PISCATAWAY, NJ Would it be bigger than the current space? Would it
include, perhaps, a stylish new sink . . . or a cappuccino machine
for freshly brewed coffee every morning . . . or a refrigerator/wet
bar for a leisurely after-work drink?
Or, would homeowners seeking a “dream bathroom” prefer to
completely indulge themselves with a luxurious whirlpool that
invigorates their body and soul?
Those were just some of the questions that were answered by the
results of a major nationwide survey of American homeowners
conducted earlier this year by American Standard.
The American Standard Bathroom Habits Survey 2000, whose results
were released in June, involved more than 600 American homeowners,
and was aimed at providing insight into what products and design
features American homeowners want most in their “dream”
A large space
The most obvious answer to that question is that, when it comes to
the ultimate bathroom, American homeowners like to dream and dream
big the American Standard survey revealed.
The telephone survey found, in fact, that nearly 40% of those
polled ranked making the bath larger as their single-greatest
priority, according to the Piscataway, NJ-based bathroom plumbing
Homeowners’ desire to make their current bathroom bigger should not
come as a surprise to designers, builders, architects and other
trade professionals, said Jeannette Long, v.p./
marketing for American Standard.
“After all, over the past decade, master bathroom suites have
been growing proportionately larger and larger in new homes,” Long
said. “In fact, it’s not all that uncommon to see a master bathroom
rival the master bedroom in size, dimensions and amenities.”
American homeowners are also clearly on a quest for “graceful
and comfortable” bath spaces that provide a sanctuary from the
demands of work and family life, Long added.
Slightly behind a bigger bathroom, American homeowners said they
would add a new showering/whirlpool system to enhance their
bathroom. A whirlpool, followed by a complete shower system and a
double sink vanity were the top three responses to a question about
what bathroom fixture would make a “dream” bathroom complete (see
The survey the second in an annual series conducted by American
Standard “mirrors what we’re seeing in new and existing homes,”
“In many upscale new homes, people are including a whirlpool in
their dream bathrooms,” she explained. “In existing homes, where
space may be limited, we’re seeing homeowners either expand their
bathrooms so they can include a whirlpool, or remove old bathtubs
and replace them with whirlpools that are designed to fit that same
In terms of accessories for their dream bath, 45% of the
surveyed homeowners said the top feature on their wish list would
be a skylight to bathe the space with more natural light (see Graph
Homeowners also replied that they would pamper themselves by
installing a heated tile floor (38%), a stereo system (32%), heated
towel bars (19%), and a TV/VCR (14%), so that a person could watch
the news or a movie from the soothing comfort of their whirlpool,
American Standard reported.
Bathroom remodeling is apparently on the minds of many American
homeowners these days. In fact, the American Standard survey
revealed that more than 35% of the surveyed homeowners said they
have redecorated or remodeled their bathroom within the past two
years, while nearly 50% said they have undertaken such a remodeling
project within the past five years.
In contrast, only 18% of the homeowners who were surveyed said
they have never redecorated or remodeled their bathroom in the time
they’ve lived in their current home, the survey revealed.
Other key survey findings included the following:
- Most surveyed homeowners said they would spend between $2,500
and $7,500 to remodel and redecorate their bathroom. However, the
survey also noted that nearly 30% said they would be willing to
spend more than $10,000 to achieve their dream bathroom, while 14%
said they’d be willing to spend more than $15,000 (see Graph
- While American homeowners may want to outfit their bathrooms
with any numbers of features and gadgets, the vast majority of the
surveyed homeowners say they prefer a contemporary, traditional or
country-style bathroom “that won’t date itself in a year,” American
Standard reported. On the other end of the spectrum, avant-garde
and ultra-modern-style bathrooms were preferred “only by a select
group,” the company noted (see Graph 4).
- Consumer home decorating magazines, far and away,
were ranked by homeowners particularly women as the leading source
of bathroom remodeling ideas. Other key sources of ideas include
visits to bath showrooms, showcase homes, home decorating Web sites
and home decorating television programs.
“Selecting fixtures for a bathroom is a very intimate experience,”
Long explained. “I think that’s why many people rely on home
improvement stores and bathroom showrooms to obtain their
information. They start to envision what their bathroom could be
like from articles and advertisements in magazines, and then they
need to see and touch the products.”
- Homeowners also have decidedly favorite pastimes they’d like to
pursue in the bath of their dreams, the American Standard survey
“When they truly do have time to enjoy their bathroom and treat it
as a sanctuary, Americans love to pamper themselves with long hot
showers and baths,” Long observed. “They also enjoy reading books
and magazines, listening to their favorite music and lighting