What's Hot In The British Bathroom?

27/09/2010 | The Bathroom Manufacturers Association annual survey and report on bathroom trends is nearing completion. The report, due in full at the end of February, looks at both the state of the market and how it has been affected by the grim economy, and at design and style in the bathroom. PHAM News has had a preview of some of the findings. The British bathroom is going places. Fast. The bathroom has become our home's focal point for really stylish and eco friendly design. Product designers have raised the (creative) bar to respond to the market's increasing demand for bathroom products which are, at the same time, gorgeous to look at, easy to install, and very water efficient. Interior designers have also responded. They are producing layout and design solutions for householders who have decided to stay put rather than move. They have fulfilled the diverse demands for a look of either cluttered opulence or bare-boned minimalism. Eco Eco Water efficiency is the hot topic in the bathroom. Spurred on by recent changes in the law members of the BMA have developed a raft of innovative and eco-sensitive products which use less water yet still perform well and feel good. Baths (with clever internal shaping) and showers (which are digitally controlled) are now available using less water than ever before – helping the eco push and reducing household bills. The shower head itself has come in for scrutiny with clever technology reducing the water flow while at the same time giving the feel of a really good drench. WCs have also come in for the eco makeover. Products, which would never have been dreamt of a few years ago, are becoming common. Toilets with a short flush of just 2.6 litres, compared with the UK average of 9 litres, save huge amounts of water over a year. Its been estimated, using government figures, that an average household could save as much as 50,000 litres of good fresh drinking water every year if it changed its old water guzzler for new eco pan. That's good for the planet, good for the nation and good for the householder – a win win win situation if there ever was one. Recycling and rainwater harvesting is becoming more common. New and very advanced technical systems for saving and storing greywater or rainwater are available and developers are quickly taking up these devices to meet the requirements of the latest regulations. In-room recycling is also on its way with stylish combination washbasins-and-WCs coming to market in 2009. The all-new Water Efficient Product Labelling Scheme (WEPLS) which has been masterminded by the BMA, lists the most water efficient and eco-friendly bathroom products currently available. The scheme will be spotlighted at the 'eco-build' exhibition in March. Meanwhile readers can catch up with whats hot in eco technology at www.water-efficiencylabel.org.uk/. To Clutter or Declutter? In bathroom layout and design, there is currently a two-way street. Some bathroom designers are going for out and out opulence, cluttered chic and rich dark colours. There is a hankering for retro with pendant lighting and bold decoration. But conversely, minimalism rules – clean smooth lines and state of the art gadgets are 'de rigueur'. Wet rooms have become very fashionable making the best use of the available space. Several members of the BMA have wet rooms in their portfolio. Wet rooms have a particular place for helping 'make life easier' in the bathroom. People with special needs or people who want to make their bathroom design 'for life' are finding the benefits of the wet room particularly attractive. If the wet room cannot be accommodated low level shower trays and frameless enclosures are in demand. So too are 'vessel' washbasins, glossy surfaced furniture and wall hung WCs. The designer-led future Designer led bathrooms will be more important than ever in the future. High-end gorgeous and glamorous designs, giving the feel of decadence, will remain an important bathroom look in the coming year. But technically advanced and water efficient products will lead the way in the relentless push for sustainability. Further Information For further information please email info@bathroom-association.org.uk or telephone 01782 747123 and visit www.bathroom-association.org/

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