The bathroom may be your home’s most utilitarian space, but that doesn’t mean it’s immune to trends. (Case in point: The shiny brass fixtures and speckled granite counters that looked so cool in the early ’90s feel hopelessly dated today.) In the past few years, homeowners have gravitated towards marble, dark grout, hexagonal tiles, and stand-alone showers—but according to a new Houzz bathroom trends study, the times are changing yet again. While many of the design decisions I just mentioned are still going to be big, you’ll see them in the midst of these very-2019 updates.
Whether or not you live on an actual farm, farmhouse style—shiplap walls, clawfoot tubs, wood vanities, and old-fashioned faucets and other fixtures—is gaining popularity in the bathroom, according to the study. More than double the amount of homeowners who chose this style in 2016 picked it as a favorite this year. On the flip side, contemporary style baths are becoming less popular. Call it the “Fixer Upper” effect.
Gray is a big color this year in bathrooms, and especially in flooring. Twenty-nine percent of homeowners chose it as their favorite shade, with white and beige flooring lagging behind at only 16 percent each. Gray floors are just as versatile as white ones, but they show dirt less easily and offer a depth that looks instantly soothing underfoot.
Like to shower with a buddy? You’re not alone. The demand for dual showers increased seven percent from 2016—which might not seem like a lot, but it’s a big boost for something that a decade ago would have seemed suitable only for the super-wealthy. These days, more than a quarter of homeowners have installed, or plan to install, two shower heads. We’re guessing this has something to do with the fact that bathrooms themselves are getting larger (the study also found that one in 10 master bathrooms is the same size or larger than the master bedroom).
When it comes to faucets, cabinet hardware, shower heads, towel bars, and other fixtures, homeowners are getting adventurous, mixing finishes. It makes sense that people are straying from the matchy-matchy look considering how big untraditional finishes like matte brass, rose gold, and matte black have become. Because they’re still somewhat new, it’s hard to outfit an entire bathroom in them, so homeowners have had to mix more classic metals with new ones. The key to this look: Stick to two different finishes at the most.
Tile all over
Tile in a bathroom is a given, but floor-to-ceiling tile is a distinct design decision that is gaining fans. Most homeowners (88 percent) choose to install tile on their bathroom walls, and not just in the shower. Layout-wise, people stick with the classic brick pattern, but a herringbone design, which became popular a few years ago, still has some fans, with seven percent of the vote.
That European favorite, the bidet, is finally making its way to America. Although most people probably won’t be installing a separate bidet in their bathroom anytime soon, toilets with a bidet function built into the seat grew four percentage points since last year. As appliances and bathroom fixtures get smarter and more intuitive, it’s one of the many high-tech features—like heated seats and built-in night lights—that people are investing in.