Kitchen & Bath Trends 2016

By Kate Riley January 20, 2016

Yesterday I attended the International Builder Show (IBS) and National Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) both taking place simultaneously during Design & Construction Week at the Las Vegas Convention Center, and let me tell you it’s HUGE. There are tens of thousands of people in the industry that attend. All the major brands you can think of are set up booths, it’s a once a year opportunity to see all the new design and home improvement products and also meet with the reps that work for these major brands and I was SO excited to be there.

I also attended an influencer presentation on design trends which was insightful (see notes at the bottom). I mingled and photographed what I saw and I was like a kid in a candy store. I’d rather fondle tile and faucets and flooring and cabinets than any other products in the world!

I had a press pass and took a ton of pictures so I could share them with you. First here’s a peek at some emerging trends based on products and displays seen on the floor:

Mineral/gemstone & shimmer finishes

 metallic geometric backsplash

 ann sacks faucets


Relief Sculptural Tile

 raised relief tile gray vanity

 raised relief backsplash



Wood Cabinets with Flat Drawer/Door Fronts

 dark wood veneer cabinets

 maple wood contemporary cabinets

   push latch wood cabinets

Matte black cabinets with brass hardware/faucets

 black cabinets brass faucet

 black cabinets brass hardware


Trends from 2015 that remain strong:

Geometric/Graphic Backsplash Tile

 geometric tile

  geometric pattern tile

 blue hex tile walker zanger


Burnished/matte brass faucets and hardware


 brass and chrome faucets

 brass chrome faucets


Floating Vanities

floating vanity wood base


Marble & Marble Look Finishes

 marble finishes

  calcutta marble look porcelain tile


Industrial Influences

 industrial shelving grey cabinets


Colored glass tile backsplashes

 green glass backsplash


Gray cabinetry (painted & stained)

 gray painted cabinets

 gray lower cabinets wood floating shelves

  gray stain cabinets


Textural classics: natural stone & brick

 stone fireplace surround

 brick backsplash


Wood look tile flooring

 wood look tile

There are some smart designer and brand partnerships happening right now, I’ve always thought it was so wise for interior design and home improvement brands to partner with iconic designers or rising stars to create new and innovative products, so it’s inspiring to see this happening.

Kelly Wearstler for Ann Sacks

 kelly wearstler ann sacks tile

Suzanne Kasler for La Cornue (Couleur Collection)

 suzanne kasler la cornue

Nate Berkus for LG Studio appliances

 nate berkus lg appliances

Jonathan Adler for Formica

albers adler formica

Here are a few random favorites that caught my eye:

This live edge shellacked wood countertop

 live edge wood countertop


La Corneu – the products are so striking in person

   la cornue


And THIS TUB by Perrin & Rowe I want so badly

 perrin and rowe freestanding tub

Now for some stats!

According to the a report by the National Kitchen & Bath Association and the designers presenting at the show, these are the emerging trends in kitchens for 2016:

– Transitional style with clean lines, less ornamentation, and more personalization.

– Two or more cabinet colors or finishes in the same kitchen, often in a light/dark combo. Greys, whites, taupes, and neutrals still dominate.

– Different countertops for islands and the perimeter, varying in both color and material.

– Pullouts, tiltouts, and push latch cabinetry for better functionality and greater storage, or easy access to trash and recycling.

– The look of wood flooring, be it actual wood and wood-look ceramic tile.

– Quartz as a surface (89% percent of NKBA members reported using quartz in
their kitchen projects)

– Built-in coffee stations, wet bars, and wine refrigerators.

– Pocket or barn style sliding doors.

– LED and interior cabinet lighting.

– Pet features, including built-in feeding stations, food storage, and crates.

– Docking and charging stations, flat screen TVs, and mini home offices, tech friendly homes incorporating livable design.

– – –

Here are the trends for bathrooms based on the NKBA report and show presenters:

– Transitional is the most popular style.

– Clients/homeowners are looking for spa like conditions with personalized luxury and a bathroom that is a place for relaxation, comfort, and private indulgence.

–  There are greater requests for aging-in-place amenities: no threshold showers, grab bars, higher vanity heights, and chair-height toilets.

– Neutral colors rule in the bath. White is most popular fixture color, and whites and
grays are most popular overall color schemes.

– There is a growing use of open shelving and floating vanities.

– More built-in storage functionality: more roll-out shelves in bath cabinetry, more
“hidden” electrical outlets for blow dryers, etc.

– Freestanding tubs in master bathrooms are very popular.

– An increasing use of shower amenities such as lights, built-in seats and benches,
and hand shower in addition to the mounted showerhead.

– Polished chrome remains the most popular faucet finish.


It was really fantastic walking the floor with a press pass. It’s a lot to see in one day (which is why they stretch it out over three) but I was excited to be there and see all the latest and greatest.

What do you think of the emerging and continuing trends in kitchen and bath design?


  1. I love these looks. We just remodeled a bathroom and installed barnwood-look tile plank floors and they are GORGEOUS! Ours even have the apprearance of nails, knots, cracks, etc., they’re a driftwood grey color. I would do the whole house with this flooring!

  2. Love, love love colored glass tiles. I am soon going to remodel my kitchen and I am busy gathering all these ideas for a fabulous new kitchen.

  3. Thanks for sharing! I look forward to these types of posts especially when I can’t get there…and even when I do because I may have missed something! Great post with lovely pics.

  4. That shiny black toilet will NOT be making a comeback. I do like the matte black cabinets though.

    • Yes! So, so beautiful, esp a full accent wall of it in the bathroom…sigh. Not in my budget, but I can dream. :)

  5. This show must have been even more beautiful in person. Thank you for sharing your gorgeous photos.
    Cabinets and drawers with flat fronts are call slab style. I incorporated them in my own kitchen on the drawer fronts while using shaker style fronts on the doors. Having two different fronts seemed strange at the time, but I love that there is some detail without being too busy looking. They are also so much easier to clean.

  6. There’s something cheerful and unpretentious about colored glass tile that appeals to me. Great photos and, weirdly, I liked them even better when there were people in the mirrors.

    Love the enthusiasm and happiness in your voice at being there.

  7. Did you see any black stainless steel appliances in the show room kitchens? We are doing a kitchen reno and have bought appliances in that finish, but its really hard to find images online so I can see how our other finishes will look with it. I’m thinking white upper cabinets with gray lowers, brushed brass hardware and a white marble-like counter. I want a kitchen that is on trend but also timeless. What do you think?

    • Yes V black appliances were at the Show but instead of glossy versions from the past, in matte or dark charcoal, very modern and dramatic!

  8. Love that shiny real wood island! Love the black & white graphic tiles! I don’t love the flat front cabinetry right now because it looks cheap to me but that doesn’t mean it won’t grow on me over time. I love the modern look of floating cabinets but I don’t think I would do it for our home because I love to sit cross legged between the sinks to put my makeup on & my kids are always climbing up on them to wash their hands/brush teeth. I like the idea of them sitting on the ground for strength. Thanks for sharing! Fun!

  9. I love the glass tiles and I am obsessed with the patterned tiles. The black cabinets are very pretty and I love marble. My style is more traditional/transitional so the flat fronts are too modern for me. It must have been so much fun to see all this gorgeousness in person!

  10. Excellent recap of KBIS! Many of the “trends” seem fairly timeless, but we know that, with all things, trends come and go. I think when done correctly, things like glass tile or marble should endure and not be identified as “soooooo 2016” ten years from now. Fingers are crossed anyway. ;) The sculptural tile, while beautiful, seems to be more of a candidate of tres trendy now, but maybe not so much in a few years.

  11. Wood look tile flooring – now that is exquisite! I’ve finally decided what flooring to choose for my upcoming living room renovation. Great post, Kate.

  12. This is a timely post – I am in the beginning stages of starting to plan my kitchen renovation (aiming for a fall reno, or possibly spring 2017).

    I love the grey kitchen cabinets and have been toying with the idea of going for grey cabinets but worry that it will look start to look dated in a few years. It looks so fresh and sophisticated now – but will it look drab and boring in 7-10 years?

    Do I play it safe and go with white cabinetry? I have already decided on white subway tile and hardwood flooring. So many decisions!

    • Deidre, I am in the same boat with the gray. I so want to do it, but want to get more than 7-10 years our of my cabinets. Hmmmm.

      • I hear you! I just renovated my bathroom and it took me forever just to decide on tiles – I love some of the more trendier styles but when you make a big investment like kitchens and bathrooms, you have to make sure that they don’t look dated soon. Decisions, decisions… :-).

  13. Can you comment on the updated Shaker cabinets on the photo with the brick wall? I love the look and am searching for something a little more contemporary but since I’m painting white (soft warm white) I don’t want a flat door look that would seem to go as a “garage cabinet you could get at target,”.

    • The Shaker style is being used in so many kitchen remodels Kathleen, it has a raised panel edge but with clean lines compared to more traditional paneled fronts, and definitely does not look like a mass produced retail store cabinet!

  14. Awesome expo and design products, and exciting and beautiful trends! Thanks for sharing!

  15. Thank you for this report! Very timely. Was just at Home Depot hemming and hawing over cabinetry :) That show is a biggie—a big candy store for sure!

  16. This is one of my FAVORTE designs, kitchen & bathrooms I feel make or break a space. These trends are wonderful, so many to love I can’t pick just one. I have always adored free standing tubs they are so elegant and that one you photographed, I mean really could you get more beautiful? Even the trends from last year are timeless in my eyes.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Lauren | Lovely Decor

  17. We are currently working on a kitchen remodel and this trying to decide on kitchen sink. We have looked at stainless, granite composite and cast iron. We are going with a mostly white, with a few specks of gray and black sprinkled in, stone countertop. Carerra Marble subway tile backsplash and gray cabinets in a traditional home. What materials and styles for kitchen sinks are trending and yet still stylish in a traditional kitchen? We are leaning toward the composite granite sink but choosing a color is difficult with a white and gray kitchen since we obviously can’t match our gray cabinets with the color choices available for the sinks. So, then, stainless seems easier!! Thanks!

  18. I’m doing my master bath now and it’s nice to know that I have encorporated some of these suggestions!
    Next up is my kitchen so I was curious to see what was suggested for kitchens. I like the idea of the flat fronts and I love the look of the subway tile backsplash (it’s timeless) but I’m actually considering using my counter surface (quartz) as my backsplash as well. I’ve only got a couple feet under the cabinets along one wall.
    I’d love a second opinion. What do you think of that?

  19. We live in the Gulf coastal south, and from our very mild winters I can tell you that tile flooring is very cold & hard on the feet/legs. We are re-flooring half the house soon and will be tediously removing a good portion of the tile floors, to replace with a waterproof (not water “resistant) vinyl plank CoreTec 2 floor in a driftwood finish (blackstone oak). If you live in a cold climate, tile does get very cold.
    It’s good to know the quartz countertops and glass tile are not only on trend, but probably a classic choice for years to come! Especially since we’ve just done our kitchen & one bath in them. (Sparkling white quartz countertops & Lunada Bay glass tiles in coastal blues/greens/sand tones)
    Thanks Kate!

  20. Interesting article and some lovely designs/photos. We had porcelain tile that looks like weathered, gray wood installed in our kitchen last year and we love it. Everyone who visits thinks it’s real wood. As one comment noted, tile can be hard on the legs if you’re standing there too long, but we bought anti-fatigue mats for the kitchen that coordinate well with the tile. They allow me to stand and prepare food for hours without leg or back pain.

  21. Enjoyed the arm chair tour of KBIS. The “busy graphics” and “sculptural” tiles already look retro in a really bad way. Thumbs down.
    Slab style cabinets great for those with more modern aesthetics and would look fine in a contemporary home – floating vanities? Meh – steals storage space and looks and feels more at home in a public restroom – one can never go wrong with neutrals in spaces like kitchens and baths where an investment must stretch to decades. Love the tiled “wood” flooring – not sure on the sparkle plenty and glass tile – would depend on other finishes and the lighting. Great round up!

  22. Open shelving, floating vanities and geometric tiles… who is going to clean all of the exposed surfaces? Just sayin.

  23. Thanks for posting all of these pictures and for explaining the trends. I have noticed that there is a larger market for building age-in homes. I think some of it is because the baby boomers are getting older. Anyway, I do think it is smart to put a bench and grab bar in the shower. Even I slip sometimes and I have pulled the shower curtain down before. Speaking of, it is much better to have a nice shower door. It looks better and won’t fall on you.

  24. These pictures are just awesome. I have already made the design of my kitchen with some of this images. Thanks for sharing

  25. Loved the faucets, used in kitchen. Could you please tell me the brand of the faucets are!!! Awesome article!!!

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