Top 10 Master Bathroom Trends - Ideas You're Going to Love!

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Top 10 Master Bath Trends

Ten Most Requested Master Bath Features

Fifty years ago, the "master bath" didn't even exist in most homes.  Today, the master bath is a standard part of the "Master Suite", a private retreat that can be comfortable, luxurious, or both!

If you're considering a new home or a bathroom remodel, here's the hottest trends and tips you'll want to be aware of, before you make your move.

  Top 10 Master Bathroom Trends - New Homes Raleigh NC - Custom Home Builders Raleigh NC - Build on Your Lot

Top Master Bath Trends #1 - Larger Showers

In some homes, an oversized shower replaces the more typical shower and separate tub. 

In others, the bath is enlarged slightly to accomodate an oversized shower. 

With a larger shower, you may want to consider adding a second showerhead. 

Contrasting light and dark tile colors, styles, and patterns can help transform an oversized shower into the centerpiece of the master bath.

Remember to keep focused on neutral tones!  Even with a larger shower, it's best to keep the palette on the lighter side - the master bath will feel larger

Depending on your budget, the shower fixtures and glass enclosure can be chosen from many different styles and finishes, including Oil Rubbed Bronze, Tuscan Bronze, Black, Brushed Nickel, and more. 


Top 10 Master Bath Trend #2 -Green Features

Some simple things that can make the master bath a greener place to be?

- Tankless (On Demand) Water Heater

Yeah, it's not exactly in the bathroom, but a tankless or solar water heater does provide all that delightful hot water, much of which is used in the master bath! 

- Low Flow Toilets

Watersense and other programs have good recommendations for low flow toilets.  Options include a dual flush toilet, with separate buttons, for, well, separate functions. 


Top 10 Master Bathroom Trends - New Homes Raleigh NC - Custom Home Builders Raleigh NC - Build on Your LotTop 10 Master Bath Trend #3 - Windows and Skylights

After all, the master bath is the place where you begin and end your day.  Why not watch the sunrise from the shower, or stargaze from the soaking tub? 

A variety of different window configurations are available, and window grids can add some cottage character. 

Glass blocks also work well to admit light when the neighbors are nearby.

Skylights or light tubes work well to add light without taking away privacy. 


Top 10 Master Bath Trends #4 - Soaking Tubs vs Jacuzzis

Believe it or not, a jetted tub is no longer the most desired feature in the master bath.

A large, deep soaking tub offers relaxation without noisy jets.  And those pesky jets also require special cleaning to keep from looking, well, used (or was it "well used"?)

Want another tip?  If you're considering Energy Wise or foam insulation in your new home, ask your builder to add foam insulation around the soaking tub. 

That hot bath will stay hot at least twice as long! 


Top 10 Master Bathroom Trends - New Homes Raleigh NC - Custom Home Builders Raleigh NC - Build on Your Lot

Top 10 Master Bath Trends #5 - His and Hers Vanities

A single sink is no longer enough, which you already knew if you've tried to get ready for work at the same time as your spouse! 

A long countertop with dual sinks is becoming commonplace.

Even better, many master baths are separating "his and hers" into completely separate countertops, sinks, and storage as seen here. 

This should also eliminate some arguments about who didn't wipe the counter down!


Top 10 Master Bath Trends #6 - Toilet Rooms

The toilet has been banned from the master bath altogether in many homes.  A private "toilet room" is a big trend. 

But this is one of those "love it or hate it" ideas.  Get claustrophobic?  Ask your builder to leave a "dividing wall" instead of a room, or remove the toilet room walls completely. View photos of a recently completed custom home with a half-wall divider between the tub and toilet.

Otherwise, take advantage of isolating the least talked about function of the Master Bath!  

Top 10 Master Bathroom Trends - New Homes Raleigh NC - Custom Home Builders Raleigh NC - Build on Your LotTop 10 Master Bath Trends #7 - Benches and Grab Bars

As the Aging in Place movement gains speed, more homes are seeing tasteful additions of built-in benches and grab bars. 

Some bars can be much more decorative than others - it's possible to include these features without an institutional feel. 

Talk to your plumbing showroom about the different options available. 

Other great features for current or future restricted movement include hand held showers, or combinations of traditional and hand held features. 

Watch a custom home video tour with a master shower built in bench.


Top 10 Master Bathroom Trends - New Homes Raleigh NC - Custom Home Builders Raleigh NC - Build on Your LotTop Master Bath Trends #8 - Storage

The growing storage movement hasn't missed the master bath. 

A basic under the sink cabinet just doesn't cut it for many homeowners, who want space to store all the little items like toiletries and make up, plus big ones like home manicure equipment, Costco size refill bottles, and more.

Cabinetry options include sets of small drawers, and additional upper cabinets. 

Creative use of cabinetry can include corner cabinets, tall, narrow utility cabinets on both sides of the countertop, and more.

Think about everything you'd like to store in the bath, and discuss your cabinetry needs with your builder.  A combination of cabinetry pieces and imagination can be more affordable than you might think. 

Top Master Bath Trends #9 - Radiant Floor Heating

Radiant floor heating continues to be a trend in the master bath.  While this can be expensive for the full home or an oversized master bath, a small master bath floor may not add much cost. 

Radiant floor heating is installed before the tile floor, so make your decision before the flooring and electrical work is completed in your new home.  A wall control will also be required.

If you do decide to keep your feet toasty warm, keep "green" in mind too, and install a timer to make sure you don't forget to turn the heater back off! 


Top 10 Master Bathroom Trends - New Homes Raleigh NC - Custom Home Builders Raleigh NC - Build on Your LotTop 10 Master Bath Trend #10 - Tile Tones

Tile continues to be a strong trend in master baths. 

Ceramic or porcelien tiles can be found on master bath floors, around soaking tubs, and in showers, as well as around backsplashes

One newer feature is glass mosaics.  Glass mosaics can be used alone, or combined with more traditional ceramic or porcelein tile. View a custom home video tour with glass mosaic countertop design here.

Be careful with tile tones - when considering future resale, stay away from deep dramatic colors like dark blues and reds. 

Try to incorporate some neutral tones - then fill your need for brightness with colorful accents that are easily changed.  


Click on the links below for more new home master bathroom trends, ideas, and styles

These articles feature tile surround ideas, master bathroom trends, and other new home design possibilities. 

Custom Home Builders Raleigh NC | New Homes Raleigh NC | New Home Builders NC

Tub Surround Tile Ideas - Photo and Tips

Custom Home Master Bath Design Ideas

Custom Home Design Build Ideas - How to Design Build your New Home

Types of Tile - Which Types of Tile Are Used Most Often in Master Baths and Kitchens?

Vaulted Master Bathrooms

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Bill Ladewig - Escondido, CA
Experience Is Your Advantage

Oh thanks Penny... now I have to trash my bathroom and start over.

Jul 27, 2009 06:16 AM #1
Marcus Valdez
Berkshire Hathaway Rocky Mountain Realtors - Fort Collins, CO

I love the picts.  beautiful bath!  Are these picts from the homes your company builds!  I love the large showers.  I have a jetted tub and i have not been in it this year lol. 

Jul 27, 2009 06:21 AM #2
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Penny, I recently redid two baths in my old 1915 house, and I materials and designs that were consistent with the period - polished nickel, white subway tile (the original baths had both of these) and floor tile that I remembered from my grandmother's house.  It was a long and painful process, and I was pretty sick of the contractors by the time it was done, but what a difference it made!

Jul 27, 2009 06:22 AM #3
Dennis Chanski
Hebron, CT

It is amazing how far bathrooms have come.  There was actually a show on HGTV that I recorded on the most specatular bathrooms.  I now have to go and watch it.

Jul 27, 2009 06:25 AM #4
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

Penny, it's interesting to see the number 1 trend of replacing the traditional shower/tub combination with a larger shower.  We did this a few years ago to utilize the available space more efficiently but it's also a great water saving feature!

Jul 27, 2009 06:33 AM #5
Donna Harris
Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - - Austin, TX
Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator

Those are some great items on the list.  We just moved from a two level vanity (his is higher than hers), to a house with 2 completely separate vanities, and I'm missing the other way.  We still only have one medicine cabinet, so I find I have to cross the bathroom whenever I have a headache just to get the advil!

Another tip is if you're going to put an accent tile in the shower, do not get an obscure glass as it hides it and you can only see it while in the shower.

Jul 27, 2009 06:40 AM #6
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

Hi Penny~ Nothing beats a well planned master bath with all of the extras.  I think it is even better to have a large enough shower that doesn't require a shower door.

Jul 27, 2009 06:45 AM #7
Stanton Homes
Stanton Homes - New Home Builder - Raleigh, NC
Design/Build Custom Home Builder in North Carolina

Bill - I'm sure your bath is great!

Marcus - All but the first shot are homes we've recently built.  Somehow guys seem to have the lowest use of the Jacuzzi tub... it's the outdoor spa that gets all your attention!

Patricia - how cool!  You'll have to share some photos.

Jul 27, 2009 07:01 AM #8
Kathleen Cooper
Kathleen Cooper, Sposato Realty Group - Worcester, MA
Sposato Realty Group - Broker Owner

Great post!  I like the idea of more storage...I know it's just a bathroom, but I've accumulated a lot of bathroom "stuff"!



Jul 27, 2009 07:02 AM #9
Stanton Homes
Stanton Homes - New Home Builder - Raleigh, NC
Design/Build Custom Home Builder in North Carolina

Dennis - you can see all kinds of great projects on HGTV!  It is interesting though, which ones don't include the total price tag.

Silvia - it especially makes sense in a small bathroom, if there is another bath in the home with a bathtub. 


Jul 27, 2009 07:02 AM #10
Stanton Homes
Stanton Homes - New Home Builder - Raleigh, NC
Design/Build Custom Home Builder in North Carolina

Donna - good point on the medicine cabinet for separate vanities, something to keep in mind.  We haven't had too many folks want obscure glass for exactly the reason you mentioned!

Jul 27, 2009 08:45 AM #11
Ralph Gorgoglione
Maui Life Homes / Metro Life Homes - Kihei, HI
Hawaii and California Real Estate (310) 497-9407

I saw something at an open house that I thought was cool.

On the tub, instead of having a spiget coming out of the wall or surrounding area of the tub to fill the tub,  they had a single column of water coming straight out of the ceiling into the tub.

The flow of water was so condensed that it looked like a glass tube.

Way cool.

Jul 27, 2009 09:15 AM #12
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

Penny -- I love those big soaking tubs... and the separate toilet is actually and "old" idea not new!  I love these ideas and am sure a lot of people will find this post very useful.

Jul 27, 2009 11:29 AM #13
Judith Sinnard
SMARTePLANS; Houston, Texas - Houston, TX

Some of things I'm noticing as I draw floor plans....

1. Really "tricked out" oversized showers with wall-mounted and programmable pulsating jets; rainfall shower heads in addition to wall-mounted hand showers; temp controls to program your water temperature to a certain temp and I'm seeing a lot more steam showers in new construction than I used to

2. Re: Separate sinks...yes.. and increasingly "His" is an elevated shaving sink, set at a higher height so he doesn't have to stoop down when rinsing the razor

3. Separately enclosed WC's and an increasing amount of bidets are suddenly showing up in new construction

4. Lately I've been seeing an increasing amount of walk-in, sunken, roman tubs that are kind of like tiled mini-swimming pools... est. 6-1/2 ft long by 40" wide -ish.  Yup.. these are also the same folks who have tankless hotwater heaters as these suckers take a boatload of hot water to fill

5. Coffee/Juice bars with under-counter fridges, ice-makers and Microwaves mounted in upper level cabinets. Way more than just plugging in a Mr. Coffee into the wall socket in the counter

6. Hinged/adjustable mirrors, typically over the "Hers" vanity that provide 180 deg views to see the back of your head/hairstyle

7. TV's and electronics ... ceiling mounted speakers, TV niches and the TV's that are actually in the mirrors ... whew! this technology is moving so fast!

8. Colors seem to be staying with neutrals ...marble and travertine still remain favorites and oiled bronze fixtures remain popular although I'm now starting to see a slight shift to copper fixtures... hammered copper artisan sinks, as well as polished copper --- and verdigris tones seem to becoming more prominent

Jul 27, 2009 11:45 AM #14
Stanton Homes
Stanton Homes - New Home Builder - Raleigh, NC
Design/Build Custom Home Builder in North Carolina

Vickie - We've had a couple of requests for showers without doors.  Just make sure your contractor knows what he's doing - there are more considerations for drainage and water exposure, but this can certainly be a way to have a uniquely gorgeous bath.

Kathleen - storage is a must, and there are so many ways to add great storage areas!

Jul 27, 2009 10:44 PM #15
Stanton Homes
Stanton Homes - New Home Builder - Raleigh, NC
Design/Build Custom Home Builder in North Carolina

Ralph - haven't seen that idea yet, sounds very cool for upper end homes!

Joan - I love a soaking tub too, nothing better at the end of a long day than a hot bubble bath, some candles, a glass of wine....

Judith - thanks for sharing all your tips!  It's interesting what can be included at different price points.

Jul 27, 2009 10:45 PM #16
Kathy Torline
ERA Herman Group Real Estate - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Real Estate Blog 719-287-1049

Great, article!  Thanks for sharing this.

Jul 28, 2009 01:07 AM #17
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