The bathroom is one of the most important rooms in the home. While it’s where we get ready in the morning and relax after a long stressful day, the right bathroom can also add value to our homes. So, if you’re thinking about renovating your home or purchasing a new property, it’s important to make sure your bathroom is as updated as possible.
I recently spoke with Wendy Banner of Long & Foster Real Estate to learn her take on the bathroom trends that will be popular in 2023. Specializing in investment properties and new construction, her opinions and advice are truly helpful to sellers and buyers across the country.
Luxury Shower Heads and Body Sprays
Luxury shower heads, multiple shower heads and body spray handles add a spa-like element to any bathroom. Considering our cultural emphasis on self-care, it’s no surprise that Banner believes luxury shower heads and body sprays are trends that are here to stay.
However, in states such as California, installing these amenities isn’t always the wisest idea due to water restrictions. “With today’s limitations on water usage in many parts of the country, spending thousands of extra dollars for multiple body sprays is mostly a waste of money as they often cannot be used simultaneously, thus defeating its purpose. Water restrictions can also render the rain shower useless as water pressure can be affected depending on how high they are mounted,” says Banner.
If you live in a state or municipality with restrictions, she recommends skipping the fancy sprays or multiple shower heads and getting a great Speakman shower head, instead.
Shower curtains are considered passé these days. So many homeowners are opting to install glass panels instead. But this isn’t the preference of all homeowners according to Banner. “Glass panels and shower surrounds are still super-popular in luxurious bathrooms, but most women over 40 do not want clear glass. Who wants to worry about sucking in their belly in the shower [if someone walks in]?”
If you’re planning on renovating a bathroom, she suggests choosing opaque instead of clear glass. “It still provides most of the look and feel but preserves some privacy too. Oh, and it’s easier to keep clean.”
Separate Vanities and Water Closets
If the pandemic taught us anything it’s the importance of privacy. This is particularly applicable to bathrooms. Having the toilet in a water closet away from the vanity is a popular choice for new homeowners. It also gives bathrooms a more spa-like feel. This separation is a particularly smart idea for master bathrooms with double vanities that are designed for couples. “Most clients prefer having vanity areas set apart from each other and separate commode rooms as well—not right next to each other. The Toto toilet seat is super-popular and offers a heated seat along with bidet options, all in one place.”
Wood Floors and Accents
Wood can look beautiful in bathrooms and provides a sophisticated look. While homeowners may gravitate toward this aesthetic and it appears to be here to stay—at least in the coming year, Banner recommends proceeding with caution because it can be a challenge to maintain. “Skip the wood floors and accents. It’s easy to understand why designers love the look and feel of wood in bathrooms but, practically speaking, wood and water aren’t compatible. Sustaining the look long term will be a hassle you’ll likely want to avoid.”
Alternatively, you can opt for faux wood tile but, if you do, make sure the color of the grout lines match the color of the tile and are nearly invisible. Large grout lines are a dead giveaway that the wood isn’t real, which looks awful.
Bathrooms With Personality
While many developers choose the same tiles, toilets, hardware and other finishes for the bathrooms to keep costs down, this look is starting to be replaced by bathrooms that have unique personalities. “Be sure to mix it up. If building a home and you have multiple secondary baths to plan for, make each bathroom unique. Be brave with floor tiles and give each space its own personality,” says Banner.
If your bathrooms are already alike and don’t want to do a full renovation to differentiate the spaces, there are many ways to work around this. Paint the walls or choose unique wallpaper. Another easy fix is swapping out the hardware, such as stainless steel for brass or matte black.