US Home Experts Report Increased Demand for Walk-In Showers, High-End Bathroom Features

highendbathBathtubs are by no means going extinct in the U.S., but home experts say that more and more homeowners across the country are choosing to replace bathtubs in master suites with luxurious showers.

“Bathroom remodelers say one of the most popular requests they get from homeowners is to remove the old tub and shower in the master bath and replace them with one wild-and-crazy shower with all the latest spray-jets, bells and whistles,” home remodeling veteran Rosie Romero wrote for Jan. 26.

These so-called executive showers bear little resemblance to the cramped compartments found in some older homes.

Benches, built-in niches and multiple shower heads are all common. Romero says she thinks handheld sprayers are built more solidly than they used to be, and are also used more often because they can ease sore, aching muscles and make cleaning easier. Some showers even include thermostats to ensure that the mix of water is always at the perfect temperature.

Tilework is often elaborate in these high-end showers. And to top off the look, frameless glass doors are popular — since there’s no use hiding beautiful tilework behind frosted glass. Special films and treatments are available to keep the glass from spotting.

Romero does suggest leaving at least one bathtub in the home for resale purposes, however, since a lack of tubs can scare off anyone with young children. And paying attention to resale value can pay off, according to Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff, who discussed the topic with CBS Jan. 28.

“If you want to earn a return on your remodeling, the data just says … you should remodel a bathroom,” Rascoff said. “Everybody needs a bathroom.”

More Custom Bathroom Features

Homeowners aren’t stopping at remodeling showers, either.

Vanities have become more important, especially as homeowners have an increased demand for storage in bathrooms. Some custom cabinets are even built so that electric toothbrushes and razors can be charged inside, out of sight.

Counter heights are also rising in bathrooms, closer to the standard kitchen counter height of 34 or 36 inches. This adjustment is part of a general trend in enlarged living spaces and built-in features, but can be a particular advantage for taller people.

“If you have a 6-foot husband who uses the sink [in a 30-inch-high vanity] to wash his face and brush his teeth every day, that might be a concern,” Realtor Jennifer Sturlaugson commented to the Deluth News Tribune Jan. 24.

“I would have to agree that more people are putting in tile showers opposed to tubs, it is all personal preference,” says Nancy Long of Tri-Star Cabinets. “Showers are becoming more prominent in the master baths.”

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