American life and our pursuit of comfortable happiness continues to change our home surroundings.


A perfect example is the master bathroom. Once meant as a functional space to add convenience for those in the master bedroom, the master bath has evolved.


“One of the biggest changes we’ve seen in recent years is that people just want their master bathrooms to be their oasis,” explained Audrey McCoy, who serve as Customer Relations Manager at KRM/Tanzanite, a Des Moines company that creates custom home solutions for its clientele.


Old Favorites Head Down The Drain

What was popular a few years ago doesn’t necessarily cut it in 2014. In fact, some “hot” items of the past have been cast aside with all the consideration given to an empty shampoo bottle.


McCoy says there are a couple favorites of the past that no longer hold the same favor they used to. “Jetted tubs that used to be popular are a prime example. We see more people moving away from those,” she explained. “And shower doors really seem to be something that more and more of us are trying to avoid.”


KRM/Tanzanite helps people find other alternatives. “We work to design shower spaces that make doors completely unnecessary. We can do that by adding a fourth wall with a small entry way that keeps the flow of water away from the opening to the space,” she said.

Comfort Is Becoming Bigger

“The most popular items we see now include the big, deep soaker tubs,” McCoy emphasized. Though she reminds bathroom remodelers to think twice before keeping or replacing that old, heavy tub.


“There are some who really enjoy kicking back and relaxing in the tub,” she said. “But an increasing number of our clients find that the tub just tends to be a big thing that gets in their way that they don’t really use all that often.”


Instead, more and more of McCoy’s customers are opting for spacious, oversized showers. In general anything above 20 square feet is considered to be ‘oversized,’” she explained.


Once the space is there, what goes in it? The answer is simple. Creature comforts fill the space nicely. It starts with the water — with options for completing an oasis with your very own waterfall. And KRM/Tanzanite is equipped with options to make the vision reality. “Some people prefer to have two shower heads installed,” McCoy said. “In other cases, folks prefer large rain heads.”


That’s just the start. “We also do a lot of inset shelves that are built into the shower wall and build in a benches within the space,” McCoy says. “Plus, we see people getting very creative with custom mirrors and the lighting choices they make.”


The Price of Paradise

Can you truly put a price on creating your own oasis? The short answer is yes. The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) says that the average American homeowner spends $18,538 to remodel a bathroom, including labor and materials. But don’t let that price scare you. But like most things, that number is driven by your own personal likes and “must-haves,” as well as variations from area to area involving variables such as labor and materials.


As a guide, the NKBA says the cost of the average bathroom remodeling spreads out these general cost categories:


Labor: 20 percent
Cabinetry and hardware: 16 percent
Fixtures: 15 percent
Faucets and plumbing: 14 percent
Countertop: 7 percent
Floor: 9 percent
Doors and windows: 4 percent
Walls and ceiling: 5 percent
Lighting and ventilation: 5 percent
Design fees: 4 percent
Other: 1 percent


In general to ensure you’re able to recoup your investment, the NKBA suggests that you should not spend more than five to 10 percent of your home’s value on upgrading your master bathroom.

Credits // Author: Dave Danielson

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