How to Choose Commercial Bathroom Partitions for Virtually Any Facility

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As a professional contractor or building administrator, you’re faced with a number of important decisions. When it comes to sourcing materials for bathrooms, you want to be sure the that materials you choose are durable, require little routine maintenance, and fit within your budget, which can be easier said than done.

So in this post, we’ll teach you how to choose commercial bathroom partitions for just about any facility, from schools to stadiums to office buildings and more.

bathroom materials

 

Selecting Cost-Efficient Materials

One of the most important factors when choosing bathroom partitions is cost. There are many different materials available, with varying initial and long-term costs to consider. The five materials we’ll look at are enamel painted steel over paper, phenolic core, stainless steel, reinforced composite, and high-density polyethylene.

Baked Enamel Painted Steel Over a Paper Honeycomb Core

The most inexpensive of these is definitely baked enamel painted steel over a paper honeycomb core. This type of partition is frequently found in schools and office buildings because of its low initial cost. However, the life expectancy of enamel painted steel is extremely low given its propensity to rust when exposed to moisture.

Solid Phenolic (Black Core)

Solid phenolic core, sometimes referred to as black core because of its color, features a resin-impregnated kraft paper core. This material is very dense and composed of many compressed layers, similar to how fiberglass is created. However, this material is easily damaged by scratches.

Stainless Steel

Many designers for high-end establishments and sports clubs favor stainless steel because of its clean and modern look. However, stainless still is also prone to rust and high costs, both initially and in terms of routine maintenance. Stainless steel partitions are also known to show smudges and fingerprints easily, making them harder to keep looking clean.

[READ MORE: Commercial Bathroom Trends]

Solid Color Reinforced Composite (SCRC)

You’ll commonly spot SCRC in high-traffic areas such as sporting arenas, schools, and train stations. This material is durable like black core partitions. The two biggest downsides to SCRC are the high cost, as it’s much more expensive than solid plastic or stainless steel, and its limited color options.

High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)

HDPE is a type of solid plastic that’s perfect for use as commercial bathroom partitions. About 1 inch thick and solid color throughout, HDPE is highly resistant to graffiti, scratches, mold, mildew, and even bacteria. Given that this material is environmentally friendly and doesn’t negatively impact the indoor air quality, it’s a favorite for schools, medical facilities, and restaurants. It also requires little long-term maintenance.

Installation Types for Your Commercial Bathroom Partitions

Depending on the design of your commercial bathroom, there are four different methods for installing your bathroom partitions. The fastest and most economical option is to have the partitions floor mounted and overhead braced. This type of installation process works well with either wood or concrete floors and works by mounting the pilasters to the floor and the panels to the wall. An anti-grip aluminum headrail is positioned along the top of the partitions to offer additional support and stability.

If your bathroom has a low ceiling, you can choose to have them floor mounted only. This method requires at least 2 inches of concrete flooring in order for the pilasters to be mounted firmly. The panels are then mounted to the wall. The top of the partitions will be flush.

For a modern and unique look, or if the floors of your bathroom aren’t adequate for mounting, ceiling-hung partitions are a great option. You’ll need steel ceiling supports to withstand the weight and installation process. The pilasters are mounted to these supports, and the panels are mounted to the walls. One benefit of this installation method is that it makes the floor of the bathroom easy to clean.

[READ MORE: 9 Things to Consider Before Designing Your Commercial Bathroom]

The final installation method is floor-to-ceiling. In this scenario, pilasters are mounted to both the floor and the ceiling for maximum strength. It’s suggested that the facility have concrete floors and steel ceiling supports.

Choose a Color That Compliments

The last step in choosing commercial bathroom partitions is selecting the color. Materials like HDPE come in a wide variety of colors and textures so you have plenty of options to choose from. You can either go with a shade that matches the interior of the bathroom or pick a different color that compliments the theme. Either way, you’re sure to be left with one terrific-looking bathroom.

Want more information about building a cost-effective bathroom? Download our eBook The Professional’s Guide to Commercial Bathroom Renovations and Remodels. This FREE resource is full of useful information that will teach you pro tips for choosing materials, how advances in materials are leading to more fluid designs, and which must-have amenities your commercial bathroom needs.

The Importance of Sustainability in Restroom Partitions

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Sustainability is a factor that all facility managers strive for, especially in todays’ top leading industries. The need for using sustainable products or executing green practices is important towards building a better future, and it can start with your facility! Utilizing sustainable building materials can be very beneficial towards your facility, especially when it comes to the restroom. There are a few types of materials you can use in your facility’s restroom, but when it’s time to decide, you’ll want to find reliable and sustainable materials for the job.

Making sustainability a priority for your bathroom is crucial, so here’s a list for the importance of sustainability in restroom partitions.

Choosing Materials That Will Last You

One of the most sustainable aspects of choosing the right toilet partition materials is finding one that can outlast the standard types and materials. Most toilet partitions are subject to wear and damage over time; however, some endure these deteriorations much too early.

By choosing a sustainable material, you’ll be selecting partitions that are designed to last and withstand the elements. The goal is to not only put off a replacement but also rely on a material that doesn’t require significant maintenance over the years. When you have a durable material for your toilet partitions, they won’t incur any damage that most standard materials are susceptible.

Finding Post-Consumer Materials That Can Be Recycled

Everyone is familiar with the importance of recycling, but have you ever utilized building materials that have been through the process of recycling. A lot of plastics, like HDPE (high-density polyethylene), are recycled and then redistributed, whether they’re the same product or formed into something new. By using recycled building materials, you’re helping reduce waste while relying on a material that can not only last you, but when it’s time for a replacement, the material can be recycled once again.

Reducing Harmful Emissions in Your Restroom

Another major benefit to utilizing a sustainable material like HDPE plastic is that this material doesn’t require any painting. If graffiti somehow shows up, your first instinct is to get a paint match to cover over the drawing; however, with HDPE, you can simply wipe away the marker or spray paint. Since HDPE is non-absorbent, you don’t have to buy additional paint and perform any touch-ups. Due to the lack of repainting, you won’t be exposing your restroom, or its occupants, to the harmful VOC (volatile organic compounds) that are present in most paints.

The Benefits of Using Sustainable Building Materials

There are plenty of benefits to going green and sustainable. There are many environmental benefits, such as not using up any valuable resources. By using sustainable materials, you’re doing your part to reduce your carbon footprint. You’ll also enjoy the benefit of having reliable materials that are durable, low maintenance, recyclable, and great for the environment.

Want to learn more about utilizing sustainable building products to take your facility in a greener direction? Check out this free eBook, Sustainable Building Products: How to Make Your Facility Eco-Friendly from Top to Bottom, from your friends at Scranton Products.

The Top Ways to Save With Your Commercial Restroom

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Have you noticed that the expenses of the restrooms in your facility are leading to high costs? Whether it’s excessive maintenance and repairs or unnecessary waste, those dollars and cents can add up to an overwhelming total. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can cut back on costs and save money by changing some things in your commercial facility’s restrooms.

We’re going to help you cut the costs with some of the top ways to save with your commercial restroom!

 

Reduce Your Energy Consumption

You may not realize it, but your lightbulbs are costing you a fortune! You can easily combat this by swapping them out with LED lights, which not only last longer than incandescent bulbs, but they also use way less energy to light up the restroom. You can reduce the costs even further by installing motion sensors, which will turn out the lights when there’s a lengthy period of inactivity in your restroom.

 

Utilize Motion-Sensing Faucets and Hand Dryers

Sometimes, the unnecessary expenditure of water can show a spike in your water bill. Whether an occupant leaves the water running or there’s a drip occurring throughout the day, it can end up adding to your overall costs. Installing motion-sensing faucets can greatly reduce water waste. Occupants won’t forget to turn off the faucet or fail to tighten the valve enough, reducing the water that gets wasted throughout the day.

Another way you can save with occupants washing their hands is by getting hand dryers. This prevents you from having to reorder paper towels each month. Not only will you notice a drop in expenditures on toiletries, but you’ll be taking your restroom into a greener direction.

 

Install Cost-Efficient Toilet Partitions

You may not realize it yet, but your toilet partitions can be a big red flag when it comes to the high costs of maintaining your restroom. Traditional partitions with a paper core are left susceptible to the elements, namely humidity and moisture, which can sprout mold within the partition and call for an entire replacement. Since mold is nearly impossible to remove from the interior of a partition, the entire partition needs to be replaced, which leads to high costs.

You can forgo replacing your partitions by choosing a material that can stand up to the moisture and humidity. HDPE (high-density polyethylene) plastic is one of the best materials for commercial restrooms due to its solid construction, non-absorbent exterior, and the fact that they’re built to last and are warranted for 25 years. These partitions are also low-maintenance, which saves you money over time by spending less man hours and money in the restroom. These partitions pay for themselves in just a few years due to the money you saved on maintenance.

 

Learning More About Saving Costs with Your Restroom

In this guide, you learned that when it comes to cutting costs in your facility’s restroom, you’ll need to utilize the right materials to truly see the money you’ve saved. Want to learn more about HDPE and how it can benefit your restroom? Check out this blog post, How HDPE Partitions Can Save You Money, from your friends at Scranton Products!

 

Take your HDPE research even further by seeing how it would look in your facility with our 3D Partition Visualizer!

A Business Owner’s Primer on Commercial Restroom Renovations

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Renovations to your commercial restroom can be time consuming and stressful, and they can require a lot of planning to make sure that your new project is perfect. One of the last things that business owners want to find out after completing a commercial restroom renovation is that the materials selected won’t hold up over time and will require maintenance, thorough cleaning, and even additional renovations.

Whether your bathroom renovations require new stall partitions, vanities, or shower stalls, don’t make the mistake of choosing the wrong products that won’t satisfy your needs. No matter what kind of renovations you’re make, read on for Scranton Products’ primer on commercial restroom renovations to learn how you can avoid some costly mistakes. Read more

Reclaiming Privacy in Bathrooms through New Partitions

Privacy is a crucial element to the experience of using a public restroom or commercial bathroom. This is especially true if the restroom serves multiple occupants at a time. Given the close quarters, it’s important to strive for absolute privacy with your facility’s restroom. One way that you can improve the privacy in your restrooms is through new partitions that offer more comfort and security to the occupants.

The Problem with Your Current Toilet Partitions

Restroom partitions serve a very simple but important purpose: privacy. They divide each toilet to provide a safe and confidential experience for each individual. However, some partitions lack the amount of privacy that one would like while going to the bathroom.

The main drawbacks to toilet partitions are their imperfections. There are design flaws like the door hinges, which lock and secure the stall, but they leave a line of sight that can make any occupant feel uncomfortable or exposed. There’s also a noticeable lack of privacy with the exposed bottom, which doesn’t hide an occupant’s feet. The top of the partitions also leave room for exposure and discomfort, especially if there’s a taller-than-average occupant in the next stall.

How to Improve the Privacy in Your Facility’s Restroom

There are a few ways that you can make the experience of going to the bathroom a little more comfortable for the occupants. However, the best way is by installing new partitions that offer more security and privacy, as well as customizable options to reduce any exposed areas or sightlines. You’ll also want to consider using strong and durable material to ensure that these new partitions will last.

The Types of Partitions that Can Improve Bathroom Privacy

HDPE plastic is one of the best materials that you can use for partitions in your facility’s restroom. Not only is this material durable and impact resistant, but it can actually withstand the moisture and humidity that’s prevalent in bathrooms, which leads to mold growth and the spread of bacteria. These sustainable and recyclable partitions are also guaranteed to last up to 25 years and require little maintenance.

Hiny Hiders® Partitions: Hiny Hiders® Partitions are a modern take on the classic stall design, but with a few new implementations to ensure total privacy. These doors can feature an optional shiplap cut edge that can ensure that the gap between the door and the frame is eliminated.

Eclipse Partitions®: Eclipse Partitions® offer a sleek and contemporary design that uses hidden hardware and handles with occupancy indicators that enhance the privacy of the commercial bathroom experience.

Aria Partitions™: Aria Partitions™ offer ultimate privacy by eliminating sightlines, as well as floor and ceiling gaps to deliver a comfortable and secure experience. These enclosed toilet partitions can be customized to fit any design pattern or space in your facility.

Improving the privacy in your facility’s restroom is important for providing a safe, comfortable, and secure atmosphere to the occupants. Want to learn more about these HDPE plastic partitions? Check out this blog post, HDPE Partitions Styles & Advantages, from your friends at Scranton Products.

Is Your Public Restroom Federal Regulation Compliant?

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Are your bathrooms compliant with federal and state regulations? It’s a question that facilities across the nation have to ask, and the answer isn’t always so clear. For example, federal regulations require commercial buildings to provide restrooms for employees, while public restroom regulations are left up to the state and local municipalities.

In this post, we review some of the key aspects of restroom compliance policies so you can determine if your public bathroom is up to code.

Understanding Restroom Regulation

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the government agency responsible for regulating bathroom access for employees in the workplace. Their sanitation standards require that all commercial buildings provide adequate bathroom facilities for their employees in an effort to avoid any adverse health effects. The only exception is mobile worksites where transportation to bathrooms must be available.

Meanwhile, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) specifies that bathrooms must be accessible to employees with disabilities. This means having a door that’s big enough for a wheelchair to fit through, among other amenities.

restroom cleaning checklist

How Many Toilets Should My Public Restroom Have?

According to OSHA, facilities with more than 15 employees must have gender-separated bathrooms. While this rule doesn’t speculate about gender-neutral bathrooms, you’ll need at least two separate facilities. Meanwhile, buildings with fewer than 15 employees require only one unisex bathroom (plus a sink and locking door).

How many employees do you have?

  • 16-35 employees = 2 toilets required
  • 36-55 employees = 3 toilets required
  • 56-80 employees = 4 toilets required
  • 81-110 employees = 5 toilets required
  • 111-150 employees = 6 toilets required
  • 151+ employees = 6 toilets plus 1 additional toilet for every 40 employees over 150

Also important to note is that while urinals are permitted in public restrooms, they don’t count toward the number of required toilets.

Additional Bathroom Requirements

Other OSHA rules specify that every bathroom must have soap, running water, and a hand dryer or towels. Also, the bathroom compartments must have a door and partitions that provide adequate privacy.

How to Bring Your Public Restroom Up to Code

Older buildings might not meet the regulations set by OSHA, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be updated to become compliant with both OSHA and ADA regulations. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the regulations that pertain to your specific building. This information is freely available online. However, a professional contractor should have no problem assessing your facility for compliance.

Once that’s done, you should be able to easily pinpoint what aspects of your facility need to be changed or modified to meet regulations. This could include installing additional toilets, installing sinks or toilet partitions, putting a lock on the door, or adding grab bars.

For more information about updating and renovating your commercial bathroom, download our free eBook The Professional’s Guide to Commercial Bathroom Renovations and Remodels.This resource has tons of useful information to guide you through the renovation process.

How to Avoid Germs in Public Restrooms

As the field of medical science evolves, information about germs and bacteria has been made readily available to the general public which has also helped increase the education of preventative measures for avoiding contamination. However, many people still have concerns about how to avoid germs when using public restrooms.

In this post, we’ll help both those occupying the bathroom and those in charge of maintaining it learn how to promote a more germ-free restroom experience.

Avoiding Germs When Using Public Restrooms

If you happen to by using a public restroom and are worried about coming in contact with germs, there are some precautions you can take to limit your exposure. The main and perhaps most obvious rule is try and limit the number of surfaces you come in contact with both before and after washing your hands. If the bathroom has automatic sensors for the toilet, water, soap, and hand dryers, be sure to use them.

When washing your hands, make sure you wash thoroughly. That means wetting your hands and working soap into a lather for 20 seconds. Then rinse your hands clean and dry them.

In addition to keeping your hands from touching other surfaces in the restroom, it’s important that you don’t put your bag or pocket book on the ground. Out of all the surfaces in the bathroom, the floor is probably one of the dirtiest. Instead, hang your bag on the hook located on the back of the door. If there is no hook, sit with your bag in your lap or leave it outside with a friend.

Operating an Anti-Germ Restroom

Whether your building a new public restroom, remodeling an existent one, or considering new procedures for your current restroom, there are many ways to help reduce the amount of germs that occupants come in contact with when using your facility. The first and possibly most overlooked method is by ensuring the door wings out.

A bathroom door that swings out allows occupants to use their foot or hip to exit the restroom instead of their hands. On doors that swing in, occupants are forced to touch the door handle which can be one of the dirtiest surfaces in the restroom primarily due to other users who exited the restroom without washing their hands. The cleanest restrooms get rid of the door altogether and instead opt for a labyrinth style entrance to provide privacy.

Another tactic for keeping the amount of germs at a minimum is to use bacteria-resistant materials like HDPE. In addition to its ability to fight against bacteria, HDPE plastic is also highly durable, being both dent and scratch resistant. This makes it a terrific fit for public restrooms since well-maintained restrooms encourage proper use where as poorly maintained restrooms may be treated poorly by occupants as a result.

Finally, a large part of keeping any restroom germ free is to create a proper cleaning schedule. Public restrooms should be cleaned thoroughly at least once a day. Depending on the amount of traffic, your restroom may need to be cleaned more frequently. If you used HDPE material for the bathroom partitions and vanity, you’ll be happy to know that HDPE is easy to clean and is resistant to rust and corrosion.

Create a cleaning schedule for your team and make sure that the facility is being cleaned regularly.

As you can see, whether you operate one or use one, there are many ways to avoid germs in public restrooms. For more information on HDPE materials, contact Scranton Products today.

Why Design Matters in Your Facility Restrooms (Even When You Aren’t a Designer)

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You’re probably thinking that a restroom doesn’t need to be the most lavish part of your new facility. However, bathroom décor makes a difference in several different ways, and you don’t even have to be a designer to see how.

Facility restroom design incorporates a plan for the layout of your vanities, partitions, and other aspects of a bathroom, but design also requires material selection. And while some materials may look pleasing to the eyes of an interior designer, the design may have underlying costs that you should avoid. Read on to learn why your facility restroom design matters, even if you aren’t a designer. Read more

The Latest in Extreme Privacy: Check Out the Aria Partitions™

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Privacy is one of the most important factors to consider when designing or remodeling the bathroom in your commercial facility. Occupants come in and out of the bathroom throughout the day, making it one of the more visited areas in your entire facility. However, a lack of privacy can damper the experience and make occupants feel exposed and uncomfortable. The key is improving the privacy, so occupants can relax and not stress out when it’s time to use the restroom.

When it’s time to add an extra layer of privacy and comfort to your restrooms, consider Aria Partitions™.

Why Aria Partitions™ Are the Right Move

Aria Partitions, MahoganyAria Partitions™ can add a lot of benefits to your bathroom. These enclosed stalls deliver the latest in extreme privacy because they take away the sightlines that are commonplace with most commercial restrooms and partitions. These partitions go from floor to ceiling, eliminating the chance for your feet to be seen or from you being watched from overhead. The partitions also offer a clasp door, which allows the partitions to be shut completely without any gap between the door and frame that may make you visible or vulnerable. Occupants can freely go to the bathroom without being seen or spotted.

The Problems with Most Partitions

While most partitions do an okay job at concealing the occupant inside, there are a few factors that can compromise the privacy that can leave the occupant feeling uncomfortable. Stalls typically have exposed bottoms, giving other people a clear view of the partition occupant’s feet. They also have exposed ceilings, which isn’t always a problem unless a particularly tall individual uses the next partition over, which can make for awkward glances. Lastly, the door to the stall usually leaves some unwanted space that can make the occupant visible, which can be uncomfortable when the bathroom is at full capacity.

Moving Forward with Aria Partitions™

White Aria Partitions in School Restroom

One top of delivering top-tier privacy for occupants, there are other major benefits of choosing Aria Partitions™. These partitions are customizable and can fit any structure or décor. Aria Partitions™ are made from HDPE (high-density polyethylene), which is a solid plastic that is not only durable, but also sustainable since it’s made from recycled materials. This plastic is impact- and dent-resistant, as well as non-absorbent to the humidity and moisture in the bathroom. Along with its durability, it is built to last and is actually warranted for 25 years. Lastly, these partitions are low on maintenance cost and man hours, meaning that they essentially pay themselves off due to the lack of maintenance required over the years.

When it’s time to boost the privacy in your commercial facility’s restrooms and improve the comfort and security for your occupants, Aria Partitions™ are certainly a step in the right direction. Want to learn more details about these partitions? Download the Aria Partitions™ product kit today to get a sense of what these partitions can add to your facility’s restrooms.

Why Cost of Ownership Matters

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One of the most important factors that designers and facilities managers must consider when selecting materials for their projects is the total cost of ownership of those materials or products.

Total cost of ownership is the true cost of a product, taking into account not only a product’s initial purchase price as well as its lifetime costs. For instance, a second-hand car with an appealing purchase price may turn out to have maintenance costs that will make it considerably more expensive to own over the long-term compared to a brand new car that comes with a three-year warranty. If you don’t do your homework to check out how good a deal the car really is, you might wind up paying more for the second-hand “bargain” than you would have paid for the new car.

When selecting bathroom partitions, there are multiple factors to consider when deciding on the best choice for your project. Design, color, and texture choices must work with the total bathroom concept, and the partitions must provide a range of flexible configurations and options. In addition, the material the partitions are made from should be attractive, durable and easy to care for, and the purchase price should be a fair price for what you are getting. Once you’ve checked off all those boxes, there is one more box left to consider.

 

True Cost to Own

It’s important to look not only at the purchase price of the partitions you are considering, but also at what it will cost to maintain and repair those partitions over their expected lifetime, and how well the product warranty protects your investment. Just like the person buying the used car, if you don’t’ carefully consider what your purchase will cost over time, you’ll wind up paying a lot more than you ever expected.

 

Compare Costs

The chart below compares the initial and total costs of four of the most widely selected types of partitions over a 25-year period, based on replacing each type of partition at the end of its warranty period. Over a 25-year period, Scranton Products HDPE partitions cost significantly less than the other materials, while providing the longest life cycle due to their performance, durability and long warranty.

 

Consider What’s Inside

When selecting the right material for your partitions, take a close look at what’s inside. Constructed of 1” premium HDPE resin, Scranton Products bathroom partitions are solid throughout and will never absorb moisture. Impermeable and non-porous, solid plastic HDPE does not support the growth of mold, mildew, and bacteria. With the exception of Scranton Products solid plastic HDPE, the products below are constructed with either a cardboard, particleboard or kraft paper core. These products are at high-risk for moisture penetration, and are subject to mold and mildew.

 

 

Consider Durability

Formulated with a solid color throughout, Scranton Products HDPE will never chip. In addition, in an impact test conducted following ASTM standards, Scranton Products solid HDPE plastic had 59 times greater resistant to impacts, dings, and denting when compared to metal.

 

Consider Maintenance

Scranton Products HDPE bathroom partitions will never rust or corrode, and never require painting, significantly reducing maintenance costs. Graffiti can be easily wiped clean with a common non-abrasive cleaner, and scratches are difficult to see and can be easily repaired. In addition, Scranton Products bathroom partitions are fully power washable and steam cleanable, reducing cleaning time and costs.

 

Consider Warranty

To protect your investment, Scranton Products backs its partitions with a 25-year warranty – the best warranty in the industry.

 

Consider the True Cost

When considering bathroom partitions, look for partitions that offer a true low cost of ownership and that provide an outstanding warranty to protect your investment. Invest in Scranton Products HDPE – the smart choice.

To learn more about how Scranton Products partitions are the smart choice, download our cost of ownership brochure.