Polymers are conquering the bathroom. Source: istockphoto

Polymers are conquering the bathroom: wellness instead of drab sanitaryware

For a long time, designers had to make do with such conventional materials as steel and ceramics when planning bathrooms and kitchens. Times have changed: plastics provide the basis for new shapes and a new concept of well-being.

For a long time, designers had to make do with such conventional materials as steel and ceramics when planning bathrooms and kitchens. In the past, composite materials have been the only alternative for sanitaryware. They are produced by the gelcoating or solid surface process and have distinct restrictions as far as haptic, gloss, scratch resistance and other performance characteristics are concerned. The results look sound, but there are limits to their resistance and creative potential. Not because there is a lack of ideas. The conventional materials simply leave too much to be desired as regards design, functionality and colour. Modern bathrooms clamour for new materials, on the other hand, with which contemporary designs and future trends can be implemented. They can, however, only be produced with the help of versatile polymer material combinations.

Material combinations known as composites of the kind used in bathrooms and toilets are not only more versatile at the design level; they also have a property profile that stainless steel and ceramics could never imagine - if they even had the ability to do so. Thanks to special additives, composites can be designed to fulfil any individual wishes or ideas as to their shape, colour and haptic properties; in addition to this, they are three to four times as abrasion-resistant and very much more scratch-resistant than standard surface and gelcoat materials. This means that they are particularly suitable for bathrooms that are in constant use, such as those in public buildings.

Composites offer considerable added value: designers are enthusiastic about this material, because it gives them plenty of creative freedom. Sanitaryware made from this material has warm and pleasant haptic properties too - they do not feel like plastic at all. Larger objects like bathtubs and washbasins up to four metres long can be also be made from them. And there is a new development: customised production is possible with this material, including the integration on request of screw connections or jets of the kind required, for example, for hot tubs and whirlpools. The sanitaryware is simple to clean and just as easy to repair, if this becomes necessary. In a nutshell: modern composites turn drab bathrooms into relaxing wellness oases. GDeußing