bath design trends 2012

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bath design trends

Larger master bathrooms, walk-in showers, and energy-saving fixtures are the latest in bathroom design trends, according to area experts.

“Master baths are trending toward more natural colors and elements to create a soothing feeling,” according to Joy Laughlin of Traditions in Tile. “In a master bath you don’t want to be confronted with bright colors. This trend is coming through with wood grain porcelain or even recycled glass. There is a growing design for recycled materials and energy saving fixtures.”

Many homeowners are removing their tubs to enlarge the shower area, according to Ken Adler with Genesis Glass. “With our ability to install large glass panels and the invention of the H2Off class coating system, people are ‘opening up’ their spaces for a more luxurious feel.” He adds that steam showers are coming back “in a big way.”

Amanda Sweeney of Just Design This reports that master baths are getting larger in part because homeowners like to get dressed in the bathroom. “Master bathrooms are lived in on average 45 minutes a day.”

Large walk-in showers without a door are popular among his clients, according to Ty Carrington of Cabinet Connection, LLC. He also notes that gray tones are gaining ground with homeowners, as are large plank flooring tiles, pebble borders and tiles, and a continuation of the “spa” atmosphere. Cabinet Connection features FSC and LEED qualified custom cabinetry built in Chapel Hill.
In agreement about the popularity of huge showers replacing tubs is Tara Johnson of Scarlet Designs, who adds that free-standing vanities are still “all the rage.”

“The overall movement is modern rather than traditional, moving to simple clean and clutter-free,” says Laughlin. “Think ‘floating’ vanities, light, airy colors and clean, large size or rectilinear tiles with minimal grout lines. Wall colors are staying neutral, with off-white, ivory, or pale green—although adding color to the ceiling is definitely a trend for 2012.”

Tile is traditionally the material of choice for a bathroom especially when you add radiant heat under them. “Bathroom flooring is trending toward the use of a natural stone tile,” says Amanda Sweeney-Davis of Just Design This. “Heated floors with absorbent stone flooring like slate, when offset with sleek lines and the look of glass, is an unbelievable combination,” reports Adler.

Tracy Nichols of Kitchen Solvers reports that many bath remodels borrow space from adjacent rooms to make room for a better bathing experience. “Dueling body sprays, product cubbies, benches, and foot rests contribute to bigger shower footprints,” she says. “Yesterday’s simple bath is being replaced with luxury tile sub surrounds, custom tile showers, heated seating and flooring, custom wardrobe cabinetry, and lots of storage and lighting.

According to the National Kitchen & Bath Association, the top bathroom trends for 2012 include a renewed interest in medicine cabinets, use of solid surface materials, and a return to polished chrome.

According to the NKBA, the tried-and-true medicine cabinet had been swept aside in bathroom remodels over the past several years, replaced by decorative wall mirrors. However, as homeowners look for more efficient use of space, most designers are now turning toward medicine cabinets as an effective way to gain additional storage without having to increase the footprint of a room, attenuating the need for separate shelving, cabinetry, or other storage options.

A year ago, the use of solid surfaces was a key trend in the kitchen; this year, it’s an even stronger trend, and one that impacts both the kitchen and the bathroom. In newly remodeled bathrooms, as solid surfaces have risen over the past year from 26 percent to 34 percent.

Whites and off-whites continue to be the most popular color schemes in the kitchen and bathroom, followed by beiges and bones. Brown is the third most popular color in kitchens and the fourth most popular in bathrooms, just behind gray. Green was the color trend in bathrooms last year, being specified by 25 percent of designers, and its use has remained exactly the same this year. Blue has emerged as the fifth most popular color in bathrooms, rising from 23 percent to 30 percent.

Supplanted by brushed metal finishes in the past, polished chrome is staging a comeback. In the bathroom, polished chrome use has increased from 46 percent to 65 percent over the past year. At the same time, polished nickel is up from from 28 percent to 32 percent in bathrooms over the past year.

For more information about these trends visit

There are a number of resources for bathroom design in the Greater Nashville area including:

Barber Cabinet Co.

Cabinet Connection

Brother’s & Sons
Marble & Granite

Elite Installation
Mt. Juliet

French’s Cabinet Gallery

Genesis Glass & Mirror

David Patton Const.

Hermitage Lighting Gallery

Just Design This

Kitchen Solvers

Louisville Tile

Nashville Glass

Scarlet Designs

Tile & Stone Design

Traditions in Tile

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