Even natural-looking sinks are becoming trendy, manufacturers agree. Gusz confirms that Eden Baths’ “organic-looking” sinks are the company’s most popular. “We’ve had great success with our Infinity Pool sinks which, much like an infinity pool, have a flat edge that the water runs over before it gets to the drain. It’s a very modern design.”
Aside from sustainable materials, Weinstein says there is another material to keep an eye on in the future. “Resin will be a factor in the coming years due to its versatility in being able to be designed into almost any shape and its ability to stand up to the harsh elements in the bath environment.”
Finish and Form
When discussing faucet finishes, polished chrome and polished nickel continue to lead the market. “They are easy to keep clean, their shine lasts and they coordinate with whatever other materials are being used in the bath, which makes them the most popular in the contemporary realm,” offers Kulig.
“Still, many homeowners prefer the ‘softer’ finishes, with brushed nickel leading the way,” notes Detgen.
Kulig sees a resurgence in satin finishes, which “give a slightly softer feel to a room.”
For more traditional or transitional rooms, Kulig is seeing a lot more requests for antiqued finishes such as antique brushed nickel, antique copper and antique brushed brass. Oil-rubbed bronze is also very popular for traditional rooms, he notes.
“Warm bronzes – especially those with a slight reddish or rose undertone and a brushed texture – work particularly well on the new products coming onto the market, complementing today’s popular wood tones and grains being seen on vanities and granite and other surface materials,” explains Lord. “These warmer finishes help to soften the geometry of the products themselves and add to the inviting nature of the space. It allows one to have less visual clutter without appearing sterile.”
“Bronze brings a warmer feeling that echoes nature in a familiar and comfortable way,” concurs Uhl.
Danze recently introduced a Tumbled Bronze finish that Detgen notes is a “softer alternative to the typical oil-rubbed bronze finish.”
A few surprising finishes are making a strong showing in the bath faucet market as of late. Gold and brushed bronze finishes are noteworthy, according to Kim, and aged brass is also making a statement, says Uhl.
In addition, nonmetallic finishes are catching the eye, including the ever-popular white and black. “White finishes blend seamlessly with other porcelain textures in the bathroom and make a nice addition to chrome fixtures,” states Kim. “The combination of white and chrome helps all of the elements in a bathroom come together.”
Likewise, black retains a classic, elegant appeal, and therefore remains perennially en vogue. “We’re seeing black and white more and more in stylish bathroom designs,” states DeGenova.
In addition to making a statement through their style and finish, today’s faucets are being designed to deliver water in a whole new way. Today’s faucets deliver water in much the same way nature does – in a swirling, waterfall-type flow.
“We’ve seen more homeowners gravitate to natural water flow in their bath faucets,” notes Detgen. “Laminar flow and other more natural ways to see and dispense the water add to the beauty of the design.”
“Our most popular faucets are still the waterfall faucets by far,” confirms Gusz. “Waterfall faucets typically have a wide spout where the water is spread out in a sheet, much like a waterfall. People absolutely love them.”
Fixtures of Responsibility
The move toward sustainable products and new regulations, such as California’s AB1953 bill, are changing the way manufacturers are creating their faucets. And as a result, it appears that lead-free, water-saving, and EPA WaterSense-compliant faucets are here to stay.
“Green has moved beyond a trend…it’s become a way of living,” confirms Detgen.
Kim believes that, moving forward, water saving will be less of an option and more of a mandatory measure.
Many companies have already converted their lavatory faucets to be water saving, providing the WaterSense standard of 1.5 gallons per minute, all without sacrificing performance. “That’s a water savings of 0.7 gpm, or 32%, which goes beyond the already conservation-minded 2.2 gpm standard mandated by the Federal Energy Policy Act of 1992,” reports Noah Taft, senior v.p./marketing and sales for California Faucets in Huntington Beach, CA.