When bathroom furniture gets wet
The moisture in the bathroom can be a problem for furniture. The water droplets from the washbasin, WC, shower, bathtub spread in the bathroom and result in high humidity, which can damage the furniture if it is not made to suit bathroom conditions. And airing the bathroom is not enough on its own.
If the humidity gets to the wood, the affected areas can start to swell. But damp wooden panels on bathroom furniture can also change shape. In the very worst case, drawers and cabinet doors may no longer fit properly. But you can prevent all kinds of trouble in the bathroom by choosing the right furniture.
But what to watch out for when buying bathroom furniture?
There are two relevant factors when choosing furniture for the bathroom: the material the furniture is made of and the surface of the bathroom furniture.
The material used
Wood is the most common material used for bathroom furniture. And it comes in various forms: plywood, chipboard, MDF boards or solid wood. Depending on its composition, wood will react differently to moisture in the air and thus varies in terms of suitability for bathroom furniture.
- Plywood is probably the best choice. It changes its shape far less than solid wood because it is glued crosswise. Swelling due to the humidity is not nearly the issue it is with other wood. The material is also very resistant to bending and easy to screw together; in other words, it is a functional, good choice for bathroom furniture.
- MDF boards consist of decomposed wood fibres that are mixed with glue and pressed. The surface is beautifully smooth which means it is good for foils and varnishes. However, they are much heavier than chipboard and also more expensive. They are pretty water-resistant and are thus perfectly suitable for use in bathroom furniture. Mould or swelling are not an issue with good foil or varnish.
- Chipboard in its raw form is unsuitable for bathrooms because it swells irreversibly when exposed to moisture. This can, however, be avoided with good surface sealing. A set of bathroom furniture made of chipboard is thus basically not a bad idea. Ultimately, it depends on the quality of the processing.
- Solid wood, however, expands rapidly when exposed to moisture. Not even the best construction measures can change that. Moreover, it is relatively expensive. We would therefore advise against bathroom furniture made of solid wood.
Bathroom furniture units are exposed to moisture every single day. “Don’t skimp on quality” is therefore definitely a motto to stick to when choosing the material for bathroom furniture. With cheaper bathroom furniture, the three-layer chipboard is often unfinished or not sufficiently protected against moisture. It can absorb the moisture in the bathroom and swell, resulting in unattractive, cracked surfaces as well as doors and drawers that can no longer be closed flush.
The solution: bathroom furniture made of moisture-resistant board material. Tests conducted in the Geberit test laboratory show a clear difference in quality. That is why Geberit uses moisture-resistant wood-based materials which are not affected by splashes of water and moisture.
Smooth and scratch proof surfaces
Resistant surfaces are also crucial – many cheap bathroom furniture units are covered with a thin and cheap foil, which is sensitive to daily routines in the bathroom. Geberit uses high-quality, thick foils that can match up to melamine surfaces. However, bathroom furniture units with resistant melamine surfaces are always a good choice. Melamine is a paper pressed with synthetic resin, which is extremely scratch proof and waterproof. But high-quality varnishes also have the benefit of completely enrobing the furniture units, bonding permanently with the material, and high-gloss varnishes in particular provide an illusion of depth through reflections. If these aspects are taken into account, bathroom furniture can enhance both your bathroom and your quality of life.
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