Nearly everyone comes to the point when they realize their bathrooms need a makeover. Whether it’s a small loo tucked under a staircase, or a posh master bath, fixtures and floor coverings become dated and worn and colors go out of style. Renovating a bathroom can be a significant undertaking, but according to a poll conducted by HGTV.com in 2019, even a minor bathroom remodel will fetch a 102 percent return at resale.
But, even if you’re not looking to sell your home, it’s nice for your creature comforts to reside in the same century as you. After all, who wants to look at pink tile or avocado green sinks, tubs and toilets? Besides, updating a bathroom gives homeowners a chance not only to bring their decor current, but also to replace substandard (and unattractive) plumbing fixtures, and install more energy-efficient and eco-friendly ones in their place. Increasing the storage capacity is another reason to move forward with renovations; extra storage reduces clutter on countertops and in other areas.
Sam Portis, owner of Poseidon Consulting and Renovations, says there is a lot happening in the world of bathroom renovations. Cabinets with floating bases are popular, he said, due to ease of cleaning underneath because of their lack of legs. Porcelain tile has overtaken ceramic tile in popularity also, he said. The move seems to be toward ease.
“It (porcelain tile) was developed to (be used as) commercial tile in office buildings and malls because it so much harder and more durable,” Portis said. “So now, porcelain is the mainstay in residential bathrooms; it’s hard to find ceramic anymore unless it is handmade, which is very popular also.”
People, he said, like to put their signatures on their powder rooms.
Other than ease of cleaning, people who are looking to renovate their bathrooms want pieces, like faucets and sinks, which make statements. There are even futuristic toilets available that have nightlights, blowers, warming seats and comfort-height bowls, in addition to being self-closing.
Portis said it really is all about ease, sleekness of design and taking long-term items, like grab bars, into consideration. Bathtubs have fallen out of fashion among some people, and Portis said tub to shower conversions are among his most frequently requested renovations.
Colors are another way to change the look of an existing bathroom. Contemporary and modern designs are trending, and that has an impact on color.
“Whites and grays are still very popular, and where we live, blues and sea greens are very in,” he said.
New floor coverings are also coming into play.
“We are starting to see luxury vinyl creep into powder room floors,” he said, adding that the price point is favorable for consumers. “It’s indestructible, with a rubber backing and vinyl top. Wet areas are not a problem, because it floats and many finishes are available, in both wood and tile looks.”
Items that have gone the way of the Edsel include earth tones, single-head showers and granite.
These are being replaced by lighter colors, dual-head (or more) showerheads and man-made quartz (and other synthetic) countertops.
Manufacturers are also jumping on the eco-friendly bandwagon and are rolling out all sorts of water saver
Maureen Hodor, a partner at Kitchen & Bath Designs, on St. Simons Island, says some powder room amenities are constants, while others are changing.
There are so many choices to make when renovating a bathroom that it can be overwhelming. Hodor has some tips that can help the most indecisive shopper feel better, beginning with what can be the battleground of the bathroom, the shared vanity.
“His and hers sinks are always preferred,” Hodor said. “If space permits, we usually separate them into individual vanities.”
In one of the photos supplied by Hodor, and her business partner, Lane Applegate, a bathroom decorated by Johnson Vann Interiors features a concrete tile floor with a Middle Eastern pattern. Concrete tile, Hodor said, is “very much trending currently.”
Tubs are another area where change has come.
“Free-standing tubs have taken over in popularity, since they make such a visual impact,” she said. “We still see built-in tubs on occasion, but jetted tubs are really a thing of the past.”
In small spaces, like powder rooms and some bathrooms, Hodor suggests playing with color and wallpaper.
“It’s an easy place to try something bold, since it’s typically a small space,” she said, adding that there are a couple of other places to splurge, either dollar-wise or with visual impact. “Mirrors are often overlooked because they can be quite expensive at times, but they really offer such a great focal point. Also, lighting is always an important place to splurge because it can have such a big impact.”