The modern master bathroom is all about simplicity and comfort. What was fabulous yesterday, is outdated today. The items we need in the master bath are not what they were five or ten years ago. For anyone looking to do a master bath remodel consider this a blueprint for spending your money wisely. Here is what you really need in the modern master bathroom and what you don’t.
Gone are the days of the glamor bathroom with the big tub in the middle of the room, endless countertops, mirrors everywhere, bad lighting and often horrific dated wallpaper. We’ve realized we don’t require all that grandiosity (nor do we want to clean it). Today’s bathrooms have to work, soothe and inspire.
6 Items The Modern Master Bath Needs
Quartz, stone or solid surface countertops are a must. Keep in mind quartz a solid surface such as Meganite, is more stain resistant especially with health and beauty products. These countertops work great with undermount sinks to provide a seamless look and make counters easy to clean.
A great shower, not too big but not too small. Tile is the most durable and stylish material for shower walls and ceiling. Linear drains are a popular upgrade for both tiled shower floors or acrylic and solid surface shower pan inserts. Built in shelves or niches are a key component of building a great shower. Make a space for bathing stuff, refuse to create clutter.
Useful, user friendly storage to promote a clutter free space is the key to a well appointed master bathroom. It isn’t about having a lot of cabinets, it is about having the right cabinets where everything has a place. A vanity with drawers rather than doors is much more efficient and holds plenty of bathroom goodies effectively.
Great quality lighting is necessary but doesn’t have to be expensive. LED lighting will provide clear, dimmable light for any task or ambient lighting need. When it comes to bathroom lighting, pretty is nice, but functionality and quality of light are far more important. Bathroom lighting does not need to be some jaw-dropping wallet-busting fixture, it needs to work!
Durable flooring is a must. A bathroom floor must withstand water drops, ambient moisture and remain slip resistant.
Tile, stone, and cork are great for bathroom floors. Wood is not the best choice. You can order great patterned cement tiles which are so popular today online at Avente Tile. A must for colder climates is a heated floor, especially if using tile. Yes, it costs a little more, but I’ve never met anyone who’s regretted it. (We don’t install master bathrooms without it.)
Tile is a must. Use it on the wall, it is is the most popular, durable, timeless material which just screams quality. Backsplashes, walls surrounding a tub, shower walls are almost always some sort of tile. This is where you can get a bit creative and add some flavor in terms of color and texture.
Stone, glass, ceramic, porcelain, or cement tile are great for flooring, walls and ceiling. In the old days bathrooms tiled on all four walls plus the floor and or ceiling were the only way to build a bathroom. Forgoing tile due to cost is a big mistake. Tile not only protects the building from moisture, it is a hygienic material and easy to clean. (Grout options have come a long way.)
4 Things A Master Bath Does Not Need
The items we mention below are not anything bad, but they are not needed to create a beautiful master bathroom. Everyone has certain likes and dislikes, the point is these do not always translate as a must or desirable option for others.
Though somewhat controversial depending on what part of the country you live in, a tub is not a necessary component of a good or even a high-end master bathroom. If you don’t take a bath, don’t put it in. Is a $7,000 tub going to add as much value to your home? Trade the space for a bigger shower. A shower big enough for two is far more valuable. Steam showers have become highly desirable, almost a requirement for a true luxury home.
However, if you do add a tub to the master bath, it doesn’t need fancy jets. A nice soaking tub in a usable size is better, more hygienic and less potential trouble.
As long as the home has a tub somewhere, you’re covered. A tub in the master bath is no longer a must.
A huge bathroom big enough for a dance party is nothing more than a silly waste of space and money. In the past few years we’ve seen the master bath shrink from a mini-ballroom to more manageable size. Sure people in McMansions still go crazy, but they are building for ego not potential resale reality. Space is a luxury, empty space is luxurious, excessive space is wasteful.
Homeowner’s find far more satisfaction from the addition of a hand shower rather than half a dozen body sprays. If you like body sprays and use them great, just don’t insist a homebuyer see them as a great luxury.
Technology and gadgets are fun, while they are new, but once the next generation is on the market, yours is already old. I’m not saying technology is bad, just don’t feel you need a TV in a mirror, surround sound in the shower, motion censored faucets, or a programable shower system to have a wonderful master bathroom. Yes it is cool, but is your bathroom a fail without it, no.
If you want to build a humongous bathroom with a jacuzzi tub, make the shower stream fall seamlessly from the wall upon entrance, go ahead, just don’t expect anyone else to pay up for it.
Today’s master bathrooms have very well utilized space. Ideally a master bathroom will offer:
- privacy for the toilet area
- two sinks if it is for a couple
- a nice shower area
- enough storage
- durable and timeless finishes
- great lighting
- comfortable, not excessive space
It can be frustrating to get caught in the loop of trying to chase perceived needs which in many cases are outdated. A master bathroom is a private space, built to function and provide a calm, restful environment. Use this as a guide to help spend remodeling or build dollars wisely. And of course, don’t forget about the essential and simple things, your master bathroom should always have a nice scent.