Kitchen & Bath Design News

APR 2014

Kitchen & Bath Design News is the industry's leading business, design and product resource for the kitchen and bath trade.

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44 | Kitchen & Bath Design News April 2014 By Elizabeth Richards Product Trend Report T he desire for a space in the home where serenity is top priority has driven the hydrotherapy market for years. Whether selecting from among the wide range of therapeutic bathing options, steam showers or saunas, creating a day spa environment in the bathroom is important to busy homeowners who just want to relax. Recent years have seen the development of new therapy op- tions, such as combination air and water jets, and other unique ways of moving water in the tub. At the same time, chromather- apy, aromatherapy and music have become more standard, and manufacturers are working now to consider what comes next. "It's a little bit more evolutionary," says Stacy Zar, direc- tor of marketing and new product development for Aquatic in Anaheim, CA. At present, elements important to designers and customers they serve include smart technology, personal choice, multi- sensory stress relief and the opportunity for total relaxation, according to manufacturers recently surveyed by KBDN. "The need for relaxation comes out frst and foremost," says Tracy Jaeger, director of marketing for Kohler bathing products based in Kohler, WI. "People are just so busy that when they actually have the opportunity to take a bath, to really just spend that time, it sometimes becomes less about functionality and more about the experience." Multiple hydrotherapies can get end users to the relaxation they desire, Jaeger adds. Kohler has created a continuum with four technologies designed to get the bather from relaxation to revitalization. She says the most relaxing is the company's VibrAcoustics, which transmits sound waves into the water, allowing the bather to both hear and feel the music. Tena Dick, marketing manager for Jason International, Inc. in North Little Rock, AR, agrees. "Everyone is under stress and looking for ways to relax. A bath is its own little respite, and it ofers us a comfortable escape from the day's stressors." To achieve this release, a bath must be a quiet, serene experi- ence, she adds. "Homeowners want a quiet hydrotherapy bath, whether air or whirlpool, to allow full relaxation," she says, citing Jason's Quiet Design technology. MULTI-SENSORY EXPERIENCES Consumers are also looking for a therapeutic experience that engages several senses simultaneously – which designers can achieve with the addition of lights, music and scents to the tub, steam or sauna room, manufacturers say. "More consumers are expressing interest in adding music and colored lights to their steam showers and saunas," says Jim Hass, sales director for Woodinville, WA-based Amerec. Dan Reinert, v.p./sales for Long Island City, NY-based Mr. Steam, agrees. "We see consumers looking for alternative thera- pies – aromatherapy, chromatherapy, music therapy and steam therapy – in a much larger manner than ever before," he notes. Mitch Altman, CEO at ThermaSol in Simi Valley, CA, concurs: "The biggest trends are chromatherapy, aromatherapy, music, and the holistic beneft they provide." He also sees Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technology being added to provide wider options for the bather, for those who like to check email, catch up on news or watch a favorite program while they relax. Michael Kornowa, director of marketing at MTI Baths in Sugar Hill, GA, says that interest in MTI's Radiance system, which uses radiant heat to heat the interior tub surface, con- As the spa bath continues to evolve, designers are upgrading these spaces with hydrotherapy, steam and sauna options that include everything from new water jet and microbubble technologies to integrated music, chromatherapy, aromatherapy, touchscreen technology and unique ways of moving the water around the tub. With forceful propulsion of water and warm air, the Produits Neptune Whirlpool System provides a deep tissue massage that oxygenates the muscles, while stimulating the blood fow and circulatory system. Water fow is adjustable, from soothing to energetic, and multi- directional jets located strategically along the contour of the bathtub make it easy to focus on specifc stress points. The tub provides a simultaneous neck, back and foot massage. Circle No. 158 on Product Card With the Power Zone System from CG Air Systemes, the user can control four diferent zones of whirlpool jets individually. The user can choose and adjust the desired speed of the sequence to create a personalized experience. Circle No. 159 on Product Card The Melinda 7 tub from MTI Baths is fashioned from acrylic and features a transitional design. Handcrafted in the U.S., it is ofered in 12 high-gloss colors. A stylized rolled lip transitions into a fat top, widening out on one side to accommodate deck-mounted faucetry. The tub is available as a whirlpool with 6-point massage jets, 12 micro- jets with Tsubo massage, an air bath with 20 air jets and a heated air blower or a soaker. Circle No. 157 on Product Card Evanescence baths in the ThermoMasseur category from BainUltra ofer the therapeutic benefts of hydro- thermo massage. Bathers looking for the therapeutic benefts of chromatherapy and thermotherapy can choose from Evanescence baths in the ThermaSens category, which includes baths that hold heat in the tub's surface. Circle No. 155 on Product Card The Duravit Starck 2 tub is designed for the optimum wellness experience. This new version of the tub has an integrated neck rest and comfortable depth for relaxing bathing. The Starck 2 tub also incorporates a whirltub system, with jets of diferent functions and massage efects. Additional available features include: LED lights, an in-line heater, an ozone module, waterproof speakers and foating remote control. Circle No. 156 on Product Card KBD_44-47_PTR.indd 44 3/17/14 10:38 AM

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