From Spotlight: Stop Hating Your Bath

5 Bathroom Trends You Miiiiight Want to Reconsider

Not saying you can’t do these cool things, just be sure to go in Eyes.Wide.Open.

Colorful mosaic tile in a home
Image: Marcel/Stocksy United

Woohoo!!! Your bathroom makeover is totally happening! You're having Pinterest-fueled fever dreams. It's going to be so stunningly fan-tab-u-lous!!!

Or is it?

If you have any of these #trending bathroom design elements in mind, you should know what you're really signing up for:

#1 Intricately Patterned Tiny Tiles

So bohemian, so fresh-looking — and, yet, retro. Every time you see a shower, vanity, or entire bath with those (gorgeous!) mosaics of tiny colored tiles, you get giddy with anticipation for your remodel.

Why you should reconsider: There's a reason tiny tiles disappeared over the past few decades in favor of larger ones. They're a total pain.

Those tiny tiles mean there's more grout to clean and maintain.

If you can think of 24,305 other things you'd rather do with your time than clean and replace grout, it might not be for you.

Still gotta have tiny tiles? Use them as an accent, maybe on the wall around your vanity, or anywhere they won't get as wet as they would on the floor, or in your tub, shower, or sink.

#2 Vintage Storage Furniture

Nothing says you like skipping the big-box vanity options in favor of a thrift-store find you refinished yourself.

Character and charm that's practically free! What's not to love?!

Why you should reconsider: It's a real commitment — on your (personal) time.

Huh? Yep. Since wood and water don't mix well, you'll need to keep doing upkeep, sealing it on a regular basis, just like you do a deck or a butcher block. Tanya Campbell, a designer for Denver's Viridis Design Studio, recommends a fresh coat of urethane every year.

Still gotta have that vintage piece? Give it better odds of beating its natural enemy, water, by replacing the top with marble or quartz.

#3 Hardwood Floors

Wood's so warm and inviting. Not as slippery or grout dependent as tile. Plus, you love the look of dark-wood floors with white fixtures. (You did that in your kitchen, and it looks amazing!)

Why you should reconsider: "It will warp next to a shower or tub if not dried after each use," says Campbell.

"Also, tile is more sanitary."

Still want the warmth of wood? Check out “wood-look" tile, a ceramic that looks like wood, but performs like porcelain.

#4 Exposed Plumbing

It looks so Parisian! And so easy to fix if there's a leak!

Why you should reconsider: Could be a turn-off to future buyers, especially ones who are toting toddlers. Picture this nightmare a future buyer might have: adorable Olivia climbing the pipes ... the pipes come crashing down ... water everywhere ... and a trip to the ER. You get the (wet and $$$$) picture. 

Still gotta have the exposed-pipe look? Go for it. It's your home, and that's the point. You should enjoy it. Especially if you're going to be around for the foreseeable future.

#5 Anything-But-White Tubs and Sinks

You're screaming for COLOR! No plain white bathtub for you. No, sir-reeee.

Color has slowly been creeping back into bathrooms since it retreated after the pastel-infused '50s (think pink and aqua sinks). There's no denying that's what makes color cool again — that mid-modern-century groove.

Why you should reconsider: Color can also make bathrooms — typically the smallest rooms in the house — seem even smaller. And if you bake color in with tile and porcelain built-ins, that's a commitment you might regret when you're ready to sell.

“The bathroom is one of the most expensive rooms in the house to do, and so I try to be very safe because the parts are going to be expensive to change out — like a tub," says Dallas designer Suzanne Felber.

And potential buyers may not want your color, nor the expense of replacing it. (Or they could ask you to do it, and wouldn't that just bite?)

Still determined to go wildly colorful? Paint the walls, or go for a colored linoleum floor that can be changed easily and cheaply.


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Scott Sowers

Scott Sowers is a freelance writer and independent producer based in Washington, D.C. He writes and creates content about architecture, design, real estate, energy, technology, and the automotive industry. His work appears in "The Washington Post," "The New York Times," and "Home & Design Magazine."