As seen in the Star Advertiser, June 2017:
(First published in the Star Advertiser on May 14, 2017)
Worldwide product development is revolutionizing bathroom remodeling.
HPS Construction Services Ltd makes it job one to keep pace with this amazing engineering evolution and advancement.
Showers used to have plain old, non-water resistant drywall behind the tile. Then water resistant “green or blue board” came in, followed by cement fiber type tile backer. These are water resistant but not waterproof.
Now there is even better: HPS Construction uses the new three-layer, pre-sloped composites of two, thin layers of cement board with watertight dense foam in between. This enables HPS to use current drain locations with only minimal adjustment, no matter if converting to a walk-in shower from a tub, or upgrading from an old shower. This advancement also allows HPS Construction to install built in soap and shampoo niches, as well as triangular corner benches for foot washing, or full-width, across-the-shower-floor, sit down benches.
To add to that major evolutionary improvement, today’s tile comes in many sizes, shapes, colors and special purpose use.
For shower floors, porcelain tile comes on mesh — often called netted tile. The mesh allows the floor to have a better coefficient of traction (for safety), and it installs with zero hassle along the slope lines.
But here’s what’s really new: never-stain, urethane-epoxy type grouts. It hardens like the tile itself with the molecules filling the pores of the grout, making it hard and water and dirt resistant.
Bathroom Remodel Panels: Corian vs. Granite vs. Quartzite
For example instead of costly, major branded Corian, and Silestone, there now are available generic shower panels. They are full height, one for each end, and two for the long wall. They have hidden, miter type, special joints we prepare at our granite and quartzite panel shop. Colors are limited, but being added for these shower panels, and they are cost effective.
Gerry Peters is HPS President/General Manager
As you can see in the accompanying picture, we are good at building a walk in shower (roll-in actually). We created this walk in shower for a multi-generation ohana. Grandpa can now easily roll his wheelchair into a shower area which has been set up for the water to all flow back to the original drain.
Benefits of a Walk in Shower
Tub to shower conversions not only help for safety (not slipping on the inward angles of tubs), but effectively add what seems like a 35-45% increase in space and aesthetic comfort. For an upgrade, we run tile all the way to the ceiling, if not already there, and extend the walls to be outside the tubs and showers to help prevent drywall water damage in the long run.
Walk in Shower Cost
We have done several hundred of these cost effective, high quality tub to shower conversions, removing old bathtubs and building a walk in shower. They range in cost from $4500 to $7500, plus we get you special prices on new vanities, counter tops, sinks, faucets, regular and tri-view medicine chest/mirror combinations, modern matching finish over the mirror light fixtures, flooring, and a choice of 20 different new generation toilet packages.
Walk in Shower Design
This is a hall bath in one of the typical “plantation” type single wall houses. We also modified the door to get it out of the way and allow grandpa to also be able to access the vanity basin and the toilet in his wheelchair. This was rather easy to accomplish because we simply removed the closet in the hallways and extended the shower base with a slight drain angle.
The curb type showers shown in the other pictures in our blogs and in our kitchen and bath slide show, have a removable curb for later in life need to remove, but a only four to six inches tall so are easy to step over.
Plus we firmly install and secure necessary safety grab bars, install current building code mandated anti-scald shower valves with single handles placed at the desired height to suit all users. We also install multi option “rain” shower type shower heads and install 6 foot handheld brush nickel or chrome braided shower head extensions.
We also offer triangular and full width built in shower benches, and built in soap and shampoo niches at precise desired heights which also create a wider functional showering area.
Finally, we help you choose a shower door or the new generation double curved shower curtain permanently affixed brush nickel, brass, or chrome rods. These are amazing in how much additional elbow room you get, plus how fast they dry without spotting a plastic or glass door, nor leaving you with a mold direct soap scum build up at the bottom track for the lower end shower doors. Another benefit besides roominess and cleanliness, is that the outer curved curtain rod enables you to hang towels, essentially tripling your amount of towel drying space. This helps dry the towels quickly, prevents that moldy smell, save laundry and dryer time and electric cost and actually look like a new decorative upgrade.
These options are a whole lot better than falling for the seeming simplicity of cutting an opening in your tub. Why spend $3500 on that when you get no benefits mentioned herein–it’s still a closed in, slippery, accident prone set-up and your tub is still your old tub. We would rather install one of the new Big Box available Sterling brand, high end, Vikrell (space age composite) shower kits for only a little more than the dubious cut a door into the tub approach. We can help you design and build for you a walk in shower.
Vinyl Laminate also called Luxury Vinyl Planks and Luxury Vinyl Tile
This new product was our radio show’s new product of the year in 2014, and it is gaining huge momentum. Dozens of choices which beat wood laminate in a number of ways while still being great looking, and virtually indistinguishable at a glance from wood laminate or engineered wood planks.
Vinyl plan flooring is the perfect product for homes with pets and keiki, grandkids, and, yes, to help warm up cold floors. It is rugged and is similarly built to wood laminate with hard back layers, but has a forgiving top layer.
It features easy maintenance, easy clean up of spills, and is extremely durable. It is waterproof so the floor will not well or warp from moisture related accidents. It is extremely pet friendly — in fact the ideal floor for pet lovers. It is termite resistant, and also features tongue and groove so that individual planks can be rep laced if serious damage has occurred, i.e. from renters.
Be sure to check out American Carpet One and its wholesale division Pro Source and tell them that HPS Construction referred you, especially in order to get an appointment at the contractors and clients only Pro Source. American Carpet One is located on Sand Island Road Honolulu 96819, and Pro Source is top floor of Bougainville Carpet Outlet, on Bouganville Rd down from Target in Honolulu 96818.
Kailua Bathroom Remodel Job Summary
When we got this letter (see below) last week from a Kailua bathroom remodel, along with some cell phone pictures of the project, we thought it would be interesting to show you and briefly describe the typical bathroom upgrades we do around 60-70 times per year. We have worked for over a major part of our 23 years to earn our position, as Hawaii’s cost effective, high quality tub to shower and shower/tub, shower/vanity and vanity tops/flooring, medicine chest-mirrors, and fixtures and finish upgrade, remodel leaders.
The major goal for Kailua residents Jaimie and Mike was the master shower. For some reason, the original builder from the 70’s shortened the shower (looking at it right to left) by about a foot and instead framed in a so called wet-wall floor to ceiling box, which then had the original old style tile over it.
We were able to remove this wasteful box and expand the shower by nearly a foot, plus slight widen it from the step in curb to the long wall. We built in a custom two shelf soap and shampoo niche, and used the waterproof (Note: Waterproof not just water resistant) Wedi shower pan and walls 3 thin layer backing system. Most contractors try to save $500 by using old methods (like drywall or partial cementitious panels. However, these are only water resistant, cause a huge mess of dust around the other areas of the house during installation, and do not have a manufacturer guaranteed proper drainage slope assurance and 15 year waterproof warranty.
Please don’t let contractors, especially slick talkers– licensed or unlicensed–tell you this 2016 shower base system isn’t needed–that the old methods are good enough….so that they can bait and switch–low ball you and then add one thing after thing. And may we also warn you to beware of those who say, “Oh, we’re licensed”, and then show you a State of Hawaii G.E.Tax (excise tax) license, which is NOT a contractor’s license. If you get burned, especially in a high rise or townhouse 2 or 3 story where a leak affects neighbors all the way down, your insurance company WILL NOT pay your claim if you hired any of these people.
We also upgraded the shower wall tile to the new generation, 300 degree baked porcelain large wall tiles (just like in luxury resorts), with small grout lines to be barely noticeable, with color coordinated netted floor tiles (netted so that they can properly follow the drain slopes with no uneven site made cuts or sharp edges).
We upgraded the six foot wide vanity, vanity top (using the new generation of affordable pre manufactured Quartzite), upgraded the large, six foot by four foot mirror (the old one was pitted from oxidization and age), new matching shower fixtures, towel bars, and toilet paper holder, and low flow comfort height toilet, plus new under mount sinks and faucets.
For the hall bathroom, we left the tub, but replaced the shower walls, plus a new vanity and counter top, under mount sink, new faucet, mirror, medicine chest, light fixture.
Like all HPS upgrade kitchen and bath projects, we provided the family with open book wholesale direct to the clients, large discounted prices for all components, and, of course helped the family shop at the tile warehouses, cabinet vendors, and even Lowe’s for all the special fixtures. And, we transported all the materials to their Kailua house, as we do for all.
Guess how much this project cost: $30,000? No $25,000? No……..Under $20,000 for both!
Get bids, compare that they are apples to apples for product and finish quality, and look at ratings like Better Business Bureau, Yelp, complaint history, licensing check, insurance check, etc. It pays, not costs!
HPS Pres/Gen Mgr
Letter from client:
Our bathrooms look amazing! Thank you so much Lenny…you assured me that everything will be done by end of the month! I will text you some pics! But yes, please stop by when you can. We leave for our trip in 4 weeks. ..leaving on May 26 & returning on June 9th. But w/ bath remodeling complete, we can now get ready for my son & gf who are coming to visit. They will be amazed at the beautiful transformation of the bathrooms.
You are very lucky Gerry to have such an incredible staff…super hard working & so very nice…each & every one of them.
Jaimie and Mike Y. Enchanted Lakes Kailua Oahu May 2015
Pictures from Master Bathroom:
Pictures of hallway bathroom: