Tuesday, May 18, 2010

New product!

I apologize, I know it has been awhile since I have posted. We have been busy here at Royal trying to meet the demands of our customers by getting some new products out there. One of our new products goes nicely with another product we launched just over a year ago. Our new under mount bowl looks awesome paired with any of our Royalgranite colors. The photo shown here has a Ventana Royalgranite top with the white under mount bowl, but we have 20 other colors to choose from if you aren't into the gray color.
We are also working on a new tub that I think will be a real hit. I know replacing a tub is a huge undertaking, but changing out some dated counter tops is a fairly simple weekend project that will add new life to your bathroom. You do need to know some basic plumbing skills though. Or you can pay a plumber to remove your old faucets and replace them with some newer ones. Just to give you an idea of cost, the vanity top in the photo runs about $270. Just think, for less than $300 and a little elbow grease you can make a major impact on the appearance of your bathroom. Of course, a larger master bath type vanity top will cost a bit more, but that cost will still be significantly less than a complete remodel.

Monday, April 5, 2010

So many countertop choices!

If you are remodeling a bathroom or kitchen (or if you ever have) then you know there are a million different options out there and everyone has their own opinions on which options are best. It can get confusing if you don't work in the industry and sometimes even if you do. Products are constantly evolving to meet the needs of consumers so what was best in 1985 may not necessarily be the best now. Also, what meets your needs may not meet my needs.

I decided to help you guys out and write about the differences in the available counter top products. Now, I am not here to bash one product or sell another. I am strictly listing the pros and cons of all products.

Engineered Stone:
Pros - No sealing needed, good color choices, uniform look, easily maintained
Cons - Edges may crack, expensive

Pros - Durable, not easily scratched
Cons - Needs to be sealed annually, may absorb juices/oils, not repairable, expensive

Ceramic Tile:
Pros - Lots of color choices, easy to clean, easy to install, inexpensive
Cons - Chips easily, grout stains and absorbs moisture, grout must be sealed

Solid Surface:
Pros - Many colors, no noticeable seams, repairable
Cons - Easily scratched, can be expensive

Plastic Laminate:
Pros - Inexpensive, large color selection, does not absorb liquids
Cons - Not repairable

Pros - Large color selection, repairable, low maintenance, inexpensive
Cons - Can chip or scratch

Cultured Marble:
Pros - Inexpensive, resists most stains, repairable
Cons - May change color over time

I have listed the most popular products out there and shown their good and bad sides. Now I will offer a few helpful tidbits for those of you working on your bathroom or kitchen.

1. Select a color that compliments your cabinetry, flooring, wall color, etc. but keep it neutral enough that you can easily change up the look of the room without having to replace everything if you grow tired of the color scheme.

2. Consider what the room will be used for and select a material accordingly. A guest bath that is used occasionally may not need a counter top that can take a lot of abuse however, a children's bathroom might.

3. Don't be afraid to combine colors, materials, textures, etc. Multiple colors and textures can compliment each other and create a visually pleasing space. For example, mixing decorative tiles on the wall with a solid surface counter top can create an interesting combination that will formalize any bathroom.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Abusing our Countertops

The question for today is directed at the women out there. Many women are concerned with the daily abuse that their bathroom countertops endure. Let's face it. We have a lot of equipment that we use on a regular basis to maintain our fabulous looks and there is a sizeable concern over whether the cultured marble can take a hot flat iron or whether or not hair dye will stain the countertops.

Royal Baths has two products that I will address separately. First, we have the regular cultured marble and our normal safety disclaimer. You shouldn't put hot products directly on the countertop and you shouldn't leave anything plugged in and on for an extended period of time. Now onto reality - I have left a hot flat iron on my countertop and turned on for an extended period of time... For like 10 hours... My husband was furious but fortunately the countertop was unharmed and the house did not burn down. Such an over-reaction but men do that sometimes. I have also spilt hair dye on my cultured marble countertop. I kept that one to myself. There is no sense upsetting the man of the house for no reason and the hair dye didn't harm the countertop. Besides, I noticed the droplet a day or seven later and wiped it up with no problems. Lucky for me the clear coat helps protect the cultured marble from most stains.

Now, product number two is our cultured marble with a Polystone coating giving the cultured marble a granite appearance. We call it Royalgranite. It is a very nice looking product and has many bonuses but I am not here to sell it... Although you should give us a call if you are interested in getting more information. Okay, that's it. I am done. I promise. Now, insert same safety disclaimer as above here. I have done all the same stuff to this countertop that I have done to my regular cultured marble countertop and had the same results. No harm, no foul. The Polystone coating actually makes the cultured marble more heat resisitant so I could abuse this countertop more than my previous one. Now, I know you guys are thinking that I must be a walking disaster but all this does serve a purpose. I now know what our products can take and what they can't (nail polish remover, but seriously.. What can take nail polish remover?). Fortunately for me I have yet to ruin any Royal Baths' products in my home and that should give you some insight into the durability of our products.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Care and Cleaning of Acrylic and Cultured Marble Products

The question I get most often, and probably the best one for my first post, is about cleaning and maintaining acrylic and cultured marble products. The best answer is, of course, the simplest. Plain old spray Lysol and a soft sponge or washcloth. However, for those of you that want a more detailed answer, I will list more options and techniques. Please remember, all these products are for acrylic and cultured marble products. I do not know how they will perform on glass, porcelain, tile and grout, etc.

The product I go to more often than anything is the disinfecting wipes. They are easy to use and they disinfect. If I am having company then I will probably follow up with a glass wipe for shine. Nothing makes acrylic or cultured marble bath products shine like a glass cleaner. Of course, this is for people that don’t have any water issues like too much calcium.

Those of you, like myself, that have deposits in your water that builds up in your sinks, tubs, or showers need a little more help. You have to find a product that removes the buildup before you can disinfect. I have well water that leaves a nice layer of calcium on anything it touches. To get the calcium off I use CLR. Put some on a sponge and spread the CLR over the trouble area. Let it sit for several minutes then use your sponge to wipe the calcium off. You may have to work it a little to get all the calcium off. Then rinse and clean the area.

If you have a small amount of paint or a sticky substance on the product then you can put some acetone on a soft cloth and wipe the paint or stickiness off. Then rinse and clean the area. Goo Gone also works. Please don’t pour acetone on the trouble spot and let it sit and never use paint thinner on the acrylic or cultured marble surface. I don’t know how many people have called us because paint thinner ate a hole in their tub.

Lastly, cleaning a whirlpool system is probably the easiest of all. Fill your tub with hot water to 1” above the highest jet. Add 1 cup of bleach or drop in a tablet of dishwasher detergent. Do not use the liquid dish soap like Joy, Palmolive, Dawn, etc. This will cause a mountain of bubbles and a huge mess. Only use the dishwasher detergent like Cascade, Finish, etc. Then turn on your whirlpool system and run for about 15 minutes. If it has been a long time since the whirlpool system was cleaned then feel free to drain the water, fill it back up and run it a second time with more cleaner. After you have run the cleaner through drain the tub and fill with cold, clean water to 1” above the highest jet and run for a couple of minutes. Your whirlpool system is now clean. You should do this about once a month with normal use. You can clean the system more often if you would prefer. It won’t hurt the whirlpool system.

Remember, ask questions if you have them. I will be more than happy to research something if I dont have a ready answer.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Help for our customers

Royal Baths is a manufacturing facility in Houston, Texas that provides bathroom products to anyone and everyone.

I work in the Sales/Marketing department and I deal with a lot of different people that all seem to have the same questions. How do I go about remodeling my bathroom? How do I build a bathroom that will fit my needs? What are the current trends? And so on and so forth. I started this blog to help those of you that have similar questions and dont know where to turn for answers.

I will only address questions that involve the products our company produces. We do not manufacture toilets or cabinets so you wont hear much about them. The same goes for flooring, sheetrocking, painting, etc. We do manufacture cultured marble bath tubs, whirlpool tubs, shower bases, vanity tops, sinks, shower walls, tub/shower surrounds, shower seats, tub decks, ledges and window sills. We also manufacture acrylic bath tubs, whirlpool tubs, air tubs and shower bases.

I will pick a new question every week and address it so check back often and feel free to comment with questions about your project and I will try to answer them.