5 bathroom design trends for 2012

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Each year, the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) surveys its members to identify the latest design and specification trends in kitchen and bath design. This year, 350 NKBA members took part in the survey. Here are five emerging bathroom trends they identified. Note that four of the five can apply to kitchens as well.

February 23, 2012
Photo: NKBA Ottawa; Designer: Gemini Kitchen and Bath Design

Photo: NKBA Ottawa; Designer: Gemini Kitchen and Bath Design

5. Polished chrome is back

Supplanted by brushed metal finishes in the past, polished chrome is staging a comeback. After being specified by 34 percent of designers in kitchens last year, polished chrome has recently been specified by 52 percent of NKBA member designers in kitchens today. In the bathroom, polished chrome use has increased from 46 percent to 65 percent over the past year. At the same time, polished nickel is up from 17 percent to 25 percent in kitchens and from 28 percent to 32 percent in bathrooms over the past year.

The increased use of polished finishes is clearly coming at the expense of brushed finishes. Over the past two years, brushed nickel is down from 62 percent to 46 percent in kitchens and from 66 percent to 46 percent in bathrooms. Brushed chrome is down from 20 percent to 17 percent over the past year in kitchens, but has increased from 11 percent to 18 percent in bathrooms. Meanwhile, over the past year, satin nickel—which lies between a polished and a brushed finish—is down from 64 percent to 56 percent in the kitchen and from 57 percent to 52 percent in the bathroom.

Only stainless steel has managed to clearly buck the trend away from brushed finishes, as it rose slightly from 46 percent to 50 percent in the kitchen and increased significantly from 16 percent to 28 percent in the bathroom. Bronze finishes continue to be popular, but dipped a bit from a year ago, falling from 49 percent to 41 percent in kitchens, while their use remained flat at 41 percent in bathrooms, according to NKBA.

Source: NKBA         Photo: Kohler Co./courtesy of NKBA

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