Features by Diane Larner founder and editor of Bathroom Review & Kitchens Review.
Diane Larner launched both titles over 12 years ago and has been writing about the bathroom and kitchen interior design industry ever since, publishing regular features across the two sectors.

Shower rooms are rapidly gaining popularity over traditional bathrooms thanks to their sleek design, efficiency, and versatility. In today’s fast-paced lifestyle, consumers prioritise functionality and convenience; a shower room provides this. According to a Houzz UK Bathroom Trends Study, almost three-quarters of homeowners upgraded their showers (74%), with more than two-thirds increasing their shower size during renovations (68%). These increases were not insubstantial; almost a third enlarged the shower by more than half its original size (32%).

For those with limited space, fitting a bathtub requires more floor space, whereas shower rooms work well with a compact footprint, rendering them ideal for smaller homes or urban dwellings where space is at a premium. Additionally, shower rooms can be customised to suit individual preferences, with options ranging from minimalist walk-in showers to luxurious spa-like enclosures. In our April round-up, Diane Larner explores the latest products to hit the market.

Expand your horizons

Bette shower trays  residential commercial_bathrooms

Shower trays

Despite the prevalence of smaller bathroom spaces in new construction, the demand for luxurious yet practical bathroom solutions continues to rise; spacious bathroom areas deliver on this preference, but how do you cater to a generous aesthetic whilst transcending limitations imposed by square footage? Larger, flatter shower trays that emulate the feel of a wetroom are emerging as a crafty solution. Balancing form and function whilst offering a more expansive option, larger formats help designers redefine the boundaries of bathroom design whilst embracing a seamless fusion of utility and aesthetics.

Sven Rensinghoff, head of marketing at Bette, agrees, “There’s a growing demand for larger, flatter and flush-to-floor shower trays that give the look of a wet room, without any worries about water leakage, and with a shower floor that is easy to clean. There’s also a growing demand for shower trays that coordinate with flooring to help make the room appear larger. We are seeing more customers adding colour into the bathroom to increase the feeling of cosiness and to aid relaxation. While white is still the most popular choice, the use of darker colours is increasing in popularity to create a cosy and relaxing interior space in which to switch off from the stresses of the outside world.”

Bette shower trays come in 70 sizes, so there is no need to compromise on the perfect size. They are strong and stable, even in the largest 2000 x 900mm and 1800 x 1000mm dimensions, and come in floor level and above floor options, with central or side wastes.

Sleek & chic

Bathroom Review Kudos Divera shower enclosure range

Shower enclosures

If preferences lean toward a shower enclosure, selecting a design that optimises room space whilst delivering accessibility is key. Various options are available to the market, from bi-fold doors to quadrant enclosures, each delivering unique benefits tailored to diverse needs.

Shower enclosure manufacturers often cite easy installation as a benefit and suggest enclosures can be more cost-effective than traditional custom-built designs. With an array of design options, from sleek minimalist styles to bold statement pieces, shower enclosures align with today’s design trends, helping elevate style while maximising functionality.

The new Divera collection from Kudos Showers offers a comprehensive and design-led modular showering solution where many of the components can be used to create a number of different enclosures. Its side panels and fixing kits are universally designed for use with any of the door types in the range. Easy to install, the comprehensive collection includes sliding, bi-fold, hinged and quadrant enclosure door options, along with wet room panels, side panels and accessories.

The company also offers a reassuring check-list of support and customer service; as Nick Granville, Kudos’s sales & marketing director, explains, “Choosing a local, reliable shower enclosure supplier that offers quality, deliverable product guarantees, and a speedy backup service instils confidence in both the retailer and the consumer. As a result of recent market challenges, such as Brexit, COVID-19, and continual economic uncertainty, service levels in the showering market have been inconsistent. The importance of supporting local manufacturers like Kudos has, therefore, been elevated.  

“British manufacturers that offer a comprehensive range of products, all at price points and with flexible design options, and hold in-depth stock in the UK, have become leading contenders in the showering supply chain.”

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Bathroom Review KEUCO Plan Blue Thermostatic Shower

Thermostatic showers

Thermostatic showers offer a raft of benefits for designers, including safety features, built-in water conservation and customisable options such as adjustable spray settings. Exposed mixers are also easy to integrate into various project styles thanks to a sleek and modern aesthetic that complements most bathrooms. Beyond their visual appeal, thermostatic showers enhance user satisfaction by maintaining consistent water temperatures, minimising the risk of scalding. These showers also feature ergonomic handles and intuitive controls, enhancing usability and accessibility for all ages and abilities.

A perfect example is the PLAN blue series of fittings from KEUCO; the range now incorporates an exposed thermostatic shower mixer. The two new on-wall shower fittings have been created to complement the extensive PLAN blue range with either a thermostat shower mixer or a combination with an integrated head and hand shower.

A thoughtfully designed shower can also ensure the new space is multi-generational, adding value and longevity to the property. James Sketch, country manager at Keuco UK, agrees: “By considering who will be using the shower in years to come, designers can include elements that ensure the shower is adaptable and can be adjusted to cater for different heights, from small children to those who need to sit whilst showering. It is also important to ensure there is room for a grab rail within the showering space. These small details can lead to significant savings in the long term, as the shower can continue to be used with minor adjustments for years to come.”

Big style for small spaces

Flair Baby ILI sliding door Shower Enclosure

Shower doors

Designing for small or awkward spaces such as an attic or en-suite presents a unique challenge for designers and architects, but also offers an opportunity for innovation and creativity. The latest trends in compact bathroom design include clever solutions such as utilising a recessed space or integrating space-saving corner showers.

Amongst a raft of brand-new design-led products, Flair has recently unveiled a new range of shower doors; BABY ILI is a specially designed solution for attic bathrooms and spaces with height restrictions. Standing at 1800 mm high, BABY ILI ensures that even in tight spaces, retailers can offer their customers a stunning shower enclosure, enhancing their daily showering experience.

Panel power

Kinewall Shower Panels from Kinedo

Decorative wall panels

Wood panelling in bathrooms has emerged as a notable trend this year, bringing warmth, texture, and a touch of natural beauty to the bathroom space. Departing from traditional tiled walls, modern bathrooms embrace the versatility and charm of wood panelling to create inviting and spa-like sanctuaries. Whether used to accentuate a feature wall or to cover an entire surface, wood panelling adds depth and character. Furthermore, advancements in material technology have made wood panelling in bathrooms more practical than ever, with moisture-resistant options that are durable and easy to maintain.

Pictured above and below, Kinewall by Kinedo is a new range of decorative bathroom wall panels that can transform not just a shower space but a whole bathroom, cloakroom or utility room. Said to offer a revolution in materials, a revelation in designs and a remarkably simple installation process, Kinewall offers an abundance of choices to create the perfect bathroom with over 70 unique patterns, styles, and colours.


You can see more on our site if you enjoyed this Bathroom Review feature. Alternatively, if Kitchens are your thing, please visit our sister site, Kitchens Review

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