By Alan Knight
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a beautiful bathroom that is the envy of the neighborhood? A place that you can relax in and enjoy the serenity of your own private space. Imagine it with soothing music, scents of lavender and a nice glass of wine? Most people think that this is just a pipe dream, but in reality, these kinds of upgrade are affordable for most families, especially if it is well researched and planned. Let me elaborate.

Personal indulgence, that was once the domain of health spas, has made an entrance into the master bath.  One's imagination can be limitless, held in check only by a budget, and can provide days of creative fun and years of personal enjoyment.  And did you know that “luxury” can be incorporated into any design, if your project is well thought out? 

A book like “Yes/No Design:  Discover Your Decorating Style With Taste-Revealing Exercises and Examples,” by Diane Love (Rizzoli InternationalPublications) can help you to sort through various styles. 
Courtesy of  Yes No Designs on Amazon

Also pay a visit to some of the Home and Patio Trade Shows around the country to see live models of different bath styles.  These shows typically take place in the spring and the fall in most metro cities.  In the southeast, Tub King, Inc. displays the newest concepts in bathtubs and shower designs, along with the most beautiful bath fixtures to accentuate these styles. 

Along with choosing the style, you should also consider the materials.  For master baths, no material is too luxurious or unusual.  Porcelain is back.  Most are shunning fiberglass and acrylic and going with the rich look of ceramic glass.  For soaking, the gargantuan slipper tubs and double slippers with their huge metallic legs are definitely in vogue.  Granite countertops are a must in the master bath. 

Courtesy of www.ecofriend.com
For years, most contractors were installing two sinks in the master bath.  I suppose it was to communicate a “his” and “hers” arrangement.  That has become old fashioned.  Today, most are opting for one sink which provides much more counter top, drawer, and cabinet space.   Choosing a layout for your master bath might require the help of a certified bathroom designer, who will analyze the size of the space and your family's needs.  However, make sure that your budget incorporates funds for hiring an expert, if you plan on getting design help. 

One area that people and designers are debating today is the layout of the
Customized Tub King Slipper tub - Perfect for soaking.
bath.  “Do I choose a shower or a bathtub?”  Believe it or not, most are opting for both.  There are times when a person just wants to relax in hot water in a large soaking tub.  There are other times when they might be in a big hurry, and the shower seems more practical.  With just a little extra effort you can have both.  If your bathroom is large enough to accommodate a shower and soaking tub, go for it. 

The old shower stall idea has given way to the new walk in custom shower
Tub Kings new Safety Suite Showers 
with a zero threshold.  There are no shower curtains to keep clean or shower doors to scrub.  You simply walk into a luxurious tile space from floor to ceiling.  Overhead shower heads, wall-mounted shower heads, handheld shower heads, shower tiles, rain bars, body sprays and steam showers are all extremely popular. 

When looking at adding extras that might really carry a punch, consider hanging a chandelier over your porcelain soaking tub with expensive and colorful towels surrounding it.  Small antique tables for candles or wine glasses might complete the picture.  Painting the walls with calm colors and investing in a first rate stereo system with hidden speakers is a must and add some green, as in live plants, to make it perfect.

Another thing, don’t underestimate the importance of lighting in a bathroom.  Sconce lighting at the vanity is the ideal way to get even lighting on your face, and installing it at eye level will help diminish unflattering shadows.  Add French doors to bring in the daytime natural lighting.  Adding more overall lighting can make a small bathroom seem larger. 

Courtesy of en.wikipedia.org
In addition to lighting, ventilation is so important.  Moisture is your bathroom's greatest enemy.  Mold and mildew will make quick work of any renovation you've done, so be sure to install a vent fan of appropriate CFMs (or cubic feet per minute) for the square footage of your bathroom.  The rough guide is one CFM per square foot for bathrooms of one hundred square feet or smaller.  New designs are quieter and more stylish than ever and are a must for any bathroom remodel.

Some of the most effective updating in a bathroom can also be the easiest and the cheapest.  Changing out all the hardware, such as drawer pulls, faucet handles and spouts, and shower heads can make a huge impact.  Be sure to use the same finish, such as oil rubbed bronze, brushed nickel or chrome, so that everything in the bathroom matches.

Courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org
One thing should be said here.  Don't “overestimate” your DIY skills.  Assess which projects to do yourself and which are better left to the pros.  You could save yourself a ton of money in the long run if you don't have to call someone in to fix a project you've messed up.  The best way to find a good contractor is to seek referrals from friends and family who can vouch for their good workmanship.

Courtesy of  Pixabay.com
Now for the part of the project you don't like...  Choosing a budget.  This will have a big impact on the type of materials you select for your bathroom renovation and the boundaries of the design you choose.  Knowing what you can really afford to spend will make it a lot easier to decide what items you want to replace and where you need to get creative.  You might even consider calling in some “markers.”  Do you have friends or family members who have special skills that could do the labor for free?  You can act as their apprentice.  This will save you a great deal.  In the long run, what you decide has to fit within your budget. That’s your starting point. 

You can also make your upgrade happen in stages. Maybe this year you can add that new porcelain tub.  Next year you completely redo the shower area.  The project doesn't have to have an expiration date.  Just get started.  Everything else will fall into place.

Testimonial video of a redesigned upgraded bathroom using a Tub King tub. 

In this article I have elaborated on trends and necessities for upgrading and redesigning your bathroom. I have covered many options including tub styles (pedestal, Clawfoot and walk-in) the new safety showers suites that are becoming popular. I further discuss, selecting contractors, how to budget, selecting a design and determining what parts are DIY and what needs a pro's touch.

If you found this article useful, please share it with your family, friends and co-workers. You can find more article like this one by typing in your search phrase in the search box at the top of this blog. If you have a comment related to this article, leave it in the Comment section of this blog. Thanks again for visiting with us.

Would you’d like to receive a FREE Walk-in Tub Buyers’ Guide, fill out the form below.

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Have a question? Feel free to contact me at the number or email listed at the end of this article and my brother, Alan, who heads up Tub King, will personally get back to you. It’s been my pleasure sharing this information with you.

Alan Knight is the owner of Tub King, Inc., and  SeniorBathtub.com  in Jacksonville, Florida. He has many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. His companies not only provide superior products, they are also award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” four years running. To contact Tub King directly, call (800)843-4231 or email alan@tubking.com. 

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