Angela Ortmann-Torbett, sales director (West Europe) for Kaldewei discusses how the quality of materials has become a key consideration when installing and specifying modern bathroom products.
Whether a small ensuite or exclusive family bathroom that includes a freestanding bath and large walk-in wetroom style shower, it is essential to get the bathrooms right as new home buyers will not plan to make changes for several years; they expect perfection.
Quality of materials should be a key consideration when specifying bathroom products. Materials in a wide variety of colours that stay looking good even after many years of use are a great choice as they not only provide consumers with aspirational interiors but they are also a quality long-term investment, withstanding the period of any new home warranty and beyond.
Steel enamel is a perfect fit for bathrooms because of its exceptionally high surface quality.
Showing not even the tiniest of scratches despite daily use, it is extremely hygienic and easy to clean, as dirt and limescale have nowhere to settle. Steel enamel ticks the boxes in terms of design and lasting quality; it is also an environmentally sound choice being 100 per cent natural and fully recyclable.
Steel enamel baths, shower surfaces and washbasins are available in a wide selection of sizes, colours and finishes for a coherent and desirable design scheme.
With the minimalist, contemporary look here to stay, seamless floor-level shower surfaces continue to be popular with many consumers looking for easy access, walk-in spaces with discreet drainage systems and hidden wastes that give the shower area a sleek, contemporary wet room look.
Consumers are looking for practical solutions too with a shower screen or enclosure to contain over spray, while still keeping a flat, open, walk-in look. Large floor-level or low-profile enamelled shower surfaces can be used to create a modern wetroom style shower, but without the added hassle of creating a fully tanked and tiled floor.
Shower surfaces are the ideal solution for housebuilders as they have none of the drawbacks associated with tiled floors. Tiles are usually installed onto a wooden floor, which will start to move with the house as it settles; this can cause the grout to crack and the floor to lose its water-proof integrity.
Grout can also start to look grubby after a short amount of time and, with the use of harsh cleaners, can become pourous thereby leading to cracking and again the floor can lose its integrity and allow water to penetrate. Floor-level enamelled shower surfaces, without grout, are easy to clean and are guaranteed to maintain their performance and good looks for many, many years making them a reliable long-term investment.
Shower surfaces made of steel enamel are not only strong and durable but offer greater comfort and anti-slip options for safer showering. Anti-slip coatings are becoming more important as consumers are looking for added safety and life-time bathrooms that will be suitable for all ages and abilities.
While standard white bathrooms are still much in demand, colours are increasing in popularity. The trend is moving towards natural colours with varying shades of grey and earthy tones a popular choice for floor-level shower surfaces as they blend harmoniously with the floor tiles; this creates visual continuity and creates a feeling of space and luxury.
With the high demand for floor-level showers in new buildings and renovations, low floor screed thickness can easily become problem. For this reason, there are a number of patented waste fittings and installation solutions available that can provide a perfect floor-level or low-profile installation.
For complete peace of mind choose an installation system that is both quick and easy and offers guaranteed leak-proof technology to create dependable wetroom floors that add value to any property.
The increasing desire for individualisation has greatly changed the role of the bathroom as home-buyers are seeking bathrooms that provide a spa-like experience.
More house buyers are becoming aware of utility costs and the need to conserve both water and energy, but at the same time there is a desire for a luxurious atmosphere in the bathroom. The fact that freestanding baths are a fast growing feature in high-end properties is proof of this, despite the building regulations which restrict water usage to 125 litres per person per day. There is a wide choice of baths on offer to cater for these varying demands, from freestanding baths that can be statement centrepieces to the room through to eco baths which have sculpted interiors and lower overflows to reduce water consumption while still providing a comfortable soak.
Advances in technology are allowing the creation of new bathroom products that add touches of luxury and are intuitive and enjoyable to use. Examples include bath and shower digital operating panels that control the temperature and inflow and outflow of the water at the touch of a button. Also, sound systems connected to Bluetooth that are invisibly concealed under the bath help create a personal oasis that takes you away from the stresses of everyday life.