- №1.Steel baths: the pros and cons
- №2.Which bath is better: steel, cast iron or acrylic
- №3.Types of steel baths
- №4.The size of the steel bath
- №5.The form of steel bath
- № 6.Wall thickness of steel bath
- №7.What to consider when an external examination?
- №8.The best manufacturers of steel baths
Cheap, durable, durable, varied in terms of design and easy to transport - steel baths have combined the many advantages of acrylic and cast iron counterparts. The market offers a wide range of similar products, and they differ not only in size and appearance, but also in the quality of performance. It is sometimes difficult for an unprepared buyer to identify a sample made with a violation of technology. To get a really high-quality, durable and durable product, you need to figure out which steel bath is better to choose. We study all the details of the issue and compare steel baths with cast-iron and acrylic counterparts.
№1.Steel baths: the pros and cons of
Steel baths are often advised to those who are tired of bulky cast-iron baths, but do not yet have confidence in suspiciously light and, moreover, expensive acrylic options. A steel bath has a decent amount of advantages, and the disadvantages that are inherent in it can be very easily corrected.
The advantages of steel baths:
- cost .The most significant plus for many of us. Steel baths are cheaper than the usual cast-iron and modern acrylic. This is caused not by a lower quality, but by a significantly cheaper manufacturing technology. If the budget is limited, it is better to stop on a steel bath - in operation it will behave much better than a cheap acrylic bowl;
- light weight .Of course, the steel bath weighs more than acrylic, but at times less than the cast-iron. A bowl weighing 30-50 kg can be transported and installed without any problems;
- strength .Steel and enameled coating withstand severe loads. Such a bath will easily withstand the weight of water and a bathing person, unlike an acrylic product;
- ease of care ;
- durability , which derives from the two previous advantages. A steel bath will last at least a couple of decades, withstand temperature changes, washing with various detergents and even the entry of smoldering objects;
- wide selection of .Features of the material and manufacturing techniques allow casting baths of virtually any size and shape, which makes steel stand out from cast iron and practically catches up with acrylic. Both standard rectangular bowls and real works of design art can be easily found on sale.
The steel baths also have the disadvantages of :
- high thermal conductivity coefficient .This means that the water in such a bowl will cool down quickly enough, and long water procedures will be difficult. By this parameter, steel is much inferior to more “warm” cast iron and acrylic;
- high noise .A jet of water falling on the walls of the bath will cause a loud, loud sound to be heard well outside the bathroom, and often outside your apartment.
Many consider to be 's ability to deform under the weight of water and humans, but this is typical only for products with thin walls( 1.5-2.5 mm) that are difficult to recommend for purchase. Also, steel bowls are sometimes blamed for instability, which can really make itself felt when mounting on legs. Indeed, a steel bathtub is easier to cast iron, therefore, it should be fixed more carefully. If we are talking about installing the wall and closing the bath screen, then you will not notice this shortcoming. Some complain that steel baths cannot be washed with abrasives. Note that other baths( cast iron and acrylic) are also not recommended for cleaning with substances with solid particles.
It turns out that the has only two real flaws in the steel bath - low insulation and high noise, but sometimes they are enough to refuse to buy such a product. In vain! All can simply be fixed .On sale there are special soundproofing pads , which are attached to the walls of the bath from the outside. Instead, you can use mounting foam, cork or polyethylene foam - a layer of 3-4 mm will not only increase sound insulation, but also reduce the coefficient of thermal conductivity - 2-in-1.However, the appearance of such a bath will suffer, so you have to hide it behind the screen. If the bathroom is small, and you were already going to put a bath under the wall, then that's okay, but if you install the bath in the center, you will have to abandon this modernization system.
By the way, not so long ago steel baths began to be made with using a special sound-absorbing material , but such products are still not widespread and expensive.
№2.Which bath is better: steel, cast iron or acrylic
We are in a hurry to upset you, it is impossible to give a definite answer to this question, since each type of bath is good in its own way. If compare steel and cast-iron bath , the steel bowl will bypass the cast-iron at the price, ease of transportation and installation, a variety of shapes and sizes. According to the service life, cast iron baths are a bit more durable: 50+ years versus 20-30 years for a steel product. The enamel on both types of products is durable and resistant, but as a rule, cast iron is usually applied with a slightly thicker layer. In terms of heat and sound insulation, cast-iron baths are ideal - you don’t need to invent anything.
If you compare the steel and acrylic baths , you can find that the steel bowl is easier to install and maintain, more durable( maximum for acrylic - 15 years) and, of course, more affordable. In terms of the variety of shapes and sizes, acrylic and steel baths are almost equal, but the polymer version is still half a step ahead. The acrylic sample weighs less: it simplifies transportation, but somewhat complicates the installation process. Acryl is much better in heat and sound insulation.
So, summing up, we note that the steel bath is a kind of compromise. It is cheap, serves for a long time, weighs a little, you can find any shape, only to solve the problem with thermal insulation and noise, and everything will be fine. If such home-made products and improvers are not for you, then take an acrylic bowl, and if you want the option for the ages, then the cast-iron one.
№3.Types of steel baths
Usually, when talking about steel bathrooms, enameled samples are meant, but if we consider the topic in detail, it should be noted that steel bathtubs are of two types:
- from structural steel with enamel coating;
- stainless steel.
structural steel, covered with a thick layer of durable enamel, is a classic in the plumbing world. Such products are affordable, behave perfectly in operation, are easy to maintain. Enamel is so strong that it does not care about everyday loads. Of course, over time, cracks and chips may form on it, but with proper care this will not happen soon, and the enamel coating can be simply restored.
stainless steel baths are still a wonder. They look beautiful and rather unusual, will decorate the bathroom in a modern style, but they cost a lot. Another disadvantage is limescale, which can quickly spoil the appearance of such a bath. Get ready to wipe the walls with a dry cloth each time.
№4.The size of the steel bath
We all sometimes want to soak in the spacious bathroom, but this luxury does not fit into every apartment. Common sense and logic tell us that we need to take the largest possible bath that can fit in the room and not interfere with the movement and placement of other important items. Since the majority of bathrooms are quite modest in size, the choice is sometimes not easy.
Steel bathtubs are available in various sizes, from 120 to 200 cm long, 70-85 cm wide:
- bath 120 cm long is called sedentary. They can be installed near the short wall in the bathroom, while saving space. Of course, it is not necessary to rely on the most comfortable water procedures( if you are not a child under 10 years of age), but if there is a shortage of free space and the shower tray does not fit for some reason, then there is no choice;
- bath 140-150 cm long is a bit more comfortable, but tall people still have to bend their legs at the knees. However, many of us stop the choice of just 150 cm bathrooms, which is why they were called standard;
- baths 160-170 cm long with a headrest will be comfortable for people with height up to 180 cm;
- the largest baths have an length of 200 cm and will allow you to get maximum pleasure from water procedures.
The width of the bathtub is selected depending on the size of the room and the size of the swimmer: it may not be very convenient for obese people in bowls of 70-75 cm standard width.bathtub depth of about 50 cm.
№ 5.The shape of the steel bath
Market offers us a lot of different options for steel baths:
- standard rectangular and oval samples will be appropriate in any bathroom. They are convenient, compact, but fairly common and familiar, so if you want something special, it is better to look towards other options;
- corner baths are used in square bathrooms and become their decoration. They give a little more space for swimming, but to care for such a product is a little more difficult than the usual rectangular, as the width in the area of the angle is increased;
- round bath tubs are beautiful and elegant, they are usually installed not under the wall, but in the center of the room, so they require enough space, and it is not so easy to bring communications neatly. Round baths provide enough space for a swimmer who will feel like in a small pool. Such products in private homes are often embedded in the floor .In this case, aesthetics on the spot, and even problems with heat and sound insulation, can be solved by using foam or other materials mentioned above;
- asymmetrical baths of complex shape are also more suitable for spacious rooms and can become a decoration of the interior.
If the area of the bathroom allows, then you can decide not only on the stand-alone bath , but also hoisting it on the runway - it will look very impressive. The final touch is an interesting spotlight, built into the floor or the podium, and you don’t want to leave this bathroom.
№6.Wall thickness of the steel bath
The wall thickness depends on the strength of the bath, its ability to withstand constant loads of water and bathing, and not to deform. In addition, the thicker the walls, the higher the heat and sound insulation. It is better not to take products with a wall thickness of less than 2.5-3 mm .Even better - to stop on the product with a wall thickness of 4 mm.
Some manufacturers and sellers deliberately go to the trick, and in the documents they overestimate the wall thickness indicator. Particularly cunning manufacturers on the sides of the bath, where you can see the cut of the product, make the walls thicker. If the buyer guesses to look at the butt, he will see that everything is in order. The best way to make sure that you are not being cheated is to have the check the weight of the product. A full-size bath with walls of at least 3 mm weighs about 30–40 kg, miniature baths cannot weigh less than 20 kg.
№7.What to consider when an external examination?
Which steel bath is better to buy, to be sure that it will last at least 20 years, and will retain its performance throughout the entire life cycle? When personal inspection in the store, pay attention to such details:
- The surface of an product should be smooth and even, without cavities, bumps, cracks and other defects. This is evidence that the production technology has not been violated;
- quality enamel .Enamel is the protection and decoration of the steel bowl. Normal manufacturers use durable formulations and special application technology. If you see smudges, chips or similar defects, then it is better to refuse to buy, otherwise in a year or two you will have to repair the bath or buy a new one. By the way, the color of the enamel is usually light( beige, bluish, white).The choice of color is a matter of taste and combination with other plumbing items. You can also find quite extravagant black, blue, red and other baths on sale, but they should be used very carefully, otherwise such a product can turn into a complete bad taste from a stylish decoration;
- If knocks on the walls of the quality bath , then you can hear the ringing, smooth sound without extraneous vibrations.
As for additional options, many steel baths are supplied with headrests and handles. There are also steel baths with hydromassage .A special motor in them pumps the water from the bowl to the nozzles and delivers it under pressure, mixing with air. The impact of such aerated water jets on the human body produces a relaxing effect.
№8.The best manufacturers of steel baths
Large companies that have worked for years to create an honest name, have the means to timely modernize production and value their reputation will not produce products of dubious quality. That is why when buying a steel bath is better to pay attention to the products of reputable brands.
Among the of the best manufacturers of steel bath , the following companies should be highlighted:
- Kaldewei, Germany .Manufacturer with extensive experience in the manufacture of steel baths. It uses high-quality steel and glass enamel, which, by the way, is the only one in the world that makes its own using a special recipe and modern melting furnaces. The main plant of the company is located in Germany, the quality is strictly controlled at all stages. The products are represented by several collections, there are baths of different sizes, classic rectangular, oval and asymmetric shapes, with a different arrangement of the drain;
- Roca, Spain .A well-known company that produces plumbing, tiles and lamps, has dozens of factories and hundreds of offices around the world. In the domestic market, a special relationship to the company's products, as it is of the highest quality. Despite the decent cost, steel baths Roca are in great demand;
- Estap, Slovakia .The company has been operating since 1991, but it already competes with more experienced players in the market. Here they have developed and applied a unique technology of powder coating of enamel in an electrostatic field, which allows to achieve a high quality coating. The product range is quite extensive and is constantly updated;
- Emalia, Poland .The company manufactures strong, durable, fairly simple in form and affordable products. The combination of all these features and provided the manufacturer with high popularity in several European countries and in the domestic space;
- BLB, Portugal .The company exports products to 50 countries. Increased demand due to high quality and wide range. Particular attention is paid to the durability of the enameled coating and design. In the domestic market, baths of the company appeared not so long ago, but already managed to give a good account of themselves;
- Jika, Czech Republic .Produces solid steel baths. It does not have a large assortment, but manufactures products of all standard shapes and sizes, and this, together with a small price, brought the company success;
- LLC VIZ-Steel ( Verkh-Isetsky Metallurgical Plant).Domestic enterprise, which will give odds to any foreign. Enamel is applied here in two stages, which allows to obtain a solid, smooth, smooth surface with perfect protection performance. In addition, the manufacturer uses an increased foot mounting area, vibration damping plates and anti-slip coating. In terms of diversity and prices also do not reproach;
- LLC Lipetsk Pipe Plant has been producing steel baths for more than 70 years, but today they are not so easy to find in stores. For the most part, these are products with a length of 150-170 cm. The wall thickness is usually about 2 mm, but there is no need to complain about the durability - the products have been serving for about 20 years. The main advantage of the factory baths is a very low price.
Finally, we note that when buying, it is important not only to evaluate the wall thickness, product weight and enamel quality, but also to ask for documentation on the product, confirming its quality and availability of a guarantee for it.