2014 Bathroom Trends – Top Ten Bathroom Trends For The New Year

Many of the most significant 2014 bathroom trends are ones that might sound a little familiar, as many have been gaining traction for the last few years. That said, many suggested features of yesteryear have become major must-haves for any large scale remodel in 2014, while some trends – like the move toward more open, spa-like bathrooms – have continued to evolve in interesting ways. To bring you up to speed, we’ve got a list of the top ten bathroom trends for 2014.

Black, White, Gray, And Other Neutrals

Marbore Extra Large Bath Tile From Keraben
Matte finished gray tiles combine the relaxed feel of neutrals with a slightly more modern look

Bright, bold, intense colors are trending in many rooms in the home this year, but bathrooms are really the big exception. While the classic white-on-white bathroom is starting to fall somewhat out of favor, other neutrals are very much in, including black and gray. High contrast black and white bathrooms with a chic, glamorous look (including patterned wallpaper and lots of fabric accents) are popular in the guest bathroom, while a softer grayscale look, mixing matte finished tile and subdued blue-gray concrete tones are more popular in the master bath.

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Japanese Inspired Design

Asian inspired bathrooms combine lots of light wood, warm neutrals, and a few live plants to bring a little nature into the bathroom
Asian inspired bathrooms combine lots of light wood, warm neutrals, and a few live plants to bring a little nature into the bathroom

Warmer neutrals, like beige stone and light finished wood or bamboo will also be quite common in 2014 as part of the larger trend toward more open, spa-like spaces. Asian inspired bathrooms are shaping up to be especially popular, combining the sleek, simple lines of a minimalist modern design with a warm, relaxing touch of nature reminiscent of high end spas. Look to keep bathroom fixtures simple and relatively spare, opting for wide open spaces, lots of natural light, and a few live plants like orchids or bamboo.

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Wood And Glass

Adding wood elements to a bathroom makes it look and feel warmer
Adding wood elements to a bathroom makes it look and feel warmer, while frameless glass shower doors and windows make the space brighter and more open

Keeping in line with 2014 bathroom trends toward more natural, relaxed, spa like spaces, wood is starting to become a more prominent feature in bathroom design – and I’m not just talking the bathroom vanity. Wood floors, wood shower floors, barn beams, and unpainted wood paneled walls are all highly desirable features this year and give a bathroom that warm, earthy, slightly rustic quality that homeowners are really looking for. Glass is just as popular as it was last year, if not moreso: frameless shower doors, big windows, and single-sheet backpainted glass tile all contribute to a bathroom looking bright, open, airy, and just a little bit modern.

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Water Saving Features

Saving water means saving money, and with better technology, switching to low-flow and water-saving fixtures no longer means sacrificing functionality
Saving water means saving money, and with better technology, switching to low-flow fixtures no longer means sacrificing functionality

Maybe the most important 2014 bathroom trend is one that’s been picking up speed for years: the switch to more water efficient fixtures. This is one trend that isn’t going anywhere, and has less to do with design and more to do with an overall shift in the way people think about their homes and environmental footprints. Water saving fixtures of all kinds are more efficient and more effective than ever, from aerated shower heads and automatic faucets to low-flow, dual-flush toilets. It’s worth noting that a bathroom fully equipped with WaterSense rated fixtures is fast becoming a must have rather than a perk, and skipping these features could wind up counting against your resale value.

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Showers, Showers, Showers

Barrier-free showers make for a totally uninterrupted bathroom that looks and feels much larger
Barrier-free showers make for a totally uninterrupted bathroom that looks and feels much larger

Showers will continue to reign supreme in 2014, and are only getting larger and more elaborate. Custom showers with multiple shower heads that put out lots of water are still a popular luxury option, but slightly more eco-friendly steam showers are starting to gain an edge, both for their spa-like high tech luxury and their lower operating cost. Generally speaking, showers are becoming more open as well, using frameless glass shower doors (or even totally barrier free showers with no shower doors at all) to create that relaxed, wide-open spa like feel. Curbless showers are gaining in popularity, too, as is using the same tile in the shower as in the main bathroom, both of which can really help open up and unify the space.

Stylish Freestanding Bathtubs

Shapely, statuesque freestanding bathtubs make a gorgeous centerpiece for a large master bathroom, and are more convenient to use and maintain than whirlpool tubs
Shapely, statuesque freestanding bathtubs make a gorgeous centerpiece for a large master bathroom, and are more convenient to use and maintain than whirlpool tubs

Whirlpool bathtubs continue to lose popularity in 2014, falling dramatically out of favor as spa-style showers move to the fore. But while some homeowners are dismissing bathtubs entirely in favor of larger and larger showers, many more are turning to freestanding bathtubs instead. These are large enough for a long, luxurious soak (but not quite as big or water-consuming as a whirlpool), but maybe more importantly they have a beautiful sculptural quality that makes them work well as a centerpiece in the bathroom. Classic clawfoots and more modern freestanding tubs are equally popular as a focal point of a large bathroom (even if they won’t actually be used that often).

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Custom Storage And Lighting

Custom built storage will make any size bathroom more usable, while the right lighting will make it feel brighter and more open and inviting (by Best Builders ltd, photo by Ema Peters)
Custom built storage will make any size bathroom more usable, while the right lighting will make it feel brighter and more open and inviting (by Best Builders ltd, photo by Ema Peters)

Another major 2014 bathroom trend is simply the increased prevalence of customized practical features like storage and lighting. It’s becoming much more common (and to a certain extent, expected) for bathrooms to have intelligent storage features that go above and beyond what you’d find from a big box retailer. Features like recessed niche shelves, pull out drawers designed to store specific items, cold or warm storage, vanities with electric or USB hookups or stereo speakers, built in night lights, and multiple designer lighting fixtures all make a bathroom more beautiful and more usable, and can be a major selling point for buyers.

Double Bathroom Vanities

Having two sinks in a master bathroom is crucial to keeping the peace, even if you don't use the bathroom at the same time, so do your best to get two, whether that means having one large vanity or two smaller ones
Having two sinks in a master bathroom is crucial to keeping the peace, even if you don’t use the bathroom at the same time, so do your best to get two, whether that means having one large vanity or two smaller ones

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This one is simple: if you’re remodeling a master bathroom and you only have one sink, you should probably add a second one. Even in a smaller master bathroom, finding a way to squeeze in a second sink – whether it’s in the form of a double vanity or two smaller matching sinks or vanities – is a really desirable feature, as long as it won’t totally crowd the space. While having a sectioned off commode for added privacy is still a relatively niche option, almost all couples would prefer to have a little personal space at the sink that doesn’t have to be shared.

Wall Mounted Toilets

Wall mounted toilets offer a clean, streamlined look and can help save space in a smaller bathroom
Wall mounted toilets offer a clean, streamlined look and can help save space in a smaller bathroom

It’s worth mentioning that wall mounted toilets are really starting to catch on. If low flow and dual flush toilets are a must have, wall mounted toilets are a nice little optional upgrade – a way to add a little extra style and save a little space. The tanks of wall mounted toilets are installed directly into the wall and drywalled or tiled over, so only the toilet basin protrudes into the bathroom. This has a great, finished modern look that can make a bathroom look and feel more open. Plus, because you won’t have to account for the length or width of the tank, these toilets are great for saving space in a smaller bathroom, too.

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Age In Place Features

Walk in bathtubs and seated showers, along with other age in place features, can enable you to remain in your home unaided, even with limited mobility
Walk in bathtubs and seated showers, along with other age in place features, can enable you to remain in your home unaided, even with limited mobility

Last but not least, it’s becoming more and more common for homeowners to remodel their bathrooms with an eye towards the future. That means more accessible options – from the aforementioned curbless showers or wall mounted toilets (which can be installed at a more accessible height) to walk in bathtubs or simple grab bars – that will make the bathroom easier to use and allow you to remain more independent as you age. And it’s never too soon to start laying the foundation for a more accessible space – installing things like night lights or a hand shower or bidet are luxuries you can enjoy now, while installing supports for those grab bars will make transitioning to a more accessible bathroom easier down the road.

Which of these 2014 bathroom trends are you most looking forward to? Do you have plans to renovate your bathroom in the new year? Let me know in the comments!