John W. Ashton
President & Founder, Baths Plus

What are the most important things to consider before remodeling a kitchen or bathroom?
A: Make sure your contractors are registered with the authorities. Always check their references and affiliations, as well as worker’s compensation and insurance information. Insurance documents should be sent directly from the insurance company, because information can be easily forged.
Q: How can customers get exactly what they want in their remodeling project?
A: You have to find a designer who will listen to what you want. Interview him or her and clarify how much you can spend. Some designers could have better ideas than others. Also, a designer should be able to match a remodeled room to the rest of the house. You don’t want to end up with a Louis XIV bathroom in a ranch house built in 1963.

Q: What are some of the worst mistakes people make during remodeling?
A: Sometimes people buy new things without thinking about how they complement each other. Just because it’s a good buy doesn’t mean it’s a good fit. It could be cheap, but if it doesn’t look good with the house, why buy it?

Q: What are some of the most interesting products in the kitchen and bath industry?
A: Televisions embedded in mirrors are getting popular. People can watch TV while getting ready in the morning, right in the bathroom mirror. Towel warmers and heated floors are definitely luxurious products as well.

Q: When a customer decides to do a kitchen or bath remodel, what steps do you take with them?
A: Customers can call and set up an appointment with a sales associate or designer. They will come to the house to take photos and listen to what they want. Clients go to the showroom to see products, and then a proposal will be put together. After pricing, the project is ready to get started.

Q: How can customers remodel while being environmentally friendly?
A: Most types of kitchen and bath products have “green” options. There are several ways to recycle and not use many chemicals because the industry as a whole has tried to go green. Baths Plus also works with Building Value, which donates recycled materials to Easter Seals Work Resource Center. They teach disabled people how to reuse materials to create new products.