Houzz 2018 study says bathrooms are getting more contemporary

Baby boomers focus on aging in place

By Diane Cowen


Modern homes are known for simple, clutter-free design, but this master bathroom in the home of Rame and Russell Hruska gets warmth -- and some privacy -- from bamboo on the patio. If your bathroom has a view ... more

Most people remodel their bathrooms for the most obvious reason -- they can't stand them any longer -- says a Houzz study on bathroom remodeling trends.

The study keyed in on another big trend: more than half of those remodeling are 55 years and older and are getting their master bathrooms ready to age in place.

Some 56 percent of those surveyed are 55 and older and they're installing shower seats (62 percent), lower shower entry curbs (40 percent) and grab bars (55 percent in showers and in bathtub areas) as part of the aging in place strategy.

Answering the always dicey question of do you really need a bathtub, some 34 percent of those remodeling their master bathrooms took them out and -- at least partly as a result of that -- 47 percent changed the bathroom layout.

Other trends from Houzz's annual survey:

Why, oh why?:In addition to people just tired of their tired-looking bathrooms, some 30 percent said they always wanted to do it and can finally afford it and another 26 percent were personalizing a newly-purchased home or aging in place. 

The priorities: The No. 1 priority for 78 percent of those remodeling was making the bathroom stylish and beautiful. Other priorities were: good lighting (47 percent), adds to resale value (45 percent), easy to clean (44 percent) and reflects who I am ( 33 percent). Just 6 percent said they wanted the bathroom to make them look good.

Cost:The median amount spent on a master bathroom was $7,000; for bathrooms 100 square feet and larger, the median amount spent was $16,000.

Major redo:Of those who remodeled master bathrooms, nearly half (44 percent) altered the roms floor plan. Just 7 percent changed the bathroom's location altogether.

Staying contemporary:Some 20 percent of remodels were done in contemporary style, with 16 percent transitional, 15 percent modern and 14 percent traditional.

Thanks, Jo: While farmhouse style is still not a top choice, the style popularized on Chip and Joanna Gaines "Fixer Upper" show had doubled in interest. In 2016, just 3 percent used that style and in 2018, 7 percent chose that decor style for their master bathrooms.

Gray still matters:Gray remains a popular color in home design. Gray was the top color choice for walls (32 percent), floors (29 percent), but falls to third place as a color choice for cabinets (16 percent). Most people (34 percent) want white cabinets, with another (32 percent) want them with a wood finish.

Bathtub conundrum:While a third of those remodeling removed their bathtub, those who installed them overwhelmingly picked a soaking tub (69 percent). Some 18 percent wanted it to be big enough to accommodate two people. Love is not dead.

The job grows:Many people (46 percent) who remodeled their master bathrooms also opted to do some work in their master bedrooms. Yep, once the bathroom looks so nice, that bedding and furniture looks pretty shabby.