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Building Products April 2017

BATHROOMS AND KITCHENS throughout shower areas, changing rooms and washrooms. With no need to compromise on safety and durability, it makes an ideal choice for cubicles as well as duct panelling and even lockers. It is not just the increased durability of glass that has secured its place as a key feature in modern washrooms and changing areas, but also its design versatility. The option to back-paint glass to almost any colour or to incorporate digitally screen printed designs ensures it complements virtually any washroom design or colour scheme. Textured glass, stainless steel trims and acid etching offer even more choice of finish to suit any style. Low iron glass in particular has opened up new possibilities for leisure sector washroom design. With its extra clear finish there is no standard green tint traditionally associated with glass, making it the perfect base to apply colour to through back-painting. Its excellent clarity ensures true colours are seen and with a higher level of light transmittance also helps to create a brighter area to balance the issue of lack of natural light in changing rooms. Cast acrylic is a great lightweight alternative to glass and another popular choice for shower cubicles, especially for leisure facilities looking for a high specification yet practical design. Its highly 38 BUILDING PRODUCTS | APRIL 2017 durable surface offers resistance to scratches and cleaning solvents so it will easily withstand the day-to-day wear and tear of a busy leisure centre. Cast acrylic also benefits from being available in a range of different textured finishes and colours and opacity so again there is no need to compromise on style. Opting to specify anodised aluminium is another way to extend the lifespan of washroom and changing area facilities. The anodising process is unusual amongst surface treatments as it integrates totally with the metallic substructure rather than simply being applied to the surface of the aluminium. As the anodic layer enhances the natural qualities of the aluminium, it helps provide an exceptionally durable surface which is resistant to water and humidity, as well as creating an attractive finish. When it comes to vanities and grooming shelves, solid surface materials like Corian, which are available in a wide range of attractive colours and textures, offer the perfect balance. Such materials, which lend themselves to being cut, bent and joined to produce a desirable seamless and perfectly smooth finish, offer a low maintenance, hygienic solution which is just as aesthetically pleasing. Considering the need for any planned or reactive maintenance is also essential to ensure the longevity of washroom and changing area facilities. An integrated duct panelling system, which makes access for cleaning, maintenance and repair more cost effective and less disruptive for end users, also creates a smooth finish, adding to the design. Available in a wide range of materials and finishes, including real wood veneers, Corian, granite, glass, mirrors and laminate to suit any number of different designs, duct panelling – they are the perfect balance between form and function. Another effective way to inject a splash of colour and personality into a washroom or changing room design is through the use of screen printing on cubicles, vanities and lockers. Screen printing allows for a fun style to be created which can be tailored to fit with existing themed areas and complement the rest of the building, but can also be refreshed with new designs over time to create a new look quickly and easily. Utilising the latest materials, products and finishes is the ideal way to create washrooms and changing areas that not only look exceptional, but also save facilities managers time, energy and money – the perfect balance. Trevor Bowers is a Director at Washroom Washroom <<< Continued from page 37


Building Products April 2017
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