Behind the Bathroom Door – A Study of Bathroom Habits and Behaviours, 2018

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‘Behind the Bathroom Door’ is the result of a 7-day diary study which followed 50 UK householders as they went about their daily bathroom activities, and offers a real understanding into bathroom behaviours and product usage. 

As an industry, how much do we really know about what goes on behind the bathroom door?  

Consumers show a concern for environmental issues and yet we are using more water in our bathrooms than ever before.  Could it be that in the privacy of our own bathroom, we are unaware of the amount of water we really use?  

Our 7-day confidential diary study, which was undertaken in partnership with the Bathroom Manufacturers Association, followed 50 householders as they undertook various bathroom tasks and reported back on a daily basis.  The huge amount of data gathered throughout the study throws a light on our private bathroom routines and behaviours, and highlights the amount of water that could potentially be saved through greater awareness and less wasteful bathroom habits.

The research also gives a true insight into the real needs and requirements for our bathroom spaces, and the strong desire we all have to create a functional, clean, relaxing environment behind the bathroom door.

Alongside this bathroom behavioural study, a second study into Bathroom Purchasing Trends was run online.  This study surveyed 500+ UK householders who had recently purchased a new bathroom to assess consumer purchase behaviour for a complete new bathroom installation.

The insight gained from these two studies answers important questions in terms of consumer requirements for their bathroom, how bathroom products are being used in the home, attitudes to water efficiency, and how this in turn influences consumer purchase behaviour for new bathroom products.

“This insight into consumer behaviour provides valuable information for our members and the bathroom industry.

Finding ways to save water and energy has never been more important and the results of this survey can influence future product development to help achieve this aim.

The surveys also show that compliance is an issue that needs to be addressed. Consumers are interested in having more information about products and have indicated that knowing a product was energy efficient would positively influence their buying decision. 

This gives us all in the industry an opportunity to respond and promote products that display the Water Label.”

Yvonne Orgill, CEO, Bathroom Manufacturers Association

‘Behind the Bathroom Door’ was a behavioural study and followed the format of an online interactive diary with two-way, real-time communication between the researchers and the participants.  This enabled daily tasks to be set, further details requested, images and videos uploaded, different workday and rest day behaviours to be captured, and much more.

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Key Findings

1. Creatures of Habit

Our bathroom behaviours are governed by strong routines and, despite a wide range of different preferences and habits demonstrated throughout the study,  individuals tended to stick to morning and evening routines with only slight differences between working and non-working days. 

2. Small But Perfectly Formed

Bathrooms in the UK may be small but that doesn’t mean they can’t be practical and also beautiful. There is a call for manufacturers to provide high quality bathrooms with solutions for small spaces, and in particular storage solutions.  Also better planning by housebuilders who are not incorporating any kind of bathroom storage solutions into new-builds.

3.  Saving Money Not Water

Concern for mounting household bills rather than the environment is the key driver for reducing the amount of water used.  Cleanliness, comfort and relaxation over-ride the desire to save water as shown by the number of householders who for example take regular deep baths and allow the shower to run for up to 5 mins to heat up.

4. Easy to Clean

Words like ‘cleanliness’, ‘clean’, ‘hygienic’ were repeatedly used throughout the diary study and it is very clear that cleanliness in the bathroom area is of paramount importance to householders.  Products are judged based on how easy they were to clean, rather than design or product quality.

5. Functionality

Toilets that flush properly, powerful showers, clever storage solutions – all things that make life easier – are at the top of the wish-list for the modern bathroom.  Although technology has a similar potential, it is currently viewed with the suspicion that it is gimmicky and will be complicated to use.

Contents

Foreword
Introduction Key Findings 
About the Participants 
Showering 
Taking a Bath 
Using the Toilet 
Washbasin Activities 
Other Bathroom Activities 
Storage 
Functionality 
Cleaning the Bathroom 
Attitudes to Water Saving 
In Conversation with the CEO 
The Ideal Bathroom 

 

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Members of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association,
please see email from the BMA containing details on how to download this report 

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