This master bathroom with free-standing tub was co-designed by Emily Miller and Tom Trzcinski of Kitchen and Bath Concepts of Pittsburgh. Other features include a “docking drawer” for electronics and Shoji-style pocket doors. (Craig Thompson)

The latest word on bathroom design: less flash and more comfort.

From higher vanities to steam showers, today’s bathroom trends focus on personalization and spa-like amenities, according to a recent survey. Meanwhile, the style of the bath is more likely to be transitional, neither too modern nor too traditional. And color schemes are sticking with neutral, soothing backdrops of white and gray.

The National Kitchen and Bath Association’s 2016 Design Trends Report was released at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) last month in Las Vegas. It is based on a survey of more than 450 of the association’s members from across the country.

White was the most popular color choice for fixtures, specified by 90 percent of participants. Frills such as coffee stations, dog-washing areas, heated floors or even wet bars were growing in popularity as choosy consumers request bathroom features that fit their lifestyles.


This sleek, neutral bathroom was co-designed by Jaye Gordon and Mark Haddad of Haddad Hakansson Design Studio in Belmont, Mass. The shower features a hand-held shower head, body sprays and main shower head as well as a rainshower head. (Shelly Harrison)

The report found about half of the responding members gave the average price for a bathroom project as between $10,000 and $29,999. Another 31 percent said their average was more than $30,000.


Blue remains a popular color for bathrooms, shown in this custom powder room designed by Stephanie A. Bruntz, a manager and designer at Studio B Design in Kearney, Neb. (Russtanna Lutt)

“We are looking at clean lines and less fuss in the bathroom,” said Patricia Davis Brown, an interior designer in Vero Beach, Fl., and a survey respondent. She is designing many bathrooms customized to make users feel better. “We start our day in the bathroom and it’s the place to feel invigorated. Now we also want it to be a place that when we get back home, we can decompress in the soaking tub or steam shower.”

It may be one of the few spots in the house that is serene. “People are asking for calming nature and softness in there,” Brown said. “It speaks a lot to what is happening in our world today.”


The bathroom featuring drawers outfitted to plug in your hair-care items and other electronics was co-designed by Miller and Trzcinski. (Craig Thompson)

Here are five takeaways from the bathroom trends identified in the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s report:

●Showers are accessorized. Many showers are sporting their own lighting systems, music selection, built-in seats and benches, and hand showers.

●Chrome rules. For 80 percent of the members surveyed, polished chrome was the No. 1 choice for faucets. Brown said even if your faucet is chrome, you don’t have to match your hardware to it and you can choose a different finish.

●Tubs stand alone. The trend of glamorous, free-standing tubs in master bathrooms is big.

●Stick to neutrals. Gray was up 9 percent from last year’s survey and now is about equal in popularity to the traditional whites and off-whites. Beige comes in third and watery blues are the fourth-most-popular color choice.

●Aging-in-place amenities are for all ages. Everyone can enjoy a more comfortable chair-height toilet, no-threshold shower or nicely designed grab bar. More than half of the survey respondents reported incorporating accessible and/or universal design features in bathrooms.