Bathroom Island: The Next Big Trend or a Huge Waste of Space?

Realtor.com, July 5, 2018

Bathroom island? Yep, that’s right. Now that an island pretty much comes standard in any upgraded kitchen, its allure has extended to the loo, too.

And for good reason: An island provides tons of storage and counter space, and is easily accessible on all sides. Aesthetically speaking, it looks très cool.

“People ask for bathroom islands because they create a dramatic focal point effect,” says Leah Tuttleman, a certified designer of Re-Bath. “Most homeowners are looking for added surface and more storage space, and a bathroom island accomplishes just that.”

Bathroom island: A new design staple or a passing fad?

But is the bathroom island here to stay, or is it just a flash in the pan? That depends on whom you ask.

“I’m seeing the bathroom island concept less as a trend, and more as a common-sense approach to a spacious bathroom design,” Tuttleman says. “We may be seeing a lot more requests if bathroom space continues to grow larger in homes with generous square footage, as more people pursue bathroom upgrades.”

She touches on a key point: Most people just don’t have the extra space in their bathroom for an island. And adding one can be costly, as plumbing and power may have to be rerouted.

“I certainly recommend closet islands,” says Ana Cummings of ANA Interiors. “But bathroom islands? I guess if you have a Mac Daddy of a master suite or perhaps a combination open closet/bathroom, but I am certainly not a fan! Do we really have that many products to house in a bathroom?”

Bathroom island done right

For those who fancy a bathroom island, what’s the right way to do one? For starters, just know that the design doesn’t have to match the rest of your bathroom’s interior.

“They can match the other cabinets in the bathroom or stand alone in color and design,” Tuttleman says. “Right now, clean, sleek, contemporary is in, for a fresh, clean, and crisp look.”

She says she’s seeing people build bathroom islands using lighter colors such as cream, parchment, eggshell, and soft gray, along with engineered quartz and granite. People are also incorporating a lot of glass, porcelain, and large-scale tile.

Tuttleman offers the following tips for adding a bathroom island:

  • Plan for plenty of space around the island, to allow for someone to move freely around another person or past opened doors and drawers.
  • Consider the shape. An oval bathroom island adds a softer feel and more room to maneuver than a square or rectangular island.
  • Customize the height for the islands purposehigher if you just plan to brush your teeth standing, lower if you prefer to sit and put on makeup.
  • Make sure to incorporate sufficient lighting for the islands purpose.
Julie Ryan Evans is an editor and writer who has covered everything from politics to pop culture and beyond. She loves running, reading, cold wine, and hot weather.