Six Must-Haves for Your Next Bathroom Remodel


bathroom remodelGoodbye, plain old utilitarian bathrooms. Today’s bathroom trends emphasize luxurious comfort, turning these once-basic rooms into relaxing getaways that give homeowners a space to escape from a hectic world. Bathrooms are incorporating elements that make them more beautiful, more comfortable and more functional. Here are six must-haves to include when you decide to tackle that bathroom remodel.


1. Floors with Radiant Heat


This is a great touch for bathrooms, which always seem to be chilly because of the hard-surface finishes, especially in areas that endure several months of cold, hard winters. Heated floors welcome bare feet and also heat the entire bathroom efficiently, often more efficiently than other types of traditional heating systems. Because the entire floor is heated, bathrooms with radiant heat avoid the problem of warm air rising to the ceiling and leaving a layer of cold air near the floor.


Radiant heat systems work by embedding a layer of wires or hot water tubes under linoleum, laminate, or tile flooring. The entire surface of the floor becomes one large heater that gently radiates warmth. Radiant heat systems take time to warm up, but timers can be installed so the floor is nice and warm just when it needs to be, say when a homeowner first crawls out of bed in the morning. Getting out of that warm bed might become a tad bit easier when it no longer means walking on cold bathroom tiles. For added warmth and comfort for the feet, add a shag area rug to the space.


2. Luxury Showers


Showers are getting multiple upscale treatments and becoming a way to pamper yourself in spa-like surroundings. Walk-in showers take advantage of innovative new channel drains, which does away with the old-fashioned shower pan and allows the shower floor to be installed flush with the bathroom floor. Because there’s no physical or visual barrier between the shower and the bathroom floor, this enables showers to have a sleek, modern, integrated look with the entire bathroom. Multiple-head showers also add luxury by spraying water from multiple angles. Showers are getting larger too, often taking the place of a tub, and new trends include opening up the feel of the shower by using glass panels and doors. It requires proper ventilation and drainage, such as using linear drains, but it’s possible to remove shower walls entirely in a tiled bathroom for even fewer shower space limits.


3. Environmentally Friendly Functionality


Greater luxury doesn’t have to mean a greater carbon footprint. New technology enables homeowners to update their bathrooms without taking a bigger toll on the environment. Some of the options include smart showerheads, which deliver the same feel as a standard showerhead while using less water, hands-free faucets, which automatically turn the water on an off by a sensor, and dual-flush toilets, which allow homeowners two different flushing options with more water or less water as needed. On-demand hot water systems are another green choice that saves energy by heating water only when it is needed rather than hot water heaters, which must keep a large tank of water heated all the time.


4) Great Tile


Forget the standard glazed bathroom tiles of yesteryear. Say “farewell” to linoleum forever. These old, outdated finishes are making way for a wealth of new tile options. Bathrooms can have a new sense of elegance, warmth, luxury, or style, depending on the tile options chosen. Porcelain and stone tiles are gaining in popularity, as are glass tiles. With some bathrooms taking on more of a streamlined look, or even minimalist design, tiles are a way to add color and richness back into the room. There are quality tile options to suit every kind of look, feel and budget, and tiles work well with radiant floor systems and the trendy, more open shower designs.


5) Steam Rooms


With more people looking for a spa-like sense of comfort and pampering, steam rooms are gaining in popularity. Instead of going to a spa, homeowners can walk into their own bathrooms and let steam relax away their troubles. Steam systems do need a little time to heat up; some homeowners even install a control for their steam room in the garage, which allows them to flip it on as soon as they get home to have a relaxing steam bath ready as soon as possible. These renovations may take more work than others because the bathroom must be correctly configured to deal with condensation and drainage. The entire bathroom must be tiled or marbled to resist moisture. As an alternative to remodeling the entire bathroom, steam shower units can also be installed.


6) Entertainment Systems


With people spending more time relaxing in their bathrooms, entertainment technology that is traditionally reserved for other rooms in the house is creeping into bathroom spaces. It’s becoming more common to install flat screen TVs and stereos in bathrooms, so people can watch TV while soaking in a relaxing bath, taking a quick shower or getting ready for work in the morning. TVs may be installed above tubs, in shower stalls and even behind mirrors, so they only become visible when turned on. LCD panels in the wall can control electronics from inside the shower or tub. Small refrigeration units are also finding a home in bathrooms to keep chilled beverages at hand.


About the Author: Jim Van Landingham – Sales Professional in the Luxury Bath industry connecting architects, designers, dealers and contractors with luxury products for 18 years. Jim is a Family Man, Runner, IDPA Member, Artist and Cook and currently working as the VP of Sales in the Residential Division for Quick Drain USA.