Bath and shower product company Lasco Bathware has merged with hydrotherapy firm Aquatic Whirlpools to form Aquatic, the new company announced on Monday. Aquatic will be headquartered in the former Lasco company’s location in Anaheim, Calif. A combination of expertise from both companies positions Aquatic for solid business in the everyday bathing, accessible bathing, and luxury hydrotherapy markets.
“At Aquatic, we recognize and are inspired by the power of our products to relax, refresh, reinvigorate, and renew,” said Aquatic president Gary Anderson in a press release. “That inspiration is built into everything we do, from the way we design, engineer, and manufacture our products, to how we work with our distribution partners, to the customer experience at every touch point while planning and shopping, and ultimately benefitting from our tubs and showers.
With 65 years of combined experience, Aquatic blends Lasco’s product breadth and operations strategies with Aquatic Whirlpools’ sleek designs and creative bathware designs. The new company will be a one-stop shop for bath and shower products, according to Dave McFarland, director of marketing and new product development.
“We’re positioning Aquatic as a true, national bathware specialist, as opposed to the many whole-house generalists you see in the market,” McFarland told Remodeling during the International Builder’s Show (IBS 2010) on Tuesday. “With expertise across everyday, accessible, and luxury bathing, we’re in a unique category as a specialist in bath fixtures.”
The company says all three product areas will benefit individually from the former Lasco company’s national distribution capabilities. However new opportunities are created when crossover between product categories is considered.
“We have a vision that accessible bathing will become everyday bathing,” McFarland says. “Combining the accessibility features we’ve incorporated in the past and in new products with whirlpool features from the luxury product line’s expertise will help drive that change in the market.”
McFarland says accessible bathing remains an emerging category in the bath fixture industry and that manufacturers need to understand the limitations of current products on the market in order to create innovative products that go beyond necessity and code compliance. As such, the company is debuting its Ava Bath at IBS 2010, featuring technologies that offer style, convenience and comfort.
Unlike most accessible bathtubs that feature a swing-open door and a bench seat, the Ava Bath features an automated door that runs nearly the full length of the tub, and raises and lowers completely, allowing bathers to more easily enter and exit the tub. With no bench, Ava functions as a soaker tub for more immersive, therapeutic bathing that isn’t often possible in other accessible tubs. A patent-pending quick-drain feature empties the 70-gallon tub in 30 seconds or less, which means bathers don’t have to wait to exit the tub and dry off. Four Ava bath models are available, including soaker, whirlpool, air bath, and air/whirlpool designs, and the 60-inch tub is suitable for either new construction or remodeling.
McFarland says early response from Aquatic dealers has been positive and enthusiastic. The company remains in the early stages of organizing production, which will be anchored in six manufacturing facilities around the U.S., and distribution, executed by the company’s own 200 tractor-trailer trucking operation.
Aquatic can be seen at booth C3318 during IBS 2010. Visit www.aquaticbath.com for more information about the new company.