Q: What types of choices are typically made by buyers for the primary bathroom in a newly built home? Is it just the tiles or do they also choose fixtures and more?
Spicher: Primary bathrooms now rival the kitchen as the most personalized space in the home. Some buyers even prefer to start with their owner’s suite bath design over the kitchen. Today’s homeowners are looking beyond simple tile. They also want personal choices when it comes to cabinets, hardware, countertops, wall tiles, lighting and mirrors. Probably the most interesting choice is between a free-standing tub, large walk-in shower or in some cases, both. These options create even more choices when it comes to shower and/or tub surrounds, shower floors and innovative plumbing fixtures.
Q: Where do you recommend someone start with a bathroom design — the color scheme, the shower or tub, the vanity or some other choice?
A: Personal style is important, but good design also means the space functions well with your lifestyle. Start with that in mind. In other words, will more than one person be in the bathroom, and how should the space be delineated? Or do you need lighting for makeup or getting those contacts in, etc. Maybe you need extra storage for things like a hairdryer, a flat iron or cleaning supplies? Take all of this into consideration before you start thinking about colors. Once you have chosen a space design and plan that achieves how you want to live in the space, then start thinking about design genres like industrial, farmhouse, classic, etc.
Q: What are some items that buyers should look at spending more on and what items can they save on if they’re on a budget?
A: There are some affordable yet good quality wall tiles in the market today. Don’t pinch pennies on wall tile, as this is something you will want to enjoy every day. If you are tightly managing the project budget, you can save on the shower surround and keep with a simple, white shower curtain. Along this same line, skip granite or quartz on the counter and opt for a solid white cultured marble with integrated sinks. The white curtain and top are affordable and timeless and a good backdrop for wow features like that wall tile or a bold cabinet.
Q: Are there any bathroom trends you see now that you think will endure and therefore might be a good investment?
A: As a trend, I think there is a return to sanctuary and a larger emphasis on our health. I think this will endure for the foreseeable future. The owner’s suite bathroom is a central place for both, so invest in the “extras” such as proper lighting, ergonomically correct cabinets and plumbing, as well as hardware. Also, choose luxury that works for you. If you want a tub, get the tub. Don’t worry about what someone else might want or resale value. Choose your sanctuary.