Bath automation is a new trend hitting the renovation market by storm. Electrical adapters and controllers transform traditional plumbing fixtures into high tech devices designed for the ultimate in luxury and comfort. But how do these components enhance your bathroom remodel and will they add long-term value? Find out more about this addition to the modern bathroom renovation.
What Is Bath Automation?
According to real estate experts, automation is one of the leading bathroom remodel trends. Adding high tech gadgets for entertainment purposes and to better control shower, sink and even toilet function has become a hot design model for homes in every price range.
Big box stores sell tech devices for the bathroom, while high end fixture manufacturers offer full systems to enhance the experience in your bathroom. European manufacturers, such as Viega from Germany, have been producing automated fixtures for some time, although the trend has only recently begun to appear in American bathrooms.
Bathroom automation encompasses a variety of processes, including digital showers, heated flooring and LED lighting, automated window treatments and exhaust fans and entertainment systems. Any device wired into the bathroom and fixtures fitted with electronic controls are considered part of an automated system.
The term automation refers to a wide range of products and interior design. The ultimate in bathroom automation creates a multi-functional space, like the Roca Active & Relax Bathroom, whereas more attainable designs are available from retailers like Moen and American Standard.
Where to Incorporate the Process Into Your Reno
Decide on the proper elements of automation for your space. Think about who uses the bathroom and how often. Investing in bathroom automation for a guest bath or powder room makes little sense, but spending the extra money to upgrade your master ensuite may be ideal.
Automation can be custom designed to suit your needs, but consider these popular or common options:
- In the Tub - various controls help to create the ultimate tub experience, including auto-fillers that allow for a pre-set water amount and temperature, heaters, tub lights and auto-empty controls.
- In the Shower - digital showers like the ioDigital from Moen allow you to customize your shower experience, including pressure, temperature and timing. Expect a perfect shower every time.
- On the Windows - privacy is very important in the bathroom, and automated window coverings allow you to enjoy natural light without worrying about a lack of privacy. Blinds and drapes may be closed by remote or set on a timer.
- In the Lighting - digital timers and LED fixtures create more efficient, comfortable illumination around the mirrors, within the shower and in virtually any corner of the bathroom.
- In the Floor - radiant heating creates a cozy feeling and the latest floor heating systems, such as the models from Nuheat, operate at peak efficiency to control your expenses and maintain warmth.
- In the Walls - add music and visual entertainment with bathroom automation systems that offer video and stereo capabilities. Some systems mount behind the mirror for seamless design, while others can be incorporated into a blank wall space or even take the place of a window. Use your imagination and consider whether these aspects of automation suit your lifestyle and habits.
How Much Does Bathroom Automation Cost?
Your required investment depends on the type of system installed, as well as the current condition of your bathroom. Retrofitting a high tech device into an older home could be much more expensive than merely upgrading your modern bathroom with a programmable shower system.
Talk to your bathroom contractor about the options available for your bathroom remodel. They will assess the conditions and offer prices based on product availability and installation costs.
Be prepared to pay a premium for newly introduced products, as the first round of consumers often covers the cost of innovation. Look for last year's models for better deals and ask retailers about clearance items with solid warranty coverage.
Bathroom automation can add thousands of dollars to the average bathroom remodel, but conventional bathrooms cannot compare to the experience and atmosphere offered in these high tech spaces. Consider the value of your renovation investment and make the right choice for your family and property.
The Buzz Words
You'll come across several words when researching bathroom automation, and new designs are being introduced every season. Learn the basics to ensure you choose the best types of features in your bathroom remodel.
- Chromatherapy - this bathroom design combines shower and tub sprays and faucets with mood lighting to create a more enhanced experience. Chromatherapy fixtures include programmable controls and often incorporate music using water-proof speakers.
- Thermostatic - these controls offer settings for water pressure and temperature. Some come with remote control capabilities and others adjust water flow to account for other appliances and fixtures in your home.
- Rain Shower Heads - these shower heads are very popular in hotels and can be combined with thermostatic controls to create a customized shower experience in your home. Rain shower heads tend to be wider than common heads, and release larger water droplets much like you would see in a rain storm.
- Heating Mats - installed under your bathroom floor, these components of a floor heating system will not raise the floor and often come with thermostat controls for optimum comfort.
- Interface - a general term referring to the screen or pad that you use to control settings within your automation system. An interface is often mounted on the wall, although some systems offer virtual interfaces loaded onto your smartphone or computer screen.
Consider how bath automation could enhance your bathroom remodel with customized fixtures, mood lighting and more privacy at the touch of a button. Price out your favorite features and learn the buzz words to ensure you make the best decisions for your home and family. Innovations abound in this industry and your bathroom may never be the same again.Posted by: diana