Thursday, February 24, 2005

Bamboo Wall Panels

All of the bathroom panels and cladding sold on our site are made from upvc. At present we do not sell any of the wood based systems as they are difficult to transport and not as easy to install as the plastic versions (they are also a lot more expensive).

We are always on the look out for new products and while surfing the net we came across a very interesting product bamboo wall panels.

I will look a little further into this as I am a great fan of bamboo both for its aesthetic qualities and the fact that it is enviromentally friendly. Click the following link to see the site I came across bamboo wall panels .

I had previously seen bamboo flooring and had been impressed with what I saw - especially as it was suitable for use in wet and humid areas of the home such as bathrooms. I hope the wall panels are also suitable as they look stunning.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Shower Panels Used on TV

ITV's 60 minute makeover shower utilised waterproof wall panelling as part of their overhaul of a property in Banbury.

Although they used a wood based system rather than the UPVC cladding that we sell, it still demonstrated the speed and ease with which this type of product goes up.

60 Minute Makeover used the panels inside a shower cubicle where the lack of grout and waterproof qualities are really appreciated.

Refurbishment work such as this can sometimes be tricky if there is an existing shower mixer valve that needs to be removed and replaced - the pipework supplying the valve does not always have enough "slack" to allow the unit to be moved out by the ticknoess of the panels which can be between 8 and 10mm for upvc panels (wood based panel thicknoesses vary according to the manufacturer).

It would have been nice to see the plastic version used as theyt are cheaper and generally much easier to fit but at least this form of bathroom wall covering got some exposure, which up until now has been quite limited.

Monday, February 21, 2005

New Cladding Designs

As posted previously, we are going to be adding more cladding designs to our range in the next few days days.

We haven't decided which range will be first but we it might well be the Labo panel from Decos - a plain white available in two shades (the uniquely titled "fridge white" and cream white).

We are in the process of updating Marxwebz, our low cost web design site, at present, so as soon as this is completed we'll move on to The Bathroom Marquee.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

The Bathroom Market

I read an article recently that stated that the bathroom market has risen in 24% over the last four years and that this growth is expected to continue - which is good news for those of us in the bathroom sector.

Another interesting statistic that jumped out at me was that refurbishment accountes for over 60% of sales with balance being made up by new build. This is also an encouraging situation as the bathroom cladding that we sell is ideal for use in refurbishment - its main benefit being that it can be installed over existing wall coverings such as ceramic wall tiles without the need to remove them first.

Caldding is also suitable for use in new build where walls will not need plastering prior to its installation, saving time and money in the process. We have had several forward thinking property developers purchase our cladding as they know their clients will love the visual impact of the product while increasing their bottom line at the same time.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Low Cost Bathroom Cladding

In order to offer our customers the best value bathroom cladding we have decided to reduce the list price of our Spaceline range of panels.

This range was already one of our cheapest but in order to satisfy those looking for low cost bathroom cladding we have reduced the price even further so that each panel is now available under the £10 price point - at just £9.85

Click the above image for details of this stunning cladding that will transform any bathroom, shower room or cubicle.

You can also click the folllowing link to go directly to the product page for Spaceline where there are scanned view of the panel, very detailed images of the cladding and our online order form to enable you to purchase Spaceline directly from the web.


If you have never seen this type of product before you can also order a sample pack to see the panels "in the flesh"

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Measuring and Estimating for Cladding

Having had a request from a customer who neede an extra two panels to finish decorating his bathroom job it prompted me into jotting down a few ideas about measuring and estimating.

We have a page on the web site too help with measuring and estimating how many wall panels you need - the key word being estimating.

However accurately you measure, however frugal you are with your off-cuts you will never get the quantity 100% right - unless you work out before hand where every single panel and every single cut will go, and make no mistakes during the installation process.

You should always allow a little bit extra for wastage and problems, and keeping a spare panel or two will not hurt either - it is possible to remove and replace panels once they have been installed although this requires quite a bit of skill (we will be doing a feature on this in the future, in the meantime contact the sales office for details).

If you are cladding above a bath but keeping the existing bath panel, the offcuts from this area are sometimes useable below a window opening. Smaller off-cuts can be used above the widow opening or above the door. One area that many DIYers forget to account for is the window reveals. This can use up quite a few panels if the opening is large, but sometimes you might be lucky and be able to use offcuts for this area. Keep the window in mind when you start your job and you might well be able to scrounge enough bits to do this area without having to start a fresh panel (or two).

If you are fitting built in bathroom furniture in a run, the cladding can be installed above the countertop - there is no real need to run the cladding behind the units as removing these units would require a complete makeover for your bathroom in any case. You can save quite a bit of panelling by doing this. It is worth cladding behind freestanding vanity units as this might get replaced in the future and an extra square metre of panelling here will save you having to redecorate a whole wall (or even the whole room) should you ever decide to replace it.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Cladding Joint Styles

Further to our last post regarding joint styles we have updated the site with some new pages and extra images which we hope will help clear up any confusion regarding the different cladding options. Details can be accessed via our technical page.

The following image shows the tile effect that utilizes a flush joint - Beige Tile from the Mineral range by Grosfillex.

Some of the images of Ambiance cladding (provided by the manufacturers themselves) show the panels installed horizontally with staggered joints. Although this is possible, we do not recommend this style of installation in bathrooms and showers as the end joints required for this approach are not watertight. You would also require different length panels to those sold via our web site.

We have gone into some detail on the various ways in which Ambiance can be fitted and hope it gives our customers a better understanding of how the different joints work.

Monday, February 14, 2005

V-Groove cladding

We regularly get asked about the different joint styles that our cladding utilizes. The three main ones are
  • flush joint
  • contrast joint
  • v-groove

We will be bolstering our pages to highlight these different joint styles to try and avoid confusion. Our Technical page has some images that show the differences but we appreciate we will have to improve the images to "see it in action"

One image that I just happened to notice that realy highlights the v-groove joint style very well is our Grey Marble bathroom cladding in the Evol 3000 range.

There is a link to a large image which gives a very accurate impression of how this joint style works. A smaller version of the image follows:

V-groove cladding is very effective for use in a big bathroom or if you have one open featureless wall, as the grooves help detract from what would otherwise be a large slab effect. The look is subtle yet effective.

Making a corner bath panel from bathroom cladding

We were asked by someone via our enquiry page if they could make a bath panel for their corner bath using our bathroom cladding.

Making a curved bath panel our wall panels is possible but it is quite tricky - it involves bending the wall panels which is not really soemething we would recommend to someone who has never worked with panelling before.

First you would need to make a curved wooden frame to attach the panels to.

Once this is in place the panels would need to be scored on the back to enable them to bend. They can then be fixed to the frame.

Making a bath panel for a straight bath is a much easier job. If you have an acrylic bath there is usually a groove running around the bath under the lip that is the right size to slot our cladding into. You then just have to ruin a batten along the floor and simply cut the panels to length - a centimetre or so longer than the gap. The cladding is then pushed up into the slot and attached to the batten. Use screws if you want to be able to remove the panel without damaging them in the future (recommended).

Friday, February 11, 2005

Outasight design change

We have just been notified by the manufacturers of the Outasight shower barrier that they are discontinue selling the units with different "hands".

Previously you could order left hand or right hand models but it was found that the handing made no difference to the performance of the curtain so the unit is now approved for use either end of the bath.

This makes stockholding easier as well as the ordering process!

You now only have to decide if you want White or Polished Silver

Friday, February 04, 2005

Wall Panelling Trims - In Colour?

One of the main drawback with panelling is that in certain circumstances you have to use plastic trims to cover the joints.

Our advice is to try and keep these to a minimum to avoid spoiling the overall look of the job with lots of white trim.

Decos have realised that this situation could be improved upon so have started introducing a range of self ashesive tapes that can be stuck to the trims. These are available in matching colours to complement their wall panelling (although not all of their ranges will be covered).

We have requested more details and will let you know when we have them.

Outasight Bath Shower Screen

As well as our range of bathroom cladding, The Bathroom Marquee also sells the Outasight shower screen.

Having owned a bathroom showroom I know from experieince that customers are never thrilled by the prospect of having to fit a shower curtain as they are quite obtrusive and difficult to keep clean. A standard bath shower screen can also be a bit problematic - the large folding ones can leak at the joints and are still quite bulky once stowed and the single panel types are difficult to lean around to operate the taps and do not cover much of the bath length.

I was therefore very excited about the Outasight shower barrier when I saw it at a trade show a couple of years ago. It seemed to be the answer to all of the problems customers had with curtains and screens: it stowed into a neat box (while still wet) yet covered 80% of the length of a standard bath.

We have been selling them now for almost a year and have had some very happy customers as a result, but we always felt that we could be selling more of this excellent British invention.

One thing that does let the Outasight down is the lack of marketing material - the current stock photographs really do not do the product justice, so we were really pleased to be informed that there is some new literature and some detailed images for the screen. we have not had them yet but as soon as we do we will update the site to give our visitors a better idea of this amazing product.

UPVC Cladding v Wood Based Systems

There are two distinct types of waterproof wall panelling: those made from plastic and those made from wood.

The plastic panels are an extruded UPVC cladding with a printed or embosed pattern on the outer surface. They joint together using a tongue and groove system to make sure they line up perfectly and to make installation a doddle.

The wood based panels have a plywood core and are faced with a hard laminate surface which contains the pattern. They also utilise a tongue and groove system for ease of installation.

Both systems have many common features:

  • no grout to turn mouldy
  • completely waterproof
  • can be installed over existing tiles
  • no maintenance
  • large range of colours and finishes

Both systems have their pros and cons. Upvc cladding

  • is lightweight and easy to handle
  • has panel sizes that tend to be smaller and easier to install
  • is easier to cut
  • has a range of joint types - some of which make a feature of the joint

On the downside

  • it is not structurally soild
  • it has to be fixed to a solid surface
  • fixtures have to be anchored throughthe panels not to them (shower heads etc.)
  • will melt in contact with high temperautures (cigarette ends, open hobs etc.)

The wooden panels are much more robust in their construction as a consequence of being developed for the commercial market. They are less of a DIY product than the plastic panels requiring a little more skill to install correctly. They are also quite large, which can be problematic in domestic situations (more difficult to manoeuvre, more wastage).

UPVC cladding manufacturers include

Laminate panelling manufacturers include

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Spotlights and Ceiling Cladding

We get asked quite often if you can install halogen spotlights in ceiling cladding.

The answer is yes, and no!

The reason for this is that it depends on the temperatures generated by the spotlights.

Provided the spotlights do not heat the cladding to more than 50 degrees centigrade there should be no problem; above this temperature and the cladding could start to deform or discolour.

This is not the kind of information that most spotlights come supplied with, unfortunately, so we can only base our advice on the feedback we get from customers and installers. I have never been made aware of anyone actually having a problem installing spotlights in ceiling cladding and know plenty of installers who would not even think twice about doing so. We do, however, have to cover ourselves against all eventualities, so that is why we have to qualify our answer with regard to temperature.

And the final result can look really good - as can be seen in the following ceiling cladding image: