A host of new life stressors have spurred an increased need to escape, to find a place where the body and spirit can recharge. When looking at the home, that desire for a private space to unwind has resulted in master bath designs that deliver a spa-like feel, with amenities that relax the muscles and de-clutter the mind.
During the first decade-plus of this century, many homeowners looking to create that retreat-like atmosphere in their baths were removing standard and jetted tubs and converting that space into massive showers with multiple body sprays and steam functions. However, recent years have seen a reversal of sorts, with many homeowners longing for a good, hot soak to melt their troubles away.
This renewed interest in the tub as a luxurious amenity has led to the resurgence of these fixtures in the master bath especially, but today’s tubs bear only a mild resemblance to their utilitarian predecessors. The current crop of soaking tubs are made of metals, acrylics and solid surface materials, meaning their designs can make them a distinctive, bold focal point of any room.
Among the key trends in soaking tubs right now are:
• Solid surface and acrylic materials used to make some soaking tubs can be molded into almost any shape, allowing for distinctive and custom designs to fit any space.
• Current materials – such as solid surface, metal and concrete mixtures – hold heat longer, resulting in a longer-lasting hot soak.
• Adding pops of color now extends to the tub, with a range of styles and materials delivering a two-tone look with white interior and richly-colored exterior.
• Many soaking tubs are being fashioned with an extended ledge for additional storage or deck-mount faucets.
• Metal soaking tubs are garnering a lot of interest with a special focus on copper, which can be sealed to maintain its look or patina over time.
• Some soakers are available with a flat back, allowing them to be placed against a wall, making them ideal for installation in alcoves where standard tubs once stood.