Ultimate Master Bath

Take a peek inside this master bathroom that's more than just a pretty face. Its smart design incorporates features that pamper and showcases the latest in home tech.

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Walk-In Shower Ideas

Find ideas to create a gorgeous walk-in shower in your bathroom.

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Easy Vanity Upgrades

Turn a plain-Jane vanity into a custom creation with a few eye-catching add-ons.

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Low-Cost Updates

Wake up a tired bathroom with these quick and easy bathroom updates that won't break the bank.

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Budget Bath Makeover

Small cosmetic changes allowed this compact master bath to be refreshed for $800, and it was all thanks to the details. See how tiny tweaks add up to a chic new look, and check out the budget breakdown to see how it was done!

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Pretty Pastel Baths

Create a calming atmosphere in your bathroom with marvelously muted wall color. These pastel bathrooms pack plenty of panache worth copying in your powder room or master bath.

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Master Bathroom Design Ideas

Master baths typically accommodate two people at once. Efficiency is just as important as comfort. Use these tips to plan a functional and beautiful bathroom.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • A Sculptural Sink

      Above-counter basins and vessels are a popular choice for adding sculptural elegance to otherwise ordinary vanities. These sinks work equally well in master bathrooms with contemporary, traditional, Asian, or eclectic styles. Note that vessel sinks might require tall or wall-mount faucets. A makeup area is a plus for ladies who like to pamper themselves.

    • Plan for Plumbing

      Setting your tub in a soothing area means you need to plan for plumbing. Some whirlpool tubs and power showers require a plumbing upgrade. Designer or European fixtures often require 3/4-inch pipes instead of the standard 1/2-inch version. If you buy a luxury shower, which can use 9 gallons of water per minute, you might need to buy a second water heater, as well.

    • A Gorgeous Mirror

      Go beyond the bathroom section of stores to look for your mirrors. Often mirrors intended for living rooms work perfectly in a bathroom and have more interesting details and style. Add a little  impact with a glam chandelier.

    • Add Wow Factor

      This master suite's wet room contains both a luxurious rain shower and bathtub, but it's the wall of stone that steals the scene. Even though the color palette is muted, the texture and scale of the wall wows.

    • Find a Focal Point

      A soaking tub -- often sized to accommodate two people -- can be the centerpiece of a rejuvenated master bathroom. To ensure plenty of hot water, the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) recommends a water heater at least two-thirds the size of your tub's capacity.

    • Master Bathroom Showers

      The flexible design options of open showers continue to inspire homeowners wanting to remodel a master bathroom. If you choose this kind of shower, plan ventilation in the shower to prevent humidity from affecting other bathroom surfaces.

    • Luxury in Your Bath

      Learn what designers say will create a super luxurious master bathroom.

    • A Smooth Entry

      Many homeowners choose luxury showers over tubs in bathroom remodels because the showers take up less space, provide multiple types of water massage, and remove the hazard of stepping up and into a tub for aging homeowners. A television is a luxury item that makes time in the bathroom more enjoyable.

    • Shower Amenities

      Shower benches don't have to be elaborate. A piece of tile cut into a triangle and mounted a few feet off the floor in a corner can store shower supplies or give you a leg up when shaving. 

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      Style Decisions

      Choosing a bathroom faucet is more than a simple style decision. Finish quality, valve quality, and warranty length should also factor into your purchase decision. Solid-brass fixtures might cost the most, but they last the longest. Zinc is durable and less expensive but might corrode if the plating wears off and water reaches the zinc. Plastic-bodied faucets are the cheapest and least durable option. Another consideration for modern installations is a wall-mount faucet. These have gained popularity as a way to free countertop space for a clean design. Accent your faucet with a row of beautiful mosaic tile behind the faucet.

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      A Warm Floor

      In a recent survey by the National Association of Home Builders, prospective homeowners ranked ceramic tile as their top choice for bathroom flooring. Stone tile, laminate surfaces, and vinyl flooring are also good options in the bathroom. If you love the look of tile but don’t like the cold underfoot, consider adding a radiant-heat flooring system, which costs $4-$6 per square foot. Adding a timer lets you set the heater to provide a warm surface for the first footsteps of the morning.

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      Cabinetry Extras

      We put a lot of thought into the storage capabilities of our kitchen cabinetry, so why not do the same in the bathroom? Think about how you'll use your vanity and what you'll need to store, then outfit the doors and drawers with solutions to improve the way you use your bath. A large vanity can have clothing storage and a dirty laundry hamper built right in. Thinking of bathroom space in terms of a toilet area, bathing area, and sink area leads to plans that let multiple users utilize different parts of the bath concurrently.

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      Wood Finishes

      Believe it or not, wood can work in bathrooms. Wood tubs and sinks are possible thanks to special stabilizing and polishing processes, epoxy resins, and the use of water-resistant woods such as teak. Check each product's fabrication process and warranty. Wood is also a great flooring option, but you'll need to prevent puddles and expect some shifting of planks.

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      Those Little Extras

      A towel warmer is one of those little extras that makes your master bathroom live like a luxury suite. After all, who wouldn't want to step out of the shower and have a warm towel waiting? Also, look beyond standard-issue offerings for fixtures that make a statement like this toilet.

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      A Custom Shower

      Showers shared by multiple users can benefit from customized sprays. Many high-end shower systems offer a single-control, programmable push-button module for selecting water temperature and specifying the operation of showerheads, body sprays, and pulsation intervals. For more affordable customization, try handheld showers and slide bars that make shower height optimal for each user.

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      Laundry Room

      Squeezing laundry features into a master bathroom allows you to wash clothes right in the room where they tend to pile up. A stacked washer-and-dryer unit is a space-savvy way to make a bathroom double as a laundry room. These units require a space about 27 inches wide and 27 inches deep.

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      An Accent Wall

      Two vanities, each with a sink and a mirror, or one long vanity equipped with two sinks are common design elements for today's master baths, allowing two people plenty of space for morning routines. Accent tile is the perfect way to declare a focal point in your room. Tiling to the ceiling is practical as well as pretty.

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      Nice Lighting

      Artificial lighting from above often casts shadows that make shaving and applying makeup a challenge. Your best bet is a mix of natural light, overhead lighting, and accent lights. If your light fixture must dangle over the mirror, choose a small track system that diffuses light uniformly across the mirror and throughout the space. Mirror-flanking sconces cast nice light for grooming tasks.

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      Soothing Color

      Color plays a vital role in determining whether your bathroom lives large or small. Soft, airy hues open up a room significantly, while deeper, rich tones can make the space feel cozy. When choosing paint, remember that latex paints are easy to use, quick drying, and durable. However, oil paints are sometimes preferred because of their superior adhesion and stain resistance. For a cohesive look, keep walls, vanity, and counters in the same color family.

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      Steam Shower

      If you're adding the relaxing power of a steam shower to your bathroom, the key is finding a place for the steam generator, which requires its own cold water, electrical supplies, and drain. The generator must be within 50 feet of the shower but can be located in a closet, vanity, basement, or heated attic. Costs vary based on installation and shower features, but to include a steam shower, you should plan to allocate at least an additional $2,500 to a bathroom remodeling project budget.

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      A Private Toilet

      A water closet offers privacy in a shared bathroom. Add a pocket door with frosted glass to allow light in while still keeping the space separate. If you are short on square footage, try concealing the toilet behind a half-wall.

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      Next Slideshow Must-See Luxury Bathrooms

      Must-See Luxury Bathrooms

      Sophisticated materials, wow-worthy amenities and an attention to detail launch these bathrooms in luxurious territory. Take a peek inside the spaces and bask in the beautiful designs.
      Begin Slideshow »



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