Focus on hygiene could be breakthrough UK shower toilet market needs

BathroomsFeatures Tue 10th Nov 2020 by Nicola Hanley

Focus on hygiene could be breakthrough UK shower toilet market needs

Focus on hygiene could be breakthrough UK shower toilet market needs

Feature by Nicola Hanley | Tue 10th Nov 2020

Nicola is an award-winning journalist who has been writing about interiors for 15 years. A former editor of Essential Kitchen & Bathroom Business magazine, she has also worked in PR and is now a freelance writer specialising in kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms. More

As panic buying began in earnest earlier this year and many of us anxiously searched for a coveted packet of loo roll, the small but growing number of consumers that have invested in a shower toilet, which cleans with water rather than paper, were unaffected by the shortage. 

While UK consumers have been slower to embrace shower toilets than those in other parts of the world, manufacturers have started to see interest pick up. “In the US, Kohler commissioned studies which show that nearly half of Americans (46%) would want to upgrade to a smart toilet or smart toilet seat and we expect to see this cross over into the UK,” says Amanda Turner, Kohler UK’s associate product manager. 

Kohler’s Veil Intelligent wall-hung WC uses UV light and electrolysed waster to sanitise the stainless steel wand. It also boasts automatic deodorisation and LED lighting

“It marks an important cultural change as the UK begins to adopt the new standards in personal hygiene that the shower toilet offers,” notes Mike Bennett, consumer marketing manager for Geberit UK. 

The focal point of this bathroom styled by Kate Watson-Smyth, Geberit’s premium AquaClean Mera shower toilet uses WhirlSpray technology, has five individually regulated shower pressure settings and orientation lighting in a variety of colours

Wowing designers and consumers alike with a variety of cleaning and drying functions, some shower toilets also feature ambient lighting, odour extractors and automatic lifting lids, which can be operated by a remote control or app.

The pandemic, which has made consumers prioritise home hygiene more than ever before, has certainly played its part in driving interest in the sector, but Bennett says demand was increasing “long before” consumers had even heard of Covid-19. Margaret Talbot, VitrA UK’s marketing manager, agrees. “The simple wash function is often seen in many Asiatic and Arabic cultures and increasingly preferred by consumers in the UK who have experienced these WCs while travelling,” she explains. 

Designed to look like a standard, streamlined WC, VitrA’s wall-hung V-Care shower toilet is packed with features including automatic seat warming and odour elimination

Japanese brand Toto says its research also suggests UK consumers are being won over after using shower toilets in planes or hotels around the world. “Once you’ve used a shower toilet, you won’t want to use anything else,” says Asuka Osada, Toto UK’s marketing manager. “Many users said the experience was life changing and enjoyed the unparalleled feeling of freshness and cleanliness after using the shower toilet.”

WRAS approved, Toto’s Washlet SW has an adjustable washing wand, a heated seat and uses Ewater+, an electrolysed antibacterial water for self cleaning as standard

Martin Carroll, Duravit’s UK MD, believes advances in technology have made shower toilets ever more appealing. “They give each person control over their own experience as they can alter options such as water flow, temperature, and heated seat and drying functions. In addition, there are environmental benefits such as the use of less paper.”

Duravit’s Starck Sensowash F Shower toilet is operated by a remote control or an app that can also save personal settings. Its functions include an odour extraction system and warm air dryer

Shower toilets are also ideal for the UK’s growing number of multigenerational households, points out Elina Enqvist-Twomey, category manager at Grohe UK. “Shower toilets are by far one of the most innovative and accessible products around due to features that promote intimate wellbeing, hygiene and optimise independence in the bathroom.”

Grohe’s award-winning Sensia Arena has automatic lid opening and closing and a built-in night light. Water pressure, temperature and position can all be personalised

Generally regarded as a high-end product, shower toilets are becoming more accessible and now come in a variety of streamlined, unobtrusive designs to suit all your clients’ requirements. “Often, homeowners hold the perception that shower toilets are out of their price range, however that isn’t the case. There is now the perfect shower toilet for every household’s needs, style and budget,” stresses Geberit UK’s Mike Bennett. 

Featuring soft curves and a minimalist design, Roca’s In-Wash Inspira has an integrated nozzle that cleans itself before and after each use while a filtering process treats the water prior to use

Created by Swiss designer Peter Wirz, Laufen’s Cleanet Navia provides 3.5 litres of water per minute through its high-volume shower jet. It is operated by a rotary button on the side or via an app

The ViClean-1 100 from Villeroy & Boch uses a HarmonicWave jet, which moves back and forward in a lateral wave motion. An app or remote control allows uses to personalise a variety of settings


Tags: features, bathrooms, shower toilets, vitra, duravit

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