The bathroom used to be a fairly utilitarian room in the home. There weren't many frills involved in planning a bathroom, aside from hooking up the plumbing. A few basic fixtures, running water, and you were done.
In recent years, this has changed dramatically. With the economy still sluggish, many homeowners are looking for ways to add luxury to their homes without breaking the bank. Since the bathroom is such a small space, it's become of the most popular ways to do this. With a little imagination and the help of a reliable bathroom remodeling contractor, you can turn your ordinary bathroom into an oasis of relaxation.
The Humble Toilet
Notorious water-wasters, for years toilets have been neglected. Style and design took a backseat to function. This is understandable; the last thing you want is a pretty toilet that doesn't work! However, new innovations and creative designs have taken this lowly bathroom fixture to realms of efficiency and style that you won't believe.
Low-flow toilets are nothing new. For years, they were the answer to traditional toilets' water-wasting practices. However, the first few generations of low-flow toilets left most people frustrated. Without getting graphic, let's just say that it took a few â€œtriesâ€ to accomplish the task at hand. The issue was so annoying that many homeowners went on dedicated searches for old-school, inefficient toilets.
This is no longer a problem, thanks to new innovations in the world of water efficiency. In addition to being very effective when it matters most, today's toilets come in a startling array of designs! From traditional-looking models that fit perfectly in any bathroom to sleek, shiny sculptures that complement a modern bath, you can find whatever you're looking for with a simple internet search.
Tubs and Showers
Today's homeowners are looking for luxury, and nothing says luxury quite like a huge, open shower. These are surprisingly easy to install with the right assistance, and they can work wonders in changing the feel and look of a bathroom. Instead of the stale tub/shower we're so familiar with; consider a separate shower with glass doors. Shower-heads have evolved as well, and you now have incredible options such as multiple flat sprayers that lay flush with shower walls, double or triple shower-heads and even unique â€œwater showâ€ features that rival ornate fountains. You can install colored lights for a soothing or energizing shower, stereos for musical accompaniment, or even aromatherapy for a true spa experience.
Whatever you want in a shower can be yours, within budget. When it comes to tubs, the latest trend is a deep, simple oasis. Not the whirlpools which were so popular for years, but a tranquil place to relax and reflect. These fixtures, known in the industry as soaking tubs, are ideally situated near a window for maximum relaxation.
In addition to placing your new tub near one, consider adding some new windows to your bath. This is another very popular trend. As people look to their bathroom as a retreat, they want it to have all the perks of a living room or a bedroom. Often, this includes large, scenic windows. Skylights are becoming popular as well, if your bathroom is on the top floor. Not only does the addition of large windows seem to magically enlarge the room itself, but the extra light is wonderful for waking up in the morning. On the other hand, a tranquil view of the night sky can only enhance a dip in your soaking tub. Either way, you can't lose!
Floors and Walls
The biggest trend right now in bathrooms is subway tile. This simple look, which somehow appears retro and sleekly modern at the same time, can work with many different decors. A subway tile is simply a rectangular tile, instead of the small square one we're all familiar with. Especially when used inside a shower, these tiles give a fresh feel that's unexpected and fun. Available in every color you can imagine, this is one trend that can truly be incorporated into any bathroom remodel.
Add More Storage
How many times have you gotten into the shower, turned it on, and suddenly realized that you forgot a towel? We've all done it, and it's annoying. Not to mention the potential embarrassment of being discovered while sneaking down the hallway, dripping wet, to grab one from the linen closet!
Eliminate this by installing ample storage in your bath. All too often, a bathroom's storage is limited to the dank space underneath the sink. Today's best remodels, however, are featuring large linen closets right where they're needed most, as well as practical storage for personal items. These can be built directly into a wall, or you can purchase a free-standing closet or shelf. Either way, the addition of storage will make your bathroom a much more useable space.
Steam Your Cares Away
For most of us, a trip to the sauna or steam room is a luxury we only enjoy when staying in a hotel or after working out at a fitness center. Today, more and more homeowners are bringing this ultimate luxury into their everyday lives.
When it comes to installing a steam room or sauna, you have two basic options. Incorporating such a large structure into your existing bathroom is only practical during an extensive remodel. When done right, it looks amazing and adds a dramatic element of luxury to your bath. However, often there simply isn't the space. In addition, it's essential to install proper drainage, to seal off any potential areas where condensation could cause problems, and to seal off the unit itself completely to avoid damaging the entire bath.
Your next option comes in the form of a freestanding steam unit which can be placed anywhere there is the correct plumbing. Thankfully, these units don't require a lot of frills, and most homes have the correct plumbing in places like the basement or garage! While it doesn't have the luxurious surroundings of your new bath, a steam room downstairs is a great way to relax.
These freestanding units are truly remarkable in the amount of features packed into a small space. In some units you can enjoy music through a built-in stereo, enjoy a light show or an aromatherapy experience. While the rest of the world keeps rolling along at its fast, hectic pace, you can retreat to your little oasis of peace. When you consider all the benefits, installing a steam unit in an unconventional part of the house is really a small price to pay.
As you can see, the world of bathroom remodeling is very different than it was even a few short years ago. With the help of a contractor who specializes in baths, you can explore options and figure out what will work for you.