Sanitaryware from Swiss ceramics specialist Laufen offers cruise operators a complete design solution that allows them to create the look of a luxury boutique hotel aboard ship.

Could you provide some background to Laufen?

Laufen has developed into a leading global manufacturer of bathroom ceramics, producing and distributing beautifully crafted ceramics, furniture, and faucets for commercial and domestic situations.

Offering a holistic approach to bathroom design, Laufen offers a whole raft of bathroom solutions that draw their inspiration from contemporary trends in architecture and lifestyle.

Laufen’s long history in producing quality bathroom products means that the manufacturer has become an innovator, both in terms of working with new materials and in tailoring its offering to meet the specific requirements of a broad customer base. This is why the brand’s quality bathroom solutions are often specified for some of the world’s most luxurious cruise ships.

Why did Laufen choose to collaborate with Kartell?

Kartell by Laufen is a partnership between two of the leading brands in furniture and bathroom manufacturing. This new collection brings together the material essence and iconic design of Italian furniture company Kartell, with its use of plastic applied to the production of furniture and accessories, and Laufen’s high-quality ceramic bathroom pieces.

What are the specifics of this new collection?

Designed by Ludovica and Roberto Palomba, the Kartell by Laufen collection fuses plastic and ceramics in a way that has not been seen in the bathroom until now. The collection introduces plastic into the bathroom in a design-led way for the very first time, and is the first complete collection to include washbasins made from SaphirKeramik, a new super-lightweight material that brings a delicate design language close to the one of plastic.

The Kartell by Laufen collection also answers the call for minimalist bathroom design, with a new hidden fixation for its wall-hung WCs and liner drain outlets, which extend across the entire width of each tub, sink or shower tray. There is also a hidden outlet that combines an equally hidden overflow function, allowing water to accumulate by means of a pop-up.

The collection also includes a bathtub in the style of an infinity pool, plus shelves, towel holders and stools all offered in an array of colours, as well as transparent.

What are the special properties and performance characteristics of the new material SaphirKeramik?

Kartell by Laufen washbasins are made from SaphirKeramik, a new lightweight material that is completely unique to Laufen.

With weight a huge issue for the specification of fixtures and fittings on cruise liners, Laufen’s new bathroom ceramic removes boundaries in creativity and design. The secret of SaphirKeramik lies in the formulation, which gives the ceramic an exceptional hardness and bending strength. Therefore, less material is required, making the finished pieces up to 40% lighter than traditional ceramics.

The formula of the basic material mix on which the new ceramic is based permits more precise contours and retains all the advantages of classic sanitaryware like absolute hygiene, easy cleaning and a long lifespan. Able to achieve edge radii between just one and two millimetres, Laufen’s new ceramic therefore brings a whole new level of luxury and cutting edge design to the bathroom.

Why is the collection suited to the cruise industry?

With cruise ships often being dubbed ‘floating hotels’, it’s crucial that attention is given to making the bathroom as luxurious as possible. Design-led, iconic sanitaryware, such as that offered in the Kartell by Laufen Collection, offers architects and designers involved in the cruise liner industry a significant way of differentiating themselves from the competition.

What differentiates you from your competitors?

Laufen produces sanitaryware that creates the look of a luxury boutique hotel and offers a complete design solution that will truly set cruise liners apart. This is all backed up by a business infrastructure that has made Laufen into a global brand.

What trends are you noticing in bathroom design?

Bathrooms are tending towards very minimalist designs, with ease of cleaning and customisation important on commercial projects. All bathroom objects should speak a common design language, lending the room a harmonious and relaxed air. Washbasins that can be cut to size to fit snugly into recesses are a key trend, as are flexible modular furniture. 