2024 Bath Trend Report from NKBA

Published: December 12, 2023

In its 2024 Bath Trend Report, NKBA presents the trends that will dominate bath design for the next few years. One thing for sure is that many aspects of the primary bath are changing. Clients continue to want spaces that are an oasis, with personalized touches and seamless integrated technologies. Read on for more insight into what lies ahead for the future of bath design.

1. A Relaxed Retreat for Quieting the Mind. Expect to see organic/natural design themes that connect to nature and the layering of warmer whites, earthy greens and wood tones. Bath spaces are also becoming more spa-like. They will feature more blues and greens, mixed with textures such as natural woods to create a spa or coastal beach atmosphere. In addition, they will feature large showers, wet rooms with steam, body jets and sprays, touch pad controls and more.

2. The Continued Rise of Personalized, Integrated Technology. This 2024 bath trend will translate into customized experiences with smart showers, toilets and mirrors, floor temperatures, individualized vanities with integrated outlets and app/keypad controls for water. Additionally, customizations will include living in place features such as zero-transition showers, grab bars and easy-to-use faucets.

3. A Minimalist, Simple, Clean Design for Easy Maintenance. Contemporary, modern and mid-century designs will be a good choice for this emerging trend and will include large-format tile/slab designs in showers and tub surrounds, clean lines and more. However, there will be pops of color and contrast using tile, wallpaper, paint and statement vanities.

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4. An Increased Focus on Sustainability in the Bath. Designs will include separate shower controls to adjust water flow and pressure, VOC-free paint and stains, 100% LED lighting, EPA Water Sense low-flow toilets and faucets, electric radiant flooring and flooring made with recycled materials, large high-performance low-E windows and doors and alternative energy-efficient water heaters.

5. Vanities & Tubs Become the Focal Point for the Bath. Freestanding and soaking units will be the most popular types of bathtubs, with oval shapes being the most prominent. Vanities will trend toward stone countertops such as marble or marble-like surfaces that extend into bath backsplashes, making them easy to clean. Additionally, vanities will be more practical and organized than ever, with integrated power outlets and customized solutions such as individual storage units containing drawer dividers or partitions.

6. Size Matters. To maximize space and/or design, some will remove bathtubs to increase shower size, others will take down walls to increase the primary bath footprint, some will connect the bath to the closet/dressing area, and others will provide a separate enclosure for the toilet. Space allowing, the most popular designs will have a separate shower and a separate tub. Incorporating a separate tub adds luxury and serves as a standalone design feature. Having both a shower and tub is considered essential in the luxury bath space – only a shower is popular when the client isn’t a tub user or space is limited.

7. Trending for Toilets. The comfort-height toilet is the new standard for primary baths. This toilet type meets ADA standards and embodies universal design. Smart toilets will be popular, including those that self-clean after every flush (the most in-demand smart feature), warm the seat and open and close the lid automatically. Many bath spaces will also include water-conserving toilets and smart bidet seats – as well as water closets, both with and without doors.

8. Grout be Gone. There will be small or no grout lines at all in bath flooring, with popular designs including patterned and textured tiles. This design trend is a combination of the practical and the aesthetic. It will minimize upkeep and cleaning and improve usability for living in place, while blending seamlessly or even invisibly into the overall bath design. The most popular flooring materials will be ceramic and porcelain tile, followed by luxury vinyl wood plank and luxury vinyl tile. As for flooring styles, these will include large-format, plank and patterned mosaic surfaces such as hex, chevron or herringbone, and the most popular colors and tones will be warm neutrals, muted earth tones and wood tones.

9. Let There be Light. Most homeowners are adding windows, doors and/or skylights for more natural light. Additionally, windows looking out onto nature will bring the outdoors in, making the bath space even more of a relaxing oasis. Lighting trends to anticipate include 100% LED lighting becoming the standard, with other popular solutions including task lighting for different functional needs, decorative and statement lighting in primary baths, accent/ambiance lighting with sconces and recessed lights, customizable presets for mood lighting varying by time of day, lighting in mirrors and medicine cabinets and floor/path nighttime lighting for safety and aesthetics. Additionally, lighting controls will be in demand, such as motion-sensor lighting, programmable settings, locally placed switchers and dimmers and mobile device-connected lighting.

10. The Biggest Upcoming Bath Trend Is Integrated Technology. The second-biggest 2024 bath trend will be backlit mirrors, followed by wood and other natural materials and next by textured tiles and wall coverings. On the way out are Hollywood lighting, glass blocks, all-white bath spaces and vessel sinks.

—By Elisa Fernández-Arias, NKBA business writer

Photo credit: Design by Nancy Finneson, CKBD; photo by Tammy Dwight

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