Beautify Your Bathroom with Updates Big and Small

An elegant bathroom is one that you’re happy to spend time in. After a warm shower, you give yourself some personal time — a little spa treatment, a few thoughtful looks in the mirror and maybe whistle a song or two.

Luxury bathrooms have evolved in recent years to include heated floors, more powerful but quieter fans to whisk away the humidity and huge showers that encourage a serene moment of deep relaxation.

If your home already has a spacious bathroom, a few simple updates can modernize it and provide added comfort. Consider a luxurious new rug, elegant shower curtain and plush towels to add color and texture. Maybe add a new coat of paint, update a faucet or add some interesting lighting.

A few thoughtful updates can go a long way.

But if it’s time for a full makeover to significantly boost the value of your home, consider some of these renovations.

1) Update tile: Porcelain, stone and matte tile with subtle textures have become en vogue, while marble and ceramic flooring also remain top choices. Consider some timeless geometric accents with glass tiles, which add a little sparkle. But avoid dramatic or highly-personalized designs that could detract value from your home. For example, consider a glass door shower with a simple, colorful tile accent wall. Or add colors with a tile backsplash or tile walls with subtle patterns. See a gallery of options at

2) Large shower: Showers keep getting more spacious. A walk-in shower with glass walls helps provide a larger sense of space, and it opens the room up to more accents. Many new luxury homes incorporate a bench area, allowing you a few minutes to sit and soak in the shower bliss. Large or multiple showerheads can also add a sense of luxury. HGTV has a nice gallery of deluxe showers.

3) His and her sinks: Functionality is key, and adding a second sink and vanity can provide you and your spouse, as well as the kids, with more flexibility when it’s time to get going in the morning. Separate vanities allow a husband and wife their own shelves for hygiene products and their own space to shave, brush teeth and get made up.

4) Heated floors: For a deep sense of elegance, consider heated floors. Especially in the wintertime, a warm floor can provide a lot of added comfort while preparing for the day — or unwinding after a long day of work and play. There are electric heaters and ones that use heated water to circulate the warmth. They work best with ceramic, porcelain and natural stone flooring. Be sure to hire a trusted electrician for proper installation, and look for systems that run on a timer to save on energy use.

5) Technology: Many people prefer quiet solace in a bathroom. But for those looking to update, consider a stereo and ceiling mounted speakers to bring in your favorite relaxing music. These can be installed for one room — or as part of a full-home stereo system with controls in each room or area. Motion-sensing lights can also be a nice touch, making life a little easier when you get up in the middle of the night. And new venting systems that provide more power and less noise are also a great way to bring value to your home. Fan noise is measured in sones. Look for products with .5 or fewer sones. Panasonic and Broan offer good options.