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The Bathroom Index

Revealing 2021’s biggest trends in bathroom design

Revamping your tired old bathroom is a great way to add value to your home while also making it a much more pleasant place to live. By switching up the colour scheme, replacing the outdated fixtures and considering the overall style of the room, you can keep your bathroom up to date and on-trend. This means you’ll have a bathroom that’s well put together and presentable for either guests or prospective buyers.

Updating your bathroom is a very personal process, with so many styles and options available for you to truly make the space your own. Consider why you’re redesigning the space and who will be using it. Once you’ve got the basic functionalities covered you’ll be free to let your creativity run wild. You could create a calming zen sanctuary at the heart of your home, or maybe you’ll opt for a sleek and professional finish that will wow your friends and family.

However, there’s nothing wrong with checking out what other people are doing if you’re stuck for a bit of inspiration. That’s why we’ve created the Bathroom Index, tracking the most popular bathroom trends of 2021. From the most popular types of bathtubs to the colour schemes that are all the rage, read on for a wealth of design ideas that you can apply to your own bathroom renovation.

Bathroom design trends making a splash in 2021

Here we take a look at the bathroom design trends that are the most popular in 2021. This covers anything from material choices to accessories and overarching themes. Which of these hot bathroom trends piques your interest the most?

Results have been split into Google search volumes and Instagram posts, so we can see where and how each trend receives the most attention. We’ve also separated off the most popular colours and types of bath and shower to be looked at in their own sections later in the study.

The most popular bathroom trends

Bathroom Index Bathroom Trends

1. Bidets - 2021 Searches: 9,276,000

The most searched bathroom trend of 2021 is bidets, racking up 9,276,000 Google searches. Bidets are a common fixture in many countries, especially in mainland Europe, but have not historically enjoyed equal popularity in the UK.

Could this top result for the overlooked bathroom fixture be a response to the great toilet paper shortage of the early pandemic? It’s hard to say, but we do know that the bidet is booming and could be a great addition to any bathroom with the space to accommodate one.

2. Bathroom Wallpaper - 2021 Searches: 962,000

Bathroom wallpaper is the second most searched bathroom trend of the year, with 962,000 searches. Wallpaper seems to have taken a slight dip in popularity in recent years, however, the tide could well be turning.

There are endless wallpaper designs to choose from, including floral patterns, idyllic scenes, animal print or even textured options. Remember that bathroom wallpaper needs to be resistant to moisture, so always check with your supplier if the design you like is suitable for use in a bathroom.

3. Terrazzo Tiles - 2021 Searches: 729,333

Terrazzo tiles are one of the most prolific design styles out there at the moment, being hugely popular in bathrooms all over the world. These tiles are highly versatile, adding texture to floors, walls and fixtures, softening the look of any room.

Terrazzo tiles are also one of the most durable materials you can use, being resistant to stains and water damage. This makes them a great long-term investment, so you won’t have to worry about replacing them on a regular basis.

The hottest bathroom trends on Instagram

Bathroom Index Trends on Instagram

1. Marble Bathroom - Instagram Posts: 168,717

Marble bathrooms are the most popular bathroom trend on Instagram, with 168,717 posts. The elegant and classical feel of marble makes any bathroom feel like it could exist in a high-end hotel or Italian villa. This luxurious material combines a natural feel with a refined and prestigious look, while also being highly durable. This makes it an excellent choice of material if your budget allows for it.

2. Vintage Bathroom - Instagram Posts: 41,984

Vintage bathrooms are the second most popular bathroom trend on Instagram, with 41,984 posts. While this might be something of a broad term, achieving a vintage look is highly desirable and has been popular in most areas of design for years now. Vintage can mean different things to different people, but the trend of emulating a past period or old-fashioned style is highly popular and won’t be going anywhere soon.

3. Terrazzo Tiles - Instagram Posts: 28,492

Terrazzo tiles are also the third most popular bathroom design trend on Instagram, with 28,942 posts. This solidifies their place as one of the top bathroom design trends of 2021, and we’ve even seen them become a popular feature in other rooms as well.

The most popular bathroom colours of 2021

This section investigates specifically which colours are the most popular for bathroom design. By looking at a comprehensive list of different colours, we have identified the most in-demand hues on Instagram and by Google searches.

Your choice of colours will have a huge influence on the overall feel of the room and can transform a dated or overlay utilitarian space into something spectacular, calming and personal to you. So, before deciding on your palette, check out how other people have recreated their bathroom space with a simple splash of colour.

The most-searched-for bathroom colours

Bathroom Index Most Searched Colours

1. Black - 2021 Searches: 359,067

Black is the most popular colour for bathrooms by search volume, receiving 259,067 searches. Black is a bold choice for any room, with the bathroom being no exception. Choosing any dark colour can make a room feel somewhat smaller, but done right, with complementary fixtures and decor, black can make a bathroom look sleek, cosy and inviting.

2. White - 2021 Searches: 263,067

White is possibly the most traditional colour for decorating, especially in bathrooms, so it should come as no surprise that the colour finished second with 263,067 searches. White makes the most of any light sources, making the room feel bright and airy, though it can look dirty quicker than other colours and benefits from more regular re-painting.

3. Grey - 2021 Searches: 211,600

In third place, with 211,600 searches, is grey. Grey is a stylish and understated colour to use in decorating and is great for allowing other colours in your decor to pop and really shine through. With grey in third palace, this also shows that the public has developed a monochromatic preference when it comes to bathroom design, at least as far as base colours go.

The most popular bathroom colours on Instagram

Bathroom Index Most Searched Colours Instagram

1. White - Instagram Posts: 73,860

The most popular bathroom colour on Instagram is white, with 73,860 posts. Having also come second in terms of search volume, white is clearly the top choice for bathroom design. This neutral colour is ideal for creating a fresh atmosphere, and won’t clash with any ornaments, feature fixtures or houseplants you choose to complete the look.

2. Grey - Instagram Posts: 42,061

The second most popular colour choice for bathroom design on Instagram is grey, with 42,061 posts. Like white, grey has shown itself to be widely popular and makes a great background colour for highlighting brighter fixtures and fittings. However, with so many shades available, you can tweak the hue to suit your preference, creating a room that is cooler, warmer, brighter or moodier.

3.Pink - Instagram Posts: 38,579

Breaking the monochromatic dominance is pink, which places third with 38,579 posts. Pink is a good choice for creating a cosy environment without resorting to darker colours, and complements a range of other colours from neutral white to soft apricots, calming blues and vibrant greens.

The biggest bath trends of 2021

Your bathtub will often form the focal point of your entire bathroom, so choosing the right tub is a critical part of the design process. With options ranging from the elegant to the accessible, we’ve highlighted the most sought-after bathtub styles of the year.

The most popular bathtubs

Bathroom Index Most Popular Bathtubs

1. Freestanding Bathtubs - 2021 Searches: 1,249,333

Freestanding bathtubs are the most popular type of bath by search volume, with 1,249,333 searches. These tubs often have an ornamental feel and are often more of an aesthetic choice than they are a functional one. By having your bathtub set away from a wall, you have much more flexibility in designing the layout of your bathroom, as well as being able to place the bather in a more central position in the room.

However, this is not the most effective use of space, as freestanding bathtubs by their nature do not fit flush against a wall. This makes them a potentially difficult option for anyone with limited bathroom space available.

2.Walk-In Bathtubs - 2021 Searches: 614,667

Walk-in bathtubs are the second most popular bath type by search volume, with 614,667 searches. A perfect solution for the elderly and people with reduced mobility, walk-in bathtubs allow easy access and exit from the bath, enabling everyone to enjoy a good splash and soak regardless of physical ability.

3.Corner Bathtubs - 2021 Searches: 414,800

Corner bathtubs had the third-highest search volume, with 414,800 searches. These bathtubs are great for making the most of available space, nestling into the corner of the room. Corner baths are available in a range of designs from the utilitarian to the luxurious and are generally designed for relaxation as opposed to being primarily for washing.

The most instagrammed baths

Bathroom Index Most Searched Baths Instagram

1. Freestanding Bathtub - Instagram Posts: 81,009

Also topping the chart for popularity on Instagram with 81,009 posts is the freestanding bathtub. With bathing often seen as a luxury reserved for dedicated self-care evenings or lazy Sunday mornings, it makes sense to celebrate the event with a more ornate bathtub that acts as a centrepiece for the entire room.

2. Copper Bathtub - Instagram Posts: 13,016

Copper bathtubs came second with 13,016 posts on Instagram. These elegant pieces are a fantastic addition for anyone looking to add a vintage touch to their bathroom and give the entire bathing experience an element of grandeur that is otherwise difficult to emulate.

3. Black Bathtub - Instagram Posts: 9,397

Black bathtubs took third place with 9,397 Instagram posts. Black bathtubs make striking statement pieces that draw your attention and make excellent focal points in a luxury bathroom. Available in a range of materials including ceramic and stone, these sleek pieces are usually seen as freestanding tubs.

2021’s Top Shower Trends

Second only to the bath in importance is your shower. Showers can be a great place to relax and unwind, as well as being functional cleaning fixtures. The huge range of available options allows you to create a shower experience that is truly out of this world while also adding a design element that ties the room together and completes the desired aesthetic.

The most popular shower trends

Bathroom Index Shower Trends

1. Walk-In Shower - 2021 Searches: 1,420,000

Walk-in showers are the most popular shower type by search volume, with 1,420,000 searches. While you might think that all showers are walk-in, this specifically refers to showers that are not confined in a capsule or enclosed space with a door. Instead, you can simply walk in and out of the shower with passing a threshold.

This design gives the room and shower a much more open and spacious feel, perfect for those who want to add some understated style to their bathroom space.

2. Bathtub Shower - 2021 Searches: 1,064,000

In second place is the bathtub shower, which recorded 1,064,000 searches. Also known as a combination bath and shower, or simply as a shower bath, this common design combines both bathroom fixtures into one.

With a showerhead suspended above a bath, you’ll be able to maximise what you can fit in your bathroom and free up space for other fixtures and decor.

3. Tiled Shower - 2021 Searches: 890,000

Tiled showers came third with 890,000 searches. Tiles are a classic bathroom choice and using them in a shower can be a great way to add your own personal touch to the room. With a huge variety of tiles available, you can really go wild with different patterns and colours, or simply opt for clean white tiles and enjoy the texture and pattern that this tactile decor adds to the room.

The most instagrammed showers

Bathroom Index Shower Trends Instagram

1. Outdoor Shower - Instagram Posts: 107,357

The most popular type of shower on Instagram was outdoor showers, which had 107,357 posts. Very popular in warmer countries, outdoor showers offer a truly refreshing experience that brings you close to nature and avoids the sometimes claustrophobic atmosphere of a shower cubicle.

2. Walk-In Shower - Instagram Posts: 56,780

Walk-in showers also performed well on Instagram with 56,780 posts. This ‘open-plan’ shower type is all the rage and is both a highly functional and aesthetically pleasing option that is surprisingly versatile, fitting in bathrooms small and large.

3. Steam Shower - Instagram Posts: 23,394

Steam showers are the third most popular shower type on Instagram, with 23,394 posts. These luxury fixtures are excellent additions to your bathroom if you can afford the cost and space they take up. Offering a truly relaxing shower experience, steam showers generate a cloud of steam in an enclosed space often complete with seats or a bench.

The most timeless trends of the last four years

Here we take a look at the trends that have remained popular year on year. We pooled together all the bathroom trends including colours and styles of bath and shower and found out which trends have consistently been among the top ten most-searched.

Bathroom Index Four Year Trends

1. Bidets - 2018-21 searches: 30,333,000

Bidets are one of the most timeless additions to a bathroom which have remained in the top ten most searched-for bathroom trends out of all the trends in our study for the past four years. These fixtures might seem niche but they are hugely popular across the world, a fact their 30,333,000 searches demonstrate.

2. Walk-In Shower - 2018-21 searches: 4,336,000

Walk-in showers are the second most timeless trend of our study, not falling out of the top ten trends once in the last four years and gaining 4,336,000 searches in the last four years. The simplicity of this design lends itself to a wide variety of bathroom decors and styles, making it a highly adaptable choice of shower.

3. Freestanding Bathtub - 2018-21 searches: 3,764,833

Freestanding bathtubs are the third most timeless trend, remaining in the top ten and receiving 3,764,833 searches. These baths make excellent statement pieces and can be found in a huge variety of styles to suit your personal preferences and match your overarching bathroom aesthetic.

Up and coming bathroom trends to watch out for in 2022

These are the bathroom trends that saw the biggest increase in search volume between 2020 and 2021. The boom in interest that these trends have experienced means that they’re the ones to watch and could be all the rage in 2022.

Bathroom Index 2022 Trends

1. Japandi Bathroom - 2020-2021 Increase: 435.9%

Seeing by far the greatest year on year increase in interest was the Japandi bathroom, with searches jumping by 435.9% in the last year. Japandi is a portmanteau is Japanese and Scandi and is all about using light, natural materials such as pale woods and cane to create a zen sanctuary in your bathroom.

2. Sage Bathroom - 2020-2021 Increase: 79.5%

Sage green has been one of the most popular colours of recent years and is particularly popular in bathrooms due to its calming influence, while still offering a pop of colour. Sage green was a hit in the 90s but is seemingly making a 21st century comeback, with searches increasing by 79.5% in the last year.

3. Maximalist Bathroom - 2020-2021 Increase: 40.4%

Enjoying a search increase of 40.4% in the last twelve months is the maximalist bathroom. Maximalism, as the name suggests, is the opposite of minimalism and embraces an eclectic and bold design. If you’re looking to push the envelope a little with your bathroom and try something a bit different, maybe look up some maximalism inspo on social media.

Methodology

We wanted to find out which bathroom trends are the most popular. To do this, we created a comprehensive list of bathroom trends, as well as lists of bathroom colours, bath types and shower types.

For each of these categories, we recorded their search volumes for 2021 using Google Keyword Planner, as well as recording the number of posts that each trend has on Instagram. We then ranked them accordingly to reveal the top trends in each category.

Additionally, we wanted to find the most timeless trends and the trends that could be big in 2022. To find the timeless trends we found the annual search volumes for each trend and recorded which ones never left the top 10 in our study. These were identified as the most timeless trends as they were always among the most popular.

To find the trends that could be the biggest in 2022, we calculated the percentage increase in search volume for all the trends in our study between 2020 and 2021, ranking them from highest to lowest. We removed any trends that received fewer than 100 searches on average per month, as any small increase in interest would translate into a disproportionately larger percentage increase.