We’re finding that many homeowners are trying to create a relaxing, luxurious experience in the bathroom. And that means features like these …
Whirlpool tubs can be soothing, but they also take up a lot of space and require a fair amount of maintenance to keep clean. And in many homes, they don’t even get used very often. So we often get requests to remove whirlpools.
For some homeowners, a standalone tub is a nice alternative. Freestanding claw foot and slipper tubs look great and offer a peaceful retreat for soaking. Possible issues: You have to consider how it will look to have exposed plumbing; a good deal of tiling work likely will be required; and the cost of the tub itself is generally higher than with an alcove tub.
Also, installing a deep tub may not make sense if you’re planning on staying in the home long term. At some point down the line, you’re probably going to want something that’s easier to step in and out of, like a lower tub or curbless (zero-threshold) shower.
While polished nickel faucets are popular in some other regions, chrome is king in the Northeast. Many homeowners find that chrome faucets are easy to clean and keep shiny. In showers, these commonly take the form of a single-lever faucet featuring an arc shape. In sinks, chrome faucets often have a streamlined design and are paired with a
square bowl for a contemporary look.
Marble Vanity Tops
Granite vanity tops are still popular among our clients, but marble is gaining traction. In the past, homeowners tended to shy away from marble for fear of staining from the bottom of metal shaving cream canisters. (Perhaps more of those canisters are now made of stain-free materials?) High-end marble is similar in price to high-end granite and, if anything, may cost a bit less.
Hanging & Furniture-Style Vanities
Vanities that suspend from the wall can give the bathroom a modern/European appearance. So, too, can furniture-style vanities with flat, straight lines.
Want to do something different than tiling on the bathroom walls? We’re seeing more and more clients go with wainscoting in their half bathrooms (less so in their full baths).
Water-heated, air-heated and electric- heated radiant floors are all available today. We prefer electricradiant heating for the bathroom because it’s relatively easy to install — all we have to do is place an electric radiant mat between the subfloor and floor tile.
As electrician Steve Gilbert explained in our June 2013 newsletter, “You can program the mat to run warm during certain hours and then run cooler at other times. It works well — actually makes it nice to walk on a tile floor in the morning. … You can run one strip down the middle of the bathroom, and it makes a huge difference. I’ve gotten great feedback from clients.”