The freestanding bathtub KALDEWEI MEISTERSTÜCK CLASSIC DUO OVAL is located in the bathroom of W Dubai, Mina Seyahi’s – looking all elegant and ritzy against the view of Dubai Marina. For guests, it translates into a luxurious experience, where they enjoy the beach and come back to soak in its grace. For the hotel operators and owners, it’s a worthy investment since they don’t need to worry about sand scratching the surfaces, as the scratch proof bathtub guarantees perfect surface finesse and quality for at least 30 years.
These outstanding characteristics are achieved by the material of the bathtub’s body, steel enamel – a fusion of steel and glass. While the steel is procured from different suppliers, the glass is manufactured in a facility at the KALDEWEI premise in Germany. Clearly, KALDEWEI’s 104-year-experience does not just promise consistent upgrades and quality, but also guarantees a rooted and full-proof production process.
Marco: If we’re speaking about the touch and how we feel things: this is part of the luxury experience anyway. As a luxury guest, you want to touch everything. You want to feel the value of the product that you’re dealing with. If you touch this product compared to an acrylic bathtub, it’s a different touch.
“We have one factory which contains everything – logistics, administrative building, steel forging facilities and glass foundry. We are the only manufacturer in the world who produces its glass enamel in-house. Therefore, we have full quality control of the end product”, says Sergey Kokarev, Regional Representative Middle East & Africa for KALDEWEI.
The Review Crew
From left to right: Marco Maximus, Senior Interior Designer, Kristina Zanic Consultants; Stephanie Brown, Senior Interior Designer, RSP Architects
Materiality & Sustainability
Sergey perfectly sums up the urgency of reconsidering the large-scale use of acrylic bathtubs asking two questions: “Why is it important to have glass and steel cutlery in F&B projects? Now use the same logic in the context of acrylic bathtubs. How many straws is one acrylic tub, and how many are you going to use in each hotel?’’
Steel enamel, although an inorganic by-product, is a 100% recyclable material. At the end of the product’s lifespan, it can be sold to a scrap dealer to obtain its residual value. KALDEWEI is one of the few sanitary manufacturers of the material in the world that employs the material. “Not so much in the Middle East, but in Europe, you actually have to go to a waste management company and you will have to pay certain levies to dispose of a certain material based on the chemical composition,” reveals Sergey.
Stephanie: What’s really interesting is the fact that even the beginning of the process, slides, materials, reuse and obviously sustainability as well as the cradle to cradle becomes really important. And so now as designers, it’s one of those elements that we really focus on and not just us, but also hoteliers.
Marco: And this element is probably one of the most important parts now within product design. Such a way of thinking – to recycle things and to care for our planet – has to be done in all aspects. This is what we’re looking at now and this is what we’re looking for.
The Promise of 30 years
According to the Statistics Bureau in Germany, the average time a family occupies a home is 30 years. Therefore, KALDEWEI has decided to offer a 30 year warranty for a range of their products. The main qualities that make this product sustainable and ensure the product’s long life are UV protection, scratch-resistance, and heat and fire resistance.
“Not just from a static point of view, but holistically, in meeting the technical requirements and design, once you buy the right product and install it, you forget about it because it doesn’t deteriorate – nothing happens. The lifecycle of it still generates income”, explains Sergey.
Marco: The scratch resistance keeps it looking fresh for a really long time. The UV protection is going to keep the product looking fresh. The entire sustainability aspect of it helps a lot with LEED certificates.
Stephanie: Steel enamel obviously becomes more popular, because of its sustainability and fire retardancy. Although it’s more expensive, the plus points really outweigh the cost implications.
Ahead of its time
During the pandemic, the hospitality industry took a hit and in order to attract guests they needed to win back their confidence. The space with the highest contact point was the bathroom, and KALDEWEI already had the solution. “Hotel operators came back with a brief of sanitary ware that is non-abrasive, non-porous and easy to clean, and all we could say was ‘guys, don’t ask us to reinvent the wheel’ because we already had such a range.”
Housekeeping staff in hotels often just have half an hour to clean a room. In such a case, it’s much easier to clean resistant surfaces as they do not scratch and, in the long run, keep their perfect finish even if treated with harsh chemicals. “It’s glass, after all. Laboratories store acid in glass beakers”, Sergey exclaims.
KALDEWEI’s team also offers support, to meet budget and design requirements at all steps. They thoroughly believe in a solution-focused and detail-oriented approach. A seamlessly fused enamel bathtub body provides testimony of their competency.
Stephanie: It has various colours and actually comes in different finishes, which is something very important nowadays. They can match it to your design. You can be more flexible with that as well; it can be incorporated with different styles of faucets. There’s also the opportunity to also have bespoken finishes as well.