Bathroom and Kitchen Trends

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Bathroom and Kitchen Trends

COVID-19 had a substantial impact on bathroom and kitchen trends.  These trends will have a lasting impact on their design.  With homeowners spending more time at home, the nationwide trends according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) are:

  • Larger kitchens and primary bathrooms
  • Larger and easier to clean antimicrobial surfaces
  • Flexible spaces with ultra-storage and a super-pantry
  • Integrated technology that adds convenience and peace of mind
  • Larger windows

 The International Furnishings and Design Association (IFDA) further adds:

  • Aging in place features
  • Energy efficient appliances
  • Wellness features in the bathroom such as smart glass on mirrors and shower doors
  • Efficient LED lighting
  • Quartz countertops
  • Wood flooring

These bathroom and kitchen trends are consistent with what DAD’s is seeing in Orange County.  Let’s take a closer look at these bathroom and kitchen trends.


Bathroom and Kitchen TrendsBathroom and kitchen trends have always been about functionality.  The kitchen has always been where families live.  More than any other room in the house, this is where “life” happens.  This multifunction area has always served as the eating, gathering, and unofficial conference room.  Today, however, the kitchen and within its vicinity is also serving as the homework, home school or virtual school, play, and home office area.  The kitchen is getting squeezed.  With more meals being prepared at home, there is a greater need for food storage and counter space for food preparation.  If there is a perfect definition for today’s kitchen remodel, it would be to create the perfect “multi-tasking room”.

When thinking about Bathroom and Kitchen Trends, What is happening in the Kitchen?

  • Bathroom and Kitchen TrendsKitchen Islands – The L-shaped kitchen with a large, functional island is the dominate layout by a wide margin. These are becoming increasingly important. For added space, islands are fast becoming a necessity – a “must have” rather than a “like to have”.  Islands, or if space is limited, peninsulas, offer increased storage and preparation space.  They can also add increased or relocated food preparation areas.  The counter also functions as a great place to perform both school and work activities.  Arts and crafts are nicely performed in this communal area.  With a quartz countertop, there is little worry about staining.
  • Windows – Clients are looking for larger windows to bring the feeling of outdoors indoors. Larger clear glass windows bring added openness and calming tranquility.  The positive impact a large outdoor window has on your emotions is remarkable.
  • Cabinets – Clean lines, minimal detailing, and natural finishes are very much in demand.

What about appliances and cooking in the kitchen?

  • Bathroom and Kitchen Trends | Induction CooktopsAppliances – Stainless steel continues as the leading choice.
  • Cooking – Gas and induction continue to replace traditional electric cooktops. Glass cooktops are fading fast.  Induction cooktops are fast becoming the desired method.  Why?  Primarily because there is no heat between the surface and the pan.  Therefore, even when cooking, the surface remains cool (you cannot burn your hand on the cooktop).  Since there is no residual heat, the kitchen remains much cooler and your energy costs are much lower.  Moreover, because the surface does not get hot, there is no way spilled food can bake itself onto the cooktop. This means cleanup is a breeze. Induction cooktops seem to cook much faster than the electric cooktop, reducing your cooking times.  Induction checks all the boxes: Fast, efficient, and clean.
  • Ventilation hoods are becoming a decorative focal point.

Quartz kitchen countertops are now very popular.

  • Bathroom and Kitchen Trends Quartz CountertopsQuartz Countertops, especially in lighter colors, have completely replaced all other countertops combined. Why?  Unlike other materials, quartz is super strong, impervious to mold, mildew, bacteria, E.coli, and never requires sealing. It is a very germ-resistant countertop.  It’s virtually impossible to stain, scratch, or burn.  Cleanup is easy, requiring only a soft rag and dish soap.  Although tile and stone backsplashes remain popular, glass is quickly becoming the preferred material for its clean, elegant, focal point appearance. With under cabinet LED lighting, the effect is stunning and beautiful.

Touchless faucets and farm style sinks are highly desired.

  • Faucets – Touchless or hands free has almost completely replaced the traditional handle activated faucet. With a state-of-the-art sensor under the spout, touchless faucets allow you to speed through cooking and cleanup tasks.  The entire family enjoys a cleaner, more hygienic kitchen environment.
  • Sink – More than 30% of homeowners want a farm house (apron) sink.  The remaining 70% are about evenly split between stainless steel and cast-iron porcelain.

Is technology entering the kitchen?

  • Technology – Dedicated devise charging and viewing along with video communication is growing. In areas prone to power outages, emergency power for the refrigerator is becoming a popular item.  Clients are also looking for great Wi-Fi reception in the kitchen and the immediate vicinity.

Homeowners are spending more on kitchen renovations as clients seek more efficient designs, greater space, and higher quality/longer lasting materials.  Over the last year, more than two-thirds of kitchen renovations increased their size, most by consuming existing indoor space.  The average full kitchen remodel for a single family detached residential home is now running between $55,000 and $110,000. 

Bathroom and Kitchen Trends – The Bathroom

Bathroom and kitchen trends are moving.  In the bathroom, clients have fundamentally shifted their relationship with their bathrooms.  With 40% more home entertaining and 50% more working from home, there is a big change in patterns.  Commuting, vacation, and restaurant budgets are being redirected into home services. The top reason for home improvement spending was to make the home better suit changing lifestyle needs.

  • Master bathrooms continue to see high demand for relaxation and papering. After a hectic 15-hour day at home in front of a computer, preparing 3 meals plus 2-3 snacks, laundry, pets, and corralling children for home schooling, nerves are shot!  Clients are demanding large 2 person showers with invigorating faucets and comforting features.  Dedicated dimmable LED lighting over the shower is a must.  If there is room for a separate bathtub and walk-in shower, 60% of clients want both.  A large soaking tub for two is highly desired.  Bath bubbles, continuous hot water, built-in LED lighting and heated backrests are highly preferred in a tub.
    Master Bathroom Remodel - Irvine, CA - DAD's ConstructionBathroom and Kitchen Trends Curbless ShowerBathroom and Kitchen Trends | Curb-less Shower
    • The most popular master bathroom change continues to be removing bathtubs to increase the size of the shower. These showers include larger, freestanding showers to accommodate two people with a zero-clearance entry (aka curb-less and walk-in).  Integrated seating, grab bars, and larger subway tile design surrounds with fewer grout lines are very popular.  Linear drains and touchless or hands-free faucets are in great demand.

What about the guest or hall bathroom?

  • Guest Bathroom RemodelGuest bathrooms are typically in the hall where bedrooms are located. These usually illustrate the most wear as they primarily function as the kid’s bathroom.  After the kids go off to college or move out, it quickly becomes apparent how much abuse they received over the last 18-25 years.  Tubs and showers that leak or no longer work.  Chipped and damaged sinks and tubs.  Cabinets with worn finishes and moving parts.  Drywall that’s peeling, mold, filthy tile grout, poor lighting and ventilation round out the major concerns.  These bathrooms are shot!  Clients almost always want a “gut-and-redo”.  This is where the entire room is demolished to the studs.  With the existing materials likely containing lead, asbestos, and walls and ceilings damaged by years of moisture, there really is no other option to make the guest bathroom safe, healthy, and functional.

Primary bathrooms and powder rooms.

  • Primary bathrooms/powder rooms are receiving lots of attention. This is typically the first-floor bathroom. With families staying at home and performing school, work, and entertainment activities on this level, the current bathroom/powder room is not working.  No surprise!  Most of these bathrooms and powder rooms were not designed or intended for around the clock use.  These were designed for company and occupants to freshen up.  Even primary bathrooms that have a tub or tub/shower configuration, are now finding usage increasing by more than triple their intended function.  More than any other bathroom, these are failing to accommodate the new lifestyle of families.  Clients are looking for a larger space to accommodate 2 sinks, storage, cosmetics, and medications.  A pleasant, functional space for a few moments of “me time” during the day while maintaining close proximity to the family nucleus is strongly desired.
    Bathroom and Kitchen Trends Primary Bathroom RemodelBathroom and Kitchen Trends Powder Room RemodelBathroom and Kitchen Trends | Guest Bathroom Remodel

For all bathrooms, clients are looking for the same things they want in their kitchen – convenience.  Here are the most important items clients are requesting:

  • Cabinets – Clean lines, minimal detailing, and natural finishes are very much in demand. Regardless of bathroom location, clients want 2 sinks in the bathrooms.  A bathroom serving two or more requires two sinks.  A single sink creates a lot of frustration and heated arguments – especially between tweens and teenagers.
  • Bathroom and Kitchen Trends Curbless Shower RemodelQuartz Countertops, especially in lighter colors, have completely replaced all other countertops combined. Why?  Unlike other materials, quartz is super strong, impervious to mold, mildew, bacteria, E.coli, and never requires sealing.  It is a very germ-resistant countertop.  It’s virtually impossible to stain, scratch, or burn.  Cleanup is easy, requiring only a soft rag and dish soap.  Although tile and stone backsplashes remain popular, glass is quickly becoming the preferred material for its clean, elegant, focal point appearance. Cabinet toe kick LED lighting is becoming very popular as an inexpensive nightlight.  The effect is also stunning and beautiful.
  • Faucets – Touchless or hands free has almost completely replaced the traditional handle activated faucet. Why?  Two big reasons (1) Provide a cleaner, more hygienic bathroom environment (2) Aging in place – It’s much easier to simply wave your hands under the faucet vs turning handles, especially with arthritic or carpal hand disabilities.

What’s going on in the shower?

  • A great shower head that has the power to transform routine showering from a mundane chore to a luxurious spa like experience.
  • Steam Shower – 34% of homeowners want a steam shower.  DAD’s has been installing steam showers for decades.  Over the last year, however, clients have rediscovered how steam lifts you above the stress of the day and leaves you feeling and looking better. Clients view their in-home steam shower as an oasis of comfort and luxury they look forward to every day.

Toilets with a Washlet are in high demand.

  • Washlets are a must in every bathroom for their hygienic front and rear cleaning. These affordable and practical gems save a family of four about 400 rolls of toilet paper yearly – music to any budget! Graphic alert!  Although the aforementioned benefits are greatly appreciated, Toto Toilet with Washlethere is what I hear more often as the greatest benefits of a Washlet: (1) As we age, effectively wiping the rear-end becomes increasingly difficult.  For many elderlies, it’s no longer possible. The washlet completely resolves this issue and allows for independent toileting. (2) Younger women rave about the cleanliness and freshness they achieve during their menstrual cycle.  For them, the question is always “where has this thing been my whole life?!!!”
  • Toilet – Chair height (or comfort height) toilets are in high demand. Unlike conventional toilets, these toilets are like sitting in a comfortable chair.  At 16-19 inches tall vs. 14-1/2 inches for a standard toilet, those extra inches make a huge difference.  Chair height toilets assist people with sitting and standing up, especially for the benefit of taller people, and those with physical handicaps and/or the elderly.

Clients are looking for more technology in the bathroom.

  • Technology – Dedicated devise charging and smart glass on mirrors and shower doors. Clients are also looking for great Wi-Fi reception in the bathroom and the immediate vicinity. Smart glass is:
    • Bathroom and Kitchen Trends Smart Glass Privacy GlassShowers – A switchable double-glazing alternative to blinds, curtains, and shower enclosures. With the click of a switch, the clear glass goes to obscured.  Switchable laminate glass (or privacy switchable glass) offers the wow factor to any wet room divider, shower screen or dividing glass wall between a bedroom and en-suite (a bathroom that immediately adjoins a bedroom).  Privacy glass is becoming very popular as a divider, door between the bathroom and bedroom, and for windows.
    • Bathroom and Kitchen Trends | Smart MirrorMirrors – A smart mirror is a two-way mirror with an electronic display behind the glass. The display can show the viewer different kinds of information in the form of widgets, such as weather, time, date, calendar appointments, and news updates. Smart mirrors transform the bathroom vanity into a personalized digital hub, enabling you to be more efficient and effective every single day. Smart mirrors are designed with an interactive touch and voice-to-text controlled display that is fully customizable. These can also include backlighting and USB charging ports. Smart mirrors display customized information while you wash your face, brush your teeth, and apply makeup!

When remodeling the bathroom, clients are asking for a full “Gut and Redo”.

Bathroom and Kitchen Trends Gut and Redo Bathroom RemodelFor large numbers of homeowners in Orange County, bathrooms are getting a complete “gut-and-redo” (taken down to the studs).  This is primarily due to the presence of mold (poor ventilation), lead (homes built prior to 1979), and asbestos (homes built prior to 1980).  In addition, most clients are changing the layout to better accommodate their lifestyle.  All of these necessitate a complete demolition to the studs.

According to NKBA, the average primary bathroom spend over the last 12 months was between $20,000 and $30,000.  Guest bathrooms saw a spend of $30,000-$40,000.  Master bathrooms checked in with a spend of $50,000+.  Two-thirds of finished projects experienced an increase in size over the previous layout.

Bathroom and Kitchen Trends and Flooring

Both bathroom and kitchen trends saw luxury vinyl tile (LVT) increase in popularity.  LVT offers the look of traditional hardwood and provides an antimicrobial surface.  LVT is expected to replace laminate (Pergo® type) flooring.  Bleach, disinfectants, and other cleaning solutions can be applied to LVT floors without damaging them.  LVT has some notable limitations.  Before deciding on any floor, read Best Floor for Your Home.

I hope this information packed article on bathroom and kitchen trends helps when considering how to approach your bathroom and kitchen remodeling projects.  If you have any questions or need more information, please call me (Dan) directly at (949) 380-0177.  I am always happy to help and answer your questions.

Always Hire a Reliable and Dependable Contractor to Remodel your Bathroom and Kitchen

Design Build Bathroom Remodel | Best Local Contractor DAD's ConstructionAlways work with a trustworthy contractor like DAD’s Construction.  We are experts in bathroom, kitchen, and interior remodeling.  We remodel and manage projects in an efficient manner.  DAD’s Construction will do everything to minimize the possibility of change orders.  Our team will make sure we have all the necessary information to prepare a proposal that meets your requirements.  Rest assured that we will provide you with a detailed, by line-item contract.  We will make sure that the contents of this agreement are properly and clearly communicated to you.  If you have questions or need updates regarding your project, we will always answer your inquiries.

How Can I Receive More Information on Bathroom and Kitchen Trends?

If you would like more information on enjoying the best bathroom, kitchen, and interior remodeling experience in Orange County, call Dan at (949) 380-0177 or at for a free in home consultation.  DAD’s serves all of South Orange County California.  This includes Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Foothill Ranch, Portola Hills, Ladera Ranch, Irvine, San Clemente, Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano, Rancho Santa Margarita, Coto de Caza, Dove Canyon, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, Newport Beach, and Aliso Viejo.

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Daniel A. Derkum is the owner of DAD’s Construction, a leading South Orange County, California design-and-build remodeling and renovation Contractor,  © DAD’s Home Services & Construction, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.