It is often said that a great kitchen can sell a house. Today it might as well be the bathroom.Realty Plus explores the creative world of luxury bathrooms.
The trend of luxury bathrooms got popular in 1980s with oversized bathtubs and separate showers becoming the highlight of the space. The bath spaces today are getting even more indulgent with prudently chosen finishes, fixtures, technology and amenities that are customized as per user’s lifestyle.
When it comes to the size and the shape of the bathroom composition, alongside the lavish spaces with massive bathtubs, the intimate and minimalist bath layout with a sense of restrained elegance and intimacy is trending. So smaller does not mean less – there is no compromise with its extravagance, style or functionality.
But, aesthetic is only one of the elements of an extravagant bathroom. The functional plumbing has undergone a complete makeover to not only become fashionable and stylish but also a source of health and wellness. “The showers are taking over the bathtub. Larger glass walled shower areas with seating or lying down bench, fitted with multiple types of showerheads, rain showers or steam showers are relaxing and therapeutic. Full body shower systems, a thermostatic valve and volume control are popular with discerning homeowners. For those still interested in tubs, luxurious options include bubble massage hydrotherapy and chromatherapy – a colored lighting system designed to stimulate,” said interior designer Bhavna Mehndiratta.
When considering technology in bath, the sky is the limit. “Technology is making a big splash in the bathroom design. Televisions on overhead cabinet doors or in the mirror, an integrated sound system to stream music, news or favourite podcast and cabinets with a refrigerated section are the necessary evils in a chic bath space. Even the humble water closet comes fitted with technology like automated seat covers, heated seats, music, night light and a control panel beside,” stated architect & designer Ar. Romit Banerjee.
In sync, bath fittings market too has evolved from offering just functional value products to complete bath solutions with exciting features and emphasis on luxury and elegance.The organized segment of bath fittings market in India is upgrading manufacturing processes and focusing on innovative technologies and designs.Many international brands too are increasing their presence in Indian market by either joining hands with domestic brands in the segment or forming their wholly owned subsidiary in India.
The modern bathrooms are no more the over-the-top luxury of yesteryears. Clean lined sculptural fittings, monochromatic colour palette, streamlined cabinetry and sense of space and lightness define the fashionable bath spaces today.
The Market Dynamics
The overall consistent real-estate sector growth in the past few years has prompted an increased demand for quality sanitary ware. Furthermore, increasing per capita disposable income, improving standard of living and exposure to global trends is boosting the premium bath fittings and sanitary ware market across urban cities of India.
Atul Sanghvi, Executive Director, CERA Sanitaryware Limited added, “In ultra-luxury bathrooms, the trend is merging of electronics with conventional products. Consumers are looking for new designs and functional upgrades. CERA Italian luxury designer sanitaryware, ISVEA caters to this luxury segment. While, international designers are foraying into bath product design, we need home-grown designers too, who would be well-versed with Indian traditions and usages.Though the volumes are lowerin luxury bath products, the growth rate is higher as compared to mid segment. The trend of water-saving green-complaint products in both sanitaryware and faucets is continuing.CERA was the first sanitaryware manufacturer to bring in water-saving twin flush WC concept to India around 20 years back. The planning for ultra-luxury products has to be done at the initial stages of bathroom construction. Retro-fitting of some of the ultra-luxury products once the bathroom is fully built, becomes very tedious.With this in mind, CERA has launched CERA Home Upgrade in select cities, which will execute complete renovation of bathroom in just five days. Also, a complete range of new exclusive designer tiles is being launched by the company which will include large format tiles of 600x1200mm and 800x1200mm, etc. in GVT category for upper segment. CERA has also tied up with European concealed cistern leader, SIAMP, to market their products in India. In addition to these, new ranges are planned in all three segments – sanitaryware, faucets and tiles.”
Though, the bath fittings sector in India remains largely unorganized, it is evolving with the increasing share of the organized players which is expected to further grow in the post GST regime. Currently, some of the key players of the industry including domestic and foreign brands are Jaquar, Keuco, HSIL, CERA, Toto Ltd., Grohe, Duravit, Moen, Geberit Group, Kajarai, Somany Kohler, Roca and Dornbracht, Villeroy & Bochand RAK to name a few. They are introducing novel and innovative products in order to sustain and strengthen their market share.
Dhirendra Joshi, Associate Vice President- Kajaria Bathware said, “Kerovit by Kajaria has recently launched an exclusive range of showers among which. Kerovit’s Cascade shower is the perfect idea for enjoying the pleasure of water. Similarly, chrome plated faucets with refined angles and strong architectural lines bring wellness with great style and panache. Kerovit has also, launched a vast and beautiful range of vanities. In addition, for the eco-conscious buyer, the two step operating cartridge eco system of Kerovit Single Lever Basin Mixer and diverter saves water and energy. HWS ring available in cartridge allows setting the maximum temperature of the hot water. Water with 3-bar pressure is 20 L/minute with normal cartridges. Under the same conditions, the special temperature and flow regulator cartridge can limit the flow to 2 L/minute-resulting in up to 90% saving on water consumption.”
Turkey, Brazil, Mexico, and Columbia are among the top manufacturing countries of ceramic sanitaryware products. With the steady growth of ceramic sanitaryware industry in China, India, and Thailand, Asia Pacific will continue to dominate the global market. In India, the ceramic sanitaryware market is expected to register a CAGR of 10.3% in terms of value during period 2016-2026. The residential segment is projected to be the largest application segment from 2017 to 2022.China
Organic forms, curving fixtures find presence in most of the uber-chic bathrooms and powder rooms worldwide. The raw look of natural elements like timber, rough stone and plants too, finds plenty of followers. Also, nothing spells luxury as much as handmade crystals embedded, Lalique taps or custom-designed bathroom fittings including taps, handles, shower heads, towel rail and even lavatory flush handle in 24 carat gold, gold or platinum basins and inlaid mirrors & Murano glass.
Freestanding bathtubs teamed with floor-mounted tub mixers and matt black tapware and accessories are one of the strongest trends today. Bathtubs are doubling up as installations such as shoe-shaped bathtub by Sicis, Pear collection designed by Patricia Urquiola or Hayon collection by Jaime Hayon.
- Luxury Finishes: While, Italian marbles are the classic luxury finishes, agglomerated stones are the new favourites. Extra-large wall and floor tiles give a sense of lavishness and faux finishing can provide wood, metal, leather or any material look the heart desires
- Glossy Surfaces: Smooth lustrous surface is a big trend this year. Unframed glass, mirrors and sparkling countertops in marble, granite or resin maximize luxury. Carved basins and bathtubs in natural or engineered stone form the signature pieces in a luxury bathroom. Metallic accents in brass, copper and rose gold further add to the shine effect.
- Continuity & Combination: Combination of modern and organic such as steel and wood and continuity of materials such as similar marble on walls and floor are the new dynamics of modern ultra-luxury bathrooms.
- Dark Colours: Dark colours and shades are a huge comeback this year, Juxtaposed with shiny surfaces they exude richness and relaxation. Grey, the on-trend colour this season works wonderfully in rich hues to add tranquillity and elegance.
- Go Green: The love for nature is evident in homebuyers fancy for natural marbles, oaks and teaks and anything organic in their luxe baths. Organic products, naturally created offer an exclusive design to the space that cannot be replicated. After all, “No two items in nature are ever the same”. Besides, natural materials and surfaces offer a bohemian feel and a sensation of warmth and goodness.
Modern Tubs: A detached bathtub is a returning trend reminiscent of claw foot tub of 19th century. In luxury bathrooms, it adds the wow factor. Complementing them are the floor-mounted tub faucets behind or to the side of it. Taking a cue from the living room, tub-side tables next to the bathtub not only provide the convenience of to keep bath items at hand but act as attractive accent pieces as well.
Intelligent Toilets: WaterSense toilets offer the double flush, less or more as required. Some toilets double as a bidet, while some others are self-cleaning. Warm water cleansing and warm air drying are some other novel features. Automatic flushing, lids opening & closing, heated seats, nightlights, foot warmers, built-in deodorizers and Bluetooth syncing are also available. Then there are toilets that can monitor weight, BMI, blood sugar and blood pressure and can be networked to the computer.
Avant-garde Bathing: Digital shower head is a must-have in any luxury bathroom. It produces water, steam, music and light together and can be synced to the phone. Configure the shower to spa programs with varied water sprays and temperatures directed towards different body areas for a sensory experience. Bathtubs come with hydrotherapy option that uses air or sound to relax the body. What’s more, they have evolved to offer champagne-like bubbles; bubbles that surround; bubbles that target back, legs or feet; gentle bubbles or strong massaging bubbles.
Think Faucets: Brass, copper, chrome, nickel, gold-plated, oil-rubbed metals, matte or shiny finish, a smooth satin sheen and even faucets with texture complement the interior ambience as desired. Faucet shapes are taking inspiration from water arc, bird’s beak and pineapple to bamboo and rain downpour. Some new finishes range from titanium deep grey, antiqued, timeworn nickel finish, matte Black, dark surface to bright brushed gold and stainless.
Furniture Appeal: The biggest trend in opulent bathroom is the cabinetry that resembles furniture. , cabinets with cabinetry with ornate panels or legs, pull-out organizers or open shelving create a warm interior. Additionally, repurposed hutches and vintage dressers and free standing vanities create a beautiful focal point.