By Abhijit Phadke
These days the most commonly used material in India, for making the bathroom doors for homes is aluminium frame hardener sheets. These are also quite commonly found in many small shops and cyber-cafes, in the form of light-weight doors and partitions.
While the door-makers call these sheets hardener sheets, these are actually composite laminate sheets which are thicker than the usual decorative laminates (such as Sunmica, Formica and other brands).
The hardener sheets are actually a combination of paper and plastic. Several layers of brown craft papers soaked in phenolic plastic resins, plus another decorative paper soaked in melamine resin, are pressed together under heat and pressure to make these hardener sheets. These sheets are hard, self-supporting, scratch-resistant, water-resistant, and do not wear and tear easily.
Hardener sheets are available in standard sizes and thickness. The most common size is 8' x 4' (8 feet by 4 feet) and thickness range available is usually 3 mm, 4 mm and 6 mm. Generally the doors and partitions are made from 3 and 4mm thick sheets.
The last time when I inquired about the price, it was Rs.1300 for a simple looking 4mm thick 8'x4' sized sheet. The prices can vary from place to place and from one brand to another. Making a bathroom door costs around Rs.3000 including the cost of aluminium frames, and installation costs.
Many a times, partitions and doors are made of half glass and half hardener sheets.