New trends in bathroom design offer homeowners tons of options

Story by Sue DeWerff

After a stressful day in the workplace, more and more homeowners unwind and seek relaxation in their bathrooms. That said, today’s bathrooms are taking on upgrades that create a spa-like feeling – replete with soaking bathtubs, steam showers, televisions and even mini bars.

The bathroom is now a part of the home that is just as important as living spaces. And according to Lisa Cody, showroom manager at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery in Melbourne, the possibilities are endless when it comes to designing “the perfect bath.”

“Our customers have told us that visiting our showrooms have provided them with inspiration, whether they are looking to add a few upgrades to their current bath, or start a new construction project from scratch,” she says.

Ferguson’s 2,500 square-foot facility in Melbourne offers a wide variety of plumbing fixtures for both the kitchen and bath. Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery also offers a multitude of lighting fixtures available for ordering as well. “Because of our buying power and vendor relationships, we can ensure that even if a product is not currently in stock locally, it can be found quickly,” explains Cody.

The company’s highly trained product experts are available to help guide homeowners through the entire building or remodeling process. And from sinks to showers and everything in between, nearly every element of today’s bathrooms are taking on new trends and technologies.

In the master bathroom, vanities that look like pieces of furniture and feature under-mount sinks are very popular and can be a great way to give bathrooms a traditional style.

When looking for a more contemporary look, especially in half-baths or powder rooms, vessel sinks that resemble a bowl in oval, round or other custom shapes and sit on top of the vanity can be a great choice. These sinks, which are made of materials including glass, stainless steel, copper, brass or marble, can give even a small bath a distinctive look.

Floating vanities are also becoming more popular because they take up less space and present a clean appeal.

Oftentimes known as the “jewelry” of the bathroom, with an array of choices in faucets and mounts available, choosing the right look, color and finish of these hardware accessories can be just as important as choosing the vanity and sink itself, according to Cody.

Wall-mounted faucets that protrude directly from the area above the sink have become increasingly popular because of their low-flow water capabilities and aesthetically pleasing looks.

“Brushed nickel is one of the most sought-after finishes and complements any style bath, though I am seeing polished chrome making a strong comeback,” explains Cody. “The most important thing I tell customers when they consider the design of a bathroom is to make sure they choose plumbing fixtures to match the style they are going for.”

As far as showers go, “large is big.” Even though soaking and jetted bathtubs still reign as centerpieces in most master bathrooms, homeowners are now spending more time planning their showers. When remodeling, some will even remove an existing bathtub to make room for a two-person shower.

“They are requesting multiple showerheads and body sprays mounted on both the walls and ceilings,” says Cody. “The larger ‘rain showers’ are a consistent top seller.”

Digital shower controls, manufactured by Kohler and Moen, also feature options that allow water flow with a touch of a button.

For those who desire the ultimate spa-like bathtub, one of the most luxurious models now available is the Kohler VibrAcoustic® bathtub which sends ambient sound-wave vibrations through the water. The VibrAcoustic technology lets homeowners play their favorite news, songs or podcasts through the bathtub via a simple plug-in of a smart phone, mp3 player or tablet.

The high-end bathtub, designed to relax the body and mind, features four-colored chromo-therapy  lights that work with sound vibration for a holistic approach to ultimate relaxation.

Another trend in designing the master bathroom is the addition of a steam room, especially if the size of the space can accommodate one. Though the bathroom must be configured in a way to include such things as a sloping ceiling for drain condensation, proper floor drains and seats and vapor-tight doors, the cost of the project can pay for itself, not only by adding value to the home’s resale, but also by allowing the homeowner to reap its health benefits.

Adding proper lighting and ventilation in a bathroom is a top priority for many homeowners.  Bathrooms are becoming brighter and more sun-filled, thanks to the latest technology in lighting and window-skylight features.

“It is best to layer lighting and have a mixture of ambient and task lighting, while lighting over the mirrors and vanity area is key,” says Cody.

Dimmers are popular when looking to create ambience when soaking in the bathtub, as well as creating low lighting as a substitute for a “night light.”

Ferguson’s showroom features the latest lighting fixtures, from simple wall-mounted designs to extravagant chandeliers and waterproof shower lighting.

With the increased focus on “going green,” water conservation now plays a big part in bathroom design. The 1.6-gallon-per-flush toilets are now making way for newer, high-performance units that save even more water. Dual-flush models are good options for water efficiency, offering the opportunity for the user to pick how much water is needed to flush.

“Probably the coolest, most high-tech toilet we offer is the Kohler Numi, equipped with everything from illuminated panels, feet and seat-warming devices to an automatic closing lid to music options and a touch-screen remote control on a magnetic docking station. Though this model may not fit every budget, it is definitely state-of-the-art.”

Ferguson Enterprises, Inc. operates 1,300 locations and has been in Brevard County since 1985. In mid-2009 the company re-located from Rockledge to its current Melbourne location at 7003 Technology Drive. Since then, the unique, one-of-a-kind operation has provided professional contractors, builders, engineers, interior designers and homeowners with expert advice. For more information, call (321) 837-5411 or visit

no images were found