Ted Marules' new bathroom is neither subtle nor cheap. "We had visions of grandeur," he says of the $20,000 renovation to his Houston-area home. "We planned to have some wonderful moments in there." Marules and his wife sprung for all the frills: special-order Spanish tile, marble floors, gold faucets and the Texas-sized whirlpool bathtub. "We got some really nice, fancy stuff, and we spent the damned money for it," says the 53-year-old accident reconstruction expert. "Looks like a Roman whorehouse, but... More >>>
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Scene of the grime: Top, the Jacuzzi tub in Ted Marules' new $20,000 bathroom. Middle, some of the residue left in a whirlpool bath. Bottom, the guts of a typical fill-and-drain whirlpool tub, which some Texas consumers claim are a breeding ground for harmful bacteria.