CW Interiors |
 
Feature One | December 2013

Washroom Wonders

The metamorphosis of bathroom design in India is a phenomenon worthy of more scrutiny...

Bathrooms, or washrooms, have undergone a sea change in recent years. Whether in a modest flat or in a luxurious dwelling, bathrooms now get as much design attention as the kitchen or the drawing room. Design possibilities for bathrooms abound  you can have theme based concepts, choose from a glorious range of tiles, bath fittings and accessories, and you can even have lavish, hi-tech installations! Professionals in the field speak to Janaki Krishnamoorthi about the trends, designs and products that are driving the market...

Wellness Wash
Coram, headquartered in Holland, provides a huge range of fixtures and accessories. Rajnish Ohri, Managing Director, Coram India discusses the wellness concept.

What are wellness bathroom concepts?
Wellness bathroom concepts imply a healthy equilibrium between body and mind, a general sense of well-being. Coram showers and whirlpools provide a solution to relax with aqua pressure, a special type of massage which is similar to acupressure but uses water.

Please list some of Coram's innovative products offered in India.
Our new generation range of wellness showers come in a closed circuit system that prevents wastage of water. A powerful pump takes in water from a built-in reservoir and pumps it around the system, thus eliminating the need to supply fresh water. This innovative technology provides 5,000 litres of shower in 15 minutes by using just 55 litres. Its powerful water pressure technology eliminates one's worries on low water pressure supply from the main source. These showers also come with disinfection processes which eliminate the necessity to clean the system after one takes a shower.

Italian Innovations
Italy-based Newform is one of the world's largest producers of premium tap ware and wellness products. Jason Russell, Director, Newform India talks about the trends in bathroom solutions.

What are the trends in bathroom design in India?
Indian designs alongside international aesthetics, state-of the art technology, quality and unique style is the underlying trend, with bright colours being the flavour of the day! Metallic finish, elegant faucet designs are the highlight of the season. Technologically advanced tools such as colour therapy, touch therapy, music therapy, chromo therapy and rainfall system are adding to the sophistication of the bathrooms, while nature-inspired neutral tones and patterns are going to be big this year.

What innovative products do you offer in India?
Newform brings to India 15-20 exclusive series. The Infinity Collection regulates an optimum flow with no leakages. Linfa Lime is equipped with an aerator that reduces the rate of flow to five litres per minute.

Residential Revolution
Germany-based Bravat manufactures faucets, ceramics, bathtubs, shower cubicles and bathroom furniture. Harsh Bhutani, Executive Director, Bravat India Pvt Ltd speaks on bathroom trends in Indian homes.

How have bathroom solutions changed in residential spaces in India ?
Luxury bathrooms and home spas are popular in high-end homes. These would typically include utility shower enclosures, bubble baths with controlled panels and massage bathtubs, electric bidets, digital controls that allow pre-programming of water flow, music and color-therapy, and ceiling-mounted rain-shower heads.

What innovative products do you offer in India?
Bravat has introduced several innovative technologies in the Indian range such as Water Saver, Self cleaning aerator, High Flow cartridge, 3 Exit Diverter Bath Mixer and PVDF finishing.

Mix & Match
Popularly known by its brand name Kingston, Plastocraft Sanitary India manufactures varied types of faucets. Surinder Abrol, Managing Director of the company provides tips on product purchase and designing.

What factors should one consider while designing bathrooms and buying bathroom fittings?
Innovative designs, quality, internal cartridge mechanism, price, after-sales service and branding are the major factors one should look at.

What innovative products do you offer in India?
Single lever faucets, sensor faucets, quarter turn faucets and rain showers are some of the products we offer. Our single lever faucets, made with technical guidance from Roshera SA of Spain, facilitate water saving of up to 25 per cent.

Tile Talk
Nitco, one of the largest manufacturers of floor tiles in India, has won 13 Capexil awards for innovation and design. Ashok Goyal, Chief Executive Officer, Nitco enlightens us on tile features.

Please tell us about tiling options available for bathrooms and their special attributes.
Bathrooms with marble and mosaic make them appear large. Marble flooring is durable, stain free, fire resistant, easy to clean and has a timeless appeal. HD digital wall tiles are beautiful, and outperform and outlive nearly any other wall covering product. Where safety is the primary concern, one should go for non-slippery tiles.

What does water absorption in tiles denote?
Water absorption refers to the quantity of water a tile absorbs, which also determines the stain and frost resistance capacity of the tiles. Generally, ceramic tiles with water absorption capacity between three to six per cent are used for floors and those with water absorption capacity between 10 to 15 per cent are used for walls.

What innovative products do you offer?
Nitco has a wide range right from the HD digital wall tiles, mosaic, and marble tiles. Our new Grand Canyon Beige HD digital wall tiles collection infuses the tile with the beauty of veins and detailing that one comes across in natural stone. NITCO also retails the top three Italian marble replica tiles û Rosalia, Tiger Onyx White and Carrara White.

Market Makeover
Recognised by its brand name Hindware, Hindustan Sanitaryware has extended its range to include brands like Benelave, Hindware Art, Hindware Italian Collection and Queo. Santosh Nema, President of the company speaks on the Indian sanitaryware market.

What is the size of the sanitaryware market in India today?
The sanitaryware market is pegged at Rs 2,400 crores, growing at 14-16 per cent per annum; the premium segment is growing at 20-25 per cent per annum. Presently, India is the second largest sanitary ware market by volume in Asia Pacific with 55 per cent being in the organised sector.

What innovative products do you offer in this segment?
We have the Rubbic and Florence model of water closets that can save around 20,000 litres of water a year. Aquafree, the sensor operated urinal, can save almost 25,000 litre; the quarter turn faucet can turn from full turn, half turn to quarter turn as per usage.

Tile Style
Malwa Mirage Ceramics is a leading manufacturer of glazed vitrified and glazed polished vitrified tiles in India. Ajit Singh, Vice President - Sales & Marketing, Malva Mirage Ceramics reveals what is in and out in the tile sector.

How have bathroom tiling options widened over the years?
The division between ceramic and vitrified tiles has given many new options. Digital designing on tiles  especially ceramic wall tiles û has made bigger format tiles possible, bringing much clearer and sharper image of designs on the tiles. The introduction of GVT (Glazed Vitrified Tiles) and PGVT (Polished Glazed Vitrified Tiles), especially for the floor, but also used on wall, are the latest boon. GVT tiles are anti-skid and multifunctional, sturdy and are available in matt, satin, glossy finishes.

What innovative products do you offer in this segment?
We offer digital ceramic wall tiles, digital GVT and PGVT floor and wall vitrified tiles. We will soon be launching exterior wall and strip tiles.

Tiling Trends
Somany Ceramics, a leading player in the tiles and sanitaryware industry, holds patent rights for Veil Craft Technology, which renders a specially treated coating that protects each tile against abrasion, scratches and stains. Abhishek Somany, Joint Managing Director, Somani Ceramics discusses tiling trends across sectors.

Are Indian brands losing out to international brands that are flooding the market?
On the contrary, they are getting stronger with the help of technology, and are at par with any Italian or Spanish manufacturers. The Italian and Spanish imported brands cater to a niche segment which maybe around one per cent of the total market. They complement Indian manufacturer rather than hurt them. Cheaper products from China do hurt the Indian ceramic market in certain segments.

What innovative products do you offer in this segment?
Somany Ceramics is known for anti-bacterial tiles. One of the innovative products offered in this category are the tiles with the technology Active (ACTIVE Clean Air and Antibacterial Ceramic). International tests have confirmed that Active tiles are self cleaning as they degrade the nitrogen oxides, thus improving the air quality.

Faucet Form
Delta Faucet Company, one of the largest manufacturers of faucets, has introduced collections catering to the premium and the luxury segments in India. Ravi Nindwani, Managing Director, Delta Faucets India highlights what is in vogue in the faucet range.

What are the latest trends in bathroom faucets?
We now have faucets with touch sensitivity and with diamond coated valves that grind even the hardest debris into smaller bits and help the faucet last up to as much as five million uses. Showering technology has moved to channelisation of natural energy of water. This is done by guiding the water through specially designed chambers to create unique wave patterns.

How do faucet requirements differ between sectors?
The main requirement in offices is water-saving accessories. Hotels and homes need a full solution and they desire unique design, functionality and innovations. Hotels are also particular about water saving and ease of maintenance.

What eco-friendly products does Delta offer?
We have H2Okinetic that sculpts the water into a unique wave pattern, creating the feeling of more water without using more water. Touch2O technology enables people to turn on and turn off a faucet with just a touch anywhere on the handle or spout.

Tiling Tips
Asian Granito manufactures and markets a wide range of tiles in India and exports to nearly 40 countries worldwide. Kamlesh Patel, Chairman and Managing Director, Asian Granito provides tips on tile purchase.

What are the trends in material usage in bathroom tiling?
Today, ceramics is not the only option. Wood, glass, granite, limestone, marble, natural stone, porcelain, slate, quartz, resin and mosaic are some of the emerging materials. In the high-end segment, mixing multiple mosaic and patterned tiles are in vogue.

What innovative products do you offer in this segment?
We have introduced products like tiles with Nano technology and 3D customised tiles. We have wide portfolio for bathroom tiles including Hi-tech Tuff-Guard, 3D Fire Tiles and Micro Crystal Collection.

Purchaser Perceptions
Grohe is the world's largest single-branded manufacturer and supplier of premium bath fittings. Renu Misra, Vice President and Managing Director, Grohe India talks about consumer perceptions.

Please share the highlights of the recent consumer survey conducted by Grohe on bathroom solutions in India.
The in-house study was conducted in Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi NCR, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Pune. It revealed that over 85 per cent of respondents considered the bathroom to be one of the most important factors while buying a house. Chennai and Delhi homeowners gave functionality and aesthetics top priority. In South India, 80 per cent of the respondents went by the brands used in the projects they were investing in, followed by Mumbai and Pune. More than 66 per cent respondents collectively rated brand and service as the key drivers while considering a product.

What are the current trends in customised bathrooms?
The current interior designs and living patterns point to a complete transformation of the utilitarian bathroom of yore into the present day opulent sanctuary of comfort and rejuvenation. An eclectic mix of neutral tones ranging from creams, whites, beiges and browns, with bright colours to accentuate the dTcor are being employed. While natural stone and handcrafted tiles are being combined to create nature-inspired interiors, simple clean lines with metallic colours and gold and gold finishes are in too.

Pedestal and vessel sinks that float on solid wood cabinetry, basins made of hand-painted porcelain, carved marble, glass, copper and stone in natural forms like bulbous round and oval are popular. Large soaking tubs, claw feet, and vintage-look faucets besides LED-lit shower heads and oversized spa-like shower enclosures are all visible in today's luxury bathrooms.

Please list some of the innovative products you offer in India.
The new Grohe Spa F-Digital Deluxe shower is a new shower concept. Atmospheric lighting, gentle steam and music all come together here, and all the functions can be controlled using an Apple ipod.

Industry Inputs
Duravit India is a wholly owned subsidiary of Duravit AG, Germany which collaborates with high-profile designers like Philippe Starck, Phoenix Design, Sergei Tchoban among others. Asutosh Shah, Managing Director, Duravit India talks about industry response to changing user needs.

How is the sanitary ware industry worldwide responding to changing trends in bathroom solutions?
The contemporary bathroom must meet three requirements: sustainable design, green production and ecological sustainability in use. Industry is responding to this change û be it with regard to production methods, reduced water per flush, waterless products, electronic bidet seat or sensor products.

What innovative products do you offer in India in this segment?
We have the 2nd floor of bathroom range from Duravit that meets the emerging trend of bathrooms becoming a furnished living area, and our Philippe Starck range is also innovative and popular.

CONTACT

  • Hindustan Sanitaryware Tel: 0124-4779200 E-mail: customercare@hindware.co.in
  • Newform India Tel: 0124-4945 060 E-mail: india@newformindia.it
  • Bravat India Tel: 0124-4945 050 E-mail: info@bravatindia.com 
  • Coram India Tel: 0124-4083 090, 4087 155 Email: info@coram.in
  • Plastocraft Sanitary Tel: 011-43594444 Email: kingstonfitting2010@yahoo.in 
  • Asian Granito Tel: 079-66125500 E-mail: info@aglasiangranito.com; 
  • Nitco Tel: 022-66164555 E-mail: marketing@nitcotiles.com Website: www.nitco.in
  • Somany Ceramics Tel: 0120-4627900 E-mail: marketing@somanyceramics.com
  • Delta Faucet Company Tel: 0124 û 4229100 E-mail: Kiran.Singh@deltafaucet.com
  • Duravit India Tel: 079 66112300 E-mail: info@in.duravit.com 
  • Grohe Tel: 0124 493 3000 Website: www.grohe.co.in 
  • Malwa Mirage Ceramics Tel: 022-6768 7777 
  • E-mail: info@malwamirage.com
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