Welcome to Your Bathroom Spa

A white oval shaped bath tub in an expensive new home in an ultra modern bathroom.

After a long day of dealing with stress at work, you want a place where you can get away from it all. Many homeowners are turning their master bathrooms into an in-house luxurious retreat. With new technology and energy-efficient products, it's easier than ever to turn any bathroom into your private haven. According to the National Association of Home Builders Remodelers, homeowners are creating a spa-like sanctuary in their own bathrooms, investing a good amount of money to remodel, and increasing their return up to 90%.

The Space

In the past, bathrooms were made small and cramped, and were not considered a place you'd spend much time. Now homeowners are expanding that space to accommodate all the offerings available for peace and quiet. When remodeling, they are using the space of adjoining rooms to extend the bathroom for the sake of mind and body indulgence.

An endless array of new concepts like steam saunas or showers, multiple shower heads, air bath therapy, tubs with reflective colors and fragrances, luxurious sinks and toilets, warm floors, and silent ventilation can give any bathroom the soothing comfort offered by a spa.

The Tub

Soaking tubs and air and water jet tubs come in different sizes, finishes, and styles. They offer a wide range of shapes that contour to the body instead of lying flat, and can either be placed to fit into a corner or fit into a normal size tub space. Some manufacturers offer a combination of water jets and air jets with the added options for that extra relaxation.

Air Jets: A popular choice in whirlpools is the air-jet. An air-jetted tub gives off gentle, champagne-like bubbles, by forcing air into a high-pressure stream of water. With an air-jetted tub, you can get the full experience of a spa by adding bath oils, sea salts, or bubbles that won't clog or damage the system. An air-jetted system doesn't circulate water, lessening the build-up of residue and the growth of mold, bacteria, and fungus. It also prevents hair or small objects from getting sucked into the openings.

Water Jets: Water-jet whirlpools are another option. A water jet sucks in water and shoots it back, creating stronger blasts through fewer and larger openings, with a force great enough for a massage effect. A drawback to a water-jet whirlpool is the potential growth of fungus, mold, and bacteria because the water from the system doesn't fully drain. Water jet tubs offer therapeutic massages, but proper maintenance is required to get its full effect in every use. Because of the circulation, they're not as good for adding oils to the water.

Soaking Tubs: Another popular trend in creating an ultimate place of serenity is having soaking tubs instead of whirlpool tubs. These tubs fill up to the chin and immerse the body in warm water. A good example of deep soaking tubs is the Japanese barrel or an antique clawfoot tub. Soaking tubs also come in various sizes, styles, and finishes, offering luxury and relaxation.

Light and Heat: You also have the choice of adding other therapeutic benefits. Some people like adding chromatherapy for mood stimulation, by installing lights inside the tub controlled by a remote. Chromatherapy uses the colors of the rainbow as a holistic healer to adjust your mood and emotions. Tubs can also be enhanced with inline heaters, which maintain water at a warm temperature.

The Shower

Enjoy the pulsation of multiple showerheads hitting your body from all directions, deluge showerheads cascading down to soak you from head to toe, and having minute control of the water temperature. Expand your shower system to comfortably fit two people. Of course, the shower can also be sealed from floor to ceiling and fitted with a steam generator. Include a bench to sit on while the steam fills the space, creating a personal sauna.

The Floor

Showers and baths are not the only things that can transform a bathroom into the warm environmental comfort of a spa. The flooring is also an important aspect. Install in-floor heated systems run by electric or water underneath the flooring and step out of a warm bath onto a warm floor instead of stepping on to cold tile that sends chills up the spine. Not only do these floors add warmth to the floor, but they also warm up the entire room from floor to ceiling.

The Media

A built-in entertainment system offers you an array of music and programs while relaxing. You can have a television behind mirrors, invisible unless it's on, a radio-controlled by waterproof remotes, and built-in wall speakers. The audio system should also be equipped with sound therapy.

The Plumbing and Fixtures

Upgrading faucets, sinks, and toilets also contribute to the ultimate spa experience. Many new fixtures come in unique designs and styles, enhancing the look to a bathroom regardless of how large or small the remodeling budget. Materials such as granite, quartz, and marble offer a classic, luxurious look and new innovations in poured concrete offer a sophisticated, modern flair. Toilets are a major element in a bathroom. Upscale models include heated seats, self-cleaning, and a built-in bidet. Many homeowners give their toilets their own areas by building walls around them.

The Colors and Accessories

Round out your spa with the accouterments of comfort. If you have a limited budget, you can take on only these items, and leave the other options for another time. Painting the bathroom in a light or pastel color can create a sense of harmony. Bring accessories, such as aromatherapy candles, fog-free mirrors, towel warmers, or new lighting to add to the relaxation and soothing experience. Upgrading the showerhead with a unit that offers different settings creates an inexpensive, invigorating spa experience. Investing in a portable jet spa that attaches to the side of the tub and releases air bubbles around the body is also an inexpensive way to get the massaging effect of a whirlpool tub.