Are you wondering about the hot bathroom trends for 2016? 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 bathroom trends for 2016. 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 2016’s top bathroom trends:
Residential architects are reporting strong demand for bathroom remodeling in 2016. That itself is an important trend; it’s a carryover trend from previous years, as many homeowners remodeled bathrooms in 2014 and 2015. In fact, many 2016 remodeling projects were originally scheduled in 2015, and a number of architects have said that “postponed projects” played a significant role in driving the demand for their services.
According to the National Association of Home Builders, new home buyers are returning to the market, and there has been an upswing in new home sales as of August 2015. Everyone is hoping that this will turn out to be a long term developing trend and not just a quick blip on the radar.
Either way, there are quite a few consumers who are interested in bathroom décor at the moment, between those who are buying new homes and those who are remodeling or redecorating existing homes.
Consumers are interested in the following bathroom elements for 2016:
1. 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 were already aware of trough sinks as of late 2015, but we expect to see more mainstream interest in the trend in 2016.
2. Shower Seats
In the past, showers were designed for use by people in the upright standing position. Lately we’ve seen an innovative new trend that is likely to pick up steam in 2016: 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…
3. Grab Bars for the Shower
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.
4. Accessible Showers
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.
5. Square Shaped Fixtures and Showerheads
Squares, almost-squares and angular shaped 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.
6. Freestanding Tubs With Tub Fillers
Built-in bathtubs are declining in popularity. Some are abandoning bathtubs all together in favor of walk-in showers. For those who don’t want to give up their bathtubs, freestanding soaking tubs are the preferred bathtub of choice among 2016’s trendsetters.
When you’re initially designing your bathroom layout, freestanding tubs offer a lot of flexibility in their placement. Interestingly, some people are choosing to put their freestanding tubs inside their shower areas.
7. Open Shelving
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.
8. 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.
9. Water Efficient Bathroom Faucets, Showerheads, Fixtures and Elements
Bathroom remodeling is trendy at the moment, and many homeowners are redoing their bathrooms to make improvements.
Rising water bills and increasing water supply concerns are unwelcome trends in many American neighborhoods. This is particularly true in California, where historic drought conditions have brought about alarming decreases in the available fresh water supply.
Taken together, these two broader trends help to explain the current necessity for solutions such as low flow toilets, water efficient showerheads and water saving bathroom faucets. If you’re remodeling and you also want to save money on future water bills, these sorts of water efficient bathroom elements are no-brainer purchases. They are particularly necessary in drought-ridden areas in the American southwest but can make a significant difference to homeowners anywhere.
10. Undermount Sinks
Undermount sinks are still going strong for 2016. This is a carryover trend that’s been around awhile, as these were also popular in 2014 and 2015.
11. Steam Showers
Steam showers are of current interest for installation in 2016 bathrooms.
12. Heated Floors
Bathroom floors are notoriously cold, but they don’t have to be. The solution: electric heated floors. These are currently being installed in rooms besides just the bathroom, but they are particularly popular in the bathroom due to their ability to help dry out moisture and humidity that results from bathing and showering.
13. 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.
14. 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.
15. 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 2016 progresses and in the years ahead.
Trendy Bathroom Colors
16. White Bathrooms Are Trendy in 2016
White is one of the top bathroom colors for 2016. White bathroom fixtures are in strong demand, as are white bathroom tiles and bath accessories as well. White is an outstanding color to use in your bathroom no matter what your style, whether it’s modern, contemporary, traditional or transitional.
17. Gray Bathrooms Are Trendy in 2016
Gray has been a trendy color for the past few years, and it’s still going strong for 2016.
Gray and white is a popular color combination for 2016 bathrooms.
If plain gray or a combination of gray and white doesn’t excite you much, remember that gray can take on any other color as an undertone. As a result, if you’re careful in contemplating the undertones of the specific paint colors you’ll be using in your color scheme, you can combine gray with just about any other color you might want to use in your bathroom. For example, we’ve been seeing a lot of gray and turquoise combinations around; this works because the grays being used are greenish-bluish-grays that complement the turquoise perfectly.
18. Black and White Bathrooms Are Trendy in 2016
Black and white makes a strong statement for 2016 bathrooms. In particular, trendsetters are doing interesting things with black and white bathroom tile. Black, gray and white is another interesting color combination we’ve been seeing a lot of.
19. Purple, Mauve, Lilac and Lavender Bath Accessories
Various shades of purple and lavender are fresh accent colors people are using to decorate their powder rooms, master bathrooms and guest bathrooms. If you’re feeling particularly daring, you could consider painting all or part of a bathroom in a shade of purple. A pale purplish gray is a safe color choice, and you could pair it with accents in mulberry, lilac or purple wine colors.
20. Beige is in Decline for Bathrooms in 2016
Looking back at past decades, beige used to be a reigning trendy color choice in the bathroom. Beige hasn’t died; there are significant numbers of people who are still decorating their bathrooms with this color. However, it’s a color choice that can look dated if you aren’t careful.
If you have your heart set on a beige bathroom, or you are stuck with beige fixtures that you aren’t going to replace at this time, we recommend being thoughtful in your overall color selections. You can pair the beige with other trendy colors such as gray and taupe for an updated appearance, and select some trendy new bath accessories to match; the result will be an overall look that’s fresh and current.
2016’s Trendiest Bathroom Styles
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.
Trendy Finishes for Bathroom Faucets, Fixtures and Hardware
There are a number of finishes that are currently popular for use in bathroom faucets, hardware, fixtures and elements. A few of our favorites include brushed nickel, polished chrome, satin nickel, and rose gold.
So those are our findings when it comes to the top bathroom trends of 2016. Happy decorating!
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- At the National Association of the Remodeling Industry Website— Remodeling Continues Its Growth Driven by Pent-Up Demand
- At the National Association of Home Builders Website— New Home Sales Rise 5.7% in August
- At the National Kitchen and Bath Association Website— Contemporary Spa Bathrooms
- At the American Institute of Architects Website— AIA Home Design Trends Survey Q1 and AIA Home Design Trends Survey Q2
- At the American Standard Website — Luxurious Ambience and Smart Features Showcased With New Contemporary Tub Fillers
- At the Moen.com Website: Moen Introduces Collection of Freestanding Tub-Filler Faucets
- At the Decorative Plumbing and Hardware Association Website — New Products
- At the Indiegogo Website— Shock the Drought With Evadrop Smart Shower
- At the Houzz Website— Convert Your Tub Space to a Shower
- At the Houzz Website— Why to Put Your Tub in the Shower
- At the Houzz Website— Bathtubs in Rejuvenating Settings
- At the Kohler Website— Kohler Joins Connect the Drops California Water Conservation Campaign