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What Do Brits Get Up To in the Bathroom? You Might Be Surprised

We quizzed you to find out what the bathroom of 2017 looks like. How many of these answers would you have guessed?

Houzz UK and Ireland Editor.

I’m thrilled to be part of the team bringing the… More

Who remembers the coloured bathroom suites of the 70s and 80s, with their luxurious deep-pile toilet lid covers and accompanying decorative toilet roll holders? It’s easy to look back with a sense of incredulity at the era that brought us peach-coloured basins and burgundy toilets, but it’s a good reminder that a peek into the smallest room in the house can offer a fascinating snapshot of the lifestyles and fashions of an era.

Which is why it’s so interesting to take a look at which colours, layouts and features are top of the nation’s wish list today, and to ponder what conclusions future generations will draw from the way we design this little room. Here’s what the Houzz Bathroom Trends Study revealed…

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Connecting you now…
Have you ever sent an email from the bath? Before you scoff, a surprising number of you told us you’ve caught up on correspondence from the sanctuary of the smallest room.

When quizzed, 52% of homeowners confessed to using their mobile in the bathroom, with email the most popular reason for doing so. Accessing social media was hot on its heels, with UK homeowners confessing to tweeting and Instagramming from the comfort of their bathrooms (mirror selfies, perhaps?) followed, in third place, by using phones to play music.

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When you look at the breakdown of those mobile-happy homeowners, though, the age divide becomes more apparent, with 79% of millennials (25-34) admitting to using their phone in the bathroom, compared to a much more modest 31% of over 55s saying they do the same.

Discover ways to add warmth to your bathroom scheme

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Splashing the cash
The average bathroom spend last year was £5,600, but there was quite a marked difference in the amount spent across the generations.

Millennials kept a closer eye on the pennies, with the average cost of a bathroom coming in at £3,500, while Generation X (35-54) had more money to spare, forking out an average of £6,100. The over 55s hit the middle ground with an average spend of £5,700.

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Renovation drivers
The reasons for updating a bathroom fell neatly into three main camps: a third of you said it was because you purchased your home recently and wanted to make it your own; another third admitted it was because you could no longer stand the old bathroom, and a final third said it was because an old bathroom deteriorated or broke down.

Interestingly, there was a fairly even age split across all of these reasons, with the exception of the millennials, 60% of whom said the motivating factor for changing their bathroom was because they’d purchased their home recently and wanted to put their stamp on it.

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Sharing is caring
Choosing a new bath? When deciding on the size and type of tub, the top feature was a surprisingly social one: 22% of people buying a bath specified there had to be room for two.

A non-slip floor and grab bars were the second and third, rather more practical, requests.

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Rainfall showers lead the way
Among those who splashed out on a new shower, more than 70% decided to invest in a large, waterfall shower head, and this design choice was consistently popular across all age ranges, from millennials to the over 55s.

The joy of singing in the shower shows no signs of fading – 15% of renovators even chose showerheads with built-in speakers – and a corner shower was the most popular design installed in new bathrooms.

Nearly three-quarters of all homeowners who upgraded their showers plumped for a larger model – and the over 55s led the way with requesting this.

Choosing a new shower? You might want to see these first

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Playing it safe
If you had to guess the most popular bathroom colour, what would you choose? Blue? Aqua? Grey? Would it surprise you to learn that the colour chosen most frequently across the board, for walls, worktops and cabinets, was white? Grey was the second most popular shade, proving perhaps that we’re collectively cautious when decorating this particular space.

When it comes to flooring, the majority of you also chose grey, with practical beige the second most popular choice.

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We’re also a little reluctant to test out some of the more futuristic toilet designs in our own homes: only 10% of new toilets have high-tech features. Seems we’re still a bit wary of motion-activated and heated seats.

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Regrets? I’ve had a few…
Before you start your bathroom renovation, you might like to consider this illuminating little fact: when homeowners were asked for the top three features they regretted not installing in their bathrooms, they were, in descending order, underfloor heating, a sound system and an illuminated mirror.

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Does your bathroom fit this mould? Tell us in the Comments section.
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