Published onMay 17th, 2021
Intelligent Toilets with Sounds and More: Bathroom Plumbing Trends with a Luxury Feel
Americans may think they lead the pack in technology, but when it comes to bathrooms, the US is still mostly living in the 19th century while Japan is in the 21st. Here’s a peek at bathroom innovations you may want to incorporate into your property, including intelligent toilets with sounds and other luxury elements that will make your bathroom feel like a five-star hotel.
The Marvel of Japanese Toilets
Japanese toilets have been ahead of the rest of the world for decades. The Toto brand led the way with models that offered a range of features at the push of a button. They were so sophisticated that they made American toilets look antiquated by comparison. Lucky for the Western world, their toilet technology is now available internationally
American brands have entered the scene. Kohler and other well-known brands of fixtures and plumbing projects have options that are readily available here in the United States.
Using a high-tech Japanese-style toilet starts with selecting sounds from a menu on the wall or the side of the toilet. Bathroom visitors can choose from rain or flushing sounds, as well as music and other soothing noises.
This not only relaxes the person using the bathroom, but it also creates an acoustical barrier with the outside world. As you can imagine, this feature is popular with public toilets as well as those installed in private residences. If you have a home or office with just one busy commode, this is a fantastic solution to privacy issues.
Once you’ve used the toilet, the cleansing element is the next pleasant step. The cleansing feature works like a bidet, spraying temperature-controlled water and then drying the user’s backside to eliminate the need for toilet tissue completely.
This saves on paper products, making these toilets environmentally and economically friendly. It also reduces the spread of germs and lowers the risk of infections below the waist from intestinal bacteria.
Many people outside of Japan became enamored by intelligent toilets last year when toilet paper was in short supply!
Deodorizing and cleaning
Finally, when the user is done, intelligent toilets have automatic deodorizing and cleaning elements. The bowl is coated with a material to resist staining, and after the flush, a mist of electrolyzed water disinfects even further. Charcoal filters and optional deodorizing sprays leave the room fresh for the next person.
Toilet cleaning has been at the forefront of bathroom technology since the pandemic and the discovery that the coronavirus can be found in human waste. Microbe-resistant coatings are going to be more prevalent in the near future. They’re already in demand on sink faucet components, in addition to touchless technology.
Additional Toilet Features
Inspiration from Japan
Original Japanese toilets included other features as well, and some of these have been picked up by toilet manufacturers marketing models in the United States. Look for these elements to make using the bathroom easier, less expensive, and more enjoyable:
- Heated seats for cold days
- Low-volume flushing to save water
- Built-in night lights for safety
- Motion sensors to raise and lower lids for convenience
Other Luxury Bathroom Innovations
Upgrading your bathroom with luxury and technology isn’t limited to the toilet. Here are a host of other hot new items that are soaring in popularity.
Luxury doesn’t always have to mean high tech. One place where bathroom design is changing a lot is with sinks. Conventional porcelain is being replaced by raised bowls made of glass and metal to perfectly match the decor. Some bowls are so stunning that they resemble works of art in the bathroom.
If you’ve ever been to a spa or hotel with incredible showers, you may have wanted one for your home or for your rental property to entice high-end tenants. Now, it’s easier than ever. Popular features include:
- Multiple shower heads for couples or families to shower together
- Rain shower heads
- Side sprayers with high-volume capability
- Light features for ambiance or water temperature indication
- Thermostatic valves for consistent temperature
Stand-alone bathtubs with extras
The tub is giving the shower a run for its money with luxury extras of its own. No longer are bathtubs tied to shower stalls. Freestanding tubs are the rage right now with many elements adding to their aesthetics or functionality:
- Hand-held sprayers
- Air baths for massaging bubbles
- Mood lighting
- Japanese-style soaking tubs for small spaces and kids
- New shapes and materials (e.g., square tubs made of copper or carved stone)
For some people, luxury is intertwined with sustainability, like green spas. As well as automatic light switches to conserve electricity and low-flow toilets, other elements of sustainable bathroom design include flow rate limiters on sinks, cold water-only settings on faucets, and digital faucets (some include a tooth brushing timer) to limit water use.
There’s no end to the ways you can make your bathroom feel tailored just for the user once you start exploring new technology. A few other components you may want to try include:
- Black matte faucets and fixtures for a sleek, modern look
- Refrigerated bathroom cabinets to keep medications and expensive products chilled to prolong their shelf life
- Built-in mini-fridges for beverages and snacks
- Sink spigots that show the water temperature with colored LED lights (ideal for children, seniors, and those with certain disabilities)
- Waterproof television sets (safer than using a phone or tablet in the bath)
- Control panels to monitor and change bathroom settings from one location
Call Sanitary Plumbing Today to Start Your Bathroom Upgrade
New York City’s hyper-local blue-chip plumbing experts
If your bathroom is ready for a step up, whether for you or your tenants, Sanitary Plumbing is here to help. We can advise you on remodeling based on your current plumbing and perform plumbing upgrades as needed to give you the bath of your dreams.
With all the time we spend at home these days, there’s no reason not to make your bathroom feel like your personal spa. Call us at 212-734-5000, or schedule an appointment online for a consultation at your convenience.