Bathroom Trends to Avoid in 2018: What Showroom Buyers Should Know

Updated: Bathroom Trends to Avoid in 2019

In 2017, bathroom elements like marble flooring, fish scale tiles and gold fixtures stole the show. While some of these trends are here to stay, others are being replaced by more functional, natural and practical styles. As a showroom buyer, it’s important to maintain a strong grasp on which trends are gaining momentum – and which ones are fading.

To help you build a profitable showroom that customers love, here’s a first-hand look at bathroom interior design trends to avoid in 2018.

Tub and Shower

In the early 2000’s, we saw oversized jet tubs and built in shower tubs take center stage. Instead of the columns, arches and tub surrounds that dominated during this time, baths and showers in 2018 will see a much sleeker and more functional approach. Instead of clunky baths, home contractor Petros Homes says that oversized tile showers and frameless glass are helping to make modern bathrooms more serene.

Future bathrooms will also move away from multiple shower heads and jet streams. Way back in 2012, John Petrie, owner of Mother Hubbard’s Custom Cabinetry, warned that tricked out showers require much more water, leading to overconsumption of both water and energy. The trend picking up steam is that environmentally-conscious consumers are opting for shower heads and water fixtures that save water.

Overall, today’s bathroom buyers aren’t looking to create a space that’s gaudy or ornate. Rather, they are leaning towards pieces that exude minimalism and functionality while conserving resources.


Color trends and patterns are constantly evolving according to consumer tastes. However, some color trends are short-lived and should be avoided.

Rosemary Avance, associate director of research at Consumer Affairs, explains that it’s important to steer away from dated shades like mustard, salmon or avocado. These bathroom color trends can make it harder for a home to sell. Plus, they’re harder to match with modern styles during a bathroom upgrade.

Other colors to avoid include beiges and taupes. Lifestyle and design blogger Amanda Cotting says that neturals have become tired and boring. Colors that are richer, darker and bolder will take their place in the coming year.

Similarly, all-white bathrooms aren’t feeling the love in 2018. Home sales representative Tammy Samuels explains that while white can look sleek at first, it tends to wear more quickly over time. This is because white tiles are easily stained, and its stark surfaces get dirty much faster.

Since today’s bathroom trends are all about practicality, consumers are choosing bathroom shades that are more colorful and functional than white. Sandy Spring Builders says that in place of traditional neutrals, bold blue tones are rising in popularity. Faucets, cabinets and even sinks will be emerging in all shades of blue, including bright cerulean and deep navy.


From rugs to wallpaper, patterns have been popping up across bathrooms for the past few years. While certain patterns will remain popular in the coming year, others are quickly becoming outdated.

Namely, chevron is one wall pattern that bathrooms should say goodbye to. Amanda Harding, culture writer at Cheat Sheet says that chevron patterns started to fall out of fashion in 2017. Moving forward, chevron-patterned items will feel even more outdated and old school.

At a general level, patterns are moving off of the walls and onto the floor. Instead of mixing and matching wall and floor patterns, interior designer Carole King suggests choosing a pattern just for the floor. Then, it can be paired with a solid colored or two-toned wall for a minimalist approach.


Some materials will always work well in a bathroom, no matter what designs or styles are trending. In 2018, however, a few previously trending materials should be avoided.

Amanda Gates, CEO and founder of Gates Interior Design, explains that granite is one material losing popularity. A popular choice for bathroom countertops since the early 90’s, granite is starting to seem dated with marble seen as an elegant and durable alternative.

It’s also important to note which finishes are going out of style. For example, Stone and Tile Studio says that rose and copper finishes are on the decline. While still being used in small volumes, it’s important to be aware that other finishes, such as gold, silver and bronze, are beginning to take their place.

Designers are also opting for matte finishes over glossy, especially when it comes to tile. Outfitting a bathroom in matte tile brings a warm and comforting look, according to Decorist’s creative director Jessica McCarthy. This fits into the natural and minimalist styles that are dominating modern interior design.

It’s also why terracotta tiling will be a go-to choice for bathrooms in 2018. Today’s terracotta tiles aren’t glossy like those of the past. Instead, they assume a more earthy look, according to Sarah Beaumont at Laurel & Wolf. As subway tiles also fade from popularity, terracotta tiles can be used across the floor or walls in varying geometric shapes to exude comfort and luxury.


You may not be selling plants and art on the showroom floor; however, it’s still important to be aware of the accessories trending for 2018. Knowing the type of textiles and art customers are looking to incorporate can help guide accompanying fixture decisions.

For example, Apartment Therapy projects editor Dabney Frake explains that many people are ditching their basic bath mat for an authentic rug. Vintage rugs elevate a bathroom’s elegance, and also add flair with the pattern and color. When helping customers choose bathtubs and showers, consider how a vintage rug, rather than a bathmat, might work in the space.

The less is more aesthetic will be a popular choice across every room in 2018. Designer Nate Berkus says people often go overboard with decorating by loading up surfaces with too much junk. This can be a major design mistake that looks messy and unsophisticated.

People tend to make this same error in their bathroom, cluttering products and toiletries on tub corners and shelving. As bathtub surrounds become obsolete and sinks sleeker, there will be less surface for clutter.


Thanks to the internet, today’s homeowners are surrounded by elegant and sometimes excessive bathroom inspiration. While inspiration and creativity are important, it can be too much of a good thing.

Celebrity designer Kishani Perera says some homeowners have grandiose, unrealistic ideas for what will actually work in their bathroom environment. This can lead to poorly planned spaces that don’t function well. As a buyer, you can help clients craft realistic bathroom environments by creating balance on the showroom floor. While one display might showcase a two-person shower for a large bathroom, another might feature a modest bath that would work well in a small space.

As you tune into current and outdated trends, don’t forget the importance of functionality. Photographer and architect Oriana Gómez-Zerpa explains that it’s common for both showroom managers and customers to prioritize trends over practicality. By incorporating trending and timeless bathroom styles into your yearly buying schedule, you can ensure that customers have a balanced and practical bathroom that they love.

Images by: iriana88w/©123RF Stock Photo, jodiejohnson/©123RF Stock Photo, Sarah Pflug