Jetted bathtubs, saunas, steam showers, TVs and tricked-out toilets — these are just a few of Houzz readers’ must-have items for their master bathroom remodels. Readers shared their wish lists in the Comments section of an article I wrote recently outlining my own wish list of master bath amenities, and their suggestions are nothing short of dreamworthy. Here’s a look at some that came up again and again, and a few tips for getting these amenities just right.
Design Set Match
1. Universal design. Beanie52 was the very first to respond to the original story, and she mentioned something that came up again and again in the Comments: universal design — a bathroom that is designed to be accessible to all people, regardless of mobility issues.
Romeoslover agreed, suggesting an “open shower in an area large enough for an attendant to assist someone if needed.”
“Really like the curbless shower idea,” wrote mrsstem. This makes the shower easier to get in and out of for those with limited mobility.
And Fl!p Breskin called for “grab bars everywhere” as well as “heated wet-room floors, and a channel drain for the shower.”
See more on this universal bathroom design
kPd Studios | Kristine Pivarnik Design, LLC
2. Separate soaking tub. I’m not much of a bather, so I did not have a tub on my wish list, but it’s definitely a priority for many readers. Dina Taylor said, “My ideal bathroom would include a freestanding bath for the occasional luxurious soak.”
Tooky58 wholeheartedly agreed, saying, “I would love a deep soaking tub.” Be sure to test sit in any bathtub you are considering buying to make sure it’s a good fit.
See more on freestanding bathtubs
3. Jetted tub. Lyfrjasp wants to upgrade her tub with jets, saying that “a whirlpool tub would be so nice for arthritic joints.” I have to say, a tub like this, with a view like that, would definitely turn me into a tub bather.
Tip: If you are planning to add a jetted tub to your bathroom, think about installing one that is self-cleaning. A common complaint with jetted tubs is the extra maintenance required to keep moldy gunk from forming on the jets and spraying into the tub during each bath.
See more on jetted tubs
RKD Architects, Inc
4. Large sunken tub. Sauve upped the ante on bathtubs, favoring a two-person sunken whirlpool, and Tina Quall loves her new sunken whirlpool tub, which is her favorite thing to wake up to.
Tip: Large-capacity bathtubs require a large amount of hot water, so make sure your water heater is up to the task of filling it up.
See more on dream bathtubs
5. Walk-in tub. Carthiefintexas wrote, “I have a combination shower-bath due to the small space. I don’t have any mobility limitations, but what I would love is a tall, stylish walk-in bath (with the door and seat) in which to soak.” Carthiefintexas just doesn’t like the look of walk-in tubs.
Tip: One way to design around an unstylish tub is to use a beautiful, eye-catching tile or other tub surround so that one’s eye is drawn to the fabulous surround rather than the tub.
Lee & Co Contractors
6. Sauna. Aiga says, “My dream list would include a small sauna — they are very common in cabins in Norway and Finland, and they are perfect for evenings after a long winter day.”
Tip: A sauna in a bathroom will eat up a good bit of space, but unless you plan to throw a party in there, you’ll probably want a fairly small footprint for it, as it’ll be more energy-efficient to run. You definitely want to keep the ceiling low — around 7 feet; otherwise the steam will float up and away from where you are seated.
See more on home saunas
Stone Creek Builders
7. Steam shower. Cathy was very clear about her favorite bathroom amenity: “Steam!!! Adding a steam unit to the shower was the best move we made.”
Greenerhills suggested, “It might be worth a glass door with a transom to have a steam shower in cold, dry winters.”
Tip: When designing a steam shower, make sure the shower ceiling has a slight slope to it so water droplets roll to one side and down the shower wall, rather than onto your head.
See more on steam showers
Aleck Wilson Architects
8. Shower bench and handheld shower. Mmdugaw made a great suggestion: “Another consideration for as you age is having showers with built-in bench seating.” A bench can also multitask as a place to perch a foot while shaving legs.
Another shower feature mentioned often is a handheld shower; rebecca1950 pointed out that it’s “the easiest way to clean.”
I strongly agree; I almost did not add a handheld shower to the large walk-in shower in my last bathroom, because I didn’t really like the look of one. But it sure came in handy when cleaning the shower floor and wall tiles. I’ll never go without one again.
Bsgibbs wrote, “One more thing — I would love to have a pullout spray nozzle on my bathroom sink faucet. If you have to wash your hair, it would be so convenient. And just like the handheld shower nozzle, it would make cleanup easier.”
See more on shower benches | Browse handheld shower products
Neumann Mendro Andrulaitis Architects LLP
9. Wet room with center floor drain. Gsmhdm said, “I’d add a central floor drain for the whole space. Yes, a little bit of extra work and planning for floor slope, but combined with getting stuff off the floor, it makes for extremely easy maintenance.”
Tip: Not only is a wet room easier to clean than a standard bathroom, but it’s also a common feature of a barrier-free bathroom, as described in the first wish-list item.
See more on wet rooms
Jetton Construction, Inc.
10. Tricked-out toilet. Mslr0 commented that “after traveling to Japan, where the airport, the hotel and the restrooms at the company I was visiting all had the smart toilets with heated seats, bidets etc., I’m totally hooked.”
Trishideas agreed, offering, “Three words, people: Heated. Toilet. Seat.”
Angela Woodard added, “Something I love in my recent guest reno that I will copy in my master reno is my toilet — the Toto dual-flush (reducing water consumption) and soft-close (no more slamming or controlling the close of the) toilet seat.”
See more on super toilets
Lawrence Lake Interiors
11. Bidet. Quite common in many European countries, bidets are becoming increasingly popular in the United States and other countries. Sigrid said she would make space for one in her dream bathroom, and Emily Stanton said, “A bidet is a must-have in my bathroom!”
Tip: If you don’t have the extra space to squeeze in a bidet, you can always look into installing a tricked-out toilet (see the previous item) that can provide a similar function.
Browse more photos of bidets
12. Wall-mounted faucet. I’m in complete agreement with cdve, who added wall-mounted faucets to the list. I like the streamlined look and would love having fewer obstacles to clean around on the vanity countertop.
Browse more photos of wall-mounted faucets
Murdock Solon Architects
13. Medicine cabinets. Jks417 wrote, “I’d add medicine cabinets to the list. There are many stylish options these days, and having all those personal items hidden away and still easily accessible makes for clutter-free countertops and neater drawers.”
Recessed medicine cabinets were mentioned often, and zaluskym would add “medicine cabinets with built-in electrical outlets to keep [the] electric toothbrush charger and shaver out of sight.”
See more on medicine cabinets
14. Ample storage. Plentiful bathroom storage is important to jazzylmb. Reginagayle wants “adequate cabinet storage to store extra towels, soap, toiletries etc. and hair/makeup products.”
I agree that any well-designed space should include storage for all the things you use in that space.
See more on bathroom storage
InStil Design Limited
15. Wall-mounted heated towel rack. Thatnameistaken wrote, “An item on my must-have wish list would be a built-in heated towel rack.” After showering on a particularly cold morning, I couldn’t agree more.
See more on heated towel racks
Platt Architecture, PA
16. Skylight. I prefer plenty of natural light in a bathroom, but sometimes windows are just not possible to add. So I agree with Fl!p Breskin’s suggestion of a skylight over the sink. This is an especially smart way to go if you are leery about installing windows due to privacy concerns.
See more on adding a skylight
Michael Greenberg & Associates
17. Separate makeup vanity. Swguru wants a “separate makeup vanity with 18-inch-depth counter, a three-way mirror and a pretty chair.” How’s that for specific? If you install a makeup vanity in your bathroom, be sure to pay attention to lighting.
Tip: Ample daylight is ideal for makeup vanities, but when it’s dark outside, you’ll want artificial lighting that has a high color rendering index (CRI). The best way to light your face, by the way, is from each side, rather than from above.
See more on dressing tables and vanities | how to light your bathroom
18. TV. In addition to a makeup vanity, swguru would add a TV to the bathroom. Tsouders wrote, “Redid our master bath four years ago, have many things on this list, but the thing I didn’t put in the bathroom that I wish I did — a TV! I think about it every morning as I get ready for work. Sure would be nice to catch the news while I’m getting ready.”
See more bathroom televisions
Tell us: What is your top bathroom amenity?