5 Surprising Remodel Trends for 2013
1. Porcelain Floor Tiles that Look Like Wood
With natural colors and elements all the rage, it's no surprise that wood floors are more popular than ever. However, many homeowners who love the style are understandably reluctant to install them in areas likely to be exposed to moisture or high foot traffic, such as bathrooms and kitchens.
Enter the porcelain "faux wood" tile, extremely durable and looking so much like real wood that you might be amazed.
Inkjet technology can make porcelain simulate many different styles and colors, even cross-grain wood cuts. While the material is relatively new, reviews from homeowners sound generally positive so far.
2. The Farmhouse (Apron Front) Sink
At some point people finally realized that it's impossible to fit very large cooking vessels into one side of a typical double kitchen sink. The solution? A shift back to the traditionally wide and deep farmhouse-style sink, also called the apron front sink, in materials ranging from porcelain to stainless steel, copper, and natural stone.
If you decide this style is for you, install a faucet with a detachable spray nozzle so that you can reach all areas of the sink, and choose a basin style with an offset drain position.
3. Glass Tile, and Even More Glass Tile
Tile is in, and glass tile is really in, according to designers across the country. Its many sizes, shapes, and colors make it versatile enough to be used for walls, counters, backsplashes, table tops, and even flooring.
Many versions come from recycled jars and bottles, which means glass can be an eco-friendly option as well.
4. Trading the Soaking Tub for the Luxury Shower
After years of hearing that a large soaking tub is the key to a spa-like bathroom experience, you might be surprised to hear that more and more homeowners are opting to put money and remodeling effort into luxurious showers with multiple showerheads instead.
Here are a couple of tips for long-term value:
- Do consider incorporating universal design features that make the shower easy to use for someone with impaired mobility.
- Do not eliminate the tub if it is the only one on the floor where infants or toddlers would be bathed (even if you don't have any), or if it means the only remaining tub would be in the master bathroom. Your resale target market is likely to include people with small children, and they typically prefer to bathe them in a tub, not a shower (and not in the master bathroom, if there is another option).
5. The Backsplash As a Work of Art
Backsplashes are increasingly becoming an artistic focal point in kitchens and baths. Glass tile, natural stone, copper, and stainless steel are all popular options, with a mixture of materials and textures often used to give rooms more character.
The same inkjet technology that is used to make porcelain tiles look like wood can also transfer elaborate designs and artwork onto porcelain, meaning that for decorative backsplashes using tile, the sky's the limit.
A Nod to the Fiscal Cliff Resolution
Yes, we're all tired of hearing about it! :) However, there were some important housing-related issues that came out of the agreement.
With us for at least another year are:
- The Mortgage Interest Deduction
Did any politician want to be the one who eliminated one of America's most beloved tax breaks? Homeowners can still deduct interest paid on mortgage amounts of up to $1 million on a first or second home, and interest on home equity loan amounts of up to $100,000.
- The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act
Homeowners doing a short sale in 2013 will continue to not have to pay tax on any mortgage debt up to $2 million that is forgiven by the bank.
(Expect both of these items to be revisited by lawmakers in a year.)
Are you planning to buy or sell a home, or do you know someone who is? Please call or email me - I'm never too busy to help you and the people you care about with real estate.
(What the lawyers make us say: The information in this newsletter is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Please always consult a qualified expert before making decisions based on this content. Nothing in this article is meant to be taken as expert legal, financial, or medical advice.)