The master bedroom has become a major design focal point in modern homes and increasingly this includes a luxury ensuite bathroom. In the US, it’s not uncommon for the master bathroom and master bedroom to be the same size, with bathrooms of up to 600-square-feet being incorporated into some high-end developments. This is being driven by homeowners wanting their master bathroom to be less of a place to merely exercise personal hygeine, and more of a private sanctuary where they can relax knowing they won’t be disturbed.
To meet these changing demands, architects and designers are incorporating some truly innovative technologies into their bathroom designs. Some of the most popular, as well as a few of the more unusual technologies are outlined below.
Switchable Privacy Glass
A versatile addition to any bathroom design, switchable smart glass is commonly used to divide bathrooms into different areas. As the name suggests, switchable glass can be left clear to increase the appearance of space, or it can be made opaque at the flick of a switch to offer complete privacy.
Underfloor heating isn’t just a good way to make getting out of the bath easier, it’s also more cost effective and energy efficient because the heat travels through convection and doesn’t require any additional electricity to be dispersed around a room. Temperatures are controlled via a thermostat on the wall and they can often be programmed in advance, making morning showers a cozier experience.
Waterproof Hydra Televisions
Catch up on the news or your favorite TV show while having a soak in the bath or taking your morning shower. Waterproof hydra televisions can often be customised with different colors and finishes, so they can easily be incorporated into new bathroom designs.
Fluorescent Plumbing Fixtures
Using phosphorescent materials to outline the rims of bathtubs and the edges of sinks, basins and toilet seats etc. is an innovative way to illuminate bathrooms in the evening. During the day, the materials soak up the sun’s rays, which are emitted as a fluorescent green glow at nighttime that lasts for up to 8 hours.
Formerly the preserve of science fiction movies, bathroom mirrors can now include LCD displays that show personalized content from a computer, smartphone or directly from the Internet. More recent versions have also included motion detection and voice control, as well as the ability to connect to lighting and temperature controls.
Towel Warming Drawers
Nothing beats having a warm, dry towel to wrap around yourself when you get out of the bath or shower. Heated drawers that were originally created for kitchens have been adapted to withstand humidity, meaning they can be used to keep towels and bathrobes nice and toasty for when they are needed.
Motion sensing technology is already a fairly commonplace feature in commercial bathrooms but the additional germ fighting properties offered by hands-free faucets, coupled with their minimalist design and increased accessibility for the mobility impaired has seen them become more of a regular feature in the home. Incorporate hand dryers into the faucets to add another layer of germ resistance to your bathroom designs.
Hands-free Toilet Flush
As with the hands-free faucets, this technology is considerably more hygienic than its traditional counterpart and is fast making its way from commercial bathrooms into people’s homes. The main difference is the location of the sensor, which is positioned to be manually triggered in the domestic version.
Color Therapy Showers
Color therapy (a.k.a. chromotherapy) showers incorporate LEDs that cycle through different colors and shades, bathing you in tranquil or invigorating color while you wash. Although scientifically-backed research into the benefits is a little thin on the ground, it certainly makes for an eye-catching bathroom feature.
Ideal for those who need to keep up with current affairs or just like to sing in the shower, showerheads can now include a Bluetooth-enabled wireless speaker system that allows you to listen to up to seven hours of music, audiobooks or news while you wash.
Digital Shower Controls
You can now customize your showering experience on a full-color touchscreen interface, allowing you to control lights and audio devices, program different water temperature and pressure settings or even track your water consumption.
Sanitizing Bathroom Accessories
Towels generally don’t require frequent washing, as people are normally clean when they touch them, though bacteria can gather in the fibrous fabric if the towel is left wet in a damp washroom. An effective way to combat these germs is with specially designed towel rings that help to dry the towel with hot air and sanitise it with UV light.
Hydro-massage Bath Tubs
Hydro-massaging bath tubs aren’t especially new, though they have seen considerable improvement over the years. Newer models offer digital LCD controls for a seemingly ever-increasing number of whirlpool jets and other hi-tech features, helping you achieve spa-quality relaxation in your own home.
These are just some of the new technologies that can be incorporated into modern bathroom designs. As technologies continue to advance rapidly, it’s advisable to investigate all the latest innovations before commencing any designs, so the very latest high-tech features can be considered. Transforming a master bathroom into a home spa has never been easier!