Photo Courtesy: Sloan

The rise of elegant, customizable finish options across a wide range of commercial restroom fixtures is now enabling architects and designers to elevate their project’s aesthetic to meet their design vision. Yet, in high-traffic restrooms where products face heavy wear and tear, the once-beautiful fixtures can begin to lose their element of high design with scratches and corrosion.

“Commercial restroom products should be engineered to extend the lifetime of an architect and designer’s vision,” says Andrew Warnes, Sloan product line manager for faucets. “Sooner or later, everything succumbs to wear and tear, but at Sloan, we’re taking that design vision and making it last as a testimony to that intent far beyond the initial installation.”

Photo Courtesy: Sloan

The Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) coating process is now protecting that design vision. This process enhances a product’s resistance to chemicals and abrasion by bonding the finish at a molecular level to deliver a protective, long-lasting finish—even on curved and angled products that are traditionally difficult to coat with immersion or powder coating methods.

PVD represents the intersection of art and science. The art aspect ensures that finishes on various restroom fixtures such as faucets, sinks, soap dispensers and hand dryers are coated consistently so that they appear identical across all final products. The science involves ensuring that molecular bonding and product durability will provide a resilient product.

Photo Courtesy: Sloan

The PVD process occurs inside an advanced vacuum chamber where hot and highly electrified plasma shoots atoms into the chamber. These atoms are electrically attracted to and deposited upon the fixture components in a manner that forms a molecular bond with the underlying material. Although they are just nanometers thick, the freshly formed PVD layers are remarkably durable.

While the traditional powder coating and immersion processes often provide aesthetically pleasing products upon installation, they become less durable over time. Due to a tendency to oxidize and change color with exposure to sunlight and UV rays, the products become nearly impossible to match with replacement parts.

Photo Courtesy: Sloan

As unified restroom design becomes an emerging trend, the ability to specify elegant products that will withstand the rigors of high-traffic environments is paramount. With new aesthetic options like Sloan’s graphite finish for faucets, flushometers and soap dispensers manufactured through the PVD process, architects and designers can rest assured that these fixtures will stand up to commercial restroom demands long after installation.

“The commercial restroom is one of the most visited areas of any facility,” Warnes says. “With elegant products now available in PVD finishes, these high-traffic areas can deliver a lasting impression for years to come.”