The latest word on bathroom design: less flash and more comfort.
From higher vanities to steam showers, today's bathroom trends focus on personalization and spa-like amenities, according to a recent survey. Meanwhile, the style of the bath is more likely to be transitional, neither too modern nor too traditional. And color schemes are sticking with neutral, soothing backdrops of white and gray.
The National Kitchen and Bath Association's 2016 Design Trends Report was released at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) last month in Las Vegas. It is based on a survey of more than 450 of the association's members from across the country.
White was the most popular color choice for fixtures, specified by 90 percent of participants. Frills such as coffee stations, dog-washing areas, heated floors or even wet bars were growing in popularity as choosy consumers request bathroom features that fit their lifestyles.
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The report found about half of the responding members gave the average price for a bathroom project as between $10,000 and $29,999. Another 31 percent said their average was more than $30,000.
"We are looking at clean lines and less fuss in the bathroom," said Patricia Davis Brown, an interior designer in Vero Beach, Florida, and a survey respondent.
She is designing many bathrooms customized to make users feel better. "We start our day in the bathroom and it's the place to feel invigorated. Now we also want it to be a place that when we get back home, we can decompress in the soaking tub or steam shower."
It may be one of the few spots in the house that is serene. "People are asking for calming nature and softness in there," Davis said. "It speaks a lot to what is happening in our world today." Here are five takeaways from the bathroom trends identified in the National Kitchen and Bath Association's report:
Showers are accessorized. Many showers are sporting their own lighting systems, music selection, built-in seats and benches, and hand showers.
Chrome rules. For 80 percent of the members surveyed, polished chrome was the No. 1 choice for faucets. Davis said even if your faucet is chrome, you don't have to match your hardware to it and you can choose a different finish.
Tubs stand alone. The trend of glamorous, free-standing tubs in master bathrooms is big.
Stick to neutrals. Gray was up 9 percent from last year's survey and now is about equal in popularity to the traditional whites and off-whites. Beige comes in third and watery blues are the fourth-most-popular color choice.
Aging-in-place amenities are for all ages. Everyone can enjoy a more comfortable chair-height toilet, no-threshold shower or nicely designed grab bar. More than half of the survey respondents reported incorporating accessible and/or universal design features in bathrooms.