Refurbishing your washrooms can be an important way to compete with new builds - and using architectural film can help keep costs down, explains Trevor Bowers.
09 October 2018 | Trevor Bower
Visitors will often judge a building by its washrooms so it is vital that they create a positive impression. And while refurbishments are a great way to improve them, they can be costly and put facilities out of action for some time while work is carried out.
But using architectural films can keep costs low and minimise downtime, providing a high-quality finish for existing toilet cubicle doors, duct panels or IPS panels.
The film adheres to most building substrates including metal, wood and glass so it can be applied directly to toilet cubicle doors and duct panels.
Here are seven core advantages FMs can gain by using architectural film for washroom refurbishments.
1) Quick installation
A full refurbishment project can be carried out in situ fast and without using heavy equipment. The time to complete a project varies, however, on average it takes two days to complete six cubicles. At a recent job, the installation team completed five cubicles in a day with a four-person team.
But it does demand specialist skills, so refurbishments must be carried out by contractors using trained installers with experience of working with architectural films.
2) Reduced waste
Architectural film is a plastic product and free from heavy metals and plasticisers. Additionally, there's no need to strip everything out first so there are fewer materials needed and less waste to dispose of, which ultimately makes the project more environmentally friendly.
3) Lower costs
The film is a fraction of the cost of traditional refurbishment methods. Prices vary according to specific job requirements, but a rough estimate based on a typical sized cubicle is about £350 for a cubicle door and pilaster, and up to £550 to include two dividers and a cubicle door.
4) Long lasting
Interior architectural film is designed for the built environment. It provides a long-lasting finish - removing the need to regularly repaint walls and doors - and with warranties of up to 12 years available, it is a reliable solution. Additionally, there is no chance that the architectural film will come away or peel off'it will bond to the substrate securely to provide a long-lasting finish.
5) Resistance to changes in temperature and humidity
As well as having a Class 0 fire rating, which means that they have been tested to meet BS EN 13501-1 for the surface spread of flames, architectural films remain stable when exposed to temperatures from -20°C up to 60°C. They are also resistant to moisture, high humidity, and are UV-stable, so colours stay bright and vibrant.
6) Resistant to impacts and abrasions
The film can be repaired easily if damaged. Surface scuffmarks are easy to clean from the surface, requiring only mild detergent and water. The films have been manufactured to resist most tough stains so they reduce the client's cleaning burden in the long term. Minor cracks or indentation marks can be repaired by carefully heating up the surface with a heat gun. Assuming the surface is unbroken, the indented area can be rebonded to reduce visibility of the damaged area.
7) Versatile and stylish
It's also possible to deliver design-led, bespoke washroom spaces by using architectural film. A variety of colours, patterns and textured finishes are available. Textured reproductions of wood, metal, marble, leather and stone, for example, are all designed to feel like the material they look like. So it may not actually be wood, marble or leather, but it looks and feels like it.
Trevor Bowers is director at Washroom Washroom