Designer Tips for Choosing a New Tub or Shower

January 08, 2019 | STORY BY DOLORES PIAN

Renovating the master bathroom is the second-most-popular update in a home. Designer Dolores Pian offers tips to help you select a tub and shower.

OUR HOMES London Winter 2018-2019A version of this article originally appeared in OUR HOMES Winter 2018-2019. 

Keeping clean has never been more luxurious and spectacular. The master bathroom, in particular, is the second-most-popular renovation after the kitchen. Visual appeal, functionality and unique design elements are what we are now looking for in our bathrooms. Tubs and showers are a great way to make your unique statement. Here are some tips that interior designers think you should know.
PRODUITS NEPTUNE: Florence Freestanding Tub
CASALGRANDE PADANA: Marmoker Olimpo Tile
CASALGRANDE PADANA: Marmoker Nero Creta Tile
SCHLUTER: Ditra-Heat-E-Kit



The new attention grabber is the free-standing tub. A sculpture that bathes you in comfort, it appears to float, taking less space than a built-in and easier to clean.
  • Test your tub for body size when sitting. A taller person requires a longer tub. A small tub will result in knees to the chin and not comfortable at all.
  • Statement lighting over the tub can add that wow factor. Make sure your fixtures are rated for damp or wet locations. Place on a separate switch.
  • A soft white lighting colour temperature of 2,700 to 3,000 degrees Kelvin provides a warm, cosy atmosphere so you’ll always look your best.
  • Dimmers set the mood and can be pre-set to the timing of your choice. Place on a separate switch.
  • Leave three inches or more around the tub for cleaning. The handle of a mop still needs to reach around the back.
PRODUITS NEPTUNE: Malaga Shower Tower 
MIROLIN: Cruz Acrylic Freestanding Tub 
SCHLUTER: Kerdi-Line Floor Drains 
The shower is where you stimulate your senses. Glass shower enclosures have eliminated thick tiled walls, allowing for more space. Glass doors can now roll or hinge effortlessly.
  • Curbs virtually disappear with curbless shower systems made possible by Schluter Kerdi-Line Systems. They have shower kits that provide the necessary waterproofing membrane and floor sloping for drains. Linear drains, which are long troughs two-inches deep, lie beneath the floor and need to run in the direction of joists or can be carved out of a concrete floor.
  • Water can rain on your head or jet you from three sides. Be careful when selecting body sprays. Make sure they accommodate all members of the family and their various heights and weights. While they can be adjusted to suit your needs, jet sprays can be very powerful and you could end up with a mouthful of water or even injure sensitive body parts. You may need a grip rail.
  • Large format tiles, quartz stone or Corian are now used for seamless shower walls, eliminating the need for those pesky, hard-to-clean grout lines. Ask your contractor if you have enough room to get them up the stairs or in an elevator prior to installation.
  • Shower floors need small tiles for foot grip and safety so that you can avoid slipping. Make grout colour the darkest colour that coordinates with the tile.
  • Install a waterproof light fixture overhead for safety. (Yes – you can still install an overhead shower.) Place the fixture on a separate switch with no dimmer.
  • Shower benches are useful for a quick sit down during a long shower and also to perch your foot while shaving your legs.
Heated floors. Made more affordable and doable with Ditra- Heat-E-Kit by Schluter. It has a quarter-inch profile that minimizes the thickness of the finished tile floor.
Wall niches. Scavenge space from wall cavities with niches. Wall niches can come in stainless steel or tiled. A slight slope is needed to drain water. Not only are they a décor element, they make all items more accessible.
Check out bathroom manufacturers’ sites for your specific needs. Tubs and showers are just two of the elements to explore so that you can create your own unique fabulous bathroom. OH