Six Wellness-Related Bathroom Design Trends For 2024

Key Takeaways:

– Personalized features such as layered lighting, music, home fragrances, and textured finishes are popular in bathroom remodels
– Designers focus on creating a holistic spa experience with features like built-in lockers, benches, saunas, and aromatherapy
– Wellness design emphasizes stress reduction and incorporates natural light and air for a sense of openness
– Accessibility features are important, including curbless showers, grab bars, and wheelchair-friendly space
– Larger showers are preferred over tubs for relaxation and rejuvenation, with some clients opting for steam showers
– Wet rooms offer a spacious and spa-like feel, eliminating concerns about water intrusion and allowing for optimal use of space
– Large format tiles are popular for their realistic stone looks, customization options, and low maintenance


A bathroom remodel – especially for a primary suite – is a major undertaking with tremendous wellness potential for its users. Done well, it can also offer strong resale potential for your property. That’s why it’s worth paying heed to what the pros say is trending. And why I always pay attention when the National Kitchen & Bath Association, a trade organization comprising 50,000 members, including designers, dealers, remodelers, installers and manufacturers, releases its annual studies. (In the interest of disclosure, I’ve been an NKBA member for close to two decades, but it’s only one of the leading associations I source for research.)

The 2024 Bathroom Trends Research Report was just released last week, and you probably won’t be surprised to learn that wellness design plays a strong role in the findings. Here are six of the wellness-related emerging trends cited in the study, with emailed insights from NKBA member designers who had a chance to review the report and expound upon the concepts described in its points. These are the four design professionals who shared how the trends NKBA tracked are showing up in their practices:

1. Personalized Features

Brunet likes to create a multi-sensory bathroom experience, she says. This includes layered lighting for sight; music for hearing; home fragrances for smell, and textured finishes for touch.

Velasco likes to create visual effects, she shares. “I usually like drama when I use wallpaper in a bathroom so I can make evident the nature of the material,” the Miami designer shares, elaborating, “therefore I go for murals, oversized patterns, and gradient colors.”

Grubb points to personalization in storage details, particularly those enhancing functionality. “Organization has grown exponentially over the years, especially comfortable storage [features] like slide outs under sinks, beauty storage slide outs to hold a blow dryer, hampers built into the vanity, and of course dividers in drawers.” These personalize a bathroom in ways that make a client’s morning and nighttime routines more convenient, saving the user time and stress.

Ireland’s clients want the “holistic experience” of a spa, she says, and she delivers that in various ways. “Among the features I’ve integrated into my clients’ bathrooms are built-in lockers, benches, saunas, and aromatherapy incorporated into both the shower and the tub. Scent, known for its powerful ability to evoke memories, can transport us back to our most indulgent spa experiences,” she notes. Multiple water features, including additional shower heads on slide bars, are included to cater to individual preferences, she adds.

2. Health Focus

Ireland emphasizes stress reduction in her health and wellness focus, she reports. “Today, we understand more than ever that stress is the leading cause of illness so I strive to really listen to my clients’ needs, desires, and to understand their lifestyle.” She then approaches design with the goal of counteracting stressors. “It’s important that I understand what will help to simplify and make their lives easier to navigate in their newly imagined spaces.”

“Natural light contributes to wellness so it’s nice to have oversized windows to let in an abundance of light, air, and triple glazed windows will work for this in most climates,” Grubb observes. “Operable windows allow fresh air; for privacy needs there can be motorized exterior or interior roll down shades or smart glass. I think ‘openness’ and size contributes to wellness,” the Southern California designer suggests.

3. Accessibility

“Approximately 90% of my clients consider accessibility features, a trend likely influenced by the significant aging population in the US,” declares Ireland. “My clients are building or remodeling their homes with aging parents in mind. I’ve also encountered cases where family members have health issues or disabilities,” she adds. The accessibility features she’s incorporating include curbless showers, extra-wide entrances, and open-concept baths with wheelchair-friendly space. “My designs often incorporate grab bars, bench seats in showers, and easily accessible shower trim at lower heights. What’s most important is to foster independence, enabling our loved ones to shower with ease.”

Blocking for grab bars is required in her area, Brunet says, but she also specifies other accessibility features, including zero entry showers when possible. “We have noticed an increase in interest and requests for these in the past three years, even for secondary bathrooms. This ties in well with creating accessibility throughout a home.”

Grubb points to wall-mount vanities that can be lowered if needed later, plus integrated towel/grab bars, handheld showerheads and benches, plus zero threshold showers with wider doors. These also add to the project’s “contemporary and cool” factors. “We never mention a client is getting older! Sometimes it’s unspoken and we’ll include accessibility features in most projects calling them ‘stylish’ or adding comfort,” he confides.

4. Larger Showers Instead of Tubs

Brunet observes, “I would say that 85% of remodeling projects are looking to remove a tub to accommodate a larger shower space.” She attributes this to time constraints, water conservation and reduced maintenance. “I have seen a slight increase in interest and installation of steam showers, mostly for health reasons; arthritis, aching muscles, respiratory issues,” she adds, commenting, “Shower spaces have become a destination and experiential space in higher-end projects; clients are looking for a showering experience to relax, uplift, and rejuvenate their bodies and souls.”

“Our clients have always requested large showers that are spacious and comfortably hold two people,” Grubb observes, qualifying, “However, not too oversized to overpower the room and feel it’s taking over (and they can reduce the efficiency of a steam shower).”

“I’ve noticed a growing trend where many clients opt not to include a tub in their primary bath,” Ireland says. “Instead, they desire larger showers that I am incorporating with three zones—one for each person sharing the space and a shared zone.” She also sees these enhanced showers offering spa features like steam, body sprays, or multiple additional water features such as rain and handheld showerheads.

All three designers point out that they still have clients who want tubs as well as performance showers. Some choose them for the visual factor, others for the relaxation of a long soak.

5. Wet Rooms

“I believe the wet room is still going to be a strong trend in 2024,” Ireland predicts. ”My clients still desire a spacious, spa-like, open feel for their baths, and wet rooms offer all that and more.” She seems them offering several benefits, including eliminating concerns about water intrusion in unwanted areas. “Their overall design is simplistic and devoid of disjointed elements, making movement easier and allowing for optimal use of available space.”

“In the case of the bath wet areas, there is desire for more space, natural light, and enjoyment of the senses. This includes both the shower and tub area,” observes Velasco, adding, “With more time to spend at home, families find it’s necessary to be comfortable in every area of their home.”

6. Large Format Tile

“Approximately 60% of my clients choose large-format tiles for primary baths,” Ireland reports. “The technology behind large-format tiles has come a long way, which is why it has become so popular.” There are highly realistic stone looks for less cost and maintenance, plus new shapes and dimensionality to customize a design, she adds.

Brunet says she’s been specifying these almost exclusively, preferring their uncluttered visual with minimal grout lines and their low maintenance, choosing “Large format slabs in showers and tub surrounds for ease of cleaning and a luxury look.”

Grubb says he specifies large format tiles for clients with modern leanings. ”We have often used oversized porcelain tile on the floor, or at a minimum, large tiles to mitigate grout lines.”

Source link

Property Chomp’s Take:

When it comes to bathroom remodels, there is a growing emphasis on wellness design. Design professionals are recognizing the importance of creating spaces that promote health and well-being. The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) recently released its 2024 Bathroom Trends Research Report, which highlighted several emerging trends in wellness design.

One of the key trends mentioned in the report is the incorporation of personalized features in bathroom design. Designers are creating multi-sensory experiences by incorporating elements that engage the senses. This includes layered lighting, music, home fragrances, and textured finishes. By catering to individual preferences and creating a personalized space, designers are enhancing the overall wellness experience for users.

Another trend highlighted in the report is a focus on health. Designers are prioritizing stress reduction and wellness in their designs. Natural light is a key component of wellness, and designers are incorporating oversized windows to let in an abundance of light and air. Operable windows and motorized shades are also being used to enhance privacy and create a sense of openness. By maximizing natural light and creating a connection to the outdoors, designers are promoting a healthier and more calming environment.

Accessibility is another important trend in wellness design. With an aging population, designers are incorporating features that make bathrooms more accessible for individuals with disabilities or mobility issues. This includes curbless showers, extra-wide entrances, and open-concept baths with wheelchair-friendly space. By fostering independence and making daily routines easier, designers are creating spaces that promote overall well-being.

The report also mentions the shift towards larger showers instead of tubs. Many homeowners are opting to remove tubs in favor of larger shower spaces. This is driven by factors such as time constraints, water conservation, and reduced maintenance. Showers are becoming a destination and experiential space, with clients looking for a showering experience that relaxes and rejuvenates their bodies and souls.

Wet rooms are also gaining popularity in wellness design. Wet rooms offer a spacious, spa-like, open feel to bathrooms. They eliminate concerns about water intrusion in unwanted areas and provide a simplistic design that allows for optimal use of space. With more time spent at home, families are seeking comfort in every area of their home, including the bathroom.

Lastly, large format tiles are becoming increasingly popular in bathroom design. Approximately 60% of clients are choosing large-format tiles for their primary baths. These tiles offer realistic stone looks at a lower cost and with less maintenance. They also provide new shapes and dimensionality to customize a design. With minimal grout lines and a clean visual aesthetic, large format tiles are a preferred choice for designers.

In conclusion, wellness design is a growing trend in bathroom remodels. Design professionals are incorporating personalized features, focusing on health and accessibility, and creating larger showers, wet rooms, and using large format tiles. By prioritizing wellness in their designs, professionals are creating spaces that promote health, relaxation, and overall well-being.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *