Bathroom innovation in a material world

    150 150 Daniel Fountain
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    The variety of choice can be a key asset of any brand, creating infinite design opportunities only limited by imagination but the success of design, whether in a hotel or a home, relies upon the importance of understanding the qualities of the materials it works with, on a practical as well as aesthetic level.For Laufen, this has never been more prevalent than now with wellness options available in solid surface, steel, acrylic and ceramic.

    2012 saw the launch of Laufen’s first solid surface bathtub, as part of its new Palomba Collection. Solid surface has many advantages for the hotel bathroom, chief among them being the possibility to carry our repairs should any surface defects arise and its low sound transmission, so guests won’t disturb neighbouring rooms when it’s time to take a bath.

    Ilker Hussein, Manager Global Projects at Laufen, comments: “Laufen is the only global manufacturer that is able to manufacture baths and shower trays from steel, solid surface and acrylic and ceramic – and there is a place for each of them, and a key benefit for each of them.“

    However, it is not just wellness products – it is Laufen’s superior knowledge of crafting bathroom pieces from ceramic that has led to its huge success on a global level. The company is pioneering a new ceramic material, which results in ceramic pieces being up to 40 per cent lighter than fine fireclay, and with a brilliant white finish minus the normal yellowish tinge which is common with ceramic products. This new material allows much finer and sharper edges to be created and blurs the aesthetic lines between ceramic and solid surfaces.

    However, the implications of this go well beyond aesthetic with a positive environmental impact due to lower weight of distribution alongside easier installation.

    Ilker continues: “Washbasins are often the main focus of the hotel bathroom and by recently starting to offer solid surfacing for a seamless finish or ceramic basins that can be cut to fit in any space Laufen gives hotel designers total freedom of creativity.”

    For hotel bathroom washbasins, however, ceramic still has the edge over solid surface in terms of practicality, in many instances, not least as it offers very high scratch, chemical and heat resistance. Ceramic can also be used to introduce individuality to the bathroom by adding colour, as it can be manufactured in various colour finishes including white, white matt, warm grey, black and matt black.

    All in all, Laufen’s ability to craft fine bathroom pieces from a wide range of materials brings a whole new finesse to the hotel bathroom, at a time when contemporary design being pushed to its limits. Visit Laufen at London Sleep 2012, Stand G21 + G23, on 21-22 November 2012 to explore and discuss the material possibilities.

    Daniel Fountain / 19.11.2012

    Editor, Hotel Designs


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