10 Overdone Bathroom Trends, According to Real Estate Agents

published Nov 25, 2019
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Think about it: You probably start and finish your day in the bathroom. From brushing your teeth in the morning to going through your skincare routine at night, the bathroom is where it’s at. Oh, and a relaxing bubble bath beckoning you after a long day? Pretty please, with a glass of cabernet on top. 

So, while your bathroom may be small on square footage, it’s big on everyday impact and definitely deserving of some design love. But in the quest of well-designed bathrooms, which trends have gone so far that they’re sacrificing function? Which bathroom trends are about to tip from popular to dated?

We asked real estate agents to share with us the most overdone bathroom trends they’ve seen. Here’s what they have to say. Let us know what you agree with — and what you don’t.

Jetted tubs

Once hot in the early 2000s, jacuzzi tubs are fizzling out faster than a bath bomb. “In fact, many people are speaking with their plumbers about removing and replacing those tubs because of the mechanical and maintenance issues they cause,” says Natalia Tkacz at RE/MAX 5 Star Realty in Miami. 

She’s heard of her clients experiencing all types of problems with jetted tubs: motors failing, pumps that cause too much foaming, and parts that give out after the manufacturer’s warranty period expires. Plus, the tubs are prone to bacteria growth in the jets, Tkacz says, and hair or soap can gunk up the jets. Free-standing tubs are the new luxury, and they’re especially popular with millennials, she says. Check out these clawfoot tubs for inspiration.

Bold motifs on bathroom tiles

Extravagant tiles with bold motifs and bright bursts of colors tend to be very personalized, cautions Robert Rahmanian, principal and co-founder of REAL New York. That’s A-OK if you’re planning to stay in your house for that entire 30-year mortgage. But if you’re prepping to sell, those tiles could dissuade potential buyers, he says. Neutral colors like grey, white and black are more sought-after, he says. “If you do want to add something special, go for textured tiles,” Rahmanian says. 

Realtor Emma Morris, with Red Oak Realty in Berkeley, California, has also seen a lot of the bold, high-contrast tiles in bathrooms recently. Her suggestion? Go bold with patterns on a bath towel; those are easier to swap out than re-doing a tile floor if you grow tired of the trend.

Double sinks

Cute in rom-coms; but maybe not so much IRL. Simply put, double sinks just aren’t practical, says Amy Owens, a New Jersey-based realtor with Keller Williams. Two sinks create more nooks and crannies to clean, she says. And, good luck trying to find counter space for a hair dryer, makeup, or a shaving kit.

Dark marble

Dark marble is officially overdone, says Gregory Spock, a New York City-based Compass real estate agent: “I find many developers doing entire bathrooms in the material, and by nature, marble is extremely porous so it absorbs water and stains easily.” 

Floating sinks

This trend trades practicality for modern design, says Corpus Christi, Texas, realtor and landlord Benjamin Ross. But not only are you losing cabinet space; floating sinks also have the potential to give off a commercial look that feels “off” in home decor, Ross  says.

Subway tiles 

Could we possibly be approaching the last stop for subway tiles? Jennifer Okhovat, a real estate agent with Compass in Los Angeles, thinks so. Still, buyers and renters today appreciate light and airy designs, she says. “Think: White Carrara marble and neutral palettes,” Okhovat says.  Or, put a twist on traditional subway tiles.

Large, frameless mirrors

These cheap, builder-grade bathroom mirrors have become fairly ubiquitous in new construction and some landlords or buyers never upgrade them. “The design aesthetic of the home should extend to the bathroom, and these frameless mirrors add zero character,” says Ben Creamer is the co-founder and managing broker for Downtown Realty Company, a brokerage specializing in luxury residential in Chicago. A better option is to hang a framed mirror over each sink, he says.

Toilet seat covers

.. and also the bathroom rugs that are shaped to fit around the toilet. They’re in just about every home store, says Creamer, but they make a bathroom look dated. Any rug you’d put in a bathroom should be similar to the style of rugs you’d put elsewhere in your home, he says.

Magazine holders

They clutter an already small space that should be functional in nature, Creamer says.

An all-white scheme 

Sure, an all-white bathroom has a squeaky clean look. But, this trend that’s become popular in renovations can feel a bit sterile, points out Sam Harris of Massada Home Sales in Brooklyn, New York.

“A bathroom should be a warm, cozy space that allows you to enjoy a nice bath, soaking in the water, instead of feeling like you’re in a laboratory about to be experimented on!” he says. Needs some color inspiration? These are the best (and worst) colors for your bathroom.

Curious what other home trends are on the endangered list? Here are some more general, whole home trends that are about to fall out of favor, according to real estate agents.