Although you likely don't give your bathroom much thought, it's a space that your family uses frequently. Make the time spent there more efficient, entertaining, and comfortable with the latest high-tech offerings. We have smart home ideas for improving your toilet, shower, tub, and other frequently used areas of your bathroom.
Commodes can be real water hogs. Reduce your negative impact on the environment by upgrading your toilet to one with a lower flush-per-gallon rating. Look for the WaterSense label (similar to the EnergyStar rating for appliances); these low-flow toilets, especially those with dual-flush technology, minimize water usage and reduce utility bills.
Some high-tech toilets now also include built-in speakers and docking systems for your smartphone or tablet. For added comfort, consider toilet seat warmers. Plus, you can make your private space as hygienic as it is efficient by choosing a touchless toilet or a bowl that cleans itself with every flush.
A basic shower or tub is serviceable. But new models come with an array of bells and whistles that promise to transform your bathing experience. One hot trend is chromatheraphy, which uses a spectrum of light and color to positively affect mood. There are also showers that include steam, and tubs that offer built-in radiant heating pads for a spa-like experience. Built-in stereos and televisions, and waterproof speakers are increasingly common.
Even if you can't afford a new soaking tub or shower, you can buy a high-tech showerhead with a wireless speaker system. Or install a digital shower system that allows bathers to remotely control water pressure, temperature, angle, and more for a totally personalized experience.
Bathroom technology is also being used to keep bathers cozy. A heated towel rack is an affordable option for creating the feeling of luxury. Or try upgrading to radiant-heated tiles to up the comfort and warmth of an otherwise cold floor.
The push for a more entertaining bathroom continues with the medicine cabinet. Many now include outlets for electric toothbrushes, razors, and the like. Some manufacturers are taking it a step further with models that include charging stations for smartphones, built-in speaker systems, integrated TV screens, and even warming drawers and refrigerated sections for towels and organic skin products, respectively.
Automatic faucets are also making the move from public to private restrooms; they can cut costs by only running water when it's in use. If you're not ready to make the switch to digital faucets, you can still improve efficiency by adding a low-flow aerator to an existing faucet.