Master bathrooms are making extra space for showers, according to the 2019 U.S. Houzz Bathroom Trends Study. Four in five homeowners upgrade their shower during master bathroom renovations (83%) and over half increase their shower size (54%). However, only 22% expand the square footage of their master bathroom during renovations. For many master bathroom renovators, shower expansion alleviates the pre-project pet peeve of a small shower (38%), which is second only to having an outdated space (59%). Almost one in four renovating homeowners remove their master tub (24%) and more than four in five of those choose to enlarge the shower in its place (84%).

Homeowners are making substantial investments on their master bathroom renovations. The space commands the second highest median spend in home remodels at $8,000 nationally, a 14% year-over-year increase from 2017 to 2018. Median spend also increased for major master bathroom remodels, from $10,100 to $12,000, respectively, as well as for minor remodels, from $2,000 to $2,300, respectively. Among the top 50 U.S. metropolitan areas by population, San Francisco and San Jose have the highest median spend on master bathroom remodels ($15,000 and $13,000, respectively), while Orlando has the lowest ($3,760).

“Bathrooms have always been a top room to renovate, along with kitchens, and now we’re seeing homeowners double down on their master bathrooms,” said Nino Sitchinava, Houzz principal economist. “The cost of materials including stone and tile has increased due to trade disputes, driving up master bathroom spend. Despite this, renovation activity remains strong, propped by high home equities and homeowners’ desire to stay put given the limited housing supply.”

Nearly half of renovating homeowners report that they relax in their bathrooms (45%). Cleanliness and lack of clutter are key to creating a relaxing sanctuary (68% and 60%, respectively), among those who relax in their bathroom. To achieve an organized oasis, master bathroom renovators are upgrading their vanity (77%), medicine cabinet and other cabinets (both 31%). Neutral tones help to further the spa-like feel with white or wood vanities (34% and 29%, respectively), white counters (46%), gray or white flooring (31% and 19%, respectively), and gray or white walls (29% and 27%, respectively). Also, among those who added or replaced their bathtub, popularity of freestanding flat-bottom tubs grew from 41% in 2017 to 50% in 2019.

Ceramic/porcelain tile continues to be the most popular flooring material both inside and outside the shower, among renovating homeowners updating flooring in these two spaces. The popularity of natural stone in flooring outside showers is on the decline (25% in 2019, down from 30% in 2017). Instead, new flooring materials such as vinyl/resilient and engineered wood flooring materials are on the rise (combined 10%, up from 6% in 2017).

The hiring of professional help has remained stable in recent years (83%). However, renovating homeowners are increasingly likely to hire bathroom specialists including bathroom remodelers (20% in 2019, up from 17% in 2017) and bathroom designers (14% in 2019, up from 12% in 2017).

Among those changing the style of their master bathroom, transitional and modern styles are gaining popularity, both increasing by five percentage points to 21% and 20%, respectively. Contemporary style continues a three-year decline from 23% in 2017 to 16% in 2019. Less than one in ten choose traditional style (9% in 2019, down from 14% in 2018). While farmhouse style climbed the ranks to 7% in 2018, just 4% of master bathroom renovators chose this style in 2019.

Other trends include accent walls in neutral colors, high-tech toilets, metal lighting, and customized medicine cabinets.

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