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Contemporary Spa Bathrooms Lead North American Preferences According to Leading Trade Group

Jan 28, 2015

Clean and open designs, with floating vanities and freestanding tubs lead 2015 bathroom trends from the National Kitchen & Bath Association

Contemporary, zen-like retreats have strengthened their hold on North American bathroom design, according to the 2015 Kitchen & Bath Design Trends report from the National Kitchen & Bath (NKBA). Here are the top 10 overall bathroom design trends NKBA expects for 2015:

1. Clean, white, contemporary designs
2. Floating vanities
3. Open-shelving
4. Electric heated floors
5. Purple haze

6. Trough sinks
7. User experience (easy of use and maintenance) and accessibility
8. Amenities
9. Innovative storage
10. Showers and freestanding tubs

Contemporary and transitional are by far the most common bathroom styles, outpacing the third most popular style—traditional—by more than 15 percentage points. Nearly half of NKBA designers surveyed expect to see more contemporary in 2015.

White and gray are the dominant colors for bathrooms, specified by more than 70 percent of respondents in 2014. Half expect to see gray growing in 2015. Intriguingly, several comments referenced purple, lavender and lilac tones for the bath. White fixtures were the choice of 84 percent of designers in 2014, maintaining its long-standing dominance in the top spot. Beige fixture colors are a distant third and declining in popularity.

Almost all amenities for the bathroom are on the increase. NKBA designers cited steam showers, electric heated floors, anti-fog mirrors, lighted showers and shower seats.

“I see a lot more interest in steam showers,” said Sofeeka Hasiuk, CKD of Creative Minimalism near Philadelphia, PA.

“One of our more unusual requests this year was installing an iPhone compatible music source and charging station for family bath,” said Madeleine Baker of MH Baker, LLC in Greenwich, CT.

Other respondents mentioned coffee and bar areas in the bathroom, separate water closets, and drawer pullouts and rollouts for hair styling equipment and oral care appliances.

While bathrooms continue to have more walk-in showers and fewer built-in tubs, tubs still have legions of fans. More than two-thirds of NKBA designers reported that they specified a free standing soaking tub for master bathrooms last year, and more than three-quarters installed a standard tub and shower surround for guest bathrooms.

Jetted tubs, whether whirlpool or air are considerably less popular. “People are moving away from jetted tubs to more classic soaking tubs,” said Bill Donohoe, Donohoe Design Works in the Los Angeles, CA area.

Undermount sinks, already the number one style used by 90 percent of designers in 2014, are predicted to grow strongly in 2015. Vessel sinks, at a distant number two, are expected to decline, although they held steady in 2014 in spite of an anticipated decline. In a new twist on the old side-by-side vanity sinks, several commenters noted that they had installed single large trough sinks in master bathrooms, with two faucets.

NKBA members specialize in full bathroom projects, both remodels and new construction. More than half do bathroom projects in the $10,000 – $29,000 price range while another nearly 30 percent report that their average bathroom price is more than $30,000 for design, materials, and labor.

“This report is so valuable because NKBA members are on the cutting edge of kitchen and bathroom design,” said Maria Stapperfenne, CKD CBD, 2015 NKBA president. “It gives us the point-of-view from the specialists who are on the front lines creating beautiful and beautifully functional bathrooms every day.”

The National Kitchen and Bath Association has tracked kitchen and bath design trends throughout its 52-year existence. A version of this NKBA Design Trends Survey has been in existence since the 1980s and this iteration has tracked trends since 2010. More than 400 designers participated in this study conducted online in late 2014.

More details, including product trends, are included in the full 2015 NKBA Kitchen & Bath Design Trends report, available free to NKBA members on

To find NKBA members near you for kitchen and bathroom projects, please visit

About The National Kitchen & Bath Association
The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) is the not-for-profit trade association that owns the KBIS®. With nearly 14,000 member companies representing more than 60,000 individuals, the NKBA has educated and led the kitchen and bath industry since its founding in 1963. The mission of the NKBA is to enhance member success and excellence, promote professionalism and ethical business practices, and provide leadership and direction for the kitchen and bath industry worldwide.

For more information, visit or call 1-800-THE-NKBA (843-6522).

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