Modern toilets, better tiles among upgrades for new BTO flats

Modern toilets, better tiles among upgrades for new BTO flats

New Build-to-Order (BTO) flats sold from February onwards will include higher-quality furnishings, such as more water-efficient toilets and tougher porcelain tiles, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) said on Wednesday (Jun 5). Lee Li Ying with more.

SINGAPORE: New Build-to-Order (BTO) flats sold from February onwards will include higher-quality furnishings, such as more water-efficient toilets and tougher porcelain tiles, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) said on Wednesday (Jun 5).

These changes are part of efforts to make new flats more modern and to bring standards closer to mass market condominiums, it added.

Speaking at a media briefing, HDB’s deputy director of project development and management Jansen Foo said the prices of the new flats are not going to increase because of the upgrades.

READ: HDB launches 6,753 new flats in May sales exercise

“There is a marginal cost increase, but for HDB, we are able to achieve economies of scale, so all cost involved will be absorbed by HDB,” Mr Foo added.

“The pricing of new flats will not be affected by these changes.”

HDB Fittings - louvered windows in the kitchen
The louvred windows in the door/window ensemble between the kitchen and service yard (Photo: Jeremy Long)

“The layouts of HDB flats have also evolved from simple and functional rectangular corridor-facing units, to layouts that afford more generous views, natural ventilation and light while providing greater privacy to residents,” HDB said in a media factsheet.

BATHROOM UPGRADES

The upgrades to the flats are durable and eco-friendly and were introduced to suit residents, HDB added.

New toilets will come fitted with low-capacity dual flushes, with a wider range of contemporary designs so home owners have options.

All taps will at least have a rating of “Very Good” under national water agency PUB's Water Efficient Labelling Scheme.

HDB Fittings - Top-hung window in the bathroom 01
Existing WCs and wired-glass louvred vent windows will be replaced with dual-flush low-capacity WCs and top-hung windows (Photo: Jeremy Long)

Mr Foo said: “We now use better quality sanitary fittings and they look (sleeker) and more contemporary.”

Top-hung single panel windows will replace wired-glass louvred windows in kitchens and toilets, making them more durable and easier to clean.

NEW FLOOR DESIGNS

Thresholds between the bathroom and living room and thresholds between the kitchen and service yard will be changed from ramps to a 20mm drop.

This is in response to feedback from home owners that ramps often cause water to seep out from the toilets and kitchens into other rooms.

HDB Fittings - 20mm drop at thresholds
New kitchen and bathrooms will feature larger floor tiles in glazed porcelain, and a 20mm drop at threshold in place of ramps (Photo: Jeremy Long)

The flats will still be accessible to wheelchair users, HDB said.

Existing ceramic tiles will be replaced with glazed porcelain tiles, which are less vulnerable to wear and tear.

Bathroom and kitchen tiles are also becoming bigger, with bathroom tiles going from 30cm by 30cm to 30cm by 60cm, and kitchen tiles going from 30cm by 60cm to 60cm by 60cm.

“The use of new fittings will help to save about 15 per cent of man-hours spent for fittings per dwelling unit,” Mr Foo said.

“The time saving is mainly due to the reduced reliance on manual processes. This includes reducing the number of tiles required to be cut and installed and the doing away of the construction of ramps at the thresholds."

Floor traps in bathrooms and kitchens will be replaced by concealed floor traps, which are also more durable than the previous unplasticised polyvinyl chloride (uPVC) floor traps.

HDB Fittings - uPVC floor trap
uPVC floor trap in existing WCs (Photo: Jeremy Long)

HDB Fittings - concealed floor trap
The concealed floor trap will replace the uPVC floor trap to provide more durability and a sleeker finish (Photo: Jeremy Long)

ENHANCED GATES AND DOORS

Mr Foo said the range of fittings provided for the new flats will give it a more modern look. That includes enhancements to entrance gates and windows for ease of maintenance and use.

HDB Fittings - thumb-turn knob
Steel entrance gate with thumb-turn knob will the replace wrought iron gate with key insert (Photo: Jeremy Long)

Thumb-turn knobs will be placed on the inside of steel entrance gates, so that home owners will not have to use a key to unlock their house from the inside.

The gates and doors will also come in more modern designs to fit the newer look of the flats.

Mr Foo said that HDB had modified the design of their flats according to feedback from home owners.

READ: Important things to know about using your CPF to buy a home

“The changes were brought about due to feedback that we received from our residents and also future needs of our residents as well. We took that into consideration for the changes that we established,” he added.

HDB said it sought to provide homes that residents “can be proud of” through thoughtful planning and purposeful designs.

“Over the years, the designs and fittings of HDB flats have evolved from the simple and functional furnishings in the 1960s, to higher quality furnishings which are sleek, durable and eco-friendly to suit the different needs of residents,” the board added.

Source: CNA/hm(mi)

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