One of the enquiries we get most often is for stainless steel toilet seats. In most cases it is because it is perceived as the most vandal resistant option in toilet seats. However, stainless steel toilet seats are not available in South Africa at all. Why not then?
Currently stainless steel sanitary ware is used for commercial and industrial applications where hygiene and durability is of foremost importance, not aesthetics. A stainless steel toilet seat does not guarantee vandal resistance, on the contrary! The weakest point in a toilet seat are the hinges, and that remains the weakest point whether the seat itself is made of plastic, steel or kryptonite.
Furthermore, stainless steel seats are not practical to manufacture. Most stainless steel plates are 1.2 to 1.6 mm thick. Whilst this is quite a thick gauge and used in the manufacturing of commercial and industrial products, it is not viable for a toilet seat, as the seat will be hollow and very easy to dent.
The strongest hinges are those manufactured from high grade stainless steel and which can be locked with an Allen key to prevent users from loosening it. We mostly recommend seats manufactured from heavy duty “Duroplast” material, not only for hygiene but also for durability and strength. “Duroplast” is a composite, thermo-setting plastic: a resin plastic reinforced with fibers making it similar to fiberglass. It has chemical resistant properties and is burn and scratch resistant. Franke’s Estonia seat is the perfect example.
The most important part however lies in the installation. It is most effective when installed on a shrouded wall mounted pan or a back-to-wall floor mounted toilet which is bolted to the wall. The seat is installed first and once the toilet pan is fixed, there is no access to the hinges. Which means no tampering & no theft of seats.
These shrouded stainless steel pans do come at a price though. If you do need a cost-effective vandal proof option, and can’t live without a seat, we recommend slats. They are made from wood but are very difficult to remove. Slats do not have hinges and are fixed to the seat with two bolts.
Finally, it is always good to ask yourself why a certain product is not available locally. You can be sure that if such a product was in demand and commercially viable, one of our large stainless steel manufacturers would have produced or imported them. Makes sense?