Keeping up with faucet design trends can help plumbers ensure they are staying competitive and offering their customers the latest and greatest products on the market.
Here is an overview of the top faucet trends shaping the market in 2018.
Not your father’s faucet
Consumers are moving away from more traditional faucet styles and toward styles that are sleeker, angular and even industrial.
“Simple, contemporary design is leading the way,” says Katie Hayes, senior product manager, Danze by Gerber. “Homeowners, builders, designers, etc. like the clean lines and simple design.”
According to a 2018 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Design Study of remodels, iconic styles such as modern and traditional appear to be falling out of favor somewhat, as homeowners lean toward transitional, contemporary, and farmhouse styles, says Peggy Gallagher, product manager – trade kitchen, Delta Faucet Co. In fact, contemporary-styled kitchens have overtaken traditional to be the second most popular design after transitional.
“Consumers are moving toward softer, cleaner lines with angular cues in the kitchen, and we are seeing more transitional and contemporary kitchens in traditional homes,” Gallagher says. “Commercial spring pull-down faucets are also popular, as well as articulating and touch/touchless faucets.”
In general, less is more, says Jean-Jacques L’Henaff, vice president of design, LIXIL Americas.
“We see faucets favoring clean, contemporary styling with minimalist shapes that bring a feeling of calm to their environment and provide an inviting, approachable setting for the user,” he says.
Whereas faucets were made to blend into their surroundings in the past, they have since become a focal point, and anything that can help make them “pop” is becoming a trend.
“Chrome and brushed nickel/stainless steel continue to lead the overall popularity contest, but specialty finishes like satin black are gaining momentum in various rooms of the house,” Hayes says. “These faucets have become a focal point in many kitchens and bathrooms, so style, finish and design is more important than ever.”
L’Henaff agrees that “matte black and warm golds” as well as “up-and-coming matte metallic coatings” are gaining popularity.
Moen Senior Product Manager Tom Tylicki says homeowners and designers want “statement pieces that will stand out in a space and get noticed.” Gold, in particular, has re-emerged as a popular choice along with matte black.
“Matte Black makes a statement and offers a modern look that allows customers to experiment with fresh ideas,” Tylicki says.
“Delta has seen the desire for more matte black in the kitchen providing a nice contrast in contemporary kitchens,” Gallagher agrees. “We now offer matte black across our Trinsic, Essa and Esque collections.”
In addition to high-contrast finishes and sleek designs, faucets are also incorporating more technology than ever before.
“For faucets, this means advanced and enhanced functionality, innovative spray patterns, unique designs and, of course, touch or hands-free activation,” Gallagher says.
“Consumers are looking for fixtures that are not only stylish, but functional, as well,” Tylicki says. “Touchless designs are the perfect way to provide style and functionality. This technology also helps minimize the spread of dirt and germs, as there’s no need to touch the handle to start the flow of water.”
L’Henaff says incorporating technology to offer improved convenience to the user is “the most prominent trend in faucet design right now.”
“From kitchen faucets that can deliver a specified volume of water on demand to touchless faucets in residential bathrooms, the presence of technology in our plumbing products will only continue to grow in the coming years,” he predicts.
Another “must-have” for manufacturers, designers and consumers is universal design, or creating products “knowing people are aging in place” and “helping people be more comfortable and accessible in their living spaces,” Hayes says.
“Universal design is an important trend in faucet design,” L’Henaff says. “Demand has increased in recent years and will steadily increase with the maturing baby boomers for the next five to 10 years.”
“In the kitchen, touchless faucets are perfect for universal design, as you don’t have to touch the faucet at all to activate water flow,” Tylicki says.
“For Delta, universal design is always taken into consideration and influences the design of our faucets,” Gallagher says. “We believe that no matter your ability, everyone should be able to easily operate and enjoy our faucets.”
With more and more states tightening their water conservation requirements, water efficiency is another must-have, Hayes says.
“Staying dialed into the EPA’s WaterSense program is a smart approach for plumbing professionals. WaterSense puts rigorous testing in place to ensure no product earns its ‘seal of approval’ without meeting stringent requirements.”
Water efficiency continues to remain top of mind, especially in the kitchen, Gallagher says.
“All of the Delta faucets that feature Touch2O Technology have a preset shutoff of 4 minutes for the kitchen and 1 minute in the bathroom, helping consumers be more water efficient and worry-free.”
Water-efficient performance is a must-have feature in a bathroom sink faucet, L’Henaff agrees.
“Whether homeowners are interested in meeting local water use restrictions, greening their homes, or simply want to save money on their water bills, we always recommend choosing a water-saving faucet.”
With so many different factors impacting faucet trends, manufacturers are providing resources for plumbing professionals to help them stay on top of the latest faucet technology and products.
“At Moen, we have a whole website dedicated to the pros to provide information on our latest products, including step-by-step installation videos and literature, articles and Q&A to assist them with this new technology,” Tylicki says.
On the flip side, manufacturers are also turning to the professionals to help keep tabs on upcoming trends.
“Fostering relationships with the plumbing professional remains a priority for Gerber and Danze by Gerber,” Hayes says. “Plumbers often have more influence in the spec than others might think, so we cherish their input not only on how easily the faucet installs or how little service it needs, but how its design plays into the overall marketplace.”