The Future Of Bathroom Design: Customized, Spa-Like Experiences  – NKBA


The Future Of Bathroom Design: Customized, Spa-Like Experiences 

Key Takeaways

  • Bathroom projects are getting larger and more involved;
  • Spa-like bathrooms will grow in popularity;
  • Larger, more luxurious showers ill be in vogue, as tubs will be removed;
  • Greater usage of technology will enhance the spa-like feel.

By Robert Isler

Virtually every aspect of the primary bathroom – from layout, to color scheme to usage of technology – is evolving. According to NKBA’s newly-released 2023 Design Trends report, the bath is transforming from a place of basic functionality to a space that offers sanctuary, a spa-like retreat. This is particularly relevant for the growing segment of the population who are looking to age in place.  

Expansion and Customization

Combining the feedback of 600 K+ B specialists, NKBA’s 2023 Design Trends report outlines emerging trends over the next three years.  One of the biggest trends for the bath, similar to the kitchen, is the opening up of the bathroom and connecting the bath to an adjacent room, in this case a dressing or sitting room.  The walls are coming down to open up and increase the bathrooms footprint (63 percent).  Where space is limited, designers are installing skylights and windows above the tub to enhance the sense of space.

77 percent of respondents say the removal of tubs to create a larger space for showers will be popular over the next three years.

It is clear, bathroom projects are bigger and more involved than last year according to 32 percent of designers surveyed.  Tubs are being removed to allow for larger, more customized showers (77 percent), with many installing large showers that can accommodate two people, often with zero-clearance entrances and multiple showerheads to create a spa-like experience.  And while many are removing tubs, others noted that for higher-end bathrooms, if space allows, a bathtub is still the focal point. 

Technology: Comfort, Ease and Luxury  

Subtle, unobtrusive technology is also on the rise.  From the floor, to lighting, to water temperature, designers are seeing an increase in requests for technology that enhances the ease, comfort and customization of the bath.  Heated floors (69 percent) and smart control thermostats (67 percent) are becoming a norm while other technologies such as motion sensors for lighting, speakers and even the integration of lighting and physical therapy options for showers are gaining traction.  All point to an increase of highly personalized, sanctuary-like bath environments.   

Clean Lines & Easy to Clean

Similar to what is being implemented within kitchens, designers are eliminating clutter in the bath. Incorporating seamless storage solutions for a cleaner look.  From linen storage cabinets (72 percent) to vanities that contain hidden outlets (62 percent), the demand will be for more storage and hidden solutions.  In addition, large format tiles and slabs which have fewer grout lines are becoming more popular as they require less maintenance and have a clean aesthetic.  

Lastly, color. To set the mood, blues and greens are expected to be the dominant bathroom colors over the next few years. Fused with whites, they will add warmth and contribute to the overall calm, oasis-like feel. As one designer put it, “Blues and greens are always popular as a reflection of water, so playing on different hues and values will still be present.”

Click here to download the full report.