Bathroom remodeling remains one of the most common home improvement projects, and there’s no end in design possibilities. These remodels can include knocking out walls to create more space. We find bigger bathrooms with the new homes being built. Similarly, bathroom design is about maximizing the use of that space. If your bathroom hasn’t been updated in a while, you may be surprised to find there’s a whole new array of choices. Today’s bathrooms are no longer utilitarian, but a showroom of their own.
Many bathroom trends get their introduction in upscale public restrooms, especially restaurants.Nowhere is this truer than trends in bathroom sinks. The vessel sink can trace its popularity into the residential bathroom from restaurants. The vessel sink sits above the bathroom countertop, can be made from almost any material, and offer unique decorating possibilities prohibited by traditional sink design.
Electronic faucets are also making their way into the residential bathrooms. Almost everybody has seen and used one of these. For cleanliness, convenience, and efficient water usage, the electronic faucet is becoming the faucet of choice. These advantages make the faucet more than just a fad; it has definitive, practical benefits.
Every family has their own preferences and needs for a shower type, but everybody wants to have a quality shower experience every time. Double shower heads can maximize space and give you a total shower experience that won’t leave half your body still freezing when you enter the shower. Two-person showers and separate shower and tub installations are also becoming increasingly popular for large bathrooms.
Hide the toilet
A master bath that’s stylish and functional can also be discreet. That’s why it’s nice to hide this fixture away, either in its own “room-within-the-room” or behind a half wall. A piece of furniture— an armoire or dresser, say—can create the necessary barrier without the expense of a framed wall.
Porcelain is a popular option for sinks. Enamel-on-steel sinks are becoming more popular for use in bathrooms. Solid-surface sinks are another durable option that allows the sink to be integrated with the vanity countertop and, if you like, the adjoining cove or backsplash.
When it comes to the countertop, granite and quartz have migrated from the kitchen into the bathroom, where they deliver the same durability and visual interest. Laminate and solid surface are still popular as well, and can be cost-effective options, though both scratch easily. See our countertop Ratings for full details.
It becomes more common to create larger showers by using the space of a tub.
Shower heads, toilets, and faucets have all become more water-efficient in recent years, thanks to the Environmental Protection Agency’s voluntary Water Sense program, which labels products that are 20 percent more efficient than federal standards.
As for toilets, several Water Sense-qualified models that use just 1.28 gallons per flush are becoming popular. This could save the average family of four 16,000 gallons of water and more than $100 per year if they’re replacing older, inefficient toilets, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Choosing a faucet with an aerator can reduce the water flow in your bathroom sink by 30 percent or more.
Since grooming is the main task at the vanity, it is important to have plenty of surface area to put things down. While the his-and-her double sink configuration has been popular in the past, it often makes sense to have a single sink and more counter space.
Provide adequate ventilation and light. Moisture not only breeds mold and mildew, it can take a toll on finishes and painted surfaces. A bathroom fan is the best defense. Guidelines from the National Kitchen and Bath Association call for a ducted system that’s at least 50 cubic feet per minute, though you may need twice as much ventilation if the space is larger than 100 square feet or if you plan to install a steam shower. Consider a humidity-sensing unit that will automatically turn on and off depending on the amount of moisture in the air.
As for lighting, the goal is to bring different layers of illumination into the room. A ceiling fixture is suitable for general lighting, but it will cast shadows on your face when you’re seated at the vanity. That is why you will also want sconces or other vertical fixtures mounted on either side of the vanity. The shower and toilet should also have a light, such as a recessed canister light.
Consider fixtures that use LED bulbs. Many provided bright, even illumination in our light bulb tests with the promise of 50,000 hours, though they do cost more. Remember to put the fixtures on dimmer switches so that light levels can be adjusted depending on the mood and task at hand.