What is a Transitional bathroom and how can you achieve it?


According to the 2019 Bathroom Design Trends report from the National Kitchen + Bath Association, the transitional bathroom is the most in-demand style for bathroom design. According to Elle H-Millard (National Kitchen + Bath Association Industry Relations Manager and also a cast member of HGTV’s Design Star season 2), the transitional style will continue to be the most popular for the next three-years.

What is a transitional bathroom? How can you achieve it?

Mixing two styles

Joan Kaufman, Licensed Interior Designer, President of Interior Planning & Design, Naperville, IL, explains that a transitional bathroom could have many meanings. She says that transitional is a style that’s somewhere between traditional and modern. The style would have more modern lines but not be too contemporary. It would also be warm and comfortable with a feeling that isn’t too cold or too sleek.

Accessible from anywhere

Kaufman says that a transitional bathroom could also be a design that allows homeowners the freedom to age in their own homes. This means that accommodations are made in the bathroom to increase safety and provide support without being totally ADA. For example, grab bars are placed near the bathtub and the shower area. These bathrooms might have handheld spray showerheads with lower valve controls. The tub would be lower to facilitate entry and exit.

Some designs allow homeowners to remove the tub and install a shower with handheld sprays and a seat. Kaufman states that mirrors and other fixtures will need to be placed low enough so they can be seen from a sitting position or a wheelchair. Under-toe kick lighting is another popular feature. Kaufman says that having toe-kick lighting from a motion sensor is a great benefit.

45 Stunning Transitional Bathroom Design Ideas To Make
45 Stunning Transitional Bathroom Design Ideas To Make

Safety that is stylish

This is not the bathroom of your grandparents. Chelsea Allard, VP Design at Case Design/Remodeling, Charlotte, NC, says that a transitional bathroom can be both beautiful and safe. It can make your life easier, no matter your age or ability. She says grab bars can be used to coordinate with your faucets. Allard states that grab bars can be used to prevent falls and can also be used for towel bars.

The bench seats and handheld showers are also useful for dual purposes. Allard says that benches can be used as a prop to shave your legs or as a seat for those who are unable to stand because of injury. These handheld showers can be useful if you have to take a bath while sitting down.

Comfort-height toilets make it easier for the knees, but they also work well for tall people. Allard states that single-handle or touch-activated faucets can be great for those with arthritis and for people who want a more comfortable experience. Transitional design incorporates touch-activated faucets as one of the latest trends in bathroom technology.

15 Extraordinary Transitional Bathroom Designs For Any Home
15 Extraordinary Transitional Bathroom Designs For Any Home

Uber fashionable

The beauty and elegance of transitional bathrooms is another reason they are so popular. According to Dawn Totty, Interior Designer at Dawn Totty Designs, Chattanooga TN, bathrooms are changing from a place for basic necessities to a place where you can enjoy luxury.

Totty says that designers and homeowners are now incorporating luxurious features like chandeliers and saunas in today’s fast-paced life. It’s a spa-like space that people can escape to without having to worry about the expense and inconvenience.

Storage and workspace

H-Millard points out that transitional bathroom cabinets and vanities are very distinctive. She says, “We’re talking about free-standing, built in, or floating styles with recessed panel facings and lots of drawers.” This bathroom design is made up of wood grain, painted wood, and mixed materials with decorative hardware.

Faucets, sinks, and countertops

H-Millard states that countertops and sinks in transitional bathrooms are quartz, quartzite or granite. Sinks made of cast iron and white porcelain are very popular. Undermount sinks are also a staple.

Transitional bathrooms feature the most recent faucet design trends. H-Millard states that faucets come in motion, touch-control, manual, and can be nickel, chrome or stainless. The most popular finishes for transitional bathrooms are satin, matte, brushed, and polished.


According to H-Millard, ceramic, porcelain, and stone tile are the most popular flooring options for transitional bathrooms. You also have luxury vinyl, ceramic wood and marble options.

Allard says that matte-finish tile flooring can be used to reduce the risk of slippage without sacrificing style. When designing a perfect bathroom for kids, durable flooring is crucial.


Transitional bathrooms are light and airy, and can be used in whites, grays or beiges as well as bones and blues. “Fragile Blue is a good choice for a transitional bath, as it is clean and crisp,” says Sue Kim, Valspar’s Color Marketing Manager. It is a sophisticated, blue-tinted white that creates a spa-like atmosphere.

Gotham Gray is another option. Kim says, “This color adds drama to your transitional bathrooms and brings selected fixed features to life in a clean, elegant way.” To achieve the desired effect, follow these steps.

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