Going Deluxe - Luxury Trends in Bathroom Design

Custom, luxury bathrooms are now on people's wish lists, and consumers are willing to pay enough to get the style and features they want. Remodeling professionals are seeing the average cost going up on a typical bathroom renovation. People are spending more money on their bathrooms than they did in the past.

Walk-in Showers

Luxury walk-in shower

Many new bathrooms are leaving the tub out. Some homeowners are moving away from the large soaking tubs so prevalent in the 1980s. Busier schedules and the need to go green have moved the trend away from oversized whirlpool tubs. Power showers with vertical spa systems are now the popular choice. More people are opting for spacious and practical walk-in stalls with large rainfall shower heads, handheld sprayers, multiple body jets, or steam capability. Learn more about how to choose a steam bath system.

Fiberglass shower stalls are not as prevalent as in previous years. Tile is the new must-have for shower walls and floors on current remodels. Frameless glass doors keep smaller bathrooms from looking cramped and eliminate tracks that are difficult to clean. More elaborate showers may incorporate a doorless design and showcase more detailed tile work. These "wet room" showers are ideal for users with limited mobility who need easy access, making them especially a popular choice for homeowners who plan on staying and aging in place. In these cases, comfort and convenience take priority over return on investment in terms of resale value.

Freestanding Bathtubs

For some homeowners, a bathtub is still a necessity. Drop-in styles are a common choice that allows a wide variety of custom installation options. Freestanding bathtubs such as a contemporary basin or vintage claw foot styles are becoming the more popular choice over whirlpool tubs or those made of fiberglass.

Available in a variety of designs, they are create a striking focal point and set the mood for relaxation from a hectic life by inspiring a feeling of self-indulgence. Consider the shape of the tub when designing your space. Use curves to soften a bath's appearance or choose a more angular design to offset muted colors or add a more dramatic look.

High-Tech Water Control

The ultimate in luxury is thermostatic and programmable shower systems. These allow the user to adjust and monitor water temperature, pressure, and flow. Some systems also have remote control features that work from up to 30 feet away, allowing the shower to be turned on to reach the desired temperature before stepping into the bath. Rainfall shower heads, massaging sprays, and multiple body jets can turn a home shower into an indulgent spa experience.

Environmentally conscience homeowners can have their high-end shower and still be going easy on the planet. Many shower heads and faucets incorporate water-saving technology in their design without sacrificing on performance.

Style with Tile

Tile remains the choice for bathroom flooring with 12-inch by 24-inch tiles laid in a staggered pattern trending.

Tile lends itself to almost limitless design possibilities, is easy to clean, and perfect for wet areas. Materials include ceramic, porcelain, natural stone, terra cotta, and glass in an array of colors, textures, and styles.

Another part of tile's popularity is due to the increasing number of radiant floor heating system installations as the technology has become more mainstream. Invisible and energy-efficient, radiant floor heating provides an even, gentle blanket of heat where you need it. No more frozen toes on a cold morning.

Maintaining Your Bath

People spend good money beautifying their homes and creating the bathroom of their dreams. Taking proper care of all those high-end fixtures and finishes will help prolong its beauty and life. Using the right cleaning products, tools, and technique will keep your bathroom looking its best with just a little effort.

First, control mildew-forming moisture build-up. Invest in quality fan and ventilation systems to properly remove humidity and moisture to prevent mildew from developing. Squeegee the glass and tile after use to remove excess water to prevent unsightly water spots and reduce scum build-up for easier maintenance cleaning later.

Secondly, routinely clean bathrooms with a mild disinfecting soap or cleaner formulated for the type of surface being cleaned. Avoid hard abrasives as these can dull and scratch those expensive finishes. Scrubbing pads such as Mr. Clean's Magic Eraser remove mineral and soap deposits without damaging the tub and shower walls. Don't forget to rinse thoroughly and use a clean cloth or paper towels to dry all surfaces to keep them streak-free and shiny.