Remodeling the bathroom? Keep the tub if possible

by lcmremodel

Bathroom remodelers say one of the most popular homeowner requests is removing the old tub and shower in the master bath and replacing them with a wild-and-crazy shower with all the latest spray-jets, bells and whistles.

If this is your plan, be sure you have at least one tub in the house when you’re ready to sell. You could turn off buyers with small children and maybe other buyers who love long bubble baths.

The shower trend may say something about the graying of baby boomers.

“A lot of it has to do with ‘what do I have to do to stay in my house’ and ‘I can’t step over the edge of the bath tub to get in and out any more,’ ” according to Kurt Kittleson of ReBath and Kitchens in Phoenix.

Designer Ann Lyons of Phoenix agrees.

“Many times older homeowners want to prepare for easy access to a shower as preparation for their later years,” she says. “They want walk-in showers with grab bars and seating areas and no curbs.”

If you’re keeping a bathtub in the master suite you may want to choose a free-standing tub with a contemporary look. Another alternative is to build a new frame around an existing tub and cover it with tile.

Today’s sleeker showers have frameless glass doors that can be dramatic but may seem like a big water-spot nightmare. But why would you put in a shower lined with beautiful tiles and then hide it behind frosted glass so that no one can see the tile? So don’t worry about the spots. Remodelers can put a special film on the glass that can last three years. You can treat the shower doors yourself with Rain-X or similar products.

Handheld sprays are popular, perhaps because of their versatility in spraying sore muscles. They’re also useful for spraying walls and doors during cleaning. Handhelds come with longer cords and seem more solidly made now. You can install thermostatic mixers for showers that control the flow and temperature of water. Niches built into showers are also larger than they were in the past to hold extra-large, bargain-priced bottles of shampoo, conditioner and bath gel.

Granite is still popular for use on counters, but many homeowners are turning to quartz and manmade products that are easier to maintain. Vanity cabinets are now being raised from 31 up to 34 inches tall. The additional height means you don’t have to bend over to brush teeth or wash your face. The height also adds more storage space.

More cabinets are being built into bathrooms, including taller ones with spaces for electric toothbrushes and razors that can be charged inside the cabinet. Instead of having giant mirrors on top of vanities, homeowners put in more cabinet space and use smaller decorative mirrors.