Just how smoothly a bathroom refurbishment can be completed with comprehensive advance planning and the right selection of products is demonstrated by the state building cooperative Landes-Bau-Genossenschaft Württemberg eG with its modernisation of a multi-dwelling unit on Rümelinstraße in Stuttgart. The heart of the new bathrooms are the spacious Bette shower trays in glazed titanium steel, which are safely and quickly installed with the Universal installation system.
Photo: © Bette
Early in 2015 it was time for the first six tenants of a multi-storey residential block in the north of Stuttgart to pack their bags. But instead of heading off on holiday, they simply relocated (temporarily) within the neighbourhood while their own apartments were handed over to the expert hands of the professionals. Antje Durach, authorised representative and head of the technology department of the Landes-Bau-Genossenschaft Württemberg eG (LBG), explained the reasons behind this temporary relocation. “Our aim is to offer our members the kind of living space that is absolutely right for them on every level – for the rest of their lives. This means on the one hand providing good, well-priced accommodation and on the other, of course, ensuring that the apartments also comply with all the current safety and fittings standards.” Based on these criteria, the building on Rümelinstraße was no longer appropriate. The narrow Stuttgart galley bathrooms of the 1960s in particular, the very embodiment of Swabian modesty, no longer comply with today’s tastes or requirements. Which is why the LBG and the engineering offices Schüler of Bietigheim-Bissingen, who were responsible for the planning, focused on their modernisation.
Photos: © Bette
Within between four and six weeks per section, all of the bathrooms in the building were given a new interior. However, the occupants had to be accommodated elsewhere during this period, since the wet room and apartment could not be used. “The bathrooms are all at the end of the main hall in the apartments, which means the workmen had to walk through almost the entire apartment to get to them – an impact on the home environment that we couldn’t expect our tenants to put up with, even only temporarily,” explains Antje Durach. A year before, the LBG had therefore already started to look for suitable accommodation near Rümelinstraße for the period of the refurbishment. Fully fitted out and furnished, they enabled the occupants to stay in their familiar social environment while the construction work was being carried out.
As is common in many galley bathrooms, those on Rümelinstraße had originally had bath tubs, installed crosswise in front of the window because of the lack of space. The tiny tiles of the backsplash in white or soft yellow radiated an old-fashioned charm. The bath also had to do for showering. “Experience tells us that people shower more than bath today,” says Antje Durach, “so we decided to dispense with the bath altogether in the new bathrooms and instead have roomier showers that matched the habits and preferences of our tenants.” The residents’ profile of the LBG is extremely broad. The new, very generously dimensioned shower areas offer a number of benefits to older people and families with children in particular: the entrance is kept low, and there are hand rails in all the showers to provide security for people who are a little less steady on their feet. Measuring up to 140 × 80 cm, there is now also plenty of space for a shower stool to be used or for showering with a toddler.
Shower trays made of glazed titanium steel by Bette were the perfect choice for the LBG. “We now use Bette shower trays in almost all our refurbishments,” confirms Antje Durach, “The material and products are extremely durable, strong and stable – ideal for our purposes.” Steel/enamel does not distort with permanent use and constant loads. This minimises the wear on silicone joints, and thus the risk of water penetration and moisture damage. Of particular importance for stability and avoiding leaks in a shower tray: the right substructure. Every Bette shower tray came with a perfectly fitting installation frame. The universal installation system consists of only a few components: an aluminium profile tube with corner connectors, height-adjustable soundproof legs and a sealing set with a soundproof profile, sealing fleece and pre-shaped sealing elements for sides and corners. The Basic version is identical, but no sealing elements are included in the delivery.
Photos: © Bette
“It is important to us that we are able to offer an uncomplicated helper that is orientated towards the real requirements and conditions in practice: fast and safe installation that requires no special tools,” says Sven Rensinghoff, Head of Marketing at Bette. The profiles are made-to-measure at the factory, then slotted together on-site with the corner connectors that are included in the delivery, and the frame levelled on the ground. The installation legs can be moved around freely so the correct position can be found. Use a spirit level to establish the position and a screwdriver to tighten the height of the threaded legs – with absolute ease from above; there is no need to keep having to lift the frame out all the time.
Particularly important, especially in multi-dwelling constructions: a rubber seal that fits on the frame and the additional soundproofing for the installation legs ensure that none of the neighbours know when anyone is taking a shower. Fabric tape that fits flexibly against the building structure provides the necessary seal. Pre-fabricated fabric tape corners help with sealing the highly delicate corners of the frame. The enclosed set of formwork and tiling aids guarantee that the connection with the screed and tiles not only won’t leak, but is also lovely to look at.
“We’re very happy. The new installation system meant that the whole process was even faster and more straightforward than before,” says Olaf Mertins, construction manager in the technical department of the LBG. “Bette is a reliable partner that meets our requirements.”
Photos: © Bette
Fit even large numbers of showers in record time
In the Universal installation system, Bette offers tradesmen an installation set that can be used to install any of the company’s shower areas, including super- and ultra-flat shower trays, quickly and safely and even in large quantities. The seal, soundproofness and stable installation are easy to achieve with the system, whether it is being used for floor-level installation or with a tiled base. This means that even any unforeseen situations that might occur due to structural conditions can easily be overcome.