|Introduction||Advantages For Contractors||Why Use Advanced Showers?|
|Advantages For Architects & Specifiers|
|The Cheaper Long-Term Alternative: Shower Pods|
|Advantages For End Users|
Discover why thousands of organisations are switching away from the traditional ‘tile and tray’ approach to showers and choosing leak-proof, easy-to-install, maintenance-free fibreglass shower pods!
At Advanced Showers, we have been designing and manufacturing shower pods for universities, hospitals, schools, hotels and domestic customers across the UK for more than two decades. Our shower pods were originally developed in conjunction with Surrey University in the early 1990’s, to provide a low maintenance, hygienic solution to traditional tile and tray showers. The shower pods proved so successful that Surrey University became an early investor; enabling the creation of a cost-effective product, which has stood the test of time. To this day, Surrey University continue to benefit from Advanced Shower pods, with installations throughout both their University owned accommodation and within their Housing Association managed properties.
Our patented shower pod cubicles have now been used for more than 20 years, bringing together a unique sectional construction method and GRP technology to reduce installation times and eliminate long-term maintenance requirements.
Shower pods are a tried and tested technology, used reliably every day by thousands of businesses and homes. In the US, France and Germany, shower pods are commonplace, yet despite this, they remain one of the UK construction industry’s best kept secrets. We feel the time is ripe for this innovative and cost-effective construction method to come out of the shadows and get the wider publicity it deserves!
If you are a university or residential school estate manager, an architect, or a general building contractor involved with a residential project, you will already be familiar with the traditional approach to bathroom construction. Using a shower pod is quite different. It involves a simplified installation process and comes with none of the problems commonly associated with tile and tray showers such as leaks!
How To Install A Shower (Conventional Wisdom)
When you need a shower for a new residential block, where do you start? Most people usually choose a set of tiles and then install a shower tray and shower unit to make a cubicle. This method involves at least three elements. On the surface, this appears to be the cheapest and most straightforward way to do the job.
Tile and tray showers are popular among architects and contractors as there is always market pressure to offer the cheapest options when quoting for a new build or refurbishment project. When quoting, intense competition in the construction trade can make it difficult for architects and builders to persuade customers to opt for a slightly more expensive upfront option.
Problems With This Approach
The problem with this approach is that traditional tile and tray shower construction is neither straightforward nor genuinely cheap.
Installing a tile and tray shower involves multiple tradespeople. This is a management headache that most building contractors would be keen to avoid. It also increases the chance of delays and product failures due to human error. It also takes a long time and is expensive in terms of labour, even if the components themselves are cheap.
There are long-term expenses involved with tile and tray showers, the first of which is cleaning. Showers with tiled walls require regular cleaning to maintain their appearance, especially when white grout is used. Also, tiles break, seals degrade and leaks develop, leading to regular reactive repairs and expensive long-term maintenance.
Every replaced tile, every hour spent scrubbing, every emergency plumber call-out has a cost associated with it. Shower pods are cheaper in the long term than tile and tray showers, saving time and money for contractors, architects and end-users.
We will now explain what shower pods are, how they are made and the advantages they offer to end-users, architects and building contractors. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can call us on 01483 532 020, or send us a message through our online contact form.
The Cheaper Long-Term Alternative: Shower Pods
While tile and tray showers are easy to design and cheap to install, they can work out as expensive over their life-cycle due to their inherent issues and maintenance requirements. There is an alternative: pre-fabricated shower pods.
Shower pods are not a new idea. They have been available as an option to builders, architects and end-users for several decades and enjoy widespread use throughout the US, France and Germany. However, shower pods are currently only used by a small proportion of the UK market, in the region of around 3%.
Shower pods are slightly more expensive to commission than tile and tray showers, which we believe explains the slow uptake of shower pods. Contractors and architects are understandably keen to make their quotations as affordable as possible. However, the upfront cost hides the fact that shower pods are significantly cheaper than tile and tray showers over the long term.
This section explores the reasons why shower pods are cheaper and why you should consider switching. These can be summarised as:
- Shower pods require almost no servicing or maintenance.
- Shower pods are leak free.
- Shower pods are quick and easy to clean, making them ideal for universities, residential schools and hotels.
What Are Shower Pods?
We have discussed the conventional way of designing and building a shower and the shortfalls of this approach. We have also suggested shower pods as a cheaper, low maintenance alternative, but what exactly are shower pods?
Shower pods are manufactured in two, three or four light sections to fit any alcove or space. This ‘sectional’ construction means they can be easily manoeuvred through standard doorways, up stairwells and around tight corners – perfect for universities, schools and any organisation providing student accommodation.
They can be assembled on site and fully operational in just a couple of hours. They use no grout and no mastic, making the shower pods leak-proof and easy to clean. Once installed, a shower pod requires almost no maintenance.
Let’s look at these features in further detail:
Adaptable construction: Each shower pod is made from a number of horizontal sections, which are sealed by a patented gasket joint system, rather than mastic, to ensure superior hygiene and eliminate the risk of leaks. These sections are either squares, pentangles or quadrants in shape. Our shower pods are available in eight sizes, with 21 models to suit any environment; plus the option of commissioning a completely bespoke unit. Each pod comes with adjustable feet, which allows it to be installed completely flush within the space. This ensures a level, stable installation which will last for many years.
Leak-proof assembly: Degraded mastic sealant is the most common cause of shower leaks. This is not an issue with shower pods. Leaks also occur when water seeps around the outside edges of the shower tray. This is a common problem when the tray is not an integral part of the shower assembly. A shower pod, however is one complete unit with no joins at all below 5-600mm, making the pod completely leak-proof.
Construction material: Our shower pods are made from high-gloss, reinforced polymer plastic. This is a lightweight but extremely tough material designed for regular use without loss of gloss, performance or colour. The gel coat finish (the same type of tough, resistant finish you’d see on fibreglass panels on yachts) makes the shower pods scratch resistant and tolerant of all cleaning products, even with heavy, long-term use.
Types Of Shower Pod
There are three main types of shower pod, each available in different sizes and configurations. When ordering from Advanced Showers, you can customise your product with different styles of glass screen and a variety of finishes / layouts to suit your requirements.
Corner Pods: Corner pods are curved or angular quadrant units designed to fit into a corner space. We offer seven styles of corner pod: the 900Q, 900SC, 900SD, 900W, 800W, 800R and 800W3. A corner pod can be commissioned as part of a new build design, or installed as part of a refurbishment.
Alcove Pods: An alcove pod is designed to fit neatly into a space within a wall. Most customers incorporate their alcove pods into the original architectural drawings of a new build. We offer eight models of alcove pod in different sizes: 650C, 750C, 650 DX, 750 DX, 900 DX, 900DXT, 1250DX and 1250 DXT. Click here to find out more.
Custom Shower Pods: Rather than standard products, some accommodation units and halls of residence require a bespoke solution to meet a specific building layout. We can create custom designs to meet these requirements. Simply get in touch with one of our advisers to find out more, or to arrange an appointment.
We are pleased to offer discounts on large orders. You can even ‘mix and match’ different types of shower pod within the same order.
Watch Our YouTube Video
We have created a 40 second YouTube video to give you a visual insight into how shower pods differ from traditional cubicles!
Our real-life units take slightly longer to install than shown on the video, but it is no exaggeration to say that the installation time is a fraction of that needed for a tile and tray shower unit. This saves you on labour costs, as well as giving you the hygiene benefits of not having to use mastic or grout.
Why Consider Switching?
What are the reasons for organisations, contractors and architects to switch to shower pods? Apart from ease of installation there are three general benefits and some specific ones for each of the main user groups.
|Quick and easy cleaning and maintenance is a big advantage. Anyone with a tile and tray shower at home will appreciate how quickly grout can discolour. This makes the shower appear unsanitary, even if it is completely clean. In a hotel, university, school or other institution, it can take cleaning staff hours to keep tile grout looking white and clean. This is costly, both in terms of staff resources and cleaning products. Shower pods do not use tiles and do not use grout. Instead, their smooth, plastic walls take seconds to clean, reducing workload and the use of abrasive chemicals for cleaners. Shower pods do not discolour and with no grout to deteriorate, the user receives a cleaner and more hygienic experience when showering.|
|Shower pods are also resistant to leaks. In a tile and tray shower, leaks develop as the mastic sealant degrades. This is a big problem for residential organisations, where showers are used intensively. Fixing and trying to pre-empt leaks is therefore a major (and expensive) maintenance task. In a shower pod there are no leaks – with water coming in through the shower head only, and leaving only through the drain – they are completely self-contained.|
|Longevity & Sustainability. In areas of high use tile and tray showers deteriorate rapidly, requiring refurbishment or replacement approximately every 3 to 4 years. Universities commonly anticipate the need to refurbish showers every 10 years. In contrast, shower pods can last as long as 15 to 20 years, reducing costs and providing a sustainable, longer-term return on investment.|
The great thing about shower pods is that they provide significant advantages to all three groups, compared with using traditional showers. The next three sections will explore the benefits for each of these groups in turn. Feel free to skip through to the section that is most appropriate to you.
Advantages For Contractors
Building contractors in charge of delivering a new construction project or refurbishment have control over all phases of construction from beginning to end.
As a contractor your main concern will be delivering your building project within budget and on schedule. You will also seek to prevent potential issues and overcome any hurdles that arise during the project, including those relating to managing tradespeople and service providers.
Our job is to help you reduce your operating costs while providing a high quality, reliable product with easy installation.
Using shower pods in the place of tile and tray showers simplifies your job considerably. These are the main advantages:
Pods are easy to assemble and quick to install with minimal mess. Our shower pods can be installed directly over old tiles, removing the requirement to remove the tiles and re-plaster, often associated with tile and tray shower refurbishments. A shower pod can be fitted by one trades-person. Choosing a shower pod eliminates the need to deal with multiple tradespeople, such as a separate person to install the tray and another to do the tiling, then another to fit the plumbing and another to install the shower unit! This decreases your management tasks and saves you money on installation costs.
Installing a shower pod does not require a large amount of trade specific knowledge. This gives you flexibility when assigning your workforce and reduces your reliance on subcontracting specialists.
Unlike a traditional shower, a shower pod does not need to be delivered to site until fairly late in the project. This minimises the risk of product damage during the build.
Peace Of Mind For Building Contractors
When working with Advanced Showers, we offer full guarantees on all our pods, complete with product support before, during and after installation. Our pods are manufactured at our own facility in Coventry. We hold stock for all our standard units. This enables us to deliver your pods according to your schedule and removes the risk of delays. We guarantee zero product call backs once installed and no ongoing maintenance issues. We have established a reputation for reliability and trustworthiness in the construction sector, where our products have been used for more than 20 years.
Advantages For Architects & Specifiers
Architects responsible for designing new buildings, alterations or extensions have a duty of care to propose a sustainable shower solution that makes the most of the space available. Using our shower pods gives you a greater level of control over your project, allowing you to better meet the needs of your clients, surveyors, engineers and construction contractors.
Our shower pods are guaranteed to be safe, functional and economical, reducing the risk of delay and product failure associated with construction projects. Our products allow you to present innovative building ideas to your clients, reducing the volume of materials you need, therefore improving the efficiency of the build.
Here are the main reasons many architects and specifiers are turning to our shower pods as an alternative to tile and tray showers:
- Our shower pods are tried and tested within the industry, guaranteeing minimal disruption during the design and build process.
- Our shower pods offer a sustainable alternative to tile and tray showers, requiring lower energy consumption to produce and install. Our longer life expectancy reduces replacement rates. As shower pods are grout, tile and mastic free, the use of environmentally damaging cleaning chemicals is reduced.
- Our shower pods are perfect for refurbishment projects as they can be installed late in the build by one trades-person, without the need for intrusive tiling and tray installation.
- Our pods are extremely adaptable, allowing you to offer them within your product library as a solution to many different project scenarios.
- You can customise your shower pods in a variety of colours and finishes, giving your clients an attractive alternative to traditional shower cubicles.
- No need for ongoing maintenance. Once installed, your client can be assured that their shower will not fail. Each of our shower pods comes with a full parts guarantee, backed up by our excellent after sales support.
Easy Installation, No Maintenance
Compared to traditional bathroom construction methods, shower pods are less invasive, less costly and less prone to the delays that result from having to manage multiple subcontractors. We use the latest fabrication technologies to provide a truly flexible product. You can adapt our shower pods to meet the specifications of individual projects or commission a completely bespoke unit to meet the constraints of your building. An Advanced Showers shower pod provides the perfect combination of affordability and ease of installation for your clients, with no long-term maintenance and no risk of leaks.
Advantages For End Users
Our end-users come to us from a variety of residential organisations, but the majority of our clients are university estates and boarding schools, looking for high quality shower solutions for their student accommodation. These shower units face intensive use by multiple people over their life cycle, placing them under high performance pressure. Our shower pods remain strong and leak free throughout their complete life-cycle, removing the need for repairs and excessive maintenance.
A shower pod, once installed, has almost no ongoing costs associated with it. This is an important consideration for universities, especially across large campuses.
- We simplify your procurement process by eliminating the need to deal with multiple tradespeople. A tile and tray shower may involve liaising with a plumber, building merchant, tiler and electrician. This can take several days. A shower pod, by comparison, needs only one trades-person to install it. Installation can be completed in a matter of hours.
- Shower pods provide innovative ways to reduce your budget and improve the efficiency of your university estate.
- Our pods remove the need for reactive maintenance, freeing up your budget and time to concentrate on long-term refurbishments and proactive developments.
The initial cost of a shower pod sometimes deters end-users, especially when faced with a tight estate management budget. However, the long-term cost savings of choosing shower pods over tile and tray showers far outweigh the initial investment. In every respect, shower pods are the cheaper long-term solution. Our products are reliable, with a proven case history of installation across dozens of UK university campuses. Each pod is manufactured in the UK and comes with full customer service during and after installation.
Why Use Advanced Showers?
As we have seen, shower pods offer several clear advantages over tile and tray showers for end- users, contractors and architects. Currently only a minority of new developments opt for shower pods, but the idea is gaining in popularity among universities, boarding schools, hotels, leisure centres and even among private housing developers.
Shower Pod Pioneers
At Advanced Showers we are proud to be among the pioneers of shower pods, having been a leading supplier to the institutional sector for more than 20 years. Our experience and expertise is therefore second to none. Our products are truly ‘fit and forget’. Installation is fast and your new shower pod is guaranteed to remain leak proof and easy to clean for many years!
Reliable Expertise & Low Prices
As an idea becomes more popular, a growing number of suppliers will enter the market offering the new product. Shower pods are no exception. At present, our company is only one of a comparatively small number of specialist shower pod suppliers. We offer a tested and reliable range of products at very affordable prices. When new suppliers come into the market, prices tend to rise, at least initially. This is especially true for non-specialist suppliers, as they may need to outsource some of their manufacturing, or attempt to reverse engineer a competitor’s ideas.
Save time, frustration and money by choosing shower pods by Advanced Showers for your next development. Our patented cubicles are ideal for both refurbishment and new builds, plus there is enormous potential for customisation. We are unbeaten on quality and it is hard to match us on price.
Advantages Of An Advanced Showers Shower Pod
Here are some of the benefits of choosing Advanced Showers to install your new shower cubicles:
- Our units have a unique sectional construction that makes them quick to install and ensures they are virtually leak-proof.
- Our patented products come with our own manufacturer’s guarantees for both parts and labour.
- A wide product range to choose from.
- Select from a variety of doors and mixer valves.
- Our shower pods are mastic and grout free, making them hygienic for institutional use, as well as being quick and easy to clean, reducing the use of harsh chemicals.
- GRP high-gloss finish available.
- Our shower pods provide long standing service for approximately 15 to 20 years.
Over the years we have worked with many different universities, schools and boarding houses around the country, including The University of Northampton, The University of Birmingham, Cardiff University, Jesus College (Oxford), Magdalene College (Cambridge), The Kings School (Ely) and many others.
You can read our case studies and customer testimonials here.
For more information about our sectional, maintenance free shower cubicles, please click here to download our product brochure.
If you’d like to take the next step and find out more about the specific advantages of our products, please get in touch with one of our advisers. We can discuss your requirements over the phone or make a face-to-face appointment, prior to providing you with a bespoke quote.
Call us on 01483 532 020.
Click here to send us a message.