A survey released this week by the National Association of Home Builders shows strong numbers for bathroom remodeling. In the first quarter of 2012, the bathroom was cited as one of the most common jobs completed in the last year by a record 78 percent of respondents. With remodeling activity on the whole still down, manufacturers are seizing on the interest in bathrooms by bringing new products to market, a fact highlighted by Consumer Reports' latest bathroom remodeling guide.
Our report on bathroom countertops, for example, found that several splashy materials once reserved for use in the kitchen are making their way into the bathroom. That includes stainless steel, marble, and concrete. Stainless steel is also being used more and more for bathroom sinks. In our tests, the metal was able to fend off stains from common cleaning products and drain cleaner, and it also resisted heat, dents, and dings.
The humble commode is evolving as well, according to our latest toilet Ratings. More dual-flush toilets have come to market, though only one model by Glacier Bay makes our recommended list. However, water efficiency in general is up, with five of the 11 toilets we recommend earning the Environmental Protection Agency's WaterSense seal of approval by using 1.28 gallons per flush.
Check out our complete advice on bathroom remodeling, including the latest design trends and Dos and Don'ts.