10 of the best bathroom upgrades

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Kitchens get all the glory, but we all know the most valuable space in every home is the bathroom. Be it a functional main floor powder room, a well-appointed shared bathroom or the coveted ensuite, the bathroom is the space that works the hardest. Styles and trends in finishes change every year, so it can get confusing deciding what’s best for your situation.

Here are some of the best bathroom upgrades you didn’t know you needed (but will immediately realize that you do).

Solar venting skylights

A skylight does a number of things besides provide natural light. It can be opened and closed automatically with solar power, allowing for fresh-air ventilation and protection against unexpected rain events. Skylights provide more security and privacy than a window, and can be quite large, even when in close proximity to neighbours, something a wall window cannot easily do. Built-in blinds and screens can also be added features.

Curbless showers

Aside from looking really sexy, curbless showers are truly functional. Slips, trips and falls in bathrooms are the cause of 234,000 injuries in the U.S. annually, accounting for more than one-third of bathroom injuries (per the CDC). Eliminating thresholds helps to reduce that risk, while making the place look super clean.

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Grab bars and benches

Let’s face it, we are all getting older. Grab bars (even if only roughed in) will eventually help everyone. Benches also come in handy for shaving or relaxing in your steamy shower. They provide function and safety and can be quite stylish.

Niches

Hide or display your lotions and potions in a concealed or feature niche. Razors, loofas and the rest can all have their place in a professional and clean stone-lined inset.

Heated floors

Electric or gas-boiler fired, there are fewer luxuries that have a bigger impact on comfort from November through March, than a heated floor.

Moisture-sensing fans

Hey mouldy shower caulking – be gone! Save power while avoiding the casualty of not turning the fan on or off during and after use.

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Washlets (bidet)

Remember the COVID-19 run on toilet paper? Be prepared for the next great toiletry hoarding event by saying goodbye to paper and hello to a warm water spray and blow dry that will leave you feeling daisy fresh. Some models come with heated automatic seats, foot warmers, music and lighting. Let’s see your Cottonelle compete with that.

Night light

There is nothing worse than turning on the vanity interrogation lights in the middle of the night on a trip to the loo. Motion-sensing kickplate lighting can provide soft ambient illumination for safety on those late-night bathroom trips. The low light will help ensure you can fall back asleep quickly after.

Back-lit heated mirrors

No more foggy mirrors and “hag” lighting – imagine! Say yes to convenience and a perfect vanity glow with a heated and back-lit mirror. These can be motion activated and ensure you will always be able to see your best angles in the best light.

Stock vanities versus custom

If you can plan the space in a way to fit a stock vanity (typically two feet to eight feet in 12-inch increments), you will save a lot of money over custom-built. Opt for full extension drawers with drain notch-outs for improved storage access. Most come fully equipped with a stone counter and integrated sink, which saves you time and money versus templating, fabricating and assembling all the custom parts yourself.

Getting started

When planning your own bathroom, start your search at renomark.ca, the home of the professional renovator, with member firms from coast to coast across Canada. Happy bathing!

Brendan Charters
Brendan Charters
"Brendan Charters is Partner at Toronto Design-Build Firm Eurodale Developments Inc. – 2017 OHBA Renovator of the Year. eurodale.ca @eurodalehomes (416) 782-5690"
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