Category Archives: Kitchen & Bathroom

Washroom design for the well educated

With so many rules and regulations surrounding the practicalities of washroom design in educational settings, Daniel Ward, Senior Ceramics Product Manager for Twyford, talks us through the dos and don’ts of sanitary specification for the school environment.

Specifying products for washrooms within the education sector may seem like a fairly straightforward task, but there are a number of considerations that need to be taken into account to ensure not only that regulations are met, but that the space is well designed, comfortable and practical.

Lack of privacy, vandalism and inadequate cleaning and maintenance can make a visit to the toilet an unpleasant and unhealthy experience for students. In fact, recent research undertaken by charity Education and Resources for Improving Childhood Continence (ERIC) highlighted that the quality of school toilets has a huge impact on pupils’ health, education and happiness. Therefore the design of washrooms in education premises needs to be about a lot more than simply providing enough toilets and washbasins.

Laying out the order

The overall layout of school washrooms is a good place to start. As well as adhering to regulations regarding wheelchair accessible cubicles, all standard cubicles must have a minimum 450mm-diameter manoeuvring space that is clear of the door swing. And of course, when you are designing spaces for growing children, the sizes and fixing heights of sanitaryware must be suitable for the relevant user age groups too. Short projection WCs offer a good solution here, creating the necessary space while still ensuring user comfort. Wall-mounting the pan with a suitable framing system will enable the height of the WC to be easily adjusted during installation, to better meet the needs of the user.

Hygiene first

Aside from layout, hygiene in this environment is extremely important too, with ease of cleaning being key to students’ health and wellbeing. So much so that the Department for Education offers guidance on the issue, stating that to avoid build-up of dirt and germs, the toilets in schools should be wall-hung or back to wall.. This also offers a solution with regards to ensuring plumbing work is tamper-proof, a particular point of note when specifying for colleges and universities which serve older children and young adults. The cistern and pipework concealed within the framing system, preventing interference, while being easy to access for maintenance purposes. A dual-flush cistern sitting neatly behind the wall will also help to significantly reduce the amount of water used, while not affecting overall flushing performance. This is particularly important in educational establishments, which are high-traffic areas with the potential for toilets to be flushed literally hundreds of times in any one day.

It is also worth noting that in schools, particularly where younger users are present, the recommendation is also to avoid urinals, but where they are specified to opt for individual bowls rather than a trough, with modestly panels for privacy.

sanitaryware
Twyford offers a Rimfree school pans and Flushwise water-efficient WC flushing options.

Water-saving pays off

The washbasins in school washrooms should also be subject to a number of practical considerations. Of course, ease of cleaning for hygiene reasons remains imperative, making ceramics that are coated with an easy to clean glaze a particular benefit, while the choice of brassware is also important. Not only should mixer taps for washbasins be robust and tamper-proof, ideally they should be fitted with an automatic shut-off too, either through a built-in timed delivery feature or infra-red sensors.

Energy and water are a major proportion of non-staff costs in schools, colleges and universities and a major part of their environmental impact. While some schools will have greater scope for savings than others, overall more than 20% of energy is wasted, and a school that is equipped with water conservation devices, such as taps with automatic shut-offs or flow restrictors, plus dual-flush WCS, typically use less than half the amount of water used in schools where such features are not present.

Longevity guarantee

Keeping maintenance levels as low as possible is an important requirement in school buildings, where downtime in washrooms can be at best inconvenient for staff and students. This makes the specification of quality sanitary fittings that will be hard-wearing and durable, of particular significance. To limit the frequency of replacing such fixtures and fittings, their life expectancy should be around 15-20 years, with a manufacturer’s guarantee providing the best scope for this.

There are undoubtedly a lot of things to consider when designing washrooms for educational establishments, with all elements really carrying an equal weight of importance. The trick to ticking all of them off and achieving a successful design is to establish a strong relationship with a manufacturer who is able to respond to all aspects of a washroom’s design, from layouts and dimensions to styles and materials as standard, so that there is never any need to compromise.

For more details contact Twyford on 01926 516800 or visit www.twyfordbathrooms.com.

Kitchen surfaces are all white now

Anyone who was old enough to watch TV in the 1980s may well remember one particular commercial from a well-known washing powder brand, promising to leave the country’s laundry ‘whiter than white’.

It’s quite a claim, after all white’s white, right? Actually, that detergent manufacturer may just have been on to something, as some whites are quite definitely whiter than others. And it’s not just when you’re putting on a load of washing that this can matter; it’s important in kitchen design too, particularly when you are working with a material such as quartz.

CRL Quartz

As a material that is made up of several components, including stone aggregates and resin, one white quartz surface may be a different, or whiter, white than another, dependent on how and where it is manufactured.

Quartz is normally a clear or greyish colour and often has a lot of impurities, which when mixed with the resin can create a white that definitely wouldn’t pass the Persil test. This makes it extremely difficult to make a very white quartz. At CRL Stone we’ve compared our white quartz with all the major suppliers in the UK and can confidently declare ours to be the whitest white on the block. How? Well, we’re lucky enough to have our quartz plant near the site of a natural white quartz, which is very rare and makes all the difference. Of course it’s not all down to luck; the secret also lies in the blending, as the quartz has to be ground down into a very fine powder to achieve a solid white colour with no pockets of resin.

That said, a practically perfect white isn’t always what is needed, but with that achieved, being able to offer a range of different whites is much easier. The fact that some whites are less white than others means that kitchen designers can choose from several different whites, choosing the best contrast to go with furniture or to match with the white used elsewhere in the kitchen.

With no less than six different whites in its quartz collection, not to mention an option with marble veins, CRL Stone’s offering would pass the doorstep challenge and then some.

For more information call CRL Stone on 01706 863600 or visit www.crlquartz.co.uk

Wallgate announces new Australasian distributor

Wallgate Limited, a market leading specialist in the design and manufacture of robust washrooms and sanitaryware solutions, has appointed Australia’s leading commercial tapware designer and supplier, Galvin Engineering, as its sole Australasian distributor.

sanitaryware

The addition of the Wallgate brand provides Galvin with increased access into a number of Australasian markets including commercial, secure, and healthcare as well as mental health and custodial environments.  It also reinforces Galvin’s purpose of working closely with leading designers and contractors to help them build world facilities for better health and safer communities.

Already established across these various markets as a tapware supplier, Galvin will now be able to offer a comprehensive package of highly innovative and suitable washroom equipment by having access to Wallgates range of sanitaryware and electronic water management systems.

Galvin Engineering has a team of over 80 people based in offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane that design and supply specialised taps and fixtures to commercial health and correctional building projects.  Sector expert Marco Bevilacqua will lead a new specialist team that will concentrate solely on the secure market out of the Melbourne office.

As part of the new arrangement, Wallgate will be distributing Galvin’s healthcare range in the UK and wider global markets. Specifically, the company will be responsible for supporting the GalvinCare, anti-ligature tapware and fixtures range (www.galvincare.com).

Marco Bevilacqua comments:

“This is a very exciting time for us – these appointments broaden reach and underline our ambition and focus to meet customers’ needs on a global scale. We are proud to distribute Wallgate’s robust, innovative washroom and sanitaryware range in our markets.”

This appointment serves to reinforce Wallgate’s commitment to the region and provide its Australasian customers with an enhanced service, both technically and commercially.”

Wallgate managing director, Trevor Powell comments:

“We are very pleased to welcome Galvin as a new distributor for our product range in the Australasian market. They bring a track record of delivering high quality products and have a proven reputation for markets that are key to us.

Expansion and innovation are key messages that we share with Galvin. This is already proven through Galvin working closely with us and our North American distributor, Intersan to develop and drive new initiatives in the North American behavioural health market which includes Mexico, Canada and the USA.”

For further details on each company, contact information and latest product releases for both Wallgate and Galvin please visit the respective websites:

www.wallgate.com, www.galvinspecialised.com.au  and www.galvinengineering.com.au.

Introducing the new Geberit Bathroom Collection

The market-leading sanitary brand which brought you Geberit AquaClean, Geberit Duofix and Geberit Mapress is proud to announce the launch of the Geberit Bathroom Collection. With 150 years of behind and in front of the wall experience, Geberit expands its know-how into an exciting collection of ceramics, furniture and mirrors; ideal for residential projects and hotels.

Geberit Bathroom Collection

Swiss innovation combines with the vision of Europe’s leading product designers to deliver a five-series collection, where elegant design meets outstanding function – placing comfort, usability and new cleanliness technologies at the heart of the modern bathroom as never before.

The Geberit Bathroom Collection offers exciting design solutions for any space, with a wide range of standard and short projection washbasins and toilets, bidets, mirrored cabinets and cleverly designed furniture with generous storage. Function pervades throughout with innovations including Geberit Rimfree® toilets, Geberit AquaClean shower toilets, the Geberit DuoFresh odour extraction unit and advanced KeraTect® ceramic glazes.

Geberit Bathroom Collection

Design meets function is the ethos behind the whole Geberit Bathroom Collection which includes the sophisticated Geberit Acanto series where the development of bathroom ergonomics is taken to an all new level. The result is the development of furniture and cabinets at the perfect reach height for various family members and compartments of the right size and shape to store daily used products within an optimum reach zone.

Furniture in the Acanto series can be combined in any number of ways to create a truly individual solution and is offered in a trend-setting mixture of materials and surfaces including glass, metal, painted and wood finishes.  The range also comprises a wide range of washbasins,  Rimfree® toilets and bathtubs.

Further ranges include Citterio which offers timeless elegance with geometric lines and gentle organic curves; Xeno2 – a pure and minimalistic design concept with distinctive products; iCon – a timeless, clear design offering graphical clarity and extraordinary options; and Smyle an attractive combination of harmonious design and functionality.  A complementary offering of illuminated mirrors and mirrored cabinets is also available with Geberit Option.

“With the launching of the Geberit Bathroom Collection it is now possible to offer architects, designers and specifiers a comprehensive range of products both in front of and behind the wall that meet the brand‘s exacting quality standards,” comments Geberit UK Managing Director, Mark Larden. “All the sanitary solutions for creating a dream bathroom can now be obtained from a single, inspirational source.“

For more information call Geberit on 01926 516800 or visit www.geberit.co.uk

New quartz surfaces combine style with maximum durability

CRL Stone has launched a new comprehensive range of engineered quartz surfaces, created to meet the demands of modern living. Hard wearing and easy to care for, CRL Quartz is ideal for the kitchen and bathroom where durability and flexible design are paramount.

CRL Quartz CRL Quartz is a beautiful engineered quartz stone, which is scratch, heat and stain resistant, which, unlike natural materials such as marble, never needs to be sealed. Requiring minimum maintenance to keep it looking as good as new, the non-porous surface makes cleaning simple, with soap and water or a mild detergent all that is needed.

Offering a versatile design solution appropriate for any setting, CRL Quartz is available in a choice of 32 colours, with a polished finish. In thicknesses of 20mm and 30mm, the surface comes in an extra-large format slab measuring 3.2 x 1.6 metres, allowing for greater consistency in design over large spaces such as kitchen worktops.

CRL Stone

Commenting on the launch of CRL Quartz, Simon Boocock, Managing Director of CRL Stone, said: “We are delighted to be bringing our own range of quartz surfaces to market. Responding head on to current trends in kitchen and bathroom design, the surface is a versatile, easy to maintain solution that will last the test of time. The quality of the product is backed up by CRL Stone’s excellent customer service and support, built on our 20 years’ experience in the industry.”

CRL Quartz is available from stock now from the CRL Stone UK warehouse.

For more information call 0800 0421 6144 or visit www.crlquartz.co.uk

Intamix Quickfit the industry’s speediest scalding solution

Anti-scald heating and plumbing product manufacturer, Inta, has launched the newest evolution of its multi-million selling Intamix thermostatic mixing valve (TMV).

The newest TMV in Inta’s acclaimed range features a new patent pending quick-fit system that has 40% fewer connections than a conventional mixing valve arrangement. Inta has reduced the number of wet connections to the valve from five to three, drastically reducing the time it takes installers to fit the valve while reducing the chance of leaks. By shrinking the valve’s overall size, it can also be installed in locations where space is at a premium.

The Intamix Quickfit comes with adjustable or fixed temperature options. The adjustable option gives installers flexibility to set the temperature for their specific application, while factory pre-set temperatures prevent the output temperature being modified by accident and the valve becoming a victim of misuse. The TMV also features a safety cut-out which immediately shuts off the outlet in the event of either hot or cold supply failure.

Stuart Gizzi, managing director at Inta, said: “The Intamix Quickfit is the result of a decade’s worth of TMV innovation and is a product that will lead the market in the future of TMV design. We are continually innovating and collaborating with installers to identify ways to improve and upgrade our products. With a reduced number of wet connections and a factory-set, non-adjustable temperature, the Intamix Quickfit will quickly become the go-to valve for specifiers and installers, while setting the standard for mixing valves of the future.”

http://www.intatec.co.uk/

Facebook www.facebook.com/Intatec

Neaco colour options provide stylish adaptive bathing

Neaco’s Freedom range of support fittings for adaptive bathrooms includes an exciting choice of contemporary and classic colours providing superior style and performance.

The latest powder coated options are available for a wide variety of support products, including hinged support rails, back rests, grab rails, hinged shower seats, portable bath seats and matching accessories such as towel rails, coat hooks, toilet roll holders, shelves and tilt-adjustable mirrors. The contemporary selection offers some vibrant options which can add a burst of colour to bathroom schemes. Alternatively, the new classic selection complements the country-style look with some rich and rustic colours to furnish bathrooms with a more traditional aesthetic.

neaco

Now available alongside some attractive metallic finishes, including chrome-effect, the new colours superbly complement Neaco’s Aluseal half-height shower enclosures and their Neatdek 3 shower grille, which is unique in the market as the only system which provides true-level-access onto a gradient-free showering area, making it the ideal option for wheelchair users in particular. Neatdek 3 is also available in bespoke colours on request.

Freedom support fittings are corrosion-free with smooth lines that are warm and comfortable to the touch. Rails are fully insulated with a sure and positive grip and all items provide heavy-duty performance with exceptional strength-to-weight ratio. All products are backed by a Lifetime Guarantee.

http://neaco.co.uk

Expectations redefined for Knauf AQUAPANEL® Interior

Freshly redesigned, Knauf’s improved AQUAPANEL® Interior Cement Boards are significantly lighter, making them both quicker and simpler to install.

Knauf AQUAPANEL® Interior Cement Boards have always had excellent performance. Manufactured from inorganic materials, the boards still demonstrate the same resistance to water, mould and mildew meaning they perform well for a wide range of wet area applications.

Extensive research and development has reduced the weight of the boards by a third to just 11kg/m2. This reduced weight makes the boards easier and faster to install than ever before.

Installation is another area of improvement that Knauf has focussed on. The improved score-and-snap technique and board bending radius (1m at full board size) makes installation easier, even in the most challenging areas.Because the AQUAPANEL® Interior Cement Boards come ready keyed from the factory, only one layer is required for a tiled finish, saving more time and money on a project.

For the first time, the boards will also be available in a larger 900x2400mm size. This ensures that the Knauf boards can be used on a wider variety and scale of projects.

From swimming pools and steam saunas, to communal showers and kitchen areas, AQUAPANEL®Interior Cement Boards will fulfil the needs of installers and contractors across the UK, whilst providing the clients with the quality finish that is demanded of Knauf products.

http://www.knauf.co.uk

Let there be light whatever the hour, with Geberit Monolith Plus

Geberit has introduced a new addition to its best-selling Monolith sanitary module, with the Geberit Monolith Plus. Featuring the same sleek, elegant glass frontage as the original model, this latest addition not only conceals all plumbing worn neatly out of sight, but also integrates a wealth of technology to raise the comfort levels in the contemporary bathroom.

Available in a choice of white or black glass, the elegant sanitary module has a discreet and indirect ComfortLight, providing a warm glow behind the module, which is automatically activated as the user approaches. This makes it perfect for when using the bathroom at night, or for creating a calming ambience at bath-time.

2014 Bathroom 6_B2 Monolith Plus (2) - Copy

Geberit Monolith Plus also features an integrated odour extraction unit, filling the space with clean, fresh air even in bathrooms with minimal natural ventilation.

Making light work of converting to the high-end look of wall-hung sanitaryware, the Geberit Monolith Plus can be connected to existing water and drainage connections, without any major structural changes or even retiling being necessary. With all pipework, fixtures and fittings neatly concealed behind the glass a streamlined finish is effortlessly achieved.

For more details call 0800 077 8365 or visit www.geberit.co.uk

Superior Flooring Products For Superior Living Spaces

Dural

Carleton Manor Park is an exclusive new housing development that offers luxurious family homes of the highest quality.  In order to showcase the high-end, aspirational feel of the development, the showhome was proudly designed and created and all of the high quality products used throughout were carefully considered.

Dural UK’s CI+ Anti-Crack Matting, Micro Joint Infill and Durabase WP Waterproofing Membrane System were all used throughout the property to provide effective movement protection in the natural stone flooring.

A showhome with a wow factor

Located on the outskirts of Penrith, Carleton Manor Park is surrounded by natural beauty with the Lake District National Park a stone’s throw away.  The developers, Cumbrian Homes, wanted to ensure the natural beauty remained integral in the design throughout the luxury homes in Carleton Manor Park.

Cumbrian Homes worked with local specialists Penrith Tile Centre, and effectively combined the natural stones and porcelains throughout the showhome to complement the surrounding area.  The Tasman natural floor and wall tiles with plank effect look stunning in the main bathroom as they mimic the variability of natural wood.

In the kitchen and living areas of the property, Ca Pietra’s Astro Grey Marble tiles were used in an unpolished finish.  The delicate, subtle tones of the tiles blend effortlessly with the beautiful, traditional kitchen cabinetry.

Dural

The high standard of finish and attention to detail is clearly evident in the beautiful showhome. It is important to consider the function as well as the form, and the practicality and durability of the stone tiled surfaces throughout.  As with all hard flooring materials, they are prone to various forms of stress and strains over time e.g. expansion and contraction caused by underfloor heating systems, cracking, loosening and others.  It is essential to protect the surface tiles to retain the aesthetics and integrity of the flooring.

Dural UK – specialists in protecting tiled flooring installations

Throughout the showhome, Dural’s CI+ Anti-Crack Matting was used, together with Tilemaster adhesives.  It effectively decouples the surface layer of tiling from the subfloor beneath it, absorbing any stresses or movements caused by expansions or contractions.  By doing this, it protects the tiles and prevents them from cracking or loosening.

Not only does the CI+ Matting benefit tiled flooring installations by protecting the tiles, but also helps as a time saving solution during the installation phase.  It can be laid over the subfloor as soon as it is dry enough for a person to walk over, rather than traditional methods where subfloors need a substantial amount of time to fully dry.  Air channels in the matting allow the subfloor rafts to continue to dry out in a controlled way by preventing the top layer of the screed drying quicker than the bottom.  This slow drying period leads to a stronger subfloor.

Dural’s Micro Joint Infill was also used in the kitchen area to provide additional protection to the Astro Grey Marble tiles, and was supplied and colour matched to Grout 3000 Light Grey.  The colour match enabled a seamless finish for the surface tiling.

Micro Joint Infill has been specially developed for tiled flooring installations which are laid over underfloor heating systems, particularly for residential developments.  It provides effective movement protection for tiles and natural stone on heated floors.  It means a tiled flooring installation with Micro Joint Infill used is able to effectively absorb the movement energy transferred from the subfloor, protecting the tiles from cracking and loosening.

Penrith Tile Centre applied the Micro Joint Infill into the grout lines in between the Astro Grey Marble tiles, carefully following the brick bond tile formation.

In the shower and wet areas within the showhome, Dural’s WP Durabase Waterproofing Membrane was used.  It is the ideal product for waterproofing shower areas in preparation for tile installations.  The Durabase membrane has excellent sealing properties and enabled a better adhesion when using the Tilemaster adhesives.

Dural

The Tasman natural floor and wall tiles, supplied by Marshalls, look stunning in the bathrooms throughout the showhome and are now protected by the Durabase WP Waterproofing Membrane.

Dural are proud to have worked with Penrith Tile Centre and Cumbrian Homes on the Carleton Manor Park Project, and there are plans to use the same high quality products in the rest of the 39 houses in the luxury development.

For further information on Dural’s range of flooring accessories, contact their flooring experts and they will be happy to provide further information.  High quality products are backed up by excellent, competent advice and design solutions.

info@dural.co.uk  www.colouredmovementjoints.co.uk

Further Information

Penrith Tile Centre – www.penrithtiles.co.uk | www.stonecollectionscumbria.com

Cumbrian Homes – www.cumbrian-homes.co.uk