While the fundamentals of bathroom design haven’t changed much over the years, a steady stream of technological developments means that things are kept feeling fresh and modern.
The priority with these developments is to make your bathroom more efficient and convenient to use. Incorporating smart materials, modern tech and electronic elements into timeless bathroom fixtures like toilets, taps, basins and baths can have an incredible impact on the usability of these spaces.
In this post we’ll look at a combination of technological developments and, dare we say it, bathroom hacks. Everything in the list is designed to improve the warmth, comfort, ambience, convenience or energy efficiency of your bathroom.
- 1. Underfloor Heating
- 2. Towel Warmers
- 3. Warming Drawers
- 4. Digital Showers
- 5. Waterproof Speakers
- 6. Voice Activation
- 7. Mood Lighting
- 8. Oil Diffusers
- 9. Smart Mirrors
- 10. Smart and Sensor Taps
- 11. Smart Toilets
- 12. Touchless Toilets
- 13. Toilet Bowl Lights
- Bring Your Bathroom into the Modern Era
1. Underfloor Heating
Getting the right atmosphere in your bathroom is one of the most important parts of a renovation. You want a space where you feel warm and comfortable throughout, not just when you’re standing under the shower or submerged in the bath.
Underfloor Heating, a mainstay in Scandinavian countries, has become more prominent in the UK in recent years. As well as providing undeniable luxury, a heated floor is a practical and affordable solution for your bathroom.
The first time you step barefoot onto a toasty warm floor, you’ll realise just how good an idea it was to get underfloor heating in your bathroom.
2. Towel Warmers
Warmth is such a fundamental consideration in your bathroom, because a lot of time is spent in some state of undress, not necessarily in the caresses of warming water.
There’s nothing quite as comforting as wrapping a nicely warmed towel around you, making towel radiators one of the most popular additions to new bathrooms. Thanks to the wide range of styles and price points, you’re sure to find a heated towel rail that matches your tastes and budget. While many can also be plumbed into the central heating as a heated towel rail, you can also swap to an all electric towel rail, or even a dual fuel towel rail if you want the best of both worlds 24/7.
3. Warming Drawers
If a heated towel rail isn’t big enough to accommodate all the things you want warmed, you could upgrade to a warming drawer. These nifty additions are big enough to fit towels, pyjamas, dressing gowns and even slippers, meaning a fully warm ensemble awaits you when you get out of the shower.
4. Digital Showers
Say goodbye to sudden bursts of hot or cold water with a shower that uses customised and pre-set settings to store and maintain the ideal temperature for different users. Digital showers give you precise control over the temperature and flow rate of your shower, meaning a more comfortable and reliable shower experience, as well as allowing for operation of the shower from up to 10 metres away. These showers are especially good for households that need to make sure nobody accidentally sets the temperature too high and hurts themselves. Young children and elderly relatives are typical use cases for this maximum temperature setting, but everyone stands to benefit!
And with push-button operation, it provides convenient operation and means no need for wet hands to turn off and on.
5. Waterproof Speakers
If you’re someone who enjoys spending a long time in the shower, getting lost in your thoughts and unwinding at the end of a stressful day, then cultivating the right bathroom ambience is likely a priority.
With the advent of portable, wireless gadgets, it’s now easier than ever to bring music into your bathroom experience. Whether you go for a handheld speaker that you bring into the bathroom with you, or one that’s permanently installed in the room, incorporating music is a great way to amplify the ambience of the room.
6. Voice Activation
In recent years, voice activated gadgets like home assistants have become increasingly popular. These make great additions to any bathroom: no longer do you need to use wet soapy hands to press buttons, because a simple voice command will do the trick.
Stepping into a nice warm bath and asking Alexa to play Radio 4… Is there anything better?
7. Mood Lighting
It’s not just music that you can control with voice activation. Nowadays Smart LED lightbulbs can be hooked up to home assistants, meaning you can easily adjust the brightness and even the colour of the bathroom lights.
“Alexa, set the lights to dim purple”, as you get into the bath. “Alexa, bright white light” when it’s time to dry off and tidy your hair.
Having the flexibility to change every aspect of your bathroom experience will have a noticeable impact on how much you enjoy being in the space.
8. Oil Diffusers
We’ve looked at sound and lighting, how about scents? While you may not believe in the medical benefits of aromatherapy, it’s hard to deny that a lovely waft of lavender or patchouli in your bathroom doesn’t bring a certain je ne sais quoi to the space.
And what’s more, some essential oils are thought to be helpful in preventing bacteria growth and mould buildup: both relevant considerations in a bathroom! Eucalyptus, mint and lemongrass are in the list, so give them a try and see how you get on.
9. Smart Mirrors
Gone are the days when bathroom mirrors were only used for seeing your reflection. Nowadays mirrors can contribute all sorts of nifty functionality to your bathroom. For example:
- LED mirrors offer a gentle lighting alternative for the main light (great at night time!) and can even brighten up rooms that receive little to no sunlight. Additionally, some mirrors also come with colour temperature changing LEDs meaning a choice between bright, white light, or more warming yellow light, ideal for creating the perfect ambience to suit personal taste
- Demister mirrors (also called anti-fog mirrors) use inbuilt heated demister pads to prevent fog and condensation: fantastic if you want to see yourself clearly rather than find a cloudy blur staring back at you.
- And our favourite, Bluetooth mirrors, which use Bluetooth technology to bring audio and various other intelligent functions to your space.
10. Smart and Sensor Taps
Just like with a digital shower, you can also bring precise water temperature control to your bathroom basin, with smart and sensor taps, that can be mains connected or operated by battery power. These taps can be set to a preferred temperature ensuring consistent warmth, and meaning no scalding or freezing flow. Some models also feature motion activation, removing the need to touch the tap at all: ideal for any hygiene conscious (or cleaning averse) readers!
11. Smart Toilets
To truly bring your bathroom into the modern age, you can’t go far wrong with a smart toilet. These devices, also called smart bidet toilets or shower toilets, offer customisable bidet settings that can be tailored to the needs of each user.
And if that isn’t modern enough, how about an inbuilt app that lets you configure the toilet remotely, to ensure it’s ready to go when you arrive?
Incorporating one of these toilets into your bathroom is simple, too: they can be retrofitted into dated plumbing systems, meaning that self-cleaning, fully customised toilet functionality is within reach.
12. Touchless Toilets
If you’re not quite ready for remote-controlled bidet technology, you can still take advantage of exciting bathroom trends with touchless toilets. These models use touchless technology (as the name suggests) to give you a more hygienic, more environmentally friendly toilet experience.
Using the RAK Des Rimless Close Coupled Toilet as an example, let’s take a look at the features on offer:
- Holding your hand above the sensor gives a full 6 litre flush, whereas waving gives a 3 litre half flush: not only will the environment thank you, but you’ll notice the difference on your water bill, too.
- A self-closing seat means no sudden drops or loud clatters during or after use.
13. Toilet Bowl Lights
Sometimes it’s the little gadgets that make the most difference. If you find yourself visiting the loo a few times in the night, you’re probably aware of how jarring it can be to rely on ceiling lights. These bright lights shatter that sleepy feeling, making it that much harder to nod back off when you return to bed.
And if you’d rather not navigate the hallway and bathroom in the dark, either, why not look at a toilet bowl light? These battery powered gizmos clip onto the rim of the toilet and activate when they detect motion, providing a dim and unobtrusive glow that lets you do what you need to do, without making it impossible to get back to sleep.
Bring Your Bathroom into the Modern Era
It’s easy to see from the bathroom technology in this list that modernising your bathroom is the right way to go. Whether you go for full voice activation and Bluetooth control, or maybe just the odd tweak here and there, you’ll be taking steps towards a more comfortable, more convenient space.
Remember also that a lot of the technological trends we’ve looked at are fantastic for people with disabilities or other accessibility needs. If your bathroom is used by elderly users, switching out old showers and faucets for thermostatic controlled ones not only improves convenience, but it affords real peace of mind for users and family members alike.
If you’d like to understand how you can modernise your bathroom, whatever your reasons, book one of our 3D Bathroom Design Service appointments. We’ll be happy to talk you through the options and give a rundown of how they can be incorporated into your space.