Would like your input and ideas for a complete make-over of a 4 unit apartment building. Question 1:
June 2, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I am remodeling a 4 unit, 2 story building on Tampa Bay in FL. Block construction on slab. The building and interior dates back to around 1960. I am gutting the interiors of these 1100 sqft. 2 bed/1.5 bath apartments. The building is located in a highly desirable neighborhood. Eventually, the building will have a new roof, all new doors and windows, new baths, new kitchens, new almost everything.
I am spending some serious money on this remodeling project because I want people to want to live there. I want the space to be bright and modern and incorporate current technology. For instance, LED lighting. Nest programmable, WiFi, Internet enabled thermostats for the A/C, On-Demand hot water heaters, etc.
So, here comes my first question.
The bath rooms.
I am adding space to the half bath to accommodate a shower. So these will eventually be 2 bed/2 bath units. The addition of the shower will not reduce the square footage of either the bed or living rooms.
What kind of finishes would you want if this were to be your new bath room? Each bath has a window.
In-floor heat?
Pebble stone/river stone floors in the shower?
2 shower heads?
Light colored tiles on the walls and floors?
Dark color tiles on the walls and floors?
Glass block walls?
Mosaic glass tiles?
Glass shower door?
No shower door?
Walk-in no curb shower?
Wall-hung vanity?
Both baths will have showers. I do not believe in bath tubs.
Given the total square footage of these units, the baths will be compact.
What are your thoughts?
Your comments and ideas will be highly appreciated!
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
If I was remodeling a building in Florida, where there are already a high number of residents over age 50 and the population continuing to age, I would use Universal Design for EVERYTHING!

Walk-in, no curb shower. No shower door. Pretty grab bars that are ADA compliant.

Here are some places to look for more ideas and information.
Please take from this whatever is helpful. Best wishes.

1.) Go to Houzz Ideabooks and enter "Universal Design" in the search box.
2.) Go to Houzz.com/Handicap-accessible
3.) Go to Houzz Design Dilemma and enter "handicapped" in the search box.

Universal Design
1.) www.universaldesignstyle.com
2.) www.schaefferconstruction.com specializes in Universal Design

Handicap Access
1.) The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) site has specific measurements for wheelchair turning radius, angle of ramps, handrails, everything.
2.) ADA Ramps: ADA Code 4.8

1.) Consult with a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist. You can find one through the nahb.org website.
2.) Go to Houzz Professionals and contact Brickwood Builders. They are Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists. (For you other Houzz Professionals who are CAPS, please add your name to this list!)
June 4, 2013 at 11:12am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
The standard must haves are ceramic floors in baths; granite counters everywhere; nickel knobs/faucets/handles; stainless appliances and wood floors--not WTW carpeting.

Heated floors would be a waste of $$$$ IMO--especially in Florida.

Be sure to get framed mirrors for the bathrooms--not the builder's flat, on the wall type.

Recessed can lights in the hallway look awesome .. they are inexpensive and go with anyone's decor.

Keep things neutral (grays/taupes/tans) ... tenants can add their own colors with accessories.

Tiled shower walls for sure ... lots of storage ....
June 4, 2013 at 11:24am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Thanks for the responses, so far!
I am aware of ADA and will try to incorporate this as much as possible. There are limitations to his in a 50 years old structure. But, very little bit will help.
As for the comment about heated floors, that is kind of funny to me. I am from he Northeast and have enjoyed hydronic, heated floors for many years.
When I remodeled my first condo in FL many years ago and specified heated floors, I was told that I am nuts. "this is FL" what do you need that for?!
Strangely enough, every visitor during Dec/Jan/Feb, who got to experience it, also loved it.
Now, think about toasty, nice and warm floors in the bathroom in the morning!
Anyway, this is one of the things I do personally like and want.
Looking forward to more comments and your suggestions!
Thank you!
June 4, 2013 at 5:14pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
If the apartment building is two stories tall, consider an elevator.
June 4, 2013 at 5:29pm   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
These are really just personal preferences but: frameless glass shower doors, large shower head with hand shower, counter space (in a smaller bathroom I would choose over double sinks), polished nickel or chrome fixtures, good makeup lighting, if space separate toilet area
Don't love busy glass mosaic accent strips, prefer neutral classic marble or large format contemporary tiles
June 4, 2013 at 6:03pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
I have a bathroom door with a full length mirror built in to it. I love it.
June 4, 2013 at 10:58pm   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
It depends what is the mood you are trying to create. All luxury baths have some elements of "noble" materials - marble, pebble rock etc, some arresting feature like a freestanding bath or shower direct from the ceiling; a funky faucet or feature.
I do agree about heated floors and I now always insist on the bidet toilets (Starck Sensowash) because it has a heated seat!
Tub alcove
Kenilworth Private Residence 2
In Town Project
Powder Room
June 4, 2013 at 11:05pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Antoinette, I appreciate your response to my comment about heated floors. Guter Ratschlag! Merci! Then again, you work in Switzerland, where heated floors are quite common.
June 5, 2013 at 10:55am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
That is quite true, and I do admit to loving heated floors so much so that when I lived in Florida I really missed them!
June 5, 2013 at 11:01am   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
I installed 1350 square feet of in-floor heat in my last place in FL. Used it a lot during the winter months to take the chill out of the tiled floor. Love it most of all in the bathroom. When you step out of the shower onto a warm floor - priceless! In-floor heat is considered a luxury in the USA and most people have never experienced it.
June 5, 2013 at 11:10am     
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Furniture, white it mocha?
I have a nursery that I couldn't finish because surprise,...
POLL: Tiny Houses - Yes or No?
Do you see tiny houses and long to pitch your belongings...
Backyard Ideas
Hi I recently pulled out bushes that our builder had...
Need kitchen cabinet help for a tiny kitchen
I am purchasing a small cottage with a tiny kitchen....
© 2014 Houzz Inc.
Houzz® The new way to design your home™