A number of manufacturers have released information about shower enclosures and other items designed to complement the bathroom. News of the industry and a sampling of these products follow.
Professionals in the shower door industry only have a few weeks left to enter the 1998 BEMA Awards for Bath Enclosure Design. The Bath Enclosure Manufac-turers Association (BEMA) sponsors the annual contest dedicated to the promotion of bath enclosures as the alternative to shower curtains. The program is divided into two basic categories, installations up to $1,500 and installations over $1,500. Entries are to be postmarked no later than Feb. 15.
Winners of the 1997 BEMA Bath Enclosure Design Awards were recently announced. Winning in the category of enclosures valued up to $1,500, was Ammirotech of Jacksonville, FL, while CB Showers of San Carlos, CA, won in the category of enclosures over $1,500.
Owner Kirk Lichty and his wife Lynn accepted the award for Ammirotech. Humphrey Crews installed the $1,200 enclosure which was manufactured by Southeastern Aluminum Products.
Bruce Downs, owner of CB Showers, and his lead installers Greg Lamson and Larry Nix accepted the over $1,500 award. The $1,800 enclosure utilized hardware from C.R. Laurence Co.
Garrett Russell, formerly with Contractors Wardrobe, has left the company and opened U.S. Horizon Manufacturing Inc., of Valencia, CA, specializing in heavy plate shower enclosures, hardware and accessories. Russell says the company carries a full line of hinges, clips, aluminum U channels, polycarbonate seals and accessories.
Hiawatha, Inc. of Bloomington, MN, offers solid aluminum towel bars for shower enclosures. The 3/4-inch towel bars are available in brass or chrome plate and in stock sizes of 18-, 20-, 24- and 27-inches. The company also stocks back-to-back pulls in the same material.
Baci by Remcraft of Miami, FL is selling make-up and shaving mirrors. According to the company, the mirrors feature solid brass swing arms, molded Lexan housings and electrical and optical components.
Replacing tubs with shower enclosures has become a trend in mid- to high-priced hotels, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) earlier this year. The report details the steps Holiday Inn took to evaluate the popularity of tubs versus showers in guest rooms. The chain cited the appearance of dirt and discolored shower curtains as their main reasons for instigating such a switch. Industry research has indicated that 91 percent of guests take showers only, yet female guests in particular prefer to have the option of baths.
The chain estimated that shower doors would save ten minutes in cleaning time per room, and save $150 in maintenance costs and $800 in construction costs for each room. In the end, Holiday Inn did not eliminate all baths but instead made shower stalls the highlight in a large number of new, high-end rooms.
Although the rooms have garnered great reviews, the shower door industry has little about which to be happy. The WSJ article goes on to add, "Hoping to make guests feel less boxed-in, the committee decided against using a glass door and settled instead on . . . a walk-in chamber set off with a floor-to-ceiling partition of fake marble. It requires a guest to walk in and turn right to reach the actual shower."
Electric Mirror, Inc. of Lynnwood, WA, introduces steam-free bathroom mirror defoggers. According to the company, the defoggers fit unnoticeably on the back of any-sized mirror. The company says its defoggers use less power than a light bulb, are compatible with a standard 120-volt power supply, are maintenance-free and have a five-year warranty.
Aqua Glass Corporation of Adamsville, TN, announced that it has become the first national gelcoat manufacturer to incorporate Microban antibacterial protection into its line of gelcoat showers and tub/showers. According to the company, microban antibacterial protection can be incorporated into plastic products and synthetic fibers to protect them against the growth of bacteria on shower doors. This product may raise consumer expectations of shower doors because its germ-fighting ability will address their concerns about health.
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