Flowers notes, “By choosing faucets or sinks…that combine quality, design and the right technology, you can have one or two eye-catching items in your bathroom that provide a contemporary, stylish look.”
He explains, “Upgrading to a sleek, clean, contemporary faucet…can subtly change the look of a space.” He adds that even those on a budget can infuse personality into their baths with different faucet heights and sizes, or through an accent design or color.
Value engineering has become a hot buzz word in this economic climate, and Larry Jacobs of Strom Plumbing by Sign of the Crab, in Rancho Cordova, CA notes that everyone in the industry – from manufacturers to kitchen and bath dealers – understands the need to “bring the best price and situation to their clients, resulting in a more economical solution for the consumer.”
While ideas for how to do that may vary, manufacturers agree that marrying value and versatility in products that will last throughout different life stages will continue to appeal to price-sensitive consumers.
Clean and simple are always in fashion, and that’s particularly true in today’s bathrooms. “White and biscuit [sinks] still seem like safe color choices due to their longevity,” explains McJoynt. “Plus, they typically give a clean, crisp feel to the décor, which is a popular look.”
Flowers, however, sees a shift away from the “timeless mix of white ceramic sinks with chrome fixtures.” He states, “Basins and faucets in white are leading the way, and while white remains a bathroom classic, an increasing number of manufacturers are now adding black to their color palettes. The introduction of black…adds drama to the space.”
“Consumers ultimately want products that deliver solutions,” Albrecht says, adding that “generous basins and timeless design lines” are always popular in the bathroom, and that there’s been “trending toward the rectangular basin.”
Haas points out that the traditional undermount sink continues to “dominate the market for bathrooms.” However, Haas also sees strong demand for the vessel sink, claiming it is the “second most popular sink choice among designers, particularly in remodeled bathrooms.” Haas sees this trend as one that is here to stay. “We anticipate that vessel sinks will remain popular in both the short and long term because bathroom styles are becoming more contemporary or transitional. Vessel sinks offer a much cleaner look than traditional undermount sinks because they are often mounted on smaller countertops, thus eliminating the chance for clutter.”
McJoynt agrees that vessels remain a popular choice, noting they offer an array of shapes, colors and designs. “Again, personal choice on style prevails,” he says. “Some want color, unique shapes and unusual materials, while others want an understated, simplistic look.”
Albrecht points out that she’s seeing designers take more of a holistic approach to designing the sink and the space around it. “Consumers are approaching their bathroom sink and grooming spaces holistically and asking each item they purchase to work a little harder and to also work well with other products.” Albrecht further explains, “We continue to see a strong preference among consumers to integrate their bathroom sink selection with their countertop.”
For designers creating spaces for homeowners looking to age in place or those who might be physically challenged, there are many ADA-compliant products from which they can choose. Albrecht maintains, “Universal Design is also great design, and consumers expect their bathroom sink to work for every family member and guest. Consumers can choose from vessels, under counter, self-rimming and wall-hung installations to meet the need for Universal Design. There are products available at every price point and style that feature Universal Design.”