Bathroom showers are gaining in popularity. Many master bathroom remodeling projects are freeing up space for larger bathroom showers by eliminating the bathtub. This works as long as there's a bathtub in another bathroom (read Bathtubs to Enjoy Life or Sell Your House).
With today's busy lifestyles, the shower is truly the most important feature in the master bathroom. It's also where people are spending money. Before we explore the latest trends in bathroom showers, it's important to review your expectation for remodeling your bathroom using Remodeling.com's Cost versus Value survey for 2013.
- A mid-range bathroom remodeling project (5 x 7 ft bathroom) which includes replacing a combination bathtub/shower with a “porcelain-on-steel tub with 4-by-4-inch ceramic tile surround” has a projected cost of $15,782, with a 65% return on investment.
- An upscale bathroom remodel which expands the bathroom from 35 to 100 sq ft within the existing house footprint, with a 42-by-42-inch neo-angle (corner) shower with ceramic tile walls, a frameless glass enclosure and multiple accessories, is projected to cost $50,007 and deliver a return of 58%.
These numbers are US averages (regional numbers available) but more important, you need to decide on a bathroom remodeling budget that balances your personal enjoyment and your desire to maximize your return on investment for your house and neighborhood.
Bathroom Showers Without a Bathtub
The first showers were waterfalls and it wasn't until the reinvention of indoor plumbing around 1850, that indoor showers connected to running water became possible. The most common type of shower fits over a bathtub saving space and money with shared plumbing. Smaller bathrooms may include a stall shower with a door to keep the water from spraying out (in real estate, these are called three-quarter bathrooms).
As homes and bathrooms have gotten larger, master bathrooms have started to include bathroom showers separate from bathtubs. Custom bathroom showers use frameless (shower on left), glass enclosures that are almost invisible, making the bathroom feel larger. And no surprise that we're now seeing a trend for larger, walk-in (3 of 4 showers below) bathroom showers which don't need a door.
Also growing in popularity are bathroom showers with universal design that allows homeowners flexibility in bathing as they get older. Along with door-less showers (showers bottom and right), people want bathroom showers they can walk right into without stepping over the side of a bathtub or even the lower lip of a stand-alone shower.
Accessories for Bathroom Showers
Bathroom showers have always had shelves to hold soap and shampoo. Today's bathroom showers have many new features but consider which ones you'll use most as few of these features will give you a great return on investment, as there will be many newer features on the market when you sell your home.
- Showerheads are moving up … to the ceiling, to give you a more natural waterfall like the photo at right from HansGrohe.com. Another trend is using multiple shower heads and/or body spray features.
- We've had programmable thermostats for heating and cooling our homes, and now you can get one to control your bathroom showers water temperature.
- Maybe you've got a radio in your bathroom. Now you can amp up the music in your bathroom shower with high performance, Kohler SoundTile speakers.
Bathroom Showers and Water Conservation
Showers are all about water and lots of it! So you might be wondering how you save water while enjoying one of life's simple pleasures, a long hot shower? Manufacturers are introducing new showerheads that use less water than the industry average, like Moen's Envi Eco-Performance Rainshower, that uses 20 percent less water.
Want to be environmentally friendly when remodeling your bathroom. You can find WaterSense labeled showerheads here, and save 2,900 gallons per year (average family).
Photo credits to Decoist.com