(BPT) - Back-to-school and the holidays aren't the only welcome seasons that arrive with cooler weather. Fall and winter are also a great time to make some luxury upgrades to your home. With children back in school and holiday guests on the way, you have the perfect window of time - and incentive - to make changes to important rooms, such as bathrooms.
Renovating a bathroom pays off in multiple ways, and the more you invest, the greater your potential returns. A luxury bathroom can make a home more appealing to buyers if you're planning to resell; in fact, an upscale bathroom renovation returns nearly 60 percent of your investment, according to Remodeling Magazine's Cost vs. Value Report. If you're not selling, adding innovative, upscale improvements to your bathroom can enhance your enjoyment of the room, improve its usability and even help you conserve water and money.
If you're planning to improve a bathroom during cooler weather, here are key areas where you can create a luxury effect with innovative materials:
Bathroom fixtures account for a significant portion of a home's total water usage, plus they're key elements in the room's overall design. The toilet you choose for your bathroom renovation influences the room's water efficiency, and can contribute to a streamlined, elegant appearance. For example, TOTO's Vespin II 1G toilet uses innovative Tornado technology to deliver a powerful, high-performance flush, using a mere 1-gallon of water. One-piece construction and CeFiONtect nano-technology glaze mean the Vespin imparts an elegant look while staying cleaner and reducing the need for harsh detergents, which saves money and is better for the environment.
A Washlet greatly enhances the comfort and luxury of any bathroom, making the pursuit of personal cleanliness better in every way. Warm, aerated water and myriad technological innovations activate at the touch of a wireless remote, leaving you more refreshed than you've ever felt after a bathroom break. Comprised of specially designed Washlets and water-efficient toilets, TOTO's new Connect System offers a seamless appearance that conceals the Washlet's power cord and water supply hose.
New faucets, showerheads and tub fillers with clean, simple lines also impart a graceful, luxurious look to a bathroom renovation. Look for contemporary finishes like brushed nickel, and high-functioning fixtures that are WaterSense labeled and ADA compliant.
It's easy to overlook the impact quality flooring makes on a room - until you witness it in action. The bathroom floor not only needs to be slip-resistant and durable, but as one of the largest design surfaces in the room, it cries out for an elegant treatment.
Natural stone imparts a rich, textured beauty to flooring, but it's not the only luxury flooring option that works well in a bathroom. Textured porcelain that can mimic virtually any other material, such as wood or stone, and even sleek, contemporary textured glass tiles are all upscale options.
Whatever type of flooring you choose, take the luxury to the next level by incorporating underfloor heating into your renovation. Thin heating filaments fit between the subflooring and the surface material of your choice, ensuring you'll never again step onto a cold bathroom floor.
Bathroom lighting is essential for safety and convenience - after all, the room gets a lot of use throughout the day and night. But aside from those practical applications, lighting is also a great way to create mood and underscore a decorating theme in the bathroom.
Overhead lighting, illumination around the vanity area, shower lighting and night-time illumination are key considerations when planning how you'll light your bathroom. Imagination and innovation can help you create a lighting scheme that complements your overall design. For example, rather than the light bars typically used above mirrors, consider sconces on either side of the mirror paired with dimmable recessed lighting in the ceiling above the vanity area.
Recessed lighting is also a great way to illuminate a shower, but it's far from the only option. Lights at the base of the shower, inset into the tile work, or even illuminated showerheads add a touch of luxury.
The arrival of cool weather is the perfect time to create the bathroom of your dreams - before holiday guests arrive. What's more, most contractors have more availability after summer. You could get a better deal and see your project accomplished in less time if you have the work done in fall and winter.