The bath and sanitary-ware industry in India has come a long way from catering to a purely functional segment to now emphasizing on luxury and sustainability. We deduce trends, features and more...
With purely functional bathrooms becoming a thing of the past, the age of luxury and high-tech washrooms is dawning. Today, it is more about convenient comforts, creating an ambience, a feel-good zone and making a personality statement. Lavish installations such as rain showers, bubble baths, whirlpools, steam baths, electric bidet, digital controls to programmed water flow, temperature and lighting as well as heated towel rails, under floor heating and waterproof speakers are fast becoming the norm. Contemporary and customised designs with sleek and clean lines are trending. Caroline Brahme, Designer and Project Leader, Forsa Collection, Form Us With Love (FUWL), Stockholm, says, ´Customised bathrooms are of value for both residential and public settings. It enables you to translate the vision you have for your own space by selecting parts of a set. We invite the customer to create something personal in five easy steps. The five steps are: choose profile colour, glass shape and size, glass finish, handles, design and colour as well as shower tray.´
LED bathtubs, wi-fi bathroom scales, hands-free faucets and customisation are making their way into India.
The change from washing to wellness is a new trend that is catching up in India, with water being used for de-stressing. Bathroom components are being evolved to meet the demands for rejuvenation and relaxation and to create a spa-like environment in ensuite bathrooms.
Elaborates Rahul Gupta, Interior Designer and Promoter, 9th Corner Inc: ´Today, showers provide variable bathing experiences, like rain, mist, waterfall and spout fall, and come with inbuilt music systems, which can be connected through a bluetooth device. Waterfall showers, which provide a real-time waterfall bathing experience, are in demand. LED rain showers with colour changing LED´s fitted within the showers for chromotherapy are trending.´
Several companies are now offering a range of products under the wellness umbrella like HSIL´s Amore, Grohe F-digital Deluxe, Kohler´s DTV shower and The Cape Cod bathtub by Duravit and Philippe Starck.´The Cape Cod, with its ergonomic headrest, provides a bathing experience that is serene with a feeling of lightness. Steam cabinets can now be as small as 1m x 1m, making them viable for smaller bathrooms. Always install a layered lighting system so that you can choose different levels of light depending on your mood and include an illuminated mirror over the basin to enhance the spa experience,´ advises Asutosh Shah, Managing Director, Duravit India.
However, there are cons to these trends, too. ´These gadgets are for high-end homes as they are expensive and require elaborate water filtration/softening systems. They also consume large quantity of water and hence are not eco-friendly,´ opines Bobby Mukherjee, Principal Architect, Bobby Mukherjee & Associates.
Sustainability in luxury bathrooms internationally means water and energy conserva¡tion and ecological manufacturing, using state-of-the-art technology. New trends in bathroom plumbing fixtures allow shower water and hand-washing water to be sent directly to the toilet. Many companies are now moving towards sustainable solutions.
´Duravit focuses on an overall intelligent use of resources. Our development team makes use of simulation software to optimise flushing technology, for instance the Duravit Rimless technology and the ME urinal. The Rimless technology delivers optimum flushing results with small water volumes of only 4.5-litres. The open design of the flushing rim ensures a dynamic and powerful flow of water that rinses the entire inner surface of the urinal, while allowing for a fast and hygienic cleaning of the ceramics.´ states Shah.
The current trend is toward sunnier washrooms with more artificial lighting, such as recessed lighting in the ceilings, indirect lighting that bounces off the walls, mirror lighting, shower lighting, remote controlled dimmers and coloured lighting. An expansive range of aesthetically designed lighting fixtures are available to meet these requirements, with LEDs being the favourites.
´False ceilings are the rage in the contemporary bathrooms,´ avers Sumit Joshi, Marketing Head, Philips Lighting. ´Apart from the light sources being safe and suitable for humid environments, a high-end bath¡room needs an integrated solution. Conne¡cted LED lighting is the perfect solution that integrates smart controls, networks, devices and adapts to suit the requirements.´ Philips offers several intelligent lighting solutions like the Philips DynaLite Controls and Philips ColorKinetics and soon-to-be launched RazorLED - the slimmest LED downlighters.
The cross-generation bathrooms, focusing on bathrooms that are user-friendly for all - from children, adults, senior citizens to the physically challenged - is yet to have any visible impact, though it is gaining momen¡tum internationally.
´The concept behind the cross-generation bathroom is based on the desire to make life in the bathroom easier and more convenient for all age groups, with tailor-made products to suit their special needs in terms of function and ergonomics,´ explains Ravi Nindwani, Managing Director, Delta Faucet Company India Pvt. Ltd. Delta has a range of products in this segment like Temp2O shower for temperature and the Touch2O.xt technology one-touch faucet operation. From being a highly functional bathing area to a spa-like retreat, bathrooms are gearing up to offer the users a wellness experience.
Joint Managing Director, HSIL
Wellness as a concept has been there from ancient times, which is now being reinforced in many areas including washrooms. It is a sign of luxury living encompassing an individual´s desire for social acceptance, exclusivity and collective welfare. Largely influenced by socio-economic factors, it has also been accelerated by globalisation and a greater health consciousness.
Managing Director - Kohler Kitchen & Bath
India, Sub-Saharan and Africa With the rising demand for convenience from customers, technology has also entered the bathroom space. From shower panels, baths to faucets and toilets, technology like Katalyst technology, touchless technology to sensors, automated flushes and UV cleaning is increasing utility and convenience.
Lighting Leads Sumit Joshi,
Marketing Head, Philips Lighting India
Internationally, with an increased glamorisation of washrooms, lighting has come to play an important part. In the residential sector, many are adopting mood lighting and remote-controlled LED lighting. In the hospitality sector, most hotels opt for connected lighting that can sense their patrons´ moods, requiring minimal to no human intervention. In India, many are opting for fixtures that enhance their bathroom dTcor, mood lighting and LEDs.
Hospitality Highs Bobby Mukherjee,
Principal Architect, Bobby Mukherjee & Associates
The most important international trend in the high-end hotels has been to provide large washrooms, with components like WC, bathtub, washbasin, bidet, etc, with some of them having enclosed chambers. Indian counterparts of international chains follow the design guidelines set by the parent company. Indian high-end hotels also largely follow the international trends with a little Indian touch.
Tile Take Abhishek Somany,
Joint Managing Director, Somany Ceramics.
The tiles and ceramics industry has been expanding its horizons by venturing into the non-conventional areas as well as the conventional usage in bathrooms. Along with being functionally advanced with properties like skid resistance, tiles are a popular choice as embellishments, too. Tiles with metallic textures that provide an opulent look are hot in high-end washrooms. For the precise finish, digital tiles are in vogue.
Pampering Plus Chirag Parekh,
Chairman & Managing Director, Acrysil Limited
There is a global shift in what people expect from their living spaces, including washrooms in order to relax and rejuvenate from an increasingly hectic lifestyle. The movement is towards sensory experiences and harmonic design concepts, which create a visual tranquillity. The bathroom is already transforming from a purely functional area in to a self-pampering zone almost like a private spa or a personal wellness space.
India International Renu Misra,
Managing Director - Grohe India
There is a palpable synchrony in the preferences of Indian consumers and their global counterparts in the luxury washroom segment. Most of the trends in India are inspired by international standards of luxury. Touch-less controls, digital, intuitive operations, water-saving technology are some of the areas witnessing immense traction. These are dominant trends in the market today as they are being viewed as an investment towards one´s personal well-being.
Bhavya and Neilesh Kenkare, Partners, Archaid
Awareness among well-travelled users and their openness to new ideas, availability of new technologies, new materials and usage of old materials in new forms have all provided immense opportunity for designers to be innovative and do something out-of-the-box in bathroom designing. Open bathroom concept, false ceilings and LEDs are trending.
Today, the material usage in bathroom products has come a long way from the traditional porcelain. The list is exhaustive û wood, glass, granite, limestone, marble, natural stone, slate, mosaic, quartz, resin, mosaic, fiberglass, stainless steel, Corian and so on.
´Apart from a few new materials, several existing materials are also being used now in new applications. I have used materials like gold plated tiles, hand-cut tiles, glass, mirrors, acrylic, railway sleeper wood and Corian innovatively in my projects with amazing impact.´ reveal Bhavya and Neilesh Kenkare, Partners, Archaid. Some companies have also developed their own materials through research like Duravit´s DuraCeram and DuraSolid A and Q. Ashutosh Shah, MD, Duravit India says, ´The washbasins of our new series Cape Cod by Philippe Starck are produced from DuraCeram, which has made it possible to create countertop basins with a rim thickness of only five millimetres that are easy to maintain, robust and impact-resistant. DuraSolid A and Q offer an alternative to tried-and-tested acrylic.´
Acrysil Limited, which offers washroom products under the brand name Sternhagen has introduced their patented premium Quartz material SaniQ. ´Quartz is the second hardest material after diamond but this premium and high-value material is used rarely to make sanitary products.´ reveals Chirag Parekh, Chairman & Managing Director, Acrysil Limited. ´SaniQ washbasins have a unique silk matte finish, which makes it perfect for hassle-free upkeep. Perfect for the whole family due to the anti-bacterial properties of the surface, the natural density and hardness of quartz makes the SaniQ Basins highly durable and resistant to any stains, chips and dents.´
World trends as expressed by designers and industry professionals:
Today washroom in Sweden is a place where you hang around if you have the space and the means for it. Then it becomes a room you furnish just as any other room creating a personal environment. The bathroom should not only be sterile and minimal, but also warm and cosy, bringing in nature with plants and natural materials like wood and stone.
- Caroline Brahme Designer and Project Leader for Forsa Collection, Form US With Love, Stockholm
Timeless memorable design that combines quality with comfort and makes an individual statement is this year´s key trend in Germany.
- Asutosh Shah, Managing Director Duravit India
We are witnessing design trends around fluidic contemporary, geometrics and natural aesthetics and innovative, technology-driven functionality. The natural, organic trend continues to gain favour, which is about integrating softer hues into space with earth tones such as soft grey, sky and sand.
- Ravi Nindwani, Managing Director, Delta Faucet Company India
Armada from Hindware Armada, a rectangular sleek wall mounted water closet, is a star rated product that reduces water consumption. Available in starwhite and pastel, it is priced at `23,610 and `27,960 respectively. Hindware is the only brand today to offer a whole basket of 3 and 2 star rated, UPC - 1 and WEP -1 certified water closets. The rating system for water closets is based on the volume of water used for each effective flush.
Lapiaz Bathtub from Maison Valentina
This unique bathtub was inspired by the karst formations produced by surface dissolution of limestone or dolomite rocks, known as Lapiaz in French. The polished brass details and mirrored sides give this tub an antique yet comfy and warm beautiful look. It is priced at $52,146.
Solna from Delta Faucet
Solna is a clever twist to the classic pull-down design wherein it can direct water exactly where you need it and the spray wand can easily be docked and undocked for maximum function and efficiency. Priced around `50,000, the Solna faucet would be available in India from July 2015.
Moxie from Kohler
Moxie, a shower-head that rains music, with the proximity of the Bluetooth enabled wireless speaker, is for those who love to hear music while bathing. It has a self-cleaning silicone spray face, 60 angled nozzles to provide full coverage spray, removable speaker body with magnet attachment and a lithium rechargeable battery with seven hours of playtime. It is price at Rs.9,995.
Strathagen Kristal Basin from Acrysil
Kristal Basin is a molecular masterpiece. The surface of the basin glitters with reflected light, but underneath it is an ice cool casing. Inspired by nature and created by Emami Design, Berlin, this is made from SaniQ, a patented high-tech Quartz for sanitaryware developed by Acrysil. The material is harder and more heat resistant than traditional ceramic materials and is resistant against scratches, chips and stains. This innovative design won the IF Design Award 2015 and a Honorable Mention from the Red Dot Award.
Newton Bathtub from Maison Valentina
Defying laws of physics, this bathtub, made of black lacquer brass spheres with high gloss varnish finishing and some gold plated spheres on the base, distinguishes itself from all the other designs by its futuristic forms. It is priced at $52,758. Lapiaz and Newton bathtubs designed by Joaquim Sousa, come from Maison Valentina, Portugal, which create a range of bathroom fixtures and accessories with unique and bold design, all handcrafted and inspired by nature and mid-century designs.
Metamorfosi from Olympia Ceramica
Metamorfosi, from Olympia Ceramica, Italy is a new range of counter top, which takes its name from the transformation of basins from circular to rectangular shapes. Available in different sizes and bright colours, they guarantee a cutting-edge stylish efficiency to all bathroom spaces. Metamorfosi is available in India at Etre Luxe.
HSIL Limited , Gurgaon,
Tel: 0124-4779 200
Form Us With Love Stockholm
Maison Valentina, Porto, Portugal
Tel:+351 222 015 850
Duravit India Private Limited
Tel: +91 79 6611 2300
Delta Faucet Company India,
Gurgaon. Tel: 024-406 6109
Kohler India Corporation
Private Limited Gurgaon
Tel: +91 124 4319601
Philips India Gurgaon, Haryana
Tel: 0124-460 6000
Bobby Mukherjee & Associates
Mumbai. Tel: 022-26105674
Acrysil Limited, Mumbai
Tel: +91 88799 75861
9th Corner Inc. New
Tel: +91 9810582834
Somany Ceramics Limited Noida
Grohe India Pvt. Ltd Gurgaon
Tel: +91 124 493 3000
Tel: +91 9833105246