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Portland Design Build Remodeling Blog

14 Must-Haves for Your Master Bathroom

Posted by Lane Cooper on Apr 10, 2020 12:12:55 PM

Technically, the only real must-haves for a bathroom are a toilet, a sink, and a shower or bathtub. But if you were compiling a list of features for a master bath that’s worthy of the name, you would add a few things to make the room special.

So in the spirit of creating the spa-like bathroom of a homeowner’s dreams, here are some elements to add “luxe” to the space:

#1: A Double Sink

Togetherness is great, but giving each user of the master bath a place to brush his or her teeth should rank pretty high on the must-haves list. Those sinks could be undermounts, which eliminate a rim where gunk accumulates, or artistic bowls of glass or bronze set on top of the counter.


#2: Touchless Faucets

For those sinks, or at least single-handled models that are easier to manage. These are perfect for homeowners who need to wash up after applying or removing makeup, or who need to rinse after washing their faces. These tools are also easier to maintain. The less time you spend grabbing a fixture, the less time you have to spend cleaning it.



Such as granite, marble, quartz, quartzite, or concrete. Luxurious Calacatta marble is the latest trend, with amazing streaks of gold running through. These counters, which lack the grout lines of tile, are beautiful and easy to take care of. The best part is that many of these materials are timeless and long-lasting. This means that with good care, they can last as long as the house.

[Read MoreUnconventional Counter Top Ideas and Materials for Your Kitchen Remodel]


#4: A Large Shower Enclosure

large shower enclosure with two or more shower heads. Many luxury master bathrooms feature open, walk-in showers with either frameless glass enclosures or no glass at all. The walls and floors can be of high-end tiles of stone or porcelain, and the shower should have a built-in seat.

Often the showers are curbless, so there’s no lip to step over, making them ideal for users of wheelchairs and walkers. Such a shower has to be designed skillfully to contain the spray to the shower area and drain the water away so it won’t flow into the rest of the bathroom.



A quiet, powerful ventilation system to remove the damaging humidity created by the luxurious shower. Ventilation power is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). You’ll want one CFM per square foot of bathroom space. This means that if your bathroom is 100 square feet, you will need a fan that supports at least 100 CFM. The good news is that when you increase power for a larger space, you don’t necessarily have to double the noise. Many models are whisper quiet and affordable, so you can have that relaxing shower without leaving a ton of moisture on the walls.


#6: Water Closet

A separate enclosure for the toilet. If you’re both getting ready at the same time, a water closet adds privacy and comfort. The toilet itself can boast luxury features, too, such as a cover that rises, a seat that starts heating, music that begins playing, an air freshener that spritzes as you approach, and flushes by itself when you walk away. These luxurious loos are beautiful to look at, and many are wall-hung so that they are easy to clean around.

#7: Soaking Tub

A soaking tub that makes you want to stay in place. This could be big enough for the whole family or a space-saving design that’s deep enough to submerge you, possibly with a door for easy access. High-end tubs come in wood, glass, copper, stainless steel, and more. And don’t worry if you’re confined to a smaller space than you’d like. There is a wide variety of styles meant to retrofit even in older homes, for a luxurious bath in almost any dimension.


#8: Room with a View

A room with a view, or even open to the great outdoors. Depending on the location of your home and privacy issues, a large window (equipped with shades when they’re needed) gives you the feeling of soaking in the open air. If the window opens, all the better.


#9: Proper Lighting

Whether you have a wall of windows or not, you’re going to need sufficient lighting, especially around the mirrors. The fixtures can be works of art themselves, and dimmable lights can add to the ambiance of a room that’s so much more than just a utilitarian space.

[Read MoreLighting: An Important Part of Your Portland Home Remodel]


#10: Plenty of Storage

Think about all the linens and bath supplies that you want close at hand but not necessarily on display. You have tons of options, from a linen closet with French doors for easy access to hidden, in-set shelves on the wall of your shower. Built-in cupboards and drawers allow you to organize your towels and shampoo without having to stack them high and hope for the best.

#11: Large Walk-In Closets 

Large walk-in closets, ideally one for each of you, that connect to the master bath suite. Custom organization can provide all the room you need for this season’s clothing, outerwear or an extensive shoe collection. With the right design, you can even have a bench for dressing or an ironing and folding station.


#12: Wood Accents

Wood in the bathroom. Despite its susceptibility to water damage, wood is showing up in a luxurious way in bathroom floors, paneling, even bathtubs. If you can’t have real wood or bamboo, wood-look tile provides a durable surface perfect for bathrooms, with all the appearance of maple or walnut.


#13: A Sitting Area 

All the lounging doesn’t have to be done in the tub. In a room so well appointed with high-class features, you’ll want to sit down and stay a while. Although you don’t have the full range of materials in an area that gets humid or damp, you still have plenty of variety. Consider a bench or stool made from heat-treated bamboo, which is less likely to absorb moisture. Ceramic or acrylic look great and can match any décor. Even dense, exotic hardwoods like teak may be a good choice if you’re willing to invest a little extra care to treat them on occasion.

#14: Radiant-Heat Flooring 

Think about bare feet on a tile floor. This one’s a proven winner. The biggest barriers to installing this type of heating in a home is the need to pull up existing flooring or walls. If you’re already remodeling, now’s a great time to put it in. You don’t have to worry much about the type of flooring, as radiant heat is designed to work with bathroom mainstays like tile, hardwood and linoleum. And once you’ve got it in, you’ll notice it works better and uses less energy than forced-air heating. This is because there’s no ductwork, so you can literally feel the warmth coming through every time.

[Read More: 8 Things to Establish When Planning for a Master Bathroom Remodel

remodeling starter guide

Topics: Bathroom Remodeling, Design