Quality, clean and timeless
October 1, 2015 | By Beth McKay
Innovation is the hallmark of today's bathrooms.
North Americans are cautious when it comes to changing bathroom trends. New textures and bright colours often send consumers running to comfortable hues they know well – white and grey. Though these tranquil shades are, according to the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), the dominant colours for today’s bathrooms, it does not mean that current designs and products lack bold creativity. Bathroom faucets, fixtures and accessories are daring in other ways, moving towards a sleek appearance and natural materials.
Brad Campeau, sales manager at Masco Canada says, “consumers are trending towards a contemporary design aesthetic with clean lines that promote simplicity, harmony and balance.”
The NKBA has also found contemporary design to be the most popular trend for North American residential bathrooms. Adding that the once oh-so popular tub and shower combo has officially split-up, with free standing tubs and walk-in showers taking their place.
“Shower and tub trims are not just a matter of function, but about creating a centerpiece for the bathroom,” Campeau says.
Customers are also wanting modern luxurious amenities like steam showers, heated floors and anti-fog mirrors, so a modern design is not too far fetched. In fact, Garry Scott, vice president of wholesale marketing and brand development at Moen, says that Moen’s annual consumer research shows that 41 per cent of Canadians prefer modern décor for their bathrooms.
Melissa Tossell, interior designer at Sanura Design in Toronto, agrees. She says that customers like their bathrooms to appear high end. By choosing geometric shapes and using strategic bursts of colour, consumers can achieve a high end, modern look.
Faucets and handles are characteristics that can give bathrooms a sleek modern feel without undergoing a full blown renovation. Scott explained that some of Moen’s products have interchangeable handles, which allows consumers to easily modernize their fixtures without replacing them.
High end is not just a detail, it has become a standard. “I think people should be moving towards sustainable products, which means quality products. You pay for one product, one manufacturing fee and then there is only one piece of waste,” Tossell says, adding that quality benefits the customer and is also easy on the environment.
The emphasis is not solely on water conserving products, like low flush toilets, anymore. Now it is also on products that reduce waste by having a long lifespan and products that are not harmful when disposed of.
“Natural stone is very popular right now, it is a higher end, quality product,” Tossell says.
Time is of the essence
Perhaps an overlooked, but popular trend is timeliness. People want their products and they want them fast, and luckily manufacturers are designing products with immediacy in mind. André Deland, vice president of product development and marketing communication at MAAX, says that being able to start and finish installation in a single day is an attractive option for both customer and contractor.
Customers get their product quickly, and contractors are able to work with more clients and therefore complete additional jobs. Using different product materials, such as alternatives to tile or easily serviced plumbing systems, saves time and offers “piece of mind” to all parties involved.
With these types of innovations, consumers can technically and aesthetically renovate their bathroom on a sensitive buget.