Homeowners are willing to spend big money for these bathroom trends

by Emily Marek

Remodelers are spending about 50% more on bathrooms this year than they did last year. The U.S. Houzz Bathroom Trends Study shows how homeowners are willing to shell out more money for key bathroom upgrades and features.

The home renovation research company surveyed 1,921 homeowners who completed a bathroom renovation within the past 12 months, or who are currently working on one, to determine which styles and upgrades are the most popular this year.

Among the top upgrades: large showers. Over two-thirds of bathroom renovators opted to size up their shower, with the most popular styles being alcove, corner, low-curb and curbless showers. Both low-curb and curbless showers are more accessible for aging homeowners or those who use a wheelchair or walker.

“The needs of aging household members remain the top priority, but half of homeowners who are addressing these needs are actually planning ahead for the future,” Houzz Economist Marine Sargsyan said in a press release. “This reinforces our understanding that homeowners are looking to stay in their homes for the long term.”

Nearly 40% of bathroom renovators so far in 2023 did so to address the needs of aging household members, while 50% did so to address future needs of aging family members. In addition to accessible showers, renovators who needed to address aging in place were most likely to add grab bars, non-slip flooring and additional lighting.

Renovators are also vying to enlarge their bathroom space entirely — but where does the extra space come from? About 44% of renovators who made their bathroom bigger took square footage from a closet, while 24% used bedroom space. However, only 15% of renovators were able to make their bathroom up to 50% larger.

Meanwhile, transitional interior design took the top spot when it came to bathroom remodels. The minimalistic style is followed by contemporary, modern and traditional. Farmhouse upgrades have been the least popular so far this year, with only 5% of renovators opting for the style.

Furthermore, wood vanities emerged as the top choice for updated countertop space, although white walls and showers are still the number one choice for most renovators.

Another popular upgrade this year is the addition of eco-friendly fixtures, including energy-efficient lighting and water-efficient plumbing.

Faucets are the most upgraded feature of all, with 87% of all renovators switching out their faucet. That’s followed by showers at 84%, wall finishes at 83%, flooring at 83%, light fixtures at 82%, countertops at 81%, vanity cabinets at 76% and sinks at 75%. Renovators were least likely to include features like saunas or steam rooms, with only 3%, and electronics, at 7%.

In all, homeowners who renovated their bathrooms this year spent a median of $13,500 — in 2022, the median cost was only $9,000.

Sargsyan offered some analysis for the jump. “More than a third of homeowners undertake bathroom remodels because the bathroom has deteriorated or broken down. This is partly due to the fact the majority of the housing stock is over 40 years old and older homes tend to have smaller spaces,” Sargsyan continued. “Therefore, as homeowners are undertaking these projects, they not only make their bathrooms functional but also turn them into sanctuaries where they can rest and relax.”

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