How to Win the Battle of the Sexes AND Get What You Want in Your Bathroom Remodel
As a guy who leads a business which wholesales and installs bathroom products, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen men and women (husbands, wives and partners) bicker over their bathroom remodeling project. Fortunately, I’ve never seen anyone (thus far) comes to blows over the project. That’s certainly a good thing!
He (just like Larry the Cable Guy) wants a bathroom where he can ‘get ‘er done!’ No muss, no fuss. Get in, get out. Function is key, frills are not. A sturdy shower or tub which will ‘hold up’ and not leak. And, by all means, he wants to keep the costs down, down, down.
She, on the other hand, wants a bathroom where she can be pampered. And a bathroom which can respect her privacy (something which is in short supply). She wants a bathroom which makes her ‘process’ of getting ready simpler.
And in this article, I WILL NOT tell you which sex should be the driving force leading the decisions for your bathroom. Hey – I’ve been married for 35 years (and NO, I’m not old because I got married at the age of 9. OK, I lied) and I know when it’s best to keep my pie-hold shut. But I’m also a big believer in the saying from motivational speaker Zig Ziglar who said….
“You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people (and yes this includes your wife, husband or partner) get what they want.”
And because I have experience working with homeowners remodeling bathrooms for over 30 years, I’ve heard what she likes and what he likes in a bathroom (and what they both tend to like). Yes, that’s a Ripley’s Believe it or Not statement. And I’m crazy enough to believe I can help you have a more ‘harmonious’ bath remodeling project.
And no matter who is the ‘stronger sex’ and is calling the ‘shots’, it’s helpful to know what to expect from your better half so you can give them a few of their favorite’s features. Then you can ‘negotiate’ a few of your favorite features as well. And my goal with this article is to help you do just that.
I’ll lay out the favorite features ‘he’ likes, the ones ‘she’ likes and finally the ones men AND women both love to include in their bathrooms.
And because I’m not Dr. Phil or Oprah (and don’t make their money on TV either) I’m going to go ‘full Switzerland’ on you and leave it to you to duke it out (‘er I meant to say work it out) to determine which bathroom features are best for you. And I’ll leave it to you to know exactly how to get him or her to ‘come over to’ your way of thinking, so you’re both happy. I’m no relationship counselor and I don’t play one on this blog either.
Now, let’s look at the favorite features of the opposite sexes.
What ‘he’ likes in bathroom and shower products and designs
While you may already know ‘men are from Mars and women are from Venus,’ you still need to understand your better half’s POV’s when it comes to bathroom and shower design to get a finished project, you’ll both love. So, let’s look at 7 features (and one ‘bonus’ feature) men like in their bathrooms. And if you’re a woman, maybe’s there’s a couple of these features you can ‘give’ him so you can get what you want!
- Feature #1 men want in a bathroom – The speed of the shower feed – Men aren’t in the bathroom to relax. It’s a ‘get ‘er done’ experience. And nothing makes a man madder than ‘wimpy’ shower heads with little water pressure. No matter what type of shower head you use, if you want your man to be happy, make sure it’s not a ‘girly-mon’ (just like Hans and Franz used to say on Saturday Night Live) experience.
- Feature #2 men want in a bathroom – A B-I-G shower – Like in Texas, ‘real’ men (OK this could also mean men who – even though they won’t admit, are carrying a few extra pounds) want a big shower. They want to ditch the tub. They want a walk in shower. The want the shower opening as big as possible. In other words, they want a ‘super-sized’ shower, not a tub.
- Feature #3 men want in a bathroom – A window in the shower – He likes to look out the window and check the weather for the day. In addition, he can (actually) see where he’s going and not trip when stepping into the shower with the window bringing in natural light.
- Feature #4 men want in a bathroom – Some doggone elbow room – OK – as I mentioned in feature #2 – he’s likely a bit bigger than the lady in his life. And he HATES, HATES, HATES bumping his elbows on shower doors. So, if you’re a woman who wants to make her man happy, get him a curved glass sliding door shower to keep his ‘very delicate’ elbows soft and pretty.
- Feature #5 men want in a bathroom – Clear glass shower doors – He hates your frilly shower curtains (almost) as much as the 6,000 decorative pillows he has to throw off the bed at night (do I sound like a man who speaks from experience here?). He wants clear glass shower doors instead. After all, then you can see his ‘buff’ (notice the quote/unquote) body.
- Feature #6 men want in a bathroom – A remodel which won’t ‘spend all me money!’ – Just like Sponge Bob, your man desperately wants to hold on to those Benjamins. And whatever you can do to keep costs down will be music to his ears.
- Feature #7 men want in a bathroom – Tunes in the shower – Men love gadgets and technology. Give him the ability to enjoy his tunes in the shower (or other fun gadgetry like an LED shower head or body sprays) and you’ll have a happy camper. And if the music can be cranked up, it might even drown out his singing! OK, maybe that’s too much to hope for.
- Bonus feature– A shower pan which doesn’t flex and squeak – Cheap shower bases which squeak (or crack…everyone’s shower nightmare) are definitely not his bag. Make sure you use a sturdy cultured granite shower pan (like pictured below) or an acrylic shower pan which is reinforced at the bottom.
So, now let’s turn our attention to what she wants.
What ‘she’ likes in bathroom and shower products and design
In these 7 features (and one bonus feature) you’ll get a glimpse of top features women love in bath and shower products. These features fall into what I’ll call the ‘3 P’s.’ Those ‘P’s’ are – privacy, pampering and making ‘the process’ (also known as the getting ready ritual) easier.
Let’s check out the features:
- Feature #1 women want in a bathroom – A deep soaking tub – Aah, a place to relax with a soothing, hot bath is a pleasure she can’t get enough of. A soaking – or better yet – a jetted spa tub with heated tub walls is the ultimate relaxation she craves after a crazy day at work and/or running after the kids.
- Feature #2 women want in a bathroom – A place to shave her legs – A low shelf in the shower (or a bench seat if you have the room) for her to shave her legs is a small, yet critical feature.
- Feature #3 women want in a bathroom – High privacy shower glass and shower windows. Unlike us guys (who all think – even if we’re delusional – we look fab-u-lous), most woman don’t want to ‘put on a show’ in the shower. They’d like their shower or bathtub to help them ‘get away’ from everyone. And this includes the spouse, the kids, the Mother-in-Law, you name it. High privacy glass shower doors allows her (at least momentarily) to shut out the rest of the world. And a high privacy shower or bathroom window made of glass blocks or obscure glass will give her the light she wants without worrying about privacy and the creep next-door neighbor.
- Feature #4 women want in a bathroom – An easy to clean shower – As a guy you INSISTED on a ceramic tile shower for your last bath remodel. However, you WERE NOT the one cleaning the doggone tile shower. She hates those grout joints with a passion. And although she doesn’t want cheap-looking grout free fiberglass or acrylic walls, she would love finding a high-style, and realistic looking shower and bathroom wall panels. You can make her dreams come true with laminate shower wall panel system. They look like high end yet are low maintenance. That’s a win for both of you.
- Feature #5 women want in a bathroom – Places for lots and lots and lots of product – One little corner shower shelf doesn’t cut it for your woman. She wants (or what I really meant to say is she NEEDS) lots and lots and lots of storage in the shower. Use a long, recessed niche for her loofas, sponges and lotions and potions. Remember, for your woman there’s no such thing as too much storage.
- Feature #6 women want in a bathroom – A good mirror (or two or three) – Your woman cannot have enough mirrors. A wall mounted unit to see her make up. A large overhead mirror with LED lighting. And even a full-length mirror while leaving the bathroom would be welcome additions to the bathroom.
- Feature #7 women want in a bathroom – Good lighting – Adding task lighting or lighting in a shower or above your tub can be so important for women. And installing a transom window or skylight to maintain her privacy yet create a bright and cheery bathroom is something she’ll welcome as well.
- Bonus feature– The tub tray for reading, wine, and her candles – Guys if you really want ‘brownie points’, get her a tub tray which straddles the soaking tub mentioned in feature #1 to create the bathroom ambiance (‘er that’s a fancy word guys don’t usually use) she’ll truly love you for.
So, now that we’ve looked at the features preferred by men or women, let’s look at a few features both sexes agree on.
Features you’ll both love in bathroom and shower products and designs
- Feature #1 ‘he’ and ‘she’ both love– Double vanities – Exactly who doesn’t want their own space? ‘Er that would be no one. And the ultimate in frustration is sharing bathroom sinks. Room permitting, the double vanity is something you’ll both enjoy (especially when you have to get ready at the same time).
- Feature #2 ‘he and ‘she’ both love – A pocket door – Having a door slam into your partner’s arm when you’re rushing into the bathroom while running late for work isn’t the best way to say, ‘I love you.’ See if a pocket door is possible for your new or remodeled bathroom.
- Feature #3 ‘he’ and ‘she’ both love – A drawer for hair tools – This is a feature a guy will enjoy even though he never uses it. It’s a drawer for her curling irons and blow driers which overtake the vanity countertop. Why have your hair care necessities eat up your counter space?
So, are you now better equipped to understand what your ‘better half’ wants in a remodel, so you can negotiate and get what you want?
I know there’s a lot of options in a bathroom or shower products and sifting through the choices to figure out what’s best for you (or him or her) is a huge task.
However, in this article my goal was to help you understand what your ‘better half’ (on most days) wants in a bathroom remodel (to help you understand what they want and then ‘negotiate’ what you want). So, how did I do helping you see what the ‘other side’ wants?
And although I’m not a relationship counselor (and I haven’t been asked to fill in for Dr. Phil or Oprah on TV either), me and my team would love to be your ‘bathroom remodeling counselor’ and guide you through the best features for your next bath or shower remodel.
If we can help you with nationwide wholesale supply of shower pans, stylish shower wall panels, glass enclosures or accessories call 877-668-5888. Also ask if we have an installing wall panel dealer in your area if you need contracting help.
And if you’re in Cleveland Ohio, our Bath Doctor division would be honored to help you with your bathroom remodeling project. Call 216-658-1270.
Thanks for reading and putting up with my wacky personality. I’m looking forward to helping you further.
If you want more advice (with a little less wacky humor because you’ll see the ‘buttoned-up’ business version of me) follow me on LinkedIn @MikeFoti.
Carolyn – thanks so much for reading my blog and I’m super-excited you found the posts to be helpful. I know it’s hard whenever anyone ‘generalizes’ about what one gender wants vs. another it can be wrong a much as it can be right. What I tried to do here is comment on what I’ve seen ‘in general’ – but stereotyping by gender can be fraught with problems (and I know there are plenty of the things I mentioned women generally like I like as well). I most appreciate your point of view (and certainly in no way want to appear sexist, I’m just drawing some broad generalizations on trends I’ve seen by ‘the sexes.’ With this being said I most appreciate your point of view – we can only learn and grow when we take in all inputs – even when they don’t line up with what we think.
Let me know if I can be of additional assistance to you – Mike
Your blog posts have been very helpful. We even decided to use the shower wall system for the ease in construction, cleaning and that it is water tight.
However, please revise this post so that it is gender neutral. I know that many people will deride this as ridiculous or some other equally negative term. But as a woman who is married to a woman this post feels woefully outdated. As a woman I don’t want a soaking tub, my wife would indeed like one. Both of us want good volume and pressure with the shower and we both see 2 sinks a s wasteful. This post can be easily reworked to be less offensive.
Thank you for your blogs that have been so helpful.