Thursday, March 31, 2005

Web Site Updates

As well as updates for The Bathroom Marquee we also look after several other web sites for clients who were after a low cost web design service.

Although most updates to The Bathroom Marquee will be listed here, alterations and additions to external sites will be notified on our new site update page over on the Marx Web Design site.

Recent updates that affect The Bathroom Marquee include a small update to our applications page which will need completely revamping soon.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Easter Opening Times

We will be closing The Bathroom Marquee over the Easter holidays.

Good Friday - Closed
Sat 26th - Closed
Sunday 27th - Closed
Monday 28th Closed

Re-open Tuesday 29th March

Any orders for Decoc bathroom cladding received over the Easter holidya will be processed the following week. Any orders for Grosfillex products will be processed the week after as the UK importers for Grosfillex are closed until Monday 4th April.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Marble for bathrooms

Of all the finishes that are available on our site the most popular, by far, are the Marble effect panels.

The two manufacturers that we deal with Grosfillex and Decos both have a range of different options if you are looking for a marble effect wall panel for your bathroom or shower.

Most UK bathrooms are quite small so a light, almost white marble effect is the one to go for in this situation. Some of our panels can be mixed so that you could decorate 3 walls with a light colour and maybe the fourth with a contrasting or darker version of the colour. Two panels that work well together are Decos Firenze Grey and Decos Orion Carrara.

We quite often get asked if the panels can be used on the floor. Due to that they are made from upvc and are of hollow construction they are not suitable for using as flooring - if you want a marble effect floor you will have to choose ceramic tiles or some form of vinyl. You could also go for the real thing if you fancy is a good starting point to find out more about what is available.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Woodgrain Panels

I noticed in a recent trade journal a feature on a panel manufacturer that was new to me.

The manufacturer was Caberdecor so I have had a quick look at their site to see if tere is anything that might be of interest.

I was a bit dissapointed as they only seem to make melamine faced chipboard - which is fine for use in offices or bedrooms, but not suitable for use in wet areas. Their website states that it can be used in kitchens but I would have thought that it would need very careful installation here as the MDF would soak up any moisture it came into contact with either through spills or via steam and condensation.

However their range is quite nice and you can order ssamples online.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

The whole room or just the cubicle?

One question we get asked quite frequently os "should I use cladding for the whole bathroom or just in the shower cubicle?".

There is no right answer to this.

The obvious benefit to the customer if they fit the cladding to all of the walls is that they will have a totally maintenance free finish around the whole room (they could also fit ceiling cladding to complete the job, to reduce maintenace even further). The only real downside is that it would initially cost quite a bit more than just doing the shower cubicle - which can cost less than £100. I say initially because once this stuff is up it is there to stay. I have been selling this stuff for over ten years and when visiting previous customers (and relatives) who have bought cladding from me when I first started selling it, their bathrooms look as good as they day they were installed thanks to the cladding.

With other forms of wall covering, such as paint for example, you will have to keep it fresh by recoating it every so often. Although paint is quite cheap it is not free - and it can cost a lot in
your time and effort.

When it comes to complete refurbishments bathroom cladding can work out substantially cheaper than other forms of wall covering as there is virtually no preparation required - the walls do not even need to be plastered.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Search Engines

We generate a lot of our business from search engines so it was interesting to see a recent report that showed how people acutally look at a web page. By using special equipment that can track people's eye movements they used a Google search engine results page to see which parts of the page the eye was drawn to.

Not surprisingly the top left area of the screen had the greatest impact which meant in turn that the results shown on the page decreased in "visibility" according to where they were in the list.

  • Rank 1 - 100%
  • Rank 2 - 100%
  • Rank 3 - 100%
  • Rank 4 - 85%
  • Rank 5 - 60%
  • Rank 6 - 50%
  • Rank 7 - 50%
  • Rank 8 - 30%
  • Rank 9 - 30%
  • Rank 10 - 20%

Appearing at number 10 on a search result effectively elliminates 80% of searchers - which means we have plenty of work to do to keep ourselves at the top of the search engine listings.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Customers' Picture Gallery

We have just launched our customer picture gallery with the first batch of images that we have had sent to us.

Although we do not have masses of images, as yet, the ones that we have been sent serve as excellent examples of what can be done using our cladding - especially the before and after pictures such as those below:

As more images arrive we will add them to the gallery.

If any of our previous customers would like to send their photos in to us they can do so by getting in touch via our Contact Page. Any rooms that get featured will earn our customer a £10 gift voucher.

Further to our previous post regarding testimonials we thought we would include some on our gallery page - we are proud of the service we provide so I suppose it is the best way of letting prospective customers know what previous clients think about us. And with the images coming from our customers, as well, they just seemed like relevant content for the page.


We do not, at present, have any testimonials on our web site. We have, however, received several very complimentary e-mails from satisfied customers who have been very pleased with our service. This is always greatly appreciated as, unlike may other web sites, we do not actively aks our customers for these plaudits.

It was therefore very nice to receive the following e-mail in our Inbox - especially as it was a Monday morning!

"Dear Sir / Madam

We ordered our bathroom panels last wednesday and was delighted when they arrived on thursday morning! So I just had to write and say a big thankyou to you all for a fantastic service. What a speedy delivery. My husband has fitted them already and they look gorgeous - well worth every penny. We will most certainly be recommending you to everybody we know.

Thanks again for an excellent product."

From Katie Dunmore of Spalding, Linconshire.

This was such a nice compliment that we thought we would include it somewhere on our site, so we will be including one or two of these e-mails on our customers' gallery page which is surrently under construction.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Shower Market

KBB Review recently reported on research by showing that the UK shower market is projected to be worth over half a billion pounds by 2008.

This is the total figure which would include

  • shower enlosures
  • shower trays
  • mixer showers
  • power showers
  • electric shower
  • and shower accessories

Interestingly the majority of sales come from builders merchants which probably reflects the fact that the a large percentage of sales are for new-build properties.

The convenience of showers has meant that many householders are taking out their bath and installing a luxury cubicle in its place. This is fine but it is worth keeping in mind that if you decide to sell your house prospective buyers might prefer a bath - especially if it is a family property. Obviously if you have the room fit both, but this is not always possible.

New Web Site Launched

We are in the process of establishing a new web site.

The initial pages have been launched and can be viewed at

As the products that we sell at The Bathroom Marquee are far from run-of the-mill we thought we would look to establish a site that promotes goods that are anything but bog standard - hence the name.

We have added bathroom cladding and the Outasight to Bog Std. just to kick the site off but will be adding a lot more products over the coming months.

It is very early days at the moment but we are off to the Ideal Homes show to try and get a few ideas (and to catch up with Outasight who are displaying there).

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Cladding Inside a Shower Cubicle

Bathroom cladding is an ideal wall covering for the inside of a shower cubicle.

It is waterproof, has no grout to turn mouldy and is quite easy to fit. I say quite easy as the only real sticking point is that of the shower mixer used inside the enclosure.

Ideally this should be removed and any supply pipes and wires fed through holes in the cladding but this is not always possible as there is not always enough "play" in the pipework to allow for the extra thickness of the panels (8 or 10mm depending on which cladding you choose).

The options are to either have to alter the pipework or cut the panels around the unit. Cutting around is not ideal as it requires very accurate cutting and it also means that should your shower unit ever need to be replaced you will have to purchase the exact same model to ensure there are no gaps visible.

If you have no alternative, other than cutting around, use a template from an off-cut or piece of scrap to make sure you get the cut just right. Our shower cladding is easy to cut so you should be able to get a perfect finish with a little patience.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Photo Gallery CD

We have just upgraded our photo gallery CD with some extra images and improved graphics.

Quite a few people have ordered the CD but have not yet received it as we knew that the new, improved version was going to be available.

We apologise for the delay to those who have been waiting but we hope it will be worth the wait.

If you would like a copy of our CD picture gallery featuring the whole of our bathroom cladding range then click the samples link on our homepage or click here

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Ideal Homes Exhibition

The Outasight bath shower screen will once again be on display at the Ideal Homes Exhibition.

The show runs from the 3rd to the 28th of March at Earls Court in London.

We are hoping to visit the show ourselves and catch up with the inventor of the Outasight, Lee Brown (you can read an interview we did with Lee on our site - click here to read it). We will publish any news and photos we have after our visit.

Silicone Sealant

When using cladding in wet areas, such as the bathroom shower room, there are always a number of areas where you need to seal:

  • the join between the panels and the rim of a bath
  • the joint between cladding and the rim of the shower tray
  • internal corners if you are not using trims
  • inside corner trims in wet areas
  • inside joints between panels if using a power shower

We have long recommended Dow Corning silicone sealant on our website as, in our experience, this provides the best anti-mould properties with excellent adhesion and flow. To obtain a long lasting job, you should always follow the manufacturers instructions - the most important of these being thorough preparation and ensuring the surfaces are bone dry. When silicone turns mouldy this is usually caused by moisture behind the joint - most of the surface moisture evaporates, and as a consequence will not harbour mould spores.

Rather than having to find a local source for this product, our customers can now buy this silicone sealant via our web site.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Brick Effect Panels

I was asked this morning if we sold brick effect" wall panels for someone wanting to renovate their kitchen.

Unfortunately we don't - but I was sure I had seen a product similar to what this chap was looking for in a tradeshow (probably Interbuild).

After a quick look through my files I came up with abrochure that I had picked up in the show, and sure enough there was a brochure from a Spanish manufacturer Old Stones.

I had not taken my enquiry with them any further as they did not have a UK distributor at the time, but I am going to fire off a quick e-mail to them later to see if the situation has changed since I saw them at the show.