Suppliers you should know: Bathrooms
The companies making hotel bathrooms stylish and sustainable
Showcasing its latest bathroom trends at new showrooms and design spaces
Having recently unveiled an architectural and design space on Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, Bagnodesign has plans to open more showrooms across the region to showcase its products.
This year, the company will open a 4000ft² showroom in Hong Kong to make its full range of bathroom products available to architects, interior designers, contractors and discerning retail clients alike.
When it comes to selecting hotel bathrooms, it’s essential to maintain the same level of style and comfort that is present throughout a property explains Guy Wilson, Bagnodesign managing director of projects.
“Luxurious, high quality products are a must for bathrooms. The challenge is to source items that are durable and easy to use combined with an aesthetically pleasing design, and ensure that the same level of comfort and style is maintained throughout all areas of the hotel from the lobby to the guest bathrooms.
This is where Bagnodesign comes in. Through our extensive product ranges, encompassing value and quality, we are able to design the most stylish and exquisite bathing spaces, incorporating the latest design trends and utilising the most innovative technology and craftsmanship.”
Bagnodesign’s latest additions include nature-inspired décor, such as the Bloomsbury Ebony furniture range and freestanding bathtubs available in Bagnotec stone, copper, acrylic and enamelled steel. Other products include self-cleaning whirlpools with underwater lighting and optional air jets, as well as shower to steam conversions and luxury spa TVs.
Providing design-focused durable bathroom solutions
Having noted the recent trend for flush to floor showers, German-based Bette has added a new product to its floor level shower range. Bettefloor Side complements award-winning Bettefloor, an enamelled steel flush to floor shower area.
The standing platform is a large singular tile-like product that is permanently waterproof and easy to clean, offering more durability and hygiene than regular tiles. The new Bettefloor Side has its outlet located off-centre so that the standing surface is seamless, providing increased comfort.
In addition to scoping out products that improve on the existing ranges, Bette is design-focused and prides itself on creating products to fit into any size and shape of bathroom, explains head of marketing, Sven Rensinghoff.
“We provide competitively priced bespoke options, particularly for hotel refurbishments where room layouts are fixed and there may be particular challenges. Owing to our manufacturing processes and the materials we use, we are able to trim baths prior to enamelling.
This can be useful, for example, in a small bathroom where a door opening could restrict the size of the bath. We are able to trim the rim of the bath next to the door to allow the use of a larger bath than would otherwise be possible. Our flexible manufacturing process also means that we are able to make baths a specific size or shape if required.”
Through decades of experience in steel re-shaping and enamel finishing, Bette has become a leading manufacturer of enamelled steel products for bathrooms.
Since all products are manufactured from raw materials, such as glass, water and steel, they are highly durable and therefore have a considerably lower carbon footprint than products manufactured from man-made materials. This is something that is reflected in the 30-year guarantee of all Bette products.
The Geberit Group
Creating sustainable coordinated components for sanitary equipment
The Geberit Group’s sustainable practices were recognised by GAIA in November 2013, which awarded the company in the kitchen & bathroom category for their green product range, Duofix. Duofix is a comprehensive range of universal and self-supporting installation elements in drywall construction for sanitary equipment.
The range is not only environmentally friendly, but includes perfectly coordinated components providing customised, economical solutions for any construction project, according to Geberit managing director and head of the Gulf region, Stefan Schmied.
“Geberit installation technology provides a simple way to ensure all necessary power connections are present behind a wall. With Geberit Duofix, there is no need to worry about where electricity is required for a shower, a toilet or say, a touchless actuator. Geberit also has a method for ensuring that customers know years on exactly where in the wall a conduit pipe was put.”
In addition to its Duofix range, Geberit is constantly looking at sustainable innovations in its product portfolio each year, be it with new designs for push plates or self-sustaining electronic faucets. Its new collection for 2014 will include the flagship of the Geberit Monolith sanitary module for washbasins and WCs, Monolith Plus.
The product comprises built-in odour extraction, an electronic flush and ambient lighting with a sensor.
The Geberit Group was established in 1874 and is headquartered in Switzerland. The company generated US $2.4 billion in 2012 and currently employs 6,100 staff.
Combining style with durability
Kaldewei manufactures around 8000 bathtubs and showers each day and prides itself on providing high quality, cost-effective and hygienically certified products using enamelled steel.
Two of the company’s best-selling bathtubs are Conoduo, which combines linear and geometric elements to produce striking designs, and Centro Duo Oval with two identical back rests, an extra depth of 47cm, and panelling which allows it to be positioned anywhere in the bathroom. It is this merging of style with substance that is the key to Kaldewei’s success, explains Roberto Martinez, head of international sales and object management.
“Alongside a customer’s idea of aesthetics and design, hoteliers increasingly have to meet high operational requirements and demands for hygiene and cleanliness. Kaldewei bathtubs and showers not only fulfil all these needs, but they support profitability. Kaldewei steel enamel 3.5 mm is durable, robust and easy to clean.
At Kaldewei, we believe that focusing on quality from the outset pays off. Our clients benefit from time-savings when cleaning, being able to operate equipment safely, and having a product that is durable and has longevity in its design. Our 30-year guarantee underlines our commitment to the quality and reliability of our products.”
Kaldewei has consolidated its market position over many years and is now a European leader in enamelled bathtubs and showers. The company operates worldwide in more than 50 countries across all five continents.
Keeping up with modern lifestyle trends
In Dubai on January 20, 2014, Kohler, one of the USA’s oldest private companies, launched its biggest showroom in the GCC and the second largest in the Middle East.
This follows the opening last year in Dubai of its first Kohler design centre in the Middle East, and third worldwide. One of the company’s latest launches is the Terrace collection, which combines luxury with functionality and gives clients the option of personalising cabinets with the choice of a variety of shades.
The Moxie showerhead is another newcomer and incorporates a bluetooth-enabled wireless speaker which can be synced with a device so that users can listen to music while in the shower.
The company, which is continually evolving its products to fit with modern lifestyles, offers a range of solutions to overcome the most common challenges in bathroom design.
Mohammed Nada, regional marketing manager at Kohler Middle East explains: “One of the main challenges when it comes to bathroom products is saving water and electricity. This can be overcome by integrating Kohler’s infrared faucets and LEED certified products into bathroom designs.
Another problem is that bathrooms are getting smaller and smaller, meaning that space is constrained. Kohler’s compact designs include a variety of products that save space, including WCs, power enclosures and showering systems.”
Kohler Co. employs more than 31,000 associates across six continents, operates plants in 49 worldwide locations, and has dozens of sales offices around the globe. A global leader in the manufacture of kitchen and bathroom products, the company is continually evolving to reflect the latest trends relating to lifestyle, technology and the environment.
Blending local design with world-class durability
A collaboration with iconic Italian design house Kartell, and the launch of innovative material SaphirKeramik made 2013 an exciting year for Laufen, a premier brand under the Roca umbrella.
The new Kartell by Laufen range, designed by Ludovica+Roberto Palomba, offers a complete bathroom solution at an affordable luxury level, including some real gems in terms of technology, such as hidden wastes and overflows in basins and bathtubs.
Additionally, using new ceramic substitute SaphirKeramik, Laufen has been able to achieve unprecedented possibilities in design. SafphirKeramik, which is considerably harder and stronger than regular ceramic, can create more defined radii and edges, as well as thinner walls, which have until now not been seen in sanitary ceramic.
“It is always a challenge to create the right blend of locally influenced design delivered to budget and to a finish that can withstand the challenges of hotel use,” explains Ivan Zupanovic, head of international project sales & export at Laufen.
“Our success has lain in the ability to work with designers to explore products that fulfil design aspirations as well as budgetary constraints. Advising and supporting a designer as their specialised bathroom advisor is always our preferred method.”
Laufen supplies a diverse range of products to hotel groups across the world. The company aims to help designers realise their ambitions, whether for a three-star hotel such as the recent joint venture between Marriott and IKEA, which will see 150 Moxy hotels being rolled out over 10 years across Europe, or for customised solutions such as those supplied to the stylish Mondrian Hotel in Doha due to open this year.
Laufen, which employs 1,800 staff, manufactures around three million ceramic pieces per year across its production sites in Switzerland, Austria and Czech Republic.
Making space for new technology
As well as recent gallery openings throughout Europe, including a new flagship gallery in London, Spanish bathroom brand Roca has been busy launching its latest innovation, In-tank Meridian — a water closet with an integrated flushing system.
The unit not only increases hygiene but also fits more easily into smaller bathroom spaces, which according to Samer Deeb, marketing and specification manager for the Middle East at Roca, is essential for user comfort.
“For hygiene purposes and ease of use, WCs with concealed cisterns are preferable. Although bathroom spaces at each hotel vary, user comfort can be increased with a minimum space maintained between different elements.”
In addition to creating products that fit reduced spaces, Roca believes that water saving technology is crucial for modern bathroom products. The company has recently launched its new water saving urinal, and will continue to incorporate sustainable technology into its future designs.