Utilities and Infrastructure

Several pieces of hydrotherapy equipment will require extra water heaters, either larger tanks or on-demand heaters. Extra support in the floor may be needed to handle the weight of the equip­ment, especially when filled with water. Electrical service will need to be planned to accommodate the heaters and pumps. Extra plumbing and electrical requirements may call for extra wall and floor space. Access panels for maintenance and servicing of equipment should be planned. These and other considerations are discussed in chapter 2, "Infrastructure Considerations" and chapter 7, "Mechanical Planning."


A variety of lighting will be needed in the spa area to support different activities. General indirect lighting should be provided for the safe use of equipment and for dressing. Many treatments are accomplished under low lights which are calming and relaxing. Some people use candles for light­ing and for the aromatic effect during a relaxing soaking bath.

More focused task lighting may be needed for facials, manicures, and pedicures. Other task light­ing may be needed for preparing essential oils and other types of mixtures, reading, and some food preparation. Lighting is discussed in more detail in chapter 7, "Mechanical Planning."


Any hydrotherapy or steam treatment will put a great deal of moisture into the air, which must be removed with proper ventilation afterward. Special care should be given to indoor spas or hot tubs, since warm water remains in the tub and chemicals are used to treat it. Strong odors and candle soot may need to be removed through ventilation. Refer to the ventilation information in chapter 7, "Mechanical Planning," and the indoor air quality information in chapter 3, "Environmental and Sustainability Considerations."

Floor space

The design recommendations for special spa fixtures are the same as those for bathtubs and show­ers presented in chapter 6, "Bathroom Planning." Check the measurements of the fixture or equipment specified and allow adequate clearance in front for access. Here are some key points:

• A recommended clear space of 30 inches (762 mm) is needed in front of any fixture.

• Space for larger dressing circles should be included (42 to 48 inches; 1067 to 1219 mm).

• At least 30 inches (762 mm) should be planned around massage tables or other equipment where an assistant or therapist might be applying treatment.

• Control valves should be reachable from both outside and within the fixture.

• Access panels should be easy to get to for repairs and maintenance.

seating and Refreshments

A lounge area such as a chaise, or chair and ottoman, might provide another way to relax in the home spa along with storage for reading material.

Many spa activities suggest that the client have refreshments, especially something to drink, during or after, similar to exercise. A refreshment center may be needed in the spa area to store water, juice, and healthy snacks, and a water cooler or a refrigerator would be a helpful feature.

The refreshment center might expand to a mini-kitchen if more extensive food preparation is de­sired. Some aromatherapy treatments require that mixtures be cooked or distilled. Although these treatments may be prepared in the kitchen, a small cooktop in a spa area may not be out of the question.


The home spa will need some of the same items and thus, some of the same storage, as found in the more typical bathroom. For example:

• Towels will need to be located near the various fixtures, and a place to store extra towels will be needed. Often larger bath sheets are used as wraps. These require more space to hang and store.

• Robes and soft-soled shoes may be used and kept in this area. Plan hanging space or hooks for robes, and shelves for shoes.

• There may be several different types of bottles, jars, sponges, brushes, candles, foot massagers, portable steamers, and other items used in some treatments. Consider shelves and drawer stor­age for them.

• Several treatments require mixing ingredients, so bowls, measuring cups, and spoons may be needed.


Подпись: FIGURE 9.31 A fireplace adds warmth and ambience to a spa area. Courtesy of Kohler Company
Utilities and Infrastructure

A fireplace may be desired in a luxury bath or home spa (Figure 9.31). Although it might be con­sidered a secondary heat source, it is more likely to be used for its ambience, to set a relaxing and romantic mood. Several types could be included such as masonry fireplaces, vented gas fireplaces, or direct vent fireplaces. Unvented gas fireplaces are available, but are not approved for use in some states.

The masonry fireplace is the traditional wood-burning fireplace. It will require a hearth and a chim­ney with flue. It will need to be planned by a professional to assure that it is properly sized to draw correctly. Wood will be needed, and the fireplace will have to be cleaned regularly.

A fireplace that uses vented gas logs also relies on the hearth and chimney with a flue. A direct vent system does not require a chimney and can be placed in many different locations. Ductwork from the outside provides air for the system and removes waste to the outside. Check local build­ing codes for installation requirements.

Installing a fireplace will add to the space requirements. Check the clearance required between the fireplace and any combustible materials. Include adequate circulation space around any hot surfaces.


There is so much that can be added to the bathroom. Determining the lifestyle needs of your client is an important step in the interview and assessment process. Do they need their life enhanced by an organized and expansive closet? Or does the convenience of having the laundry near the dirty clothes appeal to their efficiency? Are they concerned about their health, wanting to stay active and in shape? Or does the pampering and relaxation of spa treatments represent their desire to take care of themselves? Whatever the client might want, you should be able to assess their space and budget and look for ways to enhance their lifestyle.


1. Why is good ventilation important in a closet or clothes storage area? (See under "Closet Placement" page 304)

2. What is the typical depth of a closet? What is the depth and height of the placement of the closet rod to accommodate most adult clothes? (See "Hanging Clothes Storage: Depth, Height" pages 308 and 309)

3. Access to storage, whether it is in a closet or laundry, needs to be designed with similar prin­ciples and considerations. What are these? (See "A Place for Everything," "Storage Principles," "Access and Clearance Space," "Design Decisions," "Storage," "Space Planning for Exercise" pages 304, 310, 313, 317, 328, and 334)

4. What criteria can be used to recommend energy – and water-efficient laundry appliances? (See "Laundry and the Environment" page 322)

5. Describe various types of exercise and the equipment that would be needed to perform each type. What are the implications for space planning with each of these? (See "Exercise Equipment" page 332)

Updated: October 12, 2015 — 7:06 am