With an uptick in bathroom projects on the horizon and an increasing desire for technology, it’s important to know your smart shower options.
“Consumers have undertaken a lot of remodeling in 2020, but significant opportunity remains, especially for the kitchen and bath market, going into 2021,” says Todd Tomalak, principal at John Burns Real Estate Consulting, in the NKBA’s market report. “Much of the already completed renovation work has focused outside the home — redoing decks, gardens and outdoor entertaining spaces — in response to COVID-19 restrictions. For many families working and schooling from home, 2020 wasn’t the ideal time to redo a space as essential as the kitchen or bathroom. As such, we anticipate continued activity for kitchen and bath remodeling next year.”
With the promises of vaccines and a return to a new normal starting sometime in 2021, more homeowners will become comfortable with allowing professionals into their homes and spending money on those much-needed improvements.
Trends toward more spa-like bathrooms have continued this year and garnered even greater interest as the pandemic continued to disrupt everyday life. Less attention is being given to freestanding bathtubs though and more on larger showers, meaning showers now have to fulfill that spa-like atmosphere in many homes.
A whopping 60% of professionals who responded to NKBA’s 2021 design trends report said they predict many more homeowners to remove bathtubs in order to increase their shower size.
Smart technology for every inch of the home is an increasing demand for many, especially younger generations such as Millennials. And this trend gained a push from the pandemic as well. According to NKBA’s 2021 trend report, technology that enables greater comfort in the home has been influential on design.
But what is a smart or high tech shower? They offer more control options than the traditional thermostatic and pressure control and offer wireless connection capability. This can come in the form of a separate control device with specialty functions, a showerhead with intuitive features, or a total system that allows for a full array of customizable options.
Here are five high-tech showers to consider for your next project:
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Pros still love rain showerheads and marrying smart tech with an already beloved feature can be a match made in bathroom heaven. Grohe’s 310 SmartConnect comes with a wireless remote control that allows users to change spray functions by the push of a button, the company says. The wireless control device sticks to the shower wall and does not need any special installation. This removes the need for user’s to reach up to the showerhead, says Grohe, and can be ideal for retrofitting.
Kohler says its DTV interface can assist both builders and developers in reaching sustainability goals due to the system’s pause settings and water-saving functions. In addition, a warm-up mode will heat water to a desired temperature and notify a user when ready, thus removing the need to run water until a desired temperature is met. Users can also briefly pause any water flow, which prevents excess water usage. The DTV Prompt allows users to control temperature and water outlets. The company says this provides an affordable smart-home option for homeowners and builders.
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With a robust array of options, Graff’s Aqua-Sense collection allows homeowners to choose their own style and features. The company says Aqua-Sense marries water, light, and sound to create a deeper sense of wellness. Available showerheads offer rain and waterfall features in addition to chromotherapy, or light, functions. These can be controlled through a wall-mounted touch screen interface. Users are able to choose seven different lighting options, control temperature, spray modes, and even allows users to watch videos. Aqua-Sense offers a wall-mounted USB port with a stand that can connect a smart phone to ceiling-mounted speakers
Waterhawk’s biggest selling point is its water conservation features and price. The smart showerhead tracks water usage, which helps homeowners save on their water bills, and it can monitor the water temperature and gallons of water used through the showerhead’s LED display. The display also features lights that change color when the water temperature is either too hot, too cold, or just right. This is also one of the most affordable options at $50.
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ThermaSol’s smart shower kits come with a smart shower valve and LCD touchscreen control center. The LCD screens are available in three different sizes: five, seven, or 10 inches. Screens can also come in 15 different finishes such as white, satin nickel, and polished gold. What separates this offering from the rest is the Alexa voice control options. ThermaTouch features built-in Bluetooth connectivity, Wi-Fi-enabled capabilities, stereo output, and controls steam, shower, light, sound, and rainhead functions. It can save up to two control preferences and users can download a variety of apps, such as YouTube, Spotify, and even Netflix.