Adding that spa touch to a smallish bathroom


Q: My bathroom, while larger than standard size, isn't big enough to handle all the features found in those new spa-style bathrooms. Since these advertised whirlpools and saunas look pretty inviting to me, I'm wondering whether there are any smaller, multipurpose fixtures that I could add as part of a planned remodeling project.

A: It's hard to say what exactly your bathroom can accommodate and what it can't since I don't know its exact dimensions. Large and standard-size, like expensive and budget-priced, are relative terms.

I'll assume that your bathroom has a usable 50-inch area. While that is indeed too small for both a shower enclosure and a whirlpool tub, I do know of one new bathing fixture that can fit into such a space and perform at least one of the functions you find alluring. The sauna, however, will have to wait until you move to a home outfitted with a spa-type bathroom (or remodel your current home).

The fixture I have in mind is called a Whitecap Shower and Foot Whirlpool. Manufactured by the Kohler Co., it comes in a variety of acrylic colors.

The shower receptor, shown in the photo, is 10 inches deep. That permits luxurious foot bathing, made even more comfortable by the attractive seat that is set back in a corner of the unit. A jet of whirling water tickles the toes and soothes the sole. Even kids who hate baths will love to play in this mini-whirlpool.

The clear glass shower enclosure offers a view of whatever decorative treatment you wish to apply on the back wall. In this model, a marble tile aggregate was used on the floor and the wall to enhance the sense of spaciousness.

Hammered or obscured glass would of course be a more traditional selection for the shower enclosure. And the fixture is indeed available in those options. But in any small bathroom in which it's best not to feel hemmed in, clear and tempered glass panels supported by a metal frame would certainly be my choice.

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