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The future of bathrooms is sustainable

Date Added: 01.12.2022

The future of bathrooms is sustainable

What does the future hold for the home improvement sector?

As we approach winter and the cost of living and rising inflation bite, you may be wondering what the future holds for the home improvement sector.

While every business and individual will need to ride the price increase storm over the coming months, fortunately, the business-to-consumer outlook is predicted to remain buoyant according to some experts. In fact, the cost of living crisis is thought to be behind the rise in the number of households deciding to make home improvements within the next year. According to research conducted by the Mortgage Advice Bureau, of the improvements, 26% said they planned to install a new bathroom, which should give confidence to suppliers, retailers and fitters alike.

So why are consumers looking to make home improvements when the cost of living is set to increase? The Mortgage Advice Bureau found that for 50%, it is to improve the look of their property, but for nearly the same number again (43%), it is to improve their home’s efficiency and EPC ratings to mitigate the soaring energy bills.

Indeed, the Kitchen Bathroom Buying Group (KBBG) is optimistic about the coming months, despite the economic uncertainty, citing householders’ desire to future-proof their homes for the long-term by investing in sustainable technology as a reason to remain positive.

Enter the sustainable bathroom

This is a timely reminder of the government’s plan to achieve net-zero gas emissions by 2050; an ambitious target that will take a committed and sustained effort from all reaches of society. In addition to cutting greenhouse gas emissions to as close to zero as possible, it is recognised that if water efficiency action is not increased, the UK
could be hit by water shortages by 2050.

Water is a precious resource and it can’t be taken for granted. The UK is a typically rainy country, which often distracts from the issue. However, due to climate change, we are seeing increasingly hot summers, meaning the water supply will become more unpredictable. In fact, many areas of the country are already subject to water stress, with 12 out of the 23 water companies rated as being under ‘serious’ stress by the Environment Agency.

Bathroom technology is continuously changing, no more so thanwith ways to increase water efficiency, helping to save the planet at the same time. The average amount of water used per person in the UK is 150 litres a day; to be sustainable, this needs to be reduced to 110 litres.

As bathroom suppliers and retailers, we have a part to play in educating our customers on how this can be achieved. Low-flow and aerated showerheads reduce water flow without compromising on pressure, and a dual-flush toilet typically saves around six litres of water per flush compared to old-style flush systems. Simply replacing a leaking toilet can save between 200 to 400 litres of water a day while upgrading a dripping tap can save around 5,500 litres per year. Using water limiting products, such as the GROHE Ecojoy taps, could save up to 50% of water compared to a standard tap.

GROHE cold-start taps are another way of improving energy efficiency in bathrooms. By only providing cold water when the tap lever is in the middle position, it makes running warm water a conscious decision and thus prevents unnecessary heating.

Bathroom retailers also need to play their part in building a more sustainable planet by investing in eco-friendly manufacturing activities. Focusing on sustainability makes good business sense, especially when energy prices are high. By implementing automated and progressive technology, applying eco-design principles to products and ensuring goods are made to last for many years, we can all do our bit to save the planet.

Looking ahead to 2023

Amid the backdrop of growing economic and environmental uncertainty, the call from consumers is clear – sustainable, energy-efficient products. As we look to next year, there are a number of stand-out trends customers will be investing in, one of which is products that aid hygiene.

Perhaps hastened by the pandemic, hygiene products such as the Geberit AquaClean are growing in popularity. The toilet, which offers cleaning with water rather than paper, boasts energy savings and a lower environmental impact while guaranteeing a more hygienic way to clean. Meanwhile, the GROHE Sensia Arena smart shower toilet takes hygiene to the next level. As well as providing water cleaning, it is also equipped with precise motion-activated sensors which prompt the lid to automatically open and close when you approach the toilet and when you move away from it. An optional automatic flush system makes it completely touch-free.

The hygiene credentials don’t stop there. Touchless activation flushing and taps, such as the GROHE BAU Cosmo E infra-red tap, remove the need for all points of contact. Water is only dispensed when the sensor is activated, meaning less water wastage and less chance of lingering germs.

Wall-hung toilets are another product that are anticipated to increase in popularity. A wall-hung toilet hides all technical components, where dirt can gather, behind a wall, which means easier and faster cleaning and less opportunity for dirt to accumulate.

The next few months may be a bumpy ride for businesses and consumers as the impact of the cost of living hits homes, but the long-term outlook remains positive, with many still planning to invest in high-ticket items like bathrooms. Whatever happens, Ideal will be there to support its customers wherever possible.

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