The wash basin – secret star in the bathroom

The wash basin is the secret star of the daily bathroom routine. It accompanies us from brushing our teeth in the morning, shaving or drying our hair through to getting ready for a big night out. The manufacturers in the Blue Responsibility initiative offer numerous versions as optimum combinations of design, functionality and sustainability.

As early as 2013, Ideal Standard started investigating how people move in their bathrooms and installed sensors in the bathrooms of test subjects. The result: the wash basin is a central point in the bathroom. A good reason for German sanitaryware manufacturers to place a special focus on wash basins. The modular room planning range from Burgbad, which combines sanitaryware and bathroom furniture, literally places the wash basin at the centre of the bathroom. “As a complete module, the units can be positioned freely within the room. You can create a wash basin island at the centre of the room, for example, which also acts as a design element, restructuring the bathroom,” Sabine Meissner from Burgbad explains. Even wash basins placed against the wall in the traditional way offer numerous design options. Ideal Standard, for example, offers high column wash basins which are real eye catchers with their sculptural appearance. Wash basins with flexible dimensions, made from ceramic or mineral compounds, as e.g. offered by Burgbad, create individual solutions for any room – from corner versions and systems for sloping ceilings to XXL basins with a length of up to 2.70 m. The height adjustable wash basin element from Viega also adapts to individual requirements. The basin moves up and down within a range from 70 to 90 cm at the press of a button, allowing the unit to be used while seated or by children.

There is also a wide range of choices when it comes to materials: everything is possible, from enamelled steel and ceramic to mineral compounds or glass. “Many consumers find it important that wash basin, shower area and bathtub match perfectly with respect to both design and material in order to create a harmonious appearance,” Marcus Möllers from Kaldewei explains. The company has now transferred the advantages of enamelled steel from the shower and bathtub range to the new enamelled steel wash basin ranges. Special coatings make the wash basins particularly robust. The surface coating from Ideal Standard, for example, was awarded a quality seal by the TÜV Rheinland certification body, confirming the durability, dirt repellent properties, easy cleaning and colour neutrality of the material. Modern countertops also feature innovative properties. Burgbard recently introduced a self-healing version made from nanotech material: small scratches can simply be removed through heat treatment with a clothes iron.

Wash basin taps combine functionality and design
Taps give the wash basin its individual character and can be used as standalone design elements. Dornbracht, for example, offers an extravagant version with a dedicated spray face: “40 soft individual jets caress the hands and use only 3.9 litres per minute,” Inga Liesenjohann explains. Extending nozzles for wash basins are a comfort option allowing water treatments for arms and forehead. Taps with contactless trigger systems, e.g. from Mepa, are suitable for particularly high standards of hygiene. The clever design of taps also ensures drinking water quality. “In this regard, it is important that the body of the tap does not heat up, even when dispensing hot water. For some ranges, we have also completely decoupled the water lines from the brass body of the tap, ensuring best possible drinking water quality,” Thomas Kreitel from Ideal Standard explains.

Clever storage spaces and a cosy atmosphere
To provide sufficient storage space, the wash basin can either be surrounded with a cabinet system or integrated directly into the furniture unit. A special in-wall element, e.g. from Mepa, allows easy installation of a full wash basin cabinet. A special siphon from Ideal Standard also maximises storage space. “In contrast to conventional siphons which divide the entire storage area in wash basin cabinets, this space saving drain is routed away from the centre of the basin to provide up to 20 per cent more space in the drawer underneath,” Thomas Kreitel explains. Keramag on the other hand offers a cabinet system with shortened shelves. This provides the user with the advantage of moving close to the wash basin when the cabinet doors are open, allowing access for wheelchair users.

The allrounder in the bathroom
Wash basins with their different functions are the element with the most varied range of uses in a bathroom. While clever taps support the careful use of resources, innovative materials and product solutions provide added comfort and sustainability in all phases of life. “Wash basins have a crucial influence on the style of a bathroom. They are the secret stars among sanitary objects. Design and material should therefore be chosen carefully,” Wolfgang Burchard from Blue Responsibility sums up.