Category Archives: Bathrooms

Before Your Project Begins

Kopke Remodeling & Design owner Alan Seeley will come out to your home and go through your project details with you, step by step, to make sure everyone is on the same page before demolition begins. In this video I’ve compiled some recent examples so you can see how he goes above and beyond as owner to make sure every customer is satisfied.

These pre-start videos and many more resources are available to customers and project managers throughout their projects in our cloud-based scheduling software called Buildertrend. Transparency is key when you want to avoid miscommunication and hiccups in your project! If you have any questions, please email us at info@kopkehome.com.

Schluter vs. Bullnose: The Perfect Tile Trim for Your Bathroom

When it comes to tile installations, finding the right trim can make all the difference in achieving a polished and professional look. Two popular options for tile trim are Schluter and bullnose. In this article, we will explore the features, benefits, and applications of both Schluter and bullnose tile trims, helping you make an informed decision for your next project.

What is Schluter Tile Edging Trim?

Schluter tile edging trim is predominantly made of aluminum and offers a sleek and contemporary design solution for finishing tile edges. With various profiles available, Schluter trim provides a smooth transition between tiles and eliminates the need for caulking.

Schluter used to transition shower wall tile

Schluter trim offers a versatile range of options to suit your design preferences. You can choose a trim that blends in seamlessly with your tile and grout, providing a subtle and cohesive finish. Alternatively, you can opt for bold and colorful accents that make a statement and add a unique touch to your space. Schluter trim even offers an alternative to finishing a tile shower niche without bullnose, providing flexibility and creativity in your project.

What is Bullnose Tile?

Bullnose tile is a classic and traditional design choice for tile trim. It features a half-rounded, finished edge that is perfect for edges or corners transitioning from tile to the wall. Bullnose trim not only protects corners but also hides rough edges and can be used as baseboards or decorative trim.

Bullnose tile application in a retro themed Bathroom

Types of Bullnose Tile Shapes

Bullnose tile comes in various shapes to suit different applications and design preferences:

  1. Rectangular Bullnose Trim: This is the most common type of bullnose trim and is often used to outline tile backsplashes, countertops, and other transitions. It provides a clean and seamless look, enhancing the overall aesthetic of your project.
  2. Square Bullnose Trim: If you prefer a checkerboard look in your tile design, square bullnose trim is the perfect choice. It helps maintain a consistent pattern while adding a finished edge.
  3. Corner Bullnose Pieces: These specialized bullnose pieces have two rounded edges, making them ideal for corner placement in walls or backsplashes. They ensure a smooth and finished transition in angular areas.

Schluter vs. Bullnose: Which is Right for You?

Both Schluter and bullnose trims serve their purpose in tile installations, each with its own unique features and benefits. To help you decide which option is right for your project, consider the following factors:

Aesthetics and Design

  • Schluter trim offers a contemporary and sleek design that blends seamlessly with your tile and provides a clean and finished look.
  • Bullnose trim, on the other hand, has a classic and traditional appeal, adding a touch of elegance and sophistication to your space.

Consider your overall design style, whether you prefer a modern or traditional look, and choose accordingly.

Schluter application in Modern Bathroom

Functionality and Durability

  • Schluter trim, particularly in aluminum or stainless steel, is highly durable and well-suited for high-traffic areas. It also performs exceptionally well in wet environments where corrosion resistance is essential.
  • Bullnose trim is a reliable option for protecting corners and creating a smooth transition. However, it may not be as durable as Schluter trim, especially in areas prone to heavy use or moisture.

Think about the specific requirements of your project and the level of durability needed.

Bullnose application in a Transitional Bathroom, blending Traditional and Modern

Ease of Installation

  • Schluter trim is generally considered easier and less time-consuming to install compared to bullnose trim. The profiles are designed for simple gluing between the tile and the wall or floor, eliminating the need for complex caulking.
  • Bullnose trim, especially if custom-made, may require additional tools and skills to achieve the desired finish. Grinding custom bullnose edges onto standard tiles can be a meticulous and time-consuming process.

Consider your level of expertise and the time you can dedicate to the installation process.


Choosing the right tile trim is essential for achieving a professional and polished look in your tile installations. Schluter and bullnose trims both offer unique benefits and design options. Schluter trim provides a contemporary and sleek finish, while bullnose trim offers a classic and traditional appeal. Consider the aesthetics, functionality, and ease of installation when choosing between the two. Whichever option you choose, investing in quality tile trim will enhance the overall appearance and durability of your project.

Remember, if you need inspiration or examples of Schluter and bullnose tile installations, don’t hesitate to check out the provided photo examples of bathrooms remodeled by our team. We have even more examples on our Bathrooms page. We are here to help you create the perfect tile design that suits your unique style and needs. Happy tiling!

Cabinet Wood Species Explained

Wood Species


Alder is an even textured hardwood with a soft, straight grain, similar to Cherry and Maple. Alder is naturally a pale color, with reddish-brown, tan or yellow notes. It accepts stain well. Alder is a versatile wood, with natural small pin knots and rays as characteristics. Alder will lighten with age and exposure to light.


Birch is a medium hardwood with a straight grain and a fine texture. Similar in appearance to Maple, but accepts stain unevenly due to various density changes in the wood. Not recommended for darker stains, but is a good base or light, solid color finishes.


Beech is a heavy and strong wood, with good strength properties and an even, fine texture. It has a fine, tight grain that accepts stains well. Beech has a density that is similar to Maple. It is often steamed during the drying process to bring out a pinkish-red color in the naturally lighter wood. Beech may have light mineral streaking.


Cherry is a moderately hard wood, with medium density and reddish undertones. Generally has a fine texture with a straight grain, although it can have naturally occurring small knots, pitch marks and worm holes. Cherry accepts stain well, and is known for being especially sensitive to both natural and artificial light, causing the wood to darken and redden over time. 


Hickory is a tough and dense wood, known for its strength and highly contrasting light and dark streaks. It is a dense wood with a medium coarse texture. Hickory accepts stain evenly, and certain stains will amplify the vivid grain patterns. The finished look is usually described as “natural” or “rustic”.


Maple is a heavy, fine textured wood with a smooth and even grain. It is a dense wood, with a smooth, uniform appearance. Occasionally Maple will contain slight mineral streaks that tend to darken with stains, and darker stains may appear blotchy. Maple is quite versatile and works well in many styles and finishes.


Oak is an extremely strong hard wood, with a coarse texture. The texture of the wood will vary depending on the age of the wood. It has an open grain pattern that is very evident when a solid color finish is applied. Oak accepts stain well, and may include random knots and mineral deposits.

Rustic/Knotty Woods

Wood species with natural random characteristics, such as Alder and Cherry, will frequently have a separate sub-category listed as “Rustic” or “Knotty”. This sub-category will feature lumber selected with more of these natural elements, such as knots, wormholes or mineral streaks, for added character. 

Quarter-Sawn Oak

Quarter-Sawn Oak is a very stable wood known for its prominent high ray fleck that exhibits a beautiful grain pattern. It has a uniform straight grain structure.

Painted Finishes

Craftwood (R. D. Henry Exclusive)

Craftwood doors and drawer fronts are 1-Piece MDF construction. This eliminates the potential for cracked joints on doors and fronts. However, Craftwood has a limited selection, only available in select styles and colors.

MDF Paint (R. D. Henry Exclusive)

MDF Paint doors and drawer fronts are constructed of Paintgrade Maple rails and stiles, with MDF center panels. The use of MDF Paint minimizes the potential for cracked joints on doors and fronts. Used with painted finishes without aging/distressing.


Paint-grade hardwood (typically Maple) is used for the rails, stiles and center panels. Due to wood’s inherent nature to expand and contract, cracks at the joints of doors and fronts are more likely. Paintgrade doors are available for all doors, fronts and edges, and can be used with aging/distressing techniques.  

If you want to see and touch all of these different wood species for yourself, visit Our Showroom at 38200 Van Dyke Ave. in Sterling Heights.

How Do I Determine My Budget?

Determining a budget for your kitchen or bathroom remodel involves careful consideration of various factors. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you determine your budget:

Evaluate Your Finances: Assess your overall financial situation and determine how much you can comfortably allocate to your remodel. Consider your income, savings, and any other financial obligations or goals you have. If you will be financing your project, give yourself a financial checkup and determine what kind of payment you are comfortable with.

Consider Long-Term Value: If considering a large addition or major remodel you may want to spend some time looking at how much a house with the features you want would cost. While it’s important to establish a budget that suits your financial capacity, also consider the long-term value and return on investment (ROI) of your remodel. High-quality materials and well-executed design can increase the value of your home and potentially yield a higher return should you decide to sell in the future.

Research Average Costs: Research and gather information about average remodeling costs in your area. This will give you a rough idea of the typical price range for various aspects of the remodel, such as cabinetry, countertops, appliances, flooring, and labor.

Define Your Project Scope: Determine the scope of your kitchen or bathroom remodel. Decide whether you plan to make minor cosmetic changes, perform a partial renovation, or go for a complete overhaul. The complexity and extent of the project will impact your budget.

Prioritize Your Needs and Wants: Make a list of your priorities and must-haves for the remodel. Identify the elements that are most important to you, such as new appliances, custom cabinetry, or high-quality materials. This will help you allocate your budget accordingly.

Seek Professional Advice: If you’re unsure about setting a budget, consider consulting with a professional designer or contractor. They can provide guidance based on your goals, the condition of your kitchen or bathroom, and your desired outcomes.

Remember to be flexible and open to adjustments throughout the process. A professional contractor or designer can help you optimize your budget by suggesting alternatives, cost-saving measures, and value-engineering options that align with your vision and financial constraints.

Kopke Remodeling & Design offers consulting services, such as “Should We Move or Improve”, or simply helping you put together your budget. Give us a call at 586-777-6633 if you are ready to start the conversation!

What Do I Need for the Initial Consultation?

The most important thing for the homeowner to have is a definitive idea of what they want to accomplish with their project and a budget.

Project Goals: Prepare a list of your goals and priorities for the remodel. Identify what specific improvements or changes you want to achieve, such as increasing storage space, improving functionality, or enhancing the overall aesthetics.

Budget Guidelines: Have a clear idea of your budget range for the project. This will help the designer or contractor provide suitable recommendations within your financial boundaries.

A list of must haves and a wish list are also helpful.

If we are doing an addition you should try and locate a copy of your building plot.

It is a good idea to take a few digital pictures of the house and the areas you are considering remodeling.

Before pictures

You may also want to start a project scrapbook of pictures you find online or in magazines. Color palettes, tile patterns, layout ideas, design styles. Save anything and everything that appeals to you! This will help us get a sense of your taste, and allow us to design a project to meet your needs.

Mood board by Postbox Designs

Questions and Concerns: Jot down any questions or concerns you have about the remodel. This will ensure that you address all important topics during the consultation and gain a better understanding of the process.

In conclusion, for your initial consultation you should have an idea of your budget, your goals with the remodel, a list of must haves and a wish list, a copy of your building plot (if planning an addition), pictures of the areas you want to remodel, and any inspiration materials you have collected, such as magazine clippings, online images, or a Pinterest board. Lastly, write down any questions or concerns so we can address those right away.

Tips for Living at Home During a Large Remodel

Living at home during a large remodel can be challenging, but with some careful planning and preparation, you can make the process more manageable. Here are some tips to help you navigate living at home during a major renovation:

1. Establish a clear plan: Start by creating a detailed renovation plan with your contractor. This plan should outline the timeline, specific areas of the house that will be renovated, and any temporary living arrangements that may be necessary.

2. Set up a temporary living space: If possible, create a temporary living space within your home or find alternative accommodation during the most disruptive phases of the remodel. This could be a spare room, basement, or a designated area in the house that is away from the construction zone.

Anyone whose bedroom was on the second floor had to temporarily relocate for the duration of this Berkely dormer buildout.

3. Protect your belongings: Cover furniture, electronics, and other valuable items with plastic sheets or move them to a safe area of the house to protect them from dust and potential damage during construction.

4. Establish clear boundaries: Clearly define the areas that are off-limits to the construction crew and communicate these boundaries to them. This will help minimize disruptions and maintain a semblance of privacy during the remodel.

5. Maintain good communication: Regularly communicate with your contractor to stay updated on the progress of the renovation. This will help you anticipate any changes or delays that may affect your living arrangements. We utilize a web-based software called Buildertrend that makes communication simple!

With BuilderTrend you can see daily updates, pictures, calendar of scheduled events, and send messages to your project manager.

6. Plan meals in advance: If your kitchen is being remodeled, you’ll need to find alternative ways to prepare meals. Consider setting up a temporary kitchenette with a microwave, toaster oven, and electric kettle. Plan and prepare simple meals in advance or explore takeout options, meal delivery services, or nearby restaurants.

7. Create a daily routine: Stick to a consistent daily routine to help maintain a sense of normalcy amidst the chaos. Having a routine can help reduce stress and provide a semblance of stability.

8. Plan for the disruption: Understand that there will be noise, dust, and disruptions during the remodel. Prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for these inconveniences. Consider using noise-canceling headphones or earplugs to minimize the impact of construction noise.

9. Take breaks from the construction zone: Plan regular outings or activities outside of your home to give yourself a break from the noise and disruption. This will provide you with an opportunity to relax and recharge.

10. Maintain a positive attitude: Remember that the remodel is a temporary inconvenience for long-term improvement. Keep a positive mindset, focus on the end result, and envision the transformed living space. It can help you stay motivated and patient throughout the process.

Remember, living through a remodel can be stressful, but it’s important to keep your end goal in mind. With proper planning, communication, and patience, you can successfully navigate this period and enjoy your newly renovated home.

Ask about our hot plates!