Design Trends Bubbling Up in New Bathrooms

April 18, 2019
Freestanding bathtubs
Freestanding tubs are on the bathroom designs that remain popular this year.

10 Bathroom Design Trends for 2019

From tech-enabled toilets to freestanding tubs, these are 10 of the popular bathroom design trends predicted for 2019 by interior designers and remodeling professionals.

  1. Transitional and contemporary styles dominate. By far the most popular bathroom styles are transitional and contemporary, which feature light colors, natural light, and simple vanities and fixtures. Transitional-style bathrooms often have heated tile floors and a white-and-grey color palette. Contemporary bathrooms are more likely to have stained concrete flooring with floating vanities. Designers anticipate that over the next three years, other popular styles will include traditional, industrial, coastal, mid-century and organic styles.
  2. High-tech toilets. Multiple manufacturers are designing toilets—some of which are as expensive as $13,000—with self-cleaning features that mist the bowl before and after each use, lids that open and close automatically, self-flushing capabilities and adjustable body sprays. Lighted toilets can be a safety feature at night, as well as a novelty.
  3. Freestanding tubs. In the master bathroom, a freestanding tub in a sculptural oval or rectangular shape is a popular replacement for the formerly popular soaking tubs surrounded by platforms.
  4. Leak detectors. On a more practical note, inexpensive leak detectors can save homeowners thousands by alerting them when a faucet, shower or toilet is leaking so repairs can be made quickly. The detectors can send wireless alerts to a smart phone.
  5. Open showers. While frameless glass shower doors can make a shower appear open, a new style is to have a truly open shower with a tiled floor and a drain in the floor. The look is modern and sleek, and it’s a universal design feature that works well for aging-in-place or showering a child since there’s no curb to step over and no door.
  6. Wet rooms. Similar to the open shower is the wet room concept. In this case, a glass wall or two encloses a tiled area with a shower and a freestanding tub. A drain in the floor keeps the water contained for both the tub and the shower.
  7. Tech controls in the bathroom. Among the popular bathroom tech are temperature controls, water conservation technology, programmable showers, leak detection devices and occupancy sensors that can automate the lights. Apps can be used to program heated floors, shower temperatures, music and lights in the bathroom.
  8. Spa features. Steam and massage showers were on display in the exhibit houses built in conjunction with the International Builders Show and the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show this year. Beyond a simple multi-head shower, one of these houses showcased a massage shower. The glass-enclosed shower featured a bench below an array of shower heads, which could be programmed to mimic a professional massage and target specific muscles.
  9. Air tubs replace traditional whirlpool tubs. Newly designed whirlpool tubs with bubbles created by air instead of water are considered cleaner and safer.
  10. Unique and oversized tile designs. Large-format tile is popular for tub and shower surrounds in all styles of bathrooms. In transitional bathrooms, hexagonal, square and rectangular tiles remain popular. In coastal bathrooms, pebble and mosaic tiles are more popular. Slab shower surrounds rank among the most-used in contemporary and industrial-style bathrooms.

While $13,000 toilets are not likely to appear in mainstream bathrooms anytime soon, the technology behind those toilets, and in other bathroom features, is expected to drop in price in the coming years, which will likely increase their popularity.

These trends are based on updates from the annual Kitchen & Bath Industry Show, at which manufacturers exhibited the latest innovations and designs for showers, tubs, vanities, sinks, lighting and toilets. Findings in the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s 2019 Bathroom Design Trends and Houzz’s 2019 Bathroom Trends survey also were used to compile the list.


  1. Marie Simpson

    April 22, 2019

    Good Info

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