An essential guide to buying bathroom products
Tips and advise when buying your bathroom suite:
Your bathroom is probably the most intimate space in your home.
Many people invest excessively in renovating their bathrooms in the belief that the reflection of their personality can be found in the design of the bathroom. When your guests use your bathroom, they take the time to look around and examine the style and accessories decorating the bathroom.
Your wealth and style will be reflected from the perfection of work and the material you use.
Below are some tips and advise when considering buying a bathroom suite or adding accessories.
Also known as sanitary ware, ceramics, porcelain and ware.
There are four basic areas that affect the quality of pottery and its expected lifespan:
The depth of the glaze:
The glaze is the glass-like surface coating which is fired onto the pottery in the kiln when it is made.
The glass enables the pot to be waterproof and protects it from chemicals, such as bleach etc, over its life.
The thicker the glaze generally the longer the life. Once this glaze goes, wears out, the pot becomes porous, absorbs water and eventually cracks.
The more you use and clean the pottery the faster the glaze wears out.
To make the glaze thicker you have to apply it a layer at a time and each time fire it in the kiln. This process results in breakages within the kiln.
For example, if I fire 100 pieces of pot once I may get 99 back in one piece, so the 99 pays for the 100.
If I then fire the 99 again I may get 80 back in one piece, so now 80 have to pay for 100.
If I then fire the 80 I may get only 50 back in one piece, so now 50 have to pay for 100. You get the gist of this by now.
If you assume that each layer of glaze lasts approximately 5 to 7 years you can soon see how the system works.
If you glaze once you get a less expensive cost to manufacture but the product does not last as long in a house. The thicker the glaze the longer the pottery lasts.
Quality of the clay:
The quality of the clay that is used to make the pottery is very important.
The reason for this is that the finer the clay the smoother the finish will be on the item being made.
If you use a poorer grade of clay it will have more grit in it and the surface will have a more rippled appearance.
You may also find that because of the increased grit content the pottery is heavier than an item of the same size made with a finer grade of clay.
The finer the clay the more tonnes of rough clay you have to use to refine down to make it.
It is therefore less expensive to produce pottery with a coarse grade of clay.
The overspray or colour:
The white colour, or whatever colour it happens to be, is applied to the pottery before the glaze.
Each manufacturer mixes their own colour to try to match it to the colour of the acrylic baths.
The white colour of the acrylic bath is a worldwide standard set by the acrylic manufacturers.
You need to be aware of this if you client tries to mix and match pottery from different manufacturers.
Its usually acceptable to have a toilet and basin from one supplier made to match the bath but if you put a basin
from one supplier and a toilet from another and then the bath together it will stand out like a sore thumb.
The thicker the colour is applied, the less fading on the edges takes place and the colour is even over the whole of the item.
The colour as with the glaze is applied in layers and then has to be left to set before the next coat can be applied.
The fewer coats the quicker the product can be made and the less cost is involved.
The design of the item:
The more intricate the design the more expensive the mould is to make and the more chance there is that you will not always remove it from the mould without damage.
Plainer shapes are usually less expensive. You should also note that basins, toilets and bidets are made as matched sets.
You will often find that the foot of the pedestal on the basin matches the foot of the toilet pan and that the back of the basin matches the toilet cistern lid.
One general point to be made is that pottery is often sold in what is known in the trade as a four-piece set.
That is a basin, pedestal, pan and cistern. Unfortunately the retail customer sees the set as two pieces: the basin and the toilet.
If you use the term four-piece set to a retail customer they may think you mean a basin, toilet, bath and bidet.
So always explain what you mean by four pieces if you should choose to use the term.