People often ask me if bath tubs are an important feature in the master bath today- this is a relevant question, and its one that I get asked very frequently. I know most folks would like a simple yes or no answer, but the truth is- it depends. Bath tubs conjure something in the senses, so in the right place, they have a soothing affect just by being present. You know the photo of the tub with the towel over the edge- how it seems to be calling you to take a break? The same thing happens when we see a window seat complete with cushion and throw pillow- but are we going to sit there? Probably not- but the feel of the environment changes. The space becomes more inviting and relaxing- it offers opportunity to stir other emotions as well, and if that is important to you, even if you rarely take baths, then I would recommend looking at a design with a tub in it. The reality is that we see fewer bath tubs in the master bath, and is the result of having less time available in our lives. The space once reserved for the tub is often used for a luxury shower because we know we have time to enjoy that. I know this to be true because many of our clients have the means to install a tub, but they just know they don’t have time to wait for it to fill, or they know that by the time the bath is ready they will hear “Mom?” . If you already take regular baths, then the question is answered and all you have to do is find the right one.If you are still unsure about adding a tub in the space, there are a couple more things to consider that may help you with your decision. If you don’t think you will use it often but believe it either makes sense for your neighborhood or your desired aesthetic- then get a nice soaker tub that isn’t too expensive… you don’t need the hydrotherapy. If you are an avid soaker, consider a tub with a few features that are great to have, such as: a heated back rest, a water heater to keep the temperature up, and air jets- which are more sanitary, quitter, and often offer improved hydrotherapy than a jetted tub. BainUltra is one of my favorite brands for tubs. The last thing to think about is the tub freestanding or built-in? There are so many options… below is one of the newer designs I saw at the Kitchen and Bath Show last week- it is not very expensive and would be stunning in a transitional or more modern bath, and retails under $2k.
Owners Ray and Terry Wiese provide a quick explanation of what makes Sherborn Kitchen + Bath the perfect resource for your renovation or construction project.
Check it out: Introducing Sherborn Kitchen + Bath
The biggest change/ improvement in showers of late is the channel drain system. Like anything new, these are still a little more expensive and require another skill set to install the special pan system. However, the channel drain has made a few things possible that will make you come to love this new method of water evacuation. First, there’s no more sloping to a single point. This allows large format tiles to be used. And yes, less grout at the bottom and an almost flat floor, giving you a puddle-free floor. Another advantage is the walk in (no stoop) look that offers another level of luxury. We are a dealer of these drains, and to see more, please click here.
Among the many important factors in choosing the right fixtures and appliances is the growing importance water conservation. Whether you are in the mood to be green or undertaking a remodeling project, water-efficient fixtures and appliance can make a big impact on saving water, and your money too. According to WaterSense, an EPA partnership program, the average household spends as much as $500 per year on its water and sewer bill and in some areas of the county much more. By making just a few simple changes to use water more efficiently, you could save approximately 35% on your annual costs. If all U.S. households installed water-efficient appliances and fixtures, the country would save more than 3 trillion gallons of water and more than $18 billion dollars per year! Also, when we use water more efficiently, we reduce the need for costly water supply infrastructure investments and new wastewater treatment facilities.
- If one out of every 100 American homes retrofitted with water-efficient fixtures, we could save about 100 million kWh of electricity per year—avoiding 80,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions. That is equivalent to removing nearly 15,000 automobiles from the road for one year!
- If 1 percent of American homes replaced their older, inefficient toilets with more efficient models, the country would save more than 38 million kWh of electricity—enough to supply more than 43,000 households electricity for one month.
To help you understand just how much you can save by installing water-efficient products in your home, visit the WaterSense Savings Calculator.
Showers are still the most sought after luxury item in bathroom renovation. There are a few things that have changed since this trend started. In the 90’s increasing the showers size was the main goal … of course as large as possible, while fitting the over-sized jetted tub into the design. After big-sized showers, amenities such as steam, body sprays and built in benches started emerging. Like most things, evolution has a way of making things better. For starters, body sprays have been replaced with a second hand-held shower. These are great for leg shaving and rinsing down the shower. You can also use this hand-held on an adjustable arm if you want to point the massage setting at your lower back… and with proper volume control you can have both heads operating simultaneously. Rain heads are making a big inroad… probably due to options that make them more control in pressure and less expensive than the early models. If you are going to have one of these heads, make sure you check out the pressure and volume for these units and that you have proper water supply as part of your renovation. We still install benches — both storage and foot rests — so that leg shaving is safer and easier. As for the jetted tub, with our more hectic lives today, a nice soaking tub without the ½ hour fill time and noisy motor is a more Zen like experience. So Happy Bathing!