Master Suites and Bathrooms

Mankind’s relationship with the bathroom dates back more than 3,000 years. The first known bathtub was in the Palace of Knossos in Crete circa 1700 BC, which bore a remarkable resemblance to many of today’s baths, both in aesthetics and in the type of plumbing works that surrounded it.

BlogBath1The Greeks had bathrooms with water supply and drainage systems, and vase paintings indicate that the Greeks even used shower systems. However, it was the Romans who really turned bathing into an art form. They created elaborate bathrooms in the villas and town homes of wealthy Romans, complete with hot running water and heated floors. In modern Europe, the first indoor plumbing did not evolve until the mid 17th century. The first flushing water closet was developed in England in the mid 19th century.

It is difficult to think that the bathroom as we know it today has been commonplace in our homes for less than 100 years. Before this baths were unwieldy metal lined tubs that were brought into the kitchen for weekly bathes filled with hot water heated on wood burning stoves.

John M. Kohler founder of the Kohler Company was one of the first to see a new market. He modified a horse trough by enameling it and adding legs, then sold it as a bathtub to meet the growing demand for bathroom fixtures around the turn of the century. As plumbing techniques improved and modern bathroom suites were manufactured on a mass scale, bathrooms were made into self contained areas and bathing became an increasingly private affair.

From a single bathroom in most homes at the turn of the century, bathrooms have grown in size and number over the years. The private master suite with its own bathroom has been a growing trend in housing and in the remodeling industry in particular over the past several years. It is one of the fastest growing trends in our industry.

The master suite can be as simple as a large bedroom with it’s own private bath to suite of several rooms, which may include an exercise room his and hers bathrooms and a study or sitting room. The typical master suite that we encounter in the remodeling business is in a house that was built 20 or 30 years ago and does not meet the standards that people have come to expect over the past few years. These older master suites usually consist of a small standard 3 piece bath with a tub or shower stall, a dressing room with a separate sink and a walk in closet adjacent to the master bedroom.

Our most common master bath remodeling project is to make the existing master bath larger and more luxurious. Sometimes this can be accomplished within the confines of the existing bathroom, but usually a small addition or using space from another room or closet is required. Sometimes the project consists of a large addition with an entire new master suite; a new bedroom, large master bath and his and hers walk in closets, even his and hers baths.

As the one place in the house that is designed specifically as a quiet retreat, today’s master bath must give home owners a sense of peace , a place to rejuvenate and a sense of gaining power over their stressful lives. All of the details in the master bath are what makes the space comfortable and supportive and helpful in relieving the stress of their daily lives.

Because the bath is such a personal space, designers feel that current trends are not as important as what makes the consumer comfortable. Transitional styling is probably the most common and the safest way to go. It works well in almost every style house.

The single most requested addition to the remodeled master bath is for a large custom shower with multiple shower functions. This may be in conjunction with a whirlpool or soaking tub, or depending on space constrictions may replace the tub entirely. These showers can be quite elaborate and sizable with bench seats. Multiple shower heads and body sprays and rain showers thermostatic valves and even steam showers.

There is a gender gap on preferences: Women tend to request bench seats and hand held showers were as men are more interested in body sprays, rain showers and steam showers. These elaborate shower systems can put out a large volume of water and existing water supplies, pressure and water heaters capacity should be investigated before they are added to existing homes.

A newer trend in tubs is towards air jets and systems that can provide hydro therapy, chromo therapy and even aroma therapy.

His and hers vanities are a must in master bath remodeling. Usually vanity cabinets are used with tall cabinets for linen storage and other larger items included. Another option is to do two pedestal sinks which provides a cleaner and more open look, but limits storage options.

Good lighting is always a necessity and in the master bath it is particularly important. Consumers need to accomplish such items as shaving, applying makeup and other grooming tasks.

The lighting can be as simple as recessed can lighting in the ceiling, to elaborate retro style light fixtures for a vintage look. The best lighting at vanities is to provide both overhead lighting and lighting from the side usually provided by fixtures or sconces. A luxurious feeling may be added with a chandelier over the tub or in the center of the room. The addition of dimmer switches can provide a nice romantic ambience.

A dynamic master bath remodel also requires the right finishing touches. This seems to be a time when anything goes in fixture styles and finishes from standard polished chrome and nickel finishes to brushed nickel and bronze to gold and brass which are making a comeback. Brushed or rubbed nickel is still the most popular fixture finish, but there is also a market for darker finishes such as aged copper and distressed pewter and bronze.
Faucet styles vary from contemporary single control minimalist styles, usually in polished finishes, to very traditional copies of historic f three hole fixtures, which provide more of a statement. These can both be deck or wall mounted .The matching of all fixture styles throughout the room is still the most common option used.

There are many options for floor and wall finishes from ceramic and porcelain tile to natural stones such as limestone, marble, granite and slate. The most common finish at this time is honed rather than polished, this is a softer look and easier to maintain. A very luxurious touch is to install heated electric floor blankets under the floors to keep them nice and warm.

The most common colors used are neutrals such as white biscuit and beige. Soft greens are also popular and can be very soothing.

The average cost of a master suite/ bath addition varies of course based on size and the level of finishes used. According to remodeling Magazine the average cost in the Washington, DC metropolitan area in 2009 was $71,284 for a midrange project to $136,703 for an upscale remodeling project.

Our goal at Foster Remodeling Solutions is to provide our clients with a well designed and soothing space where they can relax and enjoy private time away from the distractions of the hectic world around them.

For over 30 years, Foster Remodeling Solutions, Inc. has been offering kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodelingin-law suites and home additions improvement services. Our service area extends to Fairfax, Mclean, Springfield, Woodbridge, Alexandria, Arlington, and Falls Church VA. Request for a FREE CONSULTATION at 703-550-1371 or visit us at 7211 Telegraph Square Dr, Lorton, VA 22079 today!