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November 14, 2018
Baby Boomers Anticipate Aging in Place Needs in Bathroom Renovations, Houzz Study Finds
Half of bathroom remodelers focus on master suites as a whole


The majority of Baby Boomer homeowners (ages 55 or older) are addressing aging-related needs during master bathroom renovations (56 percent), according to the 2018 U.S. Houzz Bathroom Trends Study. The survey of more than 1,100 U.S. homeowners using Houzz who are in the midst of, are planning, or recently completed a master bathroom renovation, found that one-third of Baby Boomers are addressing current aging needs, while nearly a quarter are planning ahead for future needs (22 percent).

Baby Boomers who address aging-related needs are tackling major changes to the master bathroom. Nearly half change the bathroom layout and one-third remove the bathtub (47 and 34 percent, respectively). Other upgrades include installing accessibility features like seats, low curbs, grab bars and non-slide floors in upgraded showers and bathtubs.

“Baby Boomers today account for the largest share of renovating homeowners and the largest share of renovation spend. This year's bathroom study provides deeper insights into the preparations that 55+ households make in order to age in place,” said Nino Sitchinava, Houzz principal economist. “Insights reveal that a significant proportion of Boomers are aware of pending aging needs and are proactive about integrating universal design features during renovations. That said, it is also clear that there are considerable opportunities to further educate the market on accessibility, and that the demand for universal design features will continue to grow.”

The study also found that homeowners are focusing on their master suite as a whole, with nearly half of master bathroom projects accompanied by master bedroom renovations (46 percent). Master bathrooms command the second highest median spend in home remodels, behind kitchens, at $7,000. Median spend for a major renovation of a large master bath jumps to $16,000. Meanwhile, master bedroom renovations saw a 33 percent increase in median spend last year from $1,500 to $2,000 (in 2016 and 2017, respectively).

A surprising one in ten master bathrooms is the same size or larger than the master bedroom (11 percent). The study also shows premium features in master bathrooms are on the rise; dual showers, one-piece toilets, vessel sinks and built-in vanities show significant increases in demand over the past three years.

Additional bathroom trends from the study include:

  • Major Ch-ch-changes: The majority of homeowners upgrade substantial features such as showers and vanities during master bathroom renovations (84 and 83 percent, respectively). Nearly half of renovating homeowners also change their master bathroom layout, and some move the room’s location altogether (44 and seven percent, respectively).
  • Bathed in Gray: Gray color palettes continue to lead for walls and flooring. Gray cabinets are also increasingly popular, having experienced a steady climb from a 10 percent share in 2016 to 16 percent in 2018.
  • Mixed Metals: Two in five renovating homeowners do not match metal finishes across fixtures and hardware in master bathrooms (42 percent). Of the 58 percent of renovating homeowners who do match metal finishes, the most popular options are matte nickel and polished chrome (38 and 28 percent, respectively).
  • A Rise in Farmhouse Style: Contemporary style continues to be the leading choice among renovating homeowners, despite its drop in popularity over the past three years. Farmhouse style, on the other hand, has more than doubled in popularity from three percent in 2016 to seven percent in 2018.
  • Pro Hiring Likely Impacted by Labor Availability: The majority of renovating homeowners hire professionals for their bathroom renovation projects (83 percent). That said, despite consistently large project scope and spend over the past year, hiring of general contractors declined to 46 percent (from 53 percent in 2017). This is likely driven by the industry-wide labor shortage, which includes contractors.

You can download the full 2018 U.S. Houzz Bathroom Trends Study here.

Houzz has over 17 million photos of professionally designed interiors and exteriors, including completed bathroom projects, and more than 2.1 million active home remodeling and design professionals including kitchen and bath remodelers, kitchen and bath designers, architects and general contractors. The Houzz Shop offers more than 10 million products from over 20,000 sellers, including items for the bathroom from showers and vanities to tile and linens.

The “U.S. Bathroom Trends Study” is an online survey fielded to U.S. Houzz users between June and October of 2018. n=1,144.

About Houzz

Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a small room to building a custom home and everything in between, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community empowered by technology, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin, Sydney, Moscow, Tel Aviv and Tokyo. Houzz is a registered trademark of Houzz Inc. worldwide. For more information, visit houzz.com.