Hot Trends: Kitchens & Baths

Consumers will be cleaning up their kitchens in 2014, at least from a design standpoint, according to research released at the 2014 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) by the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA).

“While transitional styles are still number one, we see kitchen design trending more contemporary this year, with clean lines, less clutter, and little ornamentation,” said 2014 NKBA President John Petrie, CMKBD.

The outlook is based on findings of the NKBA 2014 Kitchen and Bath Design Trends Survey, which also revealed these trends in kitchen design:

  • Contemporary will be the fastest growing kitchen style in 2014, with 62 percent of respondents saying it’s on the upswing after ending 2013 in second place. Transitional maintained a very small lead as the number one look for kitchens. Shaker styling is a solid third due in part to its versatility, lending itself to either traditional or contemporary styles.
  • More than half (56 percent) of the respondents included accessible and/or universal design and easy-maintenance features in their kitchens, and demand is expected to continue.
  • Some two-thirds of NKBA kitchen designers incorporated docking and/or charging stations in their kitchens, as well as a desk or home office area. And 56 percent included a flat-screen TV in their kitchen projects. These trends show no signs of powering down soon.
    Outdoor kitchens continue to be popular, with 43 percent designing them in 2013 and 41 percent of responders expecting a marked increase in 2014.
  • Sixty-three percent of respondents have previously specified energy-saving appliances, and 60 percent expect to see more demand this year. Almost 40 percent of designers specified water-saving kitchen faucets in 2013, and 47 percent see the market expanding in 2014.
  • Furniture-type pieces were specified in kitchens by eight out of 10 respondents in 2013, and 56 percent expect to do more in 2014.
    Some 70 percent of respondents expect quartz countertops to increase in 2014. Almost a quarter of respondents specified countertops with recycled materials and 40 percent expect to do more in 2014.
  • Wood, the most specified flooring in 2013, will grow even more in 2014.
  • Glass, now number three for backsplashes, is predicted to grow in popularity in 2014.
  • Satin nickel, the most popular faucet finish, is expected to continue to flourish in 2014, as will polished chrome.
    Stainless steel is the most popular sink material with porcelain enamel a distant second. Granite composite, now number three, is expected to grow in 2014.

The 420 kitchen and bathroom professionals who participated in this year’s research represent a significant segment of the market for professionally designed kitchens in the United States and Canada. Respondents reported kitchen project prices ranged from less than $20,000 to more than $100,000.

Respondents reported the products, colors, and features they used most often in their 2013 kitchens, then predicted which ones will flourish or fade in 2014.

In the fading column, NKBA members are doing fewer kitchens with highly ornamented Tuscan and Provincial looks. Distressed and/or glazed finishes are also less popular, as are country or rustic styles. They expect to use fewer electric cooktops and porcelain enamel sinks in 2014.

Dozens of NKBA members reported that they created kitchens with features to accommodate cats and dogs, from day beds to feeding stations, and litter box cabinets to doggy faucets.

The 2014 Kitchen and Bath Design Trends Survey shows that America’s bathroom styles are also shifting. According to the research, homeowners like their bathroom design contemporary, spa-like, accessible, and easy to maintain.

“Spa-like bathrooms and Zen-like retreats are definitely desired aspects of today’s bathrooms, driving a more contemporary aesthetic,” said John Petrie.

The ascendency of contemporary style is a major shift. Only a few years ago, traditional styling was incorporated in three-quarters of the bathrooms designed by NKBA members. Traditional bathrooms are now trailing contemporary (68 percent), while still representing 62 percent of the bathroom projects completed by NKBA bathroom designers in 2013.

Other key survey findings about bathroom design trends include:

  • Beige and bone color schemes with white fixtures and polished chrome faucets were popular designs in 2013. Fifty-eight percent think gray will be the fastest growing in 2014.
  • Fifty-seven percent of NKBA respondents specified bathrooms described as universal design/accessible in 2013. And 60 percent anticipate doing more in 2014.
  • A full 64 percent of NKBA designers specified a soaking tub in a master bath, with 42 percent expecting that trend to accelerate in 2014. Their preferences lean towards free-standing non-jetted tubs.
  • About one-third of NKBA bathroom designers included shower lighting; and 70 percent included benches or seats in showers. Both are expected to increase in 2014.
  • Electric radiant floor heating was specified by 55 percent of respondents and half see it increasing in 2014.
  • Steam showers gained steam, with twice as many respondents specifying steam showers as whirlpools for master baths in 2013. Forty-four percent of respondents see the demand for steam showers increasing in 2014.
  • Approximately half of NKBA respondents specified no-threshold showers, and seven out of 10 expect to do more in 2014.
  • Eighty-four percent specified comfort height toilets and 81 percent comfort height vanities in 2013. Almost two-thirds see them increasing in 2014.

The 420 kitchen and bathroom professionals who participated in this year’s research reported that bathroom project prices ranged from less than $5,000 to more than $30,000.

Respondents detailed the products, colors, and features they used most often in 2013 bathrooms, then predicted which ones will flourish or fade in 2014.

In the fading column, a decline in Provincial and Tuscan-style bathrooms was noted, as well as a decline in rustic and country looks. Black remains the least popular fixture color and is predicted to decline even more in 2014.

The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) is a nonprofit trade association with 60,000+ members. The NKBA has educated and led the kitchen and bath industry since its founding in 1963. The mission of the NKBA is to enhance member success and excellence, promote professionalism and ethical business practices, and provide leadership and direction for the kitchen and bath industry worldwide. Visit online at