Article by: Mitchell Parker

Older and younger generations often have widely differing viewpoints. But who knew bathrooms could be so divisive? In a recent Houzz survey, we asked homeowners planning a bathroom remodel or already in the process of one about their needs and desires. Of the 7,645 people who responded, young and old homeowners tended to fall into two clear groups.

Contemporary Bathroom

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Glen Ellyn Kitchen & Bath Remodelers

Drury Design

Homeowners 65 and older are more likely to skip adding a bathtub than those under 35. This could be for any number of reasons, but it’s likely that younger homeowners may have or expect to have children, who would be more likely to use a tub. Plus, those 65 and older likely choose showers because they’re more accessible for aging in place.

Bathtubs have traditionally boosted resale value (which 31 percent of the respondents said was the driving factor for their bathroom remodel), but older people may be planning to hang on to their homes longer, so resale isn’t as much of an issue.

Traditional Bathroom

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Atlanta General Contractors

Cablik Enterprises

For those adding tubs, freestanding models top the list, with 33 percent of respondents preferring them over drop-ins, undermounts and other styles. 

Contemporary Bathroom

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Bethesda Design-Build Firms

ART Design Build

Young and old are also split on how they like their showers. If you’re under 45, you’re more likely to choose a rain shower and multiple showerheads. If you’re over 55, you likely prefer hand showers and sliding bars.

Rustic Bathroom

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Toronto Photographers

Peter A. Sellar - Architectural Photographer

Meanwhile, there are two camps when it comes to, er, No. 2. The survey found an even split when it comes to toilet exposure: 52 percent of people want an open toilet versus one behind a closed door. Younger homeowners (25 to 34 years old) prefer tankless or wall-mounted models over the traditional two-piece ones.

Traditional Bathroom

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Fort Washington General Contractors

HomeTech Renovations, Inc.

Upgrading features and fixtures was the main reason cited for remodeling a bathroom (49 percent). Frameless glass is one of the more popular choices. About 79 percent of people will choose all-glass enclosures for their main shower, and 54 percent will chose frameless glass.

Traditional Bathroom

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Duxbury Design-Build Firms

ARCHIA HOMES

Lighting is important too, whether it’s bringing in the natural sunshine with skylights or adding more LED lights. New windows top the list too, with 48 percent of respondents saying they plan to add a window and 41 percent a lighted vanity mirror. And if that’s not enough, 7 percent say they’ll add a showerhead with LED lights.

Transitional Bathroom

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Victoria Architects & Designers

The Sky is the Limit Design

Also, 42 percent of all respondents are planning to add a shower seat. I think it was Winston Churchill who said, “Why stand when you can sit?”

Traditional Bathroom

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Larkspur Architects & Designers

McCoppin Studios

White cabinets are the preferred color choice, with 32 percent of homeowners saying they’ll choose this ultimate neutral hue.

Contemporary Bathroom

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Portland Kitchen & Bath Designers

Kirstin Havnaer, Hearthstone Interior Design, LLC

Brushed nickel (26 percent) and polished chrome (24 percent) are the front-runners for faucet finishes.

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