STEAM SHOWERS BUYERS GUIDE

Acrylic quality & finish Reinforcement - To cut costs many factories use a composite material, combining ABS on the inside with acrylic PMMA sheets on the outside Check its Colour - An easy test to tell a good quality acrylic from a bad one is by its colour and flame-retardation !heap materials mi"ed in the acrylic can cause the colour to ha#e too bright a white finish and catch fire more easily $n addition, this low quality, high brightness acrylic is li%ely to clash in your bathroom rice - Some factories use acrylic that costs &ust '((( per tonne, some others use acrylic at ')(*-'*,+,- per tonne This higher quality acrylic will last longer and also fade less o#er time !i"re#l$ss $n% Reinforcement - Be careful of cheap fibreglass that uses a high degree of resin This discolours easily de#aluing and wea%ening the steam enclosure All of our bases and most panels are acrylic with ,-. layers of fibreglass to reinforce the more #ulnerable areas /e g , base, under seat, bathtub0 To cut costs a manufacturer may use &ust * or 1 layers of fibreglass reinforcement

Aluminium framing and columns Are the& $luminium' - !hec% that the profile that holds the glass is not simply plastic with a metal coating or paint finish The profiles coating may come off and is definitely not as strong Wh$t is the (rofiles thickness' - To sa#e costs some manufacturers ha#e a + -mm thic% aluminium profile and whilst being wea%er is also more prone to dents Aluminium )u$lit& - Some companies use recycled aluminium and perhaps a composite of other metals to create aluminium frames This affects the aluminium2s hardness and li%elihood of being dented Structur$l !r$me Su((ort - The strength and durability of the support frame is essential as it forms the foundation of your shower or bathtub Typically, a metal frame that doesn2t rust /li%e stainless steel0 will offer the optimum support as opposed to a wooden structure

Tempered Safety 3lass Thickness - Typically, it is suggested that a tempered safety glass of --4mm would pro#ide optimum safety, below which the ris% of brea%age increase As standard, E%#e rotection - The ris% of tempered glass brea%age heightens if %noc%ed at its edge or corners Therefore, the glass edge should be protected within the aluminium profile $t is important to note that tempered glass is wea% at the edges when constructing an all glass unit A#oid hitting the edges or corners of the glass panel during installation to pre#ent accident Bre$k Test - 5ne safety standard states that a *1+mm square piece of tempered glass should brea% into .- indi#idual pieces The smaller the pieces the higher the grade of safety glass used

Sealant, water flow & pipewor% i(e Cli(s - To minimise the ris% of water lea%age, stainless steel clips pro#ide stronger and longer lasting protection to water lea%age o#er the plastic clips used by some manufacturers Silicone free - Some manufacturers claim that their steam cabins are entirely silicone free 6rom our first hand e"perience with steam cabins, a sealant free cabin can still lea% water if water is applied to particular areas !hec% with your supplier what 7silicone free7 actually means, as%ing how it wor%s and what2s required to be watertight 8ou could pre#ent a water damage disaster that could costs thousands *$l+es - The flow, temperature control and water pressure within the shower will be #al#e controlled To ensure the longer life of those #al#es chec% they are made from ceramic as opposed to plastic which will deteriorate o#er time W$ter Testin# - 9ater lea%age can be costly and a hassle Ma%e sure your shower has been fully water tested before shipping :nsure your installer fully chec%s e#ery feature, all pipewor%, tightens &ubilee clips, &ets and electrics while running a full water test to chec% for any lea%s or drips Thermost$tic Tem(er$ture *$l+e - As a safety consideration and to reduce the ris% of scalding a thermostatic #al#e will offer a non-fluctuating water temperature :#ery modern shower should be equipped with this safety #al#e that will eliminate those huge fluctuations in water temperature while allowing you to select your desired temperature Some thermostatic #al#es also pro#ide a temperature restrictor for the safety of younger users

Product testing & durability

Corrosion Testin# - The last thing you want is to recei#e your shiny new steam shower and then find that after a couple of months the chrome plating starts to deteriorate and peel off ;oo% for a company who will test the anticorrosion le#el and protecti#e layer of the materials used with salt spray equipment Door Rollers - <oor rollers or runners often go unnoticed when they are functioning perfectly =owe#er, if misaligned or damaged they can become a headache Although, seemingly a simple part - quality should be e#ident in the detail 6or e"ample, O(er$tion$l Testin# - The best way to chec% that both electrics /e g , lighting, radio, &ets0 are fully operational and water does not lea% is to assemble and fully test a product before it lea#es the factory 9hy not chec% whether each indi#idual product has been fully water tested with an electrical supply Door H$n%les $n% fi,in#s - Beware of plastic fi"tures that ha#e a chrome coating These are liable to wear away more quic%ly and needless to say don2t gi#e a quality feel Ste$m -e$k$#e - =a#e a loo% at the gap between the door and the base The amount of steam lea%age #aries greatly between manufacturers and whilst you will usually ha#e a little lea%age you want to %eep this to a minimum As used with Wei#ht Test - Simply put> the thic%er the acrylic?ABS, glass, aluminium and frame /is it a wood or stainless steel frame@0 the greater the amount of material required in manufacturing $n addition, solid metal fi"tures are far hea#ier than their plastic counterparts Aot only will this result in a sturdier, stronger product but consequently the weight of the combined deli#ery bo"es will be hea#ier 6or peace of mind, why not chec% the unpac%aged and installed weight of the product in which you are interested@

:lectrics & Safety Resi%u$l Current De+ice - 9ater and electricity simply don2t mi" - 9hen dealing with these two elements safety is paramount A residual current de#ice or B!< is a de#ice that will shut-off the steam shower as soon as a malfunction is detected 9hen using a ,C9 steam generator or 11+D product this is essential to guarantee the safety of the user Certific$tion - !hec% for the !: safety mar%, conformity to which means that the essential health and safety requirements set out in :uropean <irecti#es are met $n addition $S5*.++*, an internationally accepted accreditation for an :n#ironmental Management System /:MS0 and $S5)++*>1+++, which identifies factors that a manufacturer must fulfill if it is to achie#e customer satisfaction through consistent products and ser#ices that meet customer e"pectations As% your supplier to pro#ide you with copies of certificates if you are unsure

Electric$l Com(onents - A steam shower often contains a comple" electrical bo" that controls steam production, radio, !<, telephone, massage &ets and many other functions Some manufacturers do not test the electric bo" used within their products, while others may do for &ust *-1 hours

!ompany bac%ground Trust the Br$n% - 9ith many options in the mar%et it is important to buy from a reputable brand so as to ensure that you get the necessary customer care and after ser#ice support $f the brand is unheard of, it2s simply impossible to find parts that are compatible Tr$%in# Time - There are many resources a#ailable on the internet to determine how long a company has been trading By law, a company must supply their registered company details to a customer so that the customer can perform necessary bac%ground chec%s before buying $f the company doesn2t ha#e a company number, they may not ha#e been trading for long $t may be the case that they won2t be around in two years time when you need a replacement part Sho.room/W$rehouse *ie.in# - $t may be difficult to fully ascertain a product2s build quality and sturdiness without being able to feel and touch the unit 9here possible try and #iew a unit either in the companies showroom or perhaps they can organise a pri#ate appointment at their warehouse Ma%e sure that dropping a bar of soap in your cabin won2t mean the end for your new steam showerE

$nstallation & <eli#ery Deli+er& $n% *AT - These may be hidden e"tras, not shown to gi#e the impression of a lower selling price A steam shower is both bul%y and hea#y and deli#ery could add as much as '-+-'1++F to your final price Ma%e sure you buy from a company who offers you transparent pricing so you %now e"actly how much you2re paying $rt (re($r$tion - $t2s important to chec% what2s required to install your steam shower cabin before it arri#es, ensuring that you ha#e any necessary parts on site to a#oid any delays Some companies charge e"tra for supply pipes, drainage parts, and additional pieces crucial to the installation which can be frustrating - Cnow e"actly what you2re getting for your money Stock - To cut costs some companies will hold #ery limited or no stoc% and simply start manufacturing a steam shower on receipt of your payment Typically, this will result in a delay of appro"imately 4-*1 wee%s until your steam shower is ready Ma%e sure you chec% a#ailability sooner rather than later $f you can2t ha#e your steam shower within a matter of days, it may the case that your supplier doesn2t e#en ha#e the unit in the country

Interior Hei#ht - A costly or uncomfortable mista%e may lead to you or your guests not being able to stand up straight inside your showerE This is an important design requirement and one which some manufacturers may o#erloo%

3uarantee & After Sales Gu$r$ntee - Be sure to re#iew the guarantee included with your new steam shower with a careful eye !hec% how long you2re co#ered for and what2s actually co#ered under the guarantee 8ou may find some companies offering a 7lifetime7 guarantee with a cabin, but if they aren2t here in *+ years time - the guarantee won2t be worth the paper it2s written on !hec% if the guarantee is parts only, or inclusi#e of labour This can be rare howe#er, due to #arious factors that can affect labour prices such as region After S$les - GC based warehouse $n the unli%ely e#ent of any part failing, you can e"pect a swift response and resolution to the problem 5ur technical support team has been wor%ing with steam showers for o#er ten years, so we are aware of most common problems and how to sol#e them quic%ly $f you find that your supplier does not stoc% spares in the GC, you could be waiting for wee%s, e#en months before a replacement part arri#es

<esign & 6eatures ro%uct fe$tures - 5nce you are happy with the build quality you will want to double chec% the shower you ha#e chosen pro#ides the features you require Most steam showers offer a handheld shower, o#erhead shower and body &ets as standard A feature such as oHone sterilisation that will purify and %ill bacteria after using the unit may be a differentiating factor 5ther differentiating factors may be aromatherapy, foot massage or e#en the inclusion of an easy plumb tray ro%uct %esi#n - Aew designs and features such as ;:< lighting can demonstrate how acti#e a supplier is within the mar%etplace $f their designs and features seem old and dated, they may not be #ery acti#e as a company This could cause problems if you need after sales assistance a few years down the line Perhaps as% a supplier if they ha#e any new designs coming out, to help demonstrate their acti#ity

5nline Security

Sho((in# s$fet& - 9hen purchasing anything online, you need to chec% that both your personal information and ban%ing details are %ept safe Be sure to confirm that the company you are buying from are #erified by a third party online security organisation such as McAfee secure, Security Metrics or Derisign $f you are still unsure, it may be worth pic%ing up the phone and spea%ing to someone Most companies are able to handle telephone orders directly, whilst also gi#ing you an opportunity to as% any questions regarding the products in the range

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