Bathroom trends for 2018

12 Jan, 18

Hotel inspired luxury, water efficiency, black and natural stone finishes are the bathroom trends which will dominate in 2018


Minimal rims continue to influence sanitaryware trends for 2018, with basins which optimise space becoming a popular choice for consumers. This creates sleek lines as well as adhering to the luxury hotel bathroom and spa-like trend which is resonating throughout design in 2018. Since the bathroom is more than just a functional space, continuing its evolution as a retreat, it  a shift in design has occurred which is recognised by head of marketing for Bette, Sven Rensinghoff as he states: “Sales are being built by a desire to create a more relaxing and spa-like bathroom, rather than merely a functional space, as well as an increase in demand for products that make a bathroom more accessible.”


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With many in the bathroom industry predicting black will be the stand out colour for bathrooms next year, it is of no surprise this can be seen across baths as well. With demand for natural stone colours still high, continuing from last year’s trend, it is predicted these will be contrasted subtly with black accents throughout 2018. Sales and marketing director at Frontline Bathrooms Michael Sammon agrees commenting: “Having launched our first ever black baths this year, the trend for black and other coloured finishes is set to continue throughout 2018. Solid surface products and natural materials such as stone will also continue to be popular as mindfulness and going back to basics remains high on the agenda.”  This also appropriates the freestanding bath trend which remains a popular choice for consumers as they stick to luxury hotel style.


As minimalistic themes continue into 2018, the shower tray is of no exception to this trend, with low level and flush-to-floor options the stand out options. Alongside offering a contemporary feel, they meet the continuing need for bathrooms which are easily accessible to meet the needs of an ageing population. UK head of marketing and product development at Saniflo, Ann Boardman confirms: “There’s a growing trend for ultra-sleek, low level shower trays due to the popularity and growth of contemporary and easy access, inclusive bathrooms, but they must be versatile and customisable.” And Eileen Slattery marketing manager of Merlyn agrees: “Despite the popularity of wetrooms, or perhaps because of it, demand for well-crafted shower trays has increased. In particular, low level and flush trays are enormously favoured as they are perfect for a wetroom environment. We’ve also seen a shift towards natural materials in the bathroom with the organic aesthetic continuing to prove prominent in bathroom design.”


The need to create products which not only keep up with technological advances but also focus on the importance of water saving technology has become apparent within shower products. It’s a key trend which featured heavily last year and remains vital for 2018 trends. And technology is set to play a greater role in water-saving, with showers that can control water flow and temperature through an app. This is confirmed by CEO of Methven Martin Walker as he states: “We expect water efficiency and the use of new technologies to continue to be key influences on product sales in 2018. Water efficient products should be more popular than ever as awareness of the importance of saving water continues to grow. Products which operate at low flow rates, such as our new Rua collection which operates at as little as 7.5L/min, should perform really well. Consumers in 2018 will want their bathrooms to feature the newest gadgets on the market and as a result, next year should see bathroom-related apps really rise to prominence.”

Shower surrounds

With modern day families relying on time-saving solutions this trend has been transferred into bathroom design with the growth of showering and therefore surrounds. With the rising popularity of wetrooms, it is no wonder this area has seen a steady increase in the most minimal arrangements and it is a trend which will continue into 2018. Still a coveted look for the hotel market, it is unsurprising the minimal, frameless enclosure is a key look for the residential bathroom. Eileen Slattery marketing manager for Merlyn explains: “Hotel inspired luxury is still a big influence in bathroom trends and a wetroom offers the perfect solution to the modern day busy household. Our 8mm and 10mm Showerwalls give you the flexibility to achieve this highly desired spa-like style, creating a beautiful and personalised showering environment. This is an enduring trend which consumers have embraced.” This is also confirmed by managing director of Lakes Bathrooms Bev Brown who is also confident this trend will continue beyond 2018: “Once the preserve of luxury, boutique hotels, walk-in style shower enclosures have become incredibly popular with those looking to create a sleek, modern and accessible showering solution and this is a trend we expect to continue into 2018 and beyond.”


It has been noted bathroom furniture could see one of the strongest growths within the bathroom sector throughout 2018 and beyond. Not only practical to minimise clutter, furniture offers a  luxurious aesthetic appeal. This has been recognised by bathroom product manager at PJH Zaira Woods who comments: “Manufacturers are playing their part by developing ever more appealing concepts and styles that meet growing demand. Quality, functionality and innovation are all contributing factors enabling intelligent designs to be created which specifically target UK bathrooms and the associated space/shape restraints. Beautiful on-trend door colours and textures, matched with high specification cabinet fittings – such as push-to-open mechanisms and soft-close doors, as well as internal storage options including drawer organisers, liners and easy installation features, add to this desirability.”


As the colour trend of 2018 for bathrooms is emerging as black, it is perhaps unsurprising brassware will follow this development. With chrome the standard specification for taps, it is predicted more prestigious projects will be dominated by alternative finishes such as bronze and black. And Richard Nicholls, UK and European sales and marketing director for Sanipex agrees, commenting: “There is a heavy focus on mixing materials, with a particularly big push towards brassware in ‘alternative’ finishes to chrome. We’ve seen the beginnings of this already with the success of Matt Black and believe this is a starting point for a greater variety of finishes, carrying through into 2018. Materials such as wood and stone will remain popular in the bathroom, with finishes such as Matt Black and Bronze working well in terms of adding more variety into the mix. Bathroom brassware in a Matt Black finish creates a striking contrast against crisp white sanitaryware and mixes well with on-trend shades such as grey.”

Wall coverings

As many choose to refurbish their homes now instead of moving, it has been suggested that homeowners have gained confidence in making braver decisions when it comes to bathroom design. And lending itself to bold, large scale patterns are a plethora of wall coverings from porcelain or quartz slabs through to laminate panels, in either gloss or matt textures. Product director for Showerwall Claire Lambert continues: “I think that opening up the customer’s imagination to using a sheet material in their bathroom will lead to wider experimentation with, for example, customer printing on laminate and acrylics.”