Monthly Archives: November 2014

The Classic Bathroom

Wauwatosa Classic Bathroom RemodelIt’s time to take the principles of “classic style,” a topic we’ve covered in the past, and apply them to the bathroom.  How can you create a bathroom that stands the test of time and offers flexibility to tie in with changing trends?  Simplicity and quality products are the key.  Bartelt shares tips and examples to create a classic look.

Marble Basketweave TileThe Floor

For a clean and elegant look, basketweave, hexagon, or herringbone tile patterns are timeless, adding texture to the floor.  Keep it simple with black and white or all white with a contrasting grout.  Choose a creative mosaic pattern.  Select a classic Carrara or Calacatta marble or maybe a travertine.  There are many opportunities to showcase your style through these time-honored options.

The WallsWainscoting

Simple drywall will never go out of style, but if you’re looking to add some character to your space without getting too trendy or ornate, there are many options.  Subway tile, beadboard, and wainscoting are just a few examples of architectural details that add interest, but don’t overpower the room.

Fox Point Classic Bathroom RemodelThe Vanity

Many homeowners either opt for a furniture-style vanity or no vanity at all.  First, let’s examine what we mean by “furniture-style.”  These vanities often look like freestanding pieces of furniture, featuring details such as legs, feet, varying heights and depths, inset drawers and doors, and base molding with a recessed toe kick.  They can be a new, custom piece or a reclaimed piece of furniture.  Another classic look is a pedestal sink or wall-hung lavatory.  Above the vanity, recessed medicine cabinets can be a nod to a bygone era as well as wall-mounted faucets.

The FinishesPolished Nickel

To create a classic look, use historic finishes.  Polished nickel, chrome, and oil-rubbed bronze are often popular choices for plumbing fixtures and knobs.  Marble, travertine, white painted woodwork, and dark wood tones are also examples of finishes that stand the test of time.

Freestanding TubThe Shower and Tub

There are many options to create a timeless, yet modern shower – frameless shower doors, subway tile, marble, a bench, built-in niches, and a series of hand sprays and shower heads are just a few selections.  The bathtub is another opportunity to insert a classic flair.  Freestanding tubs, especially claw-foot tubs, remain the hallmark of a classic bathroom.  They add an air of luxury and are available in many shapes and sizes to suit your style.  Add water supplies and tub controls on risers that come off the floor for a complete classic look!

The LightingVintage Light Fixture

For your light fixtures, consider restoring an antique chandelier and sconces or choosing lights that mimic the style of a vintage fixture.

Guest Post: What’s Behind Your Walls?

Drexel Building Supply talks lumber.

When you remodel or build, what’s behind the wall is really important. But often it is rarely discussed in the building process or if it is, it is all based on price.  “Find me some cheap lumber to build this!”  How horribly wrong that is!

The framing lumber used to construct your walls is an industry unto itself. Lumber gDrexel Lumber Yardrades vary, and wood can vary greatly even within the grade.  You have to find a true lumber guru (like the team at Drexel) to find good wood.  It’s a bit like wine.  Not all red wine is created equal.  You can get it really cheap or really good, sometimes both, but not usually.  This applies to lumber.

Why do you need good wood?

The straighter the lumber, the easier it is for the carpenters to work with. Wood with no knots or cracks is also easier to use and offers more strength for your structure.  Wasted time and wasted product are expensive things on jobsites.

TheDrexel Lumber Yard Bartelt team takes “good wood” a step further with TimberStrand® Laminated Strand Lumber (LSL), an innovative and versatile building product that is straight, free of knots, and resists twisting, shrinking, and bowing after installation.  Learn more here.  Bartelt uses TimberStrand® LSL on long and tall walls and also behind walls with ample cabinetry and fine millwork to ensure they are straight, plumb, and true.

How does it get to your home?Drexel Lumbe Yard

Good wood comes across on railroad cars, normally from Canada or even here in Wisconsin. The lumber grows slower, due to a shorter growing season, which means it will be stronger with less knots and warping. It is stored at Drexel under cover until it is needed for a project. Then a team of pulling experts deciphers the plans and pulls the material in a way that is easy for the builders to use. Sorting through hundreds or thousands of boards for the best product can be costly, so Drexel does this for contractors at our yard.

We use a moffett or boom truck to move the material (not “dump”) to the project site, so it stays organized until it is used at its final destination: your home.

About the Author:

Joel Fleischman has a self diagnosed case of Adult Attention Deficit Disorder and has used that to fuel his life and made this negative trait into a positive lifestyle. He is also the president and solution provider for Drexel Building Supply. You can follow him on twitter @JoelmFleischman or e-mail him at [email protected]. Joel does have an English degree from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, but you would never know based on his blogs. Also, he went to Panama City on Spring break three consecutive years in the early 1990s.  Learn more at