How HDPE Can Save Your Facility Maintenance Costs

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When it’s time to start a lengthy renovation project in your facility, or you’re about to break ground, it’s important to use the right materials for the job. Not only do you want building materials that are sturdy and reliable, but you want something that’s going to save you maintenance costs in the long run. That’s why a lot of facility managers are utilizing HDPE (high-density polyethylene) as materials in their bathroom for partitions, stalls, and even vanities. If you’re a facility manager who’s in the process of deciding on these types of materials, you may want to learn a little more about HDPE and the benefits of choosing it.

HDPE & Durability

The most expensive form of maintenance is usually the regretful replacement. Whether your stall or partition was damaged beyond repair, or it’s infested with mold, having to replace the entire piece can not only be expensive, but also time-consuming.

HDPE offers a highly durable solid plastic construction that can outlast most other materials when it comes to impacts. Most plastic materials show a sign of damage, whether it’s a dent, a scratch, or even a hole. HDPE has an impact resistance that’s almost 60 times greater than that of other plastics and even metal, meaning it won’t scratch or dent, leaving you with a reliable material that you won’t have to replace any time soon.

Standing Up to the Elements

You’d be surprised at the amount of damage caused by humidity and moisture, especially when it comes to the materials that you choose in your bathroom, where these two elements are a constant presence. Most plastic partitions have a foam or core interior, which over time, becomes tainted by the moisture and begins to sprout mold, resulting in a foul smell and a significant drop in air quality.

HDPE, on the other hand, can stand up to humidity and moisture because it’s a solid piece of plastic with no soft and foamy inner core. Installing HDPE in your facility’s restroom will not only prevent mold from growing on/in the plastic, but it’ll help keep your air quality in good standing. You’ll save yourself from a costly replacement by using HDPE stalls and partitions.

Easy to Clean

One of the major benefits that HDPE has over other materials is that it’s very easy to clean. Other materials will not only absorb germs, but when there’s graffiti present, the piece requires a paint job. Not only does this add to the costs, but it brings your air quality down due to VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions. HDPE doesn’t require any strong expensive cleaning products or paint. Any smudge, dirt, or even spray paint can simply be wiped away, saving you both time and money on your maintenance and cleaning.

Was this article helpful at showing you how you can save on maintenance costs by implementing HDPE in your facility? If you want more information, you can always download eBooks like Choosing Bathroom Materials or The Professional’s Guide to Commercial Bathroom Renovations and Remodels, from your friends at Scranton Products.

How Strong & Durable Is HDPE?

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Whether you’re looking to renovate your facility’s restroom, or you’re trying to find ways to get your building LEED certified, using HDPE plastic has a variety of benefits. This solid plastic can help make your building more sustainable and eco-friendly; however, some facility managers worry about HDPE’s strength and durability.

The Durability of HDPE

HDPE (high-density polyethylene) is a strong, solid plastic that has many applications when it comes to building materials. Some facility managers aren’t sure that HDPE provides a stronger construct than other plastics, but HDPE has been proven to be one of the more durable plastics on the market, making it a formidable opponent to other plastics that are available.

When compared to other plastics, HDPE has proven itself at providing a strong surface durability. It’s resistant to impacts, and even scratches, which are common when it comes to bathroom partitions and lockers. Over time, when you compare other plastics to HDPE, it won’t be too hard to tell the difference based on their surface scratches or dents.

A Stronger Material

A major benefit that HDPE has over other plastics is its quick and easy installation. When installing your restroom partitions, it’s important to know that the material you’re using has strong screw retention. The last thing you need is to have the partitions fall like a house of cards while there’s an occupant inside.

Due to its thick and solid plastic frame, screws will be secure inside HDPE. When we tested SCRC (solid color reinforced composite) against HDPE on screw retention, we saw a major flaw in the former material. When measuring the pull force, not only did HDPE outperform SCRC, but a part of the SCRC’s surface broke off with the screw inside.

Lower Cost Maintenance

Because of HDPE’s strong and durable makeup, it also helps reduce the costs of maintenance. You already know that its surface is resistant to scratches and impact dents, but did you know that it’s also resistant to graffiti? Most plastic surfaces that endure spray paint or permanent marker aren’t easily cleaned. In fact, you’ll need to repaint these surfaces if you want to hide this unwanted piece of “artwork.”

HDPE, on the other hand, doesn’t require an expensive or time-consuming paint job. All this plastic needs is a simple cleaning of the surface, and the spray paint will be easily removed. Not only will you save money on paint, and time on the actual painting, but you’ll also help your air quality, thanks to the lack of VOC (volatile organic compounds) emissions that you’re putting into the air by painting.

A Quality Choice

You’ve read a lot about HDPE and about how strong and durable it is. But it can also stand up to the elements. If you’re using HDPE in your facility’s restroom, you’ll be happy to know that this material won’t absorb any moisture, resulting in unwanted mold growth. Most other plastics will absorb the moisture, sprout the mold, and require an expensive and time-consuming replacement.

Want to learn more about HDPE and why it’s a good bet for your facility? Check out this eBook, Choosing Bathroom Materials, from your friends at Scranton Products.

Showers & Dressing Compartments FAQs

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If your facility features a shower area or even dressing compartments, it’s important that you’re using the right materials to make sure that occupants or employees are comfortable, as well as covered with privacy. There are a variety of materials that are in use, but none of them compare to HDPE in terms of durability, security, and sustainability. So, if you’re considering using HDPE showers or dressing compartments, here are some answers to the most common questions that facility managers have.

Get started by looking for the question(s) that’s most relevant to you so you can learn the answer!

How Are These Showers/Dressing Compartments Stronger Than the Standard Materials?

Most facility showers and dressing compartments are made from steel, coated steel, or even phenolic plastic, which can be strong and provide adequate privacy for anyone who’s washing or even changing. However, most of these materials seem strong on the surface, but can be easily scratched or dented, resulting in an eyesore on your shower stall. HDPE plastic is solid and durable. As it’s a solid piece of plastic, it will resist dents and scratches.

How Are They Affected by Humidity and Moisture?

Humidity and moisture are a common threat in your bathrooms, shower facilities, and changing areas. Most of the materials used for showers and dressing compartments have a plastic exterior, but with a softer inner core that’s susceptible to mold growth due to the constant exposure to moisture. Once mold is inside, these materials need to be removed and replaced. HDPE showers and changing compartments are a solid plastic, making them impenetrable to moisture, and they can easily stave off mold growth. These HDPE materials will help you keep your air quality high.

Can They Provide Enough Privacy?

Absolutely! HDPE shower stalls and dressing compartments can be tailored to fit any designated area. You can select your preferred height and width, as well as custom make an ADA-compliant shower stall. Your shower and dressing compartment occupants will be satisfied with the level of privacy that HDPE compartments and stalls provide.

Is There a Lot of Expensive Upkeep?

You’ll be happy to know that HDPE plastic is a low-maintenance building material. Due to the resistance to mold growth, they won’t need to be replaced early in their cycle. As for any stains or blemishes on their surface, they can easily be wiped away without a rigorous and extensive cleanup.

How Long Will These Stalls and Compartments Last?

These HDPE stalls and compartments will last for a long time. Because they’re durable, they won’t endure any surface damage, and due to the low-cost maintenance, these stalls and compartments will eventually pay for themselves after only a few years. These materials are also sustainable, and they’re made from both pre- and post-consumer material, making them up to 100% recyclable.

Want to learn more about how HDPE stalls and compartments would be a great material for your facility? Check out our free eBook, The Professional’s Guide to Commercial Bathroom Renovations and Remodels, from your friends at Scranton Products.

Why Schools Are Choosing HDPE Over Traditional School Lockers

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The sound of metal lockers slamming shut can make anyone have a flashback to when they were back in school. Traditional lockers have been used in almost every school due to their reliable nature and durability. However, many schools have begun choosing HDPE (high-density polyethylene) over the traditional metal lockers, citing it as a much better alternative. We’ll gladly explain why schools are making the jump from metal to HDPE.

The Drawbacks of Traditional Metal Lockers

Metal lockers have been the standard for many years. They allow students to store their books and materials during the day with the benefit of a secure lock to protect their valuables. However, despite the long history of schools implementing metal lockers, there are a few drawbacks to sticking with the old standard.

While it’s more noticeable in actual locker rooms, metal lockers don’t necessarily stand up to humidity and moisture. With enough exposure, your colorful metal lockers will soon begin to rust, and the rust removal process can be meticulous and expensive. Not to mention, if left unchecked, an entire replacement may be required.

A common misconception about metal lockers is that they’re highly durable. In fact, they can incur a wide array of damage to their structure, as well as the aesthetics. They’re easily dented, and considering that slamming the locker is pretty much common practice, keeping up with the damage isn’t the easiest process. Graffiti is another issue that metal lockers face, because the removal of graffiti requires paint.

Why HDPE Is the Superior Material

Many schools have begun installing HDPE plastic instead of metal lockers for a variety of reasons. Due to the solid plastic construction, HDPE offers a strength and durability that thin steel and metal lockers can’t compete with. The plastic is impact-resistant, and given the students’ preferred method of closing their lockers, the HDPE can take the hits and show no sign of damage. They even emit a softer sound than the loud metal clang provided by traditional lockers.

Because HDPE is a more durable material, and endures very little damage, it doesn’t require extensive repairs. Its solid construction doesn’t rust and won’t absorb moisture. Another great advantage to HDPE school lockers is that they’re resistant to graffiti. Any sign of unwanted artwork can be simply wiped away without having to repaint the piece and adding unwanted VOC (volatile organic compounds) emissions into the air.

But what may be the biggest advantage that HDPE has over traditional lockers is the maintenance, or lack thereof. HDPE doesn’t require the constant maintenance and upkeep that metal lockers need in order to last. Instead, HDPE needs a simple cleaning every once in a while, making this material a low-maintenance and low-cost alternative to traditional metal lockers.

Are you looking to make the jump from traditional lockers to HDPE? Download this eBook, The Ultimate Guide to HDPE Plastic Lockers, from your friends at Scranton Products.

Why HDPE Is a Superior Material

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HDPE (high-density polyethylene) is a durable solid plastic that has a variety of applications. Most notably, HDPE is used for partitions, stalls, and lockers for commercial and educational facilities. Many businesses and schools have implemented HDPE materials with amazing results. So, why is HDPE being considered a super material for facilities?

Durability

As a facility manager, when it comes time for remodeling and renovations, you need to think ahead. Choosing a highly durable material has its advantages because you want the material lasting throughout the years without having to pay a fortune for replacements. HDPE has proven to be a stronger, more stable material than most plastics, wood, and even metal. It’s impact-resistant, so it can stand up to the pressures and elements of your facility.

When you choose HDPE, you no longer have to worry about any exterior damages. HDPE won’t scratch or dent, so you don’t have to have replacements on-hand. You don’t even have to worry about graffiti, because with HDPE, it can be easily wiped away.

Improving Air Quality

One of the main reasons why HDPE materials are utilized as restroom stalls is because it not only provides security and privacy, but it can also help keep the air quality high. Restrooms are a hotbed of moisture and humidity. Most plastic partitions have a kraft paper or cardboard core that can become moist, and eventually will sprout mold. Mold will not only lower the air quality, but it’ll result in a pungent odor that won’t be corrected with air fresheners.

When standard plastic partitions have mold sprouting inside of them, it’s too late, and they’ll have to be replaced in order to get rid of the mold. HDPE, on the other hand, resists mold growth because of its solid plastic construction. Because mold can’t grow in HDPE partitions, your air quality won’t drop, and you won’t have to replace your partitions anytime soon.

Low Maintenance

One phrase that facility managers love to hear is “low maintenance.” HDPE plastic doesn’t require a lot of upkeep. Because it’s a highly durable material, it doesn’t get the normal wear and tear that most materials get. In fact, it can outlast most plastics and won’t rust like metal. It doesn’t even require any fresh coats of paint because of its homogenous coloring. All that HDPE requires is a light cleaning every now and again.

Sustainability

Another major benefit to HDPE is that it’s made from 100% post-consumer recycled material. They’re even recyclable themselves. You can effectively take your facility in a greener, more eco-friendly direction by installing HDPE lockers and partitions. Because it doesn’t require new coats of paint, you greatly reduce the risk of VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions in the air, which can reduce the quality and have a negative effect on occupant health.

 

Are you interested in learning more about why HDPE is a superior material? Download this FREE eBook, The Ultimate Guide to HDPE Plastic Lockers, or contact us at Scranton Products.

Graffiti Resistant Material: Stop School Vandalism in Its Tracks

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It’s always important for a school to have an arts program. However, said arts should be designated on paper or canvas, not on the walls, stalls, or lockers. Graffiti and vandalism are a constant scourge in educational facilities all across the country, and keeping up with it can be a stressful and costly endeavor. The key is to find a graffiti resistant material to combat vandalism and graffiti in a way that’s cost efficient and beneficial to your school facility.

The Problem with Graffiti in Schools

While public art can have numerous benefits, such as a showcase of talent, or even a conversation starter, its best reserved outdoors and permitted by building owners and managers. In schools, graffiti can not only be destructive to property, but also to a member of the school like a student or teacher. As a facility manager, it’s your responsibility to take care of the mess, and it’s your job to prevent it

The most common way to cover up the graffiti is by painting over it. But while this seems like a simple fix, there are a few factors that may make you want to rethink your graffiti-removal strategy. The paint may not match the surface that the graffiti is on, so this little cosmetic imperfection can reduce the aesthetic value of your facility. Another byproduct of covering up the graffiti with paint is the VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions that’ll reduce your air quality and possibly lead to health issues with the students or faculty.

A Cost-Effective & Sustainable Way of Battling Graffiti

One of the best ways to combating vandalism and graffiti is by utilizing durable materials that can actually resist the paint or marker that’s being used. HDPE (high-density polyethylene) is a solid plastic that can stand up to graffiti. Due to its homogenous coloring, it doesn’t absorb the paint, and any graffiti can simply be wiped away without having to paint over it.

HDPE can be utilized as both lockers and bathroom partitions, the most common locations for unwanted graffiti to pop up. Bathroom partitions are far more commonplace for graffiti due to its concealment. But using HDPE materials in these locations has numerous benefits, the obvious being its impressive stance against graffiti.

Due to the solid construction, HDPE won’t endure any damage to its exterior. It’s impact resistant, and it won’t crack due to excessive hits. The material won’t even become infested with mold and mildew because it can stand up to the humidity and moisture that’s common in restrooms.

Making the Jump to HDPE

While replacing your traditional lockers and bathroom partitions can seem like a massive undertaking, so can keeping up with the removal of repetitive graffiti. HDPE lockers and partitions require very little maintenance, saving you a lot of time and money. And when graffiti does appear, simply wipe it away.

 

Want to learn more about using HDPE in your school? Download The Ultimate Guide to HDPE Plastic Lockers or Safe School Design: How Architecture Plays a Role in Creating Safe & Secure Educational Spaces today, courtesy of Scranton Products.

Important Facility Management Goals and Objectives for Facilities of All Types

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Managing a facility isn’t the easiest job in the world because there are many responsibilities involved. Whether your facility is a school, gym, or office building, it’s important to take note of issues and objectives so all your occupants are happy. Here are a few important facility management goals and objectives that are suitable for all types of facilities.

Communication with Stakeholders and Occupants

To set facility management goals, it’s crucial to keep an open line of dialogue with stakeholders and occupants to ensure that everything is running as smoothly as possible. Open communication allows you to learn how the facility is perceived daily, along with some recommendations to make the facility a more comfortable environment. Design a system where occupants can easily send in their opinions and recommendations so you can ensure that all occupants are comfortable and happy with their surroundings.

Provide a Safe and Healthy Environment

It’s important to include potential health risks in your facility management goals to contain and correct these risks in your facility. Bathrooms are good areas to keep up with for cleanliness. It’s a room that’s visited by all, so make it as pleasant as possible by keeping it stocked with plenty of toiletries and air fresheners.

Because moisture is a common occurrence in bathrooms, be aware of any mold growth. Inspect the stalls to make sure they’re free of mold. However, depending on the material, it may already be too late. Invest in some high-density polyethylene (HDPE) stalls to not only prevent mold growth but because HDPE plastic doesn’t require any repainting or touch-ups, no harmful VOC emissions reduce the quality of your air. HDPE materials are even resistant to scratches, dents, and graffiti. They’re also more durable than most plastics, so they’ll last much longer.

Be Mindful of Deficiencies

As a facility manager, it’s important to notice any issues or deficiencies within your facility. It’s always good to perform a routine check every three to six months to make sure everything is in working order. Not only will this be effective in keeping everything running smoothly, but you’ll be able to spot any mechanical issues that could become more severe if left unchecked. Including preventative maintenance in your facility management goals is a more cost-effective alternative than a full repair or replacement.

Improve and Endorse Energy Efficiency

Taking steps to make your facility more energy efficient is important. Review the data on your facility’s gas, electricity, and water expenses to find out what’s costing the most and how you can reduce wasted energy. If you have room in the facility budget, invest in some energy-efficient light bulbs and give your building equipment a tune-up. Inspect for any leaks and seal them to prevent further energy waste.

Want to learn more about the many ways you can improve the air quality and energy efficiency of your facility? Download our eBook, Sustainable Building Products: How to Make Your Facility Eco-Friendly from Top to Bottom today.

Give Your Janitor A Break This Summer – Install Duralife Lockers®

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Lets talk about janitors, you know, those guys and gals, who are always there, on the ready with a sponge, broom or mop, just when you need them. They are in our schools all year long, available for any size clean up, taking care of the spills our kids make in the lunchroom, classroom and hallways. They go about their business undetected, coming out when needed. But do you know one of the ways they spend their summer (that coveted time of the year when your kids are home with you)? We do – they clean what they couldn’t clean during the year, the student’s lockers!

Making The Move Away From Metal

While we are spending our 3 months of summer relaxing at the beach, and eating ice cream, the school janitorial staff is cleaning up from the previous 9 months while school was in session. Schools with metal lockers have a regularly scheduled task associated with those lockers during the summer months, debridement of rust, dent repairs, chemical cleaning of graffiti and surface repainting. Lockers take a beating during the school year, with books being banged around, food deposits and spills, and not to mention, the dreaded odors of smelly, sweaty gym clothes. The labor-intensive cleanup task is costly to the school district, in several areas including labor, materials, and air & surface quality. As you can see, traditional metal lockers require extensive care and maintenance, and still don’t meet the needs of the busy school environment. But, we have a solution, Duralife Lockers® made with HDPE (High Density Polyethylene).

Duralife Lockers® are specifically designed to meet the durability and environmental demands of today’s busy schools. Made with solid-core HDPE, these lockers are impact, scratch and dent resistant, and hold up to the toughest student use. Graffiti readily wipes off the non-porous surface, and because they are impervious to moisture, Duralife Lockers® will never rust, corrode or delaminate. In addition, the HDPE surface does not harbor mold, mildew or bacterial growth, and the lockers can be fully power-washed or steam-cleaned. In short, with Duralife Lockers® you can say goodbye to rust, mold, graffiti, scratches, dents, and worrisome bacteria, and say hello to years of worry-free, low maintenance.

 

Robert Gannon, High School Facilities Director, on the benefits of HDPE lockers.

*Testing conducted by SiTU Biosciences LLC by the ISO 22196 methods

 

Sleek Modern Design For The School Hallways Of Tomorrow

When it comes to design, the modern sleek, simple lines of the Duralife® Locker line, make them a polished and aesthetically pleasing addition to any school hallway. They can really kick it up with their color options that bring high style to any atmosphere. The sustainability and durability stand up over time, making them a smart investment for today and tomorrow.

So Show Your Janitors Some Love This Summer – Invest In The Smart Choice – Duralife Lockers®

Download our brochure and see for yourself how HDPE Duralife Lockers® compare to traditional metal lockers – and Show Your Janitor Some Love This Summer!

Maintenance Tips for Commercial Restrooms

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Almost all facility managers know that their commercial restroom requires a lot of care, attention, and upkeep. But when tackling the restroom, it’s important to be sure of the necessary steps to guarantee that your bathroom is completely clean. Here are a few important steps to take for a cleaner restroom.

Cleaning Your Restroom

The restroom in your facility is one area that gets the most foot traffic. Due to the amount of visitors, general upkeep can feel like a mounting and endless endeavor. But knowing the proper methods and effective tricks can help make the process of cleaning the restroom easier. 

 

Scrubbing & Disinfecting

When cleaning your facility’s restroom, you need to make sure that you properly scrub and disinfect every surface. This includes sinks, vanities, toilets, urinals, and stalls. Check and see if all surfaces are free of soils, spots, stains, and other residue. Make sure that all surfaces are dry when you’re finished cleaning. 

 

Tackling the Floors

Focusing on the floor is important because of the germs and dirt that make their way in from occupants’ shoes. The floor should be swept and then mopped using a high-grade disinfectant. Be sure that the floor is free of dirt, mildew, and buildup. Also be sure that it’s slip resistant, so occupants can safely walk without hurting themselves. 

 

Freshening the Air

One of the first things that people will notice when they enter a commercial restroom is the room’s overall fragrance. While bathrooms are known for a variety of expected odors, it’s important to stay on top of these odors. Keep air fresheners available for occupants to use. However, if there’s mold sprouting in your bathroom, a simple air freshener may not be strong enough to handle the job.

Ridding Your Restroom of Mold

If you have mold in your bathroom, you need to locate where it’s actually growing. The most common location is actually inside your stalls and partitions. Due to the constant barrage of moisture and humidity, the inside of your stalls can become a breeding ground for mold, and once it’s present, it can be really hard to remove it.

If your stalls and partitions are indeed affected by mold, you may want to consider replacing them altogether. Using a solid plastic like HDPE (high-density polyethylene) can be one of the most effective ways to combat the threat of mold growing in your restroom and reducing the quality of your air.

HDPE is a highly durable material that can withstand mold growth. It can endure constant exposure to moisture and humidity without any risk of mold sprouting. Utilizing HDPE stalls and partitions not only reduces mold growth, but because of its resistance, it can help increase the air quality in your restroom.

 

Did you find these tips helpful? For more information to help you with your restroom, download our FREE eBooks, Choosing Bathroom Materials and Commercial Restroom Cleaning Checklist, courtesy of Scranton Products.

Bathroom Stall Installation: How to Install Commercial Bathroom Stall Doors

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Whether you’re updating your facility’s bathroom, or you’re setting up the bathrooms in a new building, there are many steps to take to make sure you’re properly installing the bathroom stall doors. You’ll want secure and stable materials that can endure the process, but also last for a long time so you don’t need to worry about continual maintenance.

Choosing the Right Materials

The beginning steps of the installation process begin with the materials you choose. Many bathroom stalls are made of solid plastic (HDPE), baked enamel, stainless steel, phenolic plywood, or solid color reinforced composite. While there are many options in materials it is important to understand which material will perform the best in a restroom environment.

In commercial restrooms, humidity and moisture are unavoidable and are always-present factors that can have a negative effect on these different materials. Stainless steel and baked enamel can begin to rust after being surrounded by moisture for a long time.  Due to the composition of Phenolic it is susceptible to mold and mildew growth.  When mold grows, it can result in foul odors that can be difficult to get rid of. When mold is present inside these stalls, you’ll need to find a suitable replacement. You can avoid the foul odors, mold growth, and drop in air quality by choosing a material like HDPE (high-density polyethylene).  This high performance solid plastic features a durable construction that’s resistant to scratches, dents, graffiti, and moisture, providing a long lasting partition for your facility’s restroom.

Planning, Design, and Installation

It’s important to follow guidelines when it comes to planning your facility’s restroom. You should adhere to ADA guidelines to ensure your restroom and its partitions are easily accessible. The restrooms should also be well lit with protective fixtures that are easy to supervise and are fitted with vandal-proof covers.

When it comes to the actual stalls and partitions, there are a few things to consider with installation. There are three different layouts to choose from for your facility; floor mounted overhead braced, ceiling hung and floor to ceiling. Floor mounted overhead braced provided the most economical solution for high traffic areas where durability is top priority. Easy installation in new construction or existing buildings makes this a versatile style option. Each factory drawing is unique depending on manufacturer so it’s important to make sure you understand the drawings and abbreviations used.

Once you understand the dimensions and drawings in a typical restroom design with pilasters and doors you most likely will begin your installation with installing side and back wall brackets. The next step you will take is to attach your pilasters to the floor. The last step is to install your hinges and doors.

If you follow the correct design plans and guidelines, restroom partition and stall door installation in your facility should be relatively easy, and using the right materials will ensure that the partitions will be long-lasting and beneficial for both you and your facility’s occupants.