Whats new in bathroom fittings?
A round-up of the latest designs, plus water-saving advice
Hi-Tech showers and taps range from pullout sprays, customisable handles, voice control, clever design and pure innovation. And they are taking over the bathroom.
Grand Designs showcases the latest and best in the fittings as well as delivering expert advice on saving water.
Bright and beautiful
Forget chrome, highlight a white basin and bath with taps in a vivid colour.
Link to a smart speaker
Save time and water by specifying your perfect temperature, flow rate, time limit and more with a voice-activated digital shower.
A touch-free sensor tap operates by the movement of your hands, so there’s no risk of wasting water by leaving it running unnecessarily.
Consider the eco benefits
Selecting designs from a UK-based manufacturer reduces the greenhouse gas emissions associated with transportation and investing in quality materials ensures fittings are made to last.
Coordinate the look
A few concrete and stone sanitaryware manufacturers offer taps featuring materials that complement their basin and bath designs.
Supply and demand
An electric shower can help alleviate demand where boiler capacity or low water pressure is an issue. Select an energy-efficient A-rated model.
Second time around
Quick swap over
Replace a valve and exposed fixings with relative ease by opting for a specially designed style that has adjustable inlet connections, slide bar and brackets. Form dual outlet shower with deluge head and 4-spray push button hand shower in chrome, £478.80, Mira.
The reuse cycle
Check before you buy to see whether a fitting is recyclable at the end of its lifespan, such as this handshower made with recycled plastic.
Style and versatility
Taps that feature a pullout spray are more commonly found in kitchens but they also make quick work of bathroom tasks – from washing hair to cleaning the basin.
Pick the best
At a higher level
Check the capacity of your system before buying a hydrotherapy-style shower, as some require 3 bar pressure – a booster pump may help. You’ll need adequate drainage to cope with the flow rate.
Less is more
Advice on how to save water and energy from Tom Reynolds, chief executive of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association
- To identify a product’s water consumption, look out for the Unified Water Label
- Choose taps with flow limiters, aerators and condensed sprays that reduce water consumption by between 30-60 per cent compared to taps without these features. Single-lever taps with a cold-start function avoid unnecessary use of energy, as the water is only heated when the lever is in the hot position. It will not deliver a mix of hot and cold in the central position.
- A shower or replacement head with aerator reduces water flow by up to 60 per cent compared to one without an aerator. Timer functions and programmable settings can lead to lower energy output by enabling you to select the temperature and duration of your shower. Innovative recirculating showers that clean, reheat and reuse water are designed to use as little water and energy as possible.
- You could also fit a waste water heat-recovery system, which uses the residual warmth from waste hot water to preheat cold mains water coming into the home. It can be retrofitted under a shower tray and improve efficiency by 30-75 per cent.
- For more information, check out the Bathroom Manufacturers Association’s Brighter Bathing campaign online.