Home Tech: The Rise of the Smart Bathroom
Some of the most active homebuyers seeking their perfect home in the Kitchener Waterloo area right now are those who fall into the demographic known as Gen Y, aka Millennials.
Millennials were the first generation to grow up with the Internet, with social media and were practically born with smartphones in their hands in some cases. So it should come as little surprise to learn that technology is right at the top of many of their home-buying wants lists.
A study conducted last year by Better Homes and Gardens revealed that 77% of these young homebuyers are looking for a home with “smart” innovations. Most of the gadgets that are hot right now revolve around smart home automation systems; they allow us to control lights, security, temperature and even blinds with the touch of a button from your smartphone.
However, there is a part of the home that many have forgotten to automate — and it’s a room that we use every day. Here are some ways to keep your home on-trend by adding the latest technology to one of the most-used rooms in your home: the bathroom.
It’s high time to get high-tech with our toilets. Several new models are revolutionizing the way we “go.” Here are just a few of the new toilet features to look for:
Toilets that don’t require hands or paper. These toilets have temperature-controlled water, spritzing wands and automatic dryers (already in use and common in Asia). Toilet seat warmers and LED lights. Self-cleaning toilets and antimicrobial seats — a dream come true for germaphobes. Motion sensors to raise and lower toilet lids – the answer to many a female homeowner’s prayers we think.
Another thing that Millennials are very savvy about is conservation and the need to go green wherever possible, especially in the home. Digital faucets are a great way to conserve water and energy. Here are some of the features that you can expect from a digital faucet:
Reduced tap flow and digital temperature-control settings, conserving money and water. Touchless technology. Infrared tap technology that “reads” the user and turns off when it senses that hands are not under the faucet. Programmable features, such as a timed shower setting or a teeth-brushing option that runs for an allotted time frame.
The young homeowners of the ’80s spent lots of their time soaking in mammoth Jacuzzi tubs, but times (and tubs) are changing. Designers are seeing a strong trend toward a new version of the soaking tub. They are tossing standing-room-only showers down the drain, and replacing them with stand-alone soaking styles. Here’s what you can expect to see from the new soaking tubs:
Stand-alone tubs with no shower surround. Small Japanese-style soaking tubs. Sleek, modern tub faucets, many with pipes that come up from the floor and pour over into the tub. An air bath, the modern take on massaging jets. Air channels deliver a steady stream of warm massaging bubbles; think hot springs. Chromotherapy, or mood-enhancing lighting. New tub materials and shapes. Rectangular is sleek and modern, as are materials such as carved stone and copper.
A high-tech bathroom wouldn’t be complete without a few gadgets. Here are a few fun products that add another level of technology:
Refrigerated bathroom cabinets that can keep medicines cool or store cold drinks. LCD shower panels that let you control shower temperature, water flow, steam, music and chromotherapy. Waterproof TVs. Soaking and watching TV is a must, and it removes the danger of dropping that iPad in the tub while streaming your favorite show.
Lots of us already have high tech kitchens and our living rooms are becoming a whole lot smarter as well. Bathrooms are almost certainly going to be the next room to witness the high-tech revolution. Which of these innovations we’ve mentioned would you like to have in your bathroom?