High-performance bathrooms

Design blends technology, style
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
By Anita Griffin

In today’s most covetable bathrooms, timeless style is just as important as effortless functionality. And this year, it’s all about designs that anticipate the needs of everyday users. Everyone uses water differently and it’s the designer’s prerogative to create a bathroom that complements their client’s lifestyle. New products make it easier to implement their vision. From varying faucet spout heights to all inclusive shower systems, designs are effortlessly blending technology and style, while allowing personal customization to enhance daily activities in the home.

The expanding role of the bathroom
The faucet not only accommodates the size, style and shape of any sink but suits a variety of uses. Today’s families are using their bathroom sinks far beyond brushing teeth and washing hands. From washing hair to filling a watering can, the ability to choose the right faucet height is of the utmost importance.

The personalized shower experience
Gone are the days of the archaic stationary shower experience. The newest shower systems can be designed any number of ways with shower, hand shower and water jets. For a luxurious feel in the bathroom, not to mention a quick installation, look for a shower panel with shelving for easy access to bath accessories. Today’s homeowners desire a truly personalized shower experience, so they can choose the perfect water placement, direction, spray and temperature.

Technology that complements busy lifestyles
Simple, seamless technology in the bathroom is also making a splash. As the traditional family dynamic evolves into multi-generational homes, the marriage of smart design and innovative electronics is now being seen in the bathroom faucet.

The mobility needs of family members of all ages – from toddlers to grandparents – are recognized with touch-activated or hands-free faucet functions. Individuals living with chronic conditions that affect dexterity or mobility can benefit from the addition of automatic water flow as turning a tap can be difficult. For children, it may be difficult to reach the faucet handle but a touch faucet can make washing hands fun and easy.

Electronic lavatory faucets also make it easy to turn water off between tasks to save water. Just by turning the water off while brushing can save up to nine gallons of water a day. A touch-activated faucet can make water-saving habits convenient.

The playful bathroom workspace
Interactions with water extend beyond the sink and into the actual configuration of the bathroom. Designers are showing a greater appreciation for the importance of customization, creating suites that allow homeowners to create a unique bathroom workspace. Collections that allow for custom positioning of faucets, handles and shelves make bathroom design fun for designers and homeowners alike. Left-handed users may choose to put faucet handles on the left side of the sink while homeowners with small children may want the handles lower on the counter. With the help of imagination and creativity, the bathroom becomes an expression of individuality.

Anita Griffin is director of marketing communications at Masco Canada Ltd., the Canadian plumbing division of Masco Corp.

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