As 2008 finished off, 2009 started under the cloud of uncertainty with the media inspired pressure of doom and gloom there are indications that all is not lost and some areas are perhaps not booming but are still active. The refurb market from the feedback of HYDRAQUIP customers appears to be the route that is the preferred current choice of many consumers and also that they are looking for quality and aesthetically pleasing products. This trend in the market coincided nicely with the launch of a range of flexible hoses and valves that HYDRAQUIP Braided Hose Division had designed and developed.
As with many industries the bathroom industry has suffered where price had become the dictator and often quality and finish had been removed from the equation, resulting in the finish not being as professional and appealing as it could have been. Early in 2008, Geoff Kelley – HYDRAQUIP’s Commercial Director, noticed how many basin installs had been connected with an array of connections and valves which generally detracted from the overall impact of the sanitary ware and furniture. In view of the amount customers were spending it seemed ridiculous that the overall impression of the fitments could be ruined by connections that, although fit for purpose, looked as if they had been taken from the last box on the shelf.
Taking the view that – if a customer had spent hundreds of pounds on a set of taps, why on earth would they not want to have the final connections to a similar standard especially in situations that were on view. With this way of thinking as the driving force Geoff developed a range of fittings and hose connections that would not only meet the required working parameters but also look as good as the rest of the investment. Thus was born the Elegant push fit range – “made to be seen”.
Choosing the correct finish wouldn’t prove too difficult as the main objective was to compliment the taps that the range would ultimately connect to, so a deep chrome mirror finish seemed the natural choice. Whilst the finish was a simple decision the type of end connection to use posed the question of traditional method over new(er) methods.The decision was made to go for a sleek push fit connector keeping in line with the Elegant theme. Whilst definitely not aiming at offering the cheapest product on the market it was not forgotten that this is a competitive market and by using push fit technology a tangible labour saving would easily out way the difference in cost against the traditional collection of fittings.
A number of HYDRAQUIP customers, at different levels, where shown samples of the range to get a genuine feedback on what up until now had been a personal opinion. The response couldn’t have been better with positive comments coming back from everyone and confirmation that it had met it’s objective of the achieving the wow factor – a term which was used on more than one occasion.
SAVING WITH STYLE
The initial Elegant push fits range has been kept primarily to cater for connecting basins but has the flexibility to be used in a number of applications. This consists of straight and angled valves in 10mm x 15mm, 15mm x 15mm and a range of stock hose assemblies including a push fit elbow in 15mm. In addition to the component range the company have also put together a “ready to install kit” for monblocs which comprises a pair of taptails, straight or angled valves and a pair of chromed pipe wall flanges. To assist companies in promoting the product a sample case is available which displays a selection of the range very effectively. Possibly one of the best compliments so far has been from the MD of the fittings manufacturing company that HYDRAQUIP used to make their final design. She was given a closed sample case and her reaction when she opened the box was to describe them as “sexy fittings”
Available now, the Elegant push fits range can be obtained through independent and national merchants across the UK, the majority of which already deal with HYDRAQUIP for braided flexible hoses.