“Homeowners want their bathrooms to be beautiful, but they are not spending a lot of time in there, so don’t want wasted space,” says Partner Simon Amesbury, at Alair Homes Tampa.
“If people love their location, right now the market is so busy they cannot find a better home, so they are looking at what they can do to add value to their home and make it more functional. Most of the time the bathroom was designed 10 [to] 20 years ago,” so a renovation is the best way to make your home feel like new.
Soaking and built-in tubs are becoming a thing of the past as homeowners seek more functionality and storage space in their bathrooms.
“People are asking us to remove free-standing tubs and create a storage area within that space,” says Derrick Friga, President, DMF Homes. “Many of these tubs look great in photos, but they are not very practical. Most clients say they almost never use the free-standing tubs and that, while they are nice to look at, they don’t serve as much of a functional purpose as you’d think.”
“When you remove the tub, you can add that space to a walk-in closet to make it bigger or reallocate the space to create a new storage closet,” adds Amesbury. “Lots of homes don’t have a bathtub in every bathroom now, but you do want to have at least one bathtub in a bathroom for resale value.”
Hello, Sumptuous Shower
In addition to adding storage space, removing the bathtub can give homeowners space to add a spa-like shower. “Many homeowners are asking for full shower systems with a rain shower head, body sprayers, and handheld nozzles — maybe a steam shower. These are additions that create a spa-like feel and both men and women like them,” says Friga.
“Walk-in showers with no curb and drainage on one side are very popular. If you have enough room, you can add a bench, but if you don’t, niches can be added at different levels for supplies and a foot rest,” says Amesbury.
“Floating vanities with a matte finish and stained wood vanities are becoming extremely popular as people are asking for modern-style homes,” said Friga. “We are installing matte black, chrome and brass faucets and fixtures. Nickel, brilliance stainless and rubbed bronze are becoming somewhat dated. When used properly, the mixed use of materials can create a look that is sleek and modern, but still timeless and classic.”
Another trend is shorter vanities. “Instead of an 8- to 10-foot counter, we’ll install a 6-foot one, which leaves room for cabinets or closets on either side of the sinks,” says Amesbury.
Tile It Up
Tile is a bathroom staple, but the use of it is becoming even more widespread. People are adding tile backsplashes behind vanity mirrors, tile statement walls and even tiling the ceiling.
Friga says that while the use of tile is timeless, the way it is arranged or the size of it will change the look and style of the bathroom. “Large format tiles are becoming a popular trend in bathrooms and large “wet areas,” he adds. “In many builds, a subway tile is still a classic option, but we are changing the layout of the tile. For example, you lay out a white subway tile in a 50/50 brick pattern on two walls with a herringbone arrangement in the middle, and that gives the feel of classic material laid with a twist. Or you can stack a black 4” x 12” subway tile vertically and all of a sudden, the same material has a more modern feel. Hexagon-shaped tiles for the floor in [both] large and small format have become extremely popular because they look classic but have a modern edge.”