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Floor-level showering: what’s better – a shower area or tiles?

Anyone who is about to build a new bathroom or renovate an existing one often has to address the question whether the future shower areas is to be tiled and fitted with a shower channel or whether a floor-level shower tray or a shower area in glazed titanium steel would be better. So what are the advantages of the two solutions?
Anyone who is about to build a new bathroom or renovate an existing one often has to address the question whether the future shower areas is to be tiled and fitted with a shower channel or whether a floor-level shower tray or a shower area in glazed titanium steel would be better. So what are the advantages of the two solutions?

Which floor level shower for my bathroom?

A tiled shower area with a shower channel or a floor level shower tray or shower area in glazed titanium steel – both solutions have the same advantages. As they are level with the floor, the shower area is barrier-free, which means that anyone of any age can use it with complete ease and absolute freedom of movement. The two solutions also provide a generous spatial effect, since there is effectively no requirement for shower partitions or shower curtains – something that is of particular benefit in small bathrooms in particular. Plus both solutions are extremely long-lasting. In fact, bathroom manufacturers like Bette give an impressive 30-year warranty on their shower areas.

Shower area or tiles and a shower channel? What are the differences?

The differences between the two solutions are in the details. One of the biggest advantages of tiles is the continuous floor design if the floor is tiled to under the shower. However, the shower area also presents the tiler with tremendous challenges, and this is usually associated with high costs. For the water to drain away without hindrance, there has to be a slope to the shower channel. If this is done with small tiles, the result will be lots of joints that are then difficult to clean. By the same token, if large tiles are used, they often have to be cut to size, which results in unattractive joint patterns.

Studies by TÜV Rheinland, for instance, illustrate that joints in the bathroom floor are veritable dirt traps, and over time can even start to leak. Once the damage has been done, a further disadvantage with tiling is that a tiled floor is difficult to access for inspection work; in other words, there is no way to repair any damage without significant structural work.

Furthermore, a shower channel requires more cleaning in daily life, because hair and soap residues will always find somewhere to settle. The shower channel should be cleaned often along its entire length to prevent bacteria puddles and deposits.

What are the advantages of shower areas in glazed titanium steel?

A shower area in glazed titanium steel such as BetteFloor, however, has its own particular aesthetic appeal. It integrates smoothly in the bathroom floor and can, if desired, even be adapted to the current tile colours in order to achieve a continuous colour design. Its pointed corners, a speciality of the bathroom manufacturer Bette, integrates perfectly in the tile grid to achieve a shower area on the very highest aesthetic level. Glazed titanium steel is also extremely robust, impact resistant and resistant to chemicals.

Unlike tiles, with this solution there are no joints in the shower, and the required slope for water drainage is integrated almost invisibly in the shower area. It is almost impossible for dirt and bacteria to settle on the glass-hard, non-porous surface; instead, they are simply washed away with the water – for a high standard of hygiene and the easiest possible cleaning. There is generally no need for abrasive, chemical and aggressive cleaners; usually it is sufficient to dry the shower area with a sqeegee.

Another practical aspect is that thanks to sophisticated installation systems such as the BetteInstallation System Universal, shower areas can be installed quickly, without leaks and permanently. On the one hand, this helps to lower costs for installation, and on the other to achieve a high level of sound insulation – meaning the neighbours no longer have to listen when you are enjoying a shower. One of the key advantages of these systems is the freedom they offer for inspection tasks in the shower area – so when maintenance work needs to be carried out on or under the shower area, the plumber can do so easily and without major problems.

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