A question that often arises in our shop is whether to install an electric shower or a power shower whenever you’re considering renovating a bathroom or installing a brand new one. To make an informed decision you have to be familiar with the merits and drawbacks of each, and which one best fits your purpose.

Firstly if we could consider the case of power showers. A power shower by definition is a shower which mixes hot and cold water from your water system and pumps it to the shower head. There are two main types of powershowers, one with an integrated pump and one with a separate pump usually housed in the hotpress or some other concealed place. Both are equally efficient with the separate pump version more aesthetically pleasing, but of course they are usually more expensive. The main benefits with power showers are they usually have a generous flow of water to the shower head, and they cost virtually nothing to run. They usually have a long working life and are manufactured by all the leading brands. The downside is the pump can sometimes be noisy particularly when fitted to a stud wall and, of course, you need to have warm water in your system before you start, to ensure a cosy shower.

Electric showers have their merits too, the main one being you can have a shower at the drop of a hat, no need for warm water in the tank- you’re good to go at any time. Electric showers are fed from the mains water supply, and need to have a heavy cable directly to the metre board. There is of course a huge range on the market, all of which are working on the same principle. Because electric showers have to heat water instantly they tend to have quite a restricted flow but one manufacturer has come up with a remedy: adding hot air to create the illusion of a better flow, meaning you might think you have more water without any more actually being there. Electric showers tend to be relatively cheap to buy and might sound the obvious choice, but bear in mind every shower you take costs to heat the water (about the same as 3 electric kettles going at once).

To sum up, electric showers do have a place in a modern home, but the merits of power showers far outweigh its electric counterpart. Of course no argument is so easily won and this argument can stand a lot of debate in most homes and can only really be answered by the individual homeowner and family. The best solution is to have one of each, then you can enjoy the benefits of both!

 

 

Whilst a bath is merely a container for water, and sometimes other cleansing fluids, the bath is far more to the modern user than simply a utilitarian bathtub. There is nothing better than coming home after work and indulging in a lavish bath. Comfort is the most important consideration while selecting a bath tub. Bathtubs not only come in a multitude of sizes, colour and styles, but in a variety of materials as well. The choice and combination depends upon individual needs and taste, as well as architectural limitations.

In Ballymena, Antrim, Belfast and even Northern Ireland, the basic 5ft wall-to-wall built-in model in white still remains the most popular tub. Some are porcelain on steel; some are acrylic; some cast iron.

The luxury and health benefits of the baths are enormous and they include; improving blood circulation for individuals. Steeping the body in hot water to the neck is an exercise of sorts for your blood vessels.  Water creates physical pressure on the body and so increases the capacity of our heart. In other words, when we’re in the water, the heart works faster and stronger. This is not by any means heavy exertion, more like a light workout for the heart. A few dips a week is an excellent workout for your heart, while doing the head no-end of benefits also.

Secondly, helps individuals in falling asleep. Hot water relaxes the body and better prepares us for falling asleep. When a tense body enters a warm bath, the hot water increases the body temperature and relaxes the muscles. Relaxing the muscles not only soothes us physically, but also mentally, and many of us need that peace of mind at the end of the day.

Thirdly, the bath relaxes the body and better prepares us for falling asleep. When a tense body enters a warm bath, hot water increases the body temperature and relaxes muscles. Relaxing the muscles not only soothes us physically, but also mentally, and many of us need that peace of mind at the end of the day.

In Ballymena, Antrim, Belfast and Northern Ireland, the bathroom has been transformed into a spa, a place to unwind and refresh the body. Situated at the heart of this relaxation centre is the tub. Once a utilitarian device, the tub has become a glamorous and, in many cases, exciting feature in bathroom design. These days, when it comes to choosing a tub, the possibilities are nearly limitless. Options include soakers and whirlpools; classic claw-footed models; contoured shapes, ovals, squares, and rounded; tubs with neck rests and arm rests; tubs set into platforms; and tubs you step down into—or even walk into. All this variety comes at a price, so it’s important to remember that the total cost of a tub will reflect the amount of technology involved as well as the type of finish and material.

Formerly bathtubs had been just a tub-and-shower combination, with the primary goal being showered and basic body hygiene. Today, baths are often separate from the shower, with the sole purpose of soaking to relax and unwind. Buying a tub is no longer a simple decision, and because a tub can be an expensive and permanent purchase, it is very important to do the research before you actually buy.

Before shopping for a tub, first ask yourself how you like to bathe. Do you prefer a long, lingering soak, or an invigorating whirlpool massage? Factor in how important bathing and other uses of a tub are to you and your family. Taking this opportunity to evaluate your goals and lifestyle before choosing a tub can be well worth the time investment.

The majority of slips and falls in the home happen in the bathroom. Many of these happen whilst getting in or out of the tub.

Some strategies to help prevent slips and falls include:

Walk In Shower with slip resistant tile floors. A wet room style shower will not have a partition you have to step over, and is safer still.

Shower Chair A shower chair provides stability for difficulty balancing and a rest place for those who have difficulty standing for long periods. A shower chair should have rubber tips on the legs to prevent sliding. When used with a hand-held shower head, you can remain seated while bathing.

Slip Resistant Grab Bars towel bars are not a safe or suitable option, they are not designed to bear weight. Install grab bars in easy-to-reach places that will naturally support entering and leaving the tub or shower area.

Tile Ratings many floor tiles are tested for the coefficient of friction or antislip rating. This rating comes in the form of an ‘R’ value. The ‘R’ stands for ‘ramp test’. This ‘R’ value ranges from R9, which has a small degree of slip resistance, right up to R13, which is the highest rated slip resistance. Read more

RatingDescriptionUses
R9Low FrictionMainly smooth, glazed tiles that are suited for dry internal domestic floors such as kitchens, dining areas, and hallways.
R10Medium FrictionMainly glazed tiles suited for internal domestic floors that are sometimes wet, e.g. bathrooms.
R11Increased FrictionMostly unglazed tiles suited for external areas including patios and walkways, dressing rooms, public toilets.
R12/13High to Very High FrictionSuitable for public areas and commercial applications.

Ensure adequate lighting and a non-slip bath mat. Regular maintenance in the way of cleaning floors and wall tiles to eliminate soap residue and reducing clutter help, too.

The JustPave Vitfrified Paving Collection is a range of high performance hard-wearing, anti-slip outdoor products that combine exceptional strength and technical consistency. These vitrified paving flags absorb little or no moisture providing exceptional stain resistance, and allow moss and algae little opportunity to grow. This means minimal maintenance is required to keep your outside spaces looking stunning.

JustPave can be easily laid dry on sand, grass or gravel. This process is fast to install without the need for highly skilled labour and the pavers can easily be lifted, moved and repositioned if required. Alternatively, they can be installed on raised adjustable height pedestals over new or existing surfaces that will allow access below for substrate maintenance, pipework, electrics etc. This is ideal for installations on balconies or patios where access to waterproofing membrane or pipework may be required.

For more permanent placements the vitrified pavers can be installed using traditional paving methods with a standard sand/cement mortar on a hardcore substrate. For areas with regular heavy foot traffic or loads from cars etc. they can be laid onto a concrete base using highly deformable external grade adhesive such as Mapei Ultraflex S2 (Class C2FTS2).

Even if you plan to have your pavers professionally installed it is a good idea to be familiar with the process.

Here is a quick guide for installing JustPave in a variety of areas:

  • Directly On Grass
  • Directly On Gravel/Pebbles
  • With Sand/Cement Mortar on Hardcore
  • With Pedestals
  • With Tile Adhesive on Concrete Substrates

In all cases refer to professional advice and instruction for proper installation methods to maintain the long term integrity of the installed surfaces.

Installing JustPave Vitrified Pavers on Grass/Lawn

Installation on grass can be performed in two ways:

  1. A) Direct: Dry set the paver on to grass leaving 4-5 cm wide joints to allow the grass to grow through. Results will be long lasting but stability of the surface will be subject to soil movements.
  2. B) On Small Gravel Bases to Minimise Movement:
  • Remove the grass from the area underneath the JustPave Vitrified Paver Slab.
  • Dig out to 5cm deep in warm and dry climate, or deeper in cold or wet climates. • Compact the soil.
  • Fill the excavated area with gravel/aggregate (size 4-8 mm) or sand and compact it to create a solid base.
  • Dry set the JustPave Vitrified Paver directly on top of the compacted base.

Disclaimer

This information and any recommendations or suggestions contained herein are given in good faith without warranty or guarantee as conditions of use are out with our control. Product development is continuous and products are subject to change without notice. Please ensure that JustPave products will be suitable for use on your project by requesting samples for your evaluation in relation to colour and working conditions.

Installing JustPave Vitrified Pavers on Sand

  • Remove the grass from the area underneath the JustPave Vitrified Paver Slab.
  • Dig out 5-7 cm deep in warm and dry climate, or deeper in cold or wet climates. Ensure the area is approx. 15cm wider than the finished installed surface.
  • Compact the soil.
  • Lay Geotextile permeable fabric on the compacted soil (if required for weed control). • Fill the excavated area with gravel/aggregate (size 4-8 mm) and compact it to create a minimum 2-3 cm solid base.
  • Fill with sand and compact the material to create a firm surface, allowing a 1.5-2° slope away from any building. Do not compact the pavers.
  • Install exterior edging restraints where necessary to minimise peripheral movement. • Space and dry set the JustPave Vitrified Paver directly on top of the compacted sand base, ensuring to leave a 4mm space between each one. Never install with paver to paver contact.
  • Level the pavers with necessary using a rubber mallet. Never compact the pavers with a vibrating plate. Simply fill the joints with sand to complete.

Installing JustPave Vitrified Pavers on Gravel/Pebbles

  • Remove the grass from the area underneath the JustPave Vitrified Paver Slab. • Dig 5 cm deep in warm and dry climate, or deeper in cold or wet climates.
  • Ensure the area is approx. 15cm wider than the finished installed surface.
  • Compact the soil.
  • Lay Geotextile permeable fabric on the compacted soil (if required for weed control).
  • Fill the excavated area with gravel/aggregate (size 4-8 mm) and compact it to create a minimum 2-3 cm solid base.
  • Install exterior edging restraints where necessary to minimise peripheral movement. • Dry set the JustPave Vitrified Paver directly on top of the compacted sand base.
  • If installing with wide joints, simply fill the space with decorative pebbles.

Installing JustPave Vitrified Pavers on a Mortar Bed

  • Remove the grass from the area underneath the JustPave Vitrified Paver Slab.
  • Dig 15 cm deep in warm and dry climate, or deeper in cold or wet climates.
  • Ensure the area is approx. 15cm wider than the finished installed surface.
  • Compact the soil.
  • Lay Geotextile permeable fabric on the compacted soil (if required for weed control).
  • Fill the excavated area with gravel/aggregate (size 4-8 mm) and compact it to create a minimum 10 cm solid base.
  • Install exterior edging restraints where necessary to minimise peripheral movement. • Blend a 4:1 mortar mix using sharp sand and ordinary cement. Avoid using building sand or white cement. • Shovel or trowel approx. 30mm bed of mortar and ripple to help spread once the paver is placed. It is important to maximise the contact between the mortar and paver (creating a solid bed and reducing air pockets beneath the surface). Only install one paver at a time ensuring the bed is wider than the paver. • Using a slurry primer and coating the back of each paver immediately prior to installation will help the product to bed in the mortar. • Use a rubber mallet to tap down the paver to remove any high/low spots and maximise the contact with mortar mix. Do not walk on for at least 24 hours.

Installing JustPave Vitrified Pavers on a Concrete Base with Tile Adhesive

Where there is likely to be persistent foot traffic or heavy loads from cars driving on the pavers it is recommended to install them with highly flexible exterior grade tile adhesive to ensure the long term integrity of the product. In this method the pavers are laid in the same manner as laying floor tiles inside the house:

  • The paver can be laid on a suitable pre-installed concrete base. This base should have had at least 3-4 weeks ‘drying out’ period after installation.
  • A suitable exterior grade highly flexible floor adhesive, such as Mapei Ultraflex S2 (Class C2FTS2), should be used to install the JustPave Vitrified Pavers. Always refer to the manufacturer’s technical instructions.
  • The adhesive should be spread evenly over the whole of the rigid base using a notched trowel.
  • The underside of the paver should be back-buttered with adhesive to create a bridging bond when the paver is laid (creating a solid bed and reducing air pockets beneath the surface).
  • The paver is then pressed down onto the adhesive and settled.
  • For installation on smaller concrete bases where thermal expansion will be minimal then use 4mm joints. On larger concrete bases seek advice on the need and use of movement control joint between the tile areas.

Installing JustPave Vitrified Pavers with Adjustable Pavers

  • Measure the total area to be paved to determine the number of pavers required and mark the intersections of the corners of each paver being installed to prepare a layout grid guide.
  • Position the first pedestal in one corner of the area and position subsequent pedestals along one wall edge. If necessary cut the bases of the pedestals along the scored lines to ensure the pedestals are as close as possible to the wall. Snap off any spacer tabs that are not required.
  • Place a second row of pedestals parallel to the first and carefully position the pavers with each corner resting on the top of a pedestal head and tightly butted against the spacer tabs.
  • Adjust the height of each pedestal to ensure each paver is level. • If extra support is required simply place an additional pedestal (with all tabs removed) under the centre of the paver.

Cutting JustPave Vitrified Pavers

  • Vitrified Pavers should be cut using a water cooled, dust suppressing saw fitted with a diamond tipped blade specifically made for cutting porcelain pavers slabs. This saw can be either;
  • A bench power wet-saw
  • A masonry cutting power saw with water feed
  • The cutting blade should always be water suppressed whenever cutting the vitrified paver to control dust and cool the blade. The diamond tipped blade should have a full interrupted circular edge and have no gaps.
  • Never cut vitrified pavers with a fibre blade.
  • Always use a good quality diamond blade. Such is the compact hardness of vitrified pavers that a blunt or worn diamond blade is likely to create unattractive shelling or oystering along the cut edges.
  • Paving installers unfamiliar with working with vitrified paving should practice cutting with the material prior to carrying out final installations.

Joint Filling Information

When pavers are installed in sand, mortar or tile adhesive you may fill the 4 mm joints with:

  • Traditional Sand Dry traditional sand is swept into the open joints until they are completely filled. Excess sand should be swept off of the pavers. Please note mind that sand joints may need to be occasionally topped up or re-sanded over tile as wind and rain can cause some erosion.
  • Cement Blended Sand Dry cement blended sand (typical 3 parts sand to 1 part cement) is swept into the open joints until they are completely filled. It is essential that excess cement blended sand is swept off the pavers (blowers can also be used for final dust removal). Please note any residual dust or sand remaining on the surface may make the pavers difficult to keep clean after installation. After joints are full and the surface is clean the pavers can be misted with water to activate the cement and cure/harden the mixture. For final clean use Fila Deterdek.
  • Ready Mixed Jointing Compound When installing pavers on a compacted base you can use ready mixed resinbound jointing compounds such as ‘Joint-It Simple’ to provide a maintenance free, long lasting professional finish. With working times of up to four hours ready mixed jointing compounds are easy to use, cement-free formulations designed for use in all weathers. Simply brush the compound diagonally across the paving joints working it in until they are full. Remove any excess jointing compound and sweep the pavers with a soft brush to clean the surface. Completed installations should not be walked on for at least 24 hours and should also be protected from rain, frost and freezing temperatures during this time. Residual jointing dust can be simply brushed off after 24 hours.
  • Flexible Tile Grout If installing pavers on a concrete base using tile adhesive it is advisable to use flexible exterior grade tile grout such as Mapei Ultracolour Grout in the joints. In warm weather avoid working in direct sunlight. Protect the area from rain, frost and freezing temperatures for several days after grouting. Never allow grout to remain on the surface of the pavers for an extended length of time before completing the initial cleaning. Make sure that all tiles are thoroughly cleaned with Fila Deterdek to prevent residual grout remaining on the surface.

Disclaimer

This information and any recommendations or suggestions contained herein are given in good faith without warranty or guarantee as conditions of use are out with our control. Product development is continuous and products are subject to change without notice. Please ensure that JustPave products will be suitable for use on your project by requesting samples for your evaluation in relation to colour and working conditions.

JustPave Vitrified Pavers

Introducing the JustPave Collection of 20mm Vitrified Pavers.

Incredibly hard-wearing, anti-slip, weather, stain and scratch resistant; they are specifically designed for use on outdoor patios, garden paths and driveways to create seamless transitions between the home and outside spaces. JustPave porcelain pavers can be laid dry on sand, grass or gravel. Alternatively, they can be installed on concrete using traditional tiling methods.

Important features & benefits of include:

• Easy to Lay, Clean & Maintain – Wash with clean water

• Highly Durable – Scratch and abrasion resistant

• Slip Resistant R10 and B Rated Finish – Providing assured grip underfoot

• Resistant to Frost and Thermal Shock – Preventing surface splintering, crazing or fractures

• Resistant to Salt – Preventing efflorescence growth

• Stain/Oil Resistant – Perfect for BBQ areas

• Non-porous – Inhibits moss and algae growth (unlike traditional concrete pavers)

• No Sealing – The dense nature of vitrified pavers removes the need to seal surfaces

• Resistant to Chemicals, Acids and Abrasive Cleaning Products – Ensures long term integrity of surfaces

• UV Resistant – No fading of colour over time

• High Newton Strength – Perfect for heavy duty/commercial traffic

• Reusable – Depending on fitting system utilised

Slip Resistant Our vitrified pavers have excellent slip-resistance qualities for assured support underfoot. Each range has been scientifically tested for both shod foot and bare foot conditions (DIN51130 & DIN51097) and found to offer excellent slip resistance so you can be confident you are getting the best surfaces for your patio, hot tub/pools surround and BBQ areas.

Stain Resistant – the hard surface of our vitrified pavers is virtually non-porous (less than 0.05%) all spillages sit on the surface and do not soak in. During stain resistant testing they received the highest rating of 5. This means that, in most cases, all spillages can be washed and removed with clean, warm water

Low Maintenance – very low water absorption rate (less than 0.05%) significantly reduces opportunities for moss and algae growth and provides you with longer lasting, low maintenance, attractive outside spaces.
No Sealing Required – our vitrified pavers are fired in a kiln (above 1200°C) until they reach a stage of non-porous vitrification and complete water-proofing. The surface will not absorb materials and sealing is not required.

Abrasion & Deep Scratch Resistant – In internationally used deep abrasion testing methods (EN ISO 10545-6) JustPave performed exceptionally well. It has a compact, hard, non-porous body that has also been tested for its resistance to wear caused by heavy foot traffic and rubber wheeled vehicles (EN ISO 10545-7). Each vitrified paver range is found to have the highest rating (PEI V) and suitable for heavy traffic areas.

Strong, Robust Material – Our vitrified pavers are dense, strong materials designed to withstand heavy loads and continuous use without compromising the surface or finish. They are ideal for making your garden an extension of your home by creating a decorative extra room for entertaining and socialising.

Frost Proof & Salt Resistant – Vitrified pavers are highly frost resistant due to their strong dense nature and low water absorbency characteristics. They are the perfect alternative to porous materials, such as concrete pavers, which absorb water and salts that can cause efflorescence and may damage both the structure and surfaces by flaking, splintering and cracking.

Fade Resistant – The JustPave Collection is UV resistant to fading in all weathers and strong sunlight conditions. The manufacturing process of firing the pavers at 1200°Celcius effectively locks in the finished surfaces to produce a product with exceptional durability and reduces the potential for fading over time.

Fire Resistant – Our vitrified pavers are Classified A1 of Reaction to Fire (BS EN13501-1). They are completely resistant to fire and the surface spread of flame. They will not contribute to any phase of a fire including a full developed one.

Nordic Bathrooms

The Nordic design trend has taken firm hold in the UK with no signs of abating. This understated style particularly suits bathrooms, as it evokes a feeling of calm retreat from the world, adding an element of luxury to your bathing experience.

This style favours a freestanding bath or wet room installation if you haven’t the room to accommodate both. You can make this look your won with your choice of tile.  Large format or wood effect tiles look especially fitting for the Nordic style, and view our minimalist range for further inspiration.

The essence of this design incorporates muted tones and clean lines within a purposeful design. Wood and stone bring in natural textures to enhance the unadorned space whilst plants and ample natural light reconnect the space to nature and soften sharp edges. Tactile wicker and rough hewn towels add a cosy effect.

Check out our Pinterest for more ideas you can incorporate to stay on trend with your new bathroom.

 

 

Bathrooms are the number one room to renovate, even more frequently than kitchens. Not sure where to start? Book an in-store appointment and we’ll walk you through your bathroom renovation or design with a comprehensive quote and no obligation.

Our experienced staff have many years of experience and can work to any design you have in mind. Bring along your measurements and tour our showroom for inspiration. A well-planned bathroom can make a world of difference to how you enjoy your home as well as your homes resale value.

Of course, we aren’t just about bathrooms. We’re also happy to sit with you and help plan wall and floor tiles throughout your home. We’re sure you’ll find what you want from our large range including of wood, laminate, and Pergo vinyl flooring.

We can recommend professional, independent installers who will project manage your bathroom installation from start to completion.

Information we’ll ask you:

  • your requirements/ specifications
  • total estimated budget
  • bathroom measurements
  • time-frame for your bathroom renovation

Spend time now to get the best possible result!

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