Hot New Trends in Bath Upgrades
New-on-the-market fixtures and finishes can change the look of kitchens, too
Starting any home project can be stressful, especially when undertaking those projects in the most-used rooms of the house, like the kitchen and bathroom. From overall room style to structural changes and fixtures, many pieces of the puzzle need to fit together to create the finished product.
“Homeowners are looking for ways to update their current homes, rather than buying a new property,” said Sarah Reep, director of designer relations and education at KraftMaid Cabinetry. “From simply adding a new faucet to completely gutting a bathroom or kitchen, there are many ways to revitalize any home.”
For homeowners seeking inspiration for their bathroom renovation, here are the top trends to know:
Doubled Vanity: Dual sinks and vanities make cramped morning routines a thing of the past. With separate sinks and vanities, homeowners get the individualized spaces and storage they desire in their bathrooms.
Radiant Heat: Stepping onto a cold tile floor after a hot shower isn’t the best way to start the day. An easy remedy is adding radiant electric heating to floors. Some companies install heating mats controlled by a thermostat under tile, stone, laminate and engineered-wood floors.
Seeing Green: The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) reported that 24 percent of their designers used a green color palette in their clients’ kitchens last year.
Added Storage Space: “Homeowners are looking for ways to decrease clutter and increase organization in their bathrooms,” said Reep.
Walk-In Showers: Homeowners are replacing the conventional tub and shower combinations with walk-in showers. Large glass doors and earth-tone tiles are being combined with luxury showerheads and water jets for a spa-like feel.
Recycled Flooring: With the increased focus on sustainable materials, tiles made from recycled ceramic, glass and metal are in. Look for companies that use recycled materials and sustainable manufacturing practices to create their tiles.
A Hint of Nature: Wood and stone are in-demand materials for bathroom design. Wooden soaking tubs and stone tiles and bathtubs retain heat well and add a natural feel to any bathroom.
Fine Furniture: The right vanity can transform a mediocre bathroom into a luxurious escape. “Homeowners want their bathroom cabinetry to resemble the elaborate pieces in their living room,” said Reep. “Standard bathroom cabinets are being replaced by cabinetry with rich finishes and detailing.”
Quartz Countertops: According to the NKBA, 54 percent of NKBA designers are now incorporating quartz into their bathroom designs, compared with 48 percent in 2010. The low-maintenance mineral boasts a higher durability against cracks and dents than marble. DeNova sells quartz surfaces in a wide range of custom colors and patterns.
Jack Suvak, director of research and insights for Moen, says consumers are concerned with every detail of a kitchen and bathroom project, especially the finish of their new fixtures.
“Whether consumers are purchasing faucets for a remodeling project, replacing an existing faucet or selecting one as part of their new home construction, we’re finding that the finish does matter,” Suvak says. “And it’s much more than just selecting chrome instead of brushed nickel or oil rubbed bronze. Consumers are looking for product lines that have a number of finish options available to fit any style they desire.”
Chrome is still king in the kitchen and bath, representing 47 percent of all faucets purchased, the research shows. Stainless steel and brushed nickel came in second at 37 percent, and oil rubbed bronze came in third at 7 percent — a number that’s doubled in the past few years.
“As American consumers continue to be more varied in their style choices, it’s becoming more important for manufacturers to offer a variety of finishes on new and existing products,” says Suvak. “While we can’t make style decisions for consumers and tell them that modern or traditional is more their taste, we can provide a variety of options to meet the needs of homeowners.”
In the bath: “We’ve seen a lot of changes in bathroom finish preferences during the past few years,” says Suvak. “In 2007, more than 60 percent of consumers purchased chrome, whereas now, less than 50 percent do.”
Which finishes are those consumers selecting instead? Stainless steel and brushed nickel purchases for the bath have increased, growing in popularity from 24 percent in 2007 to 36 percent in 2010.
In the kitchen: “Research continues to show that traditional design remains popular in the kitchen, but consumers are also looking to incorporate traditional elements in new ways,” says Suvak. “As a result, we’re seeing a demand for finishes that fall into that traditional category. But consumers are often having a difficult time finding these finishes on products that they love.”
One such traditional finish that consumers are taking a different approach with is oil rubbed bronze. Its warm hue is the perfect addition to any kitchen faucet, and while it is a smaller portion of the market, it has been gaining popularity the past few years.
“Nowadays, the applications for oil rubbed bronze include products with transitional and modern styling, and consumers are looking to add a hint of traditional flair to these types of products,” says Suvak.
“It’s no secret that consumers want choices, especially when it comes to choosing products for their homes,” Suvak says. “With the expansion of our product lines to include finish options that are popular with consumers, we’re hoping to not only provide the products they want, but also make completing their home projects much easier.”
Whether you enjoy following the latest trends or prefer the tried-and-true styles, there is a variety of new products on the market to add beauty, value and functionality to any home.
For the more information on the latest products and research for your kitchen or bath renovation, visit www.moen.com or www.Kraftmaid.com.
Courtesy of ARA Content and Family Features