It seems that everything is moving at a faster pace today, from news and technology to social communication and even baseball. Believe it or not, remodeling cycles are no exception to this rule. Conventional wisdom used to hold that the bathroom renovation cycle was a full 25 years. Today, home design experts are reporting that the typical cycle has been sliced in half to 12.5 years.
Why the change? Think about how much our lives have been altered in the past 25 years. In 1990, “Ice, Ice Baby” was topping the charts, the average price of a new home in the United States was around $150,000, and bathrooms were far fewer and far less luxurious than what we think of as necessary today. (Only 35.8 percent of homes built in 1990 had 2.5 or more bathrooms – a benchmark that many now consider the bare minimum, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report.)
As bathrooms have evolved, the need for more of them, more space in them, better and more efficient technology, and design longevity have combined to slash the time that homeowners are willing to deal with yesterday’s features in half.
New features like water-saving toilets, showerheads and faucets make wise use of scarce resources. Smart design – from wider doorways to zero-entry showers and better lighting – is making these spaces safer for aging parents and guests, folks who are temporarily injured and those who are planning ahead for aging-in-place.
From a health standpoint, the thought of leaving anything in a bathroom for a quarter of century is enough to give even the most stalwart a queasy stomach. Toilets, faucets, drains, grout and gaps in caulking all collect germs and dirt and make for an unsanitary situation.
Remodeling also gives homeowners the opportunity to enlarge cramped bathrooms by borrowing space from an adjoining room. More stylish and functional cabinetry combined with longer-lasting, hygienic and beautiful surfaces like granite make the space easier to maintain and more efficient to use. Even tile itself has come a long way in the past 12.5 years, with new sizes, styles, finishes and shapes that transcend the basic squares and standard rectangles of years past.
All in all, now is an ideal time to say farewell to dated bathrooms and take the plunge into a refreshed, beautified and more functional space.