In 1950, Michael Smail, saw an opportunity to bring new quality and sophistication to New Zealand bathrooms. The firm he founded, Smail & Co, is now known as Bath Co.
The design of New Zealand houses has been transformed in the six decades since then. In particular the bathroom has seen remarkable changes as homes have come to feature multiple bathrooms, often serving slightly different purposes.
Throughout this time, Bath Co has been at the leading edge of design thinking around bathroom furniture. We have pioneered new technologies and introduced new fashions to New Zealand, to suit changing lifestyles and demographics.
We may have a different name, but we are still a family owned and operated business. In the 1990s Michael’s daughter Annabel joined the company, and together they developed new product lines and new ranges.
We remain committed to New Zealand, continuing to manufacture our three most significant ranges in this country – Michel Cesar, VCBC and now, Laundry. We also distribute Burlington, a prestige brand from the United Kingdom, as well as a curated collection of artisan tiles under the brand name Gallery 4.
Our manufacturing and distribution centres are in Auckland and Christchurch, giving us a national footprint.
Our Michel César and VCBC ranges follow environmental best practice in all aspects of design and production.
The Michel César range is manufactured using quality materials that are sourced with sustainability in mind. FSC timber is sourced from New Zealand suppliers, guaranteeing it comes from responsibly managed forests. The timber used is also certified to North American and Japanese manufacturing standards, which require minimal emissions from wood products. The timber is regularly tested to maintain these accreditations.
Michel César utilises Airmax, an advanced, environmentally-friendly way of applying paint that results in minimal waste. This system ensures excess paint is recycled and the minimal overspray is thoroughly filtered before contact with the environment. Water-based and free of formaldehyde and aromatic hydrocarbons, the paint used on the Michel César range is safe enough to apply to toys and nursery furniture.
Purchasing from either range means you own a quality, New Zealand-made product, one where the environment came first at every stage of the manufacturing process.
A real timber finish
The unusual thing about Michel Cesar timber finishes is that they're all made from real timber, then bonded to moisture-resistant MDF.
Walnut, Chestnut, Coffee, Noce, Dark Oak, White Oak, Blonde Oak and Natural Oak. All come sealed and some are stained, with a protective UV finish. Of course, there will always be variations in colour and grain, but we believe this only adds to the natural look and feel of real timber.
Superior painted finish
Our polyurethane paint is manufactured in Italy specifically for timber and MDF, sprayed at 22°C and dried at 36°C in our New Zealand based factory.
Before our designs are assembled, every panel must first go through a fully automated paint layering process (the only one of its kind in Australasia) where it is painted and heated at least five times. This process creates a finish up to five times harder than lacquer painted surfaces and gives Michel César furniture a more durable and silky smooth finish than any other product available.