Pleasant Dreams

Pleasant Dreams

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" bathroom.

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.

"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 Graph 1).

The survey the second in an annual series conducted by American Standard "mirrors what we're seeing in new and existing homes," noted Long.

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 2).
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.

Remodeling itch
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 3).
  • 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 suggested.
      "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 candles." KBDN