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  • Writer's pictureRocco Ashraf

16 kitchen and bath design trends for 2014

Work on multifamily housing projects? Here are the top kitchen and bath design trends, according to a survey of more than 420 kitchen and bath designers.


When it comes to kitchen and bath design trends for both single-family and multifamily residences, contemporary is in, with clean, minimal lines and little ornamentation.

Universal design amenities and easy-maintenance features are also trending, according to a recent survey of more than 420 kitchen and bath design professionals by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA).

This year, consumers want kitchens that have “simple lines and not as much frou-frou, and are more about good storage and space planning,” summed up one NKBA designer.

Consumers want bathrooms to be “spaces to retreat and relax,” commented one member, “with luxurious details whenever possible.” Another sees “a general move toward simplicity in style, minimal color, but maximizing the features and storage.”

They are also demanding more universal design features. Fifty-seven percent of NKBA designers specified accessible or universal design features in bathrooms in 2013, and 56% incorporated them into kitchens. A majority of respondents anticipate adding more of these features, such as shower benches, comfort-height toilets, and vanities in baths; and microwave drawers and touch-activated or touch-less kitchen faucets in 2014.

The demand for easy maintenance spaces and products is also growing.

1. Beige, bone and gray are hot and getting hotter

Beige and bone color schemes, with white fixtures and polished chrome faucets were popular designs in 2013. Gray, the third most popular color scheme in 2013, will be by far the fastest growing in 2014, according to 58% of designer respondents.

2. Universal design is becoming more universal

Fifty-seven percent of NKBA respondents specified bathrooms they described as universal design/accessible in 2013. And 60% anticipate doing more in 2014.

3. Soaking tubs are in the spotlight

Fully 64% of NKBA designers specified a soaking tub in a master bath, with 42% expecting that trend to accelerate in 2014.

4. Shower seating is here to stay

About a third of designers included lighting in showers; and 70% included benches or seats. Both are expected to increase in 2014.

Preferences lean towards free-standing non-jetted tubs.

5. Radiant floors may be heating up

Electric radiant floor heating was specified by 55% of respondents and half see it increasing in 2014.

6. Steam showers are gaining steam

Twice as many respondents specified steam showers as whirlpools for master baths in 2013. Forty-four percent of respondents see the demand for steam showers increasing in 2014.

7. No holding back on no-threshold showers

Approximately half of NKBA respondents specified no-threshold showers, and seven out of 10 expect to do more in 2014.

8. Comfort is key when it comes to toilets and vanities

Eighty-four percent specified comfort height toilets and 81% comfort height vanities in 2013. Almost two-thirds see them increasing in 2014.

9. Granite is on top, but quartz is catching up

Some 70% of respondents see quartz countertops increasing in 2014. At the end of 2013, granite and quartz were almost tied for the top spot in countertop materials, at 91% and 90% respectively.

10. Stainless is timeless

Stainless steel is the most popular sink material with porcelain enamel a distant second. Granite composite, now number three, is expect to grow in 2014.

11. Pullout faucets still pulling ahead

Pullout faucets will continue to dominate the market in 2014 while touch-activated faucets are expected to grow at the expense of standard faucets. Almost 40% of designers specified water-saving faucets in 2013, and 47% see the market expanding in 2014.

12. Microwave drawers beating out warming drawers

Microwave drawers, convection ovens, and gas cooktops are all poised for growth in 2014, while freestanding microwaves, electric cooktops and warming drawers are predicted to decline.

13. Gray and white are hand-in-hand

Gray will be the fastest growing color scheme in 2014, according to 71% of respondents. It ended 2013 neck-and-neck with whites and off-whites, which are still the most popular overall color scheme.

14. LEDs outshine incandescents

Whopping increases are expected for LEDs in all types of kitchen lighting this year while incandescents will sharply decline. LEDs already lead the way in general, task and accent lighting. Incandescents are the second most common general kitchen lighting.

15. Cherry tops the wood types in cabinets

Currently cherry claims the top spot for wood cabinets, maple lands in second place, and alder comes in third. But watch for walnut to grow in 2014. On the way out: oak, hickory, and pine.

16. Flooring stays steady with wood, ceramic/porcelain

Wood and ceramic/porcelain tile are expected to continue as the two most popular flooring materials.

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