How People Upgrade Their Main Bathrooms, and How Much They Spend
The latest Houzz Bathroom Trends Study reveals the most common budgets, features and trends in master baths. Now about that tub …
Bathrooms are nearly the most popular room to renovate, just after kitchens. After all, these are important spaces where we spend a good amount of time — several hours a week, in fact.
The 2016 U.S. Houzz Bathroom Trends Study, from a research team led by Nino Sitchinava, Houzz’s principal economist, reveals that homeowners renovating their bathrooms are craving stylish, beautiful spaces, with luxurious finishes and big showers. It also found that fewer than half of homeowners who own bathtubs and renovated their master bathroom actually use their tubs.
The study surveyed more than 2,100 Houzz users in the U.S. who own homes and are in the midst of a bathroom project, have recently completed one, or are planning one for 2016. Read on for more insights about how homeowners are upgrading these private spaces.
How much will it cost me? Perhaps the most important consideration for people embarking on a bathroom renovation is how much it will cost. Obviously, the answer will vary widely depending on the finishes selected, as well as the region, since the price tag for labor and materials differs quite a bit by location. On a national basis, the most common budget for, as well as the actual cost of, a master bath renovation is $10,001 to $25,000. Plenty of people spend more, and plenty less, but the majority of master bathroom projects cost between $5,000 and $50,000.
We just can’t stand it anymore. Why renovate the bath? Often, it’s because the homeowner can’t stand the old one anymore. That was the top trigger — cited by 46 percent of renovators — for embarking upon a bath renovation. A close second was finally having the money to do so. Some quotes from surveyed homeowners who had had it with their bathrooms:
- “Mirrors! Seven-foot mirror on wall over sinks. Mirrors on two sides of Jetta tub. Mirrored closet doors.”
- “Airplane bathroom-sized shower with no light!!”
“1972 decor with shag rug, flowered wallpaper, fake marble tub and counter, fluorescent lighting; never use tub; poor storage in vanity.”
Upgrading features. More than four in five homeowners renovating a master bath are replacing major features in their bathroom renovations, from showers to floors, countertops to sinks. Notably, far fewer renovators are updating their tubs or tub-shower combos compared with the large share of those addressing showers.
Supersizing the shower. As noted, today’s master bath renovators are all about the shower. While the majority of master bathrooms (75 percent) stay the same size during a renovation, most homeowners — 68 percent — are increasing the size of their showers. About one-third of renovators are bumping up their shower size by at least half.
Rainfall showerheads remain popular, while about one-fifth of master bath renovators installing new showers add a dual shower.
Of those who choose high-tech showers for master bath renovations — and about 9 percent of new showers are high-tech — the most popular special feature is mood lighting. Ooh la la.
Tile still on top for floors.Ceramic or porcelain tile is the most popular flooring material chosen as an update, followed closely by stone tile or slab. Among the most popular stones, marble is king, travertine is a close second, and granite and slate are tied for third.
Ceramic or porcelain tile is also a popular choice for wall surfaces, though it still comes in behind paint.
Hardly anyone takes baths. Most of us are hardly using the bathtub at all these days. More than half of survey respondents who own a bathtub and went through a master bath renovation say they never use a tub in the course of a normal month. No wonder renovators are putting their money into showers instead of tubs.
Move over, toilet bowl cleaner. One in five new toilets and one in 10 new showers in renovated master bathrooms have at least one high-tech feature, according to the survey. The most popular toilet feature is a self-cleaning function — who wouldn’t love to skip the scrub brush? This function is favored by 43 percent of the survey respondents who are going with high-tech toilets.
Really, a self-cleaning toilet? Yes. As an example, a Toto toilet that cleans itself with electrolyzed water debuted this year at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. It can go a year without the need for a human to clean it, the company says.
A change in style. Bathrooms are very personal spaces, so it’s perhaps not so surprising that 90 percent of homeowners who renovate their master bathrooms change the style of their master bathrooms when they upgrade. This chart shows the most popular styles, with contemporary at the top.
Beauty over resale value. Beyond specific features or decor choices, the most appreciated design aspects of renovated master bathrooms are their style and beauty, according to the survey. Far fewer owners, comparatively, value a master bath renovation for adding to resale value — an interesting finding, suggesting that a gorgeous bathroom is worth it just for the soothing factor.
Caring about the room’s beauty and style makes a lot of sense, given that we spend a good amount of time every week in the bathroom. Nearly two-thirds of respondents spend 30 to 60 minutes a day there, while nearly one-quarter spend more than an hour a day. What are those folks doing during all that time? Well, not just getting ready.
Can I put you on hold? More than half of master bathroom renovators surveyed use a mobile device in there at least once a week — about one-third to check email, and 22 percent to make or answer calls.
Where we can accurately pluck our brows. Of course, there’s more than email and texting going on in master baths these days. We’re also getting dressed. On that note, many homeowners are prioritizing good lighting. Other high priorities: having a space that’s easy to clean and disinfect, and where it’s easy to store and find things.
The pros who make our bathrooms beautiful. If you’re not doing a renovation on your own, you’re not alone. A whopping 90 percent of owners who undertook master bathroom renovation projects last year or are planning one this year enlisted or will enlist the help of a professional. That’s up from 78 percent the year before. More than half hired or will hire a general contractor, while one-fifth hired or will hire a bathroom remodeler.
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