The Latest in Bathroom Technology

It’s the year 2020 and technology has been introduced into all aspects of life and that includes the bathroom. From virtual reality designs, where you can literally walk through your finished bathroom space before the first tile has even been laid, to seeing your chosen products in 3D, even if your local showroom does not have them on display. There are so many ways to access technology and apply it to your bathroom, from innovative lighting solutions, to heated towel rails, washing-toilets, the incorporation of waterproof multi-media systems, and beyond. We give you a taste of just a few of the options…  

Lighting innovations

Bring a sense of life and atmosphere to your bathroom space with the latest lighting innovations. You can opt for lights that turn on and off automatically when you enter and leave, and even programme your lighting levels for different activities, achieving the perfect conditions for applying makeup or the perfect ambience for a soak in the bath. Take it further by harnessing the power of chromotherapy, which uses coloured lights to enhance your mood. The LED sensored lights are embedded in the tub or the shower head/surround itself, and can be changed depending on how you feel. Require extra relaxation? Use turquoise or purple. Need to stimulate your creativity? Yellow and orange will work great. Green brings balance, and white clarifies and cleanses. Compliment this with some speakers built into your bath or shower to provide your required audio and you have a winning combination!

Digital advances

One innovative way Vado has utilized technology is with their Sensori range – allowing you to control your shower or bath digitally with touch sensitive shower valves and a remote control which stores all your flow and temperate settings for a personalised experience. Set your shower to the perfect temperature before you even step in! Memory settings are at the core of every great digital valve. From saving temperature, flow and time preferences to storing multiple settings for each member of the family, memory settings look to offer convenience at the touch of a button. Electronically controlled water temperature is also becoming more and more common for free-standing tubs. This way, your bath water is of a uniform temperature that you can sit in right away, instead of having to heat it up or wait for it to cool down a little, wasting water and time. Other companies have come up with electronic timers that you can set for tasks like brushing your teeth. Basically, the tap will run for a few seconds while you wet your brush. Then it will shut down for the amount of time that you decide, and resume so you can rinse your brush and your mouth. If you have trouble brushing your teeth for the recommended three minutes, the faucet timer can help you with that.

The ultimate in bathroom indulgence

With our busy lifestyles, finding time to relax is becoming more and more important, and what better way to facilitate this than by indulging in your favourite programme whilst soaking in the tub! The addition of a flat screen TV to the bathroom is becoming more and more popular. ProofVision provide the sleekest of designs and most advance technology with their built-in fully waterproof 4K Smart TVs. Their heated screens, ultra-thin profile, and waterproof remote control gives you a luxurious bathing experience. Each TV comes with 2 waterproof speakers which can be installed anywhere for that customised surround sound experience. Most models come with a mirror finish that allow them to blend in when not in use. And if you want to take your Netflix and chill to the next level still, install a plasma fire and a small cooler next to your tub for easy access to your favourite drinkable bubbles, while being massaged by hydrotherapy bath jets!

Hygiene solutions

At a time when hand-hygiene is of the upmost importance, battered plastic bottles and faulty soap pumps are going to be a thing of the past. A new wave of automatic soap dispensers and hand sanitisers is hitting the bathroom gadget market. They are sleek, attractive, and make hand washing more hygienic. Likewise, hand-sensor taps, which significantly reduce water waste and turn on and off without you needing to touch anything, and other earth-friendly gadgets, will become a staple part of bathroom designs moving forward.

The best thing is you can pick and choose how far you go with bathroom technology– go all out with a fully automated bathroom or just pick and choose a couple of techy features to add some special touches. Additionally, don’t feel you can only incorporate technology into an ultra-modern design, even the most traditional of bathrooms can be enhanced by the subtle incorporation of hidden technology solutions to enhance the luxury level and improve practicality. And the good news is that as this technology becomes more common place, the prices are becoming more and more competitive, meaning that it doesn’t have to be an option for only the most extravagant of budgets.

Speak to our designers to explore the right technology solutions for you and we will build them in to your bathroom design!

How to design your perfect bathroom.

Are you daunted by the thought of planning a new bathroom? We thought we would give you a few ideas to help.

Bathrooms have soared in importance over the past few years and have become an essential and valued feature of the home for many families. A stylish bathroom adds value to your house and is a rising factor when searching for a new property. 

Everyone wants to make the most use of their downtime. In fact, we can never seem to get enough these days and therefore, investing in a luxury bathroom, a beautiful shower or a place in which to relax and indulge is becoming the norm.

What are your bathroom needs?

Before embarking on your bathroom design project consider your key priorities: family space, separate shower, double basins, storage, en-suite bathroom, wet room, toilet or spa? 

What is your lifestyle? Are you an energetic person or do you seek a calm haven? What are you looking to achieve with your space as this is key to your choice of colour scheme, fixtures, fittings and accessories?

Are you keeping your existing bathroom layout?

If you have a layout that currently works for you, then don’t change it for no reason. The cost of moving waste and water pipes can be expensive. 

If you are anticipating a bathroom refresh, this can easily be achieved by replacing furniture, fittings, flooring and tiles; wallpapering or repainting walls; adding new storage and making small but exciting changes. 

You will need to be accurate with measurements if undertaking this yourself. Remember to note how doors and windows open and the location of hot and cold water and waste pipes.

If all this sounds too daunting, we suggest a visit to your local bathroom showroom who will provide not only advice but design suggestions. Talking to professionals is certainly worthwhile and will help you maximise your space and avoid costly mistakes.

Consider also how your needs might change in future years. Will your family increase; do you have teenagers that take up time in the family bathroom; do you have an older family member that might not be able to access a free-standing bath in the future? Think ahead and make the most of your investment.

Are you looking for bathroom inspiration?

There are so many styles to choose from and having an idea of whether you like contemporary, period, industrial or traditional will help to narrow down your choice. Why not take a moment to look at our inspiration page and also check out interiors magazines, hotel brochures and the all-important ‘Pinterest’ for exciting bathroom design ideas. If you are using a bathroom designer you can share these ideas when they take your brief.  

Look at your available space

When it comes to choosing your style and fittings, you should consider the space you are working with. Most UK bathrooms are quite small and double basins and walk-in showers, whilst desirable, may not fit your home. If you try and cram in too many fittings this will make your bathroom feel smaller. Introducing just one statement piece, such as a free-standing bath, can easily achieve the wow factor you desire.

Those all-important storage solutions

A lack of visible clutter can mark the difference between a nice bathroom and a luxurious bathroom, making the right storage a must-have component for every bathroom. A stylish and functional vanity unit with space for razors, toiletries, towels and a host of other products is essential. Floor-mounted vanities and cupboards are in trend if you are going for a modern design, and they make cleaning much easier! Alternatively, if you’re going for a more traditional look, a chunky floor standing unit works perfectly. Another option is to speak to a designer about building in a stud wall with recesses to house the toiletries that you need accessible, rather than balancing them on the edge of the bath – this can be really impactful at not a great expense.

Ventilation and lighting

Ventilation is not always considered when planning a new bathroom, but with new bathroom furniture or locating a bathroom next to a bedroom, ventilation is essential. An open window is never enough and if you want to keep your bathroom furniture in good condition, it is vital to include some extraction.

Lighting is another important consideration and can completely transform the atmosphere in your bathroom. You have a range of options, from LEDs to wall-mounted lights, or hanging statement ceiling lights, but they will need to have the correct IP rating so make sure you check this with an electrician.  We would suggest different lighting levels not only to enhance a super-sensory soak but to avoid waking others in middle-of-the-night. 

Trendy tiles

Selecting the right surface material for your walls and floors can make a massive difference to your finished bathroom, and tiles are probably your most versatile way of achieving the bathroom design look you want. Choosing seamless floor-to-wall tiles will maximise your impact or why not plan a feature wall or floor? The options are endless with tiles, whether you want a patterned Moroccan effect, mosaics, herringbone, luxurious marble, rustic wood-effect, or funky geometric, you can achieve this with tiles to meet a range of budgets – ranging from cheaper ceramic options which are perfect for bathrooms, to stunning but more costly concrete tiles. When choosing your tiles you should consider whether or not you are having underfloor heating to ensure you select a compatible option. Envisaging how your tiles will look is made easy with 3-D design software.

Design, planning, installation or turn-key solution?

How much of the project can you do yourself? Do you need help with the design? Or are you looking to design your own space but need product supply and advice? Do you have your own installer?

At Pier1 Bathrooms, we are flexible. We can take on your whole project, designing you a stunning bathroom to meet your budget and linking you up with one of our trusted installers, or we can simply provide you with product advice and supply the items you desire. 

To get a feel for what you need, there is nothing better than trying out furniture in a showroom. Don’t be afraid to get in our baths, feel the taps for quality and check out the beautiful coloured tiles. 

At Pier1 Bathrooms, we use 3-D design software, which provides you with the luxury of viewing a precise virtual walk-around of your new bathroom design before you make your final decision, enabling us to tweak the design with you as we go.

Delivery of your products can take as little as two or three days for basic products, however if you’re having any bespoke items it can take 4-5 weeks or longer so allow time for this at the start of your project and speak to your designer about it. If you’re ordering yourself, don’t forget fittings such as waste traps, fillers and valves– you don’t want your builders sitting around on-site waiting for deliveries.

Make sure you are comfortable with the designs as this will avoid unnecessary costs later and do consider that tradespeople will be in your home for probably a week. Make arrangements with friends to borrow a shower occasionally and if you are knocking down walls, or adding windows, you may need Building Regulations approval.

Make a statement with colour

One of the most impactful ways to make a statement in your bathroom is with colour… and it is trending BIG STYLE. Whether it’s a splash of colour or a full drenching, this is one of the most versatile ways of reflecting your personality and setting the mood and ambience you desire.

The secret to using colour in your bathroom is simple – use the colours you love the most. They may not be topping the charts, but by choosing a colour that appeals most to you and sparks a sense of joy you can rest assured you will never grow tired of it. Think about which colours you are naturally drawn to, or what your wardrobe is full of, and opt for these in either bright and bold or pastel tones. Alternatively, think about the way you want your bathroom to make you feel and chose the colour accordingly – blues are said to increase relaxation levels, while yellows increase energy and purples emit a romantic and luxurious vibe. If you are looking to move with the times, bold dark colours, particularly navy blues and forest greens, will be huge in 2020, or, for a subtler option, blush pinks are toping the Pinterest boards and look fab contrasted with statement metal finishes and accessories (like towel rails, taps and traps).

Whichever colour scheme you opt for you can rest assured there are plenty of options for incorporating it into your design. Here are a few suggestions from us:

  • Inject a pop of colour with a statement piece. Historically, coloured sanitary ware (that avocado suite!) was part of an over-arching colour scheme, whereas now colour tends to feature as a statement piece providing a visual accent which can really pull a room together. Feature coloured baths have been popular for a while now and with several companies offering beautiful options for a range of budgets in an array of bespoke colours and finishes, it’s easy to see why and we can’t get enough of them! More recently, coloured basins are appearing on the scene. For example, Kast, a booming international brand, create stunning concrete contemporary basins (pictured) in a range of 28 different beautiful tones and textures which offer the perfect statement piece for any bathroom or cloakroom. An alternative route is to opt for a feature radiator. Several companies, such as Vogue, can custom produce their radiators in any of over 190 RAL colours. Not swayed? Opt for a coloured WC. The Italian company, Ceramica Globo, have recently released a range of beautiful ceramic colours that will complement any scheme.
  • Introduce a sense of style with tiles. Tiles are another fantastic way to add colour to a bathroom since they don’t take up any usable space but can transform a design with a subtle touch, or breath-taking streak, of colour and pattern. Indeed, when it comes to tiles, the colour and pattern options are almost endless. Geometric style tiles are currently very popular and come in a range of colours and finishes, including metal trims and inset detailing. Alternatively, Moroccan inspired handmade tiles, whether porcelain or concrete, add texture and pattern and will never go out of fashion. Or for those who love a bit of detail, mosaics are popular for splashbacks, insets and shower enclosures.
  • Create a feature wall or ceiling with wallpaper. The introduction of wallpaper to bathrooms is seriously trending just now. You don’t need a ton of light to really make a wallpaper pop, so it can embolden even a low-lit bathroom. The use of wallpaper in cloakrooms is really popular – providing the perfect solution for completely transforming a small space. What’s more, a range of companies now supply bathroom-friendly wallpapers, so you don’t need to worry about any stray splashes! Oversized floral prints in bold, dark or bright colours are at the top of the charts, or why not chose a personal print that means something to you. Some companies, such as Heritage Bathrooms, will even wallpaper your bath for you!
  • Check out Bathroom Inspiration

The latest in toilet technology – shower toilets

Modern, super clean and environmentally-friendly, the new super toilets which have become commonplace in Japan and Korea, function like typical wall-hung WCs but, when you are finished, you can choose to have the shower toilet function clean you thoroughly and gently, with warm, clean water.

In Japan, the TOTO washlets, as they are known, were introduced in the 1980s and have become standard fixtures in hotels, shopping centres and public places. Tens of millions have been installed across the country gaining cult status and even their own museum.

Available for a range of budgets, there are many advantages of these new, environmentally-friendly, super-loos which require no toilet paper and your whole family’s health will reap benefits from advanced cleaning methods and the DirectFlush technology. Once you have tried it, we doubt if you will want to return to the old ways!

An example is the ViClean-U (pictured), from Villeroy and Boch. It’s is a state-of-the-art shower toilet with five levels of adjustable jet strength, temperature and nozzle position which can be changed by remote control or by an app on your phone. The ViClean-U has both a rear function and a feminine wash, suitable for all. Shaped naturally like a leaf and is not only comfortable, but the design incorporates the shower toilet functionality effortlessly. The nozzles have automatic cleaning (both before and after every use) for additional hygiene, and the seats have a nightlight and heating function for luxury and ease of use at any time of day or night. The CeramicPlus finish provides an easy-clean coating and, with no lip on the inside of the bowl, hygiene is improved as there are no corners for germs to lurk and the toilet stays clean for much longer.

Shower toilets are indeed the new luxury feature that people are enjoying in their homes; a great way to save money, be an environmental champion and also keep your family clean and healthy.

Open for business!

We are excited to announce that our beautiful flagship Brighton and Hove bathroom showroom is now officially open for business! The vinyls are off, exposing our striking feature displays, and the doors are open – we operate on a five-day week, Tuesday – Saturday.

Our displays give you an idea of the kind of beautiful bathroom spaces we can help you to create – ranging from our contemporary Villeroy & Boch compositions, to luxurious traditional, featuring the beautiful Burlington WC, to our statement vintage window display showcasing the knock-out Victoria + Albert painted Cheshire Bath (which is already in high demand!). Also, see examples of bespoke furniture which can be custom made to fit your unique specifications and some of the stunning tiles and finishes we supply to give your dream bathroom the finishing touches it deserves. These are just a taster – whatever style you favour or impact you want to achieve; we have the products and ideas for you.

We offer the full service – design, supply and installation. This means that if you simply want us to source and deliver your favoured products we can. However, most of our customers choose to make use of our fantastic customised design service. Our specialist designers, Louise and Rosie, who are already working on designs for our first customers, are donned with awards, featuring in the likes of Ideal Home Magazine. They use state of the art Virtual World technology to work with you in an iterative process to create your inspirational bespoke design and will conduct a site visit to better understand your bathroom space and practical requirements. To complete the picture we can arrange for your bathroom to be installed to the highest standard using our specialist fitters who have years of experience in the luxury bathroom sector.

Feel free to call or pop and have a nose! We are happy to chat to explore your ideas and tell you more about our displays and suppliers, or to book you an appointment to get the ball rolling on creating your bespoke design.