Monthly Archives: August 2014

How to fit bathroom wall panels

Top 10 Tips on Installing Bathroom Wall Panels

Installing wall panels in your bathroom is the best way to give your walls a clean, elegant, and contemporary look. While their professional appearance may suggest otherwise, bathroom wall panels are actually very simple to install – seriously, any novice DIY enthusiast can complete the job to a standard any tradesman would be proud of. All you need to do is follow these top tips:

1. Get the Right Tools

Bathroom and shower wall panels are easy to cut and slot together, with trims and joints helping to provide a stylish finish. To get the job done properly, you will need:

tape measure
spirit level
fine tooth saw
sharp blade DIY/craft knife
clear silicone (if you’re installing panels behind a shower)
safety gloves and goggles.

2. Make Sure Panels are Acclimatised

As a general rule, panels should be in a bathroom for 30-60 minutes prior to installation. Given the heat and humidity of bathrooms, the material will need to adjust to its surroundings to eliminate movement after installation.

3. Clean walls

Ensure all surfaces are clean before installing panels. Painted surfaces must be sanded to allow adhesive to take, while newly plastered walls should be sealed with a primer.
If walls are in good condition and relatively flat, panels can generally be glued directly to the surface. Adhesive can be applied to the wall or the back of the panel with 100% coverage. A notched trowel will ensure the best results.

4. Decide Where Is Best to Start

For the best results, panels should always be installed from left to right. Measure out to make sure you are not left with a thin cutting edge at the opposite end of the wall. If a small cut is likely, it is best to start the wall with a half panel.

5. Fit ‘J’ edges

‘J’ edges (so called because these are shaped like the letter J) will need to be installed at the floor and ceiling edges. Fixing is done using silicone and screws.
Make sure the floor edge is completely level before securing – this will allow panels to sit upright and make installation even easier than it already is!

6. Fitting the Panels

This is where your new bathroom really begins to take shape. Apply the adhesive to the wall or panel and flex the sheets into the top and bottom ‘J’ edges. Firmly push the sheet against the wall to allow it to bond with the wall. Use adhesive on the back legs of the ‘J’ edges as you move along the wall.

7. Fit ‘H’ Edges

After the first panel is in place, you will need to fit an ‘H’ edge (again, so called because these resemble the shape of the letter ‘H’). These are secured to the wall with silicone and screws.
Leave a 3-5 mm gap for expansion and use beads of silicone on the back legs of the ‘H’ edge to seal sheets as you move along the wall. ‘H’ edges will need to be installed after every panel.

8. Cutting a Panel

When you need to cut a panel, always cut with the face side up – and remember: measure twice cut once. Panels can be cut with a fine tooth saw or DIY knife.

9. Conquering Corners

Corners are typically finished with an internal or external angle, which can be secured with drive rivets or adhesive. These sit over the top of the panels and hide any unsavoury cuts. Alternatively, corners can be finished using a ‘J’ edge.

10. Caring For your Panels

With your beautiful, hygienic wall cladding panels installed, your bathroom will be easier than ever to maintain. Panels are simply washed down with water or a combination of diluted soap and detergent. Try to clean panels weekly – always in keeping with manufacturer instructions.

How to Avoid an Outbreak of Food Poisoning in a Hotel Kitchen

Hotel kitchens are busy places. Many large hotels have thousands of guests staying overnight in any given week, so kitchens have an enormous amount of work to do just to keep things ticking over at an acceptable rate. Food has to be prepared, cooked and served. Kitchens and cooking utensils must be kept clean and hygienic, no matter how busy the kitchen is. Because a hotel kitchen is such a high-pressure working environment it is not surprising that standards sometimes slip and disasters occur. Outbreaks of illness or food poisoning do occasionally happen, even in 5* hotels. So how can hotel kitchens ensure that their guests are not struck down by the dreaded food poisoning?

Clean and Spotless

All kitchens need to be spotlessly clean, but this is particularly the case in a busy hotel kitchen where food for umpteen guests is prepared on a daily basis. Worktops must be cleaned and disinfected regularly and cooking pots, pans and utensils must be kept clean and in good working order. Since food will invariably end up on the floor, this needs to be kept clean and free from grease. Basically everything needs to be cleaned thoroughly at the end of every shift and grease and grime should not be allowed to accumulate.

To make cleaning easier, surfaces should be free from cracks and crevices because these will attract dirt. Floors and walls also need to be well maintained and defects such as cracked tiles or flaking paint should be dealt with as soon as possible.

Healthy Staff

When a kitchen is short staffed, it is not uncommon for sick employees to feel obliged to return to work before they are fully recovered. Unfortunately this is counterproductive because sick employees are still infectious and there is a serious possibility that their germs will infect everyone else, including guests. Anyone with a gastrointestinal virus must stay at home until they are completely well and symptom free.

Staff Hygiene

Kitchen employees need to be made aware that washing hands every time they touch raw food, their face, or anything at all is not an optional exercise. Employees also need to keep long hair tied back or covered up, abstain from wearing jewellery, and not sneeze all over the food.

Pest Proof

It should go without saying that a hotel kitchen needs to be pest proof. After all, it would be rather unfortunate if an environmental health inspector walked in to find an employee chasing a giant rat around the kitchen with a rolling pin in hand. Rats, mice and other pests spread disease and cause havoc in kitchens. Ideally they should be prevented from entering the kitchen in the first place by blocking up any possible holes where a rodent can find entry. If that fails, lay traps and call in the pest control experts before the problem gets out of hand.

The risk of a food poisoning outbreak in a clean, well-run kitchen is very low, but you can’t afford to rest on your laurels. Make sure you have strict hygiene protocols in place and monitor standards at all times. And consider using commercial grade Proclad panels to ensure an extra level of hygiene.

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