In new construction, bathrooms are getting larger. Combined with dressing areas and walk in closets, some bathroom areas are bigger than the adjoining bedrooms. Add to that oversized bathtubs, separate showers, gym equipment, and sauna rooms, a bathroom is becoming a desitination place in homes. In many remodels, homeowners are tearing down walls, eliminating small bedrooms, and creating giant bathrooms with special amenities such as telephones, televisions, lounging chairs, and a fireplace. Homes with young children may not be suitable for installation of Italian marble countertops that would be damaged by little fingers and crayons. Ususlly these top-of-the-line items are reserved for master bath suites. But many luxury elements are appropriate for any home.
Given how many trades are required for a typical bathroom remodel—plumbers, electricians, tile setters, cabinet installers, and more—it pays to find a top-notch general contractor to manage operations. Meet with at least three contractors, preferably those you find through word of mouth. Make sure the person you settle on has an up-to-date license and insurance, including workers' compensation. And scrutinize the contract; it should list every product down to the model number and finish. And don't automatically go with the lowest bid. Another common mistake is cheaping out on those items that get the most use. Lifetime warranties that cover leaks and stains have become more common on all but the cheapest faucets. PVD (physical vapor deposition) finishes resisted our best attempts at scratching them, but drain cleaners can stain them slightly. Chrome was also pretty durable in our tests, but can be scratched if you rub it with a heavy-duty scouring pad.
With the traditional mirror dressed up in elegant frame, you might want to move the medicine cabinet out of the way. Find a convenient closet or cabinet to hold necessities. Or hang a mirrored, framed door over the cabinet. Elegant clear or etched frameless glass doors are replacng the traditional shower curtain. But some of the shower stalls or tub areas are draped with luxurious fabrics and trims. Elegant sponged paint or textured wallpaper provide a luxurious background for any art or prints you may decide to hang in the bathroom. Display treasured collectibles on display shelves or on a dressing table. Not many people will be entering your private retreat, so the pieces will be safe there. Even the sightest amount of creativity and imagination can help to change a usually bare, cold space into a luxurious personal retreat. Elegance and luxury are not hard to achieve with all the products available for today's new bathrooms.
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