BuildDirect Blog: Life at Home

Top 10 Bathroom Remodeling Trends

One of the most popular choices on the homeowner’s home renovation list is the bathroom, a small-yet-vital room in the home. But, what direction should you take when it comes to transforming a bathroom this year? Bathroom renovation expert Lydia Bonacorda is here to address that very question!


Photo: tsaarni

The home has long been seen as a sanctuary, a place to relax and recover from the pressures of daily life. But, with the recent economic crisis and today’s fast-paced world, people are looking to de-stress in any way possible, and the interior design industry is seeing the effects of this as bathroom remodeling trends move toward styles that are calm, relaxing, and comforting while still incorporating all of today’s modern conveniences. Traditional styles get a modern twist, and environmentally friendly technology is side-by-side with little luxuries.

1.Color schemes – out with the bright, in with the light

To maintain a soothing environment, many designers are sticking to palettes of beige, white, olive, and other neutral and light colors. Not only do these colors promote a calmer environment, but they are easy to match with many styles of décor, and this is especially appealing if the homeowner is looking to sell in the future.

2.Mirror, mirror, not just on the wall

Bathroom remodeling trends show a move toward a light and airy feel with an emphasis on mirrors. These can include old-world accents like an ornate brass frame, or they can cover an entire wall for a more modern look; however, the effect is the same: a brighter, bigger-feeling room. The walls are not the only place that mirrors are appearing, though. Reviving the art-deco style of the 1930’s and 80’s, mirrored vanities and other furniture have been getting more popular.

3. Bigger-is-better soaking bathtubs

While Jacuzzis and sunken garden bathtubs may have been ubiquitous in design a few years ago, today is all about the old-style soaking tub. Eliminating the noise and bubbling of the jets in favor of peace and quiet, these tubs often feature finishes like copper and enamel as well as accents like claw feet, evoking a traditional feel while maintaining modern convenience. For those that also include a shower, a freestanding shower rod and fabric curtain make a perfect addition.

4. Raised sinks

Mirroring the elevation of soaking tubs, another hot trend is artisanal raised sinks. These can be done in granite or in a similar material as the tubs, including copper and brass, and when coupled with wall-mounted faucets, they give an old look a fresh new twist.

5.Bringing the outdoors in with lighting

photo: Andrea_44

As far as lighting goes, natural is king. For those whose remodel allows for significant structural changes, large windows are a popular addition, especially skylights and sleek pane-free designs.

Not only do these allow you to keep and grow plants in the room, but the natural light they let in is perfect for makeup application. For nighttime or supplemental lighting, many designers are choosing to integrate fixtures with soft light and even dimming switches – perfect for a long soak in the tub without the hazards of candles.

6.Going Frame Free with Showers

For those who don’t like or simply don’t have the space for a large soaking tub, frameless glass showers reign supreme. In keeping with the airy feel of many bathrooms, frameless designs make the most of every square foot and can even make room seem larger. These styles are a great way to inject modernism into an otherwise classic room. Plus, what better way to enjoy the rest of your remodel than with a glass shower?

7.Textured tile

Raja multi slate tile flooring

With a neutral color palette, there’s room to incorporate unique tile textures that add depth to the room without taking away from the sometimes ornate fixtures and decorations. While imported marble is an elegant option, not everyone can afford that luxury; mosaic, granite, glass, and mother-of-pearl tiles all add style without breaking the budget and are versatile enough to suit nearly any taste.

Setting tiles in a staggered fashion is another way to add a touch of the traditional to a modern room.

8.What’s old is new again in faucets and other fixtures

While the color schemes and technology of today’s bathrooms may be sleek and modern, the fixtures are going back in time; many designers and plumbers are incorporating vintage-style faucets, tiles, lighting, and tubs to create a fresh yet classic feel. They may look old school, but they’re anything but. In fact, many incorporate the latest technology and are simply styled in an antique way, giving you the best of both worlds.

photo: Steve Johnson

9.Reduce, Recycle, Reuse – Going Green with Bathroom Remodels

Whether it’s to lower utilities, reduce environmental impact, or both, environmentally friendly fixtures are firmly entrenched in today’s bathroom remodeling trends. From on-demand hot water to low-flow toilets, specialized shower heads and more, the possibilities for a green bathroom are endless.

What’s more, these come in all styles so you don’t have to break your traditional look just to get a more environmentally friendly room. Some designers are even scouring flea markets, antique stores, and yard sales to find original antiques and then updating or restoring them to increase efficiency or bring them back to their former beauty.

10. Heated Floors are a Hot Trend

For many people, in-your-face opulence is out, and a more subdued form of luxury is the way to go. Heated floors are surely one of these comforts, and if you’ve ever stepped out of a hot shower onto freezing cold tile in the middle of winter, you’ll doubtless agree. Another popular option, on-demand hot water, doubles as an environmentally friendly addition and a convenience. The key to today’s bathroom remodeling is balancing indulgences with essentials.

Whether you’re looking to have a contractor create your vision or plan on tackling it yourself, looking to today’s top bathroom remodeling trends can give you inspiration and spur you to create your perfect bathroom retreat. However, it’s important to remember that while these design features are popular today, there’s one trend that never goes out of style – creating a bathroom that suits your personal style.


Thanks, Lydia!

Lydia Bonacorda represents Spartan Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning. Spartan provides plumbers, heating and air conditioning technicians, and commercial pumping contractors for the Maryland, DC and Northern VA communities.



Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.


  1. bathroom remodeling master Reply to bathroom

    Thanks to Lydia for describing questions about bathroom remodeling! Good Info.

  2. Excellent list of bathroom remodeling trends! Frameless glass showers definitely can provide a nice contemporary touch to any bathroom, and you made a good point when you said that they allow the homeowner to spend more time enjoying the beauty of the rest of the room.

  3. The bigger the bath the better have to agree more bubbles and loads of water it will make it feel more like a spa.

  4. James Yakima Reply to James

    Probably the easiest way to go green when you update your bathroom is to NOT replace the tub. Refinish it instead. Fixtures like tubs cause horrible environmental damage, not just from the enormous landfill space, but also from all the carbon released during the manufacturing and transportation of your new tub. Bathtub/tile refinishing is a great option for a lot of people. You can also change the color to anything. Update that light yellow tub and pastel wall tile to simple white, bone, or almond. Technology has really improved. New surfaces cure in 2 hour, won’t peel or crack, and will realistically provide 5-15 years of service at a price 80-90% less than replacement. It also provides same day service as opposed to 4-5 day service using 3-4 different contractors. No mater your budget, its an option I think people should at least consider.

  5. Skylights are a wonderful addition to any home and they can even add value to the overall home. Skylight windows bring light into an area of the house and are great in rooms that do not receive much light.

  6. Thanks for the great tips. Heated bathroom floors yes please :)

  7. Have you seen a ForzaStone Natural Stone Groutless Shower? Just curious. It is real full slab stone, and yet is affordable for groutless shower installations. Looks amazing installed – Forza has engineered backer that makes it like super light and strong, but still stone in full slabs. The pictures are crazy to see. They have pics at and also at their website… But I want to know if anyone else has heard about them or has a #ForzaStone Shower. This looks awesome… I want one.

  8. Robert Salko Reply to Robert

    I see these trends more and more in my area. The slate tile in the shower is one matrial I shy away from.

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