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Guide to Bathroom Trends 2018

February 02, 2018
Guide to Bathroom Trends 2018

Trends have always come and gone and in some instances have even come back around again.

More recently, trends appear to be doing this at an increasing rate of speed. However, when it comes to the bathroom, this space continues to be one room in the house that carries an aesthetic that is quite timeless.

This could also be due to fact that changing up a bathroom isn’t easy to do often, or it may just be that this is what many of us desire and have now come to expect from a bathroom.

Bathroom Trends 2018

This year, the trends coming through for 2018 are actually a lot less about a new aesthetic or style; they are more about functionality, embracing new product technology and a focus toward the type of environment and feeling that is created.

Bathroom designers and bathroom renovators are looking for products that make the bathroom feel more like an oasis or personal sanctuary, are easier to clean, make the bathroom appear larger and stand the test of time in terms of visual appeal and longevity.

To gain further insights into what’s new for the bathroom this year, we reached out to three industry experts. We would like to thank Frank Iaria of Mint Kitchen Group, Russell Henderson, Senior Designer at smarterBATHROOMS+ and Royston Wilson, President of the KBDi for sharing their views on the themes below.

What are the key trends in bathroom design for 2018?

We will see a fusion of different materials, surfaces and elements being elegantly blended together. Taking cues from the trends in kitchen design this year, bathrooms will embrace matte textures, warmer colour palettes, practical products and an aim to maximise the use of available space as much as possible.

What must-have bathroom products will be popular in 2018?

Thin Design Profiles

“Thin is in! Thin (small) feature tiles, thin benchtops, thin shelving even towel rails. We are projecting that this will be a stand out in our 2018 bathroom designs”. Russell Henderson | smarterBATHROOMS +


Image Credit: Tom Roe for smarterBATHROOMS+

Rectified Tiles

Big is going to beautiful; larger format tiles free of grout lines for both walls and floors are becoming the preferred tile of choice.

Rectified tiles have a straight edge this is mechanically processed to ensure that all the tiles are uniform in size, are perfectly square or rectangle and have a seamless finish when laid.

”We’re seeing that our customers want clean looking, minimalistic spaces achieved with the use of clean, straight lines and large format tiles.” Frank Iaria| Mint Kitchen Group

Image Credit: Three Balls Red

3D Tiles

“Recent advancements in technology has seen some fabulous three dimensional wall tiles leap into the market. These feature tiles come in a multitude of designs from stacked patterns, to embossed and textured.” Royston Wilson | KBDi

Image Credit: Wow Design EU

Lowered Height Benchtops with Top Mounted Single Basins

A lowered benchtop with a top mount basin that act as a statement piece is predicted to be popular by Frank, while Royson says that having a bench top with a larger surface area and a smaller vessel on top is the preferred option over the inclusion of set of double basins.

Straight Profile Tapware in Matte Finishes

More sleek and refined looking tapware in matte finishes such as graphite are coming onto the scene for a fuss-free, uncluttered and sophisticated look. For a softer look, champagne and bronze metallic tapware will be another strong option.

Image Credit: Meir

Square Fixtures and Fittings

‘’We are seeing more square fixtures and fittings being specified. This includes showerheads, tapware and towel rails.” Says Frank.

TIP: Frank also suggests that when selecting fixtures they should either all have a square profile or all have curved / organic profile. Don’t mix the 2 styles together!

Image Credit: GIA Renovation

Cabinetry hardware made of the same material as the vanity

Handles are becoming extensions of vanity. Whether they be round, rectangular or square, expect to see timber on timber over handle free doors.

Alternatively, thin profile handles in matte black or matte white against a timber vanity are becoming popular.

Image Credit: Tom Roe for smarterBATHROOMS+

Rimless Toilets

”Rimless toilet technology is here! A majority of brands now offer a rimless toilet, it is the way of the future making the toilet more hygienic and easier to clean. We predict that before too long a toilet rim will be a thing of the past.” Russell Henderson | smarterBATHROOMS +

What materials and finishes are expected to be most popular and how will they be applied?

  • Timber and timber veneers will continue to be popular in 2018 adding warmth breaking up monotone colours in the bathroom. There will be a preference toward mid-tone timbers such as walnut, teak and spotted gum.

“Introducing a textured wood grain laminate for the vanity fronts can be complimented by a lighter coloured bench top to make the two materials really stand out.” Frank Iaria | Mint Kitchens

Image Credit: Tom Roe for smarterBATHROOMS+

  • Natural Stone in a textured, matte or honed finish for walls and floors.

  • Marble tiles and marble walls behind vanity with a matte not polished finish.

  • Terrazzo! Whether it be a natural terrazzo or a porcelain tile terrazzo look. Caesarstone has recently launched a benchtop to emulate a natural terrazzo look.

Image Credit: Liljencrantz Design

What will be the new and preferred colour palettes for bathrooms?

Neutral Colour Palettes with Pops of Colour

”Natural colours dominate bathroom design. Expect to see beautiful neutral or earthier tones, along with soft warm or cool grey colours for walls and flooring is on trend. The greys are often paired with other natural colours; feature tiles that are a shade of white, light blue or green for example.” Frank Iaria | Mint Kitchen Group

Image Credit: Maison Valentina


Accessorising will be big as décor can regularly be changed from brighter colours in the summer through to more moodier and richer coloured accessories in the winter.

Create an Oasis with Plant Life

Colour will be brought in through towels, greenery in smaller plants, or larger potted plants if the space permits.

Image Credit: Schoener Wohnen| Planterra

Feature Tiles

Pops of colour will also be added by way of feature tiles which may appear on a single shower wall or behind a vanity or alternatively in smaller spaces such as a shower niche.

Image Credit: GIA Renovations

Coloured Internal Cabinetry

“Two tone cabinetry is going to be big. Choosing contrasting colour for the inside of the vanity cupboard creates an element of surprise, almost like wearing pretty underwear”. “This used to be quite pricey to achieve but has become more affordable due to a higher demand and improvements in manufacturing techniques”. Says Royston

Subtle Shades of Pantone Colour of the Year

‘’Pantone has released ‘Ultra violet’ as the 2018 colour of the year this will be a hard colour to include in a bathroom as tile selection is very minimal in this colour range therefore we would predict seeing a softer version throughout the pink/purple range, suggesting more of a feminine finish to the space.” Russell Henderson | smarterBATHROOMS +

Image Credit: Decor Pad | Brabbu | Heritage Stone Company

What are some new & popular ways to maximise space in small bathrooms?

More and more homemakers have a strong desire to create a sense of space but introducing clever hacks to the bathroom. If you would like to discover more visit our sister article Small Bathroom Ideas.

Our Picks

Here'a a snap shot of the bathroom products we think will be big in 2018.

We hope you found this article helpful. If you are ready to start building your wish list of products, then be sure to check out our Bathroom Product Ranges.

With many thanks again to the following companies for sharing their time and knowledge of bathroom design trends for 2018.

Don't miss our Kitchen and Laundry Trend Guides below.

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Header Image Credit: Tom Roe for smarterBATHROOMS+