The latest trends in bathroom design aside from all white everything are freestanding tubs and walk-in showers. How do you know if these are right for you?
For most of us, our bathrooms are a haven. They can be a place to relax, unwind and pamper ourselves for a bit. You do not need to have a cavernous room in order to create an in-home retreat. All you need for a great design is a blend of a beautiful color palate, just the right materials and your choice of amenities. Always consult a design professional before beginning any remodeling project to ensure a happy ending.
The first thing to consider is how much space you have. Although most of these freestanding tubs are large, there are a few companies making smaller, one-person versions. These tubs are generally 60″ long, while the larger, more spa-like tubs are 72″ long and up to 45″ wide. You must also consider the water source. Floor mounted water fillers can be tricky to locate if the space beneath the tub is not accessible. You will also need a place for the motor—even air tubs need a power source to create that desired massage experience. With larger size tubs, you should consider adding a heating element to the motor. This addition will enable you to maintain a comfortable bathing temperature without having to constantly add hot water. With the elimination of the traditional tub platform, you may want to consider placing a small furniture piece nearby. While large tubs were always considered a must for resale, many clients are now choosing to forgo the tub and instead use that valuable real estate for large showers. Top requests include rain heads, oversized multifunction shower heads, hand-held showers, and body sprays—all thermostatically controlled. With the emergence of new linear shower drains, “curbless appeal” has taken over. Shower curbs are disappearing in favor of a cleaner, trip-free entrance. The prevalence of larger showers has paved the way for the elimination of the shower door, as well. We are designing more and more of these walk-in shower enclosures. Recently, I was in a home that used a step-down shower in order to allow more head room and, once again, eliminate the curb. Prior to beginning a bathroom remodel, make sure to check with state and local building code requirements.
There are several things to consider when designing a multifunction shower. A properly pitched shower pan will ensure that water drains correctly. Shower heads should be positioned so that the water spray is not aimed directly at the door. Pay close attention to the type of water lines needed. Most bathrooms have 1/2″ water lines, while many fittings require 3/4″ lines. Both Delta and Grohe have a wide range of shower combinations that are compatible with 1/2″ lines. Lighting is not only important in the bathroom, but also in the shower itself. A high quality moisture-proof fixture is a must. Good design and quality materials are always the first priority, but the most important thing to remember is to choose the materials and concepts that work the best for you.