Homeowners are spending more money to spruce up their bathrooms as the pandemic-fueled home renovation boom continues. The national median spend for bathroom renovations jumped nearly 13% year over year to $9,000, according to the 2022 U.S. Houzz Bathroom Trends Study, a survey of more than 2,500 homeowners who are planning or recently completed a bathroom renovation.
“Bathrooms have always been a top room to renovate, and we’re seeing that homeowners—driven both by aesthetic desires and functional necessities—are doubling down on their investment in these private sanctuaries,” says Marine Sargsyan, a staff economist at Houzz, a home improvement website. “While the cost of products and materials has increased due to inflation and supply chain disruptions, renovation activity remains strong, propped up by high home equity and homeowners’ desire to stay put given limited housing supply.”
Homeowners who viewed their bathrooms as “outdated” were most likely to renovate them. The Houzz study uncovered some of the following trends in bathroom remodeling this year:
- Upgrading home systems: More homeowners are updating behind-the-scenes items in their bathroom remodel. For example, 59% of homeowners said they upgraded their ventilation system when renovating their bathroom; 14% upgraded to radiant heating; and 9% added a tankless water heater. “The increase in upgrades to home systems can add up to some of the highest costs but remains one of the most frequent enhancements to the bathroom this year,” the report notes.
- All about the transitional: Nearly nine in 10 homeowners surveyed chose to change their bathroom’s style during a renovation. Transitional style has taken a significant lead, followed by modern and contemporary. Transitional styles offer a combination of traditional and modern elements, combining modern fixtures with antiques, for example.
- White still dominates: White continues to be the most popular color for bathrooms across vanities, countertops and walls. Gray walls are popular both outside and inside the shower, but blue is also gaining traction. One in 10 homeowners selected blue walls outside the shower, the report notes. “Upgraded bathroom elements are gravitating towards solid colors, as multicolored countertops and shower walls have decreased in popularity among homeowners,” according to the Houzz report.
- Showers remain a priority: When tackling bathroom renovations, homeowners continue to prioritize the shower as a focal point. Increasing the shower size is the second-most popular bathroom upgrade. For homeowners who remove the bathtub, nearly four in five opt to enlarge the shower, making it at least 25% bigger. More homeowners are relocating their showers after having a bathtub removed.
- Greenery everywhere: More homeowners are adding greenery when renovating their bathrooms. “The overwhelming majority say it adds to the aesthetics of the room, while a smaller majority believe it creates a calming environment,” the report notes. “Practical benefits are also noted among renovating homeowners, including air purification, odor-fighting ability and antibacterial attributes.”
- The high-tech commode: Nearly two in five homeowners also added high-tech features to their toilets. The report notes significant increases in bidets, self-cleaning elements, heated seats and built-in night lights.
Pricing a Bathroom Renovation
A recent study from House Method, a resource on housing providers, found that 71% of homeowners have built equity in their home through a home renovation over the last year. Bathrooms are one spot owners are targeting for some of the highest returns on investment, according to House Method’s report, Cost of a Bathroom Remodel in 2022. The study found that midrange bathroom remodeling projects have an average ROI rate of 70%, while upscale renovations fetch 60%.
Bathroom remodels can be costly, however. What should homeowners expect to pay? The following charts from House Method show the average costs of popular bathroom renovation projects.