It makes perfect sense that the shower would be a leading feature in the trend toward bathrooms that are more like spas and less like closets. The idea that bathrooms should be compact originally stemmed from the fact that indoor plumbing was at first retrofit into Victorian houses. As a result, the first bathrooms were repurposed closets and that space under the stairs. No longer crammed into small, available spaces, bathrooms have steadily been transformed into places of comfort and relaxation – among the most personal choices in home design.

Wanting More from the Bathroom

With more room and comfort, the expectation has grown that the bathroom could become a kind of everyday retreat for relaxation, calm, and self-care. Our shorthand name for retreats such as this is spa, and it is no coincidence that we get that word from the name of an ancient resort, where people travelled to “take the waters.” Mineral baths have been taking place at Spa, Belgium, since Roman Empire times when one writer said that the water there, “while sparkling bubbles … purges the body, cures fevers, and dispels calculous affections.”

The latest showers make no such ancient, miraculous claims, and yet who wouldn’t feel better with an added source of relaxation in their life?

What’s Happening Now

The biggest overall trend to consider is the calm that can come from a simple, clear, and open design throughout the bathroom. For the shower, that means no longer piggy backing it into the bathtub. Walk-in showers with minimal, clean lines open the room and add a wow factor.

Adding further to the serenity of simple lines, the walk-in shower is more and more being designed and built as a “wet room.” This term simply indicates that the completely waterproofed space is flush with the rest of the floor in the room. Screens rather than curtains make the whole design seem more intentional and less temporary. Expert drainage ensures that the water stays where you want it.

What Makes the Open Space Possible

A design and building principle called “tanking” ensures that your new, open shower design won’t let moisture escape to the rest of the house. In effect, the wet room portion of your bathroom is a completely waterproofed box. All the flooring and walls are waterproof, and the shower runs to a drain in the floor, just as it does now. The difference is that the water is collected over a wider – and more comfortable – space.

The new design does away with the tub and even with the shower tray, for a more harmonious and expansive feel to the whole bathroom. Tubs are still a wonderful place to relax, too, and they have their place in today’s spa-bathroom. Yet the tub is the star of its own show, taking its own separate spotlight.

And speaking of lighting – that is another trend in today’s bathroom. The effect that conscious lighting design can have for adding comfort to the bathroom is remarkable. So easy to add and such a difference fine lighting can make.

With more people considering the advantages of adding comfort to the home they already own, placing your shower in the setting of a spa is a valuable improvement you can enjoy every day.