The Bathroom Renovation Checklist

No matter how many DIY magazines you read, blog articles you surf, or home improvement television marathons you sit through, a bathroom renovation will sneak up on you as a costly, time consuming, overwhelming affair. Regardless of how prepared we assume we are, it’s easy to forget integral steps in the remodeling process.

But don’t let us scare you away, because a bathroom renovation can be an extremely exciting project to take on. The difference an expertly designed bathroom can make on your home’s atmosphere is astounding. The bathroom can, and should be, a hub for your creative juices, a center for serenity.

So, before you rush to the store to pick up tiles and paint, check out this helpful checklist we compiled below to assist you in your renovating decision making.

Chelsea-Room-Main1. Budget

If you haven’t already, writing out a budget is the absolute first place to start when beginning a bathroom renovation. Laying out a budget will help guide your decisions about what to include in your remodeling. Plus it gives you insight on what you need, and what you can live without.

2. Strategize

Strategizing your renovation is key to any project. By properly laying out your plan of attack, you’ll save yourself the frustration of making a horrendous mistake, resulting in a time wasting clean up. Our suggestion is to start from the top to bottom, remodel your ceilings, then walls, and finish with your floors, this way you can prevent damage to all involved components.

3. Select Your Style

Many tend to skip straight to this step before considering the previous two, but regardless, truly take a considerable amount of time deciding which personality is perfect for your bathroom. We can’t tell you how many times we’ve seen bathrooms suffer from personality disorders, a modernized designed shower head, a traditional faucet, clashing paint selections.

It just doesn’t work. Do some proper research, and select which one suits your desires best. At Speakman®, we created Shower and Bath Collections featuring cohesively designed fixtures to help with these difficult decisions. For more on some of these collections, please visit here.

The Edge Collection

The Edge Collection

3. Storage

This one step in the remodeling process can often plague even the most veteran of renovators. No bathroom is alike, each one has its own shape and layout. So, we can’t say this enough, know your measurements. Study your measurements. In fact, cuddle with your measurements at night until you start seeing everything as a blueprint. Knowing every corner, every crack, every border will allow you to make educated decisions when it comes to bathroom storage and cabinet choices.



5. Contractors

If all else fails, call a professional. They are trained to make your bathroom outrageously amazing. And we completely understand that you want the satisfaction of completing this project on your own, but when it comes to wiring, lighting, ventilation, gutting, and messing with plumbing…things can get messy. So, swallow your pride, give them a ring, and we promise your secret will be safe with us.

TiberRoom_SB-1821_WetFaucet-CloseupStarting a bathroom renovation? Be friends with us on Facebook and Twitter for daily renovation tips and tricks!


Because Some Things Are Worth Repeating

Have you noticed the surge in popularity currently circling around the decade known as the “Roarin’ 20’s?” You’d be blind not to. This decade seemingly reinvents itself in pop-culture regularly. It’s why 4.81 million people tuned in to the season premiere of HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.” Or why the latest rendition of “The Great Gatsby” drew over $300 million worldwide at the box office (although Leonardo DiCaprio may have helped).



But why? Why are we so obsessed with a period in time that occurred nearly a century ago? Maybe it’s in the swing of social change that swept through pop culture at that time. People artistically expressing themselves freely through music, art, poetry, films, dance, etc…Maybe it is in the timeless fashion that is still relived today, as even Tiffany & Co. designed an era-inspired jewelry collection. Or maybe it’s just a simple fascination with the past, and how things once were.



There really is no right answer, all of the aforementioned explanations to our love affair with the 1920’s would be an acceptable example. But to us, at Speakman®, we have a different take on this obsession.


The 1920’s saw a revolution in technological advancements. Products that were made to last, and delivered a performance that you just can’t find anymore. It’s a principle in manufacturing that has guided our practices at Speakman® ever since we constructed our very first shower head over a 100 years ago.

It’s in this obsession with 1920’s lure, and our unwavering passion to deliver unrivaled quality that strive us to design fixtures that perfectly combined the two.

The result…the Anystream® Vintage™ and Anystream® Retro™ 6-Jet shower head.


Each model features a very distinct, era-inspired design. The Anystream® Vintage™ shower head features a bold, octagonal solid-brass frame, whereas the Anystream® Retro™ shower head embodies the timeless fashion of the 20’s with smooth, elegant curves flowing throughout its brass shell.

Both models were constructed to feature the exact same technology equipped on our famed Anystream® S-2251 Icon shower head. The performance provided by these two shower heads are outer-worldly. In fact, to attempt to find a collection of words capable of giving justice to the euphoric bathing experience these shower heads possess would be an utter impossibility.

The Vintage™ shower head and Retro™ shower head are both equipped with Anystream® technology. A simple 360 degree rotation in either direction will allow bather’s to choose from 3 diverse, powerful spray patterns suited perfectly to their preference. But the true secret to the performance lies in Speakman’s patented plunger system, which produces strong, soaking currents under any water pressure.

For more information on the Anystream® Vintage™ shower head or the Anystream® Retro™ shower head, or any of our other signature brass shower heads, please visit here.

Obsessed with the 20’s like us? Tell us what you love about this era the most! Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook and let us know!

The Luxurious Side of Mother Nature

It doesn’t really matter what romantic comedy it is – cause we could probably name a dozen off-hand – where somewhere along in the movie there is a scene where the on-screen couple enthusiastically run in slow motion towards each other, romantically collide, limbs entangled and passionately lock lips as a torrential downpour crashes down upon them.

There is something incredibly romantic about being completely drenched in a rain storm. Allowing the steady streams of rain drops to absorb your body can be an incredibly intimate moment. You can picture it can’t you? Standing in the street, arms stretched open, eyes closed, water soaking every inch of your existence.

We at Speakman® have become absolutely obsessed with this experience. To create a shower head that embodies the luxurious side of Mother Nature. To create a shower head that captures the very essence of Mother Nature.

But to be blunt, we believe that even Mother Nature herself could not conjure clouds perfect enough to produce the heavy rains spilling from the Speakman® Rainstream Rain Shower.

Available in either a round or square frame, the Speakman® Modern Rainstream Rain Shower features 96 individual flood-soaking currents flowing from 12 patented Rainstream spray nozzles. A durable, solid-brass construction ensures that even the unpredictability of the weather will never interrupt your morning monsoon.

captureBut it wasn’t enough, we thought we could do better. We thought we could drive this euphoric experience to a level that has yet to be explored. To create a unit that would provide users with a complete, spa-like experience right in their very own bathroom.

But we also knew the opinions associated with these products. That they’re daunting, expensive and typically require massive bathroom renovations. We thought we could remedy this assumption.

So we tested our engineers to develop an all-in-one bathroom fixture that wouldn’t require an extensive installation, but still provide an outer-worldly bathing experience.

The result…the Speakman Rainstream Waterslide.

sws-1003-bn_waterslide-rainroundThe Rainstream Waterslide features our Modern Rainstream™ Rain Shower with our Neo™ Anystream® hand shower. The Waterslide installs into your shower’s existing water source, meaning you won’t have to completely renovate your established plumbing system. A simple flip of the diverter switch allows you to choose between which setting you prefer. The Neo™ modern hand shower, equipped with Anystream® technology, is attached to an adjustable slide bar which can be easily positioned to your desired preference.

Mother Nature…eat your heart out.

For more information on the Speakman® Rainstream™ Waterslide, and our line of Modern Rainstream™ Rain Showers, please visit here.

Ten Tips for Renovating a Bathroom from Speakman’s Product Manager

We are very excited at Speakman about our new bathroom collections!  Infact, the bathroom DIY bug is spreading fast within Speakman’s employees.

Speakman’s Product Manager, Amy Scherer, had a substantial hand in bringing the new shower and bath collections to market.   Amy has been a part of the Speakman family for almost 5 years and when she was appointed Product Manager last year, she knew exactly what Speakman customers wanted for faucets, fixtures, and new designs of our legendary hotel showerheads.  She was so happy with them that she decided to completely gut her bathroom and start fresh with new Speakman Fixtures! Take a look at her story… and learn the secrets from one who knows bathrooms best!

My husband and I bought our home in 2010; great structure, solid bones, and in its original 1968 style & décor.  Needless to say when we bought it we knew over the years we would be doing a lot of renovations.   We started with simple things landscaping and painting.  However some new flowers and fresh paint will only take you so far.

Our bathrooms were frightening; pale pink walls, crazy mirrors, tile starting to delaminate from the shower walls and a blue toilets.  After 2+ years finally had to do something about our guest bathroom.  The grout between the tiles was beginning to disintegrate and we started to worry about the potential for mold.  So it was time, now I consider myself pretty handy, but I recognize I have limitations, professionals are professionals for a reason.  Keep in mind we completely gutted this bathroom down to the studs and sub-floor.   Here are my 10 tips & lessons learned for renovating a bathroom:

  1. Have a clear plan & budget – Without these two things you will find yourself questioning your decisions and spending way more than you planned to.  Keep a little bit of extra money in your budget, I can promise you there will be things you did not account for.
  1. Be realistic about your timeline – We set out to complete our renovation in 2 weeks.  At the end of two weeks we had a functional shower & toilet, but no door on the bathroom and no faucet yet installed.  The overall renovation took just over 3 weeks.  Keep in mind that 3 weeks is aggressive for a timeline.  If you can allow yourself 4-6 weeks for a project of this scale.
  1. Purchase as much of your materials before you begin –There is nothing worse than running around trying to get everything you need for the project during the project.  There will always be some things you will need mid-project but try to have your big items already secured and ready, these items include: tile, fixtures, vanities, doors/windows, mirrors.  It makes it much easier to see it all come together and ensure everything works together if you buy things upfront.
  1. Material Selection – Not everyone can afford marble tile and high-tech toilets for their bathroom.  In our case we made sure to spend our money on things that were really important to us and shopped around for other things.  The main tile we used we purchased from a tile store, the accent tile we purchased from a big box retailer.  Had we purchased the accent tile from the tile store we would have paid $20 a square foot, the tile from the big box was $10 a square foot, and we liked the design more.  Fixtures are important as well; you want to be sure you are getting what you pay for and quality fixtures.  Speakman was the clear choice for us not just because I work there, I know the reputation for quality.  There are a multitude of manufacturers who make quality products and many who do not, more importantly you can’t look at a price tag to determine that quality level.  Go online, read reviews, ask your friends/neighbors/family – you want a beautiful fixture that will last a long time, not just look pretty for a while.
  1. Inspect all your materials ahead of time – Make sure you check out all your materials before you install, hang on to any packaging and receipts for the materials in the event you don’t need it so you can return things.  We had bought several items we ended up not using.  In total we were able to return around $100 worth of materials.
  1. Stay Calm – Demolition is my favorite part of renovations and a project that is easy for most homeowners.  With that said, you never know what you will find behind your walls or under your floors.  In our case we had sub-floor that was rotten due to water from the toilet over the years and we had a small amount of mold behind the tile in our shower.  We also found our walls were 2×3 instead of 2×4 and our air vent pretty much had not supplied AC or heat properly to that room ever.  The natural reaction to all of this?  To freak out, DON’T.  Its not productive and anything you run into can be dealt with either be you or a professional.  In the case of things like mold, you need to handle with care or call in a professional to remediate the issue.
  1. Know your Limits – As I said I am pretty handy, but there are two parts of this project that were beyond my skills; Sanding/finishing and tiling.  In a bathroom these are two very important steps and you want them to look the best they can.  So in our case, we hired professionals.  When it came to insulation, plumbing, electrical, painting & decorating, we had that covered, which helped us save money over having a contactor for everything.
  1. Hiring Contractors – Make sure you to your homework, hire the right people for the right job.  Your time, money & home is important, to protect those things make sure the people you hire know what they are doing, don’t hire a tile guy for plumbing and an electrician for finishing.  Check out contractors through the Better Business Bureau and ask your friends if they have hired someone in the past.
  1. Décor – Don’t limit yourself to what is traditionally done.  There are many amazing ideas and things you can do with rooms that you may have never thought of before.  For us it was plants in the bathroom & a heavily frosted glass door.  I love plants so adding them into the décor of the bathroom added a splash of color to the room and something that I enjoy.  We also decided on a frosted glass door instead of a traditional interior door.  You can’t see through it at all, it adds a nice design element and allows light into the hallway.
  1. Take lots and lots of picture – It’s amazing to look back when you get done the project and see all the steps involved.  I took pictures almost every day, and have really enjoyed looking at them compared to the images of the bathroom before especially when we first moved in.  They also allow you to showcase your hard work or evaluate your contractor’s performance.

The best part of the entire project is the end; the outcome will reflect your decisions, efforts and style.  Bathrooms are also one of the biggest equity boosting renovations you can do to your home (Kitchens are huge as well).  My husband and I are completely in love with our new guest bathroom, and cannot wait until we can renovate our master bath (date to be determined).

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Hotel Management Magazine Features Speakman Shower Experience

Do you subscribe to Hotel Management Magazine? Do you wonder why hotel’s choose Speakman to satisfy their guest’s shower expectations? Make sure you pick up August’s edition of Hotel Management!

Hotel Management featured an engaging article, “Under Pressure: What the Shower Experience Means to guest satisfaction.” Speakman shower heads were featured, as our patented Anystream technology guarantees high performance under any water pressure. Guests remember their shower, good or bad. But, hotels that choose Speakman know that their guests will never have a bad shower experience. And, these happy guests remember the hotel chain and expect the same showerhead any location they travel to. 

Speakman S-2251 featured in House Beautiful’s June 2012 Edition

House Beautiful June 2012

June issue of House Beautiful Magazine has featured Speakman’s Solid Brass  S-2251 showerhead! The column “Master Class” features an interview from interior designer Victoria Hagan, who throughout the article gives great designer tips. In regards to Speakman’s  showerhead, she states ” All my Clients Love the Speakman Anystream Showerhead. It’s Got Good Pressure and is Easily Adjustable.”   Thanks House Beautiful! We couldn’t agree more!




Speakman Company Unveils the Rainier™ Collection

New Castle, DE May 14, 2012 – Speakman Company is pleased to introduce the Rainier™ Collection. Rainier™ is just one of the many new collections introduced by Speakman during the February launch of their Shower and Bath line.

The Rainier™ Collection adds a unique square design to complete a bold look in the bathroom. The full bathroom collection consists of the Rainier showerhead, faucets, valve trims and bathroom accessories to present modern exclusivity in any bathroom. All of these coordinated products bring the newest design collection to the Speakman family.

The inspiration behind the Rainier Collection comes from its showerhead design which was launched in 2011. For years, Speakman showerheads have been known as “the hotel showerhead” to many hospitality brands. Speakman plans on using these full collections of products to boast their presence in the hospitality market.

To view the entire Rainier Collection as well as the full Speakman Shower & Bath products line, please visit