The most prevalent trends in bathroom design for 2012 and 2013 are centered on better use of floor space, more storage, and amenities that rival those of an upscale resort or spa.
In the last two National Kitchen & Bath Association surveys, NKBA members noted:
• Granite is the most often used countertop material, but marble is still popular.What Home Buyers Want in the Bath DesignHere’s how consumers ranked bathroom features in NAHB’s 2012 survey:90% Exhaust fan90% Linen closet82% Both shower stall and tub in master bath74% Double vanity65% Ceramic tile walls61% Whirlpool tub in master bath59% Private toilet compartment58% Toilet, tub, and sink (white)56% Granite vanity55% Multiple shower heads in master bathSource: NAHB, 2012, What Home Buyers Really Want
• Ceramic and porcelain tile is hanging onto its crown as the most preferred flooring material. Other types of tile, particularly recycled glass, are being used liberally on walls and backsplashes.
• Various shapes, such as squares, are repeated in the room in different sizes, colors, and textures to establish a continuum that’s easy on the eyes.
Bath Design - Marble artistry
To create a tranquil spa look, the builder designed an opulent bathroom with dual vanities, a soaking tub, and walk-in shower. The flooring consists of 18-inch-by-18-inch white Carrara marble tiles, laid on the diagonal. The same material is used in 3-inch-by-6-inch tiles as wainscoting behind the tub with a chair rail division, and the shower has a back-wall accent bordered with a decorative listello band. The shower room has a rain shower head and is designed to retain heat rather than let it escape, creating a steam-room effect. The alder cabinets are finished with a black glaze. Marble is still a popular material for bathroom countertops; this striking example is Striato Olimpico, a gray marble with a strong linear pattern.
Designer: Marcio Decker, AKBD, Home Concepts, Reno, Nev.; Photo: Varient3 Productions
Here, a concrete countertop burnished to a high shine is the focal point. The countertop is paired with a floating vanity made of pomele sepele, a warm brown wood from Africa that features a distinctive wavy grain. The integrated sinks have wall-mounted faucets with open spouts. Recycled glass tiles cover the wall all the way up to the ceiling. Exposed brick and lava rock were also used to complement the concrete. All of the materials harmonize in an attractive brown-gold palette.
With a Japanese soaking tub as the focal point, this bathroom needed a strong backdrop. Designer Bonnie Bagley-Catlin used translucent recycled glass in a muted pine-green shade for the upper and lower tub deck, paired with small mosaic tiles in colors that evoke a tranquil sunset. The flooring, made of linen-textured, sand-colored porcelain tile, is a soothing foundation for the room. For an additional touch of luxury, there’s a floating double vanity with vessel sinks.
Designed for a homeowner with medical needs, this bright-blue bath is based around a ceiling hoisting system that carries him safely from his bedroom to the toilet or shower. The shower has only two walls, allowing easy access in case of an emergency or to program the digital controller for water temperature. Overhead and removable shower heads permit freedom of movement, while two windows in the outward-facing shower wall let sunlight into the bedroom. Working within the existing footprint, designer Sandra Gaylord included such details as custom vanities with storage and bifold, sliding doors, and a wall of closets with glass French doors and three transoms to allow light and privacy without window coverings.
Because the owners of this California home are part-time dog breeders, they wanted their bathroom to accommodate their pets’ needs as well as their own. The room was reconfigured to provide storage for veterinary supplies and equipment as well as floor space for a puppy whelping area. Designer Yuko Matsumoto borrowed space from the back yard and removed a sunken hot tub and windows, replacing it with a bamboo vanity and make-up area that features commercial-style lighting and a quartz countertop. New windows were added, plus a French door for access to the yard. There’s also a hidden dog door to a kennel.
Elegant in its simplicity, this free-standing soaking tub is one of the focal points of the master bathroom. Rows of square windows draw sunlight into the space and create intriguing shadows on the floor, while providing a restful view of the woods beyond. The bath’s other creature comforts include a sauna and yoga studio.
With its generous allotment of windows, this bath has a strong connection to the outdoors. The shower floor, made of natural stone, looks like pebbles scooped out of a river. High clerestory windows provide additional natural light. The floating vanity and storage cabinet are made of walnut with a quartz surround. The rest of the finishes are all tile: multicolored glass on the vanity backsplash and tub wall, and porcelain tile on the floor and shower walls. Note that the flooring is gray—a hot hue for 2013, according to NKBA.
Views, comfort, privacy ... this tub alcove has it all. A fireplace warms the bather, who can enjoy sunlight and scenery from a large picture window. A marble tub deck and surround and vaulted ceiling define the space. The shower is just as luxurious, with radiant heated seats.
Builder: Mystic River Building Co., Mystic, Conn.; Architect: Wayne S. Garrick Architects, New Haven, Conn.; Photo: Gregg A. Guilino