Houzz UK study reveals generational differences among bathroom style trends

Bathrooms are getting a style makeover but not every generation agrees on how they should look, according to the 2017 UK Houzz Bathroom Trends Study of over 1,700 UK homeowners using Houzz who are in the midst of, are planning, or recently completed a bathroom project. The study found that more than nine in 10 renovating homeowners change the style of their bathroom during their project (93 percent). Overall, contemporary is the leading post-renovation style for those who changed it (61 percent), with those younger than 35 twice as likely as those over 54 to opt for a traditional style (10 percent versus five percent). Prior to these projects, bathrooms across generations either had no particular style or were considered traditional (34 percent and 29 percent, respectively).

Bathroom design decisions are closely connected to renovating homeowners’ personal style, as finding a design that reflects who they are is a leading priority (51 percent). Other priorities include designs that are stylish and beautiful (77 percent) and add to the resale value (36 percent). Additionally, one in five homeowners younger than 35 want to create a spa-like atmosphere (21 percent), which is significantly higher than those over 54 (13 percent). From a functional perspective, renovating UK homeowners across age groups also want a space that is easy to clean and disinfect (62 percent), helps them relax (46 percent) and has good storage (42 percent).

“Bathroom renovations today are motivated by reasons that vary widely across generations,” said Nino Sitchinava, Houzz principal economist. “Most younger homeowners (under 35) tackle bathroom renovations shortly after buying a home and wanting to personalise the space. Homeowners older than 54 are motivated by lifestyle triggers, such as family changes, and/or physical triggers, such as something breaking or wearing out. It is quite noteworthy that the majority of UK homeowners in any generational group plan to stay in their home for at least 10 years, partly explaining the large scope and spend on bathroom renovations today.”

According to the 2017 Houzz and Home UK Survey, the average spend for a bathroom renovation in the UK is £5,600, with large bathrooms (50 or more square foot) averaging £6,300 and small bathrooms (less than 50 square foot) averaging £4,500. The average spend of bathroom renovations varies slightly by age, with homeowners over 54 spending £5,700, 35 to 54 year olds spending £6,100 and those younger than 35 spending £3,500.

Considering the spend on bathroom renovations, 90 percent of renovating homeowners hire a home professional for their project. Over two thirds of UK renovators bring in a building specialist (69 percent), such as an electrician, plumber, tiler or stone fabricator. Other professionals hired include bathroom installers (38 percent), home builders (18 percent), and bathroom designers (18 percent).

Additional bathroom trends include:

  • Supersized Showers: Among those upgrading their shower, nearly seven in eight renovating homeowners increase its size (71 percent), with 37 percent creating a shower 50 percent larger than before. Top shower feature upgrades include rainfall showerheads (71 percent), handheld showerheads (60 percent) and thermostatic mixers (50 percent). Renovating homeowners older than 54 also include digital shower controls (15 percent) compared to those younger than 54 (8 percent).
  • Bath in an Alcove: Among those upgrading their baths, over one third of renovators opt for an alcove bath that is bordered by three walls (39 percent), while 21 percent choose a freestanding flat-bottom bath. The leading bathtub feature across generations is a bath big enough for two (22 percent).
  • Shades of White and Grey: White is the preferred colour for cabinets, worktops and walls (49 percent, 48 percent and 37 percent), often accented by grey or beige flooring (36 percent and 15 percent, respectively).
  • Bathrooms Get Techy: Homeowners are getting a high-tech upgrade to their bathrooms, with 15 percent of new showers and 10 percent of new toilets adding high-tech features such as digital controls and built-in sound for showers and self-cleaning and overflow protection for toilets.
  • Getting Social: Over half of renovating homeowners admit to using mobile devices in their bathrooms at least once per week, similar to the previous year (52 percent in 2017 versus 52 percent in 2016), with 79 percent of homeowners younger than 35 admitting to mobile device usage in home bathrooms. Top activities include emailing (25 percent), listening to music and catching up on social media (23 percent each).

You can download the complete 2017 UK Houzz Bathroom Trends Study here.