How to Improve Your Facility’s Locker Room Ventilation

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There is an art to creating a great fitness center. In addition to providing the latest equipment, friendly knowledgeable trainers, clean locker rooms, and lots of hot water, your locker room needs to breathe.

Unfortunately many locker room ventilation systems are improperly designed, leading to issues such as high humidity, mold, corrosion, nasty odors, and unhappy members. On the other hand, a well-designed ventilation system means happier members, reduced maintenance, and increased sales.

Locker rooms are constantly bombarded with moisture from members who come in perspiring after workouts; from the humidity released when they shower; and by the moisture released in steam and sauna areas. That’s why it is critical to provide effective dehumidification combined with an exhaust system designed to capture and exhaust large quantities of moist air out of the building. If the excess moisture in the locker room is not properly vented, it will affect lockers, benches and other assets, and migrate to other areas of the facility.

Whether you are building a new facility or renovating an existing locker room, make sure your architect or engineer is providing an effective ventilation system that exhausts moisture out of the building as required by the International Building Codes. Some of the ventilation technologies currently being used for fitness facilities, include:

  • Energy Star-rated products, including solar-powered fans and other eco-friendly technologies,
  • Systems which reduce the energy required for drying and dehumidification, such as liquid desiccant technology,
  • Bi-polar ionization air-purification systems, to ventilate and also break down odors
  • And equipment that measures volatile organic compounds and particulates

 

Other Locker Room Considerations

In addition to proper ventilation, also consider the following when designing your locker room.

  • Using water-sealed ceiling tiles and ceramic floor tiles
  • Installing CO2 sensors for ventilation control
  • Selecting lockers that will not absorb moisture, and that will not corrode or delaminate in a high-moisture environment

 

Hunter Green Tufftec Lockers

Hunter Green Tufftec Lockers

Specify Tufftec Lockers®

Locker rooms – and the lockers in them – can be breeding grounds for mold and bacteria. Manufactured from solid HDPE, Tufftec Lockers® stand up to the many challenges of the locker room environment. Moisture is never an issue. Tufftec Lockers® are impermeable to moisture, resistant to mold and mildew, and will never rust, corrode, or delaminate. They are also naturally bacteria resistant and will not support the growth of bacteria, including MRSA. Easy to clean, and impact and dent resistant, Tufftec Lockers® will preserve their good looks for years to come. And most importantly, your investment is backed by the best warranty in the industry.

Selecting Scranton Products Tufftec Lockers® for your facility is a sound investment that will help keep your locker room odor-free, reduce your maintenance sots, and keep your members happy for many years to come.

To find out more about Tufftec Lockers® and our customizable locker solutions, please click on the link below.

5 Tasks School Facility Managers Hate: So Why Not Get Rid of Them?

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As a facility manager in charge of an entire school, there are probably a bunch of tasks that you’re not a fan of. In fact, you may even loathe them, so why not find a way to get rid of them? One of the most common tasks that has caused considerable dislike is routine locker maintenance. Given the number of lockers in your school, and the variety of issues that can occur with them, facility managers simply hate the meticulous nature of maintaining them. However, because it’s a school, you can’t simply get rid of the lockers and have barren hallways. Students need storage compartments for their books and supplies, but there has to be a better alternative that can reduce your workload.

The 5 Tasks of Locker Maintenance That Facility Managers Despise

  • Painting. Giving all of your lockers a fresh coat of paint is never fun. Sometimes, though, there are no other options. Whether the exterior is chipping, or there’s considerable wear and tear, you can’t get away with painting just one locker. Still, while you’re carefully brushing the paint on, you may also dislike the fact that it’s filling your school with harmful VOC emissions.
  • Graffiti Removal. It’s hard not to take graffiti personally since it’s you that has to clean it off the locker. This requires more repainting, which simply adds to the frustration because you know it can, and probably will, happen again.
  • Removing Rust. Facility managers hate rust removal because it’s so tedious. Whether you’re using vinegar or baking soda, endlessly scrubbing one specific spot on a locker is an easy way to wear your wrist out, let alone drive you crazy.
  • Meticulous Cleaning. In order to prevent signs of rust, unsightly stains, or dust, the lockers require significant cleaning. Power washing makes the process a lot easier, but even that results in considerable cleanup, and you have to wait until students are out of the building.
  • Replacing Lockers. When they can’t take any more, lockers need to be replaced. They get slammed shut every day and they’re exposed to the elements. However, replacing them can result in high costs and painstaking installation.

Getting Rid of These Menial Tasks

If you’ve always fantasized about ways to rid yourself of these meticulous, dull, yet important tasks, there are actually ways to get around them while still having viable lockers and storage compartments for students. HDPE plastic has been introduced to schools across the country, and has met with positive results among students and facility managers. These lockers have successfully cut down on routine maintenance. HDPE is a solid plastic, so it has a durable structure that’s actually resistant to impacts, scratches, and rust. When there’s graffiti present, you don’t have to open a fresh can of paint. The graffiti can simply be wiped off the locker without affecting the locker’s homogenous color. You’ll save time and money on maintenance with HDPE lockers. They’ll provide the necessary storage for students while ridding your day of those pesky tasks. Finding ways to cut your maintenance costs is great, but finding a way to eliminate the task altogether is every facility manager’s dream. Implementing HDPE plastic into your school will reduce the time and money that goes into your school’s maintenance. That way you’ll have a long lasting material that doesn’t require any frustrating or meticulous maintenance, allowing you to use your time towards more important and pressing tasks in your school. Want to learn more about HDPE lockers and the benefits of choosing them for your school? Download this eBook, The Ultimate Guide to HDPE Plastic Lockers, from your friends at Scranton Products.

Danger Lurking in Your Wooden Bathroom Vanities

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In the 21st century, wooden vanities are like wooden fireplaces—not so much so that you should be worried about them catching fire, but more in the way that they’re not a good idea. In fact, there could be any number of dangers lurking in your wooden bathroom vanities, especially if they’re near a water source such as in locker room or restroom.

In this post, we take a closer look at what problems your wooden bathroom vanities may pose as well as a cost-effective alternative.

Dangers of Your Wooden Vanity

There’s one element present in bathrooms that can be extremely damaging to wood surfaces: moisture. Even if the vanity is laminated and sealed, it doesn’t guarantee that moisture won’t be able to find its way inside and begin wreaking havoc on the delicate wood below.

When moisture comes in contact with a porous surface such as wood, a number of things can occur. For one, it becomes a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Mold can be extremely harmful and even life threatening in certain cases.

But that’s not the only issue. As moisture remains present, the wood may begin to rot and break down.

In either scenario, the wooden bathroom vanity will need to be repaired or replaced entirely. But moisture isn’t the only threat to your wooden vanities.

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Wooden Vanities Prone to Damage and Graffiti

Wood, unlike tougher materials like high-density polyethylene (HDPE) or steel, is easily damaged. This damage may be caused accidentally, like a maintenance worker chipping the wood while working on nearby pipes. Or it may be done intentionally by vandals who want to deface the vanity by scratching or writing on it.

Both of these problems are fairly common with wooden bathroom fixtures in commercial settings, and it’s also true that their presence tends to inhibit more. So it’s vital if your wooden bathroom vanity is damaged or defaced to repair or replace it right away.

An Alternative to Wooden Bathroom Vanities

If you’d rather not deal with the dangers that can lurk in a wooden vanity, there are some alternatives out there, like HDPE. This highly durable plastic has been used to make vanities, bathroom partitions, and lockers. The best part is that it’s resistant to the problems that plague wooden vanities.

Since HDPE is non-porous, it’s resistant to mold and mildew. It will also never rot and is highly resistant to scratches and even graffiti.

But that’s still not all of the benefits of using HDPE for your bathroom vanity. It’s also resistant to bacteria, so your bathroom is actually cleaner and healthier. In fact, HDPE is naturally germ resistant!

If you’re tired of repairing and replacing your wooden bathroom vanities, consider an alternative like HDPE. You can learn more about this versatile material by contacting our team at Scranton Products.

If you’re interested in redesigning the rest of your bathroom as well, then check out our free eBook Restroom Design for Commercial Facilities. 

Why You Should Consider Maintenance Costs When Designing a New Building

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It’s easy to overlook maintenance costs when designing a new building, but it could end up hurting you. That’s because administrators, contractors, architects, and other building officials are under constant pressure to keep costs down and stay within budget. However, choosing the cheapest materials or building methods can have expensive maintenance requirements.

In this post, we take a closer look at why it’s important to consider maintenance costs when designing a new building as well as the difference between initial cost and life cycle cost.

Understanding Initial Cost and Life Cycle Cost

When you create a budget for a new building design, you’re looking at the initial cost. The budget specifies how much of the allocated funds will be used for each component, including supplies and labor. Although it’s true that every project relies on this number for approval, shooting for the lowest initial cost isn’t always the best decision.

For example, when purchasing building materials, the least expensive option might be of the poorest quality. In most circumstances, you pay more for higher quality and longer material life span.

Life cycle cost, on the other hand, is a way of budgeting that considers the entire cost of a material over the course of its life span. This includes any anticipated repairs, replacements, or maintenance. For example, let’s say one lamp cost $100 and another cost $200. The first lamp is cheaper, but the life expectancy of the second lamp is three times as long.

Thus, you’d spend more money in the long run by purchasing the $100 lamp since you’d have to replace it twice before you’d need to replace the more expensive lamp.

Calculating Maintenance Costs

Now that you’ve learned the difference between initial and life cycle costs, it’s easy to see why buying for life cycle costs is the smarter choice. But how exactly do you know if a material or building method will help to lower maintenance costs? Here are a few ways to help you make the right decision.

Is It Easy to Clean?

Clean materials tend to outlast those that aren’t, so opting for materials and products that are easy to clean and care for is a great idea. But not only might the material last long, it could also save you money on cleaning costs since less cleaning materials will need to be used.

Maintenance Costs

Does It Resist Damage?

Being durable is a good sign that the product or material is going to help cut your long-term maintenance costs. The good news is, products that are resistant to damage like dents, scratches, or graffiti will usually showcase that aspect as one of the primary features of the product. If you’re not sure, talk with your architect or contractor.

What Kind of Regular Care Does It Need?

Lights will need to have their bulbs replaced, HVAC systems will require routine maintenance, but it’s important to know these things before you make a purchase and factor that into the life cycle cost. For example, HDPE bathroom partitions are colored throughout and don’t require painting or repainting, whereas metal partitions do.

As you can see, it’s vital for you to consider maintenance costs when designing a new building. Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to building a cost-effective facility.

How You Can Prevent Bacteria Growth on Bathroom Partitions

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When you’re in charge of a public or commercial bathroom, you want to be sure that it remains clean and free of any harmful bacteria. It’s especially important to keep your bathroom partitions clear of any bacteria in order to create a sanitary space for its users.

But with all of the moisture and humidity in bathrooms, how can you prevent harmful bacteria growth, such as mold and mildew, on bathroom partitions?

You can have a clean, presentable, and sanitary bathroom thanks to the help of Scranton Products. Read on to learn how you can prevent bacteria growth on your bathroom partitions. Read more

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.

Things to Consider Before Your Athletic Locker Room Renovation Project

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An outdated locker room can be a dangerous eyesore. From lockers that constantly need repairs to the dated tiles in the shower area, a complete redesign can breathe new life into your facility as well as improve how your guests view and treat your locker room.

However, before you start tearing down walls and ripping up floorboards, there are a few things to consider when planning your renovation project.

Controlling the Flow of Air and Traffic

Anyone who’s been in a poorly ventilated locker room can tell you the importance of adequate air flow. Promoting a good flow of air through your locker room starts with design. You want to make sure that hot, humid air has a way to escape and new, fresh air can enter.

One way to create better airflow in your athletic locker room is to use a labyrinth entrance. Instead of a door, which would block air from entering or escaping the locker room, a labyrinth entrance uses hard turns to add privacy for guests.

Be sure to speak with your designer and architect to find the best ways to promote good airflow in your locker room.

In addition to airflow, you want to consider the flow of traffic coming in and out of the locker room. Will there be only one way for guests to enter and exit or will the locker room feature both an entrance and a designated exit? The latter option can improve the efficiency of your locker room and aid in your ventilation efforts.

Choosing Locker and Shower Materials

Thinking critically about materials before you buy can help you to save hundreds in maintenance costs. For example, traditional metal lockers have been a common choice for years, used in everything from schools to office buildings and, of course, locker rooms. However, metal is prone to denting and rust, which gives it a short life span.

The same can be said for materials used in the shower area, bathrooms, or any place where moisture may be present inside the locker room. For that reason, rust-resistant materials like HDPE provide a cost-effective solution.

school locker room

Cleaning and Maintenance

One of the most common problems that facility managers face is routine cleaning and maintenance. That’s why, while you’re in the planning stage of your locker room design, it’s important to consider how your design will affect the facilities cleaning and maintenance needs.

For example, if your locker room has a bathroom with partitions, you might consider using ceiling-mounted stalls instead of floor-mounted one. With ceiling-mounted stalls, the floor is much easier to clean.

In terms of maintenance, make sure to ask about life expectancy when sourcing materials. As we mentioned early, HDPE is resistant to rust and denting, giving it a much longer life expectancy than other materials, like metal. HDPE can also be power washed without damaging the color, which makes it extremely easy and inexpensive to clean.

Know What Your Guests Want

An easy way to guide your renovation efforts is to ask the people who use the locker room what they like, don’t like, or would improve. By reaching out to your guests, you’re sure to design an athletic locker room that has the features and accessibility they’re looking for.

Take a survey or create a suggestion box to generate feedback. Then review the responses with your team and decide which suggestions fit with your overall redesign plan. Also, be sure to download our free eBook on The 7 Mistakes That Architects Make When Choosing Bathroom Partitions and Locker Materials. These helpful tips could save you time and money during your locker room renovation project.

Bathroom Privacy Ideas: Planning the Privacy in Your Bathroom

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Privacy is one of the most crucial components to your bathroom. Using the restroom is something that everyone experiences, and more often than not, they want to experience it privately. So, you need to figure out ways to ensure that your bathroom and the toilet partitions offer enough privacy and security for occupants to use comfortably. Keeping reading to check out some great bathroom privacy ideas!

Determining Any Weaknesses in Privacy & SecurityAria Partitions in Sandcastle Color

While you may think that your bathroom is confidential enough for you, you may want to take a closer look to notice some of the weak spots that hinder one’s privacy. This may include visible vantage points above or below the stall. However, it can also include the separation in the stall’s pieces, which may provide a clear view in between the door and the frame. If you notice these imperfections and issues, you should start thinking of ways to correct them so occupants can go to the bathroom worry-free.

Bathroom Privacy Ideas to Get Started

Here are some bathroom privacy ideas to get your gears turning and a full bathroom plan if you’re starting from scratch:

  • Add peel-and-stick frosted privacy glass over windows.
  • Separate your space with folding restroom privacy screens.
  • Find the right stall that offers ample privacy.
  • Sightlines can be removed through shiplap cut edges.
  • Angled doors and hidden hardware offer extra privacy to guests.

Bathroom Stalls with Ample Privacy

Some bathroom stalls on the market can offer your guests ample privacy. Their sightlines can easily be removed through a shiplap cut edge. Once closed, these partitions provide zero visibility due to the cut edges perfecting shutting out the seam.

Other HDPE toilet stalls, like Aria Partitions®, are specifically designed to provide each occupant with the ultimate privacy. Aria Partitions will provide you with innovative designs like overlapping edges, continuous edge mounted hinges and floor mounted side panels to keep these partitions as secure and private as possible.

Using HDPE for Private Partitions

HDPE plastic can be tailored to fit any design for your facility’s restroom. Whether you’re going for free-standing stalls, between-walls, open-ends, or alcove-style partitions, you’ll be happy to know that HDPE can be a versatile material to utilize in your restroom for your custom partitions. HDPE can be produced in a variety of different sizes, so you can figure out the best options to provide a secure toilet stall for your occupants who hold privacy very high.

It’s no secret that people want privacy when they’re using a public restroom. If you’re looking for ways to make your facility’s restroom more private for the occupants, check out the eBook Restroom Design for Commercial Facilities from your friends at Scranton Products.

 

Not All Bathroom Partitions Are Created Equally: The Differences Between Phenolic Core and Plastic (HDPE) Core Partition Materials

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All bathroom partition materials are the same, right? It’s just a door and a privacy separator between stalls, so why should you even bother looking into partition materials?

These misguided ideologies about bathroom partitions make for poorly constructed commercial bathrooms and public gyms that are susceptible to many types of damage. In fact, the materials for your bathroom partitions do matter, and Scranton Products is here to show you why.

Two common materials for bathroom partitions are phenolic core and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic core. While they may perform the same function, these materials are very different in their durability and longevity.

Let’s compare the two materials so you can see the differences between phenolic core and HDPE so you can make the right choice for your bathroom. Read more

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!