Shower trays


Hi, I have just purchased an ideal standard resin Streamline riser shower tray (760mm x 760mm) with the belief that it would be strong and hardwearing. However, it marks so easily and everytime I so much as look at it I find more scratches and blemishes. Especially in natural light. Fitted the waste today and its just chewed up the surface. My Car paintwork would be tougher!!! Before the obvious remarks are made, I was being extremely careful, and I was using the foam type washer supplied. Just unbelievable how it marked. Anyway there is no way it is going to end up in my bathroom now as I have no faith in it and god knows what it would look like in a week or a month of use. Is this typical of resin trays? I purchased because I believed they were hardwearing and resistant to marking. How wrong I was!!! I now need to get a new shower tray. It needs to be a riser (I dont want to make my own plinth!!!) tray 760mm x 760mm that is truly hardwearing and scratch resistant with no tiling upstands. Can anyone recommend a manufacturer and what material type I should actually be going for? Acrylic capped resin has been suggested but I thought that was what I had just got. However, I was told the colour goes all the way through which isn't like mine, which goes dark grey after the top coat of soft crap (about 0.5mm thick) Recommendations would be appreciated so I don't make another expensive mistake, although I am going to try and return it as not fit for purpose.
TIA
Ian
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I would get in contact with;
Ideal Standard (now American Standard Plumbing UK Ltd) The Bathroom Works National Avenue Kingston upon Hull HU5 4HS
T: 01482 346461 F: 01482 445886 E: snipped-for-privacy@ideal-standard.co.uk
And chew their proverbial's off!
Don.
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Don Am going to try and get the retailer to take it back first. I made the mistake of inspecting it under non-natural light and only noticed how bad it was today when I saw it in daylight for the first time. Unfortunately this was after I fitted the legs and the waste. Still cant believe how easily the surface can be damaged, and how bad it is on really close inspection Will go to Ideal Standard if I get no joy from the retailer.
Ian
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In that state it should never have got past quality control at Ideal Standard. Their QC is ongoing throughout the manufacturing process up & until the products are finally wrapped. It hadn't been used as a display model by the retailer by any chance?
Even so, when you buy something (under consumer law) it is the retailer who is deemed responsible under the contract of purchase. And the product must be of 'satisfactory quality (The Sales Of Goods Act 1979 - as amended;
Quote:
"This means the goods must meet the standards that any reasonable person would expect, taking into account the description, the price and all other relevant information. In some circumstances, the retailer may be liable for any statement made by the manufacturer about the goods.
Satisfactory quality includes the appearance and finish of the goods, their safety and durability and whether they are free from defects (including minor faults)"
see- http://www.tradingstandards.gov.uk/cgi-bin/calitem.cgi?file­V0043-1011.txt
Don.
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Don, it was sealed and had an Ideal Standard QC sticker when I received so I don't believe it was a display model.
Yes, I do think I am within my rights to return it. My only concern is that I have added to the damage already there and have fitted the legs.
Ian
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These trays, similarly to their baths & panels are acrylic sheets moulded in a Geiss thermoformer. When moulded they are only about 3mm thick, so they are reinforced by spraying with glassfibre laminate.
To be honest & fair to Ideal, it sounds to me like a manufacturing fault either with the acrylic sheet at source or, it has been over cooked during the moulding process. Thus making it too soft now!
Minor scratches & blemishes can be removed from these trays and baths by polishing them with Brasso or T Cut and then buffing with a wax polish.
Don.
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Don, may have missed something here but where does glassfibre laminate appear on a resin tray?
I have no previous experience of resin so have nothing to compare to but it is definately soft, so it may be a manufacturing problem.
Couldn't polish the damage out as it goes through the top coat. Interestingly where I fitted the waste the top coat looks similar to the effect of tightening something up on paint that hasn't quite hardened. Can't really describe it but it has sort of "creeped", if that makes sense.
Ian
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The trays are sprayed with a thin film of resin mixed with chard's of glass fibre giving a whitish appearance underneath the tray. If this is soft it sounds as if not enough catalyst has been added to harden the resin.
Don.
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Don, my tray is a deep grey underneath. Don't think the resin is soft, only the gel coat. Whatever that is made of?
Ian
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The 'gel coat' is in fact the acrylic & the 'deep grey' the glass fibre resin (which probably feels rough to the touch) and any dust from would be extremely irritating on the skin! (Bitter experience from years of making g/f products LOL)
Don.
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Don, yes the resin does feel rough to the touch and has lots of surface imperfections. Didn't realise it was glass fibre based. My only experience of glass fibre is where it looks fibrous. Why do they call it stone resin? In your experience is acrylic normally quite hardwearing?
Ian
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Stone-resin is polyester resin mixed with stone-dust instead of glass fibre. It's used a lot to make mock surfaces at a fraction of the cost of the real thing, e.g a stone resin granite shower tray would be a tenth of the cost of the real thing (if you can get one) + a lot easier to manufacture.
I must admit I was running on the lines earlier that it was a normal acrylic tray you had. It doesn't matter though, the principles are the same......as with the remedies!
Don.
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Under normal circumstances acrylic is hard wearing. That is....if SWMBO doesn't drop perfume bottles etc on it or try to clean it with neat bleach or even give it a good scouring with a scotch pad!
Don't forget in the end it is a type of 'plastic'.
Don.
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wrote:

Don, many thanks for your input. There seems to be two types of stone resin tray, plain stone resin and acrylic capped stone resin. There is no mention that mine is actually acrylic capped, so I wonder if it is. Do you know what gel coat is used on the plain stone resin? Of course I may not be interpreting the info I can find correctly.
Ian
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The surface is a polyester gel coat, backed with a cast structure filled with polyester resin and stone to give strength and durability. Acrylic Capped Stone Resin; An acrylic ‘cap’ layer is the front face, backed with a cast structure, filled with polyester resin and stone to give strength and durability.
Don.
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coat used to produce the glossy surface is softer than other materials and can lose its sheen over a period of time. To address this problem some manufacturers now offer stone resin trays that are capped with an acrylic layer rather than a gel coat.
Or in the technical jargon; Gel coat- Low viscosity methacrylic-urethane oligomers useful as a styrene monomer substitute in unsaturated resin compositions, are prepared by reacting a hydroxy ethyl or propyl methyl methacrylate monomer with an elastomeric urethane prepolymer having free NCO groups.
Sorry about that...but I couldn't resist ;-))
Don.
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wrote:

Don, thanks for explaining in a non technical way before it all went over my head :-)
Ian
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An Update I have been recommended a Just Trays Merlin Acrylic resin bonded shower tray as a replacement and have opted for it. The retailer said they had never had one returned.
I had no issues with the retailer taking back the Ideal Standard Tray.
Thanks Don for your answers
Ian
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I'm glad everything turned out ok.
All the retailer will do is return it to Ideal who'll test it in their labs to see whether it's a materials or manufacturing fault.
To be honest, I did work for them for a while (many moons ago) & it has been known for some production shifts to reintroduce rejects during the packing stage in order to make up their production quota, particularly when it was for export to the Arab Emirates ;-)
Don.
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Don, I actually joked with a friend about letting rejects through to meet bonus quotas!!!
Ian
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