New Products and Trends in Bathroom Remodelling

In ancient Rome, citizens who couldn't afford bathing facilities in their homes would visit public baths. These were not only places to scrub away the dust of the day, but they were also places to indulge in a warm soak surrounded by elegant décor and soothing music. Thousands of years later, the modern bathroom also offers functionality and comfort. The difference today, however, is in the vast range of available fixtures, lighting, flooring, accessories, and wall coverings that incorporate function with style. If you are planning to renovate your bathroom, the following tips may help you select the best products and trends to suit your needs as well as conduct a successful renovation.

Whether you wish to retile, add a stylish vanity or completely renovate your bathroom, you will find a stunning selection of new products on the market. Some of these use technology and modern materials to create durable, water-resistant products and others are innovative designs that improve on tradition.

  1. Bamboo flooring can provide the warmth of 'wood' in the bathroom with little risk of warping. This flooring is produced from tropical bamboo grass that has been processed to produce a flat, hard surface. In its natural state, bamboo is sandy beige but it can be stained to any colour. The floor must be sealed with polyurethane.
  2. Electronic faucets that activate when you put your hands under them are becoming popular for home decorating. They are a great way to save water, particularly for families with children who often like to leave the water running. Unlike the industrial-style electronic faucets found in public washrooms, homeowners will find a growing selection of elegant faucet styles.
  3. Perhaps the most radical design change that the bathroom sink has ever undergone is the vessel sink. It looks like a bowl sitting on the countertop but the bowl has drainage at the bottom that connects with standard plumbing. Vessel sinks have a simple, geometric look that works well with modern décor. These sinks are available in a variety of materials including glass, stainless steel, ceramic, stone, copper and more.
  4. Showerheads have also evolved. Computerized shower valves can be programmed to regulate water pressure and temperature.
  5. Etched glass has been used for years on dishware but now etched glass is used to create bathroom accessories and mirrors with a spa look.
  6. A 'rainwater' showerhead is a popular new innovation. Rather than a blast of pressurized water from a traditional showerhead, the rainwater version uses gravity. The showerhead is directly overhead and water falls in a soothing cascade.
  7. Bathrooms often have bright lights near the mirror to provide adequate illumination for shaving, applying makeup, etc. In many cases, the light over the mirror is the only one in the room. A new trend is to use sconce lighting to provide a warm glow of light in the rest of the room. By installing one light switch to control the vanity light and another to control the sconce lighting, you can create ambiance at the flick of a switch.
  8. If your bathroom is large enough, consider adding an elegant, comfortable chair. Furniture and built-in cabinets that resemble furniture are a popular new trend in bathroom design.
  9. In the spirit of luxury, entertainment has made its way into the bathroom. What could be nicer than reclining in the tub and listening to surround sound music or watching a movie on your television housed inside built-in cabinetry?
  10. The bathroom is a great place to let your imagination run wild; there are no set rules about colour or style. Some general trends, however, are toward neutral coloured flooring and tile. Wood, particularly cherry wood, is becoming popular for cabinets and accents. Granite countertops, brushed metal faucets and whirlpool tubs are also in vogue.
  11. Depending on the style of your bathroom, a chandelier might be perfect. If you equate chandeliers with large, elaborate fixtures, you will no doubt be surprised by the vast new selection of sleek and elegant new designs at lighting stores.
  12. Natural light is an important element in the modern bathroom. If your bathroom lacks light, you may wish to consider renovating to add a window or glass blocks.

Renovation Tips

Once you have skimmed decorating magazines and visited home renovation showrooms, you may be ready to plan your remodelling project. If you live in a condominium, you should check your strata rules regarding renovations. You may find that there are restrictions on colours and products that will influence your project.

The next step is to consult a professional home renovator. Ideally, you should interview three renovators and obtain written quotes from each. When you have chosen a firm, they will be able to turn your drawings and suggestions into workable plans. Depending on the scope of the project, a professional renovator can advise you as to whether your renovation violates any municipal codes. They will also be able to provide expertise regarding the placement of electrical outlets, plumbing requirements, structural limitations, etc. Installing a whirlpool for example, involves all three of these considerations.

Remember that a renovation can take a while. If you are doing a major renovation, which involves removing the toilet or the shower, be sure to have a backup. If you have one bathroom in your home, you may need to befriend a neighbour!

The exciting new products on the market, along with careful planning and professional workmanship can help you create a personal spa atmosphere that provides function and luxury for years to come.