!

In fact, you can create a unique diy vanity that will fit your bathroom decor perfectly. If you don’t already have an old dresser, you can find one in a thrift store or on the internet.

You can make the vanity look pretty much any way you want. You can install double sinks. You can add a marble, granite, glass or any other top that you like. You can paint or stain the dresser and replace the knobs. You can add towel bars to the vanity and place a backsplash behind it. You can pick out fixtures that go with the look of your bathroom.
Photo Credit

Photo Credit

You might find a dresser that you’d like to use, because it’s just the right size. But it has a modern look and your home decor is more traditional. You can distress the dresser, which is easy and doesn’t require nasty chemicals. You’ll need two colors of paint. Paint the dresser with one color and let it dry completely. Then paint the dresser with the other color and, when it’s nearly dry, go over it with a damp cloth. It’ll look nicely old and worn. Finish it off with some antique-looking brass handles and fixtures.

On the other hand, if you want that clean, modern look, you can paint your dresser all white; glossy paint is especially good for this. Add straight metal handles and legs, and streamlined fixtures. Install a white marble top and maybe even a vessel sink.

Another advantage of the dresser-turned-vanity is that it can have a lot of drawer space, even though the sink is in the top drawer. A large traditional dresser will still give you more storage space than a modern vanity.

When you’re shopping for a dresser, look for one that’s about 36″ tall, which is a comfortable height for most people. If you need to, you can add legs or replace the legs that are on it.

Here are some tips for installing your vanity:

Place the sink on the vanity where you want it to be. Push it against the backsplash and draw its outline on the vanity. Cut the hole for the sink 1/2″ inside the line. If you’re installing a top, have the retailer cut the sink hole in it.
Measure the height of the plumbing in the wall, then mark the same measurement on the back of the vanity. Cut out the holes.
Install the fixtures in the sink.
Remove the top drawer. Put caulk around the sink hole and install the sink. Then hook up the drain and water lines.
Remove the front piece of the top drawer, and re-install it on the vanity to hide the sink.

If pipes confuse you and your strong suit is decorating, you can have a plumber do the installation, though. Whether you’re adding it to your existing bathroom or it’s part of a complete renovation, your diy dresser vanity is still creative and totally awesome!

Categories
Biz

Here’s How To Brew Your Own Beer – A Beginner’s Guide

The number of home brewers is growing across America. Brewing homemade beer is also cheap and more satisfying than paying for another drink. Besides, creating beer is a talent, and everybody is happier when they are chugging down their own beer. These are the steps that people can follow to make homemade brew.
Prepare

A home brewer’s first mission is to choose a day when they have plenty of time. They’ll have less fun making beer if they have time pressure. Start with a neat and tidy kitchen, and have all the equipment and ingredients prepared. Always remember to take plenty of time because making beer is fun.
Steep
the
Grains

Put the grains into a grain bag and placed them in a large stock container in 10 liters of hot water for about 30 minutes. Remove the grains and let the water drip out of the container. Do not squeeze it because extract tannins may give the beer an astringent flavor.
Place
the
Malt
Extract
and
Let
Everything
Boil

The hops are usually combined at different intervals to add bitterness, aroma and flavor. Times will be specified on the instruction brochure for a particular kind of beer. After the liquid is boiled, it must be cooled as quickly as possible by putting the whole container in a sink or bath tub full of ice water.
Put
the
Cooled
Liquid
into
the
Fermenter

Splashing is encouraged before fermentation starts and the wort has cooled. Splashing the wort provides oxygen that the yeast needs as it is poured into the fermenter. After fermentation has begun, exposure to the air must be minimized to prevent unintended aromas and flavors. Use a large strainer to get the hops out. At the same time, add water to make 20 gallons in order to add the yeast. The lid must be placed back on the fermenter after adding the yeast. Place the fermenter in a dark place that has a consistent room temperature in order to ferment properly. After 24 hours, brewers will notice the container bubbling away. This shows that the fermenting process is done properly.
Bottling

After one week or so, airlock activity will slow. That means the beer is ready for bottling. Dried malt extract or priming sugar comes with the home brewing kit. This is mixed to provide carbonation once the beer is inside the bottle. Use a little water to cool the sugar. Then, add it to the fermented beer in a clean and empty sanitized bucket.

Here’s How To Brew Your Own Beer – A Beginner’s Guide

The number of home brewers is growing across America. Brewing homemade beer is also cheap and more satisfying than paying for another drink. Besides, creating beer is a talent, and everybody is happier when they are chugging down their own beer. These are the steps that people can follow to make homemade brew.
Prepare

A home brewer’s first mission is to choose a day when they have plenty of time. They’ll have less fun making beer if they have time pressure. Start with a neat and tidy kitchen, and have all the equipment and ingredients prepared. Always remember to take plenty of time because making beer is fun.
Steep
the
Grains

Put the grains into a grain bag and placed them in a large stock container in 10 liters of hot water for about 30 minutes. Remove the grains and let the water drip out of the container. Do not squeeze it because extract tannins may give the beer an astringent flavor.
Place
the
Malt
Extract
and
Let
Everything
Boil

The hops are usually combined at different intervals to add bitterness, aroma and flavor. Times will be specified on the instruction brochure for a particular kind of beer. After the liquid is boiled, it must be cooled as quickly as possible by putting the whole container in a sink or bath tub full of ice water.
Put
the
Cooled
Liquid
into
the
Fermenter

Splashing is encouraged before fermentation starts and the wort has cooled. Splashing the wort provides oxygen that the yeast needs as it is poured into the fermenter. After fermentation has begun, exposure to the air must be minimized to prevent unintended aromas and flavors. Use a large strainer to get the hops out. At the same time, add water to make 20 gallons in order to add the yeast. The lid must be placed back on the fermenter after adding the yeast. Place the fermenter in a dark place that has a consistent room temperature in order to ferment properly. After 24 hours, brewers will notice the container bubbling away. This shows that the fermenting process is done properly.
Bottling

After one week or so, airlock activity will slow. That means the beer is ready for bottling. Dried malt extract or priming sugar comes with the home brewing kit. This is mixed to provide carbonation once the beer is inside the bottle. Use a little water to cool the sugar. Then, add it to the fermented beer in a clean and empty sanitized bucket.

beerforall

Use the sanitized plastic tubing found in the bucket as a siphon. This will enable the brewer to transfer the beer with little or no aeration. After that, attach the sanitized bottle filler to the clean plastic tubing. The bottom part of the spigot should attach to the end of the tubing. It is vital to let the beer settle after mixing it with the priming sugar solution. Fill each bottle until it just starts to overflow. After that, remove the bottle filler. Removing this will provide a perfect space at the upper part of the bottle. A handy bottle capper should be used to cap the bottle. Repeat until every bottle is full. Age the brew for a week or two at room temperature and refrigerate. When ready, open a bottle and pour it slowly and carefully into a glass. Leave a quarter inch because the sediments tastes a bit yeasty.

Making homemade beer is fun. It is also a great way for people to spend their free time. Additionally, it could be an extra source of income if they are good at it. Bottoms up!

Categories
Hobbies

How To Make A Pallet Coffee Table In 4 Easy Steps

Coffee tables that are made of shipping pallets are one of today’s hottest furniture trends. Better yet, coffee tables made from pallets are not only easy to make but they offer endless possibilities for design variations. This article will serve as your primer to creating a coffee table from pallets that you and your friends will enjoy and get many years of practical use from.

1. Get two or more shipping pallets.

Shipping pallets are easy to find. They can be purchased new from makers or can often be picked up for free from contractors and others who receive materials on them. The trick is to get the ones you want to use that have as little serious damage to them as possible. To make it even trickier, choosing pallets that are not in pristine condition often serves to add character to your finished product. Try to avoid those pallets that have pieces of the wood that are look and have jagged edges. Imperfections such as knotholes or nail holes, for example, can serve to make the look of your table more interesting.

Most people use a maximum of two pallets for their tables, but more can be added, depending on the height desire for your table. Before deciding on more than two pallets, you should also consider the additional height that will be taken by wheels, the glass top, and other factors.

2. Sanding.

Just as is the case above, the trick with sanding is to determine when to stop. Otherwise, you will sand a lot of the character off of your pallets. Your sanding should be aimed at eliminating rough spots that might cause injury to yourself or others, not necessarily to take off all of the roughness. You may choose to use a power sander or hand sand. Further, such things as holes should be considered since they can add character to your finished table. Many decorators also refuse to cover the imprints or brands of the pallet’s maker.

3. Fill.

Using a good wood filler can add a lot of attractiveness to your pallet coffee table. This step will fill a lot of the dings and other imperfections in the surface of your table and make it safer to use. After the filler dries, go over it again with a sander to even out the rough surfaces. After the sanding is complete, stack the pallets on top of each other in such a way that it is attractive and fits in the area you want to use. You can use metal joints to hold the pallets together.
4.
Finishing
touches.

At this step you will want to paint the surfaces of the table, add wheels to each corner, then add a glass top.

The instructions give above are kept very general for a purpose. That’s because a pallet coffee table offers a lot of opportunities for making it as individual as you are. For example, the pallets can be fitted together top to bottom in order to maximize the space in between for stacking magazines, decorative nicknacks, and other materials. Decorative additions such as flowers can also be painted on the surface of your table.

Categories
Home

Bathroom Fixtures Guide

The most daunting task when remodeling a bathroom is deciding on new fixtures. Unless you are a serial remodeler, when it comes to toilets, sinks, showers, and tubs most people don’t know where to start. How do you decide which brand and type is the best? The truth is not all name brands are the best buy nor is the most expensive option the best choice. Sometimes it can be difficult to decide which bathroom accessories and fixtures are with the splurge. To help put your purchase into perspective here is a quick guideline for bathroom fixtures.

Sinks

Bathroom sinks come in a range of possibilities, from simple bowls to complete ensembles with integrated cabinet and countertops. Sinks are made primarily out of china and enameled in cast-iron. These sink materials can last over 50 years and come in an array of colors. Sinks can also be made from enameled steel, tempered glass, stone, wood, and acrylic. Prices can run from $100 to well over $5,000 and come in a variety of styles including pedestal, console, and wall-hung styles.

Toilets

The size and layout of your bathroom is a big factor in the type of toilet you choose. They can range from $100 for a basic commode to more than $7,000 for a lavish toilet with all the extras and amenities and come in a variety of colors. The traditional toilet is a two-piece, meaning they have spate tanks and bowls. These are most preferable to someone who is doing a remodel on their own because of the ease of installation. One piece toilets eliminate the seam between the tank and the bowl which can break down and fail over time. If you have limited space in your bathroom, you may want to consider a tankless round front toilet. It uses water directly from the supply line but requires electricity to work. You may also want to consider a wall mount toilet for tight quarters.

Bathtubs

If you are looking to get clean in a hurry, a shower is the way to go but a bathtub can provide a relaxing alternative. There are a ton of tub types in addition to extras and features. Tub and shower combinations are the most common types of tubs. They are designed to maximize space and are typically accompanied by a wall mounted shower. Drop in tubs are only the tub shell and are fitted inside a framed enclosure which are usually finished to match the rest of the bathroom. With undermounts, tile covers the lip of the tub because they are floor level installs. Freestanding tubs feature a sculpted bathing bowl on a solid base or cradle. Another type of freestanding tub is a clawfoot. The signature legs support tubs that are deep and are reminiscent of old Elizabethan era bathing.

When you are remodeling a bathroom, choose a style that fits your budget and space but still allows you to move freely.