The BMA, in partnership with Opinium Research, has conducted a biannual poll of 2,000 UK adults to understand customer sentiment and intentions around bathroom refurbishments in the next two years.
The poll, conducted in February 2023, shows an uptick in the % of UK consumers planning a complete bathroom refurbishment in the next two years, back to the same level as June 2021. From their sample, more than a quarter of the UK population (26%) wants to complete a full bathroom refurbishment, with partial makeovers and replacing taps slightly up over the same period.
General repair intention is slightly down to 27% from 29% in July 2022. However, this is still the highest intended task, with replacing a shower control and replacing taps also at 27%.
While there has been a downward trend away from professional fitters, most Brits would rely on trusted professionals they have used before. For all tasks except a complete bathroom renovation, people would return to a fitter or plumber previously used, varying from 29% for replacing a bath to 35% for replacing taps.
As the cost-of-living bites, the intention to use professionals for bathroom maintenance or refurbishment has dropped, with 53% using a professional for a complete bathroom refurbishment. 40% would use a professional to replace their bathroom taps. Previous BMA research in 2022 highlighted the importance of using professionals within the bathroom and how influential they are in consumers’ decision-making processes. After all, a professional will ensure the right product for the right job is fitted correctly and to regulations, avoiding costly mistakes later.
Regarding a complete bathroom refurbishment, 33% would rely on a recommendation from a friend or family member. Online recommendation sites such as Checkatrade were preferred, whilst local directories and professional bodies seem to have fallen out of widespread use for finding professionals.
When thinking about the skills gap and if the public feels confident about finding a professional, nearly half (48%) are sure they would find their required professional in the necessary time.
The results of the poll are, overall, encouraging. With 26% of the population looking for a complete bathroom refurb, consumers still want to improve their homes and have the available cash, despite inflation.