Monday, January 23, 2006

Outasight Customer Gallery

We are in the process of adding a customers' gallery to the Outasight section of our web site.

We have uploaded the first batch of images, sent in by customers who have fitted one of the concealed shower curtain systems, and we will be adding more in the near future.

Go to the Outasight Gallery to see the current images.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Sealing wall panels to a bath or shower tray

We get asked quite regularly if there is a trim available to seal the panels to the top of a bath or shower tray.

There are some trims available on the market for use with baths/showers and wall panelling but they are quite bulky and rely totally on silicone sealant to form the seal - you will get a much neater finish by just using a good quality silicone sealant instead (we recommend Dow Corning).

Seal the bath or shower tray to the existing wall and smear the silicone up the wall slightly to form a "skirt" of silicone. Fit the panels over this and then run a neat bead of silicone where the panels meet the bath/shower. Should this front seal ever fail the seal behind the panels will prevent any leaks.

The bigget cause of seals failing and causing leaks or water damage is movement - either through poor installation or expansion and contraction. You must always ensure that fixtures such as baths and shower trays or rock solid as any movement in these items can cause silicone seals to fail (or cause grout to crumble if you are using tiles)

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Wall Panelling Brochures

As well as providing samples of our bathroom cladding, and our picture gallery CD we now have brochures available for potential customers.

The brochure has some large glossy images of the panels in room settings and can be ordered via the web site.

Back in Stock

The delivery date for Beige Gloss Marble wall panelling has been confimed for Friday 20th January 06.

Deliveries should be despatched the same day depending on the time the shipment lands at the warehouse.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Beige Gloss Marble

There is no Evol 3000 Beige Gloss Marble wall panelling in stock at present.

The importers are waiting for the arival of a delivery from the panelling manufactuers in France - as soon as we get a confirmed delivery date we will post it up.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Shower Walls

Showers can be a problem area for many householders. Although it will look pristine when new a shower cubicle or over bath shower area can start to deteriorate and look shabby after a few years of use. The grout used between ceramic tiles can start to discolour, black spots start to appear in the silicone sealant and damp patches may appear around the outside of the glass enclosure.

What are the causes of these problems?

Grout is one of the main culprits. Although the ceramic tiles are totally waterproof the same cannot be said for all types of grout – especially if it is not correctly applied. One small gap or pinhole can be enough to start letting in moisture, and once this occurs mould can take hold and start to spread behind the tiles. The degree to which it spreads will depend on the level of moisture present.

Grout can also be a problem if the shower wall has been built out of plywood. Plywood expands at a different rate to the tiles and this can lead to the grout cracking and letting in moisture.
If grout is used as a sealant between the bottom of the tiles and the top surface of the rim of the shower tray or bath, this can also cause problems. Acrylic baths or shower trays flex very slightly during use whereas grout will not tolerate any movement, and so cracks instantly. Wooden joists and floorboards will also move slightly under load or due to expansion, which again can lead to grout cracking.

Silicone sealant should remain mould free in a well-ventilated shower area. If black spots start to grow in the seal it indicates the presence of moisture – usually trapped moisture behind the seal. This could mean that the silicone seal has lost adhesion to one or more surfaces due to high levels of movement or poor preparation prior to its application. It could also be a symptom of grout failure further up the wall, rather than any problem with the silicone itself.
Damp patches on the wall or floor outside a shower cubicle can be attributed to one of the above causes, leaking waste or supply pipes, or occasionally by excessive sealant inside the cubicle, causing water to well-up in side the frame itself.

So what are the solutions?

The solution will depend on the severity of the problem – and keep in mind that much of the damage may be hidden.

Ensure that the shower tray or bath is securely anchored in place and does not move when someone stands in it. If you have access to the underside check any supply and waste pipes for leaks.

Cut away old sealant with a sharp blade and replace with a high quality sanitary grade silicone sealant containing a fungicide. We do not recommend the use of cheap sealant as it has less fungicide and a lower silicone content.

Treat mouldy grout with a surface cleaner, initially, to see how deep rooted the problem is. If the problem returns, then you might need to think about raking out the old grout and applying new.

Alternatively you could do away with grout altogether and install shower wall panels in place of ceramic wall tiles. Each shower wall panel slots into the next one using a tongue and groove system, eliminating the need for grout. These are totally waterproof and can be fitted to any surface – including the existing tiles.