HACKETTSTOWN, NJ — Homeowners are looking for cutting-edge bathroom technologies that make their home more relaxing and comfortable, while simultaneously enhancing its appearance and market value. However, the greatest barriers for adding technology are high costs, perceptions of products being “nonessential,” concerns about security and worry over performance reliability.
Those are among the key findings of a major new survey conducted among homeowners, bathroom designers and technology integrators by the National Kitchen & Bath Association. The NKBA’s “Bathroom Technology Awareness & Usage Survey,” whose results were released late last year, is aimed at providing insights into homeowner needs and preferences, as well as designers’ readiness to fulfill those needs, the Hackettstown, NJ-based NKBA said.
According to the survey results, homeowners are seeking bathroom technology solutions “that maximize comfort, deliver efficiency, avoid problems, promote relaxation and provide a feeling of safety” – and they are seeking to integrate technology systems “without a ‘techy’ look.”
Integrators and designers working together can alleviate homeowner concerns about adding technology to the bathroom, (but) “designers are missing opportunities to collaborate with integrators” on areas of expertise that include smart lighting, connectivity, home monitoring systems, voice activation and entertainment technology, according to the survey’s findings.
“Half of (surveyed) designers have never worked with tech contractors or consultants, often because they’re not familiar with them, don’t know whom to contact, and/or generally rely on electricians to provide technology guidance,” the NKBA said.
“Bathrooms can be both a relaxing escape (listening to music, surfing the web and watching TV and videos) and a place to multitask (email, text, news),” NKBA researchers found.
Among the products in demand are:
- For tubs, showers, faucets and toilets: Tubs or showers that can automatically adjust water to desired temperature; hands-free or touch-free faucets and toilets; plumbing products that send remote failure/leak alerts to mobile devices, and tubs or showers that sense being turned on or left on unintentionally.
- For lighting: Control of all lighting from one location; motion-sensor lighting; preset lighting scenes for different activities and voice activation.
- For Internet/Wi-Fi Connectivity: Integrated charging and places to stand/display mobile devices; built-in speakers, and integrated screens/monitors.