Plumbing Trends: Digital Showering in Spa Bathrooms

A recent survey conducted by The Bold Look of Kohler reveals that while 76 percent of homeowners are looking for a spa bathroom experience, only 14 percent actually achieve a spa-worthy atmosphere. Research shows owners crave a relaxed feel with neutral tones, calming colours, modern bathtubs, faucets, vanities, and toilets, plus high-tech, multi-jet showers. One of the most effective methods of achieving such calm is with a new innovation called a digital shower.

Spa Bathrooms: Showering with the Touch of a Button

Digital shower systems provide a spa experience with seamless, uncluttered, button-style digital valves that replace knobs and levers. No more fiddling with a myriad of chrome contraptions to achieve your shower’s ideal water temperature. With a digital shower, all it takes is the touch of a button.

Replacing an old manual shower setup with digital technology is doable and appropriate for almost any bathroom shower configuration. Pricing is comparable to traditional manual valve options, and it’s easy to tailor every aspect of the shower experience. Better yet, customizable presets allow for multiple users’ individual preferences.

Digital showers are intuitive and easy to use. They offer safe and accurate temperature control, and its eco-friendly: little water is wasted in finding the right temperature at the start of your shower. More to the point, digital showers cut clutter, eliminating handles and knobs for a cleaner, more streamlined spa bathroom experience.

Customization is another key feature of digital shower technology. Intuitive interfaces can meld water, sound, steam and light, all with a touchscreen, and all with the capability of transporting you from a simple home bathroom to a soothing and settling spa-like environment.

For More Information on Digital Showers for Spa Bathrooms

For more information on digital showers or spa bathroom trends, visit our showroom at Knowles Plumbing, 279 Manitoba St., Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada, or call ahead to book an appointment: 705-645-2671.

Photos courtesy of Kohler/webarchives


3 Bathroom Colour Trends for 2018: Bold, Blue, and Black & White

Tired of standard “bathroom white”? Bathroom colour trends in 2018 come in many shades, from soothing and spa-like, to bold pops of purple, yellow, and pink. To help narrow down your choice, Knowles Plumbing has identified three colour trends in bathroom design for 2018: Bold, Blue, and Black-and-white.

1) Bold

The OPTIK freestanding tub by MAAX.

Go bold in your bathroom with splashes of bright colour. Bathroom accents in pinks, purples, yellows, reds or vibrant blues can add zing to your personal space. Bathroom colour can be achieved in any number of ways, with vanities, tubs, cabinets, tile, and accessories. To help narrow down your bold colour choices, Pantone has named bold “Ultra Violet” (Pantone 18-3838) as its 2018 colour of the year. Pantone colour forecasters also count Meadowlark Yellow, Cherry Tomato, and Arcadia Green (all shown below) in their palette of most popular brights for the 2018 Spring and Summer seasons.


2) Blue

Keith Urban may say “Blue Ain’t Your Colour“, but when it comes to bathrooms we disagree! Shades of royal, denim, and lake blue blend nicely with decor in Muskoka. In 2018, indigo blue is popular for a Zen-like feel in a spa-like bathroom. Rich turquoise can make a lakeside washroom pop — something fun for a powder room, kids’ ensuite, or a funky bunkie. And sailor blue is a time-tested classic, ideal for that boathouse look.

3) Black & White

Classic black-and-white adds character to any period-style bath. Mix the old with the new for a contemporary twist on a time-honoured design. Think: White clawfoot tub with a roll-top edge, black and white tile, and a modern, rectangular sink. Add black faucets, like the Riobel Momenti shown in the photo above. Checker your walls with white subway tile for that classic Edwardian look. For those going for bold, consider the black-and-white freestanding bath paired with glossy black vanities, all by Victoria + Albert:

For more ideas on bathroom trends and design, please visit our Muskoka showroom, open Monday – Saturday at 279 Manitoba St. in Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada.

Instagram: @MuskokaBath

Toto Washlet Toilets & How They Work

Toto Washlet Toilet


Have you ever wondered why the fuss over bidet toilet seats? The Toto WASHLET toilet seat is a highly advanced water-clensing system for your toilet that leaves you clean and dry after each session.

Toto Washlet Toilet

This “smart” toilet seat fits nicely into any household keen on smart-home devices. The seat features a built-in seat warmer, an automatic slow-close lid, a washer, a dryer… even a deodorizer to chase away unpleasant smells!

Toto’s WASHLET toilet seats fit nicely on a range of Toto toilets, of course… but they’ll also adjust to many different styles of elongated or round-front toilets by a variety of manufacturers.

Here’s how a Toto WASHLET works:

  • Toto’s advanced design includes a contoured heated seat with an integrated sensor that maintains desired settings between 86 and 104 degrees F.
  • With the touch of a button, a cleansing nozzle extends from under the seat, offering soothing warm-water cleansing. Again, water temps are set between 86 and 104 degrees F.
  • Using a remote control, the nozzle can be adjusted to either oscillate or pulsate.
  • The nozzle’s self-cleaning function cleans and sanitizes the entire nozzle between each use.
  • Hands-free drying offers the ease and comfort of a temperature-adjustable warm-air dryer.
  • Toto’s soft-close lid closes gently after use, eliminating toilet seat slam. Some models offer sensors for automatic opening and closing of the lid.

Toto Washlet Toilet

Drop into our showroom to view — or try! — a Toto WASHLET toilet in action. We have one on display in our Muskoka store: 279 Manitoba St, Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada.

To see a WASHLET in action, take a look at this Toto WASHLET Video




Looking for more Kitchen or Bathroom renovation inspiration? Check out our @MuskokaBath feed on Instagram.

*All photos courtesy of

Green Scene


🍡 Green is a fresh & fabulous colour for your Muskoka bath.

🍏 Think spring with citrussy shades of lime, mint, sage, seafoam or trendy avocado.

👒 Pair green accents with crisp white showers, baths, and basins.

🍀 Add faucets in shiny chrome and you’ve got a St. Paddy’s Day bath that’s cheery and light in every season.

🍏 Drop into our Bracebridge showroom for more ideas on ways to freshen your bathroom decor.

🍡 Let our experts help you design your dream bath!

The Loo: A Book Review!


Lavatories, loos, bogs, outhouses, thunderboxes, dunnies… whatever your word for toilets, there’s no doubt are “a window into the secret soul of a destination.”

So says one of Lonely Planet’s latest guidebooks, A Spotter’s Guide to Toilets. This pictorial guide to the world’s most stunning toilets features more than 100 restrooms from the Antarctica to Zambia.

“In these pages,” says Lonely Planet, “you’ll find porcelain pews with fantastic views, audacious attention-seeking urban outhouses, and eco-thrones made from sticks and stones in all sorts of wild settings…. Wherever you’re reading this, we hope you’re sitting comfortably!”

For a full selection of loos, toilets, bathrooms, and water closets, visit Knowles Plumbing’s Showroom online or at 279 Manitoba St., in Bracebridge, Muskoka.

For more information on A Spotter’s Guide, click here.


Photos courtesy of A Spotter’s Guide to Toilets by Lonely Planet.





Make your Kitchen POP!


Looking to add POP! to your Muskoka kitchen?

Grohe Canada has released a fresh new line of kitchen faucets in a rainbow of fun colours, including red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.

These high-performance Essence Semi-Pro kitchen faucets are now available at Knowles Plumbing in Bracebridge. They come with a choice of interchangeable hoses – ideal for the all-white kitchen in need of a splash of fun colour.

The Essence Semi-Pro kitchen faucets operate with a 360-degree turn-able spring for a fully rotating spray, and a powerful magnet that seamlessly docks the arm after use. The interchangeable silicone hoses allow for easy maintenance, and offer homeowners the option to update their space according to their style preferences year-round.

“In many ways, the faucet is the focal point of the kitchen—it is used for everything from food preparation to dish clean-up. We designed Essence for consumers who demand a professionally-inspired kitchen,” said Michael Seum, vice president of design for Grohe. “In addition to the professional design aesthetic, the new colour offerings for Essence are big on personality, and with a full palette of neutrals, there is a statement for everyone in the kitchen.”

For more information on Grohe’s new Essence Semi-Pro kitchen faucet, drop by the showroom at Knowles Plumbing, 279 Manitoba St., Bracebridge, in the heart of Canada’s cottage country.

Looking for Instagram inspiration? Follow us @MuskokaBath.









Choosing The Perfect Bathtub

The Optik freestanding tub by Maax.

Drop-in. Walk-in. Whirlpool. Even wood. Your range of selections for bathtubs in 2017 is wider than it has ever been — choosing just one can be confusing at best. When planning a new dream bath, here’s a simple guide to selecting a tub.

The Freestanding Tub

Bathtub - Victoria & Albert

Victoria+Albert’s Pescadero

At the top-end of the scale sits the freestanding tub. These beauties sit alone on a bathroom floor looking elegant and inviting. Typically a freestanding is a soaking tub — deeper than a standard model and divine for a whole-body soak. Vintage varieties include the wooden, the clawfoot and the slipper tub, but there many more to choose from, including this classic yet modern Pescadero tub by Victoria + Albert, or the eye-catching Optik Pink tub from Maax shown above. When considering this type of tub for your bathroom renovation, be sure you have ample space — the freestanding tub will be the star of the show!

The Drop In & The Undermount Tub

BainUltra’s Tekura tub shown as a drop-in (left) & undermount (right)

Think of a drop in tub as one you would drop into a structure – one with a deck or a rim that is the same level as the lip of the tub (see photo on left). Jetted and air tubs are often designed as drop ins, with one side of the structure removable for easy access for plumbing and maintenance. Some drop ins are dropped into the floor – as if they were sunk-in; their rims are flush with the floor. When considering this type of drop in, remember that it may be more difficult to lift yourself in and out of the tub. Knowles Plumbing has a wide selection of drop in tubs, including this Tekura (above) by BainUltra. The undermount tub is similar to the drop in. The difference: the tub’s rim is covered by a deck made of wood, marble, or tile (see photo on right, above).

The Alcove Tub

Mirolin’s Amalfi alcove tub.

The alcove tub is perhaps the most standard tub found in a mid-century home. Typically it is rectangular in shape and installed against three walls, with one side accessible. When considering this type of tub, determine if you need a right-hand or left-hand tub, which refers to which end the tub will drain. Our showroom at Knowles Plumbing represents an assortment of alcove tubs at many price points, including this sleek and modern Amalfi by Mirolin.

More Options to Choose From

Left to Right: Copper, Wooden & Walk-in tub options


For more design ideas — and assistance with choosing a bathtub that’s ideal for your space — please drop into our Muskoka showroom at 279 Manitoba Street in Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada. 705-645-2671



Wall-Hung Toilets: A Stylish New Option that Saves Space & Looks Sleek and Elegant

A wall-hung toilet by Toto.

Article courtesy of

Until recently, wall-hung toilets have seemed quite exotic – the sort of thing seen only in Europe, where they originated, or in high-end commercial establishments. And while mounting a toilet on the wall instead of seating it on the floor seems a very modern idea, it also looks like it might be a complicated one. Fortunately, it is simple through-and-through, and the fresh look, increased floor space, and easy operation of wall-hung toilets are making them the darlings of designers and home remodelers.

At first, these newer toilets look like a whole new creature, mostly because their profile is so different from other toilets. The tank is concealed behind the wall – drywall separates it from the bowl – and it appears to hover weightlessly. These two factors make all the difference in a bathroom, especially smaller ones. Because a toilet tank adds many inches to the depth of a standard toilet, wall-hung models take up much less room, both literally up to nine inches and visually. And with no support needed underneath, they’re a dream to clean under – no more nooks, crannies, or bolts to mop and wipe around.

Wall-hung toilets also make it possible to customize the seat height to what works best for you. Once you’ve decided on a height, the toilet is bolted to an in-wall carrier and the wall is completed around it. So whether you’re taller, shorter, or enjoy the ease of getting up from a higher seat, a wall-hung toilet is a great choice.

Considering how sleek and elegant they appear, and how much space they save, they’re a smart and stylish choice for any new bathroom.

For ideas and inspiration, visit our Muskoka bath showroom at Knowles Plumbing, 279 Manitoba St., Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada. Instagram: @MuskokaBath




Trends: Hamptons Style

Yes, we love Muskoka. But it doesn’t hurt to borrow inspiration from other summer places we adore, including The Hamptons.

Victoria + Albert, the classic British brand with a “passion for tubs and bathing” has turned to Bridgehampton designer Shasha Bikoff to show off the company’s gorgeous IOS tub.

“Both casual and graceful,” says V+A, “Hamptons style is defined by relaxed beach living, done in a classic and sophisticated way.

This Bridgehampton project by Sasha Bikoff Interior Design makes the most of the clean, sleek lines of the ios tub, which helps to create a serene vibe for a modern beach home. Natural daylight pours in through the window, and furnishings have been kept simple and elegant for a timeless, clean look.

Keep windows unobstructed to flood the bathroom with light, and stick to a classic, muted colour palette. Natural items such as driftwood, a jute rug, timber furnishings and fresh flowers will add softness and bring the bathroom to life.”

For more inspiration from Victoria + Albert, drop into Knowles Plumbing’s showroom at 279 Manitoba St. in Bracebridge, Muskoka, or browse through the Showroom features on our website.

Happy dreaming!





Trends: Rustic Style

Three Bathroom Design Tips for Rustic Style
Copper bathtub

Native Trails

They call it rustic style — the art of bringing the beauty of Muskoka’s lakes and forests into the interior of your cottage or home.

Copper. Brass. Soft lighting. Rich colour. Materials aged by way of hammer strikes. In rustic style, artisan craftsmanship is employed in bathroom fixtures using time-tested techniques and natural, sustainable materials.

Using lighting, colour and texture, here are three ways to update your bath to introduce Muskoka’s natural beauty to your interior design.

  1. Texture: Hammered Copper

Copper’s rich red and golden hues are ideal in a rustic style bath. Knowles Plumbing’s Native Trails line of handmade tubs and basins in copper have withstood up to 30,000 strikes of the hammer to bring out the copper’s tempered, textured finish. Our Bracebridge showroom displays an exquisite sample of a Maestro Round basin—only one sample of the rustic style a Native Trails bath fixture can evoke.

  1. Lighting: Soft & Subdued

Slik Portfolio

When designing or re-designing your bath to embrace a rustic style, avoid harsh lighting or fixtures that shine. Instead, consider lighting and bath furniture that’s distressed or appears reclaimed — items revealing a bit of wear and tear. Knowles Plumbing’s showroom displays products in rustic style from bathware manufacturers such as Native Trails, Slik Portfolio, and Thompson Traders.



  1. Colour: Earthy & Traditional
Hibiscus copper sink

Native Trails

In choosing colours for your bath, consider shades that are earthy and traditional. The key is in selecting colours that are familiar to those entering the room. Think: denim, sage, soft yellows and reds. Ask Knowles Plumbing’s sales staff for design assistance.

For more tips, drop by our Bracebridge store at 279 Manitoba St., or contact our sales team for an appointment.

Photos courtesy of Native Trails & Slik Portfolio.

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