We take a look at the bathroom trends which will influence design in 2022, from the need to create more sustainable spaces, through to technology helping enhance health and hygiene.
COVID not only created a spike in bathroom sales, as consumers sought solace from the outside world, it has also left a longer-term impact on their design.
The legacy it leaves is not only to soothe the physique and psyche but also the soul, protecting the individual and the environment.
COP 26 has been among the latest well-publicised events to laser-focus on the need to protect natural resources.
For the bathroom designer, it provides an additional challenge to balance the consumerism of refurbishing spaces with an understanding of using resources efficiently.
And, of course, the need to create an environmentally-conscious room design must be a consideration not a compromise.
New materials and technologies can help make a project more sustainable, and these can also provide an added level of protection with enhanced hygiene measures.
But it is also the inherent skills of the designer that can bring these elements together to create the aesthetics of a spa-like space to fulfil the needs and desires of a homeowner.
With the UK Government enshrining in law a target to reduce carbon emissions by 78% by 2-35, it’s no surprise manufacturers are adapting production and products to create more eco-friendly homes.
Managing director of BC Designs Darren Allison comments: “It is fair to say kbb manufacturers have a responsibility to provide a range of products that will match the wants of every-growing environmentally consumer.”
And Sven Resinghoff , head of marketing and product development at Bette agrees, pointing out: “There seems to be a desire to buy better and to buy in a more considered way.
“How a product is made and used, and the resources used to make it are an important part of that story.”
Alongside showers and brassware that use water more efficiently, manufacturers have created stronger ceramics meaning they use less material.
General manager of Toto UK Hiroyuki Higashimoto explains: “Toto has developed a unique material – Linearceram – an exceptionally fine and durable ceramic that has the same stability using less materials.”
As the pandemic continues to force us to spend more time at home, there is an ever greater focus on the bathroom to become an escape from the outside world.
In doing so, the space is embracing the warm and inviting aesthetics of luxury spas.
Sven Rensinghoff of Bette comments: “We are seeing more customers adding colour through the products to help create a cosy and relaxing space.”
Roman is extending the finishes of its shower enclosures profiles up to 11 finishes, citing the emergence of Matt White for 2022.
While, 2021 saw the use of earthy tones, director of Waters Baths of Ashbourne Less Frost comments: “For 2022, we’ll particularly be seeing an increase in sales for the sky blue baths, thanks to Dulux’s Bright Skies colour of the year announcement.”
However, also expect to see more sumptuous colours, from the purple palette, with Pantone introducing Very Peri for 2022.
There may be more focus on the bathroom, but the area remains typically small and challenging in most homes. So, there will continue to be a focus on designers utilising space more effectively and storage.
CEO of Roman David Osborne states: “The key trend to creating space in the bathroom is integration. Integration of the shower enclosure to basin and vanity top offers spaces-saving benefits.
“Drawers below a vanity top can be integrated to maximise bathroom storage. By integrating the vanity top and shower enclosure, it eliminates the uncleanable joint or gap and solves sealing issues.”
Synchronicity combines a 1600 x 800mm Brushed Brass enclosure in a right hand alcove with a Matt White anti-slip tray and Natural Halifax Oak vanity unit.
Digital technology has been around for some time for bathrooms and is growing with sensor-controlled lighting and emergence of infra-red taps for homes.
Buoyed by consumer demand for more hygienic environments, expect touch-free to grow in importance.
Leader category UK, Lixil EMENA and Grohe UK Elina Enqvist-Twomey points out: “Infra-red taps offer both improved hygiene as well as a sustainable element, two of the biggest driving factors for current consumer purchasing behaviour which we expect to see grow further in 2022.”
Hiroyuki Higashimoto of Toto agrees adding: “We are seeing more and more end consumers via retailers or architects and interior designers specifying hygiene enhancing products.
“Our automated ranges include washlets, taps, soap dispenser and hand dryers to create a touch-free bathroom.”
Touch free technology neatly segues into, arguably, one of the biggest trends for bathrooms – hygiene.
However, designers can also consider the coating for ceramics reducing dirt and limescale build-up, natural antibacterial materials such as copper and wipe surfaces for ease of cleaning.
National sales manager at Mermaid panels Keely Greenhaigh points out: “The sheer scale of the COVID pandemic means that it is highly likely that hygiene will remain a top priority for almost all consumers for many years to come.”
She points out using panels eliminates “tiresome maintenance of the mould-prone, hard-to-clean grouting typical of a tiled bathroom.”
While Darren Allison says hygiene is why copper baths are its fastest growing models, adding: “We have enhanced our copper bath offering with the launch of copper taps. It is an area we expect to grow over the coming months.”