These days, the value of the bath as a haven increases exponentially. Of course water becomes critical to creating a spa-like space that promotes relaxation, and that means showers and tubs take center stage.
With shower systems and soaking tubs, there’s no question that people like plenty of water to wash away their cares and stresses. But at the same time, the green trend that promotes water and energy conservation is also impacting design and product trends.
With two seemingly disparate trends at play, there’s some debate about what consumers want.
“It’s about wellness and rejuvenation,” says Mike Reffner, group product manager for Moen, in North Olmsted, OH. “Consumers [want] an experience that’s spa-like – a bath experience that is a mini-escape.”
Lars Christensen, senior product manager for Hansgrohe, in Alpharetta, GA, says that “green” is the hot topic of the day. “The trend toward custom spa-type showers that we saw in the middle of this decade has faded because of the economy,” he states. “Today’s trend is toward water conservation and water efficiency.”
Showering has become increasingly important for reasons beyond just hygiene, says Chuck Mistovich, director of marketing, Alsons Corp., in Hillsdale, MI. “People are looking to relax weary muscles, energize with the morning shower or wind down with a shower or bath at the end of the day,” he says.
This has led to an increased interest in shower systems with body sprays and multiple showerheads. “Consumers want options that will give them a fuller showering experience, with water hitting them from multiple angles and heights,” says Paul Patton, senior product development manager for Delta Faucet Co., in Indianapolis, IN.
Creating a custom shower continues to soar in popularity, according to Robert Larson, director of business development for Danze, in Woodridge, IL. “Homeowners like the ability to mix and match elements such as a stylish showerhead, a hand-held shower/sprayer and body sprays,” he says.
Indeed, many consumers are looking to increase impact and functionality. “A perfect way to change the look and performance of a master or guest bath, without all of the expense associated with a full renovation, is by replacing the faucets and showerheads,” says Lou Rohl, COO/managing partner of Rohl, in Irvine, CA.
Convenience and versatility are among the main concerns of consumers, manufacturers agree. To meet those needs, Alsons has created the In2ition Two Showers in One. “Consumers can use the showerhead by itself, the handshower by itself or both at one time,” says Mistovich. The In2ition, which is an integral handshower mounting within the showerhead, is also a combination shower whereby the consumer uses a three-way diverter to control the flow. “This unit has a handshower mount and allows different spray options from the showerhead, handshower or both at one time,” he adds.
Vacation themes are popular, says Reffner. “Creating a bathroom, as experienced in a luxury hotel room – with a showerhead/hand shower combination and/or a vertical spa – has become very popular,” he says.
Rainshower showerheads are a popular choice for those who want a home spa experience in the shower, and technological advances have only added to its popularity, according to Larry Brodey, CEO of Jaclo, in Cranford, NJ.
“Our Rain Canopies have seen many advances in terms of size, shape and chromatherapy features,” he says. “In addition to our Rain Canopies, our Renovator Swivel Showerarm with Handshower Diverter allows for the ‘Rain Canopy effect’ by converting the standard showerarm into a luxury showerhead and handshower experience.”
Technology is also playing a critical role, Reffner notes. “We’re all getting very accustomed to the idea of customizing technology to fit our needs with a ‘set and forget’ mentality. Those ‘set and forget’ features have now entered the bathroom.”