To offer the best possible service, this website uses cookies. By using our site you agree to using cookies. More information in our Privacy Policy!

Reshaping Plumbing’s Future: Expert Panel Tackles Megatrends in Wellness, Sustainability, and Smart Tech at KBIS 2024

2024 Plumbing Industry Insights: TOTO’s expert panel, featuring Jarrett Oakley, Alena Capra, Grant Farnsworth, Kim Whittington, and Bhavik Patel, discusses key market and design trends shaping the future.

The plumbing sector is currently experiencing significant transformation, driven by key megatrends focusing on wellness, sustainability, and the integration of advanced technology. This evolution was prominently featured during the “Plumbing Trends Unveiled: Navigating Market and Design Changes for Success in 2024” panel discussion at KBIS, organized by TOTO. This event highlighted how these macro trends are revolutionizing bathroom design and functionality.

The discussion, orchestrated by TOTO’s Marketing Director Jarrett Oakley, brought together a panel of esteemed experts, each contributing unique insights into the shifting landscape of the plumbing industry. Alena Capra, the principal of Alena Capra Designs and host of TV’s “So Flo Home Project,” shared her perspective on design trends. Grant Farnsworth, President of the Farnsworth Group, delved into market trends and consumer preferences shaping the industry. Bhavik Patel, TOTO’s Director of IoT Strategy, explored the increasing influence of technology in plumbing solutions. Kimberly Whittington, interior designer and TOTO Business Development Manager, discussed the impact of these evolving trends on consumer design choices.

These insights reflect a broader industry movement towards creating spaces that prioritize environmental sustainability, personal well-being, and technological integration, marking a significant shift in how we think about and interact with our living environments.

Bhavik Patel from TOTO explores how advancements in technology provide cleaner and well-being focused bath spaces.

Wellness Takes the Bathroom by Storm: Spa-Like Luxury at Home

Gone are the days of purely utilitarian bathrooms. Today’s homeowners crave spa-like retreats that promote not just hygiene but also relaxation and overall well-being. Bhavik Patel highlighted features like touchless faucets, bidet seats, and smart toilets that contribute to a cleaner and healthier bathroom environment.

Touchless Technology for Enhanced Hygiene: Touchless faucets with sensor activation are not only hygienic but also convenient, especially in busy households. These fixtures, also known as motion-activated or hands-free faucets, can help reduce the spread of germs by eliminating the need to touch handles contaminated with everyday bacteria.

Bidet Bliss: A Refreshing Upgrade: Bidet seats are gaining significant popularity, offering a more hygienic and refreshing bathroom experience compared to traditional toilet paper. This trend is particularly driven by health-conscious consumers, those seeking the environmental benefits of bidets, and consumers who seek the superior cleanliness and comfort offered by a bidet seat.

Industry analyst Grant Farnsworth discusses strategic market advancements in plumbing technology at TOTO’s insightful panel conversation.

Smart Toilets with Advanced Features: Smart toilets are no longer a futuristic fantasy. These innovative fixtures boast features like heated seats with adjustable temperature settings, integrated bidets with varying spray patterns, and built-in air dryers. Some models even offer nightlights and self-cleaning functionalities, enhancing comfort and convenience in the bathroom.

Sustainability Meets Style: Eco-Friendly Solutions for the Modern Bathroom

Environmental consciousness is a major driving force in plumbing trends. Grant Farnsworth pointed out that homeowners increasingly opt for sustainable practices to reduce their water consumption and carbon footprint.

Greywater Recycling Systems: A Sustainable Water Source: Greywater refers to gently used wastewater from sinks, showers, and washing machines. Greywater recycling systems capture and treat this water for non-potable purposes like toilet flushing or irrigation, reducing reliance on freshwater resources.

Alena Capra, leading authority in interior design, shares expert insights on eco-friendly solutions in home aesthetics during TOTO’s industry panel.

Water-Efficient Fixtures: Save Water, Save Money: High-efficiency toilets (1.28 gallons per flush [GPF] or less), high-efficiency showerheads (1.75 gallons per minute [GPM]), and high-efficiency faucets (1.2GPM) are becoming the norm. These fixtures utilize innovative technologies to deliver exceptional performance while minimizing water consumption. For example, TOTO’s high-performance, low-flow toilets utilize its market-leading TORNADO flushing system, which saves thousands of gallons of water per year.

Renewable Energy Sources for Water Heating: Harness the Power of the Sun: Solar water heaters are a sustainable and cost-effective way to heat water. These systems utilize solar panels to capture the sun’s energy and transfer it to a water storage tank, reducing dependence on traditional energy sources.

While sustainability is paramount, it doesn’t have to come at the expense of aesthetics. As Alena Capra added, these trends are shaping the home improvement market by introducing more sustainable, innovative designs that blend functionality with aesthetics. Kimberly Whittington continued customers are seeking ways to seamlessly integrate these eco-friendly features into their stylish bathrooms, and manufacturers are responding with sleek and modern designs that complement any bathroom aesthetic.

Kim Whittington, a key speaker at TOTO’s event, delves into 2024’s bathroom innovation and market dynamics.

Smart Tech Makes a Splash: The Future of Plumbing is Here

The smart home revolution is extending its reach to the plumbing domain, offering a glimpse into the future of our bathrooms and kitchens. Panelists discussed the growing popularity of smart plumbing fixtures, showcasing how technology is transforming the way we interact with water in our homes.

Bluetooth Showerheads: A Personalized Shower Experience: Imagine controlling your shower temperature and water flow with just a tap on your smartphone. Bluetooth showerheads allow for personalized showering experiences, letting you set the perfect temperature and duration for a spa-like retreat at home.

Leak Detection Systems: Peace of Mind at Your Fingertips: Smart leak detection systems use strategically placed sensors to monitor for potential leaks throughout your plumbing system. These systems can alert you immediately in case of a leak, preventing costly water damage and promoting early intervention.

App-Controlled Faucets: Convenience and Control at Your Voice Command: Imagine turning on your faucet or adjusting the water temperature with your voice. App-controlled faucets offer ultimate convenience and hands-free functionality, perfect for busy households or those with accessibility needs. These faucets can also integrate with smart home systems for a truly connected bathroom experience.

These smart features not only offer convenience and personalization but also provide valuable data on water usage. This information empowers homeowners to track their water consumption and identify areas for improvement, ultimately promoting water conservation efforts.

Jarrett Oakley, host of the TOTO event, highlights living-in-place as a transformative mega-trend in today’s plumbing industry.

Universal Design for All: Creating Inclusive Bathrooms for Everyone

An aging population and a growing focus on inclusivity are driving the adoption of universal design principles in plumbing. This philosophy ensures that bathrooms are accessible and functional for everyone, regardless of age or ability.

Grab Bars and Accessible Showers: Safety and Stability in the Bathroom: Strategically placed grab bars near showers, toilets, and bathtubs provide additional support and stability for individuals with limited mobility. Curbless showers with a gentle slope and a handheld showerhead offer a safe and accessible showering experience for users of all abilities.

Comfort Height Toilets for Improved Accessibility: Comfort height toilets are designed to be taller than standard toilets, making it easier for users to sit down and stand up. This feature is particularly beneficial for individuals with mobility limitations or those who experience difficulty with lower toilets.

Universal Faucets with Lever Handles: Universal faucets with lever handles are easier to operate than traditional knob-style faucets, especially for those with limited grip strength or dexterity. These faucets are also easier to use with elbows or forearms, making them a more accessible choice for users with various needs.

By incorporating these universal design features, homeowners can create bathrooms that are not only beautiful and functional but also safe and accessible for everyone.

The Future of Plumbing is Bright

The 2024 KBIS panel discussion painted a clear picture: the future of plumbing is driven by innovation, sustainability, and inclusivity. Whether you’re a homeowner looking to upgrade your bathroom for ultimate comfort and style, a plumber staying ahead of the latest trends, or an architect or designer seeking to create functional and beautiful spaces, this knowledge is invaluable. By embracing these trends, we can create bathrooms and kitchens that are not only aesthetically pleasing and efficient but also contribute to a healthier and more sustainable future.

Featured TOTO Products

chevron_left Back to Talking TOTO

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list and stay up to date on news and products.
* indicates a required field

Live Chat