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Cleanliness, conservation, and comfort—welcome to the 21st-century bathroom, which was highlighted prominently by many new products at the 2011 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas.
For those seeking an enhanced shower experience, an array of new products were on display. For instance, Jason International’s new Zero Threshold-TZ3260 shower base is designed for new and retro-fit installations, with easy, barrier-free entry, a seat where one can rest while showering, and a slip-resistant floor. Another company, Jet Pro Shower Spas , offers a unit that replaces the existing shower valve with a unit that provides a rainfall-type shower experience. And Moen ’s Flushmount body sprays feature adjustable spray faces that can pivot the water up to 20 degrees in any direction, providing a multidirectional, full-body shower experience, with a design that fits against the shower walls to facilitate installation and servicing. QuARTz by Aco is one of the shower manufacturers that aims to balance design and function considerations, with its linear drainage systems that allow level shower designs and, in some cases, provide water-activated lighting.
And when you think bath, think “micro bubble.” Cashido Corporation ’s Cabozi system, which installs under your bathtub, provides a whirlpool function at the touch of a button. The company describes the product as a body-friendly experience in which billions of micro bubbles cleanse, soften, and smooth your skin and aid relaxation. Jason International , meanwhile, promises similar benefits for mind and body with its Microsilk™ system, offered on 53 of its bathtub models, promising the therapeutic effects of billions of micro bubbles.
The bath massage experience is also the focus of several manufacturers, including Kohler , CG Air Systems and Foshan Korra Bath Ware . Kohler’s Elevance Rising Wall Bath, which comes with a Bubble Massage option to supplement its main features, including easy entry and chair-height seating. CG’s installations allow the upgrading of an existing bathtub with its electronic Integrated Air Massage System, while Foshan offers a line of computer-controlled massage bathtubs, featuring a modern acrylic/fiberglass design and six or eight massage nozzles.
It would seem that efforts to build a better mousetrap have been overtaken by the attempt to build the ultimate toilet—a toilet that never overflows, conserves water, eliminates bathroom tissue, cleans easily, and, in some cases, offers entertainment.
Function figures most strongly in Penguin Toilets ’ Model 524, a Water Sense-rated unit that features built-in overflow protection and, in language that a plumber would love, “good bowl rinse.” Inax USA offers eco-friendly toilets for a variety of budgets and design schemes, including its Eco-X series, with a powerful flushing system that minimizes water usage and has an easy-to-clean antibacterial finish. The Regio integrated toilet takes toilet technology up several notches: a sound system, heated seat, double power deodorizing, automatic flushing, and dual nozzle bidet, and antibacterial finish can be yours for $7,000 and above.
The universal presence of toilets is clearly an invitation for add-ons. Brondell ’s Swash 1000 advanced bidet toilet seat, which fits an estimate 98% of toilets, offers varied nozzle positions, wide spray option, and nozzle oscillation for optimal cleansing and hygiene. An adjustable heated seat, warm air dryer and automatic deodorizer complete this “ultimate bidet seat experience.” And Jon-E-Vac offers its Toilet Ventilating System as an easy-to-install product that uses fans and antimicrobial agents to remove bacteria and odor directly from the toilet bowl.
The “Ultimate” Experience
For the “ultimate” bathroom experience, Electric Mirror offers its Visionary™ LED & TV Medicine Cabinet, which has LED lighting, an audio system, a 15-inch television, and a waterproof remote. Anyone want to watch the news?