Material Highlight: The Silent Ceramic Revolution in Our Bathrooms

Material Highlight: The Silent Ceramic Revolution in Our Bathrooms

Any visitor to our showrooms will know there are plenty of basin styles and materials available, from classic ceramic to striking steel and super thin-edged designs.

There’s one material that combines elements of all of the above; an innovative and unique material, SaphirKeramik, pioneered by Laufen in Switzerland.

Here’s what you should know about the durable basin material and new products that leverage its benefits, so you can factor your favourites into your project budget.

What is SaphirKeramik?

SaphirKeramik is an innovative ceramic material that uses corundum, a mineral found in sapphires, in the ceramic mix – hence the name.

The clever thing about this material is that the aluminium dioxide included makes these ceramic basins, baths and other fixtures as durable as steel under stress testing.

  • The Sonar collection, designed by Patricia Urquiola

  • The Sonar collection, designed by Patricia Urquiola

  • The Sonar collection, designed by Patricia Urquiola

These unique properties mean Laufen can create really thin 3-4mm basin walls, compared to traditional ceramic which can be as thin as 8-10mm.

It may not seem like you gain much, but when bathroom space is typically at a premium, introducing materials with additional qualities really can optimise the space.

These benefits include the fact that it is pore-free and smooth, making it particularly easy to clean; it’s UV and temperature-resistant and is more inherently hygienic; and the thin-edged designs it can be used for are suited to a really diverse range of sanitaryware.

See how strong SaphirKeramik can be when Laufen put it to the test in their laboratory.

SaphirKeramik replicates soundwaves

Not just happy with a truly revolutionary material, Laufen has used this material as a call to arms to stimulate creativity in the bathroom space.

The latest collection to use it is Particia Urquiola’s Sonar collection; a refined and graceful collection that plays with arcs and angles to how soundwaves travel through water.

Urquiola aimed to explore the formal and functional properties of SaphirKeramik and the material’s decorative aspects and turn them into an elegant and innovative of basins, in addition to baths and toilets that feature as part of the SONAR collection.

"I liked the idea of using the little waves generated by sound. The texture on the outside of the washbasin bowls was modelled on these waves."
Patricia Urquiola

As a result of Patricia’s material choice the distinctive D-shaped basins are strikingly thin, with a sloped edge and concealed waste, encapsulating all of the characteristics of the material.

The material also makes the ribbed texture that features across the basins and baths possible. The intricate and detailed exterior is something that wasn’t readily available to the Australian market previously.

Small bathrooms can now cater to two users with a 1000mm double bowl basin – creating ‘his and hers’ spaces in even the tightest of floorplans.

They’re also part of the wider collection, which includes a beautiful freestanding bath, and range of rimless toilets and accessories, designed for truly European living.