Bath sinks and faucets are an essential part of creating a space that reflects the owner’s personal tastes and style. The selection of these elements is important to creating a cohesive design that will enhance the feeling of comfort and refuge that today’s consumers so desire. That’s according to manufacturers recently surveyed by KBDN, who see demand for creative sink and faucet options on the upswing.
Consumers are consistently more educated about product choices thanks to the Internet, and consumers continue to want to transform their bathrooms into their own private spas, says Sergio Magarik, founding partner of Port Washington, NY-based Kraus USA. As such, “The conventional perception of plumbing and bathroom fixtures has recently begun to change from static pieces of hardware to dynamic and exciting centerpieces of luxury,” says Magarik.
Naomi Neilson Howard, CEO/founder of Native Trails in San Luis Obispo, CA, concurs, noting that she’s seeing a lot of innovation in sink design, from interesting shapes and sizes to unique applications. “People who are interested in custom design, whether new build or remodel, whether in master baths or powder rooms and guest baths, look to insert their personal taste and sensibilities into their designs,” she says.
“The bathroom is the space where people start and end their day, so it’s an important room from a design perspective. Picking the right products, finishes and elements for the space can help homeowners achieve feelings of serenity and peace, or inspiration and energy, depending on the room’s look and feel,” adds Paul Flowers, senior v.p. of design for German-based Grohe.
Derek Taylor, product manager at Hansgrohe, based in Alpharetta, GA, says that consumers do not want to be restricted to the norm when it comes to a bathroom faucet. “They want to have a large number of faucets to choose from, with different heights and shapes,” he notes.
In selecting new products, Jonathan Wood, senior v.p. of sales and marketing for Brasstech in Santa Ana, CA says that personal style still has the most influence. “The premium and luxury market will always be driven by the desire to help consumers achieve their vision for their home,” he states.
Clean and Simple
While styles are increasingly individualized, there is a clear trend toward simpler design, manufacturers note. Jeanine Murray, brand manager for Danze in Woodridge, IL says, “Overall, designers and homeowners tend to be seeking more and more simplistic, clean design. With new construction slanted toward “for rent” vs. “for sale,” many bathrooms and powder rooms are generally smaller, with more mainstream contemporary styling to appeal to a wider audience.”
Erik Ambjor, president of Sonoma Forge based in Petaluma, CA, says his firm has seen increased demand for single-hole faucets that provide a cleaner look in the bathroom. “This style doesn’t take up as much (counter) space, which makes them popular in smaller rooms as well,” he adds.
Jack Suvak, senior director of market research and insights at Moen in North Olmsted, OH, agrees that single-hole faucets are popular because of their streamlined appearance, as well as their seamless/uncluttered look on an upscale countertop.
Flowers emphasizes, “Homeowners are not only continuing to compose spa-like spaces, but are looking to create cleaner, more industrial spaces as well.”
The Finish Line
While most manufacturers agree that chrome, brushed nickel and oil-rubbed bronze finishes lead the market for bath faucet finishes, there’s a growing desire for other options as well.
“While polished chrome and nickel still dominate the overall market, designers still search for a unique, more individualized look for their more discerning clients,” says Ambjor. “Some of our more rustic looking and/or ‘living’ finishes fit the bill for these customers,” he adds.