Homebuyers stick to tradition in bathroom design

NAHB report offers some insight on features homeowners are looking for in the master bathroom
Homeowners favor white features, granite vanities in their master bathrooms. (Photo: Irina88w, Dreamstime)

Bathroom renovations are the most popular interior remodeling project, according to the National Association of Realtors’ “2019 Remodeling Impact Report.” NAR found about half of homeowners surveyed had recently done a bathroom renovation. Of those, homeowners were equally as likely to hire a professional as they were to do the work themselves.

The National Association of Home Builders‘ report, “What Home Buyers Really Want, 2019 Edition,” offers some insight on what kind of features homeowners are looking for.

[Related: Bathrooms topped 2017 remodeling projects: NAHB]

The most in-demand feature was a linen closet, NAHB found.

Over half of homeowners said this was a desirable feature and 26% said they probably wouldn’t buy a home if the master bath didn’t have a linen closet.

The past few years have seen waning interest in bathtubs among homeowners. A 2018 consumer survey by Houzz found over a quarter of people 55 or older who renovated their bathroom removed the tub. An earlier survey found most homeowners who removed the tub in the master bath had a bathtub somewhere else in the home.

However, NAHB found that at least in the master bath, most homeowners expect a shower stall and a tub. Almost a third said having both would be nice, and 32% insist on it.

In fact, homeowners were more likely to say their new home must have both a shower and a tub than a bathroom linen closet, despite a greater overall share of people calling the linen closet desirable.

A double vanity is also a must-have, with 32% of homeowners calling it essential, and 39% desirable. The ever-popular granite is highly sought after in the bathroom, too, with 61% of homebuyers preferring a granite vanity.

[Related: Engineered quartz overtakes natural stone in kitchen remodels]

Some product manufacturers are releasing products in sophisticated colors. For example, Kohler unveiled enameled cast iron sinks in black plum, indigo and lavender gray colors at KBIS in February. However, NAHB found that homebuyers lean toward white fixtures, with 63% favoring a white toilet, tub and sink.

In the shower, 57% of homeowners said they’re looking for multiple shower heads, and 56% want a body spray panel. Surprisingly, whirlpool tubs still had a lot of interest from homeowners, with 54% saying such a tub was at least desirable. Of those, 17% said a whirlpool tub was a must.

Danielle Andrus

Editor, Colorado Builder Magazine

Danielle Andrus has 146 posts and counting. See all posts by Danielle Andrus

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