- Bathroom mirror
- Cabinet furniture for the bathroom
- Characteristics of the materials from which the bathroom furniture is made
- Characteristics of coatings applied to bathroom furniture
- At the end
In this Article: Types of Bathroom Mirrors characteristics and cost of mirrors; options for cabinet furniture in the bathroom; materials for its construction; types of external furniture covering; how to evaluate the quality of bathroom furniture.
A small room, necessarily equipped with a bath or shower stall, a washbasin, less often a toilet. The dimensions of the bathroom, most often, do not allow you to turn around, somehow furnish it with furniture in a special way, because from the point of view of architects, this is exclusively an office space, highly specialized in its tasks. Certainly, a number of questions arise with bathroom furnishings, which we will deal with in this article, having considered the options for bathroom furniture and the characteristics of the materials from which this furniture can be made..
The main function of a mirror in a bathroom is to display the owner’s face during the morning exercise. According to the designers, the mirror surface also participates in the visual expansion of the bathroom space, but due to its small size, this role will be small – it is difficult to install a large-area mirror in a small bathroom.
Mirror film or amalgam on mirrors is most often formed by a 3-6 mm layer of aluminum or silver, the first version of amalgam is more common, because aluminum is cheaper than silver. In terms of operational characteristics, silver amalgam is much better than aluminum – it is moisture resistant, the image in them is accurate and does not have any distortions, mirrors with silver amalgam serve the owners much longer than their counterparts with aluminum amalgam. Silver and aluminum amalgams are successively protected by layers of copper and varnish; in Chinese-made mirrors, there is no copper layer for the notorious economy.
The problem is that aluminum and silver amalgams cannot be distinguished by eye – this can only be done by a professional who is fluent in the nuances of “mirroring” business. And when purchasing a bathroom mirror, you will have to trust the manufacturer of this mirror and the seller at the point of sale …
Keep in mind that there are no “special” mirror production technologies. they will be either aluminum or silver amalgam – all other claims of sellers are nothing more than empty advertising.
The market offers various options for bathroom mirrors – it can be just a mirror without any frills, or a multifunctional piece of furniture, with shelves for hygiene items, with a cabinet for the same purposes. In addition to shelves and cabinets, the bathroom mirror can be equipped with built-in lighting and electric heating. There are two types of mirror illumination – hanging lamps protruding from above and on the sides of the mirror plane or small built-in lamps, whose holders and lamps are installed on the back of the mirror, as a rule, along its perimeter (there is no amalgam in the places where the lamps are installed, the glass is most often matted) , the reverse side of the mirror is covered by the body. Heating a bathroom mirror is similar in principle to heating a car’s survey mirrors – thermocouples, which are several millimeters thick, are glued to the mirror from the back, and the power is connected. A heated mirror will not fog up while household members are taking a bath or shower, but it is not cheap – it is easier to periodically process an ordinary mirror with special anti-fog products intended for car mirrors.
The cost of mirrors depends on their layout and size.An ordinary mirror, not equipped with shelves, costs about 1,000 rubles, the price of “fancy” models with illumination, a proximity switch and heating – from 6,000 rubles. and higher.
How to choose a bathroom mirror.When looking for a mirror that is suitable in all respects, first of all, you should not buy it “without seeing”, i.e. we sweep aside the idea of buying over the Internet. Your reflection in the mirror should be free of any distortion – take your time and find the best one. Before buying, pay attention to the details – the moisture resistance of the material from which the frame is made (the characteristics of the materials used in the bathroom furniture are described below), the strength and quality of fastening the shelves. If you have purchased an inexpensive mirror – carry out additional protection of the amalgam on the back from moisture, apply one or two coats of furniture varnish on it.
An interesting solution in the design of the bathroom will be the installation of a sliding mirror screen on the bath. Such a screen will simultaneously hide the pipes under the bathroom and visually expand the area of the bathroom. You should not build a screen on the basis of a glass, easily breakable mirror – you need a plexiglass mirror, guaranteed unbreakable and more durable. Before installing such a mirror screen, be sure to apply two layers of varnish on its back side to protect it from mechanical damage..
Cabinet furniture for the bathroom
Due to the small size of this room, which, moreover, accommodates obligatory plumbing fixtures on its area, there is practically no room for cabinet furniture. The only place is the space under and above the sink, respectively, you need either a cabinet combined with a sink and a mirror, or a separate group of a cabinet with a built-in sink and a cabinet with a built-in mirror. When choosing a wall cabinet with a mirror, the focus is on the mirror, the selection criteria for which are described above, and then we will consider the options and characteristics of furniture in the bathroom, into which you can build a sink.
The most popular solution is pedestal with plinth. Its design is simple: a box of side frames and crossbars, the front part in the form of a swing or hinged door, a couple of drawers or shelves inside this structure. One problem remains unresolved, and a very important one – the material from which the body of the base of such a pedestal is formed will contact with water. If such a curbstone is made of wood, chipboard or MDF, its base will swell and become unusable. Oh, the assertions of sellers and manufacturers that the material that forms a pedestal with a plinth is sufficiently moisture resistant will sound convincing, but what will remain of these promises after 3-4 years of operation, when all possible warranty periods have expired? Thus, a basement cabinet is the worst furniture option in the bathroom..
The next two variants of the vanity unit are more successful. The first one is cabinet raised above floor level on metal legs.Possible problems with flooding the room will not threaten such a curbstone, only its legs – however, they are not difficult to replace on your own, and a new set of legs will cost inexpensively. In addition, it is easy to clean under the pedestal with legs, and the gap between the floor and the bottom of the pedestal will promote air circulation, eliminating excess moisture and preventing its destructive effect on furniture in the bathroom. When choosing a suitable cabinet of this type, be sure to inspect its legs – no plastic, only chrome-plated metal, they should have dense silicone linings (they will not scratch the floor tiles). Important: the legs will ensure the stability of the cabinet, but not its immobility – it must be necessarily fixed to the wall.
Hanging vanity unit.Its advantages are the free space between the bottom of such a cabinet and the floor, visually increases the space in a small bathroom, while creating the effect of airiness and lightness. Hanging furniture in the bathroom itself looks stylish and modern – this fact should be taken into account when equipping a bathroom.
The unobstructed space under such a curbstone is well ventilated, while neither humidity, nor sudden floods or puddles after water procedures will in any way damage the hanging curbstone. And yet, there is one problem – it is possible to fix the suspended curbstone only on the main wall, or on a pre-prepared frame introduced into the structure of the partition.
The cost of pedestals complete with a sink and without a mixer is on average from 4,000 rubles. and higher.
Characteristics of the materials from which the bathroom furniture is made
Wood or, as furniture makers often call it, solid wood.At first glance, this is an ideal option for any furniture, including those installed in the bathroom, but this is not so – high humidity and temperature changes will warp and straighten any wood.
Solid wood furniture can be placed in bathrooms only if there is a large area of this room and its equipment with high-quality supply and exhaust ventilation.
Chipboard or particle board.Inexpensive and therefore extremely favorite material of furniture makers, but there is nothing to do for cabinet furniture from cheap chipboard brands in the bathroom – it is guaranteed to swell and lose its shape. Only moisture-resistant chipboard tolerates moisture relatively firmly and only if there is no direct contact with water, i.e. the base of the cabinet with a plinth made of moisture-resistant chipboard will still be damaged over time.
Of course, every seller of furniture made of this material, intended for the bathroom, will declare its moisture resistance, but you can recognize a truly moisture-resistant chipboard only by an open cut – blotches of a light green shade will be noticeable on it, formed by a paraffin emulsion that ensures the moisture resistance of this brand of chipboard … And one more thing – furniture made of moisture-resistant chipboard will cost more than ordinary one, because the production technology of this material itself is not cheap.
MDF or fiberboard.Compared to chipboard, it has better moisture resistance – sawdust filling MDF boards are crushed almost into dust, which gives high strength and density indicators. Nevertheless, with frequent contact with water, MDF furniture will gradually swell – it will not be noticeable immediately, after about a year or two.
Plastic.Inexpensive, lightweight, moisture resistant, capable of accepting and maintaining complex geometric shapes, this material is often used in the manufacture of bathroom furniture. But the negative characteristics of plastic seriously underestimate its merits – it is easy to scratch it, over time, traces of rubbing the plastic surfaces will become easily noticeable. The coating does not hold on to the plastic – gilding and chrome plating will inevitably peel off and peel off.
Characteristics of coatings applied to bathroom furniture
Adhesive tape. The cheapest type of coating, provides an attractive look to furniture due to a wide variety of colors and textures. The presence of such a film on furniture indicates its low quality – such film is not glued to high-quality furniture. The appearance of the purchased furniture, finished with a self-adhesive film, will be lost very soon – it will inevitably lag behind the furniture body. Do not purchase furniture with self-adhesive film, no matter how profitable this purchase may look!
Acrylic sheet.Creates an attractive, bright look of furniture, well protects the base from moisture penetration, furniture finished with it is relatively inexpensive and is suitable for furnishing a bathroom. It has a common disadvantage that any plastic surfaces are easy to scratch, scratch marks appear even when wiping with a damp cloth. When choosing furniture finished with acrylic sheet, carefully inspect it at the corners and ends, slide your finger – if you feel unevenness, then refuse to buy this furniture, because application of acrylic sheet and subsequent processing of joints with liquid acrylic are performed poorly.
Veneer.Despite the “woody” origin of the veneer sheet, it resists moisture well – after being glued, it is covered with several layers of varnish to prevent moisture penetration. Furniture covered with veneer has an attractive appearance, pronounced wood texture, but it is more expensive than its counterparts finished with acrylic sheet. When buying, pay attention to the corners and joints – they should fit snugly to the base, and the layers of varnish applied on top should not have scratches and chips.
Enamel and varnish.The coatings formed by them are resistant to abrasion and moisture, serve as good protection for cabinet furniture in the bathroom. Compared to finishing with acrylic sheet and veneer, furniture painted with varnish or enamel has a lower price. Enamelled and lacquered furniture does not have to have a nondescript look – on its surface you can apply colorful colors, patterns and drawings stylized to the overall design of the bathroom.
At the end
When choosing furniture for the bathroom, you need to make sure that the fasteners and installed door openers are reliable, check the holes and grooves cut out for them. It is known that the surfaces of furniture intended for installation in rooms with high humidity are specially treated. But when cutting out the necessary grooves and holes, this layer is damaged – it is necessary to re-process the areas where the technological holes were made. Meanwhile, this extremely necessary operation is often ignored by furniture manufacturers, as a result – the penetration and accumulation of moisture in the case, which will lead to swelling and damage to the case. Swipe your finger in the places where the mechanisms are cut – their edges and inner surfaces should be treated with varnish or glue.
When examining the suggested furniture samples, ignore those samples that have plastic handles and trim elements – this furniture is of poor quality.
Considering that chipboard and MDF boards do not hold the screws well, check how the hinges are fixed in the furniture case – a high-quality fastening should be built on three or four (at least!) Screws screwed at a distance from each other. To prevent possible distortions of the doors, each leaf must be secured with three hinges. All movable parts of the furniture should easily slide out and swing open, there should not be any backlash from side to side, otherwise the fasteners will soon fly out of the furniture body and it will be difficult to fix them again, especially in chipboard plates.