The faster and busier life gets, the more people feel the need to escape to their own personal sanctuary.
And there’s no better place to unwind at the end of the day than in a resort-style bathroom where they can soak away their cares in a deep bath or enjoy a stress-relieving rainforest-style shower. Nor is there a better place to start the day than in a beautiful bathroom, equipped with conveniences that make getting ready a breeze.
Designers and tradespeople alike agree that clients building a new home or looking to renovate are increasingly wanting bathrooms with a wow factor.
Veejays spokesman Mark Wood says bathrooms have evolved in recent years and are no longer a dark room at the end of a corridor.
“Now they are a space that we are proud of” he says. “We want to show our bathrooms off to our visitors and we want them to be able to use them in comfort.”
Dean Porter, of WA Assett, says renovating a bathroom can make a home much more enjoyable and dramatically increase the value of the property too.
“Bathrooms have come a long way,” he says. “First they were a wash room and now they’re a retreat, a place to relax and unwind and take stock. They need to be easy to clean, fresh and functional.
“A current trend is to have a large open-access shower area with no hob. This style of shower will open up a room and give a sense of space, but you do need space to make it functional. Without a door, water is harder to contain. Using the space a bath previously occupied is ideal.”
“Another popular trend is a freestanding bath, however these need space around them to ensure they are easy to clean.”
Creating the perfect modern bathroom is not only about adding the latest trends. Planning is also an important part of the process and without careful consideration, things can go wrong very quickly.
“To get it right, it is important to think about who will use the room, now and in the future,” Mark says. “Then you need to use the best layout to maximise space and light and functionality. A good design is paramount and doesn’t necessarily mean you will spend more.”
Mark says ventilation and lighting are important considerations and if these aspects of the design are right, the space is more likely to be a place where people will be keen to spend time to relax and unwind.
Dean advises that having a realistic budget will also help to make sure the end result is pleasing on all levels. “Be careful not to over-capitalise,” he says. “Spend money on the things that matter.”He agrees that ventilation and lighting are important, with storage another key factor.
“We are moving away from things like large corner baths and spas and now we are seeing a lot more sleek baths and spas that require less water to fill,” Mark says. “New showerheads create good water flow without draining the water tank.”
MARK’S FIVE STEPS TO BATHROOM RENOVATION
- Select a colour and tile style you like first as this will determine your vanity colour.If choosing a large floor tile, you will need to consider your drainage – a large floor grate may be your only choice.
- Work out what you really need in your bathroom to make it functional.
- Choose baths and taps that your water pressure or hot-water system will be able to keep up with.
- Lighting is important because a dark bathroom will make it seem smaller.
- Make sure you select the right company to do the job. Remember the saying “you get what you pay for” because making a bad choice can be costly in the long run.
DO YOU NEED A BATH?
For many years, homeowners have been told they have to have a bathtub in a main bathroom.
“It didn’t matter that no one would ever use it,” Dean says. “And it didn’t matter that the cost of the tub – from building the extra area needed to house it to all of the long-term costs – would put a real dent in the homeowner’s wallet. What mattered was resale and having that tub to make sure the house could be sold.”
But Dean says things have changed. “Ask yourself if you really want that tub. If you’re a bath person, ask yourself if the bath has to be in the main bathroom, or if you can do with a nice-size tub in an ensuite.”
These days there are a lot of people who don’t want the inconvenience of having to clean a bath, and when space is tight, it may be a better option to skip the tub altogether.
DEAN’S TOP TIPS
Most people only buy fixtures and fittings for their bathroom a few times in a lifetime so it may be worth splashing out an extra few hundred dollars to get the right sink or toilet. “Quality will be remembered long after price is forgotten,” he says.
Don’t forget about storage. “The ultimate is to have a place for everything if you are wanting that easy-to-clean bathroom with sleek lines.”
Task lighting should be considered because it is unlikely that a single bayonet is going to do the trick.