Thursday, January 12, 2012

Hot Trends For Bathroom Remodeling In 2012

From toilets that double as sound systems to water conserving spa experiences, here's what's trendy for bathroom improvements in 2012.

Trend #1 Conservation Rules
All around the country, water reserves are stressed. In response, regional governments are implementing conservation measures.  As a result, there are likely to be new regulations that will affect your construction or remodeling plans.  Here's what to watch for:

Your new toilet will have a lower flush per gallon rating than the one that's in there now.  Consider a dual flush version, or any low flow toilet coming on the market that meets your style preference. At the very least, your new commode is likely to feature a 1.28 gallons per flush rating - better than even the most recent 1.6 GPF offerings. You'll find them at home improvement centers from $100 to luxury showroom versions for thousands more.

The WaterSense label, launched in 2006 by the Environmental Protection Agency to promote water conservation by plumbing manufacturers and homeowners, will become as well-known as Energy Star. You'll be shopping for low flow shower heads and faucets with the WaterSense label on the box. Just as with Energy Star appliances, there is no cost premium associated with WaterSense savings - there are faucets in every price range.  WaterSense shower heads are newer on the market, with a more limited selection today-mostly at affordable prices.

You'll start seeing more shower heads-especially reading shower models-using Venturi principles that deliver strong water pressure by adding air, not water, to the mix. They are available in every price range, to ultra-affordable standard heads to luxury rain showers.

Trend #2 Technology Advances

You may not think of your bathroom as a high-tech space, but that's about to change. Here are some of the trends that can benefit your home:

You'll be able to create a custom showering experience more affordably than ever. For $300 for simple controllers, two $3500 or more for a complete luxury installation, programmable showers let you digitally set your water temperature, volume, and even massage settings before you step in. To achieve a personalized shower experience, you'll need 120 volt power source, and the thermostatic valve and controller in addition to your standard shower head or heads. Luxury models may include a steam system, a Wi-Fi source for music, multiple body spray outlets, tankless water heater, and the secondary controller to start the system from another room.

Dock your iPhone or MP3 player directly with your speaker equipped, high-tech toilet so you can entertain yourself on the commode.  While you're not likely to invest $4000-$6000 for a Kohler Numi toilet using this technology today, start looking for competitive models later in the year with lower prices.

Catch up on news and weather while you brush your teeth. Television screens are being integrated into medicine cabinets and vanity mirrors. Cost? Early entries to the market command a premium $2200-$2400 price tag.

Plug your smart phone or MP3 player into your medicine cabinet so you won't miss a call or song while you're getting ready for work or bed.  A built in jack keeps your unit charged ( and away from wet countertops) and linked to a built-in speaker system.

Trend #3 Aging Demographics Emphasize Safety

It's not just high-tech that bringing an experience to the bathroom.  Trends in universal design features added comfort, convenience, and safety. But that doesn't mean your bathroom has to look institutional. Here are a few universal design innovations that can factor helpfully and stylishly in your 2012 remodeling plans.

Sleek, low-profile linear drains are ideal for creating safe, zero threshold shower designs. Unlike standard round drain covers that are typically mounted near the front end of the shower, these long, straight drains can be installed in different locations to minimize the slope of the shower floor. One popular location is at the outside edge of the shower,creating a wheelchair friendly curbless shower.  More offerings in more finishes - including nearly invisible tile-in channel modes that are largely covered by shower floor tile- are becoming the standard for upscale spaces.  You'll spend $500-$900 for a quality linear drain. 

The rapidly expanding selection of porcelain, glass, and ceramic tiles makes it easy to find slip resistant, low maintenance floors that don't skimp on style.  Expect to see faux wood, linen, and uniquely textured looks for tiled bathroom floors and walls in 2012.  The texture adds both visible impact and better traction for wet feet.

The accessible tub is no longer limited to the high walled, narrow door format that dominated the market in the last decade. Newer models, such as Kohler's Elevance ($5,100) employ rising panels in front that give more of a traditional tub look with easier entry and exit. Others use standard hinged, sealed doors, but are increasing door width by several inches for better accessibility and appearance.

What improvements-big or small-are you planning for your bathroom this year?

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  1. Aging Demographics Emphasize Safety...I never thought about that before.Thanks for sharing valuable post!!
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  2. What is the use of a beautiful bathroom if the fixtures are not functioning well. You just have to make sure that your pipes and water connections are installed properly and in good condition. with that you can make sure that your bathroom is completely operational.

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  3. Great ideas here. I'm definitely going to try to incorporate more green and/or technological products into my Austin bathroom remodeling projects. Thanks!

  4. Many people these days are reinvesting in their homes by remodeling or renovating them. A great way to add lasting beauty and gain curb appeal, is to rework or redo the exterior of the house. There are literally hundreds of options when it comes to changing the look of your home. Roofing, windows, trims, wall coverings... the list is endless.

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  5. Thanks everyone for the comments! I really enjoy feedback.

  6. Thanks for Sharing with us...which are making such a wonderful bathroom..ada remodeling