Bathroom Trends: Homeowners Finding Creative Ways to Make These Spaces Comfortable
By Dan Bawden, CAPS GGR GMB CGP, Legal Eagle Contractors, Co.
The bathroom: sometimes it’s the one place in the house where you can shut yourself away from stresses and distractions and just relax.
For many homeowners, bathrooms are personal sanctuaries. And today’s bathroom remodeling trends reflect that mindset. On a broad scale, homeowners these days want a modern look with clean lines.
Beyond that, they’re opting for durable materials, lighting and technologies that can make bathrooms more appealing, comfortable and, in some cases, fun. Here’s a closer look.
Increasing numbers of homeowners are removing their tubs and using the extra space to create larger, more luxurious showers with room for two.
And they’re asking their remodelers to build those spaces for comfort, beginning with their shower heads. Multiple heads are consistently popular because they give couples more choices, from wall showers to rain showers that produce a gentler spray.
Homeowners also are adding complex, built-in shower niches. These range from large shelf areas to decorative niches covered in tile mosaics that add a burst of color to otherwise neutral decors.
Homeowners are adding benches to the showers, too. One of the more popular options is a stainless steel and teakwood bench with a fold-down seat that double as storage spaces. The design also is a bit more ergonomic than traditional bench designs.
In fact, many popular shower features today are built with ergonomics, accessibility and safety in mind — without sacrificing visual appeal.
Curb-free, walk-in showers, for example, make the showers more accessible for every generation in the family, from toddlers to grandparents. They’re designed to prevent water from escaping beyond the shower area.
Homeowners can add shower heads that slide up and down a bar, too, so they can comfortably shower things low to the ground — think toddlers and family pets — or that one, impossible-to-reach spot on their back.
When people need guard rails, they now can select cleverly disguised rails by Invisia that look more like vertical shower bars than Americans With Disabilities Act-rated safety features. Invisia also makes grab rails that resemble soap dishes and toilet paper-holder grab rails.
Additional shower trends include
- Vertical shower grates with LED lighting to contribute to a more linear look
- Digital shower controls with blue, LED temperate displays
- Wireless speakers in the shower. (KOHLER® even offers a showerhead speaker: the Moxie.)
Cabinets and Counter Tops
The trends here are designs that eliminate clutter, provide convenient storage spaces and contribute to the overall appeal of the bathroom.
That effect begins with drawers, lots of them, along with an especially popular power-strip feature in the top drawer that keeps cords off the counter tops. More choices: full-extension drawers, creatively placed drawers and drawers designed to hold jewelry.
Painted cabinet bases, a strong trend for years, are still in demand, but equal numbers of homeowners seem to prefer stained wood for a more natural look.
For a more dramatic effect, people are installing beveled glass fronts on their cabinets. With art glass and light, these cabinets become decorative display spaces for the bathroom.
For sheer coolness, customers are adding LED lights to the cabinet base to create the look of “floating cabinets.”
Going back to the ideal of clean, modern lines, customers are enhancing that effect with square sinks. Some are long enough for two people to use at the same time. These sinks, which are very easy for children to reach, are a great choice for families.
Walls and Floors
Tile still rules here, but in more creative ways. Instead of small tiles on the floor, for instance, customers are creating large “floor mat” effects with arrangements of large tiles.
And like the shower niche mosaics, bathroom walls are becoming works of art with complex patterns, mixed patterns, mixed colors and mixed tile sizes. These designs range from bold displays that cover entire walls to a single band of mosaic that spans from floor to ceiling.
Technology and Electrical Features
Not only are people adding wireless speakers to their showers, they’re asking for more lighting. To add a softer, more relaxing effect, people are replacing single, overhead lights with multiple smaller lights in the walls.
And with motion sensors, homeowners don’t even have to turn their lights on.
Additional tech trends in the bathroom include LED-lit temperature readings for sink faucets.
A huge hit among customers: high toilets — 17 inches opposed to the traditional 13-inch height — that are kind on the back. The only drawback? Toilets in other homes and public spaces don’t seem quite right anymore.
Bidets are popular now, too, and homeowners can even get push-button systems with lights and music.
One simple, affordable trend for toilets is the addition of “night light” toilet seats powered by AA batteries. A section by the hinges emits a soft, blue glow that eliminates the need to turn on the bathroom lights.
On the more practical side: duo flush toilets with options for “No. 1” and “No. 2” helps conserve water. In fact, a family of four using these toilets can save 40,000 gallons of water a year.