Smart Bathroom Trends in 2021

by | Aug 24, 2021 | Bathroom, blog, How to, Remodeling | 0 comments

Looking for Some Smart Bathroom Ideas?

Bathrooms and technology – somehow, those words don’t seem like they should be together in the same sentence, yet here they are. Frankly, technology is becoming much more common in every other room, so why not the bathroom?

In the past, new technology in bathrooms was something we could only imagine. If you remember the futuristic cartoon family, “The Jetsons,” then you’re also familiar with the space-age equipment they used. With one press of a button, the entire Jetson family of George, Jane – his wife, daughter Judy, and their boy, Elroy, were out of bed and standing on a conveyer belt to shower, dress, eat breakfast, and head out the door.

Because of today’s technological advancements, we don’t need to wonder what it would be like to live like The Jetsons – we’re almost there! Why do we love technology so much? Some people want the environmental benefits of saving water and energy, while others love improving their wellness, hygiene, and safety. Either way, technology, and bathroom designs work best when they come together to meet our needs.

The New Bathroom Technology of the Future

Because of the recent outbreak of COVID-19, many people are focusing on using innovative technology to kill germs. However, things like touchless faucets, self-cleaning toilets, and installing better ventilation are just the start.

Because many current home buyers and remodelers are either in the millennial age group (25 to 40) or Gen Xers (40 to 55), having up-to-date technology in a house is highly desired, if not expected. Most innovations in today’s newly built or remodeled homes incorporate electronic systems and other “gadgets” to control the security system, the HVAC, and the lights with just a tap on a smartphone. There are even systems to preheat the oven, turn on some music, and check the refrigerator’s contents – so, of course, the next step is to focus on the bathroom. Smart technology for bathrooms not only makes life easier, it also helps to conserve energy, lower utility bills, and lessen the stress on the neighborhood infrastructure.

Here are some of the recent technologies for bathrooms that will amaze you.

High-Tech Toilets

With more people worried about viruses and bacteria, technology leaves nothing “un-smart” in the bathroom. There are self-cleaning toilets and other models furnished with UV-sterilizing bowls and seats to kill potential germs. Toilets are also designed with motion sensor technology to open and close the lid. This avoids anyone touching the surface other than to sit down.

In Japan, toilets with motion sensors have been available for sale since the early eighties. Found in more than two-thirds of the country’s bathrooms, the toilet style called a “Washlet” is controlled by a hand-held remote. It reduces paper consumption by offering a bidet-style cleaning system for users and a self-opening seat with auto-heat.

Maybe the days of using too much paper and lots of water to flush a toilet are ending. There are many styles of toilets that don’t use any water or don’t need a human hand to push a lever. Technology is making life more comfortable and revolutionizing the way we “go.”

Finally, there is also a line of LED lights for toilets and toilet seat warmers. You no longer have to walk down a dark hallway and sit on a shockingly cold seat in the winter!

Listening to Music the Smart Way

Smart Shower

Photo Credit: Kohler

Do you love a long soak in the tub while listening to classical music? Do you sing Top 40 hits in the shower? Putting old-fashioned waterproof radios out of business, new bathroom technology offers a unique music delivery system. Although you can set an MP3 player on the vanity, there are now better ways to add music to your bathroom décor.

New technology in Bathrooms

Credit: Design Tech Remodeling. This photo shows a shower can light ceiling fixture with a Bluetooth speaker.

For example, showerheads now feature Bluetooth and have detachable speakers so you can listen to music, podcasts, or news for hours, whether you’re in or out of the shower. Toilets feature built-in speakers and auxiliary inputs. Try a hydrotherapy system that, for maximum relaxation, can integrate your favorite music. If you desire, you can make music a permanent part of your bathroom design with just a few pieces of equipment.

Lighting Systems

Smart Bathrooms

Modern technology brings lighting fixtures to new heights in high-fashion bathroom design. These innovative systems allow you to completely customize the temperature, brightness, and even the color in your bathroom. With your smartphone or tablet, some lighting systems will let you build your own “light recipes” for when you’re in the room.

Imagine the ideal atmosphere for relaxing and enjoying the latest bestseller, putting on make-up, or boosting your energy level for a big day ahead. Ditch that dimmer switch; this new technology is the way to go.


The touchless faucet is the latest and greatest in faucet technology. Exactly like the kind in a commercial-style public bathroom, these faucets can be touched or your hand placed near it to turn on the water.

Some new touchless faucet designs have reduced the homeowner’s level of frustration by adding a high-tech field and replacing the traditional infrared sensor to detect hands nearby automatically. Additionally, there is an automatic shut-off when it senses that hands are no longer under the faucet after running for two minutes.

Without any dirty hands constantly using the faucet, it stays cleaner, and the lifespan of the components are increased. Best of all, it uses 20% less water than a standard faucet. With reduced tap flow and digital temperature-control settings, you can save water and money on utility bills, too.

Cool Cabinetry

refrigerated bathroom cabinets

credit: Robb Report

Many people love a hot cup of coffee first thing in the morning as they get ready for work. Others prefer to grab a cold soda. With refrigerated bathroom cabinets, you can store your favorite drink as well as keep your medication cool. Cosmetics, cologne, lotions, and facial scrubs last longer when they are kept in cool, dry places, too.

Warming Drawers

Towel warming drawers

credit: House Beautiful

You can keep things cold, but you can also have things warm. Imagine getting out of an invigorating shower and reaching into a drawer to wrap yourself in a fresh, warm towel. Whether it’s a heated cabinet drawer or a towel rack with a warming system, there’s nothing better than a cozy towel on a cold winter day.

Wi-Fi Controlled Underfloor Heating

Speaking of warmth, underfloor heating has been a popular choice for many years for those who want a little more luxury in their master bathroom.

Once installed, this kind of heating is often a cheaper and more efficient way to heat your bathroom. There is very little maintenance required, too.

New technology incorporated into underfloor heating allows homeowners to control the temperature in their bathroom from a smartphone. The system can regulate the desired temperature and, with geofencing technology, no programming is required. Once you leave the house, the heat will be reduced or turned off.

Bathtub Technology

More and more, a free-standing bathtub and separate walk-in shower are gaining popularity. Homeowners feel it brings more of a spa-like experience into the master bathroom and are asking for more sculptural and shapely tubs.

With a simple voice command, futuristic features can fill the tub to your pre-set water level and temperature. It even drains itself by command. Perfect for busy professionals and those with mobility issues (or, frankly, for everyone who loves technology and luxury), once you “tell” the bathtub what to do, all you do is get in and relax.

To relieve arthritis and other aches and pains, many high-tech tubs also incorporate different levels of steam, temperature, and water pressure with hydrotherapy. Designed with a unique shape and adjustable headrest, a zero-gravity tub simulates a floating position to relieve stress from joints and limbs. Really – what could be better?

Showering With Smart Technology

If you think bathtubs are fancy, check out the technology for showers. They are now so sophisticated that before you even step foot in the bathroom, you can turn the shower on from your phone. With a voice command or a touch screen, you can set the water to your ideal temperature (so it will never scald you) and add programmable mood lighting, body jets, and steam. To make a truly spa-like and customized showering experience, add music through Google Assistant, Bluetooth, or Amazon Alexa. Don’t turn your radio volume up to “blasting” – just listen to it through your shower head. Then save your setting so you can always have your shower exactly the way you want.

The average person spends 90 minutes each week taking a shower. To improve your experience, modern technology is advancing. However, energy efficiency is at the top of most homeowner’s lists when considering a remodeling project or a new home. They want to know how to track consumption to save water and lower their utility bills while still having a beautiful, luxurious, spa-like bathroom.

Fitbit WI-FI Scale

Fitbit WI-FI is not exactly bathroom technology, but since most homeowners have a weight scale in their bathroom, here it is. For those who take fitness and monitoring their weight very seriously, a smart scale uses advanced technology via Fitbit to track your body fat percentage, lean mass, current weight, and much more. Why not?

Waterproof Televisions

Radios are out, and even Bluetooth showerheads may not be good enough for a true TV news, movie, or sitcom junkie. Although it’s trendy to carry an iPad into the shower, don’t do it! Getting it wet will ruin it, and people often drop them. So, if you need yet another reason to spend more time in the shower or tub, now you’ve got one.

Bathroom designers are stepping up their high-tech game by integrating streaming video and television into the bathroom experience. They are installing outdoor-rated television sets that can withstand the environment’s heat, humidity, and moisture.

Wait – install a television in the shower or bathroom? Here’s one better — in the form of a mirror that does double duty. Offering a full range of TV delight with an incredibly thin LED screen, televisions are crafted right into the glass of a vanity mirror. Stay in touch with current events or keep up with your favorite show while you get ready for work or a big date. Or, with a larger mirror TV, watch your favorite movie while taking a long, relaxing bath. Remote controls are fully waterproof, of course, because these innovations are designed for the bathroom. Most of these screens include built-in speakers, so you never have to worry about figuring out ways to add these TV/mirrors into the design or finding ways to camouflage them.

The Programmable Water Pebble

Technology for both the bathroom and the environment is finally here. Take the guesswork out of water conservation. This small piece of equipment called Water Pebble tracks your water use and shower length and then trains you to use less. Built-in sensors will tell you when to stop your shower, turn off the water, and eliminate water waste.

Another way to save on water usage is with a Smart shower. This technology monitors the length of time and turns the water off after a certain allotted amount.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

smart mirror

Credit: IBM

When it comes to new technology in bathrooms, an amazing collection of medicine cabinets and lighted mirrors are now Amazon Alexa-enabled. With these devices, you use simple voice commands to listen to the news or check your e-mail, play your favorite music, or adjust the brightness of the lights while getting ready for bed at night or getting ready for work in the morning.

Another mirror style uses a tech system to stimulate natural sunlight so homeowners will see the full-color spectrum as if in total daylight. No more mismatching navy and black!

Even better, the mirror lights up automatically when someone approaches, so no more trying to find the bathroom in the dark. Get back to a good night’s sleep – a low-wattage motion-detecting nightlight makes those trips less disruptive. Additionally, batteries will never be an issue because this cordless mirror uses a long-lasting LED that reportedly lasts up to 100 years.

Ventilation Solutions

Another crucial facet of design is ensuring the bathroom is well ventilated to prevent mold and mildew, humidity, and dampness. Bathroom fan technology has gotten smarter, too, and can now be set up via a corresponding app on a smartphone. Current electrical bathroom vents are relatively unobtrusive, although they can be noisy depending on the model. Now, high-tech ventilation systems are similar to thermostats which activate when your bathroom or shower reaches a predetermined humidity level. Set it, and forget it.

Wellness and Peace

A homeowner’s bathroom can be considered a sacred space where, after a long and stressful day, many people will take refuge in their tub or shower. Smart technology helps to create an environment that nurtures wellness and sense of peace.

Studies in neuroscience report that art, light, design, music, and scents positively affect the cellular level and awaken our senses. You can have lighting to mimic natural sunlight or a sunset. Add some soothing music as you look out the window from the tub, read a book, enjoy the art on the wall, or watch your favorite movie. Anything is possible now.

Showers and high-tech bathtubs can also feature chromatherapy – a process using colored lights to improve mental and physical health by adjusting to the body’s vibrations. Change the room’s colors to create the mood you want, such as green for balance or orange light for creativity.

Design Tech Remodeling

With all of the new technology for bathrooms, it may change the way these rooms are used and designed. Plus, many of these devices can serve an important purpose as homeowners decide to age-in-place in the future.

Even if you aren’t The Jetsons and don’t have a Rosie the Robot in your home, there are many benefits to using the technology available today when designing and remodeling your bathroom.

Contact the award-winning Design Tech Remodeling today and get started on your dream bathroom.

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