There are too many old, enclosed, dark and small showers. And in this age of quarantine due to COVID-19, there is nothing more satisfying and healthy than an invigorating shower. Therefore, it’s time to renovate that shower or maybe just remodel the entire bathroom.
At Las Vegas Kitchen and Bath Remodeling, owner Paul Orkin said one of the biggest trends in master bathrooms is to eliminate the tub and then remodel the entire shower area.
“We can turn the basic shower into a large walk-in shower with a bench and niches for shampoos and soaps,” he said. “It emulates a fancy spa. The shower becomes 8 to 9 feet long with many options including various spray heads such as a rain head, normal showerhead, body spray, hand-held sprayer or any combination.
“Once we finish the shower, which takes about three weeks, we can put in a freestanding tub. One of the more popular styles is a clawfoot tub that has four pegs or feet directly underneath. The same goes with sinks. In place of the standard oval sink, homeowners are replacing them with rectangular sinks that are larger and more modern.”
But before removing that one and only tub, know that the general thinking is that there always needs to be at least one bathtub in a home, either in the master bedroom or secondary room.
“When you decide to sell your home, you never know who is going to buy it,” Orkin said. “The new owners may have children and need a tub. Realtors will always advise to never remove all your tubs.”
When a shower is expanded, it can be by as much as 6 feet with the remaining space available for a linen cabinet or a seating area to dress. This type of remodel usually takes longer as new water barrier walls must be built.
“We handle every step of the remodeling process from initial design to final walk-through,” Orkin said. “This includes material selection, floor plans and project management. We provide everything necessary including vanities, cabinetry, the mirror style, sinks, tubs, toilets, lighting fixtures and flooring.”
Safety is another reason showers are being remodeled, especially for the elderly. Older people have more difficulty getting into and out of their small shower or shower-tub combination.
Orkin works in old and new homes. In new homes, people buy a certain model and accept the standard builder items. Then they decide to upgrade.
“I receive information from various trade organizations where data shows a bathroom or kitchen remodel will typically return about 85 percent of the value of what is put into it,” he said. “It becomes the highest return of investment of any type of home improvement. That’s because when people are looking to buy a home, the first rooms they look at are kitchens and bathrooms.
“And right now we’re doing more bathrooms than kitchens in terms of remodeling. What I tell people is that if they’re thinking of updating a kitchen or bathroom in order to sell their home, do it now. This way they can enjoy the new look for themselves for a period of time and not for someone else.”
The most popular style of cabinets for bathrooms and kitchens is shaker. Shaker cabinets are clean and timeless and adapt to a variety of color palettes and bold designs. White is the most popular color, with gray coming in at No. 2. Traditional brown and wood colors remain popular.
Another company keeping busy is Kera Bath &Shower in North Las Vegas.
“Most of our calls are requesting work on just one shower and that’s usually the master bath,” said Monica Ochoa, office manager. “They want a new shower area or maybe they just want to switch out the shower door. Some want a complete remodel. I encourage them to visit our showroom to see what options are available and how they can be applied to their situation.
“The entire bathroom can be remodeled down to the stud. We stay within the footprint of what is already there and have a license bonded plumber who can expand or move shower heads and everything else.”
According to Ochoa, homeowners get many of their ideas from the Internet and HGTV. The ideas include custom marble and granite vanity tops, shower enclosures that can be fully framed or frameless, and custom showers with easy accessibility.