It’s almost the end of the year, and with the changing weather comes the itch to change up other things. Such as your bathroom! It’s one room you and your house guests will be spending a lot of time in, so bathroom remodeling is a great way to add that touch of style and class you need to feel comfortable in your surroundings or show off your taste. Alternatively, maybe the whole thing just needs to be ripped out and redone. Here’s some tips, tricks and trends to follow as we get ready to welcome in the new year.
1. Jazz Up Your Shower Fixtures
There’s nothing like a nice relaxing shower, but why not make it look as good as it feels? Basic choices are wall-mounted or hand-held showerheads. If you want to go with one of these, you can consider low-flow options for a cheaper and eco-friendlier shower, or combine the two for maximum flexibility. However, there are also other options available. Rain showerheads are becoming increasingly popular, and simulate the sensation of bathing in a waterfall or soothing rain shower. And body sprayers, which are integrated into the shower wall and can be adjusted to produce a relaxing mist or massage the body or, add another layer of luxury and style to the shower experience.
2. Radiant Heating for Tile Floors
Radiant floor heating has been used since the days of ancient Rome to heat spaces effectively with minimal energy loss. It’s now becoming popular in North America, especially in the bathroom, where stepping on cold tiles is never a fun time. Radiant heating systems provide a smooth, even heat over the entire surface, preventing the problem of the air at the top of the room being warm but your feet being cold. Radiant heat flooring installations also cut down on noise, with no furnace cutting in, no ducts to rattle and no loose vents to squeak. These systems can also last up to 40 years before they need to be replaced. They come in two types: hydronic (where hot water is pumped through polyethylene tubing just below the floor) and electric.
3. Fancy Cabinets and Bathroom Furniture
Want to bring a little of that dining room elegance into your bathroom? You could do worse than switching up your bathroom vanity with a standalone piece of fine furniture. Bathrooms are getting larger, up to 200–300 square feet, and filling that space with something that looks good is important. For the best look, consider adding wood accent pieces, and complement the vanity with other wood furniture, such as a small table or plant stand. A narrow, 36–42”-high wood chest will also help create a cozy atmosphere. Also, an area rug will definitely give your bathroom an eye-catching look, and higher-quality rugs can actually be more impervious to water than other rugs.
4. Vessel-Style Sink
One of the newest trends in bathroom fixtures, vessel sinks are actually based on a centuries-old design: Chinese washbasins that were used in the days before running water. A vessel sink is a free-standing sink that sits directly on the countertop or the furniture it’s mounted on. You can find vessel sinks made of china, glass, marble and other natural stone, cast iron, stainless steel and bronze. Make sure your vessel sink coordinates with other fixtures in the room, but you don’t have to match it directly with your bathtub and toilet. It’s also important to decide whether you want a vessel sink before the plumbing begins, as it can affect the placement of your pipes.
5. Luxury Lighting
Finally, all of this beautiful bathroom furniture is useless without being able to see it. Bathroom lighting needs to cover a range of moods and purposes, from the early-morning shower to the late-night bath. Accent light is the biggest choice, with sconces mounted above, to the side of or directly on the mirror being the most common. Make sure you get the placement of lights correct: down-pointing lights should be just below eye level, while up-pointing lights should be just above it. You can also consider ambient lighting, or if your bathroom is big enough, a pendant light or chandelier can make it feel even more spacious.