The Must Read 2016 Bathroom Remodeling Guide

Bathroom remodeling ranks up there with kitchen remodeling in terms of popularity, and in some years, bathrooms rank #1 as the most common remodeling job. 2016 is predicted to be a hot year for bathroom remodeling projects, but what specific features will homeowners be asking for?

We’ve done the research for you, from our own experience with customer requests as well as examining reports from industry groups such as the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) and others. The result is this comprehensive guide to 2016 bathroom trends that will fill you in on the most popular requests predicted for bathroom remodeling in 2016.


The main style driving bathroom remodeling in 2016 will be contemporary. Contemporary refers to style based on what is being created currently and what is popular right now. This means it is constantly changing, and what is contemporary one decade will not necessarily be contemporary in the next decade. Today’s contemporary style overlaps significantly with modern elements, which gives us this profile:

  • A minimalist take on design.
  • Simple shapes and clean lines.
  • Natural materials.
  • The use of the color white and other design elements like large windows and natural lighting that make the space lighter and airy.
  • Sophisticated yet comfortable look.

Contemporary style will drive the majority of bathroom remodeling projects in 2016, and homeowners who choose other styles will likely also incorporate contemporary elements.


Going a step further from design into how the design is perceived and experienced, in 2016 we expect to see a trend of bathrooms with a Zen-like feel. Bathrooms will be designed to feel like spas – places to relax and rejuvenate after a long day at work. The Zen-like feel is light, open and airy, using neutral and earthy tones as well as natural materials. 2016 Zen-like bathrooms will make you feel like you have stepped away from the hectic world outside and into your own private sanctuary.


The most popular colors for 2016 will be white and gray; these colors will likely be used in well over half of all bathroom remodels. In terms of solid colors, beige and bone color will not be as popular, but will also be used in a fair amount of remodels. Since these colors aren’t really part of today’s contemporary style, if you use them you will have to be careful with all other elements in order to achieve the contemporary/modern look. If this can’t be achieved, the bathroom risks looking dated.

Some homeowners will also start exploring color combinations instead of the predominant white or gray solids. However, color combos will stick to the contemporary colors, meaning black and white or black, white and gray will be the most popular combinations.

Just because you have a bathroom using mostly solid contemporary colors of white and gray doesn’t mean you can’t have a little hint of color here and there. NKBA noted a trend toward purple, lavender and lilac tones in the bathroom. Another trend that adds color to the bathroom is the trend of adding plants in the bathroom to give a pop of green color.


In 2016, the major layout trend will be the move toward creating a focal point in the bathroom. The bathroom is typically one of the most utilitarian rooms in the house, but that doesn’t mean it can’t stand out in terms of beauty and elegance. The idea of creating a focal point means to add specific elements that your eyes are just naturally drawn to. Two of the most common focal points for 2016 will be the large walk-in shower and the freestanding tub. We will discuss these elements in detail later, but it is also important to note that homeowners are typically not choosing the traditional tub-shower combination anymore. 2016 bathroom remodelers will either choose the large shower or the freestanding tub for one focal point, or if space permits, they will choose both in order to create two focal points.


The large walk-in shower will be the top choice among 2016 homeowners, some of whom will decide that no tub is needed. Large walk-in showers are perfect for today’s busy lifestyle where some people do not have the time or desire to soak in the tub. Large walk-in showers will achieve the spa-like feel with a number of elements, the most important of which is the heavy glass enclosure that allows you to view the inside of the shower and the impressive tile work (often floor to ceiling tile). Spa features such as multiple shower heads and steam showers will also be popular requests. Finally, there is also currently a growing demand for shower seats and benches inside the shower.


Other home remodelers in 2016 will choose to add a tub to their bathroom, either as the only bathing unit or in combination with the large walk-in shower. The tub achieves the spa-like effect because it is often centered and on display in the bathroom, much like a sculpture or work of art. The most popular tubs will be free standing soaking tubs, but tubs with jets will also be chosen among some homeowners.


In terms of sinks, 2016 will see a demand for better function with more countertop space and multiple sinks. The double sink is one popular option, where there are two separate basins and faucets with plenty of counter space. Another trend is the trough sink, which has one large basin but two sets of faucets. These sink layouts are designed to accommodate multiple people at once, and are perfect for master bathrooms as well as family bathrooms that are shared among multiple family members.

For countertop material, the top choices for 2016 will continue to be quartz and granite, with solid surface coming in as the third most popular request. For sink fixtures we expect to see requests for several metals including polished chrome, polished and brushed nickel, and even brass/warm copper colors.


Under the sink, the wooden vanity will remain the number one choice among bathroom remodelers. Frameless cabinets (a European style) will be very popular, as will cabinets with raised panel doors and drawers.
Homeowners conducting bathroom remodels in 2016 – who have the space – will also be requesting additional cabinets in the bathroom. When space permits, extra cabinets are perfect for linen storage. Additional open-shelf cabinets throughout the bathroom will also be a common request.


Lighting is sometimes an afterthought in remodeling projects because remodelers and homeowners have, in the past, seen lighting more as a functional element rather than a design element. However, in 2016, every component of the bathroom deserves attention to detail, and lighting is no exception. While there are plenty of lighting options to choose in 2016 remodels – from crystal chandeliers to hand-blown globes to drum pendants and more – the trend will be to incorporate large, bold lighting that is full of personality and ready to complement the other design choices.


In 2016 bathrooms, tiling will have a major role in the large walk-in showers, where elegant and unique designs help to create a focal point. The most popular will continue to be subway tile, chosen in a variety of neutral and soothing colors including slate gray, winter white and cobalt blue. Remodelers will also put their tiling skills to work to create unique patterns and designs.

One alternative to solid color subway tiling is bamboo tile that is set up vertically to mimic the look of bamboo and create that Zen-like feel we mentioned earlier. Some homeowners are also having fun with tiles that have floral patterns to break up the other basic solid colors.


Tiles will also be the most popular flooring trend for 2016 bathroom remodels. Homeowner favorites are going to be ceramic or porcelain tiles, using the same color and pattern ideas in other areas of the bathroom that create the contemporary look. Beyond materials, the biggest growing trend in 2016 bathrooms will be the use of heated floors. Radiant heat flooring can be installed underneath the tiles, helping to control the temperature of the room and to create a warm surface for bare feet.


A final 2016 bathroom trend to discuss is the incorporation of technology into the home, including the bathroom. There are a growing number of technological options, but some of the most popular for 2016 will be:

  • Water resistant music systems that allow you to stream music from your smartphone or audio device wirelessly into the bathroom. These music systems can be added to any area of the bathroom, but especially popular are technologies that add this capacity into the shower itself, including high-tech showerheads that play music.
  • Digital showering systems, which allow you to control your shower with the touch of a button, including water temperature, water pressure, steam and lights.
  • Efficient technology which reduces your water and/or energy consumption. Some options are low flow toilets, water efficient showerheads and water-saving bathroom faucets.

2016 is going to be an exciting year for bathroom remodels, with endless customization options that put homeowners in control. Use this list to gather your bathroom remodeling ideas, then speak to your contractor who can use your ideas to create the bathroom of your dreams.

Looking for more tips? Check out our post on 2017 Bathroom Remodeling Trends.

Do you live in the Westchester, NY area or the Greenwich, CT area? Gerety Building & Restoration is waiting to create the perfect bathroom for YOU. With 35+ years of experience, a beautiful bathroom remodel portfolio and plenty of five star reviews, Gerety is the top choice for bathroom remodeling in the area. Give us a call today at (914) 248-1300 (Westchester) or (203) 531-8100 (Greenwich) so we can discuss your project.