7 Bathroom Renovation Ideas for Smaller Bathrooms

Many homeowners have a thousand bathroom renovation ideas for the master bath, but when it comes to the half-bath on the first floor, ideas are often harder to come by. The space is typically small, with limited room in which to get creative. Because of this, homeowners often neglect the little bathroom.

A little thinking outside the box (or outside the bathroom) can shake things up. Here are seven small bathroom design ideas that will get those renovation ideas flowing.

  1. Forget Everything You Know

Many homeowners feel stuck with a small bathroom, unsure how to create a more inviting space. The trick might be to throw out the rulebook. Rather than think of the bathroom as a smaller version of what’s upstairs, homeowners should consider bold colors and wild patterns when designing. A little bit of whimsy can go a long way.

  1. Break the Budget a Little

Make the bathroom a destination for visitors by using more expensive materials, like marble tile or crystal wall sconces. Since the space is small, splurging a bit shouldn’t break the budget. At least not by much.

  1. Take Time to Design Smart Storage Spaces

One way to give a small bathroom the illusion of extra space is to use storage space strategically. Built-in shelving for bathroom necessities will keep the floor clear. A floating vanity, which attaches to the wall and forgoes feet, will give the perception of empty space.

  1. Add a Splash of Color

While a white color scheme suggests clean space, painting with bold, bright colors can create an exciting experience for guests. A green palette in a windowless room can emulate foliage, for example.

  1. Choose Luxurious Materials

If the half-bath includes a shower, consider a floor-to-ceiling glass enclosure. Not only does the glass reflect light and suggest luxury, but because it is see-through, it will make the room appear larger than it is. Equip it with an oversized showerhead and guests may line up outside.

  1. Consider the Renovation a Challenge

If the bathroom budget is small and will only allow for a few items from the kitchen and bath showroom, consider tackling some of the project on your own. Paneled wallpaper and decorative molding is an easy way to create the look of more expensive wood paneling and a chair rail.

  1. Make a New (Floor) Plan

If possible, consider rearranging fixtures to give the bathroom a new look and feel. Consult a professional bathroom designer in NJ to see how difficult it might be to move a toilet or flip a shower. Here are a few more bathroom renovation ideas that may inspire you.

Everything You Need To Know About Hydroforming

As a purchasing agent, you need understand what you can about many different types of manufacturing processes so you can make the right decision for the parts that you are going to have produced. If you are looking for a symmetrically round metal part to be made, then it helps to learn about what hydroforming is and what can be done with this type of process. There are only a few hydroforming companies in the USA because the equipment being used is highly specialized.

What Is Hydroforming?

Hydroforming is a technology for forming and creating metal parts. It allows for precision shaping of metal parts that are drawn to a depth more than 5 inches deeper than the previous formation. Most deep draw metal stamping machines do not have the capability to go deeper than 4 inches. In this hydroforming process, a pressurized fluid is used to form the metal pieces around a mold or die. The metal materials being formed often start out as a flat sheet or occasionally a tube.

Hydroforming sheet metal starts off as an approximately cut flat sheet of metal that is pushed around a die form with the pressurized water or oil to form the shape. Hydroforming is most often used when the production runs fall below 2500 pieces and not often used in longer runs. Some of the products that lend themselves best to hydroforming sheet metal are seamless vats, vessels, tanks, cooking pans and other types of metal containers. Many of the metal forming manufacturers that include deep draw metal forming in their offerings also include seam welding services, so they can bring two haves of a vessel together.Many times, hydroforming sheet metal creates seamless parts that get attached to other metal components with the aid of gaskets and fasteners.

The Process

The actual process of hydroforming starts with tooling that is made according to a CAD diagram. The tool goes into a tray with the metal placed over the form. Everything is moved into the chamber for forming. The machine fills with the water or a specially oil and begins the process of lifting, stretching and shaping the metal using a tremendous amount of force. The fluid is then extracted back into its reservoir and the chamber opens with the completed part.

Using Hydroforming

Hydroforming can be used in many applications with various types of metal. It is great for parts that have 90-degree bends or dramatic shaping requirements. It is ideal if the part needs to be lightweight, and it also costs less than typical deep draw stamping processes, which is perfect if you are looking for lower part costs on shorter production runs.

Materials can be anything from titanium, stainless steel, various carbon steel grades, aluminum to and even copper.

Your Child’s First Visit to the Dentist – What To Expect

Children should see a dentist for the first time before their first birthday. They may not even have all their baby teeth at this point, but it is vital for an experienced dentist to inspect your child’s oral health to ensure the teeth will be healthy when they do come in. There are certain things you need to anticipate in order to have a productive meeting and to ensure your child receives the best dental treatment. We feel each parent must have a good positive attitude about the dentist they choose for their child.

This Video Portrays One Parent’s View of Her Pediatric Dentist

What Can A Parent Expect?

You may be wondering what exactly happens at a child’s first dental appointment. For the most part, you dentist will most likely not do anything extensive to the teeth or gums. Instead, this visit is meant to acclimate the child to the dentist’s office and to get him or her used to all the various sights, smells and noises. During the oral examination, your new pediatric dentist will evaluate the tooth eruption progress and any structural or developmental red flags that may need closer examination.

You will sit next to your child as the dentist examines the gum tissue and any teeth that have come in so far. The dentist will also most likely clean the gum tissue. These initial examinations helps your child overcome any dental phobias and provide the reassurance your child needs to feel comfortable with oral exams.

How Can You Prepare Your Child for the Visit?

The best way to help your child feel more at ease is by appearing calmer yourself. If you personally have dental anxiety, it is very important that your child does not adopt those feelings so positive body language helps you communicate a positive message to your child. Children, even when they are only one year old, are very perceptive and will take note if you appear nervous or exhibit apprehension before their first dental visit.

You should also practice brushing your child’s teeth before the first appointment. Your child may be resistant at first, so try to make the experience fun. Play a song as you brush your child’s teeth. After brushing, play a fun game so that your child associates brushing with positive experiences.

What Should You Tell the Dentist?

This visit is also an opportunity for you to increase your own dental knowledge. The dentist will tell you if there are any areas of improvement concerning your child’s oral health. The pediatric dentist near you will ask you if your child still sucks his or her thumb and what kinds of food make up your child’s diet. Take all of these dental hygiene tips for kids to heart because it could vastly help your child down the line.

Find an experienced children’s dentist in Levittown who can help your child maintain healthy teeth and gums throughout his or her life. The first few years are critical to developing good oral hygiene habits. After your child’s first appointment, you should schedule the next one six months in the future.

5 Steps to Improve Press Brake Productivity

Let’s face it. When it comes to your metal fabrication shop needs, your main focus is on producing high quality results cost effectively. Equipment productivity is key to reducing internal costs and raising the margins of profitability on each job. If there are areas within your production process that slow down productivity, let’s identify them and find a few solutions that tend to bog down a fabrication flow. There are five steps you can follow to improve the productivity when it comes to the press brake operations.

Step 1: Organize the Workstation

Organization is important in any metal forming company with welding capabilities. If your operators must stop to find tools, this takes him or her away from focusing on operating the press brake. A cluttered workstation is also a safety hazard. There needs to be a place for everything within easy access. Operators should be trained to put tools back to specifically assigned spots so that they and others can access them anytime.

Step 2: Handling Tools Effectively

There are ways to do things that can have a huge impact. Most fabrication companies have a solid inventory of press brake tooling, each tool is relevant to a specific type of bend. Cutting corners on tool selection or not putting the time into choosing the right tool can add extra steps into the forming process. Stage-bending, for example, helps reduce the need to adjust or change die heights. Sometimes the decision to do stage bending instead of swopping out for the right tool can add more time than originally allocated in the estimate. Reducing overall set up time for each bending stage and lead to dollars in the bank. This all also leads to easier change outs and helps increase productivity.

Step 3: Take Advantage of Precision Tooling

Getting operators into better productivity habits is important. Have them work smarter and training them on the right tooling for each task is part of that. Segmented tooling allows the operator work with precut pieces to reduce waste and save time. That may require the blanks to be cut on a turret press or fiber laser cutting machine before it arrives at the press brake first. Furthermore, such operations reduce press brake tool wear, improves quality and lets you put less experienced operators on the job while reserving your more experienced operators for much more complex work.

Step 4: Use Power Clamping

A great way to reduce setup time is with power clamping. Operators can load and unload in front of the press, which goes faster than loading at the ends of the brake. It also saves space since front loading requires less space around the press brake. Up time for the machine is increased because it allows for clamp and seat tooling in one step.

Step 5: Use Control Technology Innovation

Finally, you should make use of any CNC programming installed on the press brake. If your operator is not fully trained on the full capabilities of the machine’s computer, let’s get them trained ASAP. Many of the CNC machines today can do so much more that they are currently being tasked with. Most machine manufacturers offer the training but require your operators to fly to a remote location. Our metal fabrication shop in Philadelphia brings the trainers to us and operators are trained on our machines. Don’t become one of those sheet metal fabricators that accepts the status quo as good enough. Continuous improvement should be part of the company culture.

5 Kitchen Design Styles to Consider

Take a look at your kitchen. Does it truly encapsulate who you are as an individual or is it merely a space where you go to cook? When you are consider remodeling your home, the kitchen if often a focal point for many homeowners when entertaining family and friends.Therefore this space should represent your personality from a color and décor perspective.

1. Rustic

Rather than using marble for kitchen countertops, ceramics for flooring and nickel for cabinetry hardware, rustic kitchens typically utilize brick, stone and timber as primary materials. The appliances tend to be more vintage. Many rustic kitchens are equipped with a fireplace, allowing you to stay warm and cozy as you prepare delicious meals and entertain guests.

2. Cottage

Cottage kitchens are often designed to be unpretentious and are great if you want to infuse some life into the room. Open shelving and hardwood flooring are common components of this style. Soft colors, such as yellow and turquoise, help make the space feel airy and light.

3. Mediterranean

The goal of Mediterranean kitchens is to make you feel as though you are in an Italian, Greek or coastal French setting. Rich, warm colors, such as ocean blue, terra cotta and deep reds, are great to incorporate into this type of kitchen. The tiles you install on the floor or backsplash should be more rustic than the patterns you typically find in traditional kitchens. Texture is the name of the game with this styling, making the room truly pop when you turn the corner and see it.

4. Eclectic

With so many kitchen design ideas out there, you may feel tempted to throw everything out the window and opt for something more unusual in style. Eclectic kitchens are perfect for rebels who cannot be pinned down with any label. Eclectic kitchens generally take aspects of other styles, including modern, industrial and French country, into something wholly unique. With an artist’s touch, all these different aspects can come together to complement one another beautifully rather than clash aesthetically.

5. Craftsman

Craftsman kitchens are all about simplicity. They first rose into popularity as a reaction to mass-produced Victorian kitchens, and the Craftsman style sought to bring practicality and simplicity in Americans’ kitchens. Built-in seating and simple lighting make the room easy to navigate. These types of kitchens usually emphasize natural beauty, so rich woods make your kitchen feel lustrous and warm.

If you are on the fence about what you like most, then get in touch with an experienced kitchen designer in North Jersey. A professional can show you numerous kitchen design photos, so you get a few kitchen design ideas that they have done that may coincide with your ideas.

How a Design Process Helps Inventors Succeed

You have an amazing idea for a new product that you know will be a hit, but you are not quite sure how to design it. This is where following a tried and true design process comes in. Following the design process that is common in the product design engineering field can help you to quickly move through the design phases so you can get your product from concept into production and into the hands of buyers faster. Here’s a look at this process.

Create a Design Brief

A design brief is like your blueprint. It explains what your product idea is, including how it is used and how it may look. It can give the new product development company you choose to work with all the information it needs to develop your idea and create the product you have been imagining in your head. It is essential to share every detail you can think of at this stage, so your product comes out closer to what you have envisioned. Any missing information may lead to re-designs and increased costs down the road.

Create the Specifications List

In addition to the brief, you want a list of the specification of the product. This will include three dimensional sizes, materials, potential colors, functionality and even packaging ideas. These details of the product will provide designers a good idea of what this product really should look like and how you anticipate it will be used.

Design the Product

At this point, you and your engineering design firm will begin the actual mechanical design of the product en-route to developing a 3D model or physical prototype of your product. In the hands of a experienced mechanical engineer with the help of the appropriate CAD software, you may start to discover all the intricacies of developing a new product and any physical limitations your original idea may encounter prior to production.Often there will be adjustments to size, materials and functionality done during this phase of development. This is where you will start to see your new product idea comes to life. The first prototype or 3D model is often generated weeks before any testing takes place and it is our experience that you will have to fine tune your design several times along the way. Be patient with the process.

Test the Product

This step is fairly self-explanatory. It involves testing the prototype you have designed to see if it functions as you imagined it would. It allows you to work out any flaws or issues and identify problems that may need fixed long before signing a production agreement with a vendor. Production costs and materials used in the production process need to be re-evaluated during this testing stage. There must be a return on your investment without sacrificing quality. Most buyers are looking for valuable solutions that solve problems rather than just another widget. So it is important your product is viewed as valuable. Consumer testing and focus groups may be part of this testing phase.

Finalize the Design

After testing, you can then work on the final design. Take a hard look at what you discovered during the testing phase and may the necessary adjustments to the final design that will help your product sell at a fair price, be deemed valuable, be sought after by future buyers and have the longevity to withstand future competition. This is going to be the messaging you present when trying to sell your product to investors or end users.

3D Printing a Final Prototype and Test Again

3D printing and additive manufacturing has come a very long way by 2018. Many of the machines being used for 3D printing today can be used to actually manufacture products on demand using synthetic materials that resemble all types of metals, plastics, stone and other mass produced structural products.

We recommend to many clients that have tapped us as their invention designer in PA to consider additive manufacturing when appropriate for the final prototype. This design process above leverages the best practices of product design engineering that a new product development company must follow when they are involved in the early design stages.

Mission Trips to Peru Improve Healthcare Standards

Dental MissionAs a mother or father of a young child, you might be surprised to discover that many in this world are forced to live without healthcare professionals within a short distance from their homes. Sadly, the reality is that in many third world countries, there is a lack of medical and dental care, not only due to insufficient funding, but a lack of trained providers especially in rural areas. Peru, a multicultural, multilingual and multiethnic country located in the central-western part of South America is one country that struggles with providing quality dental care for kids.

The health indicators of Peru are slowly improving, but there are still many persistent problems, particularly in rural areas. Poverty and low education levels contribute to the health problems. The hospitals are full of patients who have illnesses that could be prevented through basic hygiene and healthy practices. Given that the medical facilities are underfunded and understaffed, it’s difficult to provide preventable medical care.

Intervention by Missionaries

Although many people associate missionaries with evangelical activities, this dental student, Bari Levine, at Temple University has a desire to improve the oral health of orphans in Peru. Instead of proselytizing, this student took a trip to Peru to organize a culturally sensitive dental program for children at an orphanage. On her first trip to the country, she brought in toothbrushes, toothpaste and fluoride rinse to open the door to quality dental care for the kids in Peru.

Subsequent years were spent screening and providing oral health education. Levine also had education in public health, as well as a dental degree. She not only took mission trips to Peru, but raised the money to bring other students and supplies to the country. Levine didn’t want to just start pulling teeth when she went to Peru, but to prevent kid’s fear of dentists by beginning with education and relationships.

Growing Smiles Foundation

Levine founded a 501c(3) non-profit organization called Growing Smiles Foundation. Last year, the team provided over $130,000 in dental services. The foundations partnered with a local dental school to provide follow-up care, which keeps the program sustainable. Their mission is to continue to provide quality dental care for kids in Peru, not only for health reasons, but for self-esteem and confidence.

The healthcare problems in Peru might seem overwhelming, but Levine’s efforts demonstrate that change is possible through small steps. She is tracking her efforts in hopes of creating a model that can be replicated to help orphans around the world. For Levine, dental care is an outreach that can change people’s lives. During her time at home here in the states, Bari provides dental services for children in Bucks County with the rest of the team at Growing Smiles in Floralvale.