In Quebec, the bathrooms design will remain very contemporary in 2019 and probably in 2020. Since more than ten years, the design of materials, furniture and sanitaries clearly favors the choice of pure lines, stripped of ornamentation.
Consumers are asking for large ceramic tiles, rectangular surface sinks, integral glass showers and monobloc baths. The hues of whites, grays and blacks remain the favorite, to which are sometimes added touches of color.
Italian showers are gaining popularity
In the Italian shower concept, showers are no longer seen as stand-alone “furniture” or “sanitary” that are connected to a drain in the corner of the bathroom. They become an architectural space integrated to the design of the house and naturally fit the bathroom layout without specific access doors and in continuity with the floor.
By eliminating the door and the shower threshold, this concept visually enlarges the bathroom and invites people to go in the shower. It also facilitates access to the shower for people with limited mobility. That said, it must be well designed and well-made to avoid damages by water infiltrations. Choosing a non-slip flooring also reduces the risk of falls when the floor is wet.
Glass showers and acrylic base
Ideally, glass panels should lay on a ceramic base. These panels are very heavy and acrylic shower bases are not always rigid enough to support the weight of the glass and that of the user without sagging slightly. Their use should be limited for small panels.
Glass shower and ceramic wall
Glass panels require maintenance to look clean and to keep their beautiful appearance. A large glass surface increases the necessary maintenance. It is sometimes better to reduce the glass area by building a ceramic wall which further delimitates the shower space. The use of translucent glass also remains a low-maintenance choice that preserves more privacy in the shower while still letting the light go through.
A waterproof floor
The floor ceramic is laid in a layer of adhesive which forms a waterproof and continuous membrane under the ceramic. This type of membrane is used since more than 15 years and has been proven to seal the floors. However, it is also necessary to give a small slope to the ceramic so that the floor drains well and is less slippery.
For a shower without threshold, it might be needed to cut into the floor structure to slightly lower the floor and thus requiring the strengthening of the floor structure. To reduce the costs, sometimes, a slightly elevated ceramic threshold can be created.
A non-skid floor
Consumers appreciate larges ceramic tiles because they have few joints, making maintenance easier. They can also be a visual extension of the tiles in the rest of the bathroom, unifying the look of the floor and creating a contemporary design.
However, large tiles can be slippery when wet. Choosing smaller ceramic tiles for the floor of the shower is an option that makes it more non-skid. Maintenance can be greatly reduced by using cement-epoxy joints that are more impermeable and easier to clean. Colored joints also require less maintenance.
Linear drain and square drain
The construction of a shower without threshold or Italian shower requires a proper drainage of the floor to prevent overflow from the shower and puddles on the floor. The linear drain is the ideal complement for this purpose. It usually runs along a wall and the floor slope quickly directs water to the drain.
When a central drain is desired, it is preferable to use a square drain plate which fits better than a round plate into the ceramic tiles. This creates a cleaner cut and reduces cleaning around the drain.
Bathroom LED lighting
LED lighting is highly recommended for all recessed ceilings lighting as it releases very little heat and can be installed in small space. LED recessed luminaires do not require a special housing for fire protection.
In the shower, sealed ceiling lights are used which are waterproof. In the rest of the bathroom, adjustable ceiling lights can be used to create customized and adaptable lighting.