5 Bathroom Upgrades for Style, Function

(Family Features) Home upgrades are all about adding comfort, convenience and beauty, and the bathroom is no exception. It may be the smallest room in the house, but these ideas for enhancing the most functional features of your bathroom are sure to make a big impact.

Whether your goal is a spa-like oasis or simply bringing a new level of sophistication to this all-important room in your house, there are a few key areas to focus your attention.

Sink: More than just a bowl for capturing water when you wash or brush, the sink can actually be a statement piece within your bathroom. More traditional options range from decorative self-rimming to sleek undermount styles, while vessels in all shapes, sizes and materials lend an artistic flair. Wall mounted sinks reflect a trend toward floating vanities and today’s pedestals are anything but boring.

Toilet: Keeping a sparkling clean bathroom is now easier with the new American Standard ActiClean self-cleaning toilet, which also offers stylish design and affordability. The ActiClean combines the power of revolutionary VorMax flushing technology with a fully integrated self-cleaning system, eliminating the need for in-bowl or in-tank cleaning solutions. A convenient flip-up door on the tank’s top houses the control panel for the cleaning system, which is activated at the user’s touch for a one-minute Quick Clean or 10-minute Deep Clean cycle.

The toilet tank and bowl feature EverClean, a permanent finish that inhibits the growth of stain and odor-causing bacteria, mold and mildew on the surface to help the toilet stay cleaner, longer. The system, which operates on four AA alkaline batteries, runs independently from the normal toilet flushing operation, meaning the toilet will always flush, even if the cleaning cartridge or batteries have run out. Additional features include a slow-close lid and anti-slip bumpers that lock the seat in place.

Tub: Few people will argue that nothing beats a long soak in a warm tub. Now, the bathtub’s appearance and special features can be specially tailored to satisfy your personal preferences. Extra-deep, extra-wide, with and without jets, free-standing or integrated into the architecture – the possibilities are nearly endless. Keep access in mind when you choose your style – don't select a tub so deep it’s difficult to climb in and out, and remember practical considerations like bathing children.

Floors: Because it offers broad aesthetic appeal and it’s relatively easy to keep clean, tile flooring is a top choice for bathrooms. Not only can you add style with the color and texture of the tile, you can take your flooring to even greater levels with special patterns and designs. Another flooring enhancement: heated coils that run below the surface to keep cool tile warm and cozy when it’s cold outside.

Storage: While aesthetic appeal is important, a bathroom without sufficient storage space is truly lacking in function. Be sure your design includes a place to keep essentials like towels and personal grooming items. Whether your storage space blends in or stands out is entirely up to you; some vanities actually look more like stylish furniture and open shelving is a popular choice for a modern space.

With the wide range of options available, it’s easy to create a bathroom that delivers the perfect combination of style and function.

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