• Choosing a New Bathroom Vanity

    bathroom vanity by Ronbow

    Wall Mounted Bathroom Vanity by Ronbow

    One of the easiest things you can do to give your bathroom a new look or create more space is to install a new bathroom vanity. Whether your bathroom is contemporary or traditional, modern or ornate, there is a perfect bathroom vanity available to suit your style.

    Single bathroom vanities offer just the right amount of space for guest bathrooms or smaller bathrooms. You can find vanities that feature pedestals or floating wall-mounted designs as well as free standing units that make great use of storage and cabinets.

    Double bathroom vanities will definitely improve the comfort level if you are currently sharing your bathroom with another member of household. Increase counter space, cabinet space and “his and hers” areas. Double vanities are also great for kids bathrooms where there are more than one child using the bathroom. These types of vanities also offer lots of storage space for towels, toiletries and supplies, which reduces clutter and helps you to stay better organized.

    Depending on your style preference you have many different materials and woods to choose from. Surfaces include anything from marble, ceramic, granite, cultured stone to composites. Woods include cherry, oak or even mahogany. These woods are priced differently depending on their strength and durability. It often pays in the long run to spend a little more if you can afford it.

    Bathroom vanities can also come in glass designs, which are a much more contemporary look. The glass is high-end and very durable and often combines with other material finishes such as wood or stainless steel to create a very custom, stylized look and feel. Many glass vanities are of the wall mounted variety. This creates a feeling of openness in the bathroom while also providing great functionality.

    Whatever style of bathroom vanity you’re looking for, the best way to make sure you have covered all your bases is to hire a professional bathroom remodeler. They can show you all the designs, materials and installation choices, and they can help you save time and money.

  • Bathroom Remodeling Trends in 2012

    Nutone Solus Medicine Cabinet

    Nutone Solus Medicine Cabinet

    Earlier this year more than 350 members of the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) participated in the 2012 NKBA Design Trends Survey to give their opinions about products, styles and designs that they view as becoming more popular with homeowners.  Each member is a designer and specialist in bathroom or kitchen remodeling and their views tend to reflect what is happening in their specific market, however, the survey did show some common trends remodels in general throughout the U.S. and Canada.

    For bathrooms one of the surprising comebacks is the bathroom medicine cabinet.  Having been relegated to secondary status in recent years, people are finding that new and updated medicine cabinet designs allow for more efficient use of space when space is limited.

    Traditional bathroom designs are no longer, well, traditional.  Transitional is the latest buzzword when it comes to bathroom remodels, which incorporates elements of traditional and contemporary designs that create a modern classic look.

    For bathroom vanity tops it’s all about solid surfaces.  Granite and Quartz are still the most popular choices but Marble has taken the third spot and is trending higher.  Other solid surfaces, such as glass, have also made a big jump in popularity as more styles and choices have hit the marketplace.

    As far as color choices go, gray seems to be all the rage this year with that color choice having more than doubled in popularity in the last two years.  Gray color schemes can be very attractive and distinguished without overpowering the look and overall bathroom design.  Other popular choices include beiges, browns, bronzes, terracotta and greens.

    Although brushed metal finishes have been rather standard equipment for many years when it comes to fixtures and hardware, perhaps one of the big surprises from this year’s survey was the comeback of polished chrome.  Brushed nickel and brushed chrome is also down from the previous year along with satin nickel.  Stainless steel has managed to retain its popularity as well as bronze.

    Since trends do tend to change from year to year, it’s important to consult with a professional bathroom remodeler to get the latest most up to date information on popular trends and how to remodel your bathroom in such a way that can incorporate your favorite styles and create lasting functionality and design.

  • Tips for Choosing Bathroom Tiles

    One of the easiest things you can do to dramatically improve the overall look and feel of your bathroom is to install new tiles. Since tile is permanent, it becomes a long lasting and durable upgrade that makes a great impression on guests and potential homebuyers. Since the bathroom is one of the most frequently used rooms in your home, investing a little bit of time and money can go a long way to improving its overall value and enjoyment. Here are a few tips you can use when choosing the right tiles for your bathroom remodel.

    Bathrooms are high moisture, and sometimes damp, environments, therefore many types of natural stone may not be suitable due to their porous nature. Natural stone requires more care and treatment in order to be maintained where there is lots of exposure to water. For that reason, many homeowners gravitate towards glass, porcelain, and, of course, ceramic surfaces. These materials are highly durable, relatively easy to install, and require less maintenance.

    The size of tiles you choose can also make a big difference. Sometimes larger tiles on walls can give the illusion of a bigger room in a subtle way, while smaller tiles can create a “busy” effect. For those on a budget, who may not be in a position to tile the entire bathroom, it’s possible to improve the look of your bathroom by using accent tiles, or perhaps, a backsplash for tubs or sinks.

    It’s recommended that smaller bathrooms utilize light-colored tiles as this tends to open up the room and give the impression of having more overall space.

    When choosing tile for showers, most people prefer ceramic because it is durable and easy to maintain. There are also an almost endless number of colors and patterns that you can pick from when going with ceramic tiles.

    For floors we recommend looking at warm or neutral colors. The floor is also meant to be durable and easy to clean, but it’s not where you want to draw the eye. Flooring tile should not be the first thing one notices when entering the bathroom, but rather, it should complement the tile or décor on the walls.

    If you want to get creative with your tile design, an easy way to do it is to lay the tile in a diagonal fashion, rather than in a grid pattern. You can also choose tile that is uneven or irregularly shaped in order to create a more interesting pattern or effect. You can also experiment with color shades, using gradients or color patterns that create subtle shapes and layers.

    The texture of the tile can also add an interesting effect. Some surfaces may be smooth and shiny, while other may have more of a matted or rough appearance.

    Since many people use their bathroom as a place to relax or unwind, you may want to consider keeping your tile design more subdued than “exciting”. Loud colors, ornate patterns or distracting designs may take away from this relaxing atmosphere you’re trying to create.

    When choosing new tiles, it’s highly recommended that you enlist the help of an expert. Home improvement centers, bathroom retailers and bathroom remodeling contractors are all useful resources when it comes to choosing the right tile and getting installation tips. If you think that installing tiles yourself is a bit out of your element, then hiring a good, licensed contractor is probably the best decision you could make.

  • Tips for Bathtub Installation and Shower Installation

    Before attempting any bathtub or shower installation, keep in mind that this is really a job for a professional contractor. It is not a simple process and can be very costly. There are a variety of different types of tubs and sizes, widths and styles. If you have experience with bathtub installation and feel confident in your abilities to perform the work, then here are some basic guidelines for getting the job done right.

    Before you start take careful measurements and make sure that the new tub approximates the size of the old tub. If not, then you may have to make additional modifications that may or may not work.

    For the bathtub installation you’ll need to start by removing the existing bathtub. That will require you to open up the three surrounding walls. You may also have to remove some of the adjacent fixtures such as toilet, sink, vanity or other bathroom furniture. You may also need to remove the base moulding, floor covering and underlayment because they will also need to be replaced.

    If you have tiles on the walls take care to ensure that you minimize the possible damage or you may have to replace the tile.

    This is by no means a one person project, so make sure that you have one or two other people to help you with moving and positioning the tubs during the project. If you’re not a professional plumber, then it may be wise to have one handy to help you with the connections and tubing that will need to be changed out during the process.

    Shower installation also requires careful planning and should be performed by a professional contractor, if possible.

    Keep in mind the following things when planning your shower installation project:

    The type of shower enclosure you’re going to use has to be one of your first decisions. Is it compatible with your current enclosure in terms of size, style and plumbing requirements. If the shower is not in the bath, and you don’t already have a shower, then you need to consider the placement of the shower and whether it will work with your existing plumbing configuration.

    Decide whether or not you’ll need shower tiles and what kind of shower pan you’ll be using. Before you start your shower installation project, you may want to visit a bathroom supply showroom to find the hardware you want to include in your shower such as shower head, handles and any other accessories you may prefer.

    Another important choice you’ll need to make is the type of enclosure you want. Steam shower doors are very popular and this may be preferable to other types of enclosures like plain curtains, glass or Plexiglas doors. Some showers have no enclosure at all.

    Take into consideration the entrance and the size of the curb. You may prefer to have a curbless entrance, which would be especially helpful for those who are physically challenged or wheelchair bound.

    As stated previously, shower and bath installation is challenging and should be performed by an experienced contractor or someone with experience. Take your time to plan the project and write out all the steps you’ll be needing to take along the way and make sure you perform each task in it’s proper order. Make this a team project and most importantly, don’t rush the work. Taking time to do it right will ultimately make for a satisfying result.

  • How to Choose the Right Fixtures for Your Bathroom Remodels

    Bay area Bathroom remodels are becoming more and more popular as the housing market has slowed because more people are choosing to stay in their current home rather than cashing out their equity and upgrading to a newer home as they were doing not so many years ago. Now the focus is on upgrading the home you’re living in and for many homeowners that starts with new bathroom designs.

    One of the best places to start is with choosing new fixtures. Bathroom fixtures can easily and, in some cases, inexpensively improve the look and feel of any bathroom design san jose by creating an esthetic enhancement as well as functionality.

    Although it may be tempting to find the “best bargain” on fixtures, keep in mind that better quality fixtures will last longer and add to the value of your home over time. High quality fixtures look better and make a better impression on guests and potential buyers. You may want to visit your local bathroom retailer to get more information on the types of fixtures that are available and pricing information. You can also look at consumer reports online.

    If you’re going to replace the tub, spend a little time deciding what type of tub you’re going to be installing. Is it a freestanding tub or not? Will it have jets? Maybe you’ll need a walk-in tub for someone in the home who is physically challenged. The choice you make on the tub will determine the amount of work and cost of the overall project. For many tub installations it will be necessary to re-tile large areas of your bathroom. You will also need to take into consideration the plumbing requirements.

    For showers there are similar concerns that need to be addressed. One of the advantages of showers is that the space can be much larger and accommodate other types of fixtures, such as hand held shower heads. Showers can also include multiple sprayers for “full body” coverage. You can also include a shower seat for elderly or physically challenged users, as well as wide, curbless entry for someone who may be wheelchair bound.

    There are many different eco-friendly fixtures and materials that can help you “go green” and help the environment. Low flush toilets save on water, as do other types of faucets and shower heads. Surface materials can be made of reclaimed materials like glass and woods can come from species like Bamboo which are highly sustainable.

  • Bay Area Homeowners Planning Your New Bathroom Design

    For Bay Area homeowners looking for new and interesting bathroom designs, the most difficult part is usually just getting started. There are so many choices and options available that, if you haven’t done your homework, could have you really scratching your head. The good news is that for Bay Area bathroom remodels there are plenty of resources to get you on your way to a new, exciting bathroom design.

    In San Jose there are many exceptional San Jose bathroom remodeling contractors who can guide you through the process, showing you interesting concepts, fixtures, wall materials, tubs, showers and vanities. They are also the ones who can give expert advice on the cost of such a project and the best way to stay within your budget. If you don’t already know a bathroom remodeling contractor, one of the best referrals you can get is through your local kitchen and bath showroom. They will often work with many of the best contractors in the Bay Area and can probably give you a handful of calling cards.

    First, you’ll need to determine what your particular style is. Do you want a bathroom design that will complement your current home décor? Do you prefer classic, country, contemporary or ornate? What will be your color scheme? Do you have certain wood preferences that will match what you have going on in the rest of the house? Do you have any special needs for occupants with physical disabilities?

    These are all important questions to ask yourself before beginning any bathroom remodeling project. Go spend some time in your bathroom and try to imagine everything you’d like to change and how you’d like to change it, then make notes on all your thoughts. Write down any questions you have about installation, products and costs for when you meet with your contractor.

    Take a look online or in magazines at other bathroom designs for inspiration. You may not even realize the various options or creative possibilities that exist until you’ve had a chance to see what other Bay Area bathroom remodels look like.

    Go to your local Bay Area bathroom retailer and explore the various fixtures, woods, tiles, tubs and showers available and get some ideas on pricing as well. Ask lots of questions and always find out which products are most durable and come with manufacturers warranties.

    Decide if you want your new bathroom remodel to be eco-friendly. There are entire product lines dedicated to using green, sustainable materials, like Bamboo, and environmentally friendly fixtures like low flush toilets.

    Make a wish list of all the conveniences you’ve ever wanted in your bathroom and then discuss those ideas with your bathroom remodeling contractor. Ever wanted a TV in the bathroom? How about a telephone? Maybe his and her vanities or for some real, European style comfort, a bidet?

    Bathroom remodels are a big investment and you may only do this once during the entire time you own your home, so if you’re in the Bay Area bathroom remodels and custom bathroom cabinets market, this can be your chance to have the dream bathroom design that you’ve always wanted.

  • How to Remodel Your Bathroom on a Budget

    If you’ve ever thought about remodeling your bathroom the first thing that usually comes into your mind is, “How can I possibly afford it?” After all, according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2005 Cost vs. Value Report, the cost for an average sized bathroom remodel is about $10,500! That could be less or more depending on where you live, but regardless, for many people it is a large sum of money.

    You also want to consider if the investment is worth it. What is the reason for wanting to do the remodel? If you’re looking to update your home for an upcoming sale you’ll want to be sure that you can recoup that investment in the final sale price of the home. On the other hand, if you’re doing a bathroom remodel just because your current bathroom is outdated or in disrepair, the return on investment may not be such a pressing issue. The good news is that, according to the same report, most bathroom remodels will recoup about 102 percent of the overall investment.

    For upscale Bay Area bathroom remodels , it’s possible to spend upwards of $26,000 dollars. The costs add up fast when you’re looking at higher quality furnishings, fixtures and materials, so it’s very important to start with a budget in mind and try to stick to that budget.

    One of the first steps in getting your bathroom ready for remodeling is tearing everything out – also known as “demolition”. One way to save some money on this is to invite some friends over and do it yourself. You may want the advice who knows something about contracting so you don’t do any unnecessary damage, but if you hire a contractor to do the work for you it will definitely add to your overall cost. Labor, in general, is one of the biggest cost factors in any remodeling job, so if you can find a contractor who will allow you to participate in the work it could also help to bring down costs. There are some tasks involved that require little or no experience.

    Fixtures can be very costly, especially if you plan on rearranging the location of the sink, toilet, bath or shower. Then you’re looking at some major plumbing work, and we all know about the price tags for plumbing jobs. The fixtures themselves can also really add up. Do you want a $200 dollar toilet or a $2000 dollar toilet? The choices are limitless.

    Tile is another item that has wild price swings. You can find lots of surface materials that are attractive and durable and that won’t break the bank. Swanstone is one good alternative. Another is plain old ceramic tile, of which there are a myriad of styles and colors to choose from.

    When it comes to tubs, showers and vanities, choose carefully here as well. Spend some time at your local bathroom showroom can save you lots of money because it is a place where you can really do your research. Find those items that reflect your taste and design preferences yet are still in your price range. Go online and look at various manufacturer websites. See who’s got, not only the best pricing, but also the best warranties. When it comes to bathroom remodels South Bay , a little bit of shopping can save you lots of money.

  • Bay Area Homeowners Planning Your New Bathroom Design

    For Bay Area homeowners looking for new and interesting bathroom designs, the most difficult part is usually just getting started. There are so many choices and options available that, if you haven’t done your homework, could have you really scratching your head. The good news is that for Bay Area bathroom remodels there are plenty of resources to get you on your way to a new, exciting bathroom design.

    In San Jose there are many exceptional San Jose bathroom remodeling contractors who can guide you through the process, showing you interesting concepts, fixtures, wall materials, tubs, showers and vanities. They are also the ones who can give expert advice on the cost of such a project and the best way to stay within your budget. If you don’t already know a bathroom remodeling contractor, one of the best referrals you can get is through your local kitchen and bath showroom. They will often work with many of the best contractors in the Bay Area and can probably give you a handful of calling cards.

    First, you’ll need to determine what your particular style is. Do you want a bathroom design that will complement your current home décor? Do you prefer classic, country, contemporary or ornate? What will be your color scheme? Do you have certain wood preferences that will match what you have going on in the rest of the house? Do you have any special needs for occupants with physical disabilities?

    These are all important questions to ask yourself before beginning any bathroom remodeling project. Go spend some time in your bathroom and try to imagine everything you’d like to change and how you’d like to change it, then make notes on all your thoughts. Write down any questions you have about installation, products and costs for when you meet with your contractor.

    Take a look online or in magazines at other bathroom designs for inspiration. You may not even realize the various options or creative possibilities that exist until you’ve had a chance to see what other Bay Area bathroom remodels look like.

    Go to your local Bay Area bathroom retailer and explore the various fixtures, woods, tiles, tubs and showers available and get some ideas on pricing as well. Ask lots of questions and always find out which products are most durable and come with manufacturers warranties.

    Decide if you want your new bathroom remodel to be eco-friendly. There are entire product lines dedicated to using green, sustainable materials, like Bamboo, and environmentally friendly fixtures like low flush toilets.

    Make a wish list of all the conveniences you’ve ever wanted in your bathroom and then discuss those ideas with your bathroom remodeling contractor. Ever wanted a TV in the bathroom? How about a telephone? Maybe his and her vanities or for some real, European style comfort, a bidet?

    Bathroom remodels are a big investment and you may only do this once during the entire time you own your home, so if you’re in the Bay Area bathroom remodels and custom bathroom cabinets market, this can be your chance to have the dream bathroom design that you’ve always wanted.

  • Remodeling a New Bathroom Shower

    Custom Shower by Fiato & Associates
    Custom Shower by Fiato & Associates

    In every home there are a several places that are used on a daily basis. The kitchen, the bedroom and the bathroom are probably the top three for most people, and for that reason these are the areas that, naturally, we would like to be the most comfortable and functional.

    In the bathroom, one amenity which is absolutely indispensable is the shower. For those who are considering a bathroom remodel , this is an excellent place to start. The shower can very easily be transformed from a nondescript utility where the routine of your day begins, into a comfortable, relaxing sensory experience that you’ll look forward to every morning. All it takes is a little planning and preparation.

    First, you’ll need to establish a budget. There is a wide price range for new showers depending on the type of materials and fixtures you’ll be using. Also, you’ll need to decide if this is a “do it yourself” project or if you’ll be hiring a licensed, professional contractor for the job. Depending on the complexity of the project, many shower installations can be done in just a day or two, but the average cost for a contractor can run from $500 to $1000 per day. As for materials, you can choose between inexpensive pre-fabricated units to more elaborate custom tile designs. Obviously, the price ranges can be very widely because of this, which is why establishing a budget is so important.

    Even pre-fabricated shower enclosures can run from several hundred to a few thousand dollars, but most people who really desire a luxury shower design will opt for either custom tile or quality solid surfaces like cultured marble or Swanstone .

    Ceramic tiles are one of the most popular choices for shower surfaces and can cost from $1.00 to over $4.00 per square foot. For other types of high quality stone tiles the cost can go even higher. Most budgets for tile installations should start at a minimum of $1000, and that would be for smaller shower unit sizes. After you add in the cost of materials you could easily be pushing $2000, however, this is for a modest project. You’d therefore need to take into consideration the size of the enclosure and whether or not you’d be including a tub. A more reasonable expectation then would be closer to $3000 and up.

    There is such a wide selection of shower materials available that it’s highly recommended that you spend some time at a local bathroom specialty store that offers a choice of different tiles and surface materials, in addition to bathroom fixtures. This will give you the best idea as to what your options are, along with some specifics on pricing.

    Although tile is extremely popular for showers, other surface materials may appeal to you as well. Marble slab , for example, is very appealing, however, can require some maintenance and can be subject to wear and tear. An excellent alternative, for those who wish for marble is manufactured – or “cultured” – marble, which is both affordable and luxurious. One of the primary benefits of cultured marble is that it is very low maintenance and long lasting. It is excellent for resisting stains and water penetration as well which cuts down on any mold or mildew issues that sometimes arise with more porous ceramic tiles and grout.

    Another popular surface choice is Swanstone , which is considered one of the top “green”, environmentally friendly , bathroom surfaces by homeowners. It is a manufactured composite that has the look and feel of real stone and comes in wide variety of textures and colors. It is much longer lasting than other types of organic surfaces, therefore it rarely requires replacing. One of the primary benefits of Swanstone is that much more resistant to heat, cracks and stains than materials such as marble or granite. It is also about 20% less expensive than similar surface types, like Corian .

    The finishing touch to your new shower will be the shower fixtures . There are myriad choices when it comes to shower fixtures, and three of the top brands you’ll want to explore are Grohe , Hansgrohe and Koehler . Keep in mind that Grohe and Hansgrohe are two different companies with two completely different lines of shower fixtures and appliances. The shower head is probably the best place to start as it is really the central piece of equipment to any shower. You can even design your new shower with multiple shower heads in mind for an even more indulgent experience. Most new showers can be nicely equipped for in the low to medium hundreds of dollars.

    One last component to your new shower will be the shower door . Here again, there are many different choices. There is clear glass, textured or frosted glass, tinted, mirrored or even sandblasted glass. You’ve got different thicknesses and weights as well. You can have a standard door height or you can choose from a steam shower door which is fully enclosed all the way to the ceiling. Again, your best resource for making this choice will be your local bathroom retailer who can explain the differences, but more importantly show you the look and feel of these shower products and materials.

    Good luck with building and designing your new shower. As always, a consultation with an experienced, licensed contractor is always the best place to start for ideas and estimates.

  • Planning Your Handicap Bathroom Design

    Handicap Shower by Fiato & Associates

    Handicap Accessible Shower Design by Fiato & Associates

    Shower and bathtub access for the disabled, the injured or the elderly homeowner is an important and sometimes overlooked aspect of bathroom design. Those who are faced with mobility challenges require special products and construction that will allow easy access to showers, tubs, vanities, toilets and the bathroom entrance itself. Fortunately, today there are many options available in the form of handicap showers , walk in tubs and handicap toilets for individuals with these types of special needs .

    Wheelchair Access to the Bathroom
    One of the first things to consider is how to allow easy access to the bathroom. If a person is confined to a wheelchair then, in most cases, the doorway or entrance to the bathroom will need to be widened. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Specially Adapted Housing Requirements specify a minimum hallway width of 48” with a minimum doorway width of 36” to allow full wheelchair accessibility. The minimum clear space for a T-shaped 180 degree turn is 36” in all directions.

    Choosing the Right Handicap Shower
    Handicap accessible showers are a great way to create a more comfortable, convenient and safer showering experience in the bathroom, while at the same time providing the homeowner with special needs the ability to be more independent. The ADA has several provision for installing safe shower stalls, including, a shower seat located directly opposite the faucet, a grab bar located within easy reach on the back wall of the shower stall, and a shower head attached to a hose that is 60 inches in length. In order to allow easy transfer from wheelchair to shower chair , there should be no shower enclosures, such as doors, that might interfere with mobility. In addition, the curb should be no more than ½ inch high from the bottom of the shower unit and the opening should be at least 36” wide. There are many bathroom manufacturers, like Swanstone , that offer several choices for your handicap shower needs, as well as grab bars and other fixtures.

    Walk In Tubs for the Disabled
    Bathtubs in general can sometimes be precarious even for the able bodied bather, so it’s difficult to imagine those with injuries or disabilities managing their way in and out of one without a great deal of assistance. That challenge has been solved, however, with the advent of walk in tubs , which make the experience easy and enjoyable. As the name suggests, these types of bathtubs are not designed for individuals who may be wheelchair bound or invalid because they do require that the user be able to walk in and out on their own. However, for those who are feeling the discomfort and limited mobility that accompanies injury, illness or advanced age, walk in tubs offer a safe, convenient and comfortable solution. Some of the more popular makers of walk in tubs include Jacuzzi and MediTub .

    Handicap Toilets
    This is another common household fixture that most of us take for granted, but can become a painstaking experience for those who are physically impaired. A properly installed handicap toilet can make the everyday bathroom visit a much less difficult ordeal, while allowing the user to feel more independent, and ultimately safer and more secure. Most handicap toilets will be 17” high, with grab bars and flush mounted for easy access. Don’t overlook this important element of you handicap bathroom design . Companies like Toto carry an excellent selection of compliant toilet products.

    Don’t Forget the Handicap Bathroom Accessories
    After thoroughly researching and selecting your primary bathroom components, make sure to include many of the fixtures and accessories available for handicap baths. Things like Shower Entry Ramps, Handicap Shower Heads, Shower Commodes, Shower Transfer Benches, Shower Pans, Handicap Shower Chairs, Shower Grab Bars, Shower Seats, Waterproof Shower Mats, Wall Mounted Shower Stools, Bathtub Grab Bars, Suction Shower Handrails, Wall Mounted Handrails, Shower Mats , and more.

    Get it Done Right – Hire A Pro
    For proper design and installation of handicap accessible bathrooms, always consult with an experienced and professional contractor in your area. Most good contractors will offer free consultations and expert advice.