Low-Flow Toilets and Circuit Breakers
Whether it's water-efficient, low- flow toilets and plumbing fixtures mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), or whether it's ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) for electric outlets required by the National Electric Code, there are certain "must-haves" for bathrooms across the nation. These bathroom regulations aim to protect you and your loved ones by decreasing the potential for electric shock in wet areas (i.e. while using your electric shaver or blow dryer), to protect the environment, and to conserve water. New toilet technologies developed by toilet manufacturers not only make toilets more efficient (using lest water per flush), but are designed to increase customer satisfaction.
Proper ventilation is another bathroom necessity. Trapped moisture from the bath and shower can cause mold and mildew growth, which can saturate and destroy installation, ruin wall coverings, and damage wallboards and other building components. If your bathroom doesn't have a window to let in fresh air, invest in an exhaust fan that will extract moisture and remove bath/shower steam, heat, and condensation. To choose the proper fan for your bath space, divide the room's cubic footage by 7.5 to tell you how many cubic feet per minute of air your fan must move. You also want a fan that isn't too noisy and that allows you to set the fan on a timer (so that it turns off automatically according to the time you have set).
Low-voltage lights are the current rage in bathroom lighting, such as halogen bulbs which last three times as long as standard incandescent light bulbs and have a sparkling look, and the newest compact fluorescent bulbs, which also offer great light and are up to 10 times more efficient than traditional bulbs.
In general, a good lighting scheme includes ample lighting for all your bathroom activity necessities -showering, putting on makeup, shaving, grooming, etc. Bathroom design experts recommend layered lighting that includes ambient or general light (such as a central fixture), accent lighting to spotlight a piece of wall art or powder room table, task lighting, such as vanity lights for grooming, as well as mood lighting (dimmers and scones) to set the tone for your bathroom, and even nightlights for safety and a dramatic effect. Contemporary luxury bathroom and bathroom suites feature skylights and etched glass as a way to admit natural light while maintaining your privacy.
For your safety, a bathtub and shower grab bar is another important bathroom element. To ensure proper and secure installation, be sure the grab bar is bolted directly to the studs and not simply glued to tiles or screwed into the wallboard.
Locked Medicine Cabinets
If you have young children, a locked medicine cabinet is a key bathroom must-have item, while a high, hard-to-reach medicine cabinet may sometimes suffice as well. To safeguard your children against poisoning, keep cleaning supplies out of reach as well.
Bathroom Extras and Accessories
Now that your bathroom is safe and sound, bath time can be a relaxing, fun, and enjoyable experience with the addition of bathroom accessories and high-end amenities such as bathroom toys, bath and shower radios, bathroom rugs, bathroom candles, whirlpool tubs, steam showers, towel warmers, heated bathroom floors, and more.