Shower power

There’s nothing quite like the blast of a powerful shower to truly blow the cobwebs away in the morning.

It's a much-needed wake-up call on those days when you feel like pulling the duvet back over your head. So, if you’ve ever stood beneath a pitiful trickle of water, you’ll know how important the right shower can be. The shower tends to be the most technically-advanced product in the bathroom, whether it’s a digital model that allows you to use a remote control to set the water to your desired temperature before jumping in, or an aerated shower head that cuts down on water consumption.

“Enclosures, controls and shower heads, together with low-height trays and wet rooms mean that showering products, more than ever before, are probably the most important choice a consumer or professional designer has to make,” says Yvonne Orgill, chief executive of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association.

“Enhanced showering systems are a big trend at the moment,” says Gavin Derighetti of Victor Paris Bathrooms. “We’re actually seeing customers with smaller bathroomsm doing away with their bath. Some customers do ask if it will devalue their home. However, if you’re looking to stay somewhere for a long time, then we think it’s important to live for the now.” Gavin highlights digital showering as a key growth area, along with fixed heads and hand-held sprays for the days you don’t fancy getting your hair wet.

Aerated shower heads, which drag air into the water through the shower head, not only offer a premium shower experience, but are eco-friendly too. “Air technology gives you a really nice shower,” he says. “Air is sucked into the water flowing through the shower head, which creates extra large droplets which burst on impact. The shower uses less water than a conventional product and less energy since not as much water needs to be heated.”

“Even for professional designers, the myriad of shower styles on the market is inspiring,” says interior designer Kate Mooney. “Technology is evolving frequently and the creative opportunities are limitless. “Shower heads seem to be getting bigger and bigger and combining water with air creates the most fantastic shower sensation.” she adds.

Enclosures and bath screens are becoming increasingly ‘frameless’ in design. “Highly engineered systems with thicker safety glass and clever adjustable hinges and rails have improved their look and have a more upmarket feel nowadays,” says Yvonne Orgill. “Enclosure glass itself is undergoing an interesting development and patterned glass is beginning to appear. Decorated and coloured glass panels are also back in demand. This ‘retro-chic’ is inspired by the glass of the eighties and early nineties.”

Glass thickness is increasing as frame design becomes more minimal, with some glass specially treated using ‘nanotechnology’ to help keep it clean and free from droplet marks. It gives the room a fluid feel and softens hard edges to create a more sociable space.