Pet Peeves Drive Master Bathroom Renovation Decisions, Houzz Study Finds

The Houzz 2020 Bathroom Trends Study Reveals popular features, styles and colors.

10/13/2020
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credit Rachel Loewen © 2019 Houzz
Photo by Rachel Loewen © 2019 Houzz

An old or outdated space is by far the leading pet peeve for homeowners prior to a master bathroom renovation (69 percent, up from 59 percent in 2019), according to the 2020 U.S. Houzz Bathroom Trends Study. The survey of nearly 1,600 U.S. homeowners using Houzz who are in the midst of, are planning, or recently completed a master bathroom renovation, found that nearly nine in 10 renovating homeowners change the style of their master bathrooms as one way to bring it up to date (89 percent), with modern leading the way (20 percent), followed by transitional and contemporary (18 percent, each). 

Insufficient storage, small showers, poor lighting and limited counter space are among homeowners’ other leading grievances (34, 34, 29 and 25 percent, respectively). These coincide with the features most often upgraded during a master bathroom renovation including showers, light fixtures, countertops and vanity cabinets (83, 80, 79 and 74 percent, respectively). To address small showers, a majority of homeowners renovating their master bathrooms are increasing the size of their showers (54 percent), more than twice as many as those choosing to increase their bathroom’s overall size (20 percent). 

“We’re seeing that spending so much time at home is bringing a functional, beautiful bathroom to the top of the priority list for many homeowners,” said Liza Hausman, Houzz vice president of Industry Marketing. “They’re enlisting home professionals to bring bathrooms up to date with more current styles, and upgraded features like storage and lighting.”

More than four in five homeowners hired a professional to help with their master bathroom project (82 percent). General contractors were enlisted most often (43 percent), though renovating homeowners also hire specialists including bathroom remodelers and bathroom designers (20 and 12 percent, respectively). 

Bathroom renovations continue to command significant investment, with homeowners undergoing a major remodel, including a shower update, spending three times more than those doing minor remodels and leaving the shower as is (median spend of $14,000 versus $4,500). Bathroom size also impacts budget. Homeowners who remodel a master bathroom larger than 100 square feet have a median spend of $7,000 more than those with a bathroom smaller than 100 square feet ($17,000 versus $10,000, respectively). That said, the median national spend on master bathroom remodels is $8,000. 

Additional bathroom trends from the study include:

  • Light and Bright: White continues to be the top choice in master bathroom colors, with more than half of homeowners choosing white countertops (51 percent) and a significant portion opting for white walls both inside and outside of the shower (45 and 32 percent, respectively). 
  • Surface Material Distinguishes Accent Walls: More than a third of homeowners add or upgrade an accent wall during a master bathroom renovation (37 percent). Top colors include white (23 percent, up from 15 percent in 2019), followed by gray (21 percent) and blue (19 percent). Many use surface material to distinguish accent walls (51 percent, up seven percentage points from 2019), while standout color, pattern, and texture are also popular (45, 41 and 28 percent, respectively). 
  • Customized, Built-in and Floating Vanities Abound: Of the three quarters of renovating homeowners who upgrade their vanity (74 percent), the majority choose to go with custom or semi-custom options (36 and 21 percent, respectively). Vanities are twice as likely to be built-in as opposed to freestanding (56 versus 28 percent, respectively), and floating vanities are growing in popularity (15 percent in 2020 versus 11 percent in 2019).  
  • Lighting Features are Key: Among the eight in 10 renovating homeowners who update light fixtures during their master bathroom renovation, wall lights and recessed lights remain the favorites (58 and 55 percent, respectively), followed by lighted mirrors and pendant lights (17 and 15 percent, respectively). Six percent install under-cabinet lights, likely tied to the popularity of floating vanities.
  • Installing Many Lit Mirrors: Of the three in four homeowners who install new mirrors during a master bathroom renovation (77 percent), more than half install two or more mirrors (62 percent). The percentage of renovators installing three or more mirrors is growing (10 percent, compared with seven percent in 2019). One in five renovators are also installing LED lighting in their mirrors, a significant increase from 2019 (20 versus 14 percent, respectively). 
  • Touch-Free Features On the Rise: Nearly half of all new faucets and one-third of toilets (48 and 34 percent, respectively) include high-tech features. Water efficiency is the leading faucet technology (28 percent), but a growing percentage of faucets offer touch-only or touch-free activation (five percent, up two percentage points from 2019). Nearly one in five homeowners who upgrade their toilet add a seat with a bidet (17 percent), up four percentage points from 2019. 

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