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.

Bathroom Trends at ISH

The latest bathroom trends from ISH. Pier1 Bathrooms are committed to bringing you the most sought-after bathrooms and the latest industry innovations. At the end of March, we visited ISH, one of the worlds leading trade fairs, which was held in Frankfurt, Germany.

When it comes to setting trends for modern bathroom design, ISH is internationally renowned and we love the focus they have on the responsible management of water, energy efficiency and sustainable bathroom solutions.

Here the exhibitors presented some fascinating insights into what the ‘bathroom of the future’ might look like, incorporating both high-tech and high-end designs. Intelligent home solutions and a consideration of the need to protect our climate and natural resources feature highly, but at no cost to the beauty of the products produced or the commitment to produce bathrooms that capture all of the senses and bring tranquility to body and mind.