Gray Uhl, director of design for American Standard, shares what is driving product design and selection:
1. Small Spaces: The trend toward downsizing or right-sizing is driven by baby boomers, Uhl says. Bathroom footprints are staying small. Uhl states, “There’s development in new products and fixtures for functionality, but the scale is smaller”. Contemporary design and freestanding bathtubs are seeing an uptick, since sleek design elements create the illusion of space.
2. Multigenerational Access: Uhl says he & his team hear regularly about customers whose grown children have moved back in, or who have aging parents that must live with them. “We try to design products that work across generations”, Uhl stated. For example, rising vanity heights enables the older generation to access what they need more easily.
3. Water Consumption: Uhl says that American Standard went to a 1.5-gallon-per-minute flow rate on all its bathroom faucets last year, without any complaints from consumers. Many showerheads are manufactured to maximize the sensation of a drenching shower at a lower flow rate.
Water savings is important because, as Uhl states, “64% of the U.S. is experiencing some level of drought”, and “the average American uses 100 gallons of water per day, compared to Europeans who use 50 to 60 per day”. Simply changing out fixtures can have a dramatic impact on household water use.
Article summarized from remodelingmagazine.com, author Lauren Hunter, October 2013.