According to new research from the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), 60 percent of homeowners want technology in their master bathrooms. Their goal: to enhance the space with products and capabilities that create a comfortable, relaxing and safe area.
Top-of-mind tech solutions for homeowners include smart showers, heated floors, centralized and motion-control lighting, leak detection devices connected to mobile apps, sound systems, and connectivity.
These findings are part of the NKBA Bathroom Technology and Awareness and Usage Report, commissioned by NKBA in collaboration with CEDIA, the Custom Electronics Design and Installation Association. The goal of the study was to better understand awareness and usage of technology in the bathroom by consumers as compared with the professional design and whole-home technology integrators’ understanding of consumer wants and knowledge on the topic.
While 60 percent of consumers feel technology is essential in the master bathroom, 60 percent of designers, and 68 percent of technology pros do not, demonstrating a significant gap between consumer knowledge and use as compared with trade professional awareness of consumer knowledge and use of the technology.
“Homeowners are to bringing technology into their homes,” said Suzie Williford, EVP of industry relations and chief strategy officer of NKBA. “In this instance, they are knowledgeable about what’s out there and are comfortable asking for it. We continue to study the market, learning what’s driving homeowners. Sharing these insights with our members and collaborative partners like CEDIA helps chart a course for deeper collaboration. Together, we deliver the beautiful, safe, functional homes.”
Homeowners are savvy about their desire for smart plumbing devices like automatic temperature adjustment (69 percent), hands-free or touch-free faucets (64 percent), water leak alerts to mobile devices (63 percent), hands-free/touch-free toilet (63 percent), and tubs/showers that can be adjusted remotely from mobile devices (56 percent). Lighting controls from one location (60 percent) and motion-sensor lighting (59 percent) are also top items for homeowners.
Designers and technology integrators collaborating on master bathroom projects can add value to their roles by alleviating homeowner questions, providing confidence and guiding product decisions. Despite integrators actively promoting structured wiring, remote locks, and video monitoring, few homeowners have experience with these products. Homeowners perceive brands like Kohler, Samsung, Amazon, and Google as cutting-edge manufacturers/providers in the master bathroom space. By bringing technology integrators into project planning discussions early, the integrators and designers can help homeowners make better decisions and plan for seamless design and tech integration.
Designers would appreciate receiving more training and education from technology integrators, offering broad overviews of bathroom technology, presentations on successful integrations and pricing guidelines. The opportunity for designers and technology integrators to partner on master bathroom projects is great, as homeowners value the advice offered by designers and integrators to create a smooth integration of technology systems throughout their home – without a “techy” look.