Laying Out A Small Bathroom In The Twin Cities


Small bathroom? No problem! Here are some tips to help plan your layout carefully so your small space looks and feels much larger.



Create Consistency

If you master bathroom is connected to your bedroom, tie in a color or texture so the spaces flow together. The less walls the better in this type of situation as walls can make the room feel more cramped.


Storage Is Essential

Running to a hallway closet to get a towel after a warm shower is not ideal.Think about how many people are going to be using the bathroom. Make sure to include enough storage space so each person can keep their bathroom essentials organized. Running to a hallway closet to get a towel after a warm shower is not ideal.


Save Space With A Combo

If square-footage is not in your favor, consider a shower/tub combo. As a functional, affordable option you’ll be able to spend more on other items for the room.

For expert shower and bath plumbing solutions in Minneapolis–St Paul, rely on the plumbing professionals from Uptown Plumbing. Our helpful and friendly team will answer any plumbing questions or concerns you may have and we are dedicated to providing you with the best in service when you need a plumber. Call us today at 612-284-5789.

Kitchen Faucets: Luxury vs. Bargain


You get what you pay for right? Well, not always. Take kitchen faucets for example. Their main job is to supply water to your sink for cleaning dishes and prepping meals. So why are some much more expensive than others, even if they’re virtually the same shape and size?

Take this luxury faucet by Kallista for example:

  • Height: 17 inches

  • Weight: 5 ¾ pounds

  • Warranty: 5 years

  • Cost: $1,170

Some additional features include a solid brass, with corrosion-resistant rubber spray nozzle and a pause button that stops water flow. A smooth braided-nylon hose extends up to 18 inches and the faucet comes in a brushed nickel finish.


Compare it with its bargain counterpart, Price Pfister’s Ashfield:

  • Height: 17 inches

  • Weight: 4 ⅛ pounds

  • Warranty: lifetime

  • Cost: $220

This faucet is has a painted chrome finish is a bit less durable than brass, but it’s much lighter making it easier to dock. There is no pause button included with this model. The valve cartridge is equipped with ceramic disks and the fittings are made of brass on copper tubes.


Moral of the story: for about $900 less, you can purchase the bargain faucet without sacrificing the main purpose of a kitchen faucet. Cheap isn’t always a bargain, and expensive doesn’t always mean it’s better in every way.

Looking for a professional to install your new faucet, or having a problem with your current one? Give Uptown Plumbing a call, we’re available to help with any of your plumbing needs.

What Is Home System Heating & Cooling Zoning?


Ever wonder why some rooms of your house get much warmer or stay cooler than others? There are plenty of reasons why this may happen, but there is only way to even out the problem - system zoning.

There’s a good chance you have more than one thermostat in your house, which means you have more than one heating or cooling zone. Each thermostat takes a read of the temperature in its “zone” and then opens or closes the dampers within the ductwork to reflect the thermostat’s temperature setting.

System zoning is a wonderful way to save on your energy bills. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, system zoning can save homeowners up to 30 percent on a typical heating and cooling bill. How so? Rooms that aren’t used often don’t need constant heating or cooling. System zoning allows you to turn the heat down or the air conditioning up when nobody is in the room.

Thinking of converting to a zoning system in your Minneapolis or St. Paul home? Give the heating and cooling experts at Uptown a call to discuss how it can help you save money and make your home more comfortable!

5 Home Upgrades For Less Than $100


Fulfill one of your New Year’s Resolutions, the one where you said you were going to save money in 2015. Simple upgrades can really change the feel and decor of your house and now you can do it without breaking the bank. See below for 5 upgrades for less than $100.

  1. Keep The Cold Air Out: not only will a natural door stop keep the warm air in, it will keep the cold air out. How much does one of these cost? About $10-$20. Not to mention, it can help save money on your utility bills each month.

  2. Use A Timer: putting the bath fan on a timer after your morning shower will help keep mold and mildew away. For about $50 you can purchase a digital bath fan control.

  3. Window Curtains In The Shower?: well not quite, but hanging two curtains as if you were framing a window can add flair to your boring bathroom. Choose quick-dry fabric curtains that don’t need a liner, they’ll cost around $60 for the pair.

  4. Put Your Old Fireplace To Use: have an old fireplace that is no longer in use? Line the firebox with plywood and add shelving for storage space. A 4x8 foot sheet of birch plywood goes for around $45.

  5. Don’t Throw Away Your Old Dresser: instead, create an island with a breakfast bar in your kitchen. The only thing you’ll need to buy is the butcher block top which should cost you around $90.

Enjoy on-time plumbing, heating and air conditioning repairs and new systems across Minneapolis - St. Paul areas with the professionals at Uptown. Give us a call today at 612-284-5789.

Battling A Minneapolis Winter With Basement Heating


Basements are notorious for being cold and damp all year round. In the summer it can be nice to go downstairs to cool off, but during a cold Minnesota winter a warm, relaxing retreat sounds much better. Follow the tips below for heating your basement this winter so you don’t have to throw on a sweater before you head down.



There are several options for heating your basement depending on your current heating system and whether or not you want to perform a renovation. If you’d like to use your existing heating unit, you’ll need to install ductwork and air ventilation that feeds off of the main source. This project should only be done by a heating expert such as the heating technicians at Uptown.


Another option is to purchase and install a gas or wood-burning fireplace. This situation is optimal if you already have a chimney in your basement, but if you don’t a ventless gas fireplace will work just as well.


Finally, if you’re planning on redoing your floors radiant heat is a wonderful option. Radiant heat can be installed underneath a stone or tile floor and will increase the overall temperature of the room. Chances are you won’t need any additional heating source if you choose radiant heat.

If you’re thinking about having a heating system installed in your basement, don’t hesitate to give the heating experts at Uptown a call! We have been servicing the Minneapolis - St. Paul area for 100 years and would be happy to speak with you to discuss your options. Don’t forget to connect with us on Google+ for plumbing, heating and cooling updates.

5 Tips On Shopping For A Kitchen Sink In Minneapolis


One bowl or two? Undermount or overmount? Shiny surface or dull finish? These are all things you need to consider when shopping for a new kitchen sink.



Stainless steel is a great choice as it doesn’t require extensive cleaning, but there are other qualities that affect value and quality that are important when making your decision. See below for tips on shopping for a new stainless steel sink:


Less Is More

When searching for a stainless steel sink, it’s important to gauge its metal. While there isn’t a huge difference between 16 and 18-gauge, 22-gauge is more susceptible to denting and vibrating. Stick with 16 or 18-gauge as it will be better equipped to support the weight of a quality faucet, and won’t dent when it’s dropped into place.


Is It Deep Enough?

A  general rule of thumb: the deeper the sink, the more expensive it will be. However, it’s not a good idea to cut back in this category. Shallow sinks can’t hold as much and are much more likely to splash outside of the sink. Keep in mind that you’ll get more volume with square corners, straight sides and a flat bottom.


Don’t Neglect The Drain

You’ll want to make sure the sink’s drain and basket will be able to catch any big chunks of food or other items that may clog the drain. Also consider the location of the drain - if it’s located toward the back of the sink you’ll have space to work with.


Noise Control

Hate the sound of dishes and silverware rattling around in your sink? This is another quality you will need to think about while shopping. If you like peace and quiet, make sure the sink contains sound pads or insulation.


Choosing A Finish

Don’t get sucked into the first shiny sink you see. Although it looks nice in the showroom, mirrored finishes are more difficult to clean and they show every fingerprint and smudge. If you don’t want to clean your sink constantly, we recommend choosing a brushed or satin finish.

Take these tips with you when you’re ready to go shopping for a new sink, you’ll be glad you did. When you make your purchase and are ready to have it installed, give the plumbing experts at Uptown a call. We’ll make sure your sink is mounted and installed properly so you can get back to enjoying your fully functional kitchen!

How To Hide Your Under-Cabinet Lighting Wires


Under-cabinet lighting is a spectacular way to make your investment in a beautiful countertop really shine. A well-planned UCL (under-cabinet lighting) design can create a focal point in your kitchen and act as an additional source of light to brighten up the room where you spend most of your time. However, like most electrical devices, under-cabinet lights come with an extensive wiring system that won’t look so good if they are exposed. How can you hide them? See below for a few tips:



Cable Protectors

If you’re looking for a simple solution, this is your best option. A cable protector is usually made of wood and its job is to safely hide the exposed wires by allowing the bundled wires to fit in a groove. The protector is affixed across the bundle of wires on the underside of the cabinet, hidden from site. You can even customize the look of a cable protector by painting the wood to match the color of the cabinet.


Hide Them In The Cabinet

Another solution to unsightly UCL wires is to hide them inside the cabinet. This process is a bit more involved as it requires cutting into the cabinet to create a covered channel for the wires to go from the light fixture into the cabinet. If working with tools isn’t your thing, we strongly recommend hiring a professional to perform this task.


Extend Your Cabinets With A Wood Valance

In some cases, depending on the lighting fixtures you choose, they’ll hang down a bit lower than the bottom of the cabinet. How can you hide the wires in a case like this, you might ask? You’ll need a wood valance - a piece of wood that can be attached across the bottom of your cabinets, to act as an extension of your cabinetry. Similar to the cable protector, you’ll be able to stain or paint the wood to match the color of the cabinets. The wires should be affixed to the front bottom edge of the cabinet, running along the valance, so they won’t be seen.

Adding under-cabinet lighting to your kitchen will really make an impact on the decor of your kitchen. Give the trusted electricians at Uptown a call today to discuss a UCL plan that will spiff up your kitchen!

Expert Repipe Solutions in the Twin Cities


Have pipes that are leaky, busted or broken? An inadequate plumbing system can be extremely detrimental to your home and these problems need to be addressed and repaired FAST! The expert plumbers at Uptown Plumbing, Heating & Cooling are well-rounded in leak detection, corroded pipes and burst or frozen pipe repairs. See below for more information:


Leak Detection

Our plumbers are equipped with the latest diagnostic equipment so we can locate and perform a repair quickly and accurately.


Corroded Pipes & Repipes

If your water tastes foul or has a rusty brown appearance there’s a good chance you have corroded pipes. We offer a number of durable re-pipe solutions and installations, such as the incredibly durable and long lasting copper or PEX piping.


Burst & Frozen Pipes

Prepping your plumbing system for winter is a MUST! If you neglect to make sure your pipes are properly insulated you may end up with frozen or burst pipes. If your pipes have succumbed to a freezing Minnesota winter, one of our plumbers can be with you to assist with any burst or broken pipes.

For fast pipe repairs and repiping solutions for your home in Minneapolis-St Paul, call and speak with the pipe experts at Uptown Plumbing today. Don’t forget to connect with us on Google+ for plumbing, heating and cooling updates.

Reduce Your Water Heater's Energy Use


If you’re trying to save money on your energy bills, your water heater is not your friend. Most tanks work constantly to keep hot water ready when you need it but water cools as it sits, thus wasting energy. So how can you combat “standby heat loss”? Find out below.


Lower Thermostat, Higher Savings

Lowering the temperature on your water heater by a measly 10 degrees can save you up to 5% on your heating bill. Most water heaters come with a preset temperature of 140 degrees, but you can go down to 120 degrees and still have plenty of warm water.


Drain The Tank

Sediment builds up in the tank over time and causes efficiency to dramatically decrease. Draining the tank periodically will allow it to run more efficiently and will save you money.


Wrap The Tank With Insulation

Have an older tank that’s located in a cool place in your home? Wrapping it in an insulating blanket will help tremendously. Look for an R-value of at least 24, which you can purchase and install for about $20. This is a cheap and easy way to reduce energy costs.

In addition to these tips, regular maintenance is a necessity. If you notice that your water heater is not operating properly, give the plumbing experts at Uptown a call. We’ll come by to diagnose and solve the problem without making you wait!

Choosing Perfect Plumbing Fixtures In The Twin Cities


When it comes to your bathroom’s plumbing, the options can be overwhelming. Often times people neglect to choose a sink or faucet until the end of the project because they can’t decide on what they want. But waiting until the end is not a wise choice. Here’s a guide that will help you choose the right fixtures when planning your remodeling project.



Choosing A Sink

  • Drop-in: drop-in sinks are considered to be the most economical, but a lip where the sink and the countertop meets can cause a challenge when cleaning.

  • Undermount: if you prefer a sink that is very easy to clean, you’ll be very happy with an undermount sink. They are installed underneath the countertop so there is no lip where the sink meets the countertop.

  • Pedestal: if you have a small bathroom and saving space is a top priority, a free-standing pedestal sink is the perfect solution.


Focal Point Faucets

  • Wide-spread: with separate hot and cold water handles, widespread faucets are available from 6- to 20-inch drillings and require 3 holes.

  • Two-handle centerset: with valves spanning 4 inches, both handles and the spout of this faucet are combined on a single base. Each valve requires a separate hole in the countertop.

  • Wall-mounted: this faucet will add to the “easy cleaning” scheme of your bathroom as  there are no tight spaces to clean between. Requiring a separate wall-mount valve and drain, this faucet works well with above-the-counter and freestanding basins.


Now that you’ve chosen your sink and faucet, you need to choose a finish. Common finishes include bronze, polished nickel and chrome. Choosing a finish is a matter of personal preference - choose what you think will pair nicely with the decor of your bathroom.

When you’re ready to have your new plumbing fixtures installed, call the experts at Uptown. Our experienced and skilled team of plumbers are here to help with all your plumbing installations, repairs and maintenance solutions and we’d love to help with your next bathroom remodel project.