Bathrooms have certainly changed with the times. Rather than simply being utilitarian, new designs seem to invite users to take long baths and linger over their grooming. Rich wood, marble, shining chrome…no phone - the designers may be onto to something. In fact, whether you're looking for small updates or building from the ground up, you can incorporate many of these new products and ideas into your home. Today's a bathroom is stylish combination of convenience and technology.

Bathrooms now feature faucets, baths, shower stalls and accessories that use new technology and materials to stand up to the rust, mold, and deterioration.

Plastic certainly has a place in a modern bathroom the most useful of those being the shower. Traditional tile walls require frequent scrubbing to remove stains and mold from grout. New silicone sealers can reduce but do not eliminate the need for scrubbing and cleaning products. Solid plastic shower stalls are a simple solution. These stalls are available in a wide array of colours and styles and some include a built-in seat ideal for mature family members.

Faucets are the most frequently used devices in the bath, so replacing them can be a quick and satisfying way to upgrade a bathroom. High quality faucets are engineered to prevent problems often associated with older faucets: leaks, drips, reduced water pressure, difficulty regulating water temperature, and stoppers that don't close or open.

New technology in the application of polished finishes for faucets provides a much more durable surface than was previously available. This new finish won't scratch, peel or tarnish. Jewellery, high-tech watches and stylish eyeglass frames retain their great looks due to the properties of titanium. The lasting durability of titanium is relied upon for use on space vehicles, military aircraft and commercial airliners. Doctors enhance the quality of life with artificial replacement joints and pins that join broken bones, all made from chemical-resistant titanium. Even weekend golfers arrive closer to the 300-yard drive thanks to golf clubs, which incorporate titanium technology.

Another development in faucets is built-in water filters. Initially, this concept does not sound revolutionary. However, these water filters are now capable of removing, almost entirely, such undesirables as lead, chlorine, parasites, odour and bad taste. Most home renovation stores now offer a choice of filters including those that are stored under a sink and route clean to the faucet or are attached to the showerhead.

New handles provide a quick update to cabinets and drawers in your bathroom. Among the latest offerings are brushed steel, marble and glass in styles from sleek to antique. Add a unified look to the room with matching accessories such as towel bars, robe hooks and soap holders.

Glass blocks used as part of an outside wall provide privacy and a daytime flood of soft light. Today you will find glass blocks in a wide selection of colours and textures.

Lighting is low-tech way to dramatically improve the atmosphere of a bathroom. The latest trend is toward warm multidirectional light. It is always important to properly light the mirror for grooming purposes but now it's also position light fixtures to brighten dark corners of the room. Dim lighting can overshadow the best decorating.

New bathroom paints are highly water resistant providing extra moisture protection for drywall. Ask for bathroom or kitchen paint at your home improvement store. Despite many new and improved products moisture can still cause mold and other deterioration problems. Proper ventilation from a fan or window is essential.

A shining, rustproof faucet, warm lighting and fashionable accessories are all excellent upgrades but there is one luxury item most people really want: a whirlpool bath. Sizes range from slightly larger than a normal bath to very large. Whirlpool baths are available in round, octagonal and traditional bathtub shapes. A whirlpool bath may be a significant investment but it can one day be a selling feature of your home.

You may find only one downside to new bathrooms - you may have to wait your turn.