Modern bathrooms must be functional, aesthetically appealing and – increasingly – intelligent. PHPD caught up with Paul Bailey, Senior Category Manager at GROHE UK, to discover ways to bring a touch of luxury to the bathroom.
Q. What are the latest trends in adding luxury in the bathroom?
There is now a far smaller crossover between products used within commercial projects and residential properties than there has ever been in previous years. Housebuilders and designers are increasingly aware that customers are paying premium prices to experience luxury in hotels and want to incorporate the same high standard of products in their own homes. This is particularly apparent in the showering and tap markets.
One trend that instantly adds a touch of luxury into the bathroom is an unusual or striking product finish. Coloured brassware has been talked about for a while but it is only now that it is really coming into play. Customers are finally becoming confident enough to make those bold choices when the option is available; this is undoubtedly driven also by social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest showing consumers how they can achieve such a statement look in their ‘everyday’ home.
We expect the trend for luxurious finishes to continue to grow within the sector so that housebuilders will in the future be able to offer accessories, showers, flush plates and more in a matching finish. Alongside this, there has been demand for more architectural and striking structures within tap design. The form and design of the tap is now considered almost, if not more, important than the functionality the tap offers.
Q. How can a touch of luxury be brought into a bathroom of any size?
Housebuilders are now able to provide a luxurious offering for any bathroom size. Small touches such as matching beautiful brassware accessories to the taps and shower fixtures ensures a coordinated, well thought-through design in any bathroom.
There is also the option of choosing a manufacturer, such as GROHE, that offers an extra small to extra large sizing service in many of its best-loved and stylish products from taps to toilets.
For example, an extra small tap might be used in a cloakroom with a smaller sink, while an extra large tap is the perfect focal point for a statement room. This ensures that luxury or product quality does not need to be compromised, even in the smallest of spaces.
Q. Are you seeing levels of interest in shower toilets increasing?
Shower toilets are up-and-coming in the UK; they are growing in commercial, hospitality and care settings and we expect that more residential specifications will follow in the next few years. A key reason that shower toilets are increasing in popularity is because customers are becoming increasingly aware of the associated health benefits.
Shower toilets harness the gentle cleansing power of water instead of harsh paper to care for your skin, and often come with a range of special features to ensure optimum cleanliness. For example, our Sensia Arena shower toilet offers self-cleaning functions, an advanced germ-free AquaCeramic coating, odour extraction and an automatic TripleVortex flush.
Q. Can a bathroom experience be luxurious whilst also keeping water usage under control?
With ever more demanding eco targets to meet in the sector, there are a wide range of products that housebuilders and specifiers can now offer their customers which provide luxury without using excessive water consumption. Look out for products that come with flow limiters or air infused sprays on shower heads- these mix air with the droplets to reduce the amount of water used without compromising on performance.
Using less water also means less energy is required to heat the water, so the benefits are twofold. Dual flush cisterns are also becoming a popular choice within the housebuilding market, letting users choose between two different flush volumes after each use.
Q. Can housebuilders create bathrooms that meet the trend towards increasingly ‘smart’ solutions?
As a market set to grow and become an established norm, digital products can really help upsell and create value and aspiration around a property on the market. The idea of future-proofing the home is an appealing concept for most homeowners and therefore should be in the forefront of housebuilders’ minds. Digital operation allows each user ownership over their own cleaning and hygiene, meaning a sustained independence even for elderly or more vulnerable users.
Housebuilders can take advantage of products currently on the market to meet this trend towards smart solutions. Look out for apps which allow users to pre-set their showers to the perfect temperature and water volume, and shower toilets which allow users to set and remember their favourite settings.