Improving Washroom Hygiene in Public Buildings

Improving-Washroom-Hygiene-in-Public-Buildings

With countless people using them to “freshen up” on a daily basis, public washrooms are a hotspot for dirt, germs and bacteria. That’s not exactly what you want to hear when you’re in charge of keeping them hygienic. The good news? The are simple ways to stop germs spreading, make cleaning easier and improve hygiene…

Sensors

With people using the toilet, there’s a lot of potential for germs to spread in public washrooms. The vast majority of that is spread by people’s hands. Whether it’s switches, flushes or door handles, they become saturated in bacteria, which is easily passed on to the next person who touches them.

A popular solution to this issue is sensor technology, which has a wide range of applications in public washrooms:

Taps

People use taps to remove germs from their hands. But, paradoxically, they have to spread germs onto the tap to do so. Sensor taps eliminate this problem, detecting when hands are under them and letting water flow. They also reduce water usage, with no risk of taps being left on

Flushes

Before you’ve even washed your hands, you need to flush the toilet. Unfortunately, this means countless dirty hands touching the flush throughout the day. Sensor flushes are a simple solution, which detect when someone has moved away from the toilet and flush automatically.

Hand drying

Just 5% of people wash their hands properly after using the toilet. It’s disgusting, but true. And it means that those germs will continue to be transferred onto hand dryers. So, even people who wash their hands properly could be re-contaminated by a dirty hand-dryer switch. With sensor hand-dryers, this isn’t an issue

Lighting

The same can be said for light switches, which will be contaminated as people turn the lights on and off. Sensor lighting will switch on when motion is detected in the washroom, removing the need for a switch. Similar to sensor taps, this could solve two problems – with no risk of people leaving the lights on and wasting energy.

Hygienic surfaces

As well as being passed on by hands, bacteria can spread through the air and any splashes or spillages. This makes regular deep-cleaning essential for public washrooms. However, things can still be problematic when unsuitable surfaces allow bacteria to gather. That’s what happens on the grout lines of conventional tiles, but there are alternatives:

Wall cladding

PVC wall panels allow you to cover the walls without unhygienic grout lines. Panels can be wiped clean with ease and are completely waterproof, so they won’t hold any extra bacteria.

Flooring

Hygienic flooring is also an important consideration. Airborne bacteria, spillages and footfall make flooring a danger zone for dirt and bacteria. Again, grouting is a big problem when it comes to keeping floors clean. Vinyl flooring offers a practical way around this, with no grouting and zero wood content to enable easy cleaning.

Choose your style

With Igloo Surfaces, maintaining good hygiene doesn’t have to mean compromising on style. We provide high-quality wall panels and hygienic flooring in a wide range of styles. Even better, we offer free samples and a 10-20 year guarantee, so you get complete peace of mind.

The Biggest Bathroom Trends of 2018 So Far

The-Biggest-Bathroom-Trends-of-2018-So-Far

Looking to spruce up your bathroom? We’ve got some good news for you. 2018 has seen all kinds of exciting design trends to bring your shower or bath surroundings right up to date.

From the latest colours to modern surfaces, there’s something for everyone. Read on as we explore the biggest bathroom trends so far in 2018…

Colours

The colour of your bathroom contributes so much to how it looks and feels. According to Ideal Home, Indigo Blue is making a splash in 2018. Beautiful shades of blue, such as these Striking Blue wall panels, create a peaceful marine atmosphere.

Alternatively, House Beautiful suggests that grey bathrooms will continue to increase in popularity because of their impressive versatility. Grey walls or flooring provide a neutral palette which works with both modern and traditional design schemes. Stay traditional with a  grey marble look or opt for a modern look with subtle grey panelling.

Surfaces

Wet rooms continue to be a big trend, according to Grand Designs Magazine. Recessed wall profiles and wide panelling helps keep even a small, simple space looking and feeling modern. Meanwhile, Amara lists statement flooring as one of their top bathroom trends for 2018.

Because floor space is a lot smaller than wall space, it can offer a cost-efficient way to add new designs to your bathroom. With exciting designs like copper slate, it’s no wonder statement flooring has taken off in 2018.

Finishes

Also on the list for Grand Designs are sleek wood effects. Scandi design influence paired with a continued trend for natural materials has made the wood-look desirable for bathroom walls and floors.

Unfortunately, wood isn’t the best material for bathrooms – especially in the splash zone. That’s where wood-effect vinyl flooring comes in. Choose from natural oak, vintage oak or even antique white ash to incorporate a stylish natural touch in your bathroom

Wood isn’t the only option. Ideal Home also includes matt finishes as one of their key trends this year. Muted tones pair particularly well with natural materials like wood and stone, to create a perfect juxtaposition in your design.

Feature pieces

Once you’ve got the overall design of your bathroom nailed down, it’s time to look at some smaller features. Victorian Plumbing suggests rose gold bathroom fixtures and dark radiators are two of the best options for homeowners in 2018. Rose gold taps, for instance, add a subtle touch of elegance. Meanwhile, dark radiators can be used for contrast, adding another dimension to your bathroom design.

Update your bathroom

Igloo Surfaces provides an easy, cost-effective way to modernise your bathroom with a range of shower and bathroom wall panels and stylish vinyl flooring. Our products come in a range of designs, covering all the latest trends. They’re also completely waterproof, hard-wearing and easy-to-install so you don’t need to worry about any hassle or damage.

5 Wall Cladding Options for Your Kitchen

5-Wall-Cladding-Options-for-Your-Kitchen

So, you’re refurbishing your kitchen. Or maybe you’re designing a new kitchen from scratch. In either case, wall cladding is a key element – for both function and aesthetics. It needs to be stylish, durable and practical without breaking the bank.

So, what are your options? Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of the 5 best kitchen wall cladding ideas for you to choose from.

1.   Tiles

Ceramic tiles have been the go-to choice for kitchen walls for some time. They’re moisture-resistant, easy to clean and available in a wide range of styles. However, as time goes on – and new wall cladding options have become available – they’ve become quite dated in their appearance. Grouting is also a problem when it comes to cleaning tiles and they’re far from easy to install.

2.   Paint

You might think paint is unsuitable for kitchen walls, because of all the moisture it will encounter. And you would be right. However, plastic and acrylic paints provide an ideal solution. Unlike regular paint, they are resistant to moisture and mould build-up. But like regular paint, they come in a wide range of colours and are relatively affordable.

The downside? As we’ve all come to learn with paint, it can be a messy job, requiring multiple coats. And even the best moisture-proof paint isn’t going to be quite as durable as other wall coverings.

3.   Stone

Stone is a popular option for kitchens because of its unmatched natural beauty. A number of stone types are available – slate, marble and quartz to name just a few – each with their own natural gradients and patterns. It’s also naturally durable and easy to clean, making it ideal for the hard-wearing kitchen environment. Unfortunately, stone does not compete with other options in terms of cost-effectiveness.

4.   Metal

Stainless steel wall cladding is sometimes used in commercial kitchens because of its superb hygienic quality. Steel wipes clean easily, shows any stains and is completely resistant to moisture. The only downside is the appearance, which doesn’t usually fit in with the look of modern or traditional homes.

5.   PVC

PVC wall panels are a simple, stylish and cost-effective way to clad the walls in your kitchen. They have a modern look, with a range of colours to match any design scheme. Most importantly, they’re durable and easy-to-clean for any splashbacks or spillages, with easy installation to boot.

High-quality kitchen wall panels

Igloo Surfaces offers a kitchen wall panels, made from 100% waterproof PVC, in a wide range of colours. Our wall panels are hard-wearing, low-maintenance and easy-to-install. To make things even easier for you, we offer free samples, free delivery on orders over £100 and a 10-20 year guarantee. To take a closer browse through our full range of kitchen wall panels today.

5 Kitchen Flooring Options You Should Consider

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Your kitchen goes through more than most rooms in the home. Heavy footfall, dropped dishes and countless spills will take their toll on the kitchen floor.

To cope with all of that, you need flooring that’s hard-wearing and durable, not to mention low-maintenance and easy-to-clean. That’s exactly why carpet – used in most other rooms – is not suitable.

So, what are your options? In truth, there are a number of flooring types available for the kitchen – each with their own strengths and, in some cases, weaknesses. Read on as we take a look at 5 of the contenders and how they measure up.

1. Tile

Tiles have become a popular choice for kitchen flooring because they’re durable and moisture resistant. They’re also relatively low maintenance and come in a wide range of styles, sizes, shapes and colours.

The downside? Despite a variety of options, tiled floors often have a dated appearance, making them unsuitable for modern kitchens. The grouting can also become problematic because, unlike the tiles themselves, it’s difficult to keep clean. On top of all that, the cost of tiles and installation can soon stack up.

2. Concrete

With various finishes available, concrete flooring has become a stylish option for contemporary kitchens. Understandably, it has impressive durability and can withstand constant footfall, so it’s suitable for even the busiest kitchens.

Unfortunately, concrete flooring and the preparation required beforehand can set you back considerably more than the alternatives. It’s also susceptible to staining, can become very cold and almost guarantees that items will smash when dropped.

3. Rubber

If you want the opposite to the cold, hard surface of concrete, rubber is the solution. Rubber tiles or sheeting provide a durable, eco-friendly surface for kitchen floors because it’s recyclable. It’s naturally resistant to fire and moisture, low-maintenance and has a padded quality that could reduce the amount of crockery you need to replace. One unique strength is the high-grip quality, meaning there’s less chance of slipping.

While rubber isn’t particularly expensive, it can be easily stained by spilt oils. Its main drawback, however, is that it carries a bit too much resemblance to a school or gym environment.

4. Stone

If you can afford it, stone is a superb option for stylish kitchens. Its natural variation in pattern and colour gives your kitchen a unique appearance and feel. The cold surface is ideal for hot environments and is naturally durable – not to mention easy to clean.

That said, many homeowners are priced out of stone flooring. Cheaper varieties may chip easily, so it’s not something you should compromise on. Natural stone also needs routine sealing to keep it looking and performing well.

5. Solid vinyl

Vinyl flooring provides a ‘best of both worlds’ option when it comes to kitchen flooring. It’s affordable, easy to install, durable and water resistant. Best of all it looks great and is available in a wide range of styles and colours to suit any design scheme.

While there are no clear downsides to solid vinyl kitchen flooring, buyers should be wary of poorly manufactured varieties which won’t stand the test of time. Opt for a quality.

Can we help?

Igloo Surfaces provides high-quality Simplex vinyl flooring to complete any kitchen. With zero wood content, our flooring is cost-effective, hard wearing and looks great in any room. Even better, we offer free samples and free delivery on orders over £100.

Contact us today for more information on any of our products.

4 Benefits of Hygienic Wall Cladding for Authorities

4-Benefits-of-Hygienic-Wall-Cladding-for-Authorities

Local authorities and housing associations manage thousands of properties across their respective towns and cities. And at times, it can feel like an impossible balancing act. Managing rent payments and finding homes for people is paired with the task of keeping all properties in a good condition, with continuing repairs and refurbishments.

Fortunately, hygienic wall cladding can make that impossible balancing act a bit more realistic. Read on as we discuss the benefits for local authorities.

1.   Hygienic

As a housing association or local authority, your first concern is hygiene and safety. This is paramount in rooms like the kitchen and bathroom, which need to be completely fit for purpose. Hygienic wall cladding is ideal for kitchen splashbacks, which show up clearly on its surface, as well as being completely waterproof for any bathroom spillages.

2.   Cost-effective

Since 2010-11, local authorities have seen their budgets cut by nearly 50%. This has made it all the more difficult to keep homes in a good state – not to mention things like social care which are also on the plate of local authorities.

Wall cladding is a cost-effective alternative to tiling, giving councils a bit more financial breathing space. While the cost of individual tiles may seem insignificant, it can soon stack up when you’re tasked with covering a whole bathroom or kitchen wall. Instead, hygienic wall cladding comes in larger panels, reducing the cost of the job at hand.

3.   Durable

Bathroom and kitchen tiling can easily become damaged, with the odd tile cracking or falling away – or even grouting cracking in places. The result? Local authorities have to send someone out to fix things, adding to their to-do list and costing them more money. With wall panels, this isn’t the case. Made from PVC, they’re hard wearing and durable for the most testing environments.

With larger panels there’s no chance of small parts breaking away or becoming damaged, so you don’t have to worry about any small recurring repairs. Even better, they’re easy to install so, should anything every need replacing, you don’t need to fork out for specialist installation to remedy the problem.

4.   Low maintenance

The next issue on your check-list is maintenance. As well as repairs from damage, local authorities occasionally need to replace and refurbish where homes haven’t been kept in a good condition by tenants. Bathrooms and kitchens are problem areas, which often need work because tenants haven’t kept up with maintenance.

PVC wall panels require minimal maintenance to keep them working well and looking great. Unlike some wall coverings, they’re easy to clean, with any stains or spillages showing up clearly. In the long run, you’re less likely to find them in a poor state, with less need for repairs or replacement.

Buy with confidence

Igloo Surfaces offers a range of bathroom wall panels and kitchen wall panels for local authorities and housing associations. With free samples on request and a 10 to 20-year guarantee on our products, you can buy with confidence. We even offer a specialist service for commercial customers to make sure everything goes smoothly throughout design and fitting.

To find out more about how PVC wall panels can benefit you, feel free to get in touch with Igloo Surfaces today.

Buy Now, Pay Later With PayPal Credit

Spread-the-Cost-with-PayPal-Credit

Your dream kitchen or bathroom may now be closer than ever thanks to our PayPal credit – buy now, pay later option.

With PayPal credit you can transform your home with stylish wall cladding, flooring or ceiling panels and split the cost over 4 months. It is quick, secure and a super easy way to pay. The cost of your purchase can be spread over 4 monthly instalments for purchases over £150 with absolutely no interest to pay during the term of the offer.

To get started with PayPal credit simply…

1. Fill your basket with your must have items to the value of £150 or more

2. At checkout, select Paypal Credit as your payment method

3. Complete the simple application over on Paypal’s website and subject to approval – complete your order!

It’s that easy! Start shopping now.

For more information about PayPal Credit please visit the PayPal website.

How to Improve the Cleanliness of Care Home Bathrooms

How-to-Improve-the-Cleanliness-of-Care-Home-Bathrooms

Care homes need to be accommodating, secure and hygienic. And bathrooms are no exception, especially when it comes to hygiene. But how can care home managers and staff make sure bathrooms are kept fully hygienic at all times? Read on as we discuss bathroom cleanliness in care homes and how you can keep standards high.

Requirements of care home bathrooms

Keeping care home bathrooms clean isn’t just a matter of pleasing residents. It’s part of the minimum standards set by the National Care Standard Commission. These are the standards used to determine whether care homes meet the needs of the people who live there. Essentially, it’s a way to measure whether your care home is up to scratch.

Among the standards are en-suite facilities for all users in new build, extensions or first-time registrations. They also outline the need for assisted baths or showers and accessible toilets within close proximity of accommodation, lounge and dining facilities.

Looking at hygiene

But, most importantly in terms of hygiene, they require that “premises are kept clean, hygienic and free from offensive odours throughout and systems are in place to control the spread of infection”.

As well as providing a pleasant environment, this kind of cleaning is essential because elderly residents typically suffer from a decline in immune function. It’s one of the most recognised symptoms of ageing. In short, older individuals’ immune systems don’t respond as efficiently to infections.

Keeping bathrooms clean

Generally speaking, there are a number of ways to keep bathrooms looking and feeling clean:

  • Use disinfectant cleaning products on all surfaces
  • Try scented products to keep bathrooms smelling pleasant
  • Keep a cleaning record, so things that aren’t cleaned regularly are still cleaning periodically
  • Any spillages containing bodily fluids should be cleaning and disposed of quickly and appropriately to stop them spreading

The right environment

Before it comes to cleaning bathrooms, care home managers should consider the environment of the bathroom itself. Surfaces containing wood or other porous materials, on the walls, floors or even ceilings, can absorb fluids and make infections more likely to spread.

Not only that, but they’re much harder to clean. Over time, these porous materials can also prove to have poor durability as the moisture weakens their structure. To make cleaning easier and more hygienic, it’s important to have surfaces durable, waterproof and easy to clean.

Hygienic bathroom surfaces

At Igloo, we provide the perfect solution for care home bathrooms with PVC ceiling panels, wall panels and floor panels. Our products tick all the boxes for hygiene, durability and maintenance as well as being quick and easy to fit. And with a range of styles available, you can pair all of this with a stylish design.

Buying with Igloo, care homes benefit from a 10-20-year guarantee, free delivery on orders above £100 and even free samples to check you’re getting the right product for you. Any questions? Simply contact our team, who will be happy to guide you

How to Get a Marble Bathroom Look on a Tight Budget

marble-bathroomsHow-to-Get-a-Marble-Bathroom-Look-on-a-Tight-Budget

Want to give your bathroom that luxury appeal? Marble is a great choice. It’s timeless, sophisticated and natural in appearance. Unfortunately, the cost of marble puts it out of reach for most homeowners. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t have the marble look.

Keep reading to see how you can get a stunning marble look without breaking the bank.

Marble bathrooms – what’s all the fuss about?

Marble is one of the most beautiful stones available. It’s made up of recrystallised minerals, giving it a natural swirling, mosaic pattern. And this beauty was recognised as far back as ancient Greek and Roman times. Over 2,000 years ago, people used marble on prestigious structures as well as decorative tile floors.

It’s no wonder that people want to emulate this classic style in their homes. Marble is commonly used for kitchen counters and tiling for floors and walls in kitchens, bathrooms and beyond.

The cost of marble bathrooms

Unfortunately, because of its prestigious reputation – along with the difficult extraction and production process – marble is far from an affordable bathroom material. Covering the walls and ceilings alone can cost thousands.

That’s not the only issue. Marble is a relatively soft stone, meaning it’s also absorbent. Surfaces made from marble can scratch and stain over time, quickly impairing the luxury appearance of your bathroom. And we’ve not even got started on the installation time and costs for marble bathrooms…

The luxury marble look on a budget

The good news is: it’s possible to get the all the benefits of marble without any drawbacks. How? With PVC wall and ceiling panels. PVC is hard-wearing, easy to install and 100% waterproof. It’s hygienic and easy to clean. Even better, it can be produced in a vast array of styles.

Marble-look PVC wall and ceiling panels from Igloo Surfaces provide homeowners with a luxury marble look, minus all the cost and hassle. Our high-performance panels have been purpose-designed for tough environments like bathrooms and kitchens. They won’t be stained or easily damaged and come with a 10-year guarantee.

Best of all, PVC marble-look wall and ceiling panels are available at a fraction of the cost of real marble. Homeowners can get the stunning appearance of marble without the breathtaking cost.

Put us to the test

Igloo’s state-of-the-art ceiling and wall panels are a modern, cost-effective and high-functioning option for bathroom surfaces. But don’t just take our word for it. With Igloo, you can order free samples with ease, to make sure you’re getting the exact style and quality you want and need.

When you’re ready to order, you benefit from free delivery on orders over £100, a straightforward returns policy and all the guides and support you could ever need. Take a look at our full range of marble-look products today or request your samples online

Shower Wall Panels vs Ceramic Tiles: Which is Better?

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Getting the right wall covering in your bathroom is important both for its appearance as well as its function. And ceramic tiles have long been the go-to choice. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the best. In the past decade, wall panels have emerged as an effective alternative to the conventional ceramic tiling in bathrooms.

So, which is better? Read on as we compare wall panels and ceramic tiles.

What’s needed

What do you need from a bathroom wall covering? First and foremost, it needs to be waterproof. Bathroom walls around the bath or shower are within the splash zone. That means they’re going to get wet time and again.

Materials like wood, wallpaper and standard paint are unsuitable as they’ll get damaged by the moisture. The result? Your bathroom won’t look the part and you will be continually paying for repairs.

Secondly, the wall covering needs to look great. It’s not enough to simply keep water out. Homeowners want their bathroom to be modern and stylish. Add to that ease of installation and maintenance, and you have a good idea of what to consider before choosing between tiles and ceramic tiles.

How do tiles stack up?

Ceramic tiles are used mainly because of their water resistance. They allow water to run straight off them. This doesn’t make them completely waterproof though. Over time, the grouting can break down and allow water through.

In terms of style, tiling has become quite dated too. It’s not the modern, clean and stylish look most homeowners are searching for, leaving some tiled bathrooms sticking out in homes.

Arguably the main problem with tiling is installation. Removing existing tiles, cutting tiles and finally grouting makes for a lot of mess, stress and often substandard results. Following that, tiles require constant cleaning, with dirt easily gathering between tiles in the grouting.

And wall panels?

Like tiles, wall panels offer impressive water resistance. Unlike tiles, they don’t have grouting, so they’re 100% waterproof as well as being easier to clean and maintain. Wall panels can be installed over existing tiles and are easily cut to size to fit any bathroom perfectly.

Another benefit of wall panels is their appearance. They’re modern and attractive, giving homeowners the stylish bathroom they have always wanted. And they come in a range of styles, so you can choose the best fit for your design scheme.

The choice is yours

In contrast to tiling, wall panels are a stylish, durable and low-maintenance option for bathrooms. At Igloo Surfaces, we stock a range of high quality bathroom and shower wall panels. With a 10-20-year guarantee, free delivery on orders over £100 and free samples available, we make it easier for you to make the right choice. Contact us today for more information or order your free samples today.

Food for Thought: Restaurant Hygiene Compliance

Food-for-Thought–Restaurant-Hygiene-Compliance

Since 2008, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has operated a ratings scheme to measure businesses’ hygiene standards. It makes hygiene compliance critical, as consumers can now search for a businesses’ rating online to help them choose where they eat.

Read on as we take a closer look at the ratings scheme and what restaurants need for hygiene compliance.

Introducing the rating scheme

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme, to use its full name, gives businesses a rating between 0 and 5. This is based on how well their establishment adheres to hygiene standards, where 0 requires urgent improvement and 5 is very good:

0 – Urgent improvement required

1 – Major improvement required

2 – Some improvement required

3 – Generally satisfactory hygiene standards

4 – Good hygiene standards

5 – Very good hygiene standards

Who gets rated?

Hygiene ratings can be given to anywhere where food is sold, supplied or just consumed, including restaurants, pubs and cafes, but also any of the following:

  • Workplace canteens
  • Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Care homes
  • Hotels
  • Takeaway restaurants
  • Food vans or stalls
  • Supermarkets or shops selling food

How are they rated?

To rate businesses, local authorities send a food safety officer to undertake a full inspection. They check three key areas:

  • Food handling – How safe are practices for food preparation, cooking, storage, cooling and reheating?
  • Physical environment – Is the layout, lighting and ventilation hygienic? This includes cleanliness and pest control.
  • Hygiene management – How does the establishment keep food safe? From staff training to cleaning processes, this gives inspectors an idea of how standards will be maintained or improved following the inspection.

To get the best rating, businesses need to perform well in each of these three elements. Any failures will result in a rating of less than 5 and specific reasons will be given. That way, businesses know how they can work to improve their next rating.

Improving hygiene compliance

So, what steps should restaurants take to improve their hygiene compliance?

Everyone who handles food is required by law to have level 1, level 2 or level 3 food hygiene training depending on the degree to which they’re involved in food handling. This covers the vast majority of food handling hygiene and hygiene management, so most restaurants are well aware of how to handle food safety. With this in mind, step one is to make sure all staff have up to date training.

However, one area where many restaurants slip up is their physical environment. While it’s required by law to keep staff training up to date, many businesses fall behind with the facilities in their kitchen.

To remain fully compliant, restaurant kitchens should be kitted out with hygienic facilities and furniture from top to bottom. This includes surfaces like table tops, floors and even walls. Even with regular cleaning, unsuitable surfaces or those in a poor condition can be impossible to maintain.

Hygienic wall cladding for your restaurant

Flaking walls and hard-to-maintain tiles are no longer suitable for modern, hygienic kitchens. Fortunately, Igloo Surfaces offers an alternative that’s long lasting, cost-efficient and refreshingly easy to install. Our Arctic PVC wall panels are the perfect solution for commercial kitchens of any size. They’re low maintenance, highly durable and have an excellent rating.

Contact us today for more information.