The majority of baby-boomer homeowners (ages 55 or older) are addressing aging-related needs during master bathroom renovations (56%), 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, finds one-third of baby boomers are addressing current aging needs, while nearly a quarter are planning ahead for future needs (22%).

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%, respectively). Other upgrades include installing accessibility features such as 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 also is 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 finds that homeowners are focusing on their master suite as a whole, with nearly half of master bathroom projects accompanied by master bedroom renovations (46%). 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% increase in median spend last year from $1,500 to $2,000 (in 2016 and 2017, respectively).

A surprising one in 10 master bathrooms is the same size or larger than the master bedroom (11%). 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%, respectively). Nearly half of renovating homeowners also change their master bathroom layout, and some move the room’s location altogether (44% and 7%, 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% in 2018.

·    Mixed metals: Two in five renovating homeowners do not match metal finishes across fixtures and hardware in master bathrooms (42%). Of the 58% of renovating homeowners who do match metal finishes, the most popular options are matte nickel and polished chrome (38% and 28%, 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 3% in 2016 to 7% in 2018.

    Pro hiring likely impacted by labor availability: The majority of renovating homeowners hire professionals for their bathroom renovation projects (83%). That said, despite consistently large project scope and spend over the past year, hiring of general contractors declined to 46% (from 53% in 2017). This is likely driven by the industry-wide labor shortage, which includes contractors.

Photo by Margot Hartford (C) 2018 Houzz