Are you wondering about the hot bathroom trends for 2018? We’ve compiled a list of them, using insights we discovered from a variety of different sources: residential architects, trade associations, remodeling companies, contractors, interior designers, real estate agents, real estate stagers, retailers and their bestseller lists, Internet search query trend data and homeowners who are remodeling. We’ve talked to people, read zillions of design blogs, scrutinized dozens of press releases, shopped for the most innovative new bath accessories in the marketplace, and analyzed the demand or lack thereof for bunches of Internet search queries relating to bathroom design, bathroom fixtures and bathroom accessories.
After all the research we’ve done, we feel qualified to give you the scoop on what we think are the most important and best bathroom trends for 2018. We aren’t doing anything you couldn’t be doing for yourself, but the truth is, we think our bathroom trend report will save you many hours of trend research. We’ve put a few weeks’ worth of time into compiling it, and we keep it updated as we make new discoveries.
We hope you’ll find this list helpful if you are decorating a bathroom in a new residence, or interested in undertaking a bathroom remodel, or if you are a professional or student who is looking to stay current on the trends in any of the industries mentioned above.
If you have an ongoing need for bathroom trend reports or other trend reports, we invite you to sign up for our newsletter; we’ll keep you updated on the trends we learn about for as long as you choose to stay subscribed. Thanks for your interest! So without further delay, here are our discoveries relating to 2018’s top bathroom trends:
1. Demand for Bathroom Remodeling Is Trending Up in 2018
Residential architects and home remodelers are reporting strong demand for bathroom remodeling in 2018. That itself is an important trend; it’s a carryover trend from previous years, as home remodeling in many areas of the USA has been on a mostly upward trajectory since at least 2014. Last year, 2017, homeowners spent more than $152 billion on home renovation projects, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Experts at the NAHB are forecasting an expected total increase of about 7 percent in homeowners’ spending on remodeling projects in 2018. Not all of this will be allocated for bathroom remodeling; but historically, bathrooms have attracted significant portions of homeowners’ remodeling budgets.
At the American Institute of Architects (AIA), their Architecture Billing Index gives us additional insights into the state of the industry. The Architecture Billing Index is a reliable tool for forecasting what construction spending will be like in the next nine- to 12 months. The most recently available data indicates that demand for architectural design services is increasing in every area of the USA except the Northwest as of early 2018.
Consumers Are Interested in the Following Bathroom Elements for 2018:
2018’s Trendiest Bathroom Vanities and Counters:
2. “Floating” Vanities and Wall-Mounted Vanities
Want to make your bathroom look more spacious? A floating vanity is one way to accomplish that goal. There are several other advantages to installing floating vanities and wall-mounted vanities:
- It’s easy to clean underneath them, which makes for improved hygiene in the bathroom.
- They’re attractive.
- They’re versatile, and they complement a variety of design styles. They accommodate a broad range of stylish sinks and faucets.
- They’re the ideal solution in bathrooms that have radiant heated flooring installed.
- They’re trendy in 2018.
3. Quartz Countertops and Vanity Tops
Quartz is overtaking granite as the trendiest countertop material in 2018.
4. Vanities Built into Vintage or Custom Furniture Pieces
Trendy Bathroom Sinks in 2018:
5. Undermount Sinks
Undermount sinks offer you a clean, seamless look that provides outstanding hygiene in the bathroom. The missing seam around the sink means there’s one less spot that will collect grime and need scrubbing.
Undermount sinks are still going strong for 2018. This is a carryover trend that’s been around awhile, as these have been popular since at least 2014.
6. Mid-Market Vitreous China Sinks
A vitreous china sink is basically a porcelain sink that has a glass-based enamel coating. This type of sink has multiple advantages:
- It resists stains.
- It’s durable and scrape-resistant.
- It’s sanitary and easy to clean.
- It has a glossy, stylish appearance.
These reasonably-priced sinks have been stealing market share from higher-end sinks, even in luxury homes.
7. Mid-Market Enameled Steel Sinks
Moderately priced enameled steel sinks are not a new trend by any means, by they are still relevant in 2018.
8. Trough Sinks
Don’t let the name fool you; a “trough sink” is more elegant than it sounds. Some people would refer to this as a “double sink.” It’s basically an extra long sink that’s big enough to serve both you and a significant other if you should both happen to be trying to get ready to go somewhere at the same time.
A trough sink is configured differently than the double sinks that were so popular in the 1980s. Back then, it was trendy in some areas to have two separate sinks incorporated into the same vanity.
The newer trough sinks are handy for those who might wish to hand wash large items like a man’s big and tall wool sweater, a wool blanket or a king sized sheet.
Trough sinks aren’t a brand new thing; there are plenty of vintage examples around, plus restaurants sometimes incorporate them as part of their food prep areas.
However, the latest trough sinks are styled to appeal to contemporary consumers, and they offer outstanding style and functionality.
Trendsetters and early adopters have been installing trough sinks for a few years now, so this isn’t a brand new trend — but by all appearances, it is still quite early in this trend’s life cycle.
9. Semi-Recessed Sinks
Many trend-watchers agree that vessel sinks are outdated as of 2018. While they’re beautiful to look at, they can be uncomfortable for petite people to use; and it’s all too easy to splash water outside a vessel sink.
The next evolution after the vessel sink is the semi-recessed sink. This type of sink is more user friendly, but it offers some of the interesting aesthetic elements that made vessel sinks so popular. Semi-recessed sinks work well with the farmhouse style that’s so popular right now, and they also fit beautifully into transitional style bathrooms and other current bathroom styles.
2018 Bathroom Tile Trends:
Installations of tile flooring have been on a steady upward trajectory since 2005. Homeowners are installing it most frequently in bathrooms and kitchens. You now have overwhelming numbers of choices for tile fabrications, shapes, sizes and colors. Ceramic, porcelain, natural stone, clay and glass are some of the possibilities available. You generally can’t go wrong right now by simply choosing a tile that fits your budget, tastes and current decorating style. If you’re having a hard time choosing a tile, consider some of the following types that are currently on-trend for 2018:
10. Large Format Tiles
Large format tiles require you to use less grout when installing them than smaller tiles do. This results in a clean, hygienic experience in the bathroom that requires less scrubbing and less maintenance in re-grouting.
However, large format tiles are not appropriate for every bathroom. They’re not workable for small bathrooms. Installation of large format bathroom tile requires special expertise, and there are specific requirements for the substrates you can install them on.
11. Penny Tile
Simultaneously, we also have the opposite trend going on: Small format penny tiles are also trending up in 2018. These tiles can work well for decorating the bathrooms in small condos, tiny homes and mother-in-law suites.
12. Geometric Patterned Tile
Prominent geometric shapes have been trending up in numerous aspects of home decor– and geometric patterned tiles are right on-trend in 2018 bathrooms. Look for bold tile patterns that incorporate hexagons, squares, rectangles, chevrons, herringbones or a combination of motifs.
13. Terra Cotta Tile
Terra cotta harmonizes beautifully with the warm metals such as brushed gold, brass and copper that are trendy in the bathroom right now.
2018 Bathroom Faucet and Hardware Trends
14. Two-Control Faucets
In mid 2017, the experts at Home Innovation reported that new home builders stepped up their installations of two-control faucets in both showers and lavatories.
15. High-Tech Faucets
Faucets at home are becoming increasingly user-friendly and efficient. Sensor-operated faucets have been around awhile in the hospitality industry, and nowadays they’re making their way into homes as well.
16. Water-Efficient Bathroom Faucets
Rising water bills and increasing water supply concerns are unwelcome trends in many American neighborhoods. In some areas, water supplies are being threatened by the oil industry’s practice of hydraulic fracturing (nicknamed “fracking”). In some areas, past and present drought conditions have brought about alarming decreases in the available fresh water supply.
Taken together, these broader trends help to explain the current necessity for solutions such as water saving bathroom faucets.
Best Finishes for Bathroom Faucets and Hardware in 2018:
In new homes, chrome was the top selling faucet finish as of Home Innovation’s report published in mid 2017 — but it was only the top seller by a narrow margin.
Nickel is trending up, up, up in the bathrooms and kitchens of newly built homes. As of Home Innovation’s latest report on the topic, published mid 2017, installations of nickel-finished bathroom faucets had come close to those of chrome faucets. Nickel is gaining ground at the expense of other finishes such as oil-rubbed bronze and stainless steel.
19. Matte Black
Matte black finishes are relatively new contenders in the bathroom faucet marketplace, and they are an interesting option for early trend adopters to consider implementing.
20. Unlacquered Brass
If you want to create a timeless space that evokes images of the historic past, unlacquered brass is an interesting surface to consider in the bathroom. As it ages, it will eventually develop a rich patina that hints at its history.
This finish can work well for decorating bathrooms in a broad variety of styles: transitional, traditional, craftsman, art deco, rustic, mountain modern and others.
21. Metallic Gold Finishes
Gold and goldtone-finished faucets are another option that early trend adopters have to consider. Artisans and manufacturers are making some appealing new golden finished bathroom faucets, bathroom hardware and light fixtures available right now.
Historically, people have tended to view gold fixtures as being most appropriately used in traditional settings. This is changing. The broad variety of available styles and finishes make the latest iteration of this trend appropriate for contemporary and modern applications in addition to traditional and transitional ones.
The au courant finish is more of a true gold color than the rose gold we’ve been seeing around for the past 5 years or so. Many prominent interior designers have declared that the rose gold trend is now over, and that true gold and brass will be the go-to warm metals going forward. Personally, I think it is unlikely that rose gold will completely disappear in 2018; I think there’s still significant interest in it. But, there’s no arguing that many of the trendiest trendsetters have now moved away from it; so, sooner or later, it’s inevitable that the masses will follow their lead.
If you want real gold elements to adorn your bathroom, Alex Miller Studio’s “By the Sea” collection might appeal to you. An assortment of different fixtures is available in 5 different finishes that includes 24-karat polished gold and 24-karat satin gold. Some of your choices include lavatory sets, Roman tub faucets, bidet faucets, shower sets, hand showers, towel bars and towel rings.
If simple goldtone fixtures will suffice in your bathroom remodel, you have your pick of lovely new product offerings from mainstream manufacturers including Brizo and Moen. Brizo has recently created a new Brilliance® Luxe Gold™ Product Line Extension, some of which is pictured above. Moen just announced a new brushed gold finish, pictured below:
22. Glass Knobs
If you want your bathroom to exude an aura of elegance or drama, it’s hard to resist the beautiful new glass knobs that are becoming available. Some of them resemble the vintage glass knobs of yesteryear, and others are newer styles. Look for lovely milk glass knobs, clear and translucent glass knobs, amber glass knobs, bubble glass knobs, faceted glass knobs and a broad range of other glass styles. You can use any of these to customize the vanity or cabinetry in your powder room or master bathroom. You can also use them on the dresser drawers in the bedroom for a cohesive look. Gorgeous glass doorknobs can complete the look.
Bathtub and Shower Trends in 2018:
23. Space-Saving Bathtubs for Small Bathrooms
We’re seeing two diverging trends in home sizes: At the upper end of the market, homes are getting bigger. At the lower end of the market, homes are getting smaller — in some cases, much much smaller. (See our article on the topic of 2018 home design trends for more specifics on these trends). Then there’s the tiny home trend — which fits right in with many peoples’ current desires to declutter, simplify their lives and get back to basics.
For those who are embracing smaller living spaces in 2018, small bathrooms necessitate either tiny bathtubs or no bathtubs at all (another trend we’ll cover momentarily). Small bathtubs are an attractive option for those who do not have much bathroom real estate to work with, yet do not wish to give up the experience of relaxing in the tub.
There’s a proliferation of brand new, beautiful, yet compact bathtubs becoming available that are ideal for homeowners who are squeezing themselves into small living spaces. The following are a couple new options that caught our eye:
24. Accessible Showers Offering Universal Design Features
For several reasons, universal design features are one of the most important home design trends this year. One of the main motivators for this trend is the aging population. Analysts at the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University anticipate that 17.1 million households will include senior residents with ambulatory disabilities by the year 2035. As seniors prepare for their future, many of them are making the decision to remodel their homes with features that will allow them to remain where they are rather than moving to assisted living facilities.
With the tight housing supply in many areas of the country, baby boomers aren’t the only ones who are realizing the advantages of universal design features. Many younger homeowners are incorporating ergonomic and universal design principles into their home remodeling projects not only out of concern for the future, but also because it makes sense to do so in the present.
There are many manifestations of this trend throughout the home and in the bathroom; but one of the most prominent and frequently incorporated major universal design elements is the curbless shower.
Nobody wants to trip over something on their way into the shower. Some of the latest shower designs eliminate built-in tripping hazards for a safer shower experience.
In decades past, it was typical to have your showerhead installed right over the bathtub, and you had to step over the side of the bathtub to enter the shower. While there’s still plenty of interest in this configuration, there are many homeowners who have abandoned this type of design in favor of curbless showers.
25. Rainfall Showerheads
Biophilic design principles and “back-to-nature” aesthetics are catching on in many areas of the country. Along with this trend, we’re often seeing a blurring of lines between indoors and outdoors. There are significant numbers of people who are trying to make their homes more natural, and to bring elements from nature indoors. Then there are people who are actually building their bathtubs and showers outside so they can have the experience of relaxing in nature while they soak in the tub.
For those who don’t want to take things quite that far, there are rainfall showerheads. These showerheads tend to be large, and they can be installed overhead over the shower or tub to mimic the experience of standing in the rain while you bathe.
26. Square Shaped Fixtures and Showerheads
Squares, almost-squares, angular shaped designs and geometric designs are hot these days. We’re seeing blocky looks and square shapes popping up everywhere, from web pages to cosmetics palettes to automobile designs. Crafters are enjoying a resurgence of interest in granny squares. Squares are a hot commodity in home décor as well, and they’re particularly well-suited for use in bathroom décor; they are versatile shapes that work well in modern, contemporary and transitional bathrooms.
Geometric inspired square faucets and fixtures are finding their way into master baths and powder rooms across America. Angular designs are making appearances in a variety of bath elements, including bathtubs, showerheads and soap dishes.
27. Shower Seats
In the past, showers were designed for use by people in the upright standing position. Lately we’ve seen an innovative and sensible trend: the shower seat.
We’re convinced that whoever thought of this idea is a genius. Perhaps you’ll agree if you’re one of those people who ever has to shower when half asleep. Maybe you wake up early to work out in the morning, or maybe you come home falling-asleep-tired after doing a job that demands a follow-up shower. Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a seat handy to rest in while you suds up and shampoo?
This is also a nice item to have if you have seniors in your household — along with…
28. Grab Bars for the Shower and / or Bath
Grab bars are another great option for seniors, and they are also trendy at the moment.
Grab bars aren’t just being used in the shower; we have a friend in his golden years who installed a grab bar in the space above his berth in his luxury yacht. You can put grab bars just about anywhere you might need them, but in our experience, the shower is definitely one of the most popular places to install them these days.
28. Free-Standing Bathtubs
Built-in bathtubs with wall surrounds dominated the marketplace for as long as I can remember, right up until a few years ago. However, there’s now significant interest in freestanding bathtubs, with interest in them having increased significantly in the last few years. It appears likely that freestanding bathtubs will continue their upward trajectory in 2018.
Then there’s another contradictory trend that’s simultaneously happening:
29. Many Homeowners Are Removing Bathtubs All Together
A number of sources, including home remodelers and residential architects, have been reporting that they’ve been helping homeowners to remove bathtubs from their homes. We first noted this trend on our 2016 bathroom trend report after experts at the National Kitchen and Bath Association brought it to our attention in a press release. By all appearances, the bathtub removal trend is still going strong as of 2018.
In some cases, homeowners are removing bathtubs to make space for bigger showers or create a more spacious feeling in the bathroom.
In other cases, they’re removing bathtubs because they already have another bathroom that includes a tub, and the one they’re removing is currently not being used.
In other cases, they’re remodeling to create a more accessible space for a senior family member; bathtub walls can create tripping hazards for seniors with limited mobility, so there are homeowners who are removing their bathtubs and replacing them with curbless showers to avoid this problem.
Another motivator is the growing “green” trend. Baths tend to use more water than showers do.
30. Steam Showers
Steam showers are of current interest for installation in 2018 bathrooms.
31. Lights in the Shower
It’s trendy to put lights in the shower instead of just relying on the bathroom’s main light to illuminate the shower area.
32. High-Tech Showers and Showerheads
There was a time when a shower was just a shower.
Lately there’s been an overwhelming proliferation of smart technology and other technology that’s being applied to various aspects of the home, including the shower. There are new water saving “smart” showers that are bluetooth enabled and connect to the Internet. There are showerheads that play music. We suspect we’ll be seeing other high-tech shower innovations being unveiled as 2018 progresses and in the years ahead.
33. Hand Showers
It’s nice to be able to direct the flow of water right where you want it, and hand showers help to enable that. This is a longstanding carryover trend that is still relevant for 2018.
34. Water Efficient Showerheads
Nobody wants to waste water or overpay for mundane things like water bills — and you probably are overpaying if you’re using an outdated showerhead. The latest water-efficient showerheads deliver an outstanding shower experience, while still using water efficiently enough to offer you a cost savings over the older, less efficient models. If you’re remodeling an older bathroom, it is well worth investing in a new, water-efficient showerhead. In the long term, that particular upgrade is likely to pay for itself.
35. Healthy Organic Bathroom Elements
Earth-conscious and health-conscious consumers are realizing that eating organic is not enough; it’s also essential to prioritize organic living in the entire house. Since the bathroom is one of the most frequently used and frequently cleaned rooms in the home, it is an especially important space to incorporate natural, non-toxic, organic materials and cleaning supplies. Consumers are in search of formaldehyde-free cabinetry; low-VOC paints; BPA-free storage solutions for toiletries and beauty products; organic cleaning supplies and chemical-free, organic soaps, lotions, shampoos and cosmetics.
If this is a trend that interests you, there’s a book you’ll really want to know about. It’s called The Modern Organic Home, and it includes instructions for cleaning, detoxing and decluttering your home naturally. I highly recommend the book.
36. Organic Bathroom Textiles
There are numerous reasons that trendsetting, eco-conscious consumers are increasingly demanding organic textiles in their bathrooms and homes.
For starters, onventionally-farmed cotton is responsible for a disproportionately high percentage of overall pesticide use. The Panda.org website puts this in perspective with some simple statistics:
“2.4% of the world’s crop land is planted with cotton and yet it accounts for 24% and 11% of the global sales of insecticide and pesticides respectively. “
According to the Rodale Institue, many environmentalists consider cotton to be the worlds dirtiest crop.
Pesticide and insecticide usage isn’t the only reason to be concerned about conventional cotton farming practices. Conventionally farmed cotton uses an alarming amount of water. According to the Watercalculator.org website,
“The water footprint of one pound of cotton is 1,320 gallons.”
Since you’re reading a bathroom trend report, let’s put that in terms of what, exactly, this data means for your bathroom. On average, it takes a bit more than a half a pound of cotton to manufacture one single bath towel. So that means it takes more than 1,320 gallons of water to produce a new pair of cotton bath towels using conventional cotton farming methods!
In contrast, organic farming improves water retention to a significant degree, and as a result, is able to reduce water consumption by 30 percent percent in comparison.
The main takeaway here: There’s a whole lot you can do to conserve water in the bathroom, even if you’ve already replaced your showerheads and faucets with water-efficient models. Using organic cotton bath mats, bath towels and washcloths instead of conventional bathroom textiles can reduce your family’s water footprint by an astonishing amount.
37. Decluttering the Bathroom
A cluttered bathroom is decidedly UN-trendy in 2018. Decluttering is necessary for achieving the clean, minimalist aesthetic that is in such high demand in today’s homes.
2018 Bathroom Storage Trends:
38. Absent Medicine Cabinets
Medicine cabinets used to be considered essential in the bathroom; nowadays, they’re optional. Some homeowners are choosing not to install medicine cabinets.
39. Open Shelving
Open shelving is a carryover bathroom trend that still appears to be going strong as of early 2018. It’s chic and trendy to roll up soft, colorful, sumptuous bath towels and display them on open shelves in the bathroom. However, there are plenty of other things you can put on those open shelves if you prefer.
40. Bathroom Vanities With Open Shelving
Lately we’ve been seeing some bathroom vanities that feature open shelving.
We’ve admired these sleek, contemporary designs on the Internet and on the pages of our favorite magazines. However, this is a trend we recommend considering carefully before you jump on it. While this is a style that can look fresh and original, it also has its downsides.
Think about it.
What are you storing in the cabinets of your bathroom vanity? Maybe you have cleaning products down there, plus a bunch of soap and a big package of toilet paper — among other things.
Do you really want to put all that stuff on display? How much time in your schedule do you have for arranging your toiletries and cleaners in artistic vignettes suitable for the eyes of everyone who might freshen up in your bathroom? And are you up for dusting everything on your shelves if you happen to live in a construction zone?
For some of you, open shelving could be a good motivator to declutter and keep your shelves clean. But for those of you who don’t keep on top of the housekeeping, ask yourself whether open shelving will realistically be a motivator or a future embarrassment for you, and plan accordingly.
Our opinion: We think it’s a good idea to have some open shelving at eye level in the bathroom, but to reserve some behind-closed-doors space too.
Baskets have been popular bathroom accents for quite awhile now, and they’re still of interest for bathroom storage in 2018.
See Also: DIY baskets
For items that you want to have easily accessible on the bathroom counter: Trays are helpful for organizing them and making them look like a deliberate part of the décor rather than things you forgot to put away.
2018 Bathroom Toilet Trends
43. Water-Saving Toilets
If you’re remodeling and you also want to save money on future water bills, water-efficient and cost-saving solutions such as low-flow and dual-flow toilets toilets are worth considering. They’re currently in high demand among earth-conscious and cost-conscious consumers.
Bidets are being installed in a small but growing number of new home builds. Last year, new home builders installed bidets in 7 percent of their projects, vs only 6 percent the previous year.
2018 Bathroom Lighting Trends
45. LED Lighting
LED lighting is in demand in the bathroom, in cabinets and just about everywhere else in the home.
See Also: Lighting Trends for 2018
Bathroom Walls in 2018
Painted walls have been the dominant trend all over the house in recent years, including in the bathroom. This has been the case for both new home builds and home remodeling projects. While most homeowners are still painting their walls in 2018, we’re seeing a couple of emerging trends that are worth noting:
46. Wooden Planks on the Bathroom Walls: Reclaimed Barn Wood or Shiplap Walls in the Bathroom
An emerging trend: Wooden planks in various forms are making appearances in many areas of the home, including the bathroom. We’ve been hearing a lot about both reclaimed barn wood planks and shiplap lately.
HGTV home improvement show celebrities Chip and Joanna Gaines have incorporated shiplap material into their renovation projects. Their casual, appealing room designs have caught on with homeowners, sparking a trend that includes both real shiplap and cheaper imitations of it.
In the purest, most original sense of the word, “shiplap” refers to boards that have rabbet joins cut into them to make them align in such a way that water cannot easily penetrate the join. The join isn’t visible once installation has been complete, so an installation of shiplap tends to resemble simple horizontal strips of wood paneling.
Homeowners of old homes located in coastal areas often find genuine shiplap hidden beneath layers of wallpaper and drywall when they renovate their homes.
All the recent attention has stimulated demand for this material even in homes that are not older and not located in coastal areas. The bathroom is one place we’re seeing frequent demand for it. If you’re interested in trying this look in your own home without committing to a huge investment in materials, the bathroom is a logical place to try it out.
47. Wallpapered Bathrooms.
After a long period of being completely out of style, wallpaper is chic once again. We’re seeing trendsetters at the upper end of the market once again wallpapering their bathroom walls as well as other walls in their homes.
48. Low VOC Paints and Stains
Amongst those who are still painting their bathrooms, there’s a trend towards wanting healthier paints, stains and painting accessories to use for doing the job.
Other Miscellaneous 2018 Bathroom Trends
49. Dramatic Mirrors
Geometric shapes are trending up in rooms all over the home, including the bathroom. The bathroom mirror is a great place to introduce shapes other than simple squares or rectangles. A round or oval mirror can make a dramatic statement in the bathroom. In general, any out-of-the-ordinary mirror makes a fantastic addition to an on-trend bathroom in 2018.
50. Anti-Fog Bathroom Mirrors
Foggy bathroom mirrors are an annoyance you no longer have to put up with, thanks to the availability of anti-fog bathroom mirrors.
2018’s Trendiest Bathroom Styles
51. Transitional Style Bathrooms
As of early 2017, the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) had posted a press release declaring that transitional was one of the two most popular bathroom style their members were installing in bathroom remodels and new home builds. Transitional style had overtaken traditional style in the bathroom, a trend that we expect to see continuing in 2018.
52. Contemporary Style Bathrooms
Contemporary style was the other most important bathroom style that NKBA members reported installing as of 2017.
53. Farmhouse Style Bathrooms
Farmhouse style is a new take on country style. It incorporates elements of traditional, contemporary and country styles to create a unique new look that’s perfect for today’s farmhouses and homesteads.
54. Traditional Style Bathrooms Waning in Importance, But Still Relevant
Contemporary and transitional style bathrooms are the reigning favorites among the affluent and trendy set. Traditional bathrooms, while not as popular overall, still have their fair share of interest too. Manufacturers continue to develop traditional bathroom elements, and they continue to sell well.
Delta Faucet’s new Woodhurst collection is one example of a classically styled product collection that could work well in traditional bathrooms.
In a recent press release, Carol Anne Kemper, Delta’s product manager, provided some more details about the Woodhurst collection, while also weighing in on the status of traditional design elements in the bathroom. She said,
“While transitional designs have been the main style preference for the past several years, elegant, classic styles continue to remain in high demand…The Woodhurst collection blends both styles together to create a refined collection that appeals to a wide range of builders and homeowners at a competitive price point,”
55. Shaker Style Bathrooms
Shaker style is an offshoot of the transitional style, with an emphasis on clean lines and simplicity. Often, Shaker style designs prominently feature natural wood elements. A lack of unnecessary ostentation is characteristic of the style.
As of early 2017, the NKBA was reporting that the Shaker style trend had gained enough traction with its members that demand for the style was actually approaching the level of demand for traditional style. We expect to see Shaker style bathrooms remain relevant in 2018.
56. Mid-Century Modern Style Bathrooms
Mid-century modern style has been popular since the middle of last century, and there’s been at least some demand for mid-century modern style bathrooms ever since. We can’t imagine that changing much in 2018, although mid-century styled bathrooms are more of a niche than a mainstream trend at this point.
57. Art Deco Style Bathrooms
Art deco style was a top design trend in the 1920s and 1930s. Art deco briefly cycled into popularity again in the 1970s. While it has never totally disappeared since its original introduction, it also hasn’t been seen as a major design influence in bathrooms — until lately. Some top trendsetters are reviving the art deco style in their homes, and the bathroom is one area that’s being influenced by the trend.
This is an emerging, niche trend. We think it’s unlikely to gain major mainstream traction in 2018, but it’s a totally relevant style to consider incorporating ito your home if you’re renovating a older building from the original art deco heyday — or even possibly a building from the 1970s era of art deco revival.
58. Asian Fusion Style
As of early 2017, the NKBA had reported that “Asian Fusion” was a niche emerging style their members had been installing in significant numbers of bathrooms. This is a minimalist style that blends design elements from the Far East with western design styles for a fusion that is truly unique, functional and appealing. While this trend will probably not go mainstream in 2018, it’s an interesting style to consider implementing in your home if it’s one that appeals to you.
Bathroom Trends to Avoid in 2018
While the section header above clearly says “bathroom trends to avoid in 2018,” I’d like to make a quick clarification before proceeding. I used that heading because it’s a phrase that many people search for. However, I want to clarify that I think the following items are ones you might want to consider avoiding, based ONLY on the fact that our industry sources have reported these items have recently declined in popularity or market share.
I don’t, however, believe in just blindly following trends. It’s also possible that a recent downward trend may have just been a temporary negative blip on a mostly upward trajectory; we’ll only know this in hindsight at some point in the future.
I also believe you may have a broad variety of perfectly valid reasons for wanting to install any of the items on this “trends to avoid” list in your bathroom. So with all that in mind, please use your own good judgment and common sense when evaluating this list. If one of these items is one you LOVE and really want in your home, it would be pretty silly for you to avoid buying it just because of its presence on this list.
If you’re renovating your home because you want to sell it soon, we’d advise you to discuss the list of “trends to avoid” with your real estate agent before taking any action in your home, because your agent is likely to be able to provide insights about the top trends in your local neighborhood. Regional trends in your area may be different than the ones noted here.
If you DO decide to purchase an item on this list, please don’t overpay for it; try to find it on sale if at all possible.
Okay, let’s move on to our discussion of the bathroom elements that have declined in popularity over the course of the past year or more. Consumers are losing interest in the following bathroom elements:
59. Jetted Tubs Are Declining in Popularity
As of 2015, new home builders were installing jetted bathtubs in about 15 percent of the new homes they worked on. In 2016, that percentage had fallen to only 11 percent. We haven’t yet located any sales statistics for 2017, but will update this post if we find them. However, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the numbers decline even further in 2018.
60. Bathtub Surrounds Are Trending Down
If bathtubs are beginning to vanish from significant numbers of bathrooms, it only makes sense that bathtub surrounds are also declining in popularity.
Surprisingly, even the natural stone bathtub surrounds that were so popular in the recent past made the list of bathroom elements that are trending down right now. Experts at Home Innovation are reporting that installations of shower and bathtub surrounds built from natural granite and marble declined to 9 percent of the market last year. They had previously commanded 12 percent of the total market share.
Incidentally, this is one of those items where I’d advise thinking carefully about your lifestyle before you blindly follow the trend and get rid of your bathtub surround. In a bathroom where you bathe exuberant toddlers or the family dog, having a surround simply makes sense, even if it looks a little outdated.
61. High-End Granite Sinks Are in Decline
There’s still plenty of interest in granite sinks, but they saw an overall decline in market share year over year. This is a trend that is unlikely to reverse itself, as high-end home buyers are also showing signs of losing interest in the granite vanity tops that complement those sinks.
62. High-End Enameled Cast Iron Sinks Have Declined in Popularity
Even at the luxury end of the market, home buyers have become surprisingly cost conscious in certain areas — in particular, their choices of bathroom sinks. Over the course of the past couple of years, we’ve witnessed a decline in the popularity of the highest-end sinks in favor of mid-range and lower-priced options. The mid-range priced enameled steel sinks that are currently available serve the same basic function as the higher-end cast iron sinks, while helping to keep building costs at bay.
63. Significant but Falling Demand for One-Piece Cultured Marble Sinks and Countertops
In new homes, builders have seen a decline in interest in one-piece cultured marble sinks and countertops; installations fell to 18 percent last year from 24 percent the previous year.
So there you have it; our list of the top 63 bathroom trends for 2018, plus a list of trends to avoid (or at least consider avoiding) due to falling demand for those items. We invite you to make good use of this list, whether you are remodeling your bathroom this year, creating a home spa from scratch, building a new home or just freshening up a few details in your bathroom.
Want to be alerted when we update this page with new findings, or we publish new trend reports and other content? If so, we invite you to subscribe to our newsletter. Thanks so much for your interest!
- At the Farnsworth Group Website — “Healthy Home” Could Be the Next Big Housing Trend
- At the World Counts Website — Totally Alarming Cotton Pesticide Statistics
- At the Panda.Org Website — Cotton: A Water Wasting Crop
- At the Rodale Institute Website — Chemical Cotton
- At the StackExchange Website — Does organic cotton use less water than conventional cotton?
- At Janice Person’s Website — Cotton Facts
- At the Home Innovation Website — Trends and Opportunities in the U.S. Building Materials Market: 2018 International Builders’ Show
- At the Home Innovation Website — Market for Building Materials: Moving Towards the Middle?
- At the National Association of Home Builders Website — Economic Panel Predicts Housing Will Continue to Gain Ground in 2018
- At the National Association of Home Builders Website — Builder Confidence Stays at a Strong Level in February
- At the National Association of Home Builders Website — Residential Remodeling Spending Trending Up
- At the National Association of Home Builders Website — Housing Affordability Remains Flat in 2017
- At the National Association of Home Builders Website — Potential Home Buyers Sidelined by Availability, Affordability; Homeowners Stay Put and Renovate Instead, Surveys Show
- At the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University — State of the Nation’s Housing chapter 1 and chapter 6.
- At the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University — Remodeling Market to March Higher in 2018
- At the National Kitchen and Bath Association Website — More Homeowners Turning to Contemporary-Styled Bathrooms, According to NKBA Research , originally posted at https://nkba.org/Press/Releases/2017-press-releases/more-homeowners-turning-to-contemporary-styled-bathrooms-according-to-nkba-research and now apparently unavailable
- At the Architect Magazine Website — AIA: Strong Demand for Design Services in January
- At the Architectural Digest Website — Kitchen and Bath Trends in 2018
- At the Remi Network Website — Tile Trends: Bigger Is Better
- At the Realtor.com Website — Pantone 2018 Trends
- At the Delta Faucet Website — 9 Reasons to Float Your Vanity and The Woodhurst Bath Collection
- At the Craftsman Blog — No, Joanna, That’s Not Shiplap
- At the Apartment TherapyWebsite — The Surprising Feature Being Ditched in Bathroom Remodels
- At the Apartment TherapyWebsite — Tile Trends to Watch Out for in 2018
- At the US News Website — Rose Gold’s Days Are Over
- At the Trade Winds Import Website — Vitreous China vs. Porcelain
- At the Kitchen and Bath Trends Website — Vitreous China and Porcelain: What’s the Difference?
- At the Custom Home Online Website — Nostalgic Warehouse Revisits White Milk Glass Hardware
- At the Brizo Website — Brizo Levoir Collection, New at the Kitchen and Bath International Show
- At the Moen Website — The New Brushed Gold Finish From Moen
- At the Jennings and Company Website — A reprint of the Decorative Trends and New Products sections of the September 2017 issue of The Wholesaler: News of Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Industrial PVF Magazine.
- At the Decorative Plumbing and Hardware Association Website — News
More Top Interior Design Trends for 2018:
- 2018 Kitchen Trends
- Residential Interior Flooring Trends for 2018
- Top 2018 Paint and Color Trends
- Green Design Trends for 2018 and the Future Beyond
- Top Trends in Entry Doors for 2018
- Traditional Decor Trends
This page was last updated on 8-3-2019.