According to Hansgrohe, AirPower is a unique shower experience that ncreases the enjoyment of the shower whilst reducing water consumption. The innovative technology AirPower enriches each water droplet with air to produce plump droplets creating a velvety touch on the skin.
Hansgrohe recognises water is a valuable resource, extensive time and research has gone into establishing AirPower technology to help reduce water consumption. When using the shower, air is sucked in through the spray disc that stirs up the water. Enriched with fresh air, the droplets are noticeably lighter, creating more enjoyable showers whilst helping save both water and energy.
AirPower technology is featured in a vast range of Hansgrohe products including collections Raindance, Vernis, Vivenis and Croma through basin taps, overhead and hand showers and shower systems.
With AirPower, the basin taps from Hansgrohe encourage them to work reliably by adding volume to every droplet of water whilst noticeably reducing splashing. The soft water droplets make for a pleasurable washing experience, whether that’s washing hands, washing hair or caring for children’s sensitive skin.
We expect a great deal of the once humble shower room. It goes without saying shower spaces should offer multi-generational accessibility, and in the wake of COVID-`19, hygienic features and easy-clean surfaces. However, we are also looking for a sense of spa-like luxury, a space to relax and rejuvenate.
Shower hardware combines all these elements, offering a practical solution that is included throughout the shower area to match bathroom accessories for a cohesive design-led feel.
Simon Boocock, CRL Managing Director agrees: “The shower enclosure has evolved into more of a wet-room, easy access and almost open-plan area, low-level trays coupled with frameless enclosures create a minimalist appeal. With very little on show, the shower hardware, including hinges and U-channels, as well as the brassware, has a chance to shine. Creating a cohesive look is important here, with hardware very often now chosen in keeping with shower brassware and available in a range of finishes to suit.”
CRL’s Frameless designs such as the Cambridge maximise accessibility and deliver a clean, streamlined look. This range is designed to match CRL shower hardware with colours and styles to suit all décor schemes.
Access all areas
HEWI’s System 900 is also a response to the complex requirements of accessible bathrooms. The products boast long-lasting quality, clever installation solutions and a hygienic design. Matching accessories open up versatile design options in the bathroom and HEWI also offers practical toilet roll holders and new towel rails or toilet brush sets in stainless steel, chrome or with a powder-coated finish in white, shades of grey and black.
Some of the most serious accidents happen in the bathroom and we expect a high proportion are caused by slips and falls whilst getting in and out of the shower. For hoteliers, keeping bathrooms safe is a priority and the health and safety checklist requires handrails and slip-proof surfaces. For the home, an efficient anti-slip surface keeps all the family safe without having to include rails for open plan designs.
The Bette-Anti Slip Sense surface is a new type of surface treatment for maximum slip resistance (in accordance with evaluation group C of DIN 51097) and claims to provide the highest level of slip protection. This surface is available on Bette’s new BetteAirshower tile for perfect level-access integration.
Another key aspect when it comes to safe design is not having to fight with your amenities. Lakes Antigua Slider features an easy-glide door that closes effortlessly at the touch of a finger to a near-silent stop. Concealed wheels ensure easy cleaning and a cooler look plus a low threshold for easy and safe access, and a solid cast handle with smooth, rounded edges for a touch of elegance.
Let’s get personal
Lockdown gave us time to get creative and in the UK it fuelled a trend in home improvement, as life imitates art, art imitates life and so, the hospitality sector is creating bathroom spaces that feel like home. In our homes, we still want to emulate that luxury hotel feel. Personalisation delivers the best of both worlds.
Richard Eaton, Product Manager, RefleXion Enclosures by PJH comments: “The desire for personalisation is causing designs to evolve, for example, the black-framed or panelled look that we’ve seen of late is great for the industrial-inspired or monochrome look.”
“More patterns, colours and unusual finishes are now appearing, such as our botanical themed RefleXion Iconix ‘Black Leaf’ 8mm Panel and the use of materials other than polished chrome frames and clear glass will really grow in the next few years – such as gold or brass frames, and frosted or fluted glass.”
Keely Greenhalgh, National Sales Manager at Mermaid Panels tells us: “We want our bathrooms to replicate the spa experience. Bathrooms are increasingly being treated as a treasured area of the home to truly relax and refresh so bathrooms that can capture that spa-like serenity at home will continue to be a standout style for 2022.”
Pursuing tones that give a sense of tranquillity and reflect the natural environment certainly feels like a trend that’s here to stay and using contrasting materials is a simple way to achieve this. However, we can expect a switch back to lighter shades for 2022, for example, greens and blues will still be popular but sage green and sky blue may lead in popularity.
Keely agrees: “Whether it’s a Swedish wood effect or a more traditional yet decadent marble, there is an increasing number of surface options on the market to create a hidden retreat in the home. Calming tones and colours are a perfect way to create serenity within the bathroom. Designers can look at muted tones combined with one stand out wall to create a relaxing, soothing area.”
Mermaid Panels has introduced 28 new décors to its premium Elite collection of bathroom panels. Offering an alternative to tiling, Elite has a 100% waterproof core and helps create a completely seamless, premium look and finish. The artistic post-formed edges add unique design detail that removes the need for trims or grouting.
German glazed titanium-steel bathroom products manufacturer, Bette, launched a number of products at HIX, including a new type of almost invisible anti-slip surface, which can be used on its shower trays and baths.
BetteAnti-Slip Sense is a new glossy, smooth and easy to clean anti-slip surface and provides the highest level of slip protection on shower trays and baths. A new type of surface treatment for maximum slip resistance (in accordance with evaluation group C of DIN 51097) it is almost invisible, and the anti-slip effect occurs when the pressure of the body weight and water come together.
To achieve the slip-resistance, Bette treats the surface with a suspension containing the finest micrometre-sized ceramic particles, which form a permanent bond with the BetteGlaze surface. They are almost invisible to the eye, and the surface does not become rough as a result. The shower trays and baths retain their glossy looks, smoothness and continue to be easy to clean, as dirt and germs find it hard to adhere to the surface, which has a 30 year warranty.
While the primary role of the new Anti-Slip Sense surface is to increase the slip protection on shower trays and baths, it can also help to make a bath more comfortable. Applied to the entire interior of the bath, it can help the bather to maintain a comfortable position and avoid accidentally slipping down in larger baths.
The new BetteAnti-Slip Sense can be used to provide the highest level of slip protection on Bette’s gloss white glazed titanium-steel shower trays and baths. For shower trays in matt colours, Bette offers its almost invisible BetteAnti-Slip Pro.
Bathrooms and shower rooms are increasingly being designed as extensions of our living spaces, a space to retreat, relax and rejuvenate rather than just for practicalities. CRL shower hardware taps into this movement, with colours and styles to suit all décor schemes.
Frameless solutions, such as Cambridge (pictured top) and Serenity sliding shower doors, offer the ultimate in wet-room style luxury that also maximises accessibility in the modern bathroom.
A further highlight is the CRL Geneva hinge, available in a wide choice of finishes and suitable for bespoke applications, enabling the shower area to be tailored to fit any space, ideal when working with awkward shapes and sizes in rooms such as in corners and under eaves.
Bathroom specialist Aqualisa has announced an additional series within its premium Midas™ 220 mixer shower collection, featuring an elegant black metal finish.
The Midas 220 in Black series satisfies the growing consumer demand for black bathroom products and accessories. It is equipped with a thermostatic brass body and brass handles, and each model complies with Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS) criteria for quality*. Three options are available in the Midas 220 in Black line-up:
• MD220S.MB – Single outlet bar mixer shower with adjustable shower head • MD220SC.MB – Dual outlet shower column mixer with 245mm drencher and adjustable head • MD220BSM.MB – Bath shower mixer with adjustable shower head
Midas 220 in Black: Single Outlet The high-performance single outlet Midas 220 in Black provides a consistently safe and satisfying shower experience. Built from brass, this fully thermostatic valve with cool touch surface technology offers a five spray mode handset that can be easily adjusted to numerous heights and angles.
Midas 220 in Black: Dual Outlet A versatile choice, this brass, wall-mounted exposed bar valve with cool touch surface technology includes an integrated diverter for a conventional adjustable handset shower, or an exhilarating overhead drencher shower from a generous 245mm fixed deluge head. This model incorporates a telescopic rail for extra installation flexibility, making it suitable for a variety of showering spaces.
Midas 220 in Black: Bath Shower Mixer This space-saving option provides the perfect combination of shower and bath fill for a flexible family bathroom experience. The quality engineered, brass deck-mounted valve delivers excellent flow rates to fill the bath quickly, as well as ensuring a powerful and invigorating shower – all with the safety assurance of thermostatically-controlled temperature and cool touch surface technology.
The 24mm five mode handset included with each shower has been designed to be effortless to maintain, with rub-clean jets. An easy fit bracket is included with each product.
Tim Creedon, sales director at Aqualisa, commented, “The black brassware colourway has never been as popular as it is now. Offering high-calibre performance combined with bold and distinctive styling, the Midas 220 in Black blends an iconic and trusted design with refined, on-trend styling for the modern home environment. With three stunning choices, this new collection makes an immediate impact, as well as offering the versatility to accommodate an array of different bathroom spaces, configurations and sizes.”
The Aqualisa Midas 220 in Black range is backed by the Aqualisa five year guarantee.
Pricing and availability The Aqualisa Midas 220 in Black range is available now. For pricing and more information, trade partners can contact their Aqualisa representative or the Aqualisa Customer Support Team on 01959 560020 or 01 864 3363 (Republic of Ireland).
Integrating smart features into our homes is becoming part of the new normal as more of us work from home.The smart homes market was valued at around $80 billion in 2020, and it is expected to exceed $300 billion by 2026.
With UK householders dramatically increasing the number of smart devices they own, it makes sense for us to integrate smart living into the bathroom. For housebuilders, incorporating connected technology at build level might be a smart move in more ways than one, as demonstrated this year by Plant Prefab. The US prefab construction company announced its highest profit ever in 2020.
Mike Simpson, product & marketing director at Aqualisa agrees “There are currently 15 million households that own a smart home device, with predictions suggesting growth to 24 million by 2025. Smart technology is making homes more efficient and cheaper to run: reducing energy consumption, saving money, decreasing environmental impact and delivering a more personalised experience. “
All systems go
Alexa is now a familiar feature in our kitchen and living areas, however, Scavolini has gone one step further and updated its popular Dandy bathroom furniture range with a smart built-in Amazon Alexa. Not only can you now talk to your home, but your virtual assistant is seamlessly integrated into its design via the Task Bar, an aluminium profile that incorporates smart technology.
According to UWLA, bathroom products are at the heart of water consumption in the home, with over 60% of water being used in the bathroom (20% accounted for by showers), and 25% of energy used heating hot water.
Helping to conserve water use in the bathroom, Aqualisa’s next-generation Quartz Touch™ smart shower includes an intuitive, easy-to-use mobile app. Families can use the Aqualisa app to control shower duration and monitor individual usage, therefore limiting water consumption and costs. Furthermore, a proximity sensor reduces water flow if the user steps away from the shower.
“With more than 2 billion litres of water used each day in the UK and an expected increase in demand of 30% over the next 20 years, sustainability has become a key priority in the bathroom industry. Combined with the rapid adoption of technology, this is resulting in the emergence of smart home devices that can both enhance consumers’ wellbeing and contribute to a more eco-friendly lifestyle.” continues Mike Simpson, product & marketing director, Aqualisa.
Keep it clean
Smart technology is dovetailing with a new focus on hygiene as manufacturers integrate touch-free features for frequently used bathroom areas such as guest bathrooms. Sensor-activated products that you don’t have to touch with your hands help us feel more comfortable and enhance hygiene levels.
TOTO is one such company and is offering more touch-free functionalities for its shower toilets (WASHLET™), taps, soap dispenser and automatic hand dryers.
The bathroom is no longer simply a functional space, but a place to rejuvenate and refresh. Light and sound are key design elements when it comes to creating a safe haven, however smart technology also ensures that all-important connectivity. The latest technology means every aspect can be smartly integrated so there is no need to compromise on any single element.
Ash Chilver, HiB Sales Director agrees “As bathrooms become more of a multipurpose space, somewhere that we go to relax and unwind as well as for our hygiene needs, having access to technology is becoming more important. By using and interacting with products featuring technology such as integrated speakers, Bluetooth and charging ports, we can stay connected and enhance our experience and overall enjoyment of the bathroom.”
Teeming with useful technology, the Dimension LED Bluetooth Speaker cabinet (pictured top and below) offers a number of features that enhance the user experience in the bathroom. The cabinet’s dual aspect LED illumination is operated via a handy touch sensor that highlights the design on the mirrored sides and doors. Hidden discreetly within the mirror surface is a heated pad that helps to reduce condensation, and inside the cabinet, the two handy USB ports and a 2 pin socket allows users to charge their devices, toothbrushes and shavers.
The next generation Quartz Touch™ smart shower from Aqualisa includes an intuitive, easy-to-use mobile app. Each member of the household can set up a customised profile and is able to start their shower remotely via Wi-Fi, confident that the water is at the perfect temperature every time.
The voice-activated shower is enabled using Alexa or Google Assistant, and users are even able to add music and lighting preferences using Google routines.
With the Quartz Touch, a clearly visible LED display indicates when the shower is ready – there’s no need to lean in and test the water. This feature is particularly helpful for people with reduced mobility or additional accessibility needs.
An innovative bath fill option means remote selection of the water temperature and the water level can be set and the Quartz Touch smart shower can be activated using the remote control, for extra convenience.
This smart shower system also offers important eco-friendly benefits: families can use the Aqualisa app to control shower duration and monitor individual usage, therefore limiting water consumption and costs. Furthermore, a proximity sensor reduces water flow if the users steps away from the shower.
As with all Aqualisa showering products, the Quartz Touch is designed for easy installation with minimum disruption to the bathroom. The intelligence behind the Aqualisa Quartz Touch lies in its Smart Valve™ technology, which seamlessly integrates with Wi-Fi, and is straightforward to use.
The maximum temperature of the shower can be set in the Smart Valve to ensure safe showering for the whole family. The flow rate can also be switched to Eco mode, decreasing flow by 33%, therefore reducing water wastage and further saving on household bills.
The new RAK-Sorrento basin mixers are available in four finishes and three sizes, delivering flexibility for a variety of design requirements.
RAK-Sorrento has a timeless elegance, with a long body and spout combined with single lever control for a modern twist. As well as Polished Chrome, the brassware can also be chosen in on-trend Brushed Gold, Brushed Nickel or Matt Black.
The RAK-Sorrento basin mixers are available in three sizes – standard, medium and tall – enabling the brassware to be combined effortlessly with any washbasin, with a wall-mounted basin mixer also included in the range. For the bath, RAK-Sorrento offers an abundance of choice, including deck-mounted, exposed and freestanding options.
The sleek styling of RAK-Sorrento is carried through to the shower, with a choice of thermostatic valves that complete the streamlined look.
Giving any bathroom a stylish makeover, RAK-Sorrento delivers excellent performance and is backed by a full manufacturer’s warranty.
The SUPERPLAN ZERO is the latest product from Kaldewei. This impressive enamelled shower surface is the perfect addition for statement bathrooms and has been created by the Berlin designer Werner Aisslinger. The style is reserved yet extremely comfortable underfoot.
Kaldewei has always paid attention to customer requirements and as such have translated these needs into Superplan Zero. The shower surface becomes part of the bathroom floor, installed at ground level, the very narrow edges make it possible to tile directly up to the shower edge with almost invisible joints.
The waste is placed close to the wall so that standing comfortably and moving safely on the Superplan Zero is guaranteed. The new shower surface is characterized by its elegant and precise lines and is easily accessed from three sides, without having to step up or into the surface.
The base is sustainable, extremely long-lasting and 100 per cent recyclable steel enamel. The exquisite glass surface is applied to the steel using a special process and this is what gives it such a luxurious finish.
According to Kaldewei it is the only steel enamel manufacturer that produces the enamel, i.e. the basic substance for the glass coating, in-house and using a secret formulation. Kaldewei tells us the quality and durability of these surfaces are legendary.
There are over 50 different dimensions from 70 to 180 centimetres, diverse surface variations and a wide range of colours, all of which make the Superplan Zero even more attractive. Whether in large or small bathrooms, building owners, planners and installers have full flexibility. The shower surface is available with the almost invisible, anti-slip surface finish Secure Plus, upon request.
The Superplan Zero is 100 percent compatible with all the sealing sets, assembly systems and waste fittings from Kaldewei.
Bathroomproduct specialist Aqualisa has introduced the Quartz™ Smart Retrofit Shower – an all-in-one upgrade solution that transforms almost any make of exposed mixer shower into a voice-activated, smart digital shower system, without the need to disturb the current bathroom décor or re-tile the shower enclosure.
Quick and straightforward to fit, the installer will find it effortless to assemble with no major pipework alterations required. Once in place, the home owner will enjoy the full benefits of the Aqualisa Quartz Smart Shower Collection, including:
• An intuitive app enabling the creation of personalised shower profiles for all family members • Remote activation of shower or bath using voice or app control (Google and Amazon Alexa compatible) • Environmentally-friendly water usage monitoring and water-saving features • Safety and peace of mind – water programmed to run at a consistent temperature and flow
The Quartz Smart Shower collection is powered by the intelligent Aqualisa Wi-Fi-enabled Smart Valve™, which can be located up to 10 metres away from the shower itself, providing flexible installation options. Setting the Smart Valve to Eco mode can reduce water consumption for the home owner by up to 33%.
Mike Simpson, product marketing director, commented, “The bathroom is becoming an experiential rather than just a functional space. Smart technology delivers a whole host of enhancements to the showering experience – from the relaxing shower routine itself to the sustainability and cost-saving benefits of reducing water usage, to the convenience and security of being able to step into a shower that is the perfect temperature every time. From the installer’s perspective, the beauty of the Quartz Smart Retrofit Shower is that it offers a straightforward, practical and efficient conversion process. All this, combined with a sleek, contemporary design that provides extra storage functionality within the shower enclosure itself.”
The Quartz Smart Retrofit Shower can upgrade almost any brand of wall-mounted mixer shower (concentric, single lever or bar valve) with 130 to 170mm pipe centres, and comes with a choice of the Aqualisa Quartz Touch™, Quartz Classic™ or Quartz Blue™ smart shower kits. Supplied with an extension rail to adjust the height of the controller, this no-mess solution is easy to install with optional fixing points, while the assembly backplate neatly covers all previous pipework and screw holes.
Patented Storage Shelf
The patented integrated storage shelf, which houses the new smart shower control, comprises two halves featuring a polished chrome finish. It also incorporates two useful hanging hooks for bathroom accessories.
Online Smart Hub
The Aqualisa Quartz Smart Retrofit Shower range will be launched with a comprehensive marketing campaign to support the trade partner channel including influencer communications, PR, extensive digital content and social media initiatives, as well as a full training programme. Aqualisa has also created a new Smart Hub online education platform, with in-depth information and advice on smart bathroom products and their benefits. A digital product brochure can be viewed here.
The Aqualisa Quartz Smart Retrofit Shower range is backed by the Aqualisa five year guarantee.