A first for South Africa – bathroom taps that combine style with water-saving technology

By Veruska de Vita

Building a brand new home or looking to do a bathroom makeover? Then carefully consider the types of taps and faucets to install. There are myriad selections to choose from and it helps to narrow it down so that your final purchase consists of fixtures that not only look fabulous, but are of exceptional quality and do much more than just ensure that your hot and cold water balance is just right.

Wendy Williams, Director of Engel & Völkers Southern Africa explains that a common thread that has been evident in bathroom design trends for 2018 is that homeowners are relying on tech, tiles and bold accents to make their bath time more engaging for the senses.

“Consumers are looking for fixtures that are not only stylish, but also functional. For faucets, this means advanced and enhanced functionality, innovative spray patterns that reduce water wastage, unique designs, self-cleaning and touch or hands-free activation. Consumers are looking to streamline without compromising quality, looks or longevity,” says Williams.

“Many buyers and investors look for homes that are already water wise or can be converted into a water-saving property with minimal additions and alterations, especially in areas such as the Western Cape. Technologically advanced, water-wise bathrooms can be a dealmaker in these instances,” continues Williams.

Water-saving functionality

Considering our country’s limited water resources, multi-national kitchen and bathroom brand Kohler has designed several solutions to avoid water wastage. A first in South Africa, their anti-drip technology reduces water wastage in showerheads. A self-levelling ball joint reduces water dripping by up to 80% when closed and the increased number of nozzles also means an enhanced showering experience.

Coupled to this is another design improvement featuring air-induction technology that infuses 2 litres of air per minute into the water droplets making them larger and warmer for a more luxurious experience. Kohler’s latest range also includes RaceTrack technology showerheads that provide an even and more consistent spray for optimal coverage, thereby reducing overspray and unnecessary wastage.

Another water saving feature, called Kohler’s Detent Technology, is an intermediate stop built into tap levers for an up to 50% water saving. This design trait means that you can use taps in intermediate and full-flow modes.

Bathroom Design

“Home owners need to think smart when it comes to bathroom design and fixtures. Bathrooms are a space for renewal, an escape from the humdrum and these non-tactile elements need to be considered. Water saving is also a reality and this needs to be incorporated so that we can still enjoy its effects,” says Heather Darby of Bathroom by Design.

“Incorporating technology to offer improved convenience to the user is one of the most prominent trends in faucet design right now. And looking into the future of bathroom design, water saving technology will become an integrated feature,” continues Darby.

Smart bathrooms are also fast emerging as a trend and Kohler will be launching a range of new products in the coming months, allowing home owners to control a number of aspects of their bathroom, with a simple command from their mobile phone.

From faucets that can deliver a specified volume of water on demand to touchless faucets in residential bathrooms, the presence of technology will only continue to grow in the coming years. This is particularly good news if the future also means water restrictions and a deliberate shift towards water conservation. 

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