Bathroom Updates: 4 Trends to Watch

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Granite is slowly beginning to lose some of its popularity in favor of other bathroom vanities, and green–the color, that is–is catching on, as these trends–along with others–gain steam in bathrooms this year, according to a National Kitchen & Bath Association survey of 100 designers. The survey offers insights into the hottest trends in bathrooms for 2011.

Here are four trends to watch in bathroom home design.


Photo Credit: National Kitchen & Bath Association

Dupont Zodiaq quart surface in Bianco Carrara; Photo credit: Shadowlight Group

1. Quartz countertops more in demand. While granite still reigns in bathroom vanity tops, it’s popularity is slowly sinking as quartz continues to steal some of the market share, according to NKBA. While 83 percent of designers still opt for granite, that number has gradually been narrowing in recent years as quartz increases in demand (54 percent of NKBA designers opted for quartz). A year ago, 85 percent of NKBA designers used granite, compared to 48 percent for quartz. Meanwhile, solid marble vanities have also been on the decline (from 46 percent to 37 percent), while cultured marble has increased slightly in use among NKBA designers from 12 percent to 19 percent.


Photo Credit: National Kitchen & Bath Association

Photo credit: Delta Faucet Co.

2. Bathrooms go “green”–literally. Green color palettes for the bathroom are on the rise. Twenty-four percent of NKBA designers say they are using green colors to spice up bathrooms–up a year ago from 14 percent. However, the three most most common color choices in the bathroom remain: Whites and off-whites, beiges, and browns.

NKBA_vessel sinks

Kohler’s Conical Bell Vessels sink; Photo credit: Kohler Co.

3. Sink preferences mount. Under mount sinks continue to dominate newly remodeled bathrooms, but vessel sinks are increasingly becoming a more popular choice. Integrated sink tops are also on the rise, as well as pedestal sinks.


Photo Credit: National Kitchen & Bath Association

Photo credit: Kohler Co.

4. Satin finishes shine. In following recent kitchen trends, satin nickel faucets in bathrooms are rising in popularity, while brushed nickel faucets are falling out of favor. Other popular faucet finishes in the bathroom include bronze and oil-rubbed bronze, polished chrome, and polished nickel. Meanwhile, stainless steel finishes are becoming less popular in the bathroom.

Stay tuned next week at Styled, Staged & Sold for NKBA’s 10 Trends to Watch in the Kitchen for 2011.

Melissa Tracey

Melissa Dittmann Tracey is a contributing editor for REALTOR® Magazine, writing about home & design trends, technology, and sales and marketing. She manages the magazine's award-winning Styled, Staged & Sold blog.

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  1. We are in the considering stage of redoing one of out bathrooms. It is nice to know the trends. Thanks

  2. Arthur Belile

    Granite blocks are also widely employed in bathrooms as a replacement to wood and other glazing tiles. Bathroom vanities as a home improvement item have passed through plenty of innovations and are supplied in diverse designs together with backsplash. These slabs feature previously made faucet holes of particular dimensions and are at times fitted with one or two vessel sinks. They also have finished edges, moldings, etc. Corresponding backsplash is provided with the vanity top as well.^

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