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Bathroom Trends 2021: Plumbing and Design

Bathroom Trends 2021: Plumbing and Design

Everyone said it in 2020…the bathroom has to be a soothing oasis where each day starts right. We ALL needed that spa-like regenerative power last year.

Tapping into that power became hard, however, as home-bound families continually came up against extended timelines for remodels. The industry had exploded, and every well-intentioned household was up against lead times that delayed remodels for months.

By the time many families were able to tap the wellness trend and create the sanctuary they felt they deserved, it was already 2021!

Now, here we are at the end of MAY 2021. Trends have ebbed and flowed this year with our evolving idea of a “sanctuary.” Luxury isn’t the only thing we’re after anymore.

We’re also thinking more about convenience.

Blame e-commerce if you’d like (which saw 10 years of growth in TEN MONTHS), but the time we spent on our phones in 2020 also left an impression on us…

The result? Today’s bathrooms are becoming smart as well as luxurious. This combination has replaced the “escapism” of screens with the very real retreat into the new spa experience that today’s bathroom trends provide.

Keep reading to discover the 2021 bathroom trends that are coming out stronger as the year marches on!!


  1. Steam Showers

A hot shower is always delectably steamy. You feel your pores open and the warm water caresses every part of your skin. More than clean, you feel refreshed, renewed…like a soft steam bun right out of the pressure cooker!

Steam happens naturally in a shower, and for many it’s the most relaxing element of the experience. The bathroom clouds, and you step into a warm mist when you exit the shower. It’s divine.

Did you know that there are showers based entirely on steam instead of running water?

You’ve probably read or seen something already—steam showers are vaporous rooms that replace a run-of-the-mill shower stall. They provide several key benefits:

  • It doesn’t take as much time to generate heat as a tub or sauna
  • It consumes less water and energy
  • It helps treat stiffness and join problems
  • It naturally detoxifies the skin
  • It stimulates the cardiovascular system
  • It helps lessen respiratory symptoms
  • It can be super-charged with aroma therapy

There are SO many details that go into bathroom design that the decision to install a steam shower instead of a traditional shower triggers other important choices, too, like selecting a tile suited for steam instead of running water.

The plumbing and generator used for a steam shower, too, will have special considerations. If you want to learn more about a steam shower for your space, reach out to us here or on social to start the conversation!!


  1. Floating Vanities

Floating vanities were once considered a “thing” exclusively for tiny bathrooms. They conserve space and gracefully allow more foot room to navigate even the tiniest of water closets.

The look of today’s floating vanities, however, has branched out of the “contemporary” style most assigned to them before. Some today come with a complete countertop and storage base, and others come in separate pieces. The mixing and matching that’s possible today is endless!

As an added bonus, floating vanities are ideal for keeping bathroom floors clean.

Even large vanities are being wall-hung in the “floating” style today. The airy look is the preference of some, who otherwise see large-frame vanities as “heavy boxes left on the floor.”


  1. Large-Format Tiles

Say “adios” to tiny tiles!!

There has been a HUGE boom in large-format tiles in bathrooms, and the reasons go beyond what’s “trendy…” It’s also because of the new tile materials and cutting techniques that opened a WHOLE new world of large-format tiles that weren’t usable for bathrooms before.

Any tile used in a bathroom must, of course, be slip resistant. It also has to endure daily changes in moisture and temperature.

These new large-format tiles gained instant popularity thanks to several key benefits:

  • Larger tiles tend to air on the “luxury” side of look and feel
  • They also require fewer grout lines
  • They’re easier to clean as a result
  • They’re more aesthetic when paired with natural stone

Because large-format tiles are SO easy to clean, they have been especially popular to install in shower walls. Just look at this recent bathroom before and after where we installed elegant large-format tiles all around the huge shower space…

Flower mound bathroom remodel with seamless shower and bath space


  1. Back-Lit Mirrors

I just wrote about this last week!! Mirrors are trending in big ways, and a backlit mirror makes for one of my favorite examples.

Houzz polled homeowners this year and found that more than three quarters (77%) install a new mirror during a bathroom remodel. This isn’t surprising, because the mirror is one of the focal points of a beautiful bathroom design.

Did you know, though, that most of those mirrors selected are now backlit models?

Backlit mirrors allow for ambient lighting without any glare. And, more importantly, they help you look your best! With even light instead of multiple lights cast around or above you, you’re guaranteed to get the most natural look (without shadows) every time you glance at your reflection.

These mirrors are also innately decorative and give a stunning illusion of a floating mirror. Add dimension to your bathroom design with a backlit mirror selection, especially on a textured wall, and you will NOT regret it!!


  1. Smart Plumbing

Smart faucets and even toilets or bidets are gaining a bigger place in today’s bathrooms!

Faucets can now be voice-activated with a home assistant such as Alexa, which might seem like “more of the same” with the advent of motion-activated sinks years ago…but the feel is different and many homeowners prefer it.

Smart toilets, for their part, have components like self-closing lids and voice-activated flushing. Technology that will be added to these models soon includes self-cleaning lights and mechanisms that clean the bowl for you.


  1. More visualization!

Along with all the future-esque tech of self-cleaning toilets comes the HYPER visual state of bathroom design.

For a while now, 3D designs have become more realistic every year to help homeowners make design and selection choices. Just look at this example from a project we’re working on now…

Then, there’s the trend of more visual shopping. Right on our website, for instance, we have a 3D tour of the DeWils Fine Cabinetry showroom.

Our favorite luxury retailer, Ferguson, also has an extraordinary online showroom. Be sure to check out their “Lookbook…”


To start visualizing your own bathroom design, contact us for a bathroom remodel consultation! We would LOVE to talk to you about these and other bathroom trends…from plumbing to design to every tile and paint selection you make, your bathroom will become as convenient as it is luxurious.

And THAT is a trend we can all get behind!!

Be sure to get your complimentary mood board this month, too, by clicking “like” on any 4 or more selections you like from our recent posts!!


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