As the year comes to a close, everyone starts looking forward to what’s next. That’s the case with bathroom design. The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) has released its 2023 design trends report highlighting current and upcoming concepts dominating the design world. For starters, size is everything – about 1/3 of the designers surveyed reported that their bathroom projects were larger and much more involved than before.
Of course, it’s not just about bigger spaces. It’s about how those spaces are used and designed to reflect the people who live there. While kitchens are seeing a trend toward expanding storage space, bathrooms are expanding for bigger showers, better tubs, and more fixtures that can add to that spa-like experience (which we’ll talk about in a little more detail).
Here’s what you need to know about 2023 bathroom design trends.
Bigger, Better Bathroom Renovations
People want more space. They want to make better use of their existing space, too. And to some, better use means creating a luxurious, spacious bathroom that creates a comfortable space where anyone would be happy to unwind. Whether it’s a two+ person shower, a large double vanity, or a huge soaking tub, bigger is better for 2023 and beyond.
Some people are opting out of the tub for a larger shower, adding a dressing area, or removing walls to increase the floor space in the bathroom overall. And for the bathrooms with tubs, almost three-quarters of them are freestanding tubs, while 68% of the upgrades include a deep soaking tub.
Adding a laundry space or seating to the bathroom is another big trend. It’s all about comfort right now, so whatever people can do to make their bathrooms a more comfortable space is probably on the list of trends.
Besides more space and more function, what else are people looking for?
Aging in Place
Many homeowners are upgrading their bathrooms to include accessibility features like shower seats, grab bars, and zero-clearance showers that allow people to roll in if necessary. People are living longer and want to stay at home for as long as possible, and with the bathroom upgrades available today, that’s an option for several people.
There are ADA-compliant fixtures and additions that you can include, such as widening doorways, installing a vanity that makes access easy, and more. Safety treads and bars are popular in the shower or tub, as are handheld showers, to enable easy cleaning for those with limited mobility or range of motion.
Bold Colors and Materials
Along with all the functions, people choose bold colors and materials to make a statement in their new bathroom space. Black bathroom vanities, for example, are trending, as are blue bathroom vanities and other colors. Trends also point toward bold paint colors and tile finishes, such as black-on-black vanities with black granite tops, brightly colored feature walls (or entire rooms), and more.
Colors like yellow, bold reds and earth tones are growing in popularity. As more people crave the look of a spa-like space, they want to embrace all the natural materials they can. These bathrooms usually feature more neutral colors like browns and grays, but they can be offset by a unique vanity color or an accent wall that makes a statement.
Bright greens, pinks, and other 80s-esque colors are trending, too. This is a good alternative for those who enjoy the contemporary style but not the monochromatic color scheme. You can install a modern vanity and contemporary accents and then cap it off with brightly colored paint that makes a bold statement.
Blues and greens create a calming feel, while matte metallics and uniquely finished hardware create accents that will get people’s attention. And believe it or not, gold is back for those who want to make a bold statement.
Many contractors report that sustainability is a huge factor in bathroom design for homeowners and themselves when recommending products and vendors. From lighting to water conservation to eco-friendly materials, there are plenty of ways to upgrade your bathroom while reducing your carbon footprint.
LED lighting is a must. The good news is that LED lighting is standard these days, so you can find fixtures and bulbs in all styles and wattages to ensure you get the lighting you need. Choose brighter LEDs for task lighting with smaller, dim LEDs for accents and ambient lighting.
Many people also choose EnergyStar-rated fixtures and appliances for their homes, including bathrooms. And the EPA has approved many toilets, showerheads, and faucets as part of its WaterSense program for those looking for low-flow fixtures and water-saving options.
Recycled materials for flooring and counters, including tiles and other materials, are making a big impression on people who don’t want to make a big impact. There’s a lot to choose from, from recycled waterproof cork flooring to sustainable materials like bamboo or reclaimed wood. Recycled glass countertops are also trending for those who like the cost of quartz but might want something different.
Sustainability is trending and will likely continue well into 2023 and beyond.
As people spend more time at home, they have become more inclined to create luxurious bathrooms that deliver a spa-like experience, from low-maintenance quartz counters to high-end steam showers and chromatherapy.
Chromatherapy, or color therapy, uses colored lights in the shower or bath. Color affects our mood and how we think, and certain colors can create a sense of calm and relaxation, like blues and greens. When chromatherapy is combined with hydrotherapy (baths or showers), it can help boost the mood and create soothing effects.
In-home steam showers enhance that spa experience again, offering a host of features for those who choose them. Steam showers are available in several price ranges, so they shouldn’t be difficult to find, regardless of your budget.
Motion-sensor faucets are also on the list of upgrades here. Not only is this going to enhance the feel of the space and make it seem much more high-end, but it’s also going to help keep germs to a minimum since there’s no touching required.
While some people prefer marble or granite in their bathrooms to finish off the spa ambiance, there’s another option that’s trending: low-maintenance quartz, which offers a similar look and style as granite or other stones, but at a fraction of the cost and without all the maintenance.
Finally, floating vanities add a touch of style and enhance the bathroom’s appearance so that it looks and feels more like a modern spa than a traditional bathroom. The bathroom is becoming less about function (which is expected) and more about form, including modern touches that give people the feeling of being at a spa or resort right in the comfort of home.
And, of course, what would a top-rated spa experience be without all that great bathroom technology we’ve been hearing about?
Technology is becoming increasingly popular and important in the bathroom. Unfortunately, few people rely on experts to integrate the best features, from heated floors to smart fixtures and accessories. Smart mirrors have built-in de-fogging features, built-in lights, and even the capability to play and control music, display the weather, and so much more. These mirrors can enhance the morning routine in ways you never imagined.
Smart showers make it easy to control your shower from anywhere, so long as you’ve got access to the app. You can start the shower, adjust temperature controls, and some systems even let you use your voice to choose the commands, such as pause if you want to pause the shower so as not to waste water.
Smart toilets have similar features—they can be managed and monitored from a device. They often include heating, automatic dryers, and even built-in water spray like a bidet. These interactive toilets are much more common in countries like Japan, but they are gaining popularity in the United States.
And, of course, we can’t talk about bathroom tech with a spa-like focus without discussing the growing trend of heated bathroom floors. What was a necessity for some homes (radiant floor heating) is now a luxury for those who want a premium bathroom space. As a bonus, you can even hook up those floor systems to a smartphone app and control them from any device.
Related: 8 Questions About Bathroom Vanities
The Bottom Line
For 2023, the trends are clear: more comfort, more tech, more space—the key takeaway here is MORE. People are looking for ways to create the perfect bathroom space and are using these trends. Feel free to explore different designs and trends to see what you like best for your bathroom upgrade. Sustainability while pulling out all the stops is still the name of the game, delivering a premium experience right in the comfort of your home.