Want Your Building or Facility to Make a Good Impression? Focus on Your Restroom Design

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The restroom in your building can make or break someone’s opinion of the entire building. This room is a private area that people need to visit, so it’s important that it’s adequate and all of their needs are met there. They also want it to be a pleasant, convenient experience, which all comes from the design.

When a restroom is designed properly from the beginning, it’s likely that it will be functional for many years after. To make sure that the restroom in your building or facility is an attractive, enjoyable space for all who use it, consider some of the tips below.

Adhere to Requirements

There are many requirements that you’ll need to adhere to when laying out your restroom. The layout must meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), which requires adequate space in the stalls and the walkways of the bathroom for those who are in wheelchairs.

It’s also important to consider the height of the sink, soap dispensers, and paper towel dispensers or hand dryers to make sure that someone in a wheelchair can reach them. It’s crucial that the restroom design adheres to the regulations set by the ADA to be accommodating to guests and to avoid legal and regulatory issues.

Your design must also adhere to OSHA’s sanitation standards. This act includes various rules and regulations that discuss water, toilets, housekeeping, and other related factors.

Choose Quality Materials

After function comes product durability and reliability. You’ll want your products to hold up over time so you can avoid replacement costs, so installing quality materials from the beginning will be beneficial. Solid high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic is made with a homogenous color throughout and resists dents, scratches, corrosion, graffiti, and mildew and will never rust.

Other common bathroom materials include plastic laminate, stainless steel, and baked enamel. However, with all of these materials,moisture or bacteria seeps through to the core of the partition or vanity and the material can begin to disintegrate and fall apart. You’ll need to repair or replace it, costing you even more money.

Choose a durable product that resists moisture and bacteria to prevent this from occurring.

Maintain Your Design

As you develop your design, you need to consider the maintenance that will be required to keep the design efficient.

For example, add touchless faucets and flush valves that are automatic, so the amount of water being used is restricted. It’s not possible for someone to leave the water running, which drastically reduces the amount of water being used.

In addition, automatic hand dryers eliminate the waste that’s created by paper towels. In addition, there won’t be paper towels strewn around the restroom that need to be cleaned up. These hand dryers can also reduce energy use because the time that a dryer operates is limited.

If you’re designing a restroom for your building or facility, keep these tips in mind in order to please everyone who uses it. Click here to find out where to buy Scranton Products HDPE plastic materials for your restroom.

The Long-Term Building Management Expense You Shouldn’t Be Paying

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When you’re running a facility, you understand how expensive building management can be and how quickly the costs can add up. Bathroom partitions, lockers and other products can need repair or replacements. Some of these costs are mandatory when you own a building and need to keep it in the best shape possible, but are you wasting money in areas that you shouldn’t be? As a business, it’s always a priority to cut costs when necessary and save wherever you can. Scranton Products can identify these areas and help you reduce your expenses.

New Paint

Metal lockers and bathroom partitions face a lot of wear and tear, constantly being opened and closed day after day. This kind of wear and tear can chip the paint making your facility look unkempt and old. In order to fix this, you’ll get the lockers and partitions repainted. Not only does this require a lot of time, it also requires a lot of paint. Purchasing paint can be costly especially based on how often you’re purchasing it to make your lockers and partitions look like new.

Repairs and Replacements

Wear and tear can be more damaging than just chipped pain – it can require repairs and entire parts may need to be replaced. Think of the locks or lockers on a door, the doors and handles on the door of a bathroom partition. These all must be working properly and if they’re not, it costs money to get them repaired or replaced.

Maintenance Workers

In addition to the paint, replacement pieces, and other products it takes to keep your lockers and partitions working correctly and looking great, you’ll need to rely on workers who can get the job done. You’ll need to pay painters to cover the chips and you’ll also need a handy person to install new pieces or repair damages products. There are also times when your facilities need to be cleaned. In schools and bathrooms, it’s not uncommon for lockers and bathroom partitions to get covered in graffiti, markers, stickers or other unwelcomed items. Depending on the material of your products, it could be nearly impossible to make sure the items are removed properly. Hiring a staff of professionals to get the job done is costly.

Scranton Products

The solution to this problem is to invest in quality product materials that do not need frequent maintenance. Scranton Products are made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE). This material provides one of the longest life cycles in the industry and is made with one solid color throughout. This solid color ensures that there won’t be any paint chips so you won’t have to save on money and materials for paint. HDPE also allows graffiti to be cleaned off of it easier, eliminated the time and money you’ll spend on removing unwanted marks. It also holds up against dents and damages and has a resistance to impact that’s 59 times greater when compared to metal. Installing Scranton Products in your facility will reduce the extra building management expenses that you shouldn’t be paying. Click here to find out where to buy Scranton Products.

5 Questions You Should Ask When Shopping for School Lockers

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When you’re shopping for school lockers for your facility, you want to be sure you’re choosing a durable material that can withstand the impact of students unloading their books, gym clothes, sports gear and other belongings. There are many different factors to consider when shopping for lockers for your school. Read on to find out the five questions you should be asking.

school locker room

1. How durable is the material?

School lockers face a lot of harsh wear and tear daily, so it’s important to choose lockers that are made of a durable material that can withstand this use.

The traditional option for hallway lockers is metal but they can come with a lot of drawbacks. They’re prone to dents with minimal impact which can compromise the aesthetics of the lockers and will end up costing a lot of money for repairs and replacement.

A impact test was conducted following ASTM standards that showed Duralife Lockers had 59 times greater resistance to impacts when compared to metal lockers.

2. How much maintenance do they require?

Constantly having to perform maintenance on your school lockers will become expensive in the long wrong. You want to be sure that the lockers you’re choosing are low maintenance to save you from this cost.

Traditional metal lockers have a lower initial cost than plastic lockers, making them an economical choice for schools. However, there are hidden costs such as additional expenses associated with cleaning, painting and the general maintenance of these lockers on an annual or semi-annual basis which may be overlooked.

By comparing the true cost of a traditional metal hallway locker to a Duralife HDPE locker over a 20 year period a study was done to take into account the initial cost, maintenance, dent and scratch repair, painting cost, graffiti removal and replacing damaged and corroded parts to create a cost of ownership model. Within 2 years, Duralife HDPE lockers are less expensive than metal. In 20 years, the accumulated savings are substantial.

3. How much noise do they produce?

 The noisy clanging that comes from shutting a metal locker can be distracting as it rings throughout the hallways, so look for an option where the sound is muffled.

Duralife Lockers are 3 times quieter than metal lockers and reduce noise in the hallway. This eliminates distractions from the hallways and leads to a better learning environment.  The difference between that is a metal locker noise would be equivalent to an alarm clock 2 feet away where the Duralife locker noise is considered similar to that created by a washing machine.

4. Are the lockers made of sustainable material?

Some major traditional metal locker brands do not meet the strictest standards for air quality and sustainability. These products are not Greenguard Certified. The Greenguard Certification Program gives assurance that products designed for use in indoor spaces meet strict chemical emissions limits. This contributes to the creation of healthy interiors.

Duralife Lockers are Greenguard Gold Certified and meet the strict criteria for products intended for use in schools, as well as other environments where children spend a lot of time. With Duralife Lockers, you can be confident that the lockers are not having a negative effect on your school’s air quality.

5. Are the lockers visually appealing?

It’s also important that the lockers are aesthetically appealing in your facility. You want people to come into your school and see it as a respectable environment. DuraLife Lockers have appealing vents throughout and a clean-looking surface. There are also built in handles and combination locks that are recessed to improve student safety.

To learn more about Scranton Products’ DuraLife Lockers download our free eBook, The Ultimate Guide to HDPE Plastic Lockers for Schools.

Providing a Safer Gym Locker Against Bacteria

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New strains of MRSA, a drug-resistant bacteria, are emerging nationwide, causing hundreds of thousands of infections annually according to federal data, reports and academic studies. Though cases once were confined to hospitals, they are now showing up regularly in schools and gym locker rooms. Read more

10 Things School Facility Managers Should Take Care of During Winter Break

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year during winter break. The students get a nice vacation from their studies during the holidays. As for the school facility manager, you get to play catch up, thanks to the empty halls and classrooms. Even though the students use this time to relax, sleep in, and get together with friends and family, you need to use this time wisely to make sure everything is in order for the remainder of the winter months.

Here’s 10 things school facility managers should take care of during winter break to make sure their school is in tip-top shape.

Maintain Your HVAC System

Heat is crucial during the frigid winter months, so you’ll need to perform a few audits to make sure everything iscare and maintenace functioning at its best. Look for any components that may need a replacement, so you can take care of it during the break. Any type of issue that can prevent your school from being heated may actually prolong winter break, so be sure to keep the system in great shape.

Winterize Your School to Retain Heat

While properly maintaining your HVAC system is a crucial step on the winter break checklist, you’ll also want to be sure you’re not wasting any heat. Find any weak areas that result in your school losing heat and energy. You’ll want to air seal these areas, so your school doesn’t suffer from drafty rooms or areas that can’t retain heat.

Inspect Your Pipes

Winter brings the cold, and if your school isn’t properly heated, this can cause more problems than just frigid temperatures. If your school suffers from the cold, or loses power, this can have a huge effect on your pipes. These pipes can freeze and burst, so you’ll want to be sure that not only are they in great shape, but they’re getting enough heat to remain at any optimal temperature.

Perform a Test of Your Generator

Due to the snow and ice buildup on tree branches, they can often buckle and break under the tremendous weight and the brisk temperatures, which can be troublesome if there are any nearby powerlines. If you lose power, which is a significant certainty during the winter, you’ll be relying on your backup generator to make sure your school remains at an acceptable temperature, so your pipes don’t freeze and any electronics don’t suffer.

Replace Faulty or Broken Components

On day one of winter break, you’ll want to perform an inspection of your school and its various fixtures and

The doors and fixed panels used in the Eclipse partition system provide both high design and privacy. Here we show how to ensure proper gapping and consistency on all panels and doors in order to achieve the desired sleek lines.

components. This can include lights, water fountains, electrical outlets, or even radiators. Check each of these components to make sure they’re working, or if they need to be replaced before the students and teachers come back to resume the school year.

Inspect the Roof

During the winter, the roof of your school takes quite a beating from the snow, rain, and ice, especially if your roof is flat and doesn’t have any slopes or angles that can help combat the elements. You can work to remove any of the snow and ice build-up with a shovel or rock salt, but you’ll also want to look for any issues or problems that could affect the integrity of your roof. Be sure your drain pipes are free of debris and caulk any noticeable cracks.

Clear the Snow & Ice

Depending on how hard the weather hits your area, this may be a continuous process during winter break. You’ll want to clear the parking lots and designate the snow piles to areas out of the way. Clear the walkways and paths to your school’s entrances, and salt the ground to help reduce any ice buildup.

Invest in New Floor Mats

The floors in your school can take quite a beating during the winter, with students tracking in clumps of snow and even rock salt from the walkways. You’ll want to get some heavy-duty floor mats for the entryways to help reduce the snowy debris from damaging your floors. For the best results, place heavy-duty floor mats outside the entrances to pick up most of the snow and salt, which will reduce the amount actually making it into the school.

Start a Germ & Bacteria Removal Plan

School absences and sickness are rampant during the winter, so one of the best ways to combat this is by focusing on areas with considerable germ and bacteria buildup. The most susceptible areas are the restrooms and the locker rooms. A thorough cleaning can do the trick; however, if there is mold within the components, like your partitions, you may need to find a suitable replacement. HDPE plastic partitions can drastically reduce sickness because they don’t absorb moisture and won’t sprout mold.

Get Your Painting Done

Due to the lack of students filling the hallways and classrooms, now’s the time to get some painting done. If there are components or features in your school that are starting to fade in color, or if they’re chipping, you can get the painting done without having to worry about the VOC emissions affecting student health. Be sure to do this early in the break, so the paint can be dry, ensuring your school is free of the paint smells by the time students and teachers return. You can even invest in HDPE lockers to help avoid any locker painting in the future.

Use your winter break wisely and get these crucial services completed, so you can avoid any major problems that occur throughout the winter.

Want some more tips and tricks on most effective facility maintenance methods? Download this free eBook, The Ultimate Guide for Facility Maintenance & Property Solutions, from your friends at Scranton Products.

 

 

The Duralife 123 Challenge: Do Your School Lockers Pass the Test?

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School personnel including teachers, principals, facility managers, PTA members, and superintendants all around are taking the Duralife 123 Challenge to find out if their school lockers pass the test. Lockers line the hallways of schools and face harsh wear and tear every day as students unload their books and belongings, open and close them between every class, and even draw on them. Will your school lockers pass the test? Take the Duralife 123 Challenge to See for Yourself.

Impact

You may think that metal lockers are more durable than plastic lockers, just like some of the school personnel who took the Duralife 123 Challenge, but they quickly found out that High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Duralife Lockers are far superior.

The first test of the Duralife 123 Challenge is to use forceful impact against a metal locker, then again against an HDPE plastic locker.

After hitting both lockers with a hammer, the  school personnel found that the metal lockers  were easily dented with little force while HDPE plastic lockers could be hit as hard as possible and did not leave a mark.

Traditional metal lockers are usually made from 16 gauge steel which is less than 1/16 inch thick material. This thin material makes metal lockers prone to denting and other types of damage. But Duralife Lockers are made of 1/2 inch thick rigid HDPE plastic, which makes them 59 times greater in resistance to impact than metal lockers.

Graffiti

Graffiti is a big issue when it comes to school lockers. Students may write all over their lockers, leaving damage and making your school appear in a negative light. It’s important to avoid a locker material that makes it difficult to clean graffiti off, and it’s also costly to utilize various cleaning methods in an effort to do so. You may also have to end up replacing the lockers or repaint them which is very costly.

The second test of the Duralife 123 Challenge is graffiti.  School personnel wrote on a metal locker and a Duralife Locker with permanent markers, and then they attempted to clean the marker off. As they tried to wipe the marker off the metal lockers very little came off and the graffiti was still very visible, , But when they wiped the marker off the HDPE plastic lockers, there was no residue left with little effort.

Noise

One big issue with metal lockers is the noise they produce when students close them. Hearing this loud sound ring throughout the halls is enough to give anyone a headache, and it’s particularly distracting to the students in class when they hear various locker slams in the hallway.

The third and final test of the Duralife 123 Challenge is noise.  School personnel slammed a metal locker then slammed an HDPE plastic locker to see which one made more noise. Metal lockers made a loud sound, while HDPE plastic lockers made a more muffled, quieter sound.

So take the Duralife 123 Challenge today and find out if your school lockers pass the test. To learn more about Scranton Products’ DuraLife Lockers, click here to download our free eBook, Sustainable Building Products: How to Make Your Facility Eco-Friendly from Top to Bottom.

Sustainable Building Products

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.

New Trends in Commercial Restroom Design

It’s always important to be aware of new trends in commercial restroom design. You want to make sure that your designs can reflect new trends and adapt to the different requests that you’ll receive from those who own the facility.

Commercial restrooms are always changing. They have the potential to be unique and carry the theme of the rest of the facility throughout.

Learn more about some of the current and newest trends in commercial restroom design to make sure that your restroom designs are always up-to-date and pleasing.

Hands-free appliances: People are becoming more and more conscious of the amount of germs and bacteria that exist in public, so they’re constantly avoiding touching products. Incorporating hands-free appliances that are powered by motion sensors rather than levers or knobs will allow people to wash their hands without having to touch surfaces that others have touched.

Automated soap dispensers, faucets, and towel dispensers are more user friendly and one of the current trends in commercial restroom design. They also reduce the amount of products that could end up on the floor or countertops.

Aesthetically pleasing surfaces: An attractive, sophisticated countertop or vanity can make all the difference when it comes to the appearance of a commercial restroom. Many facilities opt for slightly more expensive materials for their counters in order to create this quality look in the bathroom.

Higher quality materials are often nonporous, such as high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic, which means they’ll stay cleaner and germ-free longer. This type of material may be slightly more expensive at the initial purchase, but the costs you’ll save in maintenance over the years make it less expensive in the long run.

Sustainable products: More and more companies are considering the carbon footprint they’re leaving and choosing sustainable products that are less harmful to the environment and better for the people in the facility. Some products give off emissions that reduce the quality of the air and can end up diminishing health.

HDPE plastic is made from recycled material and improves the air quality. It resists mold, mildew, fungus and bacteria that can contribute to poor air quality. And because HDPE plastic is one solid color throughout, it never requires paint, so VOC emissions are avoided.

Scranton Products offers materials that will be aesthetically pleasing, durable, and sustainable in your facility’s bathroom. Choose from HDPE plastic bathroom partitions and vanities to achieve a high-class, sophisticated look that’s also friendly to the environment and improves the quality of the air.

Click here to find out where you can buy Scranton Products for a bathroom that’s stunning while also being good for your health and great for the environment.

HDPE vs. Metal: Which Material Comes Out on Top?

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When you’re searching for products for your facility, one of the most important factors to consider is material. The material of your products makes all the difference when it comes to durability, sustainability and aesthetics. You also want to make sure that you’re purchasing materials that will hold up over time Some popular materials include high density polyethylene (HDPE) and metal. If you’re torn between the two or you’re just looking for more information, keep reading to find out which material is the better option based on what matters most to you.

Pleasing Aesthetics

You want to make sure that the products in your facility add to your building, or blend in, rather than standing out and looking unsightly. Traditional metal lockers have vents and handles that protrude from the surface, which is not aesthetically pleasing. These protruding elements may also lead to bumps and scrapes and reduce safety in the facility. HDPE plastic lockers have vents built into the surface with recessed handles and locks for a smooth, clean look. The recessed handles and locks help to improve safety by eliminating the risk of bumps and scrapes.

Damage Resistant

Overall, HDPE plastic holds up better than metal against damages such as impacts, scratches and even graffiti.

  • Impact: Traditional lockers are made from 16 gauge steel which makes the material less than 1/16” thick. HDPE plastic lockers are made of ½” thick rigid HDPE plastic which makes them 59 times stronger and resistant to impact than traditional metal lockers.
  • Scratches: Scratches are also commonly seen on metal lockers which expose the metal underneath the paint. This requires paint to cover up or complete replacement. However, HDPE plastic lockers are one solid color throughout. You won’t have to spend time and money covering scratches or chips in the pain.
  • Graffiti: If you have to deal with graffiti in your facility, you’ll want to choose a material that can easily be cleaned. Markers can be very difficult to remove from metal lockers, and could even leave behind residue. But because of HDPE plastic’s non-porous surface, graffiti readily wipes off. Stickers and contact paper can also be easily removed.

Maintenance

Choosing materials that constantly need to be repaired, replaced or cleaned gets costly. While budget is always an important factor in choosing materials, it’s crucial to understand that products that are the least expensive initially could end up costing you in the future. Traditional metal lockers have a low initial cost, making them a top choice for facilities. However, additional expenses for these lockers, such as cleaning, painting and general maintenance will add up. The initial cost of metal lockers is lower than HDPE plastic, but HDPE plastic is less expensive over time. If you’re considering installing lockers or bathroom partitions into your facility, consider HDPE plastic over metal lockers for durable and sustainable products. Click here to find out where to buy Scranton Products.




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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.