Sanitary ware, shower, bath and hydromassage tubs
The offer and demand for sanitary ware has reached a market expansion in the last decade which made the choice of the sanitary ware and the additional equipment a very important thing in the creation of bathrooms and toilets. The choice was not quite wide before, the fixtures were all the same so that the whole choice could come to the question whether or not place the bath tub or a shower tub. With the present choice of sanitary ware different possibilities for decoration have been opened and the selection is very similar to the choosing of the ceramics.
The most significant thing when it comes to choosing the bathroom furniture is their future functionality and the possibility of their installing in the given space. In that sense, it is also important to take advice from an expert, the construction worker or the architect, to find out if it is possible to implement the furniture in the chosen space. In the construction of new rooms those possibilities are usually fully open, but when it comes to adaptation of old facilities there might appear some obstacles. With good construction workers the old premises can easily overcome all the problems. Aesthetically, the sanitary ware should be integrated with ceramics and bathroom furniture.
Under the term sanitary ware, we imply the bathroom sink, toilet bowl, bidets, pissoirs, shower and bath tubs. A common characteristic to all of them is that they are made of materials which are resistant to damp and ware, which are easily maintained and satisfy the aesthetic demands. Today these conditions are fulfilled with different materials such as ceramics, acrylic, marble, wood, fibreglass, specific types of plastics, glass, cast iron, etc.
Bathroom sinks are made in different shapes, dimensions and of different materials. Based on the way of installing they can be built-in, semi-built-in, super-built-in and classic. Built-in sinks are placed in the panel or in the furniture which is supposed to carry it, so that the outer side of the sink stays hidden. Semi-built-in sinks enter the furniture only on one side, while the other side resembles the super-built-in. The super-built-in sinks in almost all cases need a panel which has to be placed before the sink, so that the sink remains completely visible.
There are also super-built-in sinks which are hung on the wall but that is not usual. The classic sinks are placed onto the wall and under them a toilet cupboard can be placed or a base which covers the fixtures. The materials used are various: wood, glass, ceramics, exmar (grinded quartz glued in the sintered resin), kerrock, marble, PVC, rubber, etc. The shapes can also vary; there are shallow, deep, square, round, etc. The choice of the shape, size and the material depends on the client and on the interior of the bathroom.
Toilet bowls and bidets appear with floor or wall leg with low or high level toilet cisterns. Modern types include console toilet bowls and bidets which are hung on the wall together with the concealed toilet cistern. There are also close coupled toilet cisterns where the cistern itself is directly mounted to the toilet bowl, meaning that one complete unit is created (there are no separate parts). The combination of the console toilet bowl and concealed cistern is possible in almost all bathrooms and it is much cleaner than the classic combination with plastic or ceramic cistern. A frequently asked question is how to solve a possible problem on the mechanism in the cistern. Experience has shown that when it comes to renowned producers the problems happen very rarely.
The vital parts of the cistern, or the mechanism itself, are easily replaceable through the hole where the handle for releasing water flow is. The only obstacle with this kind of toilet bowl installing can be if the wall in which the system goes, is not deep enough. This situation can be handled with the making of an extension, not deeper than 15-20cm and not taller than 120cm (usually made of plaster or using classic masonry), in which the cistern is installed.
The most common material for toilet bowls and bidets is ceramics. Some renowned producers using certain substances change the material itself in the process of production, so that the water drops are not kept on the ceramics and they stay dry. This makes the cleaning and maintenance easy.
Dimensions and the style of life affect the choice for a bath tub or a shower cabin. If you choose the shower cabin the main dilemma is whether to place the shower tub or cover the floor of the cabin with ceramics. If shower tub is not placed, the problem with water accumulation is good to be solved with a strip channel which visually looks nice and elegant. In that case, it is quite important for hydroinsulation to be good. On the other hand, there is a wide choice for shower tubs. The dimensions of ready-made cabins and tubs go from 75x75cm to 150x100cm. Tubs and cabins which are smaller than 80x80cm should not be bought because they are too small and scanty for an adult.
Classic shower tubs are 10-15cm high however there are also lower 3-5cm high, as well as those which are installed into the floor with the entire surface. Some designers worked on the appearance of shower tubs so that today they can be a nice decorative element in the bathroom. However, because of the designer’s touch, they are much more expensive. The most common material used in the making of shower tubs is acrylic or ceramics, and there can also appear exmar and wood.
Exmar and wood have a problem with maintenance, because they do not tolerate aggressive and abrasive cleaning products. When you decide on the shower tub which can satisfy your needs, it is important to choose the appropriate cabin. It would be best if you could avoid the cabins with sliders. Slide doors are more difficult for maintenance than the doors with hinges and the sliders, which are not easily replaceable, are ruined making them not so good a solution. When choosing the cabin, tempered glass is better than plastics. The shape of the cabin depends on the space and it can be a combination of fixed and mobile part.
There is a possibility to place only the doors (the walls are covered in ceramics) or just the fixed part without doors (a so called “walk-in” type) in which case the screen should be large enough so that water does not come out of the shower cabin. A good thing is that the shower cabins can be custom-made and they do not have to be bought together with the tub. It is good to choose transparent cabin glass so that the space could visually be more open. The glass can also be partially sand blasted.
When choosing the bath tub, the most common dilemma is whether to choose the regular or the hydromassage tub. You have to prepare a significant sum of money if you want to have a good, quality and long-lasting hydromassage tub. Cheap copies of hydromassage tubs simply do not work and cannot be used. Hydromassage tubs can be bought in different sizes, from 140x80cm to 200x200cm. They are usually square, but there are also corner, round and in the shape of a cube. They are made of acrylic and can be in different colours. Because of the installation, regular service and system maintenance, there has to be an easily replaceable mask at the front of the tub. The mask can be in the same colour and made of the same material as the tub itself, or it can be made of another material. There is also a possibility to plate it with ceramics or mosaics which is, in that case, pasted using flexible binder.
The performances of today’s bath tubs have reached high level so that you can have a possibility to make your own spa corner. There are tubs with air and water jets, heaters which maintain balanced water temperature, with systems for foot and back massage. There is also ozone therapy, which includes pure oxygen which comes into the water; chromo therapy (under water light therapy), installed music boxes which help with relaxation, the possibility for adding etheric oils, etc. Most of the salons which have these tubs are in contact with authorized service centres which take care of their products. This point should be taken into consideration when it comes to buying the tub, because not all tubs are standardized and not every handyman can fix them.
Classic bath tubs are made of acrylic, wood, inox, exmar and glass. The sizes go from 130x70cm to 200x100cm. Some producers offer hydromassage tubs, but the process of production eliminates the hydromassage system. They can be built-in and can be coated with ceramics or vertical with a mask. Lately, bath tubs which remind us of old free-standing tubs are coming back to fashion. These tubs are looking in their best if they are placed in big bathrooms. They can fit in different interior styles and they look very luxury and rich.
There is also one more practical type of a bath tub. Those are combined boxes with a slightly extended part used as a shower cabin. This is an ideal combination for people who live in big households where some people like to take a shower while others enjoy in their bath time. These boxes can be made as hydromassage tubs with jets installed in the walls of the cabin. There can also be a glass panel with hydromassage columns.