Bathroom renovations generate some of the highest resale values of all types of home improvement projects.
Whether you want to refresh and modernize a small to medium sized master or turn a larger bath into a spa-like oasis, there are many possibilities based on your goals and budget. Perhaps one of the biggest considerations while planning a remodel is how you’ll restructure the layout to fit your wants and needs.
It’s important to remember that you don’t have to stick with your current layout or keep every existing fixture. There are endless possibilities for reconfiguring your floor plan and this certainly includes eliminating or adding plumbing fixtures.
You may want a larger vanity with an additional sink, or choose to swap fixture positions to take advantage of space or natural light. These are all typical wishes when planning a remodel, but we’re finding more and more homeowners are requesting one thing in particular—they want to do away with their bathtub. Yes, you heard correctly! Here’s why…
Transitioning away from the tub
Several decades ago, big whirlpool tubs were all the rage, but now homeowners are finding little use, or taste for them. In our 20+ years experience custom designing and remodeling bathrooms, we’ve heard more people express that they just aren’t spending time in their giant tubs anymore. It takes up valuable space, requires too much cleaning and isn’t used frequently enough to warrant a coveted place in their master bath. What many of our clients want to do is replace the tub with a big, luxurious custom shower. The bonus: Many find they have room to spare!
But removing the bath tub isn’t for everyone! There are other options for keeping it or just downgrading to a smaller version to still get the most out of your new shower. If you have the square footage and the layout for it, you may even opt for a sleek, modern freestanding tub. These are extremely popular for people who still want the soaking option, but don’t like the look of a bulky wall-mounted fixture.
Hitting the showers
Today, showers are exceedingly more popular than bathtubs. A recent survey from the American Institute of Architects suggests that nearly 60% of participants indicated they prefer a larger walk-in shower over a big tub.
Bathrooms have become an “it” room and showers are the centerpiece. Consequently, the bath & shower industry has grown significantly in response to contractors, designers and homeowners changing preferences. Everything from no-to-low thresholds, benches and seats to spa-like fixtures, glass surrounds and intricate tiles, nothing is off limits when customizing your new bathroom.
Top 5 shower trends
The tile industry has evolved in amazing ways over the past 10-15 years, bringing so many options that it’s nearly impossible to choose. Gone are the days of standard 4×4 tiles inside shower stalls. Larger tiles in staggered dimensions and multi-textured materials are trending for producing a contemporary, unique design. Glass tile mosaics are very popular for shower walls as they add depth and shine not found in ceramic tiles. Natural stone also remains consistently favored for the soothing, earthy feel it brings to the space.
Fixtures, fixtures, fixtures!
At one time, fixtures were a secondary element to shower design, but now they’re receiving more attention. Steam heads, body sprays and rainfall spouts are currently some of the trendiest products for walk-in showers. Steam showers in particular are highly favored because they work so well in conjunction with fixed rain showers and handheld sprays. This combination of special amenities can offer the option of a quick, luxurious shower or, with a little more time, steam provides a relaxing, even detoxifying experience.
Shower benches & storage
When remodeling a bathroom, it’s usually all about luxury, but it should also be about convenience. Custom showers are often designed with built-in bench and seating options. Not only does this provide a more relaxing, comfortable experience, but it enhances accessibility for users of all ages. Built-in benches can also do double-duty as storage. Whether it’s underneath the seat, or inside wall niches nearby, benches conveniently eliminate the need for plastic caddies and mildew-attracting baskets that make your shower difficult to clean.
Seamlessly joining the shower floor with the remaining bathroom surface is a hot trend in remodeling. In fact, it’s estimated that nearly 1/3 of shower enclosures are installed flush with the floor. And thanks to technology in space-saving drain systems and super-thin shower tubs, most people can have a no-threshold shower that merges into the floor making your bathroom feel much larger and more open. The floor-level shower has many perks—it’s low-maintenance, safe for all ages and offers optimum accessibility—you walk in and walk out!
Bulky framework and unsightly seams are out and frameless glass enclosures are in! According to data from the National Kitchen & Bath Association, almost 80% of homeowners choose all-glass enclosures for their shower and 54% choose frameless glass. Glass comes in a variety of textures and the little hardware required for install is available in attractive finishes like brushed nickel and bronze. Interesting fact: A good 30% of glass shower enclosures are installed flush with the floor—pointing back to the trend for no-threshold entry.
Design the ultimate bathroom experience
Of course your master bath is more than just a shower. R.J. Tilley understands that you want customized bathrooms that fit your needs, style and budget, but aren’t lacking in abundant amenities. This is why our team of designers, carpenters and plumbers work closely on your bathroom remodel to fit together every piece of the puzzle. Whether it’s outdated or doesn’t function well, let us help you turn your inefficient bathroom into a customized retreat.