When it comes to your master bath, there are several factors to keep in mind as you are either building or remodeling. Functionality is at the heart of it all, complemented by a quality, aesthetically-pleasing design. Key things to remember are how to gain storage, improve lighting and drainage, as well as planning for the future and aging needs as the years progress.

PLUMBING

Most residential plumbing setups typically use 1½-inch pipes for drains Think of it like this: the larger the drain, the less likely it is to clog. Upgrading costs aren’t that high to install a larger 2-inch pipe, and it’s width makes it much less likely to clog. Unless your framing doesn’t allow for it, you should consider the larger-sized drain.

LIGHTING

Recessed light fixtures placed throughout your ceiling will brighten up the room. Install a dimmer switch so you can adjust the mood in your bathroom, and be sure to include one (or two) in your shower with the proper shower trim. Whether you’ll be applying make-up or shaving, properly placed bright light fixtures can go a long way to help you see what you’re doing close up.

This Old House’s Josh Garskof adds that you can also get that light for the mirror from side sconces, recommending to flank the mirror with fixtures placed at eye level (around 66 inches), ideally spaced 36 to 40 inches apart. Try to see the fixtures in action at the store before you buy to make sure the amount and quality of light is sufficient. If there’s no room for side sconces, consider installing a long fixture on the wall above the mirror.

SHOWER OR TUB?

Often, we’re thinking about the resale when deciding between a bathtub/shower combo or straight shower. Truth be told, there’s no guaranteed way to tell what will appeal to a future buyer, so ask yourself instead, how many baths you take a year, and remember a bathroom remodel is for you, not the next occupant of your house. Even if you live in your house only for another five years, it’s worth it to do it for yourself.

MEDICINE CABINET

Is there space to recess your medicine cabinet? You can utilize it to conserve a few inches of space over a shallow vanity, and it’s worth the cost of additional framing. If that’s not an option, ensure that you have enough room at your vanity to have your medicine cabinet protrude by four or five inches.

WALL-HUNG TOILET

This design has aesthetic appeal as it does away with the tank behind the bowl. However, as space-saving and future-looking these can be, keep in mind that should you switch to a traditional floor-mounted unit, you’ll have to rework the supply, says Gillian Lazanik for Houzz. They’ve been around long enough to be a cost-productive update, and if you were wondering, the tank is hidden behind the wall.

HEATED FLOOR

Oh, to not step out of a warm shower onto freezing tile! The idea has gone beyond upscale hotels in recent years and into homes. Electric radiant floor heating beneath the tiles makes them toasty underfoot. It’s done simply enough with an electric mat embedded in a thinset beneath the floor. It can take as long as 45 minutes to warm up, so put it on a programmable thermostat to chase away the chill by the time your alarm clock goes off.

FAN

A fan might be low on your list, yet it’s a necessity to banish steam from your bathroom after you’re done. When talking the master bath, splurge on an ultra quiet unit that won’t wake up your mate during the night. Make sure it has enough power to handle back-to-back showers, and put it on a timer so that you can let it run for 20 minutes to banish steam after you’re done and you don’t have to come back to shut it off.

At J. Sweet Construction, we look forward to discussing and working with you on your remodeling and building plans. Let us put close to 20 years of experience to work for you.