Kitchens may be the most popular room in the house to renovate, due to proven return on investment and practical appeal, but master bathrooms come in at a close second. With the right features, master bathrooms can create a sense of luxury and tranquility that will never be synonymous with food preparation. Some master bathroom renovations are a necessity - inherited by new homeowners who got the home they love with a master bath that has to go. Think: shower heads you have to stoop to get under, to lack of storage, to misguided floor plans, to finishes that would look at home on The Brady Bunch, but aren’t nearly as classy.
Modern, spa-like bathrooms have raised the bar on creating zen bathroom spaces where you can close the door on the world and start your day right. A refreshing shower, relaxing in a soothing tub of bubbles, or simply finding a few quiet minutes to scroll the headlines on your newsfeed- hey, we all do it.
If you haven’t attempted a bathroom makeover in years, or you’ve never remodeled, you might not know where to start when it comes to choosing the features that will both boost property value and best serve your immediate needs and preferences. Here are just a few of the most popular features to consider when you decide it’s time to upgrade your master bathroom.
Massive walk-in showers have become the standard in modern homes, especially in the master bath where there’s still enough space to add a separate tub area. Most of us don’t have time to soak in a tub on the daily, so why not make showering a luxury affair?
With custom tile walk-in showers, you can really add statement style to an otherwise boring bathroom space. More and more homeowners are letting their personality shine through with interesting shapes and colors. Even if you’re a little hesitant when it comes to color, you can still imbue your space with visual interest by skipping the traditional wall of marble, or even the subway tiles that have dominated the last decade, and opting instead for a truly unique tile shape, color, or pattern.
There’s no denying the versatility of a handheld shower head- whether you pull it down to wash the dog, or you like to pretend it’s a microphone while you solo in your morning shower. However, there are modern upgrades that put old-school showers out to pasture. Rain shower heads- named for their overhead position, pour water down on you like a rainstorm- and they’re becoming a must-have in modern, spa-like master bathrooms.
Lest you mourn the loss of the added function of your trusty detachable shower head, you’ll be glad to discover that another popular trend is multiple shower heads, with side jets mounted at different heights along the shower walls to blast you like you’re in a jacuzzi. You can even add your trusty detachable head at the opposite end of the shower. With the right hardware, you can transform your daily cleansing ritual into a life-changing experience.
In addition to the practicality of a shower stall, many people are interested in the added luxury of a soaking tub, and the most popular trend of late is free-standing tubs that add class and a touch of nostalgia to the master bath. For modern appeal, skip the clawfoot behemoths of old and opt for a curvier, more organic design.
Double sinks have long been a selling point for the master bathroom, since this space is often shared by couples. No adult wants to fight over who gets to spit toothpaste in the sink, and let’s be honest- limited counter space means guys get about two square inches to house all their toiletries. With the move toward metro (no offense to manly men), and the number of male self-care products skyrocketing- vanity countertop real estate is at a premium.
The newer trend is to create separate sink/counter spaces by installing two single vanities. This option allows each person to control their own space and how it is organized, improving bathroom function and likely saving relationships. For a truly modern look, consider floating vanities.
At the very least, you need overhead light and vanity-specific lighting to make your bathroom functional. However, you can take it to another level with a variety of lighting fixtures that are not only task-oriented, but let you set a mood. A dimmer switch on recessed lighting is a good place to start. You may also want separate controls for shower or tub lighting.
Integrated lighting (or indirect lighting) is another popular trend, and you can create stunning effects by situating lighting behind mirrors, under counters or floating vanities, or even behind the toilet. This offers a diffused effect that’s sure to be less jarring than turning on overhead lighting when you stumble into the bathroom in the middle of the night.
Granted, this feature, common to public restrooms, has likely become more popular lately due to the call for more hand washing and sanitizing. It’s also an excellent way to prevent pesky water spots on your shiny metallic hardware, which anyone responsible for keeping a spa-like bathroom sparkling is sure to appreciate.
If you’re going to install new flooring anyway, consider the appeal of adding electric heating coils under your tile so you never have to contend with tiptoeing across icy-cold floors to reach the toilet or shower. This option is particularly useful in wintry regions, but it’s a desirable upgrade anywhere that suffers morning chilliness for a portion of the year.
Even if you don’t happen to live in a cold-weather climate, there’s really no denying the absolute luxury of stepping out of a hot shower into a warm towel. Plus, this handy tool helps your towel dry faster, which prevents mildew and is great if you live in a humid region or your routine requires you to shower more than once a day. It’s a small detail, but once you have it- you’ll wonder how you ever got by without it.
When remodeling a master bath, there’s a fine balance to be struck between making the space your own and creating a design with mass appeal that boosts your property value. Although you may plan on staying in your home for years, at some point, you will likely move on, and you don’t want to have to remodel again before you sell. With thoughtful planning and features like a custom tile walk-in shower, a soaking tub, two vanities, and more, your popular master bath picks will be just as desirable in ten years as they are today.