When asked the question, "Why do people remodel their bathroom or kitchen?" the most common answer is that "redoing the bathroom is the easiest and least expensive way to improve or increase the value of your home," said Corwyn Frierson specialty manager at The Home Depot in Henderson. "When people are trying to maintain the value of their home we see more and more attempts to stay in their home and update the look."
One of the latest trends is to shop and buy items for home-improvement projects online and then pick them up in the store, Frierson said. The customer can spend as much time as he or she needs to make a more informed decision by looking at the choices and then see the way it will look in their own rooms. After placing the order, it can be picked up at the store usually within two hours, he said.
Another great idea from The Home Depot is the ability to select paint colors online. A program provides shoppers the opportunity to print out a sample paint chip at home and hold it against the area to be painted before making their final choice and picking it up at the store.
The Home Depot is also offering Vanity Insanity, where designers pair sinks and vanities in today's top styles, giving customers ideas about the many options available to change the look of their bathrooms.
"Price is a driving force when people are remodeling but it is not always the deciding factor. Midrange pricing is the norm," said Frierson.
"Decorators and homeowners alike are choosing to explore the new materials that were not available before," said Stephen Leon of Soleil Design International of Las Vegas. "Some of the new porcelain tiles look exactly like leather or wood or stone and are amazing," he said.
Ease of installation is another driving factor according to Mike Klimek of Pro-Handyman Service of Las Vegas. "I see more and more people doing their own work and replacing faucets and fixtures. Little old ladies are changing light fixtures. None of it is really hard if you have a little time and can read instructions."
Peter Schor, of Dynamic Results Inc. and a bath and kitchen industry educator, spoke recently about some of the new bath products available.
"Turning the shower into a 'spa retreat' is one of the top five trends in baths today. Why? These preplumbed shower columns (panels) ... use the existing shower valve. You remove the shower arm, quick connect to the half-inch connection and fasten to the wall -- all in 15 minutes or so."
He said the units were tested under normal water pressure and were engineered to work effectively. Plus, they come in a wide variety of colors.
Another great idea Schor mentioned was a fogless shaving mirror that fits into the shower and uses LED lighting.
Delta Faucet, one of the cutting edge innovators in the industry, is offering a Touch2O technology faucet for the bathroom or kitchen that is easily installed and can be activated with a touch of the hand. Its Touch2O XT simply requires you wave your hand in 4-inch field to activate.
Ali McKinney, production marketing manager for Delta, said the big change she sees is the "greening" of the water system or the water efficiency necessary to meet the expectations of the public while still meeting government regulations.
"It's going green without giving up the experience," she said.
McKinney said, "CalGreen is the latest standards for faucets, set down by the state of California. California actually requires no more than 2.0 gallons per minute, far exceeding the federal standard of 2.5."
While Delta received a Water Sense Partner of the Year Award recently from the Environmental Protection Agency, it continues to make strides forward in meeting the needs of the buyer without sacrificing style. The latest requests from buyers is to increase specialty finishes, such as nickel or champagne bronze. Putting these finishes on contemporary styles helped develop a new style labeled "Mountain Modern," McKinney said.
Kathryn Gallagher of The Home Depot says that "According to a 2010 Fredonia study, bathroom renovations are among the most popular of home-improvement projects. They enhance convenience, add to the value of the consumer's home and are perceived as a smaller financial investment and more scalable project. Remodeling a bath or adding a new one is one of the top ways to increase a home's value. Homeowners are updating their baths now so their homes are ready to sell when the market rebounds."
All of the trends and ideas seem to point to the economy and the ability of homeowners attempting to stay in their homes to hold the value of their properties during these trying financial times. Homeowners want to keep the value, but they may be taking a bath in the market. For just a few minutes, however, a great shower like the "In2ition" from Delta can make it all go away.