What Is the Best Surface for Bathroom Fittings and Appliances?
When we select sanitary equipment or accessories, we often contemplate design and brand, apparent robustness and, of course, price. However, there are several other factors to consider, as well as the need to clarify possible misconceptions about certain materials for use in bathrooms or washrooms.
Quick Guide to Choose a Finish for Bathroom Fittings
Location: It is essential to take into account where the item is going to be placed and what elements will relate to it. For example, nylon resists quite well years of exposition to sunlight; ceramics is quite heat resistant; and painted accessories are not recommended for areas with constant splashes, i.e. inside the shower or bathtub.
Frequency of use and type of contact: Several features will be needed if the surface is going to be used again and again.
- The case of an automatic hand dryer can remain spotless while a door handle is touched every few seconds in public toilets.
- When plastic is used to make a shower seat, it'd better be as flexible as polypropylene.
- Fingerprints, scratches and dents are more obvious in glossy finishes like chromium plating, nonetheless, brushed steel surfaces tend to look well-worn.
Purpose of the surface: Most finishes are decorative and therefore commonly flat and soft, but different properties could be necessary in some circumstances. For instance, some grab rails have grooves to provide even more grip and avoid slips (peened or textured surfaces, or with rubber rings). In general, the function will mark the relevance of the quality: the strength is more important in a structural piece than in a small part on a side that is barely used.
Conductivity: Water and certain finishes force us to be extra careful when choosing and installing sanitary appliances. Rubber, glass or most plastics such as ABS are not conductive. Although metals does transmit electricity, a protective layer can be installed when the product is being mounted.
Durability, thickness and maintenance: All coatings demand proper care and their life expectancy will depend on it. Several coverings like plastic ones do not have corrosion, but their longevity is less, especially if they are thin. Regarding metals, despite resistance to corrosion being a matter of scale, we could afirm that stainless steel lasts for a long time and can be vandalproof, as long as no aggressive agents come in contact with it (abrasive detergents).
In any case, the most polished or softest the surface, the easiest to clean. It seems always advisable to protect the most delicate bathroom appliances and fittings with bags, cloths or similar until the building works are completed.
Environment, health and certifications: We should make sure that the manufacture and recycling of the product follows the standards we expect. To comply with the regulations and their levels normally entails a higher price, but it also prevents from physical problems in the long term. Moreover, quality players in the market offer extras such as contactless designs (automatic basin taps) or bacterial-free coatings, crucial in healthcare premises.
Colour and contrast: White and silver are the most common finishes, but darker shades can also be selected; some suppliers even allow customisation. We must study what kind of use and marks the item will endure, so that we can determine which colour hides them more effectively. As we explained before, contrast between surfaces (wall, floor, bathroom fittings) allows people with visual impairments or other conditions (dementia) to properly identify the equipment.
Not all washroom accessories will require an examination so thorough: the options and musts for a coat hook may be fewer than for a shower curtain rail. The aforementioned concepts are connected to one another. Beyond the price and the weight, let's analyse pros and cons, not only if we are professionals (architects, designers) but also all individuals for our households.
In IFS, we believe that detailing the materials, documentation and credentials of each product is fundamental. We created several categories for hand dryers and washroom accessories such as grab rails, soap dispensers or bathroom waste bins. To request information or place an order, please, reach our team by the communication method you prefer: phone or online form.Back to blog