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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46 | Kitchen & Bath Design News April 2014 Product Trend Report water jets, creating a quiet, spa-like experience. Jaeger says that bubble massage generates the most inter- est, capitalizing on the fact that it's perceived to be a cleaner technology, as well as the ability to use oils and create a dif- ferent experience with this technology. With Kohler's air bath technology, the user has control over the diferent zones, and an ability to turn of the bubbles at the top to allow for experiences such as reading a magazine while bathing, she says. But whirlpools still have their place, she adds, ofering a more targeted massage to specifc muscles when needed. Kohler has recently launched combination hydrotherapies, which ofer the best of both worlds, she notes. "The best beneft is the fexibility of usage," says Jaeger. With a combination tub, multiple users in the household can still get exactly the experience they desire. Dick says consumers are looking for a "natural" experience. This trend ties into Jason's new MicroSilk, in which "tiny micro- sized bubbles raise oxygen levels in the bath, as well as reach gently into pores to cleanse, exfoliate and hydrate the skin." These bubbles implode rather than explode, she says, which maintains a warm water temperature, and releases therapeutic levels of ions into the air. SMART CONTROLS Though the sensory experiences must be plentiful, the need for easy controls over these functions must also be considered. Consumers are used to touch screens and smart technology throughout their daily lives. It stands to reason that they would expect this technology to extend to their bath. "We're technology-driven consumers," states Charlie Snider, project sales director for Diamond Spas in Frederick, CO. He says that control systems, phone apps, Internet access and Bluetooth sound systems are all important to the home spa experience. Altman adds, "The touch screen is the new item bathers want for ease of use. All touch screens are presently mounted to the wall like traditional steam shower controls. Thermasol, however, went a step further, with a tablet control that puts the bather in the seated relaxed position for any adjustments in all of the steam showers features." Reinert says, "What is becoming second nature in our lives is now moving into the shower. Touch-screen controls that are impervious to moisture and heat, such as the iSteam control released by Mr. Steam in 2013, are now becoming must-have items for the steam shower." He adds that the ability to control additional wellness add-on therapies is easier than ever, al- lowing the steam bath user to transform their shower into a sensory spa. Hass also sees manufacturers starting to adapt smart phone technology to steam and sauna controls. "Apps to turn the steam and sauna on are gaining interest," he says. "We're also getting re- quests to connect the steam and sauna to SmartHouse systems." STEAM AND SAUNA Rising awareness of water conservation and new laws that limit water consumption mean that some people are moving away from body sprays and jetted baths, says Hass. "Steam and sauna are viable alternatives that use very small amounts of water. A 30-minute steam bath consumes less than two gallons and the only water required for a sauna is to sprinkle water on the heater stones," he says. Reinert agrees, "We believe there is a trend towards water conservation in the home and, in particular, the bathroom. A steam generator is a true water conserver as a typical unit for an average-sized shower will only use one gallon of water for every 20 minutes of use." Altman sees a shift due to environmental factors, as well. "The use of tubs is declining and shower systems' water fows are being ever restricted due to water concerns. The steam shower is the true environmentally friendly product for total relaxation, and cleansing of the body without using more than a few gallons of water," he says. Izzi Bath introduces the Dual Therapy whirlpool for two bathers. Standard equipment includes two 6-jet clusters of micro pulsating back jets, two multi-speed motors with massage modes, an electronic control with temperature read-out that runs both motors as well as an in-foor air system, inline heaters and a chromatherapy LED light. The in-foor air system boasts a 1-hp heater air blower and stainless steel multi-port jets with check valves that are completely fush in the foor. Circle No. 173 on Product Card The Amerec T100 Touch Screen steam system includes a range of features, including a large touch screen with time and temperature display as well as a proximity sensor that welcomes the approaching bather. Additional features include: programmable operation, multiple language, temperature and time format settings, and sleek European design. Circle No. 175 on Product Card The Freedom Free Standing bath from Oceania Baths incorporates channeled Air Bath technology. The tub features a clean, contemporary outside design combined with an interior that features tapered armrests for comfort. Warm air exceeding 115 degrees can provide a relaxing bathing experience for one or two bathers. The design incorporates the SuperSilent Air Blower inside the skirt that negates remote locating of the blower. Circle No. 174 on Product Card The AudioWizard shower music system from Mr. Steam introduces immersive sound quality to the shower. With the touch of a button, wireless AudioWizard connects to nearly any smart phone or other audio device via Bluetooth, retaining up to eight devices in memory. Set it once, and then whenever one of the eight devices is in range, it will automatically sync with the AudioWizard. The unit allows the user to select tracks and control volume safely from inside the shower. It is customizable for up to four speakers. Circle No. 172 on Product Card The Parker minimalist bathtub from Laurel Mountain Whirlpool is ofered in seven sizes, with each size available as a drop-in or alcove model. In addition to being available as a soaking tub, all models are also ofered as a whirlpool, air bath and combination tub. Circle No. 168 on Product Card The Total Sense Home Spa System from Steamist allows users to tailor the system to their individual preferences with options such as aromatherapy, chromatherapy and in-shower audio. Total Sense also ofers touch-screen controls with pre-programmed user profles, Bluetooth technology and a new mySteamist mobile application that activates the system from a smartphone or tablet. Circle No. 170 on Product Card Kohler ofers VibrAcoustic technology on all nine models of its Underscore bath line. VibrAcoustic is a technology-based sound therapy defned as hearing and feeling sound vibrations through the body. The bather can stream music and podcasts through the bath from a mobile device, or select one of four experiences that integrate music, vibration and chromatherapy. The acrylic Underscore bath is available in nine sizes and fve colors with both drop-in and undermount installation. Circle No. 169 on Product Card Made from recycled metals, the Ofuro Tub from Diamond Spas is fabricated with a built-in bench seat, multiple jets and a deep well for a relaxing, massaging soak. The tub measures 42" round x 35". Photo: Brent Bingham Circle No. 171 on Product Card KBD_44-47_PTR.indd 46 3/17/14 10:40 AM

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