November 15, 2023


Prefabricated bathrooms: innovation in sanitary space construction

Factory-manufactured and transported on-site, prefabricated bathrooms are a sustainable, versatile and highly efficient option

Advances in building have revolutionised the way we design and build spaces, and prefabricated bathrooms are a prime example. These modular structures have entered the mainstream in recent years thanks to their versatility and sustainability. In this article, we'll take an in-depth look at prefabricated bathrooms, their various uses and the advantages they bring.

What are prefabricated bathrooms?

Prefabricated bathrooms - also known as industrialised or modular bathrooms -are a functional and efficient construction solution. These building components are produced in factories or specialist workshops, then transported to the installation site. Once on-site, they're plumbed in and ready for use as a fully functional bathroom.
The industrialised construction concept dates back several centuries, but prefabricated bathrooms as we know them today emerged in the mid-twentieth century. Modular bathrooms were used in World War II combat zones, providing temporary sanitary facilities. The technology later moved into the civil sector, where it made inroads into commercial and residential projects.

Prefabricated bathroom proposal by Porcelanosa Offsite.

Prefabricated bathroom proposal by Porcelanosa Offsite.

In countries such as Sweden, Finland and Norway, industrialised construction accounts for 4.5% of built homes. In Spain, meanwhile, the figures are much lower. According to the Platform for Prefabricated Housing (Plataforma para la Industrialización de Viviendas/PIV), just 1% of property developments include prefabricated structures.

Companies such as Butech are working hard to up the numbers through improved technical specifications, energy efficiency in the home, faster construction lead times and cost control. PORCELANOSA Offsite is the fruit of this labour, representing the firm's commitment to customised constructions featuring PORCELANOSA Group materials and finishes.

The advantages of prefabricated bathrooms

In terms of construction methods, prefabricated bathrooms come with a number of advantages:

Monobath prefabricated bathrooms by Porcelanosa Offsite.

Monobath prefabricated bathrooms by Porcelanosa Offsite.

• Reduced lead times. Thanks to its durability, ease of cleaning and resistance against water and marks, ceramic is one of the most widely used bathroom flooring options. In addition, its versatility in design allows you to choose uniform image or get creative with patterns. The combinations of colours on floors and walls help to create a uniform and harmonious look in your bathroom.

• Price variation. Because modular bathrooms are produced and assembled in the factory, prices are more tightly controlled.

• Reduced investment risk. Shorter lead times and control over variations in price mean a lower initial investment and improved efficiency in project planning.

• High quality standards. Modular prefabricated bathrooms are manufactured in a controlled environment, and are therefore subject to strict quality control. This guarantees compliance with construction standards and ensures bathrooms are safe and hard-wearing.

• Reduced labour and risk on-site. Prefabricated bathroom companies have a qualified workforce on tap who know the products inside-out. This means fewer staff on-site, reducing the potential for accidents.

• Reduction of stockpiles and waste on site. Industrialised construction generates less waste on the building site and makes more efficient use of materials. This makes it a more sustainable way of working.

• Reduced shrinkage and repairs on-site. When modular bathrooms are produced on an assembly line, the likelihood of waste, breakage and shrinkage is reduced. Similarly, because components arrive on-site fully finished, they're much simpler to check over.

• No scaffolding required. Prefabricated modular bathrooms are transported on supports suited to the weight and dimensions of the structure. Once on-site, they can be raised quickly and easily using a crane or forklift truck. Next, they're moved to the right location using hand pallet trucks.

How are modular bathrooms made?

Several stages are involved in the factory production and assembly of modular bathrooms:

  • Design and planning. The first step is drafting drawings and specifications for the prefabricated bathrooms. At this point, the customer's needs are taken into account, along with building regulations. Designs can be customised to suit predetermined preferences such as style, size and other features.
  • Materials selection: Products are then chosen for the construction of the modular bathrooms. Materials tend to be selected specifically to comply with quality and durability standards. Sustainability and energy efficiency will also be considered at this point.
  • Manufacture. The majority of the components of the room - such as the walls, floors, accessories, electrical installations and furniture - are produced in a specialist factory. They're made in a controlled environment, guaranteeing precision and high quality.
  • Plumbing and electrical installations. The pipework, electrical cables and other plumbing and electrical components are put in place in the factory. All of this is done according to the design agreed beforehand. Quality controls are also implemented to guarantee the bathrooms are supplied fully operational.
  • Assembly of components. The prefabricated components are assembled in the factory according to the exact design of the bathroom. This stage includes the installation of walls, ceilings, floors, sanitaryware and other accessories. PORCELANOSA Offsite includes each and every one of these elements.
  • Quality control. Rigorous checks are carried out at each stage of the process, ensuring compliance with quality and safety standards. Water-tightness, electrical and structural testing are all included, confirming all parts are functioning correctly.
  • Transport to the installation site. The assembled, fully finished prefabricated bathrooms are loaded into the chosen transport and taken to the installation site. The transfer is planned with maximum efficiency and minimum damage in mind.
  • Installation. The modular bathrooms are taken to the specified location on-site. The pipework is then connected to the building's plumbing system, electrical network and any other services. At this point, much of the work has already been done, making it a much quicker process than traditional construction.
  • Final testing and approval: Before the prefabricated modular bathrooms are put into service, final tests are carried out to ensure all the facilities are working properly. Pipe seals are checked, electrics are safety checked, and accessories are given a once over.

(1) Porcelanosa Offsite prefabricated bathrooms in production. (2) Transportation. (3) Raising the structures. (4) Receiving the modules. (5) Transport to final destination. (6) Quality control.

Applications of prefabricated bathrooms

Given that they're so versatile, prefabricated bathrooms have a wide range of applications in various sectors. Here are some highlights:

(1) Prefabricated bathroom in a residential complex. (2) Modular bathroom prototype for a hotel project. (3) Industrialised bathroom in an elderly care home. (4) Prefabricated bathroom proposal for offices. (5) Porcelanosa Offsite Monobaths.

Residential construction. Modular bathrooms are regularly installed in blocks of flats, saving time and construction costs. They also suit single-family homes, but aren't as common.

Hotel sector. Prefabricated bathrooms are a popular choice for hotel renovations or expansions. This type of solution minimises cancellations during works.

Health sector. Construction speed is paramount in hospitals and clinics. Prefabricated modules are an efficient and agile solution when expanding healthcare facilities.

Commercial construction. Office buildings, shopping centres and restaurants can also benefit from industrialised construction. This way of working delivers projects with much shorter lead times.

Public projects. The ease of installation and durability of prefabricated bathrooms makes them ideal for public spaces like parks or train/bus stations. These busy spaces demand convenient sanitary facilities.

Monobath prefabricated bathrooms by Porcelanosa

With an acute awareness of the importance of industrialised construction in our country, PORCELANOSA Group's Porcelanosa Offsite is a division dedicated to fully finished modular bathrooms. Monobath is the result of industrial development in producing prefabricated bathrooms by Porcelanosa, created on an assembly line and supplied ready to be installed on site.

New Porcelanosa Offsite production plant.

New Porcelanosa Offsite production plant.

The elements are designed with PORCELANOSA Group collections, intended for major hotel, health or residential projects. Prefabricated bathrooms by Porcelanosa stand out for their innovative composition and premium finishes. And because they're so versatile, each model can be customised according to the customer's needs.

Butech made its commitment to industrialised construction a reality with the opening of its production plant at the end of 2022.

Find out more about Butech's prefabricated bathrooms at your nearest Porcelanosa store.

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