Spa-Style Bath

By Jerry Gloss

Spa-style bathrooms like those in resort hotels are popular with discerning homeowners.

In our efforts to optimize the square footage of a smaller house, the master bath has suffered. Even on larger home plans we don’t take advantage of the chance to make that room an enticing space.

Enter the spa bath: in demand by buyers who travel the world, stay in great hotels, and want their master bath to be a fabulous escape from the stress of day-to-day life.

Designing those 150 square feet of heaven means fitting in features like a toilet compartment, spacious shower, shower benches, shelves and insets, vessel sinks, high-intensity lighting, and even beautiful cabinetry. A bathtub, on the other hand, isn’t necessarily a given. Some buyers still want them, but others understandably see a tub as an accident waiting to happen (boomers, I’m talking to you). But a big shower offers possibilities for stylish design that appeals to buyers of all ages. I’m not saying lose the bathtub—many buyers still feel that it increases the value of the home. Instead, offer the tub as an option in the master bath. Or, set it in the hall or guest bath, for company, grandkids, or washing the dog.

The first plan shows a typical master bath.

It’s fine, but not great and falls short of achieving the spalike feel that buyers crave.

With roughly that same square footage, you can design a master bath that has all the trappings of a spa bath: upper and lower cabinet storage, options for sliding or hinged doors, a raised ceiling to define the main bath area, his and her vanities, more mirrors, and more open floor space. Everyone knows that a great bath helps attract buyers. Make it a spa bath and you’ve just upped the odds for reeling ’em in.

Jerry Gloss is a principal at KGA Studio Architects in Louisville, Colo. Reach him

Originally Published in Builder magazine

Sun Mar 09 00:00:00 PST 2014