Luxury Housing Trends

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Bathroom Sink Materials: Your Choices

Whether you’re remodeling the whole bathroom or just replacing a chipped sink, there are a number of different kinds of sink materials to choose from. Prices vary, and they each have different strengths.

Ceramic Sinks

You can get custom glazed ceramic sinks from local potteries and from some larger manufacturers. Overall, ceramic is reasonably durable, but sinks made from the material have a tendency to chip or crack.


Choosing a Jetted Bath Tub

Jetted bathtubs are among the most popular additions when homeowners remodel bathrooms. These luxurious tubs are available in many sizes and styles. The cost varies a lot depending on these factors. Taunton’s New Bathroom Idea Book has a page on choosing a whirlpool tub. Here is a summary of some of the information offered (for a more complete list and more information on tubs and whirlpools in general, you may want to check the book out from the library):

When you buy a jetted tub, you should only get one as large as you need. Bigger tubs take a long time to fill and may need more than your hot water tank can handle.


Origami Massage Bath Tubs

If you’re looking for a truly relaxing bath tub, check out the Origami line from BainUltra. The Origami 6032 uses air jets to apply acupressure treatment while you soak. Both aromatherapy and chromatherapy (light energy) features are available. There are five rectangular or oval tub choices in the Origami line. The 6032 retails for $2,300.


Adjustable Hand Showers

Adjustable hand showers make a lot of sense if you’re remodeling your bathroom and thinking ahead to your retirement years when sitting in the shower might be preferable to standing. Or maybe you just like the idea of being able to direct where the spray hits you. Numerous manufacturers offer adjustable hand showers (you can even buy them online through Amazon) and installation is fairly simple for the average do-it-yourselfer. These hand-held showerheads can make the shower a more relaxing experience.


Bathroom Remodeling Ideas

Bathrooms and kitchens are the most popular rooms in the house for remodeling projects (everything from changing out the counters to completely gutting everything and pushing out walls). The website for the Home & Garden Channel has a big section devoted to Bathroom Design Ideas that includes before and after pictures, video clips, and tutorials. If you’re in the planning stages of your bathroom remodel and looking for ideas, it’s a good place to start.

A New Whirlpool Tub vs. Your Old Hot Water Heater

Whirlpool bathtubs are one of the most popular bathroom remodeling projects. According to the book 101 Cost-Effective Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home, this particular upgrade can even increase the value of your house. One thing to keep in mind, the author warns, is if you decide to install a Whirlpool tub, you may also need to install a larger hot water heater. These luxury jetted tubs are typically deeper than standard bathtubs and as a result hold more water. A hot water heater should hold about two thirds the amount of the tub. So, if you currently have a 40 gallon hot water heater, and are not looking to upgrade it, shop for a tub that doesn’t have a capacity of more than 60 gallons.

Magnetic Soap Holder

If you like bar soap, but you’re tired of cleaning soap residue out of the dish or from around the sink, a magnetic soap holder may be just the ticket. First, you install the soap holder (wall mount and sink mount options are available, some of a more permanent nature than others), then you simply stick a small metal disk in the soap and hang it suspended from the holder.

Samuel Heath Magnetic Soap Holder - N1024

Samuel Heath Magnetic Soap Holder

Bath & Shower Filters

Filters in pitchers or hooked up to the kitchen faucet to purify drinking water have been around for years, but shower filters are relatively new. The reasoning behind them is that chlorine in your water can be unhealthy for your skin (which is your biggest “mouth”). I’m glad I didn’t know about those studies during my years on swim team… These filters are meant to promote healthy skin and help keep you free of annoying itching or dry skin that can be caused by the chemicals or minerals in your bathing water.



Remodeling the Bathroom, Cost Estimates

Along with kitchens, bathrooms are one of the most popular remodeling projects homeowners choose. If you’re thinking of tweaking (or completely overhauling) your bathroom, you might be wondering what kind of cost you’re looking at. Here’s a summary of costs, based on projects, according to Taunton’s New Bathroom Idea Book.

  • Cost up to $1,000 = Mostly cosmetic stuff. New paint and a new toilet or sink or new flooring.
  • Between $1,000 and $2,500 = Install a new toilet and sink or replace the tub or shower, but you’ll probably have to keep the same layout.
  • Cost between $2,500 and $7,500 = Minor floor plan changes, new floors, fixtures, finish materials.
  • $7,500 to $12,000 = You can do a fairly complete rehab with changes to the floor plan and add a new window or skylight.
  • $12,000 to $20,000 = If you’re using premium materials or adding luxury items (jetted tub, etc), bathroom remodels can jump into this price range. This usually covers things like enlarging the bathroom or converting a closet as well.

Residential Steam Showers

Steam showers in the home are becoming more popular both because they feel good, and many believe steam has health benefits such as promoting blood flow which can help muscles recover after workouts or injuries. Creating a residential steam shower involves a bit of renovation since you’ll need to install a steam generator, such as the
Thermasol SteamShower Series Steam Bath Generator

The shower also needs to be built so it can be completely enclosed to keep the steam in. You can add benches and other amenities for comfort.