- Trim your water and energy bills
- Time-saving and eco-friendly ideas
- Waterproof entertainment to wow
From energy-saving showers to stay-warm baths, and waterproof TVs to underfloor heating, these bathroom accessories could help transform your washroom into something wonderful.
Some of these tech accessories may be easier to install than others, but by plumbing in the energy-saving alternatives below, you could save energy,water and money.
First things first, before you start making any major home improvements, make sure you have suitable home emergency cover should any DIY go wrong!
1. Energy-saving showerhead
A recent Waterwise report found that 73% of people leave showers running for an average of 1 minute 41 seconds before getting in, wasting up to 60 litres.
It's not just water that's wasted but the energy used to heat it, too. A digital shower, such as the Solo from Crosswater, allows you to set the temperature and flow, plus it has a speedy heat up to reach the pre-set quickly.
2. Eco-friendly taps
Basin taps with infrared sensors aren't just hygienic, they're also a great way to save water.
The Axor Starck electronic basin mixer by Hansgrohe is battery-operated, so won't require wiring. It also features an aerator that helps reduce water usage further, limiting it to a bubbly five litres per minute instead of the average 13.
3. Flush your loo with shower water
Take recycling to a new level by making good use of your 'grey water' – lightly used water from your bath or shower – to flush your toilet. However, be aware that you’ll have to install a system to treat it before reusing and may have to alter your plumbing.
More convenient is a self-contained unit, such as Roca's W+W WC and basin combination that has a filtering system inside.
4. Stay-warm bath
If you're going to plump for a bath over a shower, make sure you're not constantly topping up the hot water by choosing a tub made from a heat-retaining composite.
Victoria + Albert's Quarrycast baths insulate the water, keeping it warm for more than 60 minutes longer than a cast-iron or ceramic bath. This Cabrits style also combines a deep soak with a water-efficient max volume of 176 litres.
5. Dual-flush WC
You flush your toilet on average 6.4 times a day according to a recent Ideal Standard report, so choose a model with the option of a half flush.
The Ideal Standard Concept Cube model comes with 2.6- and 4-litre options, saving on the standard six litres. Assuming average usage for a family of four on a meter, a water-saving WC could pay for itself in as little as three years.
6. Natural cleaning products
It's easy to think that a plant-based cleaner won't do as good a job as your usual product but Ecover's bathroom cleaner doesn't lack power. Although it gets rid of soap scum and descales effectively, it won't harm the environment once it's been washed down the plughole.
"Plant-based ingredients biodegrade quickly and completely," says Clare Burke, UK Country Marketing Manager for Ecover and method. "Plus, renewable ingredients grow back, so resources aren't being depleted."
7. Stop your plughole blocking
It might be a simple bit of kit but a drain protector can save you several pounds and save your from buying chemical unblockers or calling out a plumber.
Modern shower trays often have flat drains but there's still a good solution in the form of Oxo's protector, which comes with a silicone rim to keep it firmly in place.
8. Switch to LEDs
Halogen lights are energy hungry, so think about replacing your bathroom cabinet with one that has in-built LED lighting.
"The latest LED technology uses up to 85% less energy than normal lighting methods," says Helen Linsky, director of bathroom accessories retailer Pebble Grey.
The Georgia LED cabinet also has a motion sensor to activate its lights.
9. Underfloor heating
Rather than radiators, think about installing underfloor heating (UFH)– it provides a constant low level of heat to keep your bathroom cosy. If it's part of a bigger renovation project, 'wet' (water pipes below the floor) is the better option, though more costly to install than 'dry' UFH, which takes the form of electric matting and tends to be expensive to run.
'A water-based system for an average three-bed home could cost from £2,100,' says Chris Ingram, from the Ask for Underfloor campaign, in association with BEAMA.
10. Music in the bathroom
11. Hi-tech toilet
Toto's Neorest AC Washlet doesn't just come with a heated seat and sensor-controlled lid, it’s also self-cleaning, uses UV light to blitz bacteria, has an automatic flush and a bidet-style cleaning function with dryer.
12. Water-resistant TV
Fancy catching up on your favourite soaps while you shower? Then a bathroom TV is for you. This Living House version is heated to prevent condensation and comes in versions up to 32 inches.
13. Dual-fuel radiator
Resist the temptation to flick on the heating in the summer to dry your towels by installing a dual-fuel towel warmer, such as Aestus's dual-fuel Art model.
"They connect to central heating and include an electric element, making them the most economical choice available and meaning you can continue to wrap yourself in a warm fluffy towel, irrespective of the season," explains Tom Long, sales manager at Aestus.