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Showers take the spotlight in bathroom renovations, Houzz study finds

Published: 19 September 2023 - DIY Week

Houzz Inc., the leading platform for home renovation and design, including the all-in-one software solution for industry professionals, has released the 2023 UK Houzz Bathroom Trends Study. The survey of more than 400 respondents*, found that almost three-quarters of homeowners upgraded their shower (74%) with more than two-thirds increasing their shower size during renovations (68%). Increases in size were substantial, as almost a third enlarged the shower by more than half of the original size (32%). In addition, 20% of renovating homeowners chose to remove their bath with more than four in five of those using that space for a larger shower (82%).


The most common types of shower configurations include shower/bath combinations (29%), followed closely by low curb and corner designs (28% and 24%, respectively). When it comes to shower features, rain/waterfall showerheads are the most popular (78%), with handheld showerheads and thermostatic mixers following (71% and 59%, respectively). Some homeowners are also adding features common to ageing-in-place like seats and grab bars (9% and 8%, respectively), while others opt for digital shower controls (6%).

“With major changes such as removing a bath and enlarging a shower, homeowners renovating their bathrooms are enlisting home professionals to bring bathrooms up to date and help carve out more useable space,” said Marine Sargsyan, Houzz staff economist. “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.”

The median spend for bathroom projects increased by 31% to £5,250 in 2022** as homeowners made significant changes to their bathrooms. Major upgrades include replacing plumbing, electrical or heating systems (73%), changing the layout of the bathroom (62%), reframing or moving walls (33%) and increasing the size of the bathroom (21%). Given these substantial updates, more than four in five homeowners hired a professional to help with their bathroom project (88%) with generalist tradespeople the most popular (66%), followed by specialist bathroom fitters and designers (46% and 28%, respectively).

Additional insights from the 2023 UK Houzz Bathroom Trends Study include:

- Light and bright: White continues to be the top choice in bathrooms, with more than half of renovating homeowners choosing white worktops (57%) and more than a third opting for white walls both outside and inside of the shower (38% and 34%, respectively). That said, one in 10 are turning to green and blue as accent colours in their bathrooms (10%, each).

- Vanity design: Of the almost three in five renovating homeowners who upgrade their vanity (59%), the majority choose to go with pre-manufactured and pre-assembled stock vanity units (60%). Floating designs are the most popular (45%), followed by built-in and freestanding units (32% and 21%, respectively). Flat panel door styles dominate (57%), followed by shaker (20%). Glass-front doors command a small yet important share (4%).

- Techy toilets: More than four in five homeowners upgraded their toilet during renovations (84%) and top features include bidet functionality and automatic or hands-free flushing (28% and 27%, respectively). A quarter of renovating homeowners opt for motion-activated seats, overflow protection anti-clog systems and built-in nightlights (25%, each).

- Mirror mirror on the wall: Almost three-quarters of renovating homeowners installed new mirrors in their bathroom (72%), with 14% adding two or more. For these new mirrors, homeowners are choosing designs that feature LED lighting, anti-fog systems and hidden plugs (77%, 72% and 32%, respectively).

- Plant power: Three in five renovating homeowners include plants in their updated bathrooms (62%). For the majority, this is driven by a desire to enhance the aesthetics of the room (91%) and many feel it contributes to a calm environment (60%). Practical benefits are also noted among renovating homeowners, including air purification, antibacterial attributes and odour-fighting abilities (38%, 8% and 5%, respectively). 

More than 65 million homeowners and home design enthusiasts use Houzz to find ideas and inspiration, hire professionals and source products. Houzz Pro provides home industry professionals with an all-in-one business management and marketing software that helps them to win projects, collaborate with clients and teams, and run their businesses efficiently and profitably. Houzz has more than 25 million photos of professionally designed interiors and exteriors, including completed bathroom projects, and over 3 million home renovation and design professionals, including kitchen and bath designers, kitchen and bath fitters, architects, and home builders. 

* The 2023 UK Houzz Bathroom Trends Study is a report of homeowners who are in the midst of, are planning or recently completed a bathroom renovation. The online survey was fielded to Houzz UK users in November - December 2022.

** Spend data from the Houzz & Home Survey, sent to registered users of Houzz UK and fielded December 2022 - March 2023.

You can download the full 2023 UK Houzz Bathroom Trends Study here.


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