What if you went to the movies, sat down in the exact cinema specified on the ticket and they showed a different picture? Or if your favourite cake recipe asked for two bananas but your friend made the cake with carrots? Ludicrous, but not impossible, right? It’s just substitution of one thing for another similar thing. But when we are talking safety, and construction standards, it can have serious consequences.
We encountered exactly this problem just recently. A building manager came to us with an issue with their Stair Tread Nosings. The abrasive strips were separating, creating potentially very dangerous stairs – they became trip hazards as well as having lost their slip-resistant grip.
“These treads have failed, and we want them replaced!” was the request.
So, we inspected the failed items and immediately saw that they were not Latham Stair Tread Nosings at all. The building design had been specified to use our renowned Asbraloy Stair Treads, which have abrasive inserts completely bonded to the metal tread profile. Lathams’ treads are the best in the business, made right here in Australia and architects specify them by name.
However, it was obvious that during the build, a cheap, inferior product had been substituted in place of the Latham brand – presumably to save costs and increase someone’s profit margin. These substitute products would possibly have looked all right at the moment they were installed – before there was any actual foot traffic on the stairs. Once the building was in use, the weaknesses and cheap manufacturing methods were bound to be exposed.
There is a very good reason why architects and designers specify the products that they want in their buildings and interiors. They know the level of quality and compliance with Standards that they must achieve. Their reputation depends on it, after all. Latham’s whole range of stair and flooring safety products have quality built in, so that they meet these requirements, year after year.
Substituting cheap, low quality, lookalike products saves someone some money, but in the long term, it does no-one any good.
And, yes, we were happy to supply the correct products for this site, exactly as specified. The real cost of the failed ones was very clear - in the entire process of having to remove the failures and then re-install the Stair Tread Nosings that should have been there all along. Ultimately, it was a happy outcome, but an expensive lesson to learn.
Lathams has a reputation for the highest quality for a good reason – we have stood the test of time. Architects know and trust that Latham won’t let them down.
70 years of experience - and still going strong – in this specialised sector of the construction industry gives us the best name in the business, and a unique ability to deliver products that meet the exact needs of our customers. Latham are proud to be a key “Australian Made and Owned” business.
Latham’s reputation as the best range of products is well-deserved. If you put Latham products side by side with others, even compliant products, Latham’s far better quality and design will be immediately apparent.