Professional Builder Exclusive Research: Kitchen & Bath

Kitchens and showers go large while builders are mixed on tiles and tubs

By Mike Beirne, Senior Editor | February 8, 2018
Master bath with shower and vanity
Designer: Lindsay Chambers; Photo: Christopher Stark

More than 80 percent of builders and architects surveyed in Professional Builder’s 2018 Kitchen and Bath survey either strongly agreed or somewhat agreed that the kitchen is the most important room for marketing and selling new homes. It also is the space where three-quarters of respondents sold most of their upgrades.

The kitchen “is becoming a gathering area instead of just a functional area,” an Alabama custom home builder wrote. “More seating allows the kitchen to play its ole as the social forum of the home. Our society places a huge emphasis on socializing while we eat. That is becoming evident in the designs of our kitchens.”

Besides cooking and dining, the kitchen is the space for entertaining. It’s the talking area, kind of like the coffee shop, said an Ohio custom builder. Most survey participants said they either already have or plan to take their kitchens bigger, although increased kitchen size is a misconception, a Missouri builder/remodeler  wrote,because opening walls to combine the kitchen with adjacent spaces gives the room the appearance of being larger.

Many respondents also indicated that the shower area in bathrooms has been or will be enlarged. Builders and architects are addressing accessibility and low-maintenance issues with grab bars, as well as walk-in,  doorless, zero-threshold shower stalls. Custom and upscale home builders are looking at adding more spa-like features and custom tile, while an Ohio  multifamily builder and some production home builders aim to eliminate tiling with modular shower stalls.

More insights about kitchen and bath features are in the charts that follow.














Mike Beirne is the senior editor of Professional Builder and Custom Builder magazines. A two-time Jesse H. Neal Award winner, Mike has nearly 30 years of journalism experience plus numerous news and feature writing awards, including honors from the Society of Professional Journalists, the American Society of Business Press Editors, and the National Association of Real Estate Editors. He also operated a masonry restoration business for more than two decades.


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