Cast-iron enameled baths, which appeared in the second half of the 19th century, are still very popular. The method of their production has not changed much since those distant times, but today modern technologies are used to obtain a better surface. Initially, cast iron is cast into a given shape. To destroy scale and irregularities, the resulting workpiece is treated with a shot blasting machine. To ensure good adhesion of the enamel to the metal base, European manufacturers also resort to additional “bombardment” of the bath surface with metal prisms.
The quality of the enamel is a very important parameter that determines the service life of a product. In domestic production, zirconium salts are added to the enamel, therefore, in our models, it is “loose”, rust from water quickly eats into it, it is easy to scratch it. Cheap cast iron baths are supplied to Russia from Turkey: their enamel often suffers from damage to the packaging, and hidden cracks can occur in the cast iron itself.
Bath with locking screw feet
In addition to Russian and Turkish factories, cast iron enameled baths are produced by Roca (Spain), Kaldewei (Germany), Herbau, Porcher, Jacob Delafon (France), Recor (Portugal). Imported models are made of thinner cast iron (about 5 mm thick) and covered with high quality enamel. Powder is poured onto the hot surface of the bath through a special sieve in an even layer, which turns into enamel during firing. A specialist monitors the process of applying enamel, and if he notices that the coating turns out to be uneven somewhere in tone (somewhere whiter, somewhere grayer), he delivers an additional portion of the mixture to the “weak” places. The composition of the powder includes titanium salts, which makes the enamel smooth and wear-resistant. The quality of the coating of European cast-iron baths is approximately the same, but the Spaniards have white enamel with a slightly noticeable cream shade. In addition, imported products are less weight (120-130 kg) and are installed on locking screw legs, adjustable in height (some Russian models are also equipped with legs today).
Bathtub with handles and headrests
Currently, there are samples on the domestic market that are quite modern both in design and in a set of accessories. For example, a bathtub 170×85 cm of the Akiro series (from $ 400) from the Roca factory has a three-layer lacquer coating that makes the inner surface of the bathroom bowl smooth, and is equipped with a headrest, chrome handles, and a drain-overflow. The voluminous (180×90 cm) luxury model Super Repos (from $ 700) from Jacob Delafon, in addition to chrome-plated handles, is equipped with comfortable armrests, special recesses for the back and head, and on its end side you can put a mixer with three holes and a shower head with a hidden hose. And it is completely different from our usual standard cast-iron baths, the Romanie model (from $ 600) from Porcher with a seat and large handrails. The dimensions of the Romanie (180×86 cm) allow you to sit in it with enviable comfort. Note: the “dry” weight of such a bathtub, which holds 215 liters of water, is only 126 kg.
As for the cost, then for the Russian model of production of the Kirov, Perm or Novokuznetsk plants, you will have to pay $ 100-130. The simplest European economy class bathtub without equipment and fittings will cost $ 150-200. A semi-automatic drain-overflow to it costs about $ 20-35, internal chrome handles – another $ 50-90, legs-supports – $ 30-60. For a comfort class sample, you have to pay from $ 300 to $ 500. For example, the price of the Metropole (170×70 cm) model from Porcher with internal handles, anti-skid notches and adjustable feet is $ 310. A small (140×70 cm) Soisson bathtub from Jacob Delafon with dimensions of 170×80 cm, stamped armrests and chrome handles will cost $ 500. The price for especially complex, unusual in shape Delux category models can go up to $ 2000-3000.