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Turn Your Bath Into a Spa Retreat

Massaging or Multiple Showerheads

Switch out your old showerhead for a massaging one to melt away stress. Choose pulsing, rotating, strong, or soft streams of water. It’s instant home water therapy for as low as $20 or less. Plus, replacing outdated showerheads can lower water bills.

Or upgrade by adding multiple showerheads for maximum body coverage and relaxation. You can tap into spa-status relaxation with simple budget-friendly fixes or more luxury splurges.

Splurge: Steam Saunas and Showers

Warm, moist air has soothing qualities. But forget the crowded gym sauna or steam room. Install one at home for privacy and convenience. Special pre-fabricated steam shower units trap billowing steam and set your stress free.

Simple Fix: Lighting

Low lighting is relaxing. But you need to see to get ready.

Try multiple lighting sources. Sconces at head level near your mirror eliminate face shadows. Shower lighting helps you spot grime. Turn them all on or flip the switch on key spots.

Other ideas: Experiment with bulb wattage. Or try a dimmer. 

Simple Fix: Candles and Aromatherapy

Lighting candles sets the scene for serenity. And scents are proven to affect mood. Make yours mellow by trying candles, potpourri, or air fresheners in soothing scents.

For relaxation try lavender, bergamot, patchouli, ylang-ylang, jasmine, juniper berry, or geranium.

Splurge: Heated Floors

Stepping out onto cold tile floor after a nice shower or soak can be a shock. Try heated floors.

Thin electric wiring or tubing for hot water lies underneath tile. Adjustable heat radiates up, keeping your toes toasty.

Installation: Pre-assembled warming mats keep cords neatly in place. Just rollout and install flooring and thermostat.

Splurge: Air-Jetted Whirlpool Tubs

Release tension. Relax sore muscles. Soothe stiff, achy joints with a soak in one of these.

Air jets make tiny air bubbles that massage more gently than water jets. And air whirlpools can be lower maintenance. Water jet pipes need flushing to clean and bubble bath, oils, and salts are no-nos. 

Tubs come in standard tub size and bigger. Luxurious models have seating, arm rests, or room for company. Slide in and let your mini-vacation begin.

Splurge: TVs and Stereo Systems

Choose your own music. Or a kick back in the tub to watch your favorite TV show for the ultimate in pampering.

Thin, state-of-the-art TVs and waterproof speakers make it possible. Go deluxe with a full system or just carry your boom box to your bathroom. Singing along can be a big stress-reliever.

Simple Fix: Fog-Free Mirrors

Go from hot shower to applying makeup or shaving in a snap.

Some mirrors have an anti-fog coating to repel steam. Others are heated so you can avoid wiping and rewiping, or hitting them with the blow dryer to de-fog.

Simple to Splurge: Towel Warmers

These special racks warm towels to ward off chill. They also dry them to keep mold and musty smells away.

Most towel warmers should be installed by an electrician. But portable versions just plug in and can cost less than $200. Timers make sure towels are heated when you’re ready to relax.

Simple Fix: Upgraded Sinks and Fixtures

Small touches can upgrade a bathroom with spa-style.

Pick faucets with flourishes for a French feel, or faux bamboo handles to transport you to an exotic paradise. Try the old-world charm of bronze. Or go modern with sleek, stainless steel.

Pedestal sinks can be pretty and marble makes a luxury statement. Selection is endless. Browse online for inspiration.

DIY Home Health and Safety TOC

Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD on April 03, 2014

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