Bruce Case, president of Case Design/Remodeling in Bethesda, Md., joined Jura Koncius on a recent Home Front online chat. Here is an edited excerpt.
Q: What are the top bathroom trends this year?
A: Current trends include larger showers instead of tubs, additional shower fixtures, larger-format tiles, extra accent lighting and wall-hung vanities. Think about installing traditional material in a nontraditional way – for example, carrara marble tile in a chevron pattern.
Q: Other than real or laminate wood, what is popular for kitchen flooring? I just don’t like the look of wood, plus I have it everywhere else in my house already.
A: Wood is most popular, but we are also seeing a lot of tile and cork. Tile planks have gained popularity as well.
Q: Have you remodeled your own home, and if so, what are some of the biggest takeaways?
A: Yes, I have recently remodeled my kitchen and several bathrooms. My biggest recommendation is to work with a company that has an established, proven process. You’re inviting this company into your lives and your home, and you want to trust that they’ll take care of it like it’s their own.
Q: I plan to update a 1980 three-story brick townhouse with hardwood flooring, including the kitchen (currently tile) and bedrooms. I also plan to replace the rough black slate in the entrance and hallway with hardwood. Do you agree going with all hardwood?
A: Generally, using one material throughout a space makes it feel larger and the design more cohesive.
Q: I love the look of porcelain tiles, especially those that look like wood. What do you think about porcelain? Can it go anywhere in the house or should it stay in the kitchen or bath?
A: Porcelain wood planks are very popular. They’re a good choice for any room in your house, but you may want to consider installing a heated floor to add comfort.
Q: I want to remodel my kitchen but don’t want to be too trendy. What advice can you give on kitchen finishes?
A: Painted cabinets are timeless, as is a white/gray palette. Using traditional material in a modern pattern could also apply to your backsplash. Plumbing fixtures and hardware are easily changed, so these are great places to let your personality shine through in your kitchen design.
Q: Can you recommend flooring for a small shower floor?
A: I recommend using porcelain tile. They come in a wide range of patterns, sizes and textures. Be sure your contractor installs a waterproofing membrane under the floor tile and extends it up the wall several inches to prevent leaks.