No matter what size the bathroom, homeowners favor amenities that give the space a spa feeling, industry experts agree. “People want airy, spacious rooms that are luxurious, serene, and relaxing,” says Lindsay Strickland of Metro Carpets LLC. “They want the clean, crisp feeling you get with bright white cabinets, cool marble, stainless steel, and tile.”
As we try to do more in the same number of hours, bathroom rituals have been changing. Shifting from a bathtub to a shower fits our lifestyle and, in many remodeled homes, integrates better into the overall footprint of the bath. Experts say multiple showerheads and body sprays provide the same relaxation as soaking in a tub, but in far less time and with significantly less cleanup. Most modern showers also use substantially less water, which appeals to growing ecological awareness.
Strickland says that in showers and tubs, the sky is the limit with steam showers, multiple shower heads, body sprays, chromatherapy tubs, soaking tubs, and air jetted tubs.”These showers and tubs can be lavishly built with porcelain tile in all shapes and sizes combined with mosaic accents of glass, metal, and stone.”
Linsey Capps of Tile & Stone Design, LLC, says her customers are showing an interest in porcelain tiles—for their durability and cleanability – that emulate natural stone. In addition, Capps says, clients are showing an interest in larger showers, and, depending on the space available, may eliminate a tub in order to accommodate a larger shower. In larger showers, Capps reports she is seeing an increased demand for larger format tiles using pattern and combining focal elements, often including textural changes.
While agreeing that frameless glass showers with multiple shower heads, benches, and niches are popular, and sometimes are eliminating tubs to make way for them, Cara Highfield with Kenny & Co. says “Now we’re seeing homeowners opting for free-standing tub options that compliment the cleaner lines of today’s showers.”
Highfield adds, “People desire an escape and stress relief, which is steering them toward steam units, air baths, and showers with chromatherapy and aroma therapy options.”
Saying that 80 percent of her clients are choosing a larger shower over a shower and tub, Charlene Templeton of Nashville Winnelson Co., says, “They also generally select body jets and a hand-held shower head instead of a tub and shower.” She reports most homeowners are concerned first with functionality when selecting fixtures for new or remodeled bathrooms.
Ed Hantel of Hantel Kitchens & Baths emphasizes the need for careful planning and construction to assure a long-lasting and enjoyable remodeled bath. Hantel speaks highly of the Schluter shower system which virtually assures a leak-proof shower.
In addition to larger spa showers with seats and multiple shower heads, Trish Stewart of Floors by Design says many of her clients are using a lot of glass features and rectangular tile in their showers.
In new construction and major remodels, she adds, baths and showers are becoming a more significant part of the master suite.
Floors by Design’s Marcia Leach adds that many clients are using combinations of wall tile, floor mosaics, bands of specialty tile as borders and glass sidelights and doors, with a general preference for frameless glass doors.
Resale is the primary concern of homeowners contemplating giving up a tub in the master bathroom in order to accommodate a larger luxury shower, according to Bohnne Jones of Decorating Den. “While no tub is popular, it is very scary for people to not have a tub in the master, even though most couples admit they never use the tub they have,” she says. “Concern about resale is their real concern.”
Jones says she recommends clients consider ease of cleaning when selecting surfacing materials.
Amanda Sweeney of Just Design This reports she, too, sees “showers getting larger and tubs getting smaller. “My clients are more interested in function than aesthetics,” she says, “but aesthetics are, of course, very important. The function of a zero-entry shower with a nice bench and grab bars are great for everyone.”
There are a number of sources for bathroom fixtures and showers in the Nashville area including:
Decorating Den Interiors
Designer Floors & Interiors
Floors by Design
Hantel Kitchens & Baths
Just Design This
Kenny & Co.
Metro Carpets, LLC
Tile & Stone Design