Make your master bathroom the ultimate retreat with these pampering amenities.
Vessel sinks add extraordinary beauty to the bathroom and are available in a wide range of styles. This crisp white vessel sink adds a modern touch to the otherwise traditional bathroom. The platinum-finish side-mount faucet harmonizes with the sink's texture and contemporary form and allows for a beautiful accent mirror.
If you like both long soaks and water massages, then a whirlpool is a must for your master bathroom. Most tubs are water-jetted, pulsing water through the openings, but air-jetted units are becoming more popular because the pipes behind the jets don't collect water residue, which can promote mold growth.
Test the tub for comfort before buying -- take off your shoes and climb in to see if you can stretch out. Look for a tub with at least six jets. An acrylic finish is more durable than fiberglass.
In this light-filled setting, the room's focal point -- the sculptural tub -- gets even more focus with light streaming in from the skylight situated directly above. In the bathroom, try an operable skylight, often called sky windows, to offer ventilation as well as light.
Turn your master bathroom into a day spa with your own sauna or steam shower.
To turn an ordinary shower stall into a steam shower, it must be enclosed and have a door that seals tightly. Install a vapor barrier in the ceiling and wall framing to keep moisture from reaching the studs and joists. Include a steam generator outside the shower to heat water using an electric 220-volt heating element.
You don't need plumbing lines or much space for a sauna, but you do need a dedicated electrical circuit. Allow about 2 feet of bench space per occupant to determine the width of the sauna. Modular and precut sauna kits are available that make it easy to install one almost anywhere.
Bring the luxury of heated towels to your master bathroom with a towel warmer, also called a towel radiator or drying rails.
Towel warmers can be electric or hydronic. Hydronic towel warmers use hot water from your home's hot water supply to heat the metal bars, which in turn warm the towels. A pump circulates the hot water through the bars to keep them warm.
Hydronic systems require professional installation and are more expensive than electric units, but they can be safely located in wet areas and even provide supplemental heating in the bathroom.
If you have space, add a comfy chair, or in this case, a pair of window seats. A seating option is perfect for relaxing or for sitting while getting dressed or grooming. These benches are extra cozy tucked between a trio of custom storage units.
Luxury showers combine more than one type of showerhead. This oversize shower features rain heads above, a row of massage showerheads, and a showerhead on a sliding bar, as well as a roomy bench, giving the bather a multitude of choices.
A popular indulgence for master suites is a beverage center with a small sink and refrigerator. Add a grounded electrical outlet for a coffeepot if you like to prepare coffee while getting ready in the morning.
Custom shower systems allow you to combine body sprays, hand showers, and showerheads for a full range of shower experiences -- from a quick shower before work to a full-body massage after a long day.
Bear in mind that a custom shower can use an enormous amount of water -- up to 180 gallons for a five-minute shower. If you live in an area where water supplies are stressed, such systems are not an environmentally sensitive choice.
A gas fireplace communicates that the master bath is a place you plan to linger and relax. It's an inviting focal point as well as a source of supplemental heat.
If you have marble or stone floors, increase the master bathroom's comfort quotient with a radiant heating system installed between the subfloor and the finished floor. Electric radiant heat systems are the least expensive to install, but depending on the cost of electricity in your area, they might be more costly to operate than water-heated systems.
A small ledge offers enough surface space for a small electronic or a set of speakers. Outlets in the bathroom must be GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlets, a critical safety feature if media devices are positioned near potentially wet surfaces.
A flat-screen television mounted high in the corner of this master bathroom is visible from most points in the room but is safely out of reach of splashing water.
The best time to figure out a wiring scheme for media in a bathroom is during the planning stages of building or remodeling. Otherwise you'll have to deal with the mess and expense of running cable through finished walls. You'll usually need a dedicated outlet for the TV. Work with an electrician to plan the best way to wire the TV outlet.
For a sleek look that saves space in a small bathroom, choose a low-profile toilet like this one or one with a tank that is mounted inside the wall. If the tank is inside the wall, the panellike flush mechanism is so discreet, you'll hardly notice it.
As an alternative to a wall-mount flat-panel television in the bathroom, consider building a niche for a small TV at one end of the room so it can be seen from many spots. A bolt holds this TV in place, and the wiring runs into the adjacent master bedroom.
If you have the space for an open shower, consider a configuration like this. A walk-through shower is design-friendly and visually stunning, too.
The shower wall and floor are covered in Italian ceramic tile that resembles stones. The wall is equipped with a shower system that accommodates two bathers.