As the Coronavirus pandemic unfolded, revised standards in bathroom design quickly came into play. Wellness is now a homeowner prerequisite to bathroom upgrades, promoting spiritual, mental, emotional and physical well-being.
The Global Wellness Institute defines wellness as the active pursuit of activities, choices and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health. As the pandemic continues to have lasting effects on our well-being, homeowners have become increasingly aware of adding updates to the home to accommodate optimal holistic health and well-being.
One of those updates includes making the shower work for us, not against us.
Consumers now have an increased interest in taking their bathroom remodels and showers to the next level by creating the ultimate bathroom oasis. Linear drains can play a key role in accommodating emerging wellness trends such as well-being, cleanliness, sustainability and multi-generational living.
The bathroom sanctuary
While stuck at home, many homeowners found new ways to increase well-being and manage stress in the bathroom. Managing stress by adding the necessary self-care amenities allows consumers to regenerate in the comfort of their own homes. There is an increasing demand for amenities like steam showers, extra-deep soaking tubs, water filtration, heated floors and voice-activated smart features that promote relaxation for the homeowner.
Inspired by luxurious “wet-room” spa baths in upscale hotels and health clubs, consumers of all ages now seek to enjoy the same look and feel at home to promote well-being. Part of that look is linear drains used in curbless showers, which are widespread thanks to the way they marry style and functionality. A curbless shower means cleaner lines in the bathroom, less visual clutter and added accessibility, all of which enhance well-being and promote an open concept bathroom. Curbless showers feature striking linear drains that add a clean, contemporary European feel.
Superior performance in a curbless shower starts with a single directional slope with a linear drain spanning wall to wall at the bottom of the slope. Eliminating the compound slope in the shower pan opens up new opportunities for design, allowing users to create an uninterrupted flow from bathroom to shower with beautiful large format tile and solid surface materials.
In addition, linear-drain cover designs continue to evolve. Previously, a shower drain might be seen as an afterthought at best. Today, there are numerous attractive designs available to match the stylistic direction of the overall bathroom, complementing different motifs and esthetics.
It's no secret that the coronavirus crisis reinforced the importance of illness prevention and health optimization.
Manufacturing products from materials such as 316L stainless steel that are antimicrobial are essential parts of product development in the bath space. Ease of maintenance within showers for hotels, hospitals and homeowners is crucial to enhancing the remodeling project’s longevity.
A linear drain offers lower maintenance because it can be integrated with larger-format tiles. The latter reduces the number of grout joints and seams where mold, mildew and grime can take hold – making the shower area easier to clean. The idea of a wall-to-wall linear drain, from a design perspective, not only maximizes drainage, but also offers a clean look that enhances the homeowner’s shower experience.
There is an increased focus on sustainable solutions in the wake of COVID-19, such as using recycled materials to reduce our footprint in the building process. According to The Global Wellness Institute, wellness is multidimensional and includes promoting (1) a healthy physical environment free of hazards; and (2) awareness of the role we play in bettering rather than denigrating the natural environment.
As sustainability pertains to wellness, there is an increased focus on using sustainable solutions in the bathroom, such as efficient faucets, water-saving showerheads and LED lighting. In both the commercial and residential segments, there is an equal focus on the sustainable renovation of bathroom spaces. The needs revolve around implementing products and materials that offer layout flexibility as well as energy efficiency.
Linear drains can accommodate a variety of shower-floor panels and environmentally friendly options, such as QuickDrain’s PET (polyethylene terephthalate) rigid-foam shower pans, fabricated from recycled, plastic water and soda bottles. There are many opportunities to create a sustainably designed bathroom environment that will, in turn, enhance wellness and offer a guilt-free, relaxing bath experience.
According to Colin Milner, CEO of the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA), the senior living industry has embraced wellness to address shifting expectations and mindsets toward aging. According to USA Today, multi-generational households are on the rise as a result of the pandemic, as some families find themselves isolated due to travel restrictions between states and other hurdles — as well as the financial and emotional benefits of residing together. To accommodate different generations in the home, we're seeing an increasing demand for accessibility in the bathroom and shower.
Linear drains used in curbless showers provide a universal design that fits comfortably into multi-generational living conditions. Homeowners benefit any time safety measures can be taken into consideration within an upgraded bathroom design. Linear drains in curbless showers are the ideal design solution for creating ADA-compliant showers and universally accessible wet areas. With no barrier to cross, the floor more easily accommodates a freestanding bench, a wheelchair, or other mobility aids.
An added benefit: Linear drains avoid the institutional look of so many ADA bathrooms, especially with upscale options that practically disappear into the wall — such as QuickDrain’s WallDrain.
The pandemic has definitely shifted homeowner perspectives and expectations. Their health and overall wellness concerns will impact the future of home-design for years to come. One place to start is in the bathroom, where linear drains nicely align with the surging consumer trends of wellness, cleanliness, sustainability and multi-generational living.