The trend in master bathroom remodeling for 2016 is luxurious. There are a couple of reasons for this, one of which is that more people are considering it acceptable to indulge in luxuries at home. Why deal with the maintenance of an outdoor hot tub that is only usable for part of the year, when you can have a beautiful whirlpool tub that contains fresh water for each use, and you can control the temperature to suit exactly what you want at the moment? And that’s not even including the benefit of the privacy and convenience of having it in your master bathroom.
The second reason is to stay competitive in the market if you decide to sell your home. It’s a common adage in real estate that kitchens and bathrooms sell homes. A grungy bathroom can drive away a potential buyer in a heartbeat, and on the opposite extreme, a beautiful bathroom with a few luxuriously self-indulgent features can make that house be the one they just have to have.
So what exactly are these luxuries that are being included in bathroom remodeling? Fortunately for homeowners who will stay in their homes for a while, today’s luxury isn’t about absurd diamond-studded ornamentation, but rather about increased space and other comforts. You don’t need to incorporate all of the following into one bathroom, but you can choose the things that appeal to you the most, and include them in your design.
One concept that can be applied to all appliances and fixtures is universal design, which means making everything accessible to everyone, including those in wheelchairs. This is especially popular here in Phoenix and Tempe, where many people intend to stay in their homes as long as possible, and avoid having to move to an assisted living facility. This practice, called aging in place, can be included in master bathroom remodeling by including features such as a large shower with no ledge around the base, and easily accessible storage that won’t require getting down on your knees to reach into.
Expanding the Room
Traditionally, most bathrooms have been designed to take up as little space as possible. If you can include 90-100 square feet in your bathroom remodeling, you will get much better results than if you try to stay in the current footprint. If the bathroom backs up to another room that has excess space, or even the garage, you may be able to expand by taking some space from another area. If the master bedroom is very large, you may also be able to take some space from there for the remodeled bathroom. Walk-in closets are a luxury that few people would be eager to sacrifice, but another possibility would be to take some space from a large closet, or to take all of it and add a closet elsewhere, since a closet is much easier to relocate.
Whirlpool, Steam Tub, Shower or All of the Above
A larger room is ideal, but by installing a deep tub that incorporates a whirlpool, and maybe even a shower, you can have the luxuries you want without having to enlarge the room. If you have the space, installing a separate shower and tub works very well, and allows you to have the best version of each one.
A luxury bathroom doesn’t have to have a whirlpool, but it is a very popular option. If you do want one, you’ll need to decide if you want one large enough for two people. That is a real luxury that can be a lot of fun to have, but it also means that you may need a larger water heater, and that every time you use it, your water usage will be increased, which increases your costs as well.
The number of jets is another design choice in these tubs. You will usually be able to choose from units ranging from four to eight jets, and having differing levels of adjustability. The power of the jets is determined by the motor, and while a bigger motor will provide better massage action, it will also make more noise, which means you may need to design for more insulation if that is a concern for you.
A luxury shower option that has many benefits is a steam shower. Today’s designs let you have a sauna/steam bath right in your home, but you don’t need to build an actual sauna. These are sleek, glass enclosures that can simply look like a stylish shower, or can include multiple shower heads, extended seating, shelves, and have the aesthetic appearance of a relaxing spa.
Metals Add Elegance
Bathrooms were once the domain of porcelain and linoleum, but metals are adding elegance and style this year. Tubs can be made of metal, or just made to look like metal. Likewise, cabinets, wall décor and even the wall tiles can be surfaced with metal-like materials. This is one affect you don’t want to go cheap on, though. Make sure anything you install is designed to be in a moist environment.
The Importance of Planning
It is always best to start a bathroom remodeling project with a clear plan for what you are going to do, but it is especially important when you are installing high-end luxury items. For example, if your new shower will have dual shower heads, then your remodeling contractor will need to design the plumbing accordingly. The concern isn’t just adding a second pipe for the additional outlet, but whether the supply line is big enough to carry water for two showers being run simultaneously, and whether there is enough water pressure to make it feasible. Similarly, if you opt for the larger whirlpool tub, you will need to make sure that your faucet puts out enough water to fill it in a convenient amount of time. A rate of 55 to 120 gallons per minute is recommended. Comparing that with the 3-4 gallons per minute that regular shower heads put out, you can see why planning ahead would be a big deal.
Once construction begins, it will add significantly to the cost and the overall time the job takes if changes are made, or if the details of plumbing and electrical resources haven’t been properly accounted for. One other thing to always consider is how you will get the tub, shower, and other large fixtures into the bathroom. Especially if stairways, narrow doors, or tight corners are involved, your remodeling contractor needs to plan for exactly what you will be installing.
If you would like to learn more about what’s new in master bathroom remodeling in Tempe and Phoenix, give us a call today at 623-544-1211. We also invite you to come in and visit our showroom, where you can see all these exciting innovations for yourself.