No building work ever goes without a hitch, no matter how great the builder, but sometimes things happen which really try your patience, and you just think, why me?! When we were fitting the Liner Luxe bathroom featured in Ideal Home Feb 2010, the client specified a steel bath rather than acrylic. Who’d have thought there was so much to consider!:
- Steel is a better conductor of heat than acrylic, so the latter will hold the bath water heat for longer. Bear in mind that you’re unlikely to be in the bath for anywhere near long enough for this to be an issue, unless you’re a mermaid and then you’d probably have run a cold one.
- Steel is colder than the touch than acrylic so if you like sitting on the side of the bath naked, steel will give you a chilly bum.
- Acrylic scratches more easily than steel and loses it’s gloss faster. The experts recommend using washing -up liquid or Stardrops ONLY on a steel bath to ensure it keeps glossy looking, NEVER use bleach, Cif or any of the super strong spray cleaners out now.
- Steel baths will chip if you drop something in hard and heavy them but as most of us don’t juggle bricks in the shower, this is rarely an issue. Your builder must be careful once he’s fitted the bath as a dropped chisel may cause a lovely gouge in the enamel surface.
- Price-wise, you get what you pay for, steel baths were traditionally much more costly, but have reduced in price, however the cheap steel ones are thin, say 1.6mm instead of the regular 3.5mm. non-standard steel baths, e.g. not 1700mm long and 750mm wide, tend to be most expensive than acrylic.
- Steel baths are heavier than acrylic and this can be an issue on some sites.
- Acrylic baths have been accused of ‘creaking’ and are not as rigid as steel, often needing extra support underneath.
- Steel baths are noisier than acrylic, some people like the sound, others don’t. Your call.
- Steel baths can be a bit slippery inside for older clients, maybe specify a steel one with ridges to the base, or simply opt for acrylic.
- You’ll need to earth a steel bath for safety: metal + water + electric = a bath which relaxes you permanently.
- Acrylic baths come in a variety of colours. So if you really want an avacado bath, you can have one 🙂
- This one’s for the ladies: we had an acrylic bath which had obviously been zealously cleaned with cif etc, taking the top surface off, I used a Lush bath ballistic in it and the orange staining never came off. I was not popular.
Phwef, that went on longer than I planned, where was I?! Oh yes, so the steel bath arrived at Liner Luxe and looked just perfect.
It was fitted, photographed and forgotten about, until Mrs P (above) rang and told me the bath had a chip in it. Did you accidentally drop something in it, I gently enquired. No, said Mrs P, I just ran the bath for the first time, and when I emptied it, there was a round chip near the tap end. Bit odd, I thought, so popped round to have a look. There was indeed a black chip kind of like a bullet hole, not on the bottom of the bath, where you’d expect if something was dropped, but on the side. Curiouser and curiouser. So I called Bette, the manufacturer, to speak to one of their rep’s, described the chip and learned something new. Because the chip was bullet shaped with feathery edges and on the bath wall, he said that it must have been given a knock or bang to the underside either during transit or at the builders merchants. The bang hadn’t been enough to crack the internal enamel at the time, but when the first bath of hot water was run, that’s when the enamel pops off! Client totally off the hook but what now?
Bette said it wasn’t their fault as they bring their steel baths into the UK in cradles to protect them and they aren’t taken out of the baby bette cots until they are delivered to the builders merchants, the merchants say they didn’t bash it and I know we didn’t. Stalemate! Bette graciously said they would provide a new bath f.o.c. but that still left me having to remove, re-tile and re-fit with none of it my doing 😦 Luckily for me, the client decided on a repair rather than a replacement, so out came Gerry the Bath Surgeon yesterday to save the day.