The Importance of safety and hygiene during Covid-19 and how it’s impacted the Bathroom market
Covid-19 has highlighted the importance of additional bathroom and washroom spaces, shifting the ideology that supplementary washrooms are just about convenience and adding value. With safety and hygiene paramount, the importance of handwashing also means that many people will likely demand cloakrooms or wash basins near entrance doors from now on. From a residential perspective, although this might not necessarily increase the number of bathrooms already featured within new build developments, it certainly cements their need and demand and could increase demand in areas of RMI where homeowners might have the option to increase washroom/bathroom capacity in their home. This could extend to commercial areas as well such as office buildings and other places of work and public use, as facilities are reviewed and the need to accommodate the requirement for social distancing and stricter hygiene is considered.
Handwashing is one of the simplest, but most important tasks in helping to control the spread of virus’. Key products within the bathroom market seeing an increase in demand recently are touchless taps, to include sensor taps as well as extended lever taps, showers and toilets, with wash-dry toilets prominent in care environments as a result of social distancing. Not only are these responding to the now prominent concerns around health within the home, workplace and public spaces alike, but as most of these products also feature eco and water saving features, it is helping to drive the green economy, already a focus of concern pre-COVID, which should aid the UK, and other countries, to reach CO2 targets for 2050.
With this in mind it is prudent to consider the materials used within the bathroom market and their role in health and hygiene. Already a dominant concern within areas such as health care, this is likely to extend further into the home and work and public spaces. For example, according to a study by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, brass and copper are scientifically proven to be naturally antimicrobial and can play an important role in complementing traditional methods of disinfection. Also, a recent study in March 2020 by the New England Journal of Medicine found that coronavirus particles can survive for up to three days on stainless steel and plastic, up to 24 hours on cardboard and around four hours on copper. As matt finish and industrial styles continue to prove popular in niche markets, this can help drive such a trend for bathroom products manufactured from and featuring these materials.