Just like the right car can turn a journey into an experience, the right bathroom options can turn your daily hygiene into a trip to your own personal spa!
Every bathroom remodeling project requires elements like tile, faucets and cabinetry. Today, let’s review some items that you may not have considered, that will make your bathroom safer and easier to use, while pampering you in the process.
Have you ever put off getting out of bed because you know how cold that tile floor is going to be? There’s nothing worse than getting out of a cozy bed and walking onto ice cold tile. Okay, so maybe not ice cold, but it sure does wake you up in the morning doesn’t it? This experience is what makes heated floors one of the most popular luxury items in bathroom remodeling designs.
The three basic types of heated flooring systems are:
- Forced air
- Hot water
Because of their cost effectiveness and ease of installation, electric systems are by far the most commonly used in-floor heating system in bathroom remodeling projects. Electric mats or wires are sandwiched between the tile backer and the finished tile floor as part of the tile installation process. When installing them with a new tile floor they are relatively straight forward, but would be a big mess to install later, since the tile would have to be removed. This makes in-floor heat an option to consider during your bathroom design process, and not one you’ll want to try to go back and add later.
Electric heating systems come in two basic options, mats and wires. Mats are available in either a standard roll that is spread out and adapted to the bathroom shape as well as possible, or custom fabricated mats that are created specifically to fit the shape of a room. Wired systems are installed on site and are by nature a custom installation. Standard mats are on the lower end of the cost scale, but are more likely to leave cold spots in the floor because of areas that can’t be covered.
Most in-floor heat systems can be installed with a combination thermostat/timer that will regulate the temperature of the floor or room, and turn the system on only during times you’ll be in the bathroom.
Heated Towel Bars
One of the best parts of a day at the spa are those warm towels! Why not have that luxurious experience every day? Towel warmers are an excellent addition to any bathroom renovation design and actually serve some very functional purposes. They can gently dry delicate clothing and swimsuits, and dry your everyday towels more thoroughly helping reduce the odor of damp fabric in your bathroom.
There are two main types of towel bars, electric and hydronic. Hydronic towel bars use another heating source like a radiator or hot water to heat up the bar. This is the most installation intensive and expensive option but is the most energy efficient in the long run. Electronic towel bars use either a dry element like wires to heat up the bar, or a wet element like oil or water to heat up the bar from the inside out. Though not as energy efficient as the hydronic options they are still pretty efficient. Most models of towel bars come with a combination thermostat and timers so their operation can be customized to fit your schedule and lifestyle.
Towel warmers come in three basic mounting styles: wall hung, floor mounted, or freestanding. Within these categories are endless options of style, finish, and size making them functional and beautiful. Heated towel bars are also a useful addition to a laundry or mudroom where they can be used to dry wet coats and hats.
Okay, we’re pretty sure when you started thinking about bathroom remodeling, selecting a new toilet was not the first thing that popped in your head. However, with the growing options and popularity of bidet seats, there may be more to this mundane bathroom necessity than you first imagined.
Bidets are a luxury that homeowners in the United States have only started exploring in more recent years. Not many years ago, having a bidet in your home meant having a bathroom large enough to fit a separate fixture that took up as much space as a second toilet. With the innovations and options for bidet seats, this is no long true making the addition of a bidet functionality an option for pretty much every bathroom design.
Let’s start with the basics and then explore your bidet options. Bidet attachments are one of the more simple options. These attach directly to the toilet bowl under the seat.
They are one of the least expensive options, but also have the least number of features and options.
Bidet seats are the most popular option and offer the most features for the money. They replace the toilet seat altogether and offer a great many options and varieties. They range from basic models to ones that feature heated water, heated seats, and even blow dryers. Many are even equipped with a remote control!
Toilets with a built-in bidet are the most luxurious option and also the most expensive. Because of the integration, these may also offer better style as well, since some bidet seats can look a little awkward on toilets they were not specifically designed to fit. A toilet-bidet combo is perfect when aesthetics is essential.
When considering purchasing a bidet of any type, there are a few options to consider to make sure you get the one that’s right for you. One of the main considerations is the choice between an electrical or non-electrical model. Without electric, the options are pretty basic with the biggest missing option being the lack of heated water. Let’s face it, a blast of cold water on the bum in the morning will certainly wake up anyone.
Electric models, while more pricey, offer a wide array of options from warm water to a heated seat.
Feminine wash is a common upgrade that moves the nozzle forward into a more convenient position for female cleansing. Heated air dry is another excellent option to consider when contemplating your bidet choices. They work like the warm air hand dryers in restaurant bathrooms, but without the ridiculous noise. Adjustable water pressure, nozzle position, water temperature, and spray width will make every bathroom visit custom to you and your body. You’ll never look at your toilet the same way again will you?
Self-cleaning nozzles are almost a must unless cleaning your bathroom and toilet are something you enjoy. Yeah, we didn’t think so.
Ever watch those shampoo commercials and see the women having a glorious time in their shower and wish your showering experience was like that? Wish no more. Body sprays in your shower will make you feel like a Pantene model every day! Body sprays are great for relieving the bodies aches, pains, and sore muscles and are a great way to relax after the end of a busy day.
Just like the other features we’ve discussed, there are a few options to consider when considering the addition of body sprays to your bathroom design. With more water outlets it's important to check the water pressure in your home to be sure there is enough to push water out of the spray heads with enough velocity. With not enough water pressure your luxury experience might just turn into a frustrating one.
Since you’ll be using more water volume as well, the size of the water lines running to your bathroom may need to be changed to ensure you get the full impact of the water massage. Most homes have half inch water pipes, and many body spray setups will require three-quarter inch pipes to move enough water.
So here’s a question you likely don’t hear often. How big is your water heater? Body sprays will use up more hot water and if your water heaters are too small you could end up in a cold shower rather than a spa-like experience.
While the options above are definitely in the spoil me category, all of them hold functional traits that aid in making our homes more convenient, safer, and more comfortable as we get a little older as well. Whether it’s personal hygiene or adjusting to the reality that we all get chilled a little easier, all of these options will turn your home into your sanctuary, and a place you love coming home to. No more waiting for a vacation for a relaxing getaway!
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