Spa bathroom upgrades to charm your Valentine

Shannon Dauphin Lee | Improvement Center Columnist | February 12, 2013

Spas are luxurious, decadent getaways that leave you feeling pampered from head to toe. Why not recreate that feeling for your honey this Valentine's Day with a spa experience inside your own home? With a few pampering additions and careful upgrades, you can turn any bathroom into a personal spa to drool over.

Think about what she likes, give your bathroom a critical once-over, and then start dreaming. From the best in fluffy towels and amenities to the all-out luxury of a soaking tub, there is sure to be a gorgeous change for every budget.

But you have to get started now -- the big day is just around the corner!

Minor but meaningful

Money is tight for a lot of folks these days, and that means the dream of a luxurious spa bathroom might have to happen in stages. You can start with minor upgrades that transform a nice bathroom into an even nicer one, and you might spend only a few hundred dollars.

Start by taking a good look at what you can add to the bathroom without changing a thing about the fixtures. Consider a fresh coat of soothing blue paint, a relaxing border around the ceiling or a new mirror with an etched design. If she loves to read, add a magazine rack. You could even install a new shower head that offers a more decadent experience, or a new faucet that makes washing her face feel like an event.

How to present it: Many of these upgrades, such as a nice paint job or setting up the foot spa, can be done in a weekend. If your sweetie is handy and enjoys a bit of remodeling, you could even make it a weekend of work for two. Don't forget the romantic chocolates, roses and a nice dinner after you've cleaned up the mess.

Mid-range and relaxing

If you have a little more cash to burn and your bathroom needs only a few upgrades to reach spa potential, you can opt for a bit of remodeling that doesn't break the bank but definitely puts your beloved in a state of spa-induced bliss.

Install a simple dimmer for the lights in the room, so that she can dial the illumination down before slipping into her relaxing soak. Choose a new vanity, one with plenty of counter space. Look for sinks with deep bowls and faucets with interesting features, such as a waterfall faucet. You can even put down new flooring that feels cool on the feet and looks expensive, such as stone tile or bamboo.

According to Remodeling Magazine's Cost vs. Value Report, the national average cost of a mid-range bathroom remodel was $15,784 in 2013. This includes replacing all fixtures, installing new flooring and changing the wallpaper. If you have fixtures that can remain or flooring that is in great condition, your cost could be much less.

How to present it: Some of the smaller upgrades might be completed by Valentine's Day but let's be honest: It's too late in the game to really be sure. But you can make good on your goals by getting started. Hit the home improvement stores and pick out the upgrades you want, such as that nice whirlpool tub and the luxurious sink, purchase them and have them shipped to your home just in time for the big day. Put big red bows on everything to really make her smile.

High-end and luxurious

If you have plenty of money to blow on your sweetie and that old bathroom needs a serious makeover, you can create the spa bathroom of her dreams.

Take a look at the options. Can you expand the square footage? How about adding a deep whirlpool tub or sauna? Can you rework the plumbing to create a shower with two or even three shower heads, instead of just one? You could also add cozy radiant floor heating, a custom-made storage area and even a bidet. Why not? Now is the time to get in touch with a contractor and figure out what your budget will allow.

Remodeling Magazine's Cost vs. Value Report found a national average cost of $50,007 for an upscale bathroom remodel, including more square feet, stone countertops, custom cabinets and heated towel bars. If you choose not to increase the square footage, the price tag might not be so large.

How to present it: This is a gift that will take some time to create, so you need a memorable presentation of your intentions. You could dress up the old bathroom one last time with a bouquet of flowers, a basket of decadent bubble bath and shower gel, and fluffy towels that are perfectly at home in a spa. Then offer a simple card with your plans for a spa bathroom written on the inside, along with the name of the contractor you have chosen for the job.

These next few months are going to be filled with anticipation!

About the Author

Shannon Lee is a freelance writer and occasional novelist who has spent over twenty years writing about home improvement, education, relationships and medical and health topics.