Matt Hicks is the head of product at Bristan, the largest shower and tap company in the UK
Five bathroom trends to look out for this summer
Posted 6th June
Consumer tastes are constantly changing and home interior trends impact the bathroom like all other rooms in the house. Retailers are under pressure to inspire their customers and meet the demand for must-have taps and showers. So what’s hot this summer for people looking to turn their dream bathroom into reality?
Consumers are becoming more trend-aware when it comes to their bathrooms, and this means they’re more willing than ever to splash out on taps and showers. The advantage for retailers is that they are presented with ideal upsell opportunities, but only if they are stocking the right products that match ongoing trends in bathroom design.
Certainly, there’s plenty to catch the eye in 2018. We’re seeing a number of new trends emerge around personal wellbeing and individual needs, and the continuation of some buying patterns that have been around for a few years now.
At Bristan, we use the latest consumer insight to develop products that can help retailers navigate this tricky process of what products to stock. So, here’s our top five bathroom trends for 2018.
1. Splashing out
The market for bathroom products continues to grow. In the UK it achieved growth of around 3% last year, and overall growth is forecast at 12% to 2021.
The sector is booming in part because aesthetics are continuing to exert a notable influence on consumer choice. There’s a demand for quality bathroom products that have additional features from the standard. Some digital showers, for example, offer clever digital control and display systems that deliver precise thermostatic showering at the touch of a button.
Products that are backed with a strong warranty are also popular with consumers, because if they’re spending more on products, they expect them to last.
2. Personal well-being
Designed with maximum comfort in mind, the latest bathroom solutions inspire with many clever details to ensure a comfortable and user-friendly bathroom experience.
With spas and well-being retreats more popular than ever, some consumers are keen to replicate this feeling in their bathroom. Style and ambience can make a big difference and uncluttered, minimal designs are ever-popular.
A good shower is a key part of the bathroom experience and this year we're seeing demand for oversized shower heads, as well as showers that provide features such as waterfall settings and LED mood lighting, which create a sense of total relaxation.
3. Metallic design
Popular colours for bathrooms have changed drastically over the years – from the avocado green of the 1970s, to the white minimalism of recent years. However, we’re now seeing resurgence in demand for statement colours as a means of differentiation, with higher quality finishes and contemporary styling.
In response, Bristan has created its Metallix range. Available across five different ranges in four distinctive finishes – Copper Radiance, Silver Sparkle, Champagne Shimmer and Graphite Glisten – high quality taps like these give a real sense of style, as they’re a feature most people notice right away.
A recent survey has found that newly built homes in Britain are nearly a third smaller than equivalent homes built in the 1970s. This has had an impact on the bathroom and space-saving ideas are now a priority for many.
In fact, research conducted by Bristan found that space restrictions are a leading consideration during the planning phase for almost 40% of retail customers, second only to budget on 56%.
A small bathroom can still be stylish, practical and, with the right know-how, space-efficient. We’re seeing a growing trend towards wet room designs and touches such as recessed mixer showers which can make a real difference.
5. Inclusive living
Multigenerational households are on the increase in the UK due to a rise in young adults still living with their parents. With more than 1.8 million households containing at least two adult generations, consumers must now consider the needs of a variety of ability levels.
As a result, there’s significant demand for inclusive bathroom products such as low-level or walk-in baths, and thermostatic and lever operated tapware controls, that are both practical and easy to use.
The inclusive living trend is expected to be boosted by the government’s Disabled Facilities Grant – DFG – which is set to increase to over £500m in 2019/20. This fund is designed to help meet the cost of adapting a property where a disabled person lives with improvements such as accessible showering facilities.
The bathroom continues to be a key element of our homes, playing a much greater role beyond that of its traditional function as just another part of the daily routine. For retailers, the aim must always be to stay on top of these trends by offering a wide choice of products that meet different needs.