While kitchen remodels these days are focused on creating a gathering room for the entire family, it is apparent that the master bathroom upgrades are meant to create a personalized space people can go to relax and rejuvenate. And in today’s busy, multitasking world, that is a trend that should continue.
The annual Houzz Bathroom Trends Study (houzz.com) gives a national perspective on bathroom remodeling. Their most recent study, from 2015, indicates that while the majority of upgraded baths remain the same size, 67 percent of homeowners are expanding the size of the showers in their master bathroom upgrades. And 83 percent of those homeowners surveyed want the remodeled bath to be stylish and beautiful, while 41 percent are going for a spa-like atmosphere.
Looking at a national study like this is one way to gauge what people want, but talking with local experts is the best way to see if our area runs in lockstep with the nation.
“People these days want the bathroom to be a relaxing, soothing, spa-like place, with larger showers that have multiple shower heads,” said Jill Johnson, the manager of KSI’s showroom in Ann Arbor, (734) 388-4691, ksikitchens.com.
Johnson said the first thing people want to do when they remodel a master bath is get rid of the old tub and put in a big, walk-in shower. And stylish ceramic and porcelain tiles are still the choice for shower walls, both updates that match the trends highlighted in the national Houzz study. But gone are the days where most bath remodeling was locked into gray and white or earth tones.
“There is no set style anymore, and people are comfortable using a variety of colors to personalize the space and make it relaxing for them,” she said.
Daniel Lute, a salesman at the Tile Shop in Bloomfield Hills, (248) 239-1551, tileshop.com, agrees.
“I am seeing people going with cooler spa tones like blue and gray porcelain tile in the 12-inch by 24-inch size,” he said. “And many people still want that classic look that white or marble provides, and they are buying the Hampton Carrara marble for their bathroom floors and extending it halfway up the walls.”
While granite and marble are still popular for bath countertops, quartz is starting to make inroads because of the larger color options and because it is nonporous, so it resists staining much better.
Johnson said one thing people often see in home magazines is the free-standing soaking tub in bathrooms, but it isn’t always as practical to add one as they may think.
“Most free-standing tubs are $4,000 to $5,000, and unfortunately taller people really can’t sit in them comfortably,” she said. “In addition, it is very hard to get these tubs through the bathroom door because they are so big, and you often have to change the plumbing to accommodate one.”
One thing the Houzz study pointed out is that half of those surveyed budgeted more than $10,000 for a master bath upgrade. But that still leaves 50 percent who wanted to spend less. For those who are on a budget, there are groutless shower and wall systems for bathrooms available that take the place of tile in the shower, helping save some money. Popular systems include DuraBath from Re-Bath, rebath.com, and the Choreograph wall system from Kohler, kohler.com. Both resemble the look of tile, granite or marble but don’t have grout lines and are easier to keep clean.
For more home improvement advice, call “The Handyman Show With Glenn Haege” on WJR-AM (760) at (866) ASK GLENN, (866) 275-4536 between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to noon Sunday. “The Handyman Show” can also be heard on more than 135 radio stations nationwide.