In many homes, a long soak in a tub is being replaced by a quick shower, as bathroom trends reflect the need to save time and space.
Grohe senior vice-president of design Paul Flowers says the main trend is the increase in the size of the shower - becoming bigger than the bath. 'More people are choosing to shower instead of taking a bath because of the time savings and for ecological reasons,' explains Flowers. 'In Hong Kong it is also more relevant to invest more in the shower as people are working longer hours and bathrooms are smaller.'
The choice to install a shower or bath comes down to how you use the space. 'Are you the kind of person who takes a bath or wants one for an aesthetic reason? If you like showers,' Flowers says, 'you can have a super experience shower with side sprays and various features, for the same space as a small tub.' Extra-large shower heads and body jets help to create a spa-like experience. To ensure you enjoy the potential of your shower, take time to choose a tray and enclosure that will enhance its looks and be convenient and comfortable to use.
Most shower trays are made from acrylic or enameled steel. It is possible to find trays made from fireclay, solid surface materials such as Corian, wood and stone. The shower screen should be chosen at the same time as the tray. The current trend for frameless glass enclosures introduces a modern feel to the bathing space. The lack of frame also makes them a good choice for small bathrooms as visually they 'disappear' into the surrounding area.
A new bathroom is a long-term investment so Flowers recommends choosing the colour scheme and fittings wisely. 'When you introduce colour, you introduce emotion,' he says. Flowers says sandstone and natural materials produce a feeling of longevity, while oak feels more natural and spa-like. For those who love colour, it is easy to install in the form of accessories such as towels, soap and flowers - without making the colour scheme permanent.
In terms of technology, the biggest push for Grohe is the concept of digitalisation, says Flowers. 'It allows the user to decrease consumption of water and increase the experience,' he explains. For instance, the company produces a 'pause' button that is handy to use when shampooing your hair - saving thousands of dollars a year in water bills. There are also pre-sets that can be used which remember your favourite temperature and water flow.