What to Look for in Bath Design in 2020

An upgraded master bath suite is a must-have for local homeowners remodeling in 2020, says North Barrington’s Brian Allendorfer, fifth-generation owner of Brian Allendorfer Company.

Whether it’s rain showers, soaker tubs, illuminating medicine cabinets or wall-hung toilets, a bathroom makeover creates a relaxing getaway, as well as a hyper-functional place to prepare for everyday life.

Changes to master bath suite design are influenced by experiences homeowners have when traveling, whether to a local spa or luxury hotel halfway around the world.

“We’ve been installing lots of rain showers. Clients enjoy the feeling of an open-air shower, inspired by nature, in their own bathroom. A fold-down seat is a great way to further enhance the spa-like relaxation without taking up shower floor space,” Allendorfer says. “Another must-have feature is a heated floor throughout the master bath suite, even in the shower. It’s a great luxurious feel.

“A popular approach is a curb-less shower,” he adds. “It doesn’t require a step-over because it’s on the same plane as the bathroom floor. The shower floor has a trench or linear drain on one side with a slight slope to it. It’s great not having to step over that cumbersome curb anymore.”

For relaxing in a warm bath, nothing beats a large soaker tub. BainUltra, a Canada-based manufacturer, designs hydro-thermo massage tubs with powerful air jets to fit nearly any space. There’s growing demand for aromatherapy (use of essential oils), thermotherapy (heat zones built into the tub) and chromatherapy (therapeutic use of underwater colored lights) in baths or showers so when combined, they evoke positive physical, mental and emotional changes. Allendorfer says he’s adding sound systems with in-wall-and-ceiling speakers for total escapism.

Color schemes lean neutral with lots of whites and grays or even “Greige,” a combination of gray and beige. Adding gray to beige creates a richer color, one that works in both cool and warm color schemes.

Natural stone is being replaced with high-quality porcelain tile thanks to improvements in colors and finishes. In hard water environments marble and granite require much more cleaning and maintenance, Allendorfer says.

There are even innovations in toilets worth noting. Allendorfer recommends Geberit North America in-wall systems for wall-hung toilets. The tank fits inside the wall and the toilet hangs from it (stopping short of the floor) for cleaner lines, a smaller footprint and easier cleaning. Wall-mounted flush plates enable a standard flush volume of 1.6 gallons or 1.28 gallons for solids and 0.8 gallons for liquids, saving thousands of gallons of water annually.

Learn more about Brian Allendorfer Co. by visiting Allendorfer.com or call 773.770.8655.

Manufacturers of Note

• Dornbracht: high-end German bath products; Dornbracht.com

• Hansgrohe: another German company; Hansgrohe-USA.com

• Kohler: a popular Wisconsin-based company; US.Kohler.com

• Geberit: in-wall flush toilet systems for wall-hung toilets; GeberitNorthAmerica.com

• Robern: illuminating medicine cabinets with built-in power outlets; Robern.com

• BainUltra: air jetted soaker tubs, made in Canada; BainUltra.com