The Decorologist’s 2018 Kitchen & Bath Trends Report

It’s time for me to share what I learned about the top 2018 kitchen and bath trends from the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show in Orlando! These were the dominant trend themes that I gleaned from my time with the Modenus Design Blogger Tour:


Standing Tubs Take Center Stage

The tub is BACK, and it’s making a statement. These standing soaker tubs are sleek, modern, and totally sexy. This is no jetted jacuzzi or garden tub, this is more of a throw-back to the cast iron clawfoot tub, but without the feet. Here are some lovely porcelain models that fall under the Lixil brand (either American Standard or DXV).

american standard and dxl standing tubs 2018 kitchen and bath trendsAmerican Standard and DXV freestanding tubs

Countertops & Tile

Next up for 2018 kitchen and bath trends:  it’s all about the quartz, no granite. Or very little granite, anyway.

It’s true that quartz dominated KBIS this year, with many companies featuring their latest designs. I did not realize that Wilsonart, long known for their huge catalog of laminate products, actually makes quartz countertops now!

They’ve made a lot of strides in laminate seaming and texture, making it look more like quartz and other more expensive materials.

Yep, this waterfall countertop is actually laminate!

Wilsonart also featured a new smudge-proof technology for its laminate products. You can see the difference the Traceless™ technology makes in their Black Velvet laminate:

photo by my fellow Design Hound, Heather Jenkinson

Cosentino toured a group of us via the “Hard Hat Tour” early the first day of the show. I was so excited to do this behind-the-scenes guided tour especially for the press, but I didn’t take into account the toll getting started at 4:00 a.m. (my time) after a long day of travel (the second leg of my flight was 4.5 hours delayed) would take on me! But I digress . . .

Silestone quartz is under the Consentino brand, and it was interesting to hear about the crazy success of this Cindy Crawford ad campaign they launched last year. Because, well, she’s gorgeous . . .

Cosentino featured many of their newer “suede” finishes, like this popular Eternal Marquina quartz material:

While white subway tile is a safe bet, KBIS vendors featured colorful and creative new tile options for floor and backsplashes. Porcelain encaustic tile was a big deal, as was textured and dimensional subway tile variations. Many of the tiles came in boxes of mixed patterns, as to create a unique look depending on how they are laid.

Somerset 2018 tile trends at KBIS showSomertile

Grout lines are getting tighter and blending in with the tile, so as to create the appearance of a solid sheet of material.


 Meet The Jetsons – Trendy Technology

It’s a brave, new world in 2018 kitchen and bath trends. Everything is moving towards hands-off, tech-happy, and voice-activated features. “Alexa, crush my ice! Alexa, soak my unmentionables!” Personally, I may be a bit too old to adjust to having to set my oven or open my refrigerator with my iphone. True story:  Mr. Man recently decided to put all the lamps in his mancave on an app on his iphone. The kids were having a band practice down there one night when he was out of town on business, and we literally had to call and get him to turn on the lights for us from Mexico!

Companies like Thermador and GE are leading the way in all kinds of technology that I don’t understand, so I’ll let others explain all that – but there were definitely some not-as-complicated innovations featured at KBIS that I could appreciate.

We may not have any cabinet or appliance door hardware in the near future, as the gentle push of your hand or a nudge of the knee makes it unnecessary.

Thermador featured the fastest dishwasher available on the market, the Star Sapphire. It boasts a 20-minute cycle, 18-glass capacity, and your choice of colored lights in the interior. Interesting.

Thermador Star Sapphire

This new Beale MeasureFill pull-down kitchen faucet by American Standard is the first on the market to deliver an adjustable set volume of water on demand. This streamlines cooking and baking tasks, no measuring cups needed. Pretty cool, right?


I also loved this reasonably-priced showerhead that can switch settings from rainshower to strong stream by either touching the edge or pushing a button you can install wherever you like. Men tend to prefer the rainshower effect, but women prefer a stronger, directed stream. You know why? Duh, it’s about hairwashing – that rainshower may feel luxurious, but it’s not getting all that shampoo out when your hair is as long as mine! You can easily switch out your existing showerhead with this one so you BOTH get what you prefer.

Storage Solutions

Kessebohmer Clever Storage really knows how to integrate form and function. Their cabinet and pantry storage was crazy impressive.


They are experts at making every inch count, coming up with solutions for every conceivable issue you may have in your kitchen. High cabinets that are difficult to reach? Forget the stool because Kessebohmer has the answer – the iMove is the intelligent pull-down system for wall cabinets so that every adult or child can reach all that they need with the utmost ease.


This is a new product that Kessebohmer featured at KBIS – it’s a one stop pull-out for frequently used items in the kitchen. It’s perfect for the elderly or those with mobility issues, who can access all they need in one spot to pull together a small meal.


Focus on Wellness

2018 kitchen and bath trends are putting a huge focus on the concept of wellness. On our last day at KBIS, we were treated to lunch at Emeril’s restaurant at Universal by Mr. Steam. Below is Martha Orellana, aka “Mrs. Steam,” sharing why designers should specify steam baths for their clients.


While I already knew some of the benefits of steam baths/showers, I had no idea there were so many! Check these out:

Another surprise was the cost, which was not as expensive as you might imagine!

I was pleased to see many companies at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show featuring universal design, such as these vanities where you can roll a wheelchair up to:

James Martin Signature Vanities


Elkay’s ADA-compliant sinks 


Next Up: 2018 Color Trends for Kitchen & Bath!

Later this week, I’ll share where I learned about the color trends coming out for kitchen and bath for 2018. Let me know what new trends I shared that you are up for – I definitely need a new dishwasher!

Thank you to the sponsors of the 2018 KBIS Blog Tour: Lixil, Mr. Steam, Wilsonart, Metrie, Thermador, and KBIS!


  1. Molly

    Some very cool things on the horizon. Love the trend toward standing tubs, and the new ideas in tile! I hope the new doors that will open with just a touch or bump will also have locking technology, for those who need the option.

    Looking forward to your post on the color trends for kitchens and baths, Kristie!

    • Kristie Barnett

      Locking – oh yeah, that could be an issue! A lot of the soft open products like refrigerators do have a self-closing mechanism, which is nice to have.

  2. Julea

    I attended the show too (as a non-professional/guest) and was overwhelmed by the range of variations of the same basic products. One thing that caught my eye was the television size sample of the available app of the Elkay products that was displayed in their booth. Not only being able to see how changing the style of sink, faucet, back splash, counter top blended (or didn’t blend) with the look I was going for, but also seeing the “professional names” for different styles. For someone not in the industry, it was nice to understand what exactly “drop-in” or “under mount” or “self rimming” looks like with examples that could be popped into my design. Plus it was fun to play with!

    • Kristie Barnett

      Did you see the little sample-size tubs in all the styles available in the Lixil booth? It was helpful to see all the options right there so you could compare them from a glance!

      • Julea

        I did – and I also thought it was interesting that they had two different sink styles in the same vignette that showed the difference between a modern and traditional design and how changing just the sink could give a different design look to the whole bathroom.

  3. Laura P.

    Hi Kristie, Wow, there are a lot of innovations coming our way! Thank you SO much for reporting on accessible features in the kitchen and bath! You’re as good as your word in keeping an eye out for that. Very much appreciated! I really like the efficient storage oull-outs and those pull down cabinets are awesome! As for kitchen cabinet hardware, I do like having pulls and knobs on my cabinets. They’re like a finishing touch of jewelry! I have had push open cabinets where a knob did not make sense, like on a run of base cabinets where you don’t want to break it up but need access to a hidden cabinet. Love the hands free faucets! Looking forward to hearing about the appliances. I had to leave my Fischer & Paykel dishwasher behind when I moved and I really miss having drawers!

    • Laura P.

      *Fisher* oops!

      • Kristie Barnett

        Laura, I told you I’d keep an eye out for you 😉 I am a little sad about losing so much pretty door hardware, I agree that it can be like jewelry!

    • Terry Murphy

      Laura P., I was thinking the same thing about the cabinet hardware. Love your analogy to jewelry. It’s like mullioned windows. There was a time in history when large plates of glass could not be created or, later, were unaffordable for the average person. Now we all have access to those large-paned, divider-free, modern windows; but how many of us still choose a Tudor or Colonial style mullioned window, merely for the aesthetics!

  4. Jennifer Johnson

    I loved your roundup! It showed a lot of things I haven’t seen on other bloggers’ sites! Thanks Kristie! Looking forward to your color trends next!

  5. Kare

    How about cabinets…. is white painted still preferred over stain?

    • Kristie Barnett

      Actually, I will discuss that when I write about the color trends! How’s that for a teaser? 😉

  6. Robin

    Oh you little…. lol. I can’t wait for the next post lol. Hurry, Hurry!! Interesting finds for sure. Cool things and crazy techie things too. I agree about the hardware on appliances etc. Much prettier with. Love the Thermador dishwasher’s 20 min cycle. It’s about time a shortened cycle was offered. Yippee! Curious about the granite not being invited to the party hehe. I do love quartz very much but just curious–it was really not anywhere huh? They’re making such strides in every direction. It’s mind boggling. I really like that quirky lower (corner?) cabinet storage solution. Maximizes every inch of space it does. I need that. Thank you for a super informative post Kristie.

    • Kristie Barnett

      Hang in there, Robin 😉 Ok, there was some granite, but the overwhelming majority of countertop product was quartz. I’m still a fan of honed black granite and a few of the lighter granite options, though.

  7. Dee Tuschall

    Can a steam shower be installed in an already existing shower stall? I didn’t notice any info on them other than the benefits to health.

    • Kristie Barnett

      Yes, Dee – they can! Modifications can be made so that you don’t have to find another space for a good steam.

  8. Carla Aston

    Nice round up of products, Kristie! I’m always a fan of a free-standing tub. Loved these models.

  9. Nicole

    So glad to see your post and hear all that I missed! I was in my booth for the entire show, but did manage to sneak over to the Kessebohmer Booth for espresso as often as I could! We showed an iMove in our cabinetry display as well and people loved it…so clever! I wonder if you stumbled by the Booth for Serenade Cabinetry…. would love to hear your thoughts on our Transitional Display that showed off walnut and black with gold accents…

    • Kristie Barnett

      I don’t believe I made it to the Serenade Cabinetry booth, Nicole! Could you send me a link or a photo of the display you are describing? I’d love to see it!

  10. Yoshiko Flora

    I felt amazed when you said that a trend in kitchens this year is quartz with laminate sealing and texture. When I saw the countertop with the white stone on top, I thought that I should have mine made just like it. Any tips on how to find a kitchen remodeling service to help me out?


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