Published: 28th April 2014
Marbrex, a low maintenance PVC-U paneling system has been installed in 40 bathrooms at Chalverton Court in Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire. The washroom facilities were completed as part of an annual bathroom refurbishment programme managed by housing association Nexus Housing, part of the WM Housing Group.
With over 2,800 properties, the Worcestershire-based organisation works across six local authority areas and faces a mix of urban and rural communities; therefore the specification and use of appropriate products plays an important role in the success of its planned maintenance and repair programme.
Keith Wilkinson, maintenance surveyor for Nexus Housing explains why they chose to complete this programme of works using the alternative wall covering. “We wanted to move away from tiles as a wall finish for the shower cubicle area, and source a product that would help prevent water penetration and ultimately the mould problems associated with tiling and grout. Marbrex was recommended to us by a local contractor who had used it in the past. I then researched the product; checking the choice of board available and the quality of finish in-line with our brief, and I’m pleased to say that the residents are very happy with the results.”
The Marbrex products were supplied by local approved stockist Specialised Building Plastics, Stirchley in a selection of finishes; Sandstone, Moonstone, Beige Marble Tile and Grey Marble Tile.
Bathrooms are havens for moisture, steam, and condensation, all of which encourage damp, leading to the build-up of ugly patches of black mould. Not only is this unsightly but it can cause long-lasting and degenerative damage both on and below the surface.
Tiles and grout in in particular can attract a build-up of water and moisture. To eradicate this issue interior cladding panels like Marbrex are available featuring an attractive tile effect. The effect is achieved with the design giving the illusion of grout. This means that not only can the panels be installed much quicker and with far less fuss, as no grout is required, but they’re also easy to wipe down and keep clean.
In fact, Marbrex can be installed in around half the time required for tiling. “Our approved contractor Lester Property Services, who carried out the refurbishment, found the board easy to use and quick to fit,” continued Keith. If the walls are clean, dry and flat then little preparation is required before the panels can be fixed into place. As an added bonus, they can be fitted over existing tiles.
“We needed a product that was low maintenance, easy to install and gave a professional finish. It also had to be easy for the end user to clean and maintain. We needed to ensure that the supply chain was secure and reliable, with the manufacturer providing back up in terms of supply, availability and problem solving should any issues arise. Lastly, it had to be comparable in cost to other more traditional products,” said Keith.
This was quite a list of demands from the maintenance and repair team. Yet if more proof were needed of the success of Marbrex in meeting these requirements then look no further than the next bathroom refurbishment on Keith’s books; this time in Kidderminster, one which will also be featuring the Marbrex interior cladding system.
Nexus Housing is also responsible for providing the Group-wide Customer Service Centre for the entire WM Housing Group – which has 27,500 homes across the west midlands.< Back to News Page