Over the last 12 months, there has been a lot of talk over whether the bathtub has had its day. Indeed, only last month, Key Note’s latest Baths & Sanitaryware Market Report found that “one quarter of adults in the UK claim to never have baths, with the speed and convenience of showers fitting in with the hectic daily schedules of much of the population.”
But does this mean that luxury is on the way out, with expediency and function the future of the bathroom market?
In a word, no.
Style is on the rise
In fact, the same Key Note report stated that: “Nowadays bathrooms have become spa-like havens offering an escape from the rest of the world. Close the bathroom door and hop into the bubbles of a roll-top tub or Jacuzzi bath, and for half an hour or so you can escape the screaming children or the piles of paperwork on the other side of the door and be transported to a luxurious sanctuary. The stresses of modern life have led many to seek this refuge in the home, and more bath lovers across the nation are transforming their functional bathrooms into relaxing spaces that rival spa and hotel facilities.”
As such, during 2016 and beyond, the demand for luxury showers, wetrooms, quality fittings, and stylish taps is set to rise, with homeowners seeking to turn dated bathrooms into more contemporary, indulgent spaces.
Environmental concerns remain key
As consumers become increasingly environmentally aware, water savings will also form an integral part of bathroom design.
With a ten-minute shower using approximately 20 gallons of water, and the average bath using approximately 30 gallons, it’s likely that more and more people will turn away from baths in a bid to keep clean and green.
Environmental compliance has never been more important, and as such it is vital that installers ensure the use of products that meet the demands of the EU Energy Related Products Directive (ErPD). Of course, while non-compliant products have not been tested and approved to the required legislative standard, and are not guaranteed to run as efficiently and cost effectively, we also can’t overlook the potential damage to businesses using illegal sub-standard imports. All Westco products comply with the strict requirements of the ErPD.
Changing family structures
Concerns regarding water efficiency aside, with a growing and ageing population, and a housing crisis unlikely to be resolved anytime soon, there is an increase in multi-generation homes, with grandparents, parents and children all living under the same roof.
With a need to meet the bathroom requirements of such families, once again, the shower is set to play an important role, with traditional tubs often proving problematic for the elderly.
Of course, safety is the most important factor for multi-generational families and the demand for high-quality bathroom grab rails, designed to aid people with mobility issues is on the rise.
What’s more with Thermostatic Mixing Valves (TMV) regulating the temperature of hot water to ensure supply at a safe heat, such products are likely to become increasingly popular in a bid to help prevent domestic scalding.
With advancements in smart technology, we can also expect to see an increase in the use of smart devices in the home. Just imagine, for example, being able to set the family shower to suit the exact preference of each family member. No more shocks to the system first thing in the morning after stepping into the shower and finding the temperature has been adjusted since your last visit!
The reality is, that the bathroom trends of 2016 have come about due to changing customer needs, and it’s only by getting under the skin of these customers, and understanding these needs, that the industry can deliver genuine product innovation. Only then can we fully keep up with demand in terms of visual design and lifestyle choices.