What's Trending in Bathroom Design?

A sleek modern bathroom with a hand towel and soap on a vanity.

If you are looking to add value to your home, the bathroom is one of the top places to start. Experts agree that kitchen and bathroom renovations are where you get the biggest bang for your buck. Don't have time or money for a remodel? Even small updates can equal a big return. Following are five ideas on what’s trending in bathroom design that will add value to your home and keep it up-to-date.

Water-saving Fixtures

Water-efficient faucets, showerheads, and toilets are another inexpensive bathroom fix. If you are looking to replace your faucet or vanity, look for a low-flow faucet. If your faucet is in good shape, you can purchase a low-flow aerator. Just make sure that it fits your existing faucet. Either way, you’ll save money on your water bill.

If you replace your showerhead with a water-efficient one, you can reduce your water usage by up to 5 gallons per minute. Showerheads made before 1980 use 5 gallons of water per minute (GPM) or more. Today’s showerheads use 2.5 gallons of water per minute. This is a maximum GPM set by the Energy Policy Act in the United States. If you are looking to save even more water, low-flow showerheads can be found with a GPM that is less than the 2.5 maximum.

Time to replace your toilet? Look for a low-flow model. Toilets are one of the biggest water wasters in the home. Older toilets use 3 to 7 gallons of water to flush. Low-flow models start at 1.6 gallons and can go as low as 1.28 gallons per flush. That’s a lot of water saved, especially if you live in an area where there are water restrictions.

Open Shelving

A set of rolled bathroom towels on a glass shelf.

An easy bathroom fix is to add open shelving. Fluffy, rolled up, hotel-like towels are on-trend and open shelving allows an easy way to display them (and frees up space in your linen closet). Decorative baskets and other storage containers are also super trendy and can be used to store items that you don’t want visible, such as hair styling tools or extra shower products.

If you have a little extra time and money in your budget, another big trend in bathroom design is a floating vanity with open shelving. Floating vanities are perfect for modern bathrooms because they are sleek and make the room look larger (not to mention make cleaning easier).

Just keep in mind that open shelving means visibility. So, think about what you store in your bathroom and whether open shelving is right for you. Will you be able to keep it looking nice? If nothing else, it will force you to be organized!

No-threshold Showers

A modern bathroom.

If you are considering a full bathroom remodel, think long and hard about that built-in tub. Some design-savvy individuals are opting for eliminating their built-in tub for a large no-threshold shower. These showers offer a safer shower experience for those looking to implement universal design into their home. They can also be equipped with numerous showerheads and even a steam option. As far as design goes, the tile options are endless.

High-tech Bathrooms

Technology has come a long way when it comes to bathroom design. Today, you can purchase a medicine cabinet that includes refrigeration for medications and other items that need to stay cool. Don’t need a refrigerated medicine cabinet? You can purchase one that has a mirrored door with a wide-screen, LCD TV built-in instead.

Looking for a full spa experience? You can build a full shower system that allows you to play music, set your water temperature, and adjust your water pressure, all from an LCD panel. Or, consider a high-tech toilet that has a heated seat, deodorizing system, bidet with adjustable controls, built-in speaker with a docking station, and opens and closes on its own.

Freestanding Tubs

A white bathroom with a freestanding tub.

If you don’t want to give up your tub, freestanding soaking tubs are currently trending in bathroom design. They are perfect for a luxurious bath or for bathing young children. If you have space, a freestanding tub can be the highlight of your bathroom. They also offer more flexibility than standard tub/shower combos, as they come in a variety of sizes, colors, materials, and styles.

Whether your bathroom is big or small, remember that even minor updates can have a major impact.