With evolution of technology in the bathroom arguably out-running any other area of the hotel, Hotel Designs, in association with Plumb It, has identified six savvy and smart bathroom ideas that should be on the radar of all interior designers and architects…
“Technology and water do not mix.” Never has a saying been more inaccurate than it is today when taking a glance at how smart hotel bathroom design is transforming. In fact, following the innovations that we launched at CES 2022, it’s safe to say that the bathroom is currently the epicentre of innovation, with tech influencing an evolution in function as well as form (and sustainable initiatives) in products such as toilets, showers, bathrooms, taps and even smart mirrors.
With new tech, though, comes confusion. This is why we, in partnership with Plumb It, have taken the time to identify six smart bathroom technologies that we believe have the power to challenge the conventional approach to bathroom design.
1) The shower toilet
Although not an obvious nor new piece of technology, it’s remarkable to see how popular the shower toilet has become worldwide. Brands such as Geberit, Toto and Euro Bathrooms are providing a no-hassle, gentle and natural way to clean, which is far more sustainable. Geberit AquaClean products, for example, allow users to save more energy by individually adjusting the product settings, thus giving them the option to reduce their environmental impact even further. In standby mode (economy mode), all AquaClean models, which fulfil the European eco-design requirements (ErP directives), consume less than 0.5 watts of energy in total.
2) The spa bath
There was a lot of hype in Las Vegas earlier this month at CES 2022, where bathroom brand Kohler displayed its Infinity Experience Freestanding Bath, which comes complete with LED lighting effects, and relaxing fog that has been inspired by Japanese hot springs. Well, it seems Kohler is not alone in its predictions that the bathrooms of tomorrow will have an even stronger emphasis on experience. Two years ago, Toto launched its weightless bathing experience. More recently, the whirlpool and airpool system baths by Phoenix Bathrooms takes wellness to new levels by also using sensory design. The Ancona + System 3 luxury bath features underwater, fully rotating colour-kinetic LED lighting, variable three-speed airpool blowers that allow finite and customisable adjustment and an inline heater that maintains a consistent water temperature during bathing.
3) Smart eco showers
A smart shower does not have to read you the news or play your favourite playlist while you are washing. For the sake of this editorial, smart means intuitive. The technology inside the hansgrohe EcoSmart happens behind the scenes. The showers and taps equipped with EcoSmart technology consume up to 60 per cent less water than conventional products. This not only means that you use less water, but also need less energy to heat the water – good news for the planet, and good news for your client’s pocket.
4) Mirrored art
The hotel design industry has seen the rise (and arguably the fall) of smart mirrors in the bathroom. When creating a tranquil space that encourages users to ‘switch off’, the idea of a smart TV becomes somewhat outdated. However, with the bathroom being predominantly a practical space, good lighting is an essential element. The Edison mirror by Origins Living, which comes in a variety of sizes, is more like atmospheric wall art than simply a reflective surface. Users can create their individual ambience with colour temperature control from warm to cool white lighting, adding texture and practicality to the bathroom experience.
5) Touchless demands
Even before 2020, prior to when the world become transfixed on hygienic solutions, touchless technology was a common element in public restrooms (in and outside the hotel arena). Since the pandemic, though, consumers’ demands for contactless has sky-rocketed – and brands such as Roca were prepared with resolutions. The Roca EM1 Flush Valve, for example, has been developed as a touchless option for either public or private bathrooms.
Thanks to an integrated infrared sensor, the flush button detects the movement of a hand and activates the flush automatically without contact, avoiding the spreading of viruses and the growth of bacteria. Roca’s EM1 mechanism allows you to choose between full and half flush volumes which can be easily adjusted to flush at 6/4, 4.5/3 or 4/2 litres, helping you to save your annual water usage with no electrical installation needed. It simply works on four AA batteries that provides more than 40,000 flushes.
6) Sustainable & durable baths
Crafted from Biolux, Ashton & Bentley has launched a freestanding bath that has been made from 100 per cent from an eco-friendly alternative to natural stone. The Biome Range is created for the eco-conscious and curated for harmony; a selection of modern classic freestanding baths and complementing countertop basins and freestanding washbasins. Roca’s designs are where engineering meets art – high impact visual statements of sculpted beauty created with Ashton & Bentley’s signature quality and craftsmanship. The gentle silhouettes and organic curves of the Biome Range connect contemporary ergonomic design with nature while nurturing sanctuary and wellbeing.
Plumb It is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our Recommended Suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.
Main image credit: Kohler