Master baths typically accommodate two people at once. Efficiency is just as important as comfort. Use these tips to plan a beautiful and functional master bathroom.

A Sculptural Sink

Above-counter basins and vessels are a popular choice for adding sculptural elegance to otherwise ordinary vanities. These sinks work equally well in master bathrooms with contemporary, traditional, or eclectic styles. A makeup area is a plus for ladies who like to pamper themselves.

Find a Focal Point

A soaking tub to accommodate two people — can be the centerpiece of a rejuvenated master bathroom. To ensure plenty of hot water, the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) recommends a water heater at least two-thirds the size of your tub’s capacity.

Master Bathroom Showers

The flexible design options of open showers continue to trend with homeowners wanting to renovate a master bath. If you choose this kind of shower, plan ventilation in the shower to prevent humidity from affecting other bathroom surfaces.

A Custom Shower

Showers shared by multiple users can benefit from customized sprays. Many high-end shower systems offer a single-control, programmable push-button module for selecting water temperature and specifying the operation of showerheads, body sprays, and pulsation intervals.

Steam Shower

If you’re adding the relaxing power of a steam shower to your bathroom, the key is finding a place for the steam generator, which requires its own cold water, electrical supplies, and drain. The generator must be within 50 feet of the shower but can be located in a closet, vanity, basement, or heated attic.

Style Decisions

Choosing a bathroom faucet is more than a simple style decision. Finish quality, valve quality, and warranty length should also factor into your purchase decision. Solid-brass fixtures might cost the most, but they last the longest. Zinc is durable and less expensive but might corrode if the plating wears off and water reaches the zinc. Another consideration for modern installations is a wall-mount faucet. These have gained popularity as a way to free countertop space for a clean design.

 Accent Walls

Two vanities, each with a sink and a mirror, or one long vanity equipped with two sinks are common design elements for today’s master baths, allowing two people plenty of space. Accent tile is the perfect way to declare a focal point in your room. Tiling to the ceiling is practical as well as beautiful.

A Warm Floor

In a recent survey by the National Association of Home Builders, prospective homeowners ranked ceramic tile as their top choice for bathroom flooring. Stone tile and laminate surfaces are also good options in ta master bath. If you love the look of tile but don’t like the cold underfoot, consider adding a radiant-heat flooring system. Adding a timer lets you set the heater to provide a warm surface for the first footsteps of the morning.

Wood Finishes

Believe it or not, wood can work in master bathrooms. Wood tubs and sinks are possible thanks to special stabilizing and polishing processes, epoxy resins, and the use of water-resistant woods such as teak. Check each product’s fabrication process and warranty. Wood is also a great flooring option, but you’ll need to prevent puddles.

Those Little Extras

A towel warmer is one of those little extras that make your master bathroom seem like a luxury suite. After all, who wouldn’t want to step out of the shower and have a warm towel waiting? Also, look beyond standard-issue offerings for fixtures that make a statement.