Black is proving to have staying power in bathrooms, while other dark colours will increase in popularity. Products that maximise available space will see prolific growth, as well as an increased and more focused use of smart technology in 2019.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, black, and especially matt black, will continue to be sought after in 2019.
Simon Cornelius, head of marketing for Methven, comments: “A shower head in a matt black finish will create a bold look in any bathroom.
“This look is particularly striking when the shower has a statement design, such as Aio from Methven, which features a unique halo shower head.”
In contrast, connectivity in showering has not had the same level of success in bathrooms.
After all, in a survey conducted by Eureka, only 13% of consumers believed the bathroom to be the best-suited room in the home for the technology.
However, this mindset appears to be shifting. Product and marketing director for Vado Angela Neve outlines where she thinks connectivity will make strides in the bathroom in 2019.
She comments: “The main focus for digital solutions within the bathroom industry will be to migrate away from gimmick features to benefits that provide real value and experience.
“For example, being able to store personal shower settings, controlling your shower remotely or introducing additional safety features.”
With new-build houses continually decreasing in size in the UK, consumers are becoming increasingly mindful of the space available to them.
Maximising this space will be of high importance throughout 2019, and particularly if a project features a bath.
Angela Neve of Vado comments: “We have seen a rise in demand for statement freestanding baths in a smaller bathroom environment. As a result, bath footprints have got smaller.”
Barrie Cutchie, design director of BC Designs, agrees: “We are seeing a new range of baths that deliver on all aspects of the style front but with small footprints.”
And in terms of fashions and styles, it will be metallic and darker colours which will prove to be popular, alongside the perennially relevant white.
Sven Rensinghoff, head of marketing for Bette, comments: “While white will continue to be popular, we believe the use of darker colours will increase in popularity.”
Falling in line with trends in the bath market, consumers will want basins that utilise as small a space as possible.
Bill Garvey of William Garvey explains: “Wall-hung and modular basins continue to remain a key preference.
“The ability to not impact too much on space keeps this option a popular choice for designers and retailers alike.”
New technologies will also allow for an expansion on this minimalist trend, as the basins themselves can become thinner and more defined.
Margaret Talbot of VitrA highlights: “The increasing use of mineral cast has made it possible to manufacture countertop basins with defined angles and edges.
“For a softer look, manufacturers such as VitrA are also creating basins in cerafine – the finer particles allow for a narrower edge than normal.”
Darker colours are set to dominate across the bathroom, and sanitaryware is no exception.
Angela Neve of Vado points out: “On the back of coloured and brushed brassware finishes rising to prominence, we are seeing these choices being partnered with moodier, dark colours as bathroom designs are not as stark and clinical as they once were.”
Meanwhile, with the rise of the multi-generational bathroom, sanitaryware is beginning to reflect this trend.
Margaret Talbot, marketing manager at VitrA, highlights: “Modern wall-hung WCs can be set at a comfortable height for those with back or knee problems.
“So families, both young and old, will appreciate the convenience and care offered by a multi-function WC like VitrA’s V-Care.”
Contrary to the space-saving trend developing in the bath and basin markets, shower trays appear to be heading in the opposite direction.
Sven Rensinghoff explains: “The shower area has grown in importance, with consumers wanting the size and shape to be perfect for their bathroom space, and many wanting a large flush-to-floor area.”
This is supported by Adam Teal, head of sales at Kaldewei, who also confirms the multi-generational bathroom trend will be influential.
He comments: “In 2018, we saw an increased demand for larger ‘bath sized’ shower trays, as many bathroom refurbishments adapt to incorporate the needs of the older generation.”
Adam Teal also agrees that darker colours are set to increase in popularity in 2019: “We have seen a demand for darker greys and natural muted colours from within our Coordinated Colours Collection.”
Having reported last year that furniture was set to be the strongest performing sector in 2018, it looks likely to continue into this year.
Once again, darker colours will influence design in this market, while a focus on the bathroom as a communal space will inspire more open designs.
VitrA has embraced the communal bathroom with Plural, its collaboration with Terri Pecora.
Margaret Talbot explains: “A key feature with Plural is the layering and grouping of different furniture pieces that enable them to work together in overlapping heights, colours and dynamic configurations.”
Whereas, Daval’s managing director Simon Bodsworth predicts a different area of growth: “Quality fitted furniture which embraces holistic design is going to increase in popularity throughout next year.”
Meanwhile, another expanding area will be that of integrated lighting, which expands on the theme for more open spaces.
Managing director of Duravit Martin Carroll expands: “Specifying products with integral lighting can work well.
“New technology, such as night lights on mirror cabinets and shower toilet seats, is making life in the bathroom easier, more enjoyable and even safer.”
As reflected in the growth of demand for shower trays, shower surrounds are set to benefit from the consumer shift to showering from baths.
Richard Eaton, product manager for enclosures, brassware and baths for PJH, highlights this trend as he comments: “This year, one of the biggest sales opportunities lies in showers, which is a category growing month on month.
“This growth is supported by more households opting to take out the bath and replace with an enclosure or wetroom.”
It is this wetroom trend that is benefitting the shower market so greatly, and the luxury, quality feel of a wetroom means consumer demands are shifting slightly for what they expect from a shower enclosure.
Richard Eaton explains: “Demand for thicker glass is also on the up as it confers a more solid feel to the shower and, therefore, quality.”