2020 brought the world a new, heightened awareness of hygiene and how much more we could be doing to ensure the cleanliness of our domiciles. Ask any adult to name the germiest places in the home and nine out of ten will say it’s the bathroom (the kitchen usually comes in a very close second). So, going into 2021, our ‘new normal’ includes choosing easy-clean surface materials and touchless or antibacterial fixtures, and since we value our home’s aesthetic almost as much as its cleanliness, these bathroom trends bring the style along with the utility.
You don’t need to look far to find a beautiful, pragmatic material with which to adorn your vanity. Quartz is one of the hardest naturally occurring materials on the planet, with a non-porous surface that makes it incredibly resistant to scratches, stains, and bacteria. While it has been a top contender for decades for its beauty, the fact that quartz is easy to clean and is far less likely to harbor wayward germs than other countertop materials, only adds to its appeal.
One of the most talked-about bathroom components this year is the smart toilet. Objectively the grossest thing in the home, the traditional toilet has the most potential for spreading germs. In 2021, we’re looking forward to hands-free toilets with features such as self-closing lids, touchless flushing, and… self-cleaning capabilities. Antibacterial UV lights under the lid, innovative surface materials that are inhospitable to viruses, bacteria, and dirt, and built-in cleaning mechanisms have us living like we’re in 3021. Today’s smart toilets are wall-mounted, making it easier to clean the floors, and created with classically clean lines for a timeless aesthetic.
As panic-buyers emptied the store shelves of toilet paper, many households embraced a fixture that they’d side-eyed until the need became undeniable this past year. A bidet, which is available at any price point depending on the bells and whistles you want, easily negates the need for toilet paper almost entirely. The US has adopted this European bathroom staple in 2020, with bidet sales rising more than 80% in 2019. The newest models can be retrofitted onto an existing toilet and tapped into your toilet’s water supply, so it’s a budget-friendly option for many American families, and they’re much more sanitary than toilet paper.
Walls and floors are having a moment with oversize tiles. Not only is this a design win, as the uncluttered, clean look makes the bathroom look more open and lighter, but fewer grout lines means less scrubbing and fewer spots for germs will hang out. Tip: if you’re going for oversize tiles on the floor, make sure you choose matte-finished or non-slip floor tiles to reduce the risk of falling.
A longtime component of commercial bathrooms, touchless faucets are having a resurgence of popularity in homes across the world. The hands-free activation keeps your hands germ-free and the sensor ensures that water is dispensed efficiently, resulting in less wasted water. Available in a full range of colors and finishes, there’s a smart faucet for every aesthetic. Furthermore, there are faucets on the market today that have voice features and pairing capabilities so you can command your faucet using Alexa or Google Assistant or via iOS/Android apps.
If 2020 taught us anything it’s how easily germs spread. This year brings new innovations in sanitation that you can have your local plumber or home renovation contractor help with or you can attempt to do yourself with the necessary plumbing tools.