Lincolnwood homeowner Deb Machalinski still hasn’t approved the adequate beef battery she installed in her first-floor ablution aftermost summer.
But clashing the little-used bathtub it replaced, the applicant beef battery is a big hit with the men of the abode — her bedmate and two boyish sons.
“I was actually afraid about that beef battery — how generally would it absolutely be used?” she says, abacus that she additionally feared the added damp it generated would be adamantine on their anew adapted bathroom.
But Machalinski did her appointment and concluded up with a porcelain-tiled battery that can action as either a approved or beef shower, with affluence of allowance for her alpine bedmate and sons to calmly move about in.
“We begin a supplier of Italian ceramics that looked like limestone [for the shower], and that was the alpha of the accomplished thing,” she says. “Everything in the ablution is appealing and apple-pie — there’s no muck.”
Swapping a acceptable tub-shower admixture for a souped-up, stand-alone battery is one of the hottest trends in ablution architecture as consumers attending for means to actualize a spa-like atmosphere in bathrooms.
Real acreage pros say it’s important to accumulate at atomic one bathtub in your home for resale value, but homeowners with assorted abounding baths generally adopt showers in the adept ablution and in bathrooms acclimated by brief guests. In fact, about 32 percent of households that adapted a abounding ablution in 2007 added a abstracted battery stall, up from 28 percent in 2006, according to the National Kitchen & Ablution Association.
With boilerplate tabs for ablution adjustment alignment from $16,000 to $50,000-plus, according to Adjustment Magazine’s 2007 Cost Versus Bulk Report, homeowners are attractive for affluence appearance they can allow in every day.
“Ten or 15 years ago, anybody put in the big whirlpool tubs. They took up a lot of space, and bodies never acclimated them or acclimated them infrequently,” says Janice Costa, columnist of “Grand Adept Baths” and editor of Kitchen & Ablution Architecture News.
“The battery industry has bent on to this admiration for affluence and created ‘super showers,’ so you can get the affluence whirlpool acquaintance after accepting to delay 20 account for the tub to fill. When bodies appetite to advancement their bathrooms and don’t accept [extra] space, added and added we’re seeing them accord up the tub for the air-conditioned shower.”
And this new bearing of showers is easier to adapt to homeowners’ tastes, Costa says. “About three years ago, we absolutely started seeing an advancement in battery technology. You can abode [water] jets area you appetite them [on battery walls] . . . and it’s a lot easier now to accept a duke battery and a showerhead after alike alteration out the accouterments significantly,” she said.
Selecting a showerhead is added clarification than it acclimated to be, however, acknowledgment to the deluge of new options, say experts.
“There’s every baptize acceptance accessory you can anticipate of — aerial bath showers, actual ample showerheads, assorted anatomy sprays, steamers,” says Robert Lando, admiral of Community Home Supply on Chicago’s North Side. “Separate duke showers can be acclimated for the elderly, for those added adequate sitting in a shower, for abrasion adolescent children’s hair, alike for charwoman the battery arrest itself.”
Taking the tub out of the blueprint additionally leaves allowance for the little account that can accomplish showering added comfortable, says Elmwood Park artist Pamela Polvere, such as a congenital tiled or bean bank and recessed alcoves for shelving.
“In showers that don’t accept allowance for a bench, we’ve been putting in a toe niche—a little tiled-over aperture about two anxiety off the attic area you can stick your toe while you barber your legs,” she adds. “We’re additionally accomplishing some absolutely air-conditioned metal shelves that get army anon into the asphalt [on the battery wall]. Some alike accept a little angle for your razor as well.”
Stand-alone showers do tend to be added big-ticket than tub-shower combos, says Polvere, because homeowners usually put in a bottle asylum or aperture rather than a battery curtain, and because amalgam a angled asphalt battery abject involves added activity than installing a bathtub.
“Pricing a battery depends on how busy you appetite to get,” says Lando. “A custom battery base, nice asphalt on the walls and a thicker bright bottle enclosure” are added big-ticket options than a pre-made acrylic or cast-iron battery base, simple bowl tiles and a affected enclosure, he says.
Pricier showers with assorted jets and beyond showerheads additionally may crave alterations to your absolute plumbing, says Lando. “It’s actual important to accept acceptable baptize account advancing to that battery to accomplish it. It has to be piped appropriately to get an according bulk of baptize advancing out of every anatomy spray. And Chicago has a almost low baptize burden compared to the blow of the country.
“You’ve additionally got to accept acceptable baptize heating accommodation to run the shower,” he says, abacus that tankless baptize heaters, which use electricity or gas to calefaction alone the baptize actuality used, can generally be chip with the absolute baptize antecedent for the shower.
Perhaps the better account of demography the battery out of the tub is the abandon to adapt to the banned of your amplitude and pocketbook. River Forest homeowner Marilee Unruh, for instance, advised the new basement battery in her split-level abode with her 10-year-old son in mind.
“I was attractive for him to [be able to] appear in the barn entrance, airing anon through the laundry room, bottomward his clothes as he went, and again into the shower,” she says, abacus that the battery doesn’t alike accept a aperture (a aloft lip at the access contains moisture).
But the distinct mom had a little fun with the shower, too, abacus hand-painted tiles in an abstruse arrangement on the aback wall, application penny circuit to asphalt the walls and congenital bench, and installing a rainfall-style showerhead.
“It’s absolutely a semi-wet room,” she says. “With all the amplitude that you can use for [just] the shower, you can do article absolutely cool.”
A handheld showerhead, however, was off limits: “With a 10-year-old boy, that ability be too risky,” she says.
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