78% of American adults don’t take baths. In an online survey of thousands of adults on our website, when asked If you have a tub in the owner’s bathroom, how often do you take a bath in that tub? Seventy-eight percent responded “Never.” In fact, bathtubs were stress-inducing, with comments such as, “I’m tired of dusting the tub,” “I feel guilty about all the water a tub bath takes,” and “I don’t like the thought of soaking in my own dead skin cells!” Tearing out bathtubs and installing oversize showers is the most popular remodeling project in America. And when it comes to resale, Realtors® tell us that regardless of the presence of a tub in the owner’s bathroom, if there isn’t a nice shower, many of today’s prospective home buyers are simply going on to the next home. Still, there’s a significant number of home buyers who dream of a long, hot soak melting stress away. So, whether you want a tub in the bathroom is one of the first questions to answer. Know that most men won’t bathe in a standard five-foot tub, due to its size; a six-foot tub is more acceptable.
The Giles Farm (plan #42403) features a 6-foot shower plus 3-foot linen closet as the standard owner’s bath configuration, with the option of a 5-foot tub and 4-foot shower shown in the alternate master bath (requires 10-inch bump-out).
Bathing amenities make a big difference. Among the most frequently mentioned regrets was overlooking storage, whether in-wall or integral shelving, for shampoos, conditioner, soap, sponge, etc. Their big, beautiful shower has multiple shower heads including a handheld shower head, seat or toehold for shaving, and perhaps individualized temperature presets. But their shampoo and conditioner sit on the floor and sponge hangs from the handle set. In-wall recesses or thoughtfully planned shelves are essential. Additionally, if there is a dedicated shower, how is it accessed? Doorless showers are very popular but they can also be cold once you’ve turned the water off as there’s nothing to hold in the steam. In-wall or ceiling heaters, in-floor heating, or towel warmer/radiators are all great solutions to keep you from shivering, whether you have a doorless shower or perhaps the bathroom is situated over an unheated garage.
The Hepburn Terrace (plan #42421) features a doorless walk-in shower. With no door to clean, what would you do with the extra time? Note also that bathroom’s private toilet area, privacy…or claustrophobia?
No matter how long you’ve been married, there are just times you need your privacy. For some, that means the toilet must be in its own little “room.” But there are just as many people who don’t like the claustrophobic feeling nor cleaning challenges presented by those toilet rooms.
Two sinks can be a marriage-saver, when couples both need to get ready at the same time. In contrast to a single long vanity, dual vanities allow one of the sinks to be at different height, truly appreciated by taller individuals. Separate vanities also provide “me space” so that one person’s clutter around the sink doesn’t have to stress out the other person. Raised make-up ledges at the back of the vanity are an expected amenity in some new home markets. Mirrors should not be an afterthought. If hot, steamy showers are routine, you may want to spend a few dollars more to have fogless mirrors. Lighting at the vanity is also a critical issue. The quantity of light bulbs and their color temperature can have a significant effect on applying makeup and how it looks.
Cleaning in general is a stress issue, and in the bathroom, cleaning concerns may dictate flooring choices, shower enclosure materials, and discreet storage for the ever-present toilet plunger and toilet bowl cleaner. Serenity is another issue – ultra-quiet bathroom fans to the rescue! Smell is the sense linked most strongly with memory – floral scents may have the power to transport you to your favorite getaway spot. Lighting is yet another priority. We often hear complaints regarding a lack of daylight in bathrooms, and one light switch, where (all) lights are on or (all) lights are off does little to help de-stress.
Shared hall bathrooms have many of the same issues. Compartmented designs, wherein the toilet and tub/shower are separated from the sink(s) eases schedule conflicts. When the shared bathroom has private access from the bedrooms it serves, sinks or even sinks + toilets can be separated from the bathing area. A powder bath (half-bath) means your dinner party guests need not admire all of the kids’ bathtub toys. But note, pedestal lavs, popular because of their size and style, provide no storage for extra toilet tissue, etc.
The Vermillion (plan #43041) provides a private bathroom for Bedroom 2 upstairs, and a compartmented shared bathroom for Bedrooms 3 and 4. The plan also shows an option to turn that shared bathroom into more of a Jack-and-Jill bath, replacing the original design’s linen closet with a private sink area serving Bedroom 3. Would that help de-stress your home?
Ultimately, a well-thought-out bathroom design, and included amenities, will not only help you de-stress, but also add value to your home.
Livability at a Glance™ is our proprietary color-coded floor plan system that highlights four different lenses especially important to women: Entertaining, De-stressing, Storing, and Flexible Living. Discover your Lifestyle Profile by taking our Livability at a Glance Quiz.
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