How to Get Rid of Bathroom Odor in Your Facility

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Foul odors in the bathroom can make for an unpleasant experience. Unfortunately, due to moisture and humidity, these odors can end up sticking around for a long time. As a facility owner or manager, you’ll want to ensure that you take every step toward reducing those smells as much as possible. Here are a few tips and tactics on how to get rid of bathroom odor in your facility. 

Air Fresheners

Plug-in air fresheners are handy to have around. They consist of an electric plug and a disposable capsule that’s filled with a scented liquid. When plugged in, these devices will sporadically spray throughout the day, which results in a continuously pleasant smell. You could also get motion-activated air fresheners, which would provide a fresh scent every time someone walks by it.

Adjustable air fresheners are a cost-effective way to get rid of bathroom odor. These cone-shaped air fresheners feature scented gel inside the capsule. You can adjust the strength of these air fresheners to make the scent milder and longer lasting. 

Deodorizers

Deodorizers can be a powerful ally in helping you defeat the awful smells in the bathroom. Luckily, there are a wide variety of deodorizers out there that come in various forms like oils and gels. These chemicals can easily be applied with various cleaning products like brushes, sponges, and mops. Apply a coat of a deodorizing solution to your bathroom and see if it’s effective in combating those odors. 

Re-Caulk Your Tiles

An industry secret on how to get rid of bathroom odor is replacing the caulk between joints, seams, and tiles. This absorbent material could be the reason behind the foul smells that linger in your bathroom. If you notice that you’ve cleaned your bathroom, and it still has odors, there’s a strong chance that you’ll need to replace your caulk. You should remove the original caulk with a razor blade or X-ACTO knife before you apply the new caulk to your tiles and seals.

Invest in New Stalls

It may not be obvious, but the bathroom odors could be coming from your stalls. Laminate, steel, and wood stalls can absorb these foul bathroom odors over time. When absorbed, the smells will continue to emanate from the materials inside the stalls. If you sniff out the problem, and rule your stalls as the culprit, it may be time to get new stalls that are more resistant to these odors.

High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is a durable material that’s not only resistant to stains, dents, and graffiti, but it can help increase the quality of your air. Normal bathroom stalls are susceptible to moisture and humidity, which is why they absorb smells. HDPE is impervious to the atmosphere in the bathroom, so it won’t absorb the odors.

 

Do you want to learn more about how to effectively clean your commercial bathroom and have it smelling fresh? Download our eBook, the Commercial Restroom Cleaning Checklist, today.

Restroom Requirements for Commercial Buildings

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Whether you’re the proud manager of a commercial facility, or you’re in the process of designing your building, there are a lot of legal requirements that you need to adhere to for the benefit of the facility’s occupants. More importantly, your facility’s restrooms need to meet certain standards involving architectural planning and health code standards. Here are a few tips to help you meet these OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) specific requirements for commercial buildings that ensure your occupants can have a safe and sanitary restroom.

Planning Your Toilet Facilities

When you’re planning your facility’s restrooms, there’s a lot that you need to factor into the designs. It’s always best to have an idea of how many employees or occupants are going to be in the facility on a daily basis. Generally, 1-15 occupants legally require at least one toilet per each gender-designated restroom. If the occupancy is between 36 and 55 individuals, then that number jumps to three toilets per restroom.

While many people enjoy the single occupant restroom, it can cause frustration and complaints, so if you’re planning your facility from the ground up, a multiple occupant restroom should be heavily considered. If you expect a possible influx of occupants due to company growth, choosing a multi-toilet and urinal restroom is a wise choice. Make sure to include a designated handicapped stall to be ADA compliant.

Ensuring Occupant Privacy

Relieving oneself is a private matter, so taking the necessary steps to ensure privacy is important. Single-toilet restrooms should have a door that can be locked from the inside. Multiple-toilet restrooms should feature stalls and partitions that provide the necessary privacy. Non-ADA stalls should be at least 60 inches in width and a minimum of 55 inches high, but not limited to 72 inches in height.

Sanitation Standards

Hand washing stations are also a requirement in your restroom. Signs indicating the requirement to wash hands can be helpful in reducing health risks of spreading germs and infections. For a multi-toilet restroom, more than one hand washing station should be made available to the occupants. Soap dispensers should be checked sporadically throughout the day and refilled if necessary.

A thorough cleaning should be conducted daily to ensure that any germs or bacteria are eradicated. It’s imperative to combat mold growth because it can reduce the air quality and result in respiratory issues for the occupants. Due to the constant exposure to moisture and humidity, various restroom components can actually harbor mold growth.

Whether mold has already sprouted inside your stalls, partitions, or vanities, or you’re simply looking for preventative measures, there have been great results with the implementation of HDPE (high-density polyethylene) solid plastic materials. Not only are HDPE materials impervious to mold growth, they’re also impact-, dent-, and graffiti-resistant. Due to their solid construction and homogenous coloring, they don’t require repainting. These low-maintenance stalls can actually help you keep your air quality in good standing while providing the utmost privacy and security for your occupants while they’re using the restroom.

 

Following these guidelines will help ensure that your restroom is OSHA and ADA compliant. If you’d like to learn more about designing your restroom, or the best materials to use, download the Restroom Design for Commercial Facilities or Choosing Bathroom Materials eBooks, courtesy of Scranton Products.

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.

Reducing Theft in Your School & Locker Rooms

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Thievery is a problem that occurs in every school, regardless of location. If you’re managing an educational facility, you’re surely aware of the reports of theft from lockers and locker rooms in your school. There are various ways that you can reduce theft in your school and locker rooms, but choosing the most effective route is important to reduce the risk of students or faculty losing personal belongings or valuables to an unknown perpetrator.

Beefing Up Security Can Reduce Theft in Your School

Many schools that need an action plan to reduce theft in their school and locker rooms tend to upgrade their security systems. This mainly includes cameras, strategically positioned in locker corridors. This can have two beneficial outcomes. The first being that the perpetrator will be caught in the act on camera. The other benefit is that it can actually ward off anyone from breaking into the locker because there are eyes watching. However, utilizing security cameras can be ineffective when it comes to theft in locker rooms.

There’s no legal way that security cameras can be placed in locker rooms because it would be an unlawful invasion of privacy. As a result, due to the lack of surveillance, the locker room turns into an open market where a person could get away with stealing personal belongings without getting caught. But, there are effective ways to reduce theft in locker rooms through innovative lockers.

Reducing Locker Room Theft Through Updating Lockers

While the security camera scenario does indeed have its pros and cons, there’s a better option available. If your school has the traditional metal lockers, it may be time for an upgrade. Metal lockers are susceptible to moisture, and when in use for many years, will begin to rust, and the integrity of the locker’s security can be compromised. Students will even use various methods to discover the weakness in the locker, which then provides easy access for theft.

Some schools have taken action against the weakness of their original lockers, and have replaced them with high-density polyethylene (HDPE) school lockers. HDPE is a solid plastic that’s proven to be highly durable, as it’s resistant to scratches, dents, and even graffiti. These HDPE lockers are a big step in combating theft in your schools.

HDPE Lockers: Secure & Durable

HDPE lockers have numerous benefits. Their highly durable construction prevents them from cracking, denting, and scratching. A thief would have a difficult time trying to break into the locker due to the solid construction and the built-in locks, and would probably deem the task unworthy of the effort.

Another major benefit of these lockers is that they can be used in locker rooms. They’re resistant to moisture and humidity, which is abundant in locker rooms. Mold won’t sprout on the lockers, resulting in higher air quality in your school. The moisture won’t affect the integrity of the lockers, so you can rest assured knowing your locker room has great security without compromising the privacy of the students.

 

Would you like to learn more about how HDPE lockers can benefit you and your school? Check out our Duralife Lockers Product Kit to learn more about how these durable lockers can help reduce theft in your school.

Important Architectural Considerations When Designing a Gender-Neutral Bathroom

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Potty politics have made their way into the national spotlight once again, and this time, they’re focusing on gender neutrality. As the debate heats up on both sides, architects and contractors are starting to weigh in on how gender-neutral bathrooms might affect the overall design of a facility. Two primary concerns when it comes to any bathroom, gender neutral or otherwise, are security and safety.

Below, we review some of the important architectural considerations suggested for designing a gender-neutral bathroom.

[NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of private architects and contractors and don’t necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Scranton Products, its employees, or its partners.]

A Focus on Bathroom Privacy

The more privacy a bathroom offers, the better in terms of promoting a welcoming environment. Well-designed partitions between urinals in a men’s restroom, for example, are one traditional privacy solution. But with gender-neutral bathrooms on the rise, it might be time for architects to take a fresh look at how their designs are helping users feel safe.

One solution is to simply add more stalls and do away with urinals. Handicap-accessible bathrooms and toilets, after all, can accommodate any user, including those with disabilities. Plus, having bathroom stalls with a lockable door gives users an extra level of privacy and security.

Added Security for Gender-Neutral Bathrooms

For optimal security, some designers have suggested only installing single-user restrooms. These gender-neutral bathrooms would have room for only one user at a time and provide a lockable door for additional security.

While this solution may be sound in theory, actual implementation may provide a few complications. For one, allowing only one user at a time means that a queue would form outside the door if more than one user needed to use the restroom.

In an effort to solve this problem and to meet local building requirements, it may be necessary to install multiple single-user restrooms to accommodate your guests.

Additionally, experts agree that a lockable door leading into the restroom can both provide and be a threat to the safety of the user. For example, the door could be used to trap someone inside or to hide the noise of a fight or bullying.

An alternative to the bathroom door is something commonly referred to as a labyrinth entrance. This entrance type features a winding hallway to provide privacy without the need for a physical door. This method also makes the bathroom more hygienic.

While some architects have embraced the removal of urinals and the installation of multiple stalls, others have criticized the solution, citing that adding more bathroom partitions could be costly, given their need to be resilient to threats commonly found in restrooms (e.g., rust, mildew, bacteria).

High-density polyethylene (HDPE) offers cost-conscious builders a possible solution thanks to its resistance to all these factors, including dents and graffiti. HDPE, a heavy-duty plastic, can be used for bathroom partitions, vanities, and lockers.

While it’s still too soon to say what legislation may require for gender-neutral bathrooms, many businesses and architects have taken the initiative to add a single-user bathroom in addition to the men’s and women’s restrooms. This single-user restroom doubles as a family restroom and can easily accommodate any user.

For more information on bathroom design, download our free eBook Restroom Design for Commercial Facilities.

Operation and Circulation Restroom Design

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There are numerous considerations when designing a commercial restroom. How many users do you anticipate will use the facility? Is there ample space for two lanes of traffic flowing in and out of the restroom? How many stalls do you really need? All these questions have to do with operation and circulation restroom design, and they should be answered by the architect, designer, or contractor.

If you’re not sure what to look out for during your next bathroom build, check out the helpful tips below.

The Entryway

The entrance to your restroom is one of the most important aspects. Bathrooms with a door should have the door opening out instead of in to the bathroom. This prevents guests from feeling cramped or possibly even being hit by the door when someone else attempts to enter. This is especially important if the sink or hand drying station is near the doorway.

Labyrinth entrances are a great alternative because they void the need for a door altogether and help promote a safer and more sanitary environment. When constructing the entrance, be sure to leave enough space for two guests to walk side by side. This allows users to enter and leave at the same time without bumping into each other.

Flow of Traffic

Now that we’ve covered the entrance, it’s a good time to talk about the general flow of traffic in your new restroom. Designing a restroom really starts with understanding how you want guests to use the restroom. For instance, you don’t want people to have to double back to get from the sink to where they can dry their hands. In fact, it’s a good idea to have the hand drying station positioned near the exit (as long as the door doesn’t open into that space) so users can wash and dry their hands before touching the door handle.

Most commercial restrooms are designed with the first user action located furthest from the entrance and the last intended action located closest to the entrance. So ideally, toilets and bathroom stalls should be located in the back of the restroom, the hand washing area somewhere in the middle, and the hand drying station near the entrance.

Number of Expected Users

Understanding the number of people you expect to use the restroom at different parts of the day will dramatically change how it’s designed. For example, a restroom in a small café might get away with having only two toilets, while a large law firm might need 10 times that amount.

Knowing the peak usage times and number of people using the restroom will also help you understand your needs when it comes to other fixtures like sinks, hand driers, mirrors, and even trash receptacles. After all, if your cleaning crew only comes once a day, you want to make sure that the trash receptacle is large enough to handle daily use without overflowing.

Maintenance Needs

The last consideration when thinking about operation and circulation restroom design is how often you plan to have your restroom serviced and cleaned. It’s a good idea to look for restroom materials that offer exceptional durability and relatively low maintenance requirements. This can include premium faucets, fixtures, bathroom partitions, or vanities.

Commercial Bathroom Design & Trends

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commercial bathroom designCommercial bathrooms have come a long way from being merely utilitarian to now incorporating commercial bathroom design and trends that have a sense of style and pride within a facility. It makes a difference for occupants when the restroom is of a higher quality when it comes to appearance and design.

So, what are the latest commercial bathroom trends? They are top-notch materials and a relaxing, almost therapeutic design aesthetic. All in all, people are looking for upscale public restrooms with high-end materials, commercial bathrooms that feel more like home, and design influences that match the environment around them in a way that’s comforting and relaxing. There are new and exciting commercial bathroom designs that architects are using to stay with the forward trends.

Let’s take a closer look at these trends and see what we can learn about improving our bathroom designs for a much more pleasant and stylistic appearance, as well as a comfortable experience for future occupants.

commercial bathroom design

 

Added Sophistication

People rarely think of luxury and sophistication when talking about public bathrooms, but now that’s exactly what people want. High-end materials like granite and stainless steel are making their way from the kitchen to the restroom, providing a high-quality experience for occupants. Incorporating these materials, or materials that look like granite or stainless steel, into your commercial bathroom help to elevate the design quality of these commercial bathrooms.

commercial bathroom designWhile choosing stylish materials can add a much-needed sophistication to the commercial restroom, you may want to rethink your strategy so you can make your public restroom sustainable and clean. Wooden and stainless steel partitions do add to the bathroom’s stylistic appeal, but they’re also susceptible to unwanted mold growth due to the high volume of moisture and humidity in the bathroom. Mold can eventually work its way into the interior of these materials, causing foul odors and a major decline in air quality.

Utilizing durable materials like HDPE (high-density polyethylene) to replace traditional materials has numerous benefits. HDPE is resistant to humidity and moisture due to its solid plastic construction, and unsightly mold won’t grow, resulting in foul smells and less-than-stellar air quality. Architects and designers realize that using this material has many benefits in both appearance and function. Plus, bathroom partitions like Eclipse Partitions from Scranton Products feature no-sight hardware, eliminate sight lines, and have various privacy options.

 

Check out our designer, mosaic, and metallic color series combined with our contour or rotary brushed textures to add some luxury and sophistication to your next bathroom project.

 

There’s No Place Like Home

When it comes to bathrooms, there’s nothing like having your own private space. So it’s no surprise that one of the hottest commercial bathroom design trends happening now is creating a spa-like bathroom with premium materials. Designers are also replacing the bright, florescent lighting, often the hallmark of public bathrooms, with softer incandescent down lighting to make it easier on the eyes and to provide a more comfortable and welcoming environment without the harsh lights becoming bothersome to occupants.

While privacy is one of the most important factors when designing a bathroom, function is equally as important when designing your commercial bathroom or public restroom. Architects and bathroom designers are utilizing more durable materials like HDPE when creating the stalls and partitions. HDPE materials that are being used have the benefits of being scratch- and graffiti-resistant. Due to these choices, replacements aren’t as frequent because the HDPE material can last for a long time.

Designers know to use these durable partitions for the benefit of having a long-lasting partition without needing to conduct any repairs. However, they also understand that the occupant’s privacy is another major factor to consider with their design plans. Architects and designers are starting to incorporate privacy features like taller doors and privacy hinges. The privacy hinges serve a functional purpose, but due to their hidden placement, the stalls and partitions deliver a clear and solid look without unsightly metal hinges and parts from interfering with the stylistic appeal.

 

View our new Eclipse Partitions to add privacy and aesthetics to your next restroom project.

 

Keep a Common Theme

Designers are taking elements from the rest of a building’s interior design or the surrounding environment and bringing it into the restroom for a more coherent and seamless look. This goes way beyond the simple themed bathroom that pays homage to an era, a famous person, or a pop culture icon. Examples include the public restroom at Bryant Park in New York. This bathroom mimics the design of the nearby New York Public Library. Bryant Park’s public restrooms were so well received that they were voted number one by Virtual Tourist.

Meanwhile, the restrooms at Santa Monica Pier in California feature an undulating roof evoking thoughts of a vintage rollercoaster or the nearby ocean waves. This stylistic and thematic approach to bathroom design has garnished a great deal of attention and praise. The bathroom at The Muse Hotel in New York allows visitors to choose if they’re feeling envious, passionate, glamorous, rebellious, macho, or vain. This kind of fun approach has made the bathrooms in the Muse Hotel some of the more popular public restroom facilities in the New York City area.

What all these bathrooms have in common is a uniqueness that’s personal, original, and aesthetically pleasing. To add uniqueness to your next project, consider adding custom embossing like a school mascot, company logo, or other personalized details that not only add to the restroom’s aesthetics, but make the restrooms seem more a part of the whole building. This type of consistency adds a more pleasing appearance and a comfortable atmosphere for the occupants.

 

For more inspiration, check out these resources for public bathroom design that are among some of the most stylish and unique in the United States. Take notes and improve upon the designs to find your perfect commercial restroom.

America’s Most Awesome Public Restrooms

Cintas’ America’s Best Restroom® Contest Hall of Fame

Toilet Partitions Codes to Review Before Choosing Bathroom Partitions

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Long before you begin construction, and even before you start buying your materials, you and your team should be familiar with the local and national toilet partitions codes that pertain to your restroom remodel or renovation project. Failure to do so could result in a build and restroom configuration that don’t meet national, state, or local guidelines, which in turn could hold up the entire project, pushing back the completion date by weeks or even months until the project can be finished and up to code.

To ensure that your project stays on track and meets the important legal building requirements, all building plans should be confirmed with local jurisdictions and compared against both local and national toilet partitions codes. When it comes to toilet partitions, here are some codes and standards you’ll want to review to make sure that your restroom passes inspection and is up to the specifications required by the national and local standards.

Basic Restroom Standards

When it comes to designing and outlining your restroom project, it’s important to get the basics right before you start. A major factor that you need to consider is the occupancy of the building in which the restrooms are located. You need to have the proper amount of toilet fixtures to ensure that there’s adequate space for occupants to relieve themselves. The standard rule is that there should be at least one toilet and stall for every 50 occupants. You can easily fit more stalls in your commercial restroom, but you also want to allot enough space for an ADA-compliant toilet stall, which takes up more room than a standard toilet stall that’s up to code.

Toilet Partitions Codes & Standards

The standard, wheelchair-accessible compartment requires all new construction and alterations to feature an out-swinging door, no more than 4 inches from the corner, diagonally from the toilet. You also need to make sure that the centerline of the toilet is 18 inches from the nearest side wall of the partition where horizontal grab bars must be mounted, as well as behind the toilet. This is to ensure that the occupant can easily access the toilet while having the necessary support to get up and exit the stall once they’re finished.

Ensuring that your facility’s restroom is ADA-compliant is crucial. These specific codes and guidelines set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act must be met in order to complete your restroom project. Providing easy access for occupants with disabilities is required by law, so make sure that you take inventory of your allotted space, as well as the number of toilets per occupant to ensure that you’re meeting the criteria.

ADA-Compliant Toilet Stall Dimensions

Stall Width

  • 60 inches minimum width of stall compartment (inside clear)

Stall Depth

  • 56 inches (inside clear) for wall-mounted toilets
  • 59 inches (inside clear) for floor-mounted toilets

Grab Bar Dimensions

  • At least 36 inches long
  • No more than 6 inches from inside corner
  • Adjacent grab bar no more than 12 inches from back wall
  • All grab bars should be 33-36 inches from the floor

Standard Toilet Stall Dimensions

Standard walk-in compartments, meanwhile, feature a toilet centered on the back wall and an out-swinging door. These are required whenever there are six or more toilets in one room. Horizontal grab bars must be mounted on each side wall or partition, as well as a toilet paper dispenser that’s easily accessible for the occupant.

Stall Width

  • 36 inches minimum and maximum (inside clear)
  • At least 15 inches from toilet to stall wall

Stall Depth

  • 60 inches minimum (inside clear)

Fire Prevention Building Codes for Bathroom Partitions

Those familiar with the International Building Code (IBC) will recall that bathroom partitions are considered interior finishes when they cover 10% or more of the wall or ceiling. Subsequently, the performance requirements for controlling fire growth as it pertains to toilet partitions can be found in Chapter 8 of the IBC under Interior Finishes.

Currently, there are two standards used to measure the fire performance of interior finishes. The first tests the surface burning characteristics of building materials. In this test, the materials are classified by flame spread and smoke development. Check below for the specific standards:

  • Class A has a flame spread index of 0-25, and a smoke development index of 0-450.
  • Class B has a flame spread index of 26-75, and a smoke development index of 0-450.
  • Class C has a flame spread index of 76-200, and a smoke development index of 0-450.

The second standard is the room corner test. The acceptance criteria for this test includes:

  1. During the 40-kW exposure, flames shall not spread to the ceiling.
  2. The flame shall not spread to the outer extremity of the sample on any wall or ceiling.
  3. Flashover, as defined in NFPA 286, shall not occur.
  4. The peak heat release rate throughout the test shall not exceed 800 kW.
  5. The total smoke released throughout the test shall not exceed 1,000 m.

Keeping Up to Code with Your Restroom

These codes were set in place by local and federal lawmakers to ensure that every occupant has the right amount of privacy, space, and accessibility, regardless of any disability or functionality. Adhering to these specific codes and dimensions is of the utmost importance. Otherwise, you can face a slew of fines or a halt on your project. Be sure to review the standards and codes for your location before designing and starting construction on your commercial facility’s restroom.

There are many other codes and standards that you need to review before choosing toilet partitions. To learn more about how Scranton Products brands meet local, state, and national guidelines, contact us today. You can also check out our free eBooks, ADA Guideline for a Compliant Restroom and Restroom Design for Commercial Facilities, so you can prepare yourself for your project and be sure that you’re on the right track with codes and standards.

9 Things to Consider Before Designing Your Commercial Bathroom

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Commercial bathroom design involves a lot of moving parts, all of which need to be considered before implementation if your design is going to be worth building. The most important factors to consider before designing your commercial bathroom include the number of users, durability, water savings, and serviceability. You also need to consider initial and operational costs, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards, materials, and building codes.

Though it might seem like a lot of balls to juggle, making sure to discuss these nine components will help you ensure that your commercial bathroom design is a winner.

1.    Number of Occupants

The number of people you expect to be using your commercial bathroom will greatly alter its final design. For example, a bathroom at a major sports complex will need to accommodate more occupants to avoid excessive queuing than a commercial bathroom located at a small family doctor’s office.

Understanding the expected amount of demand or use will help you to determine how large to make the restroom, how many commercial bathroom stalls or urinals to include, how many sinks or hand drying fixtures you’ll need, and so on.

commercial bathroom design

2.    Durability

There’s no doubt that building owners want the commercial bathrooms to be durable, but what level of durability is being required? For instance, a wooden bathroom vanity provides some durability. However, wood is highly susceptible to water damage from leaky pipes, scratches, graffiti, and other damage.

Meanwhile, materials such as high-density polyethylene (HDPE) provide exceptional durability. HDPE is resistant to dents, unlike metal, as well as scratches, mildew, graffiti, and more. HDPE also reduces environmental impact and offers improvements to the indoor air quality of the bathroom.

3.    Water Savings

The choice of water-using fixtures is an important one because it will determine both initial and long-term costs for the facility. For example, the average toilet uses 1.6 gallons of water each time it’s flushed. A high-efficiency toilet, on the other hand, uses 1.28 gallons. If a toilet is flushed 10 times each day, the average unit would use 5,840 gallons a year while the high-efficiency unit only used 4,672.

A bathroom with three high-efficiency toilets could save roughly 3,504 gallons of water per year compared to a commercial bathroom with three standard toilets.

4.    Serviceability

Should damage or a major plumbing problem arise, you’ll want to make sure that your commercial bathroom is easily serviced. That way a qualified repair team can quickly fix the problem and get your bathroom up and running again. This may be achieved by adding a service panel on the other side of the wall where workers can reach pipes or wiring.

5.    Initial Costs

Understanding the initial costs of your project will help you to better determine how to design it. How much will it cost to purchase materials? Provide installation? Inspection fees? These initial costs will ultimately help to define the budget for your project, which could dictate your final design. For example, it may be more cost-effective to add more urinals and fewer toilets in the men’s room.

6.    Operational Costs

After you take into account the initial costs of building the bathroom, you should consider the long-term operational costs. This can include the cost to provide lighting and electricity, water, and the cost for maintenance and repairs. One way to keep operational costs down is to use high-quality, durable materials for fixtures and vanities.

7.    Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accessibility

For your design to meet ADA guidelines, you need to have them in mind when developing your commercial bathroom. This can include many parts of the restroom, including the entrance. For example, a labyrinth-style entrance should have enough room for a wheelchair to pass through with room to spare on either side.

8.    Economic Quality of Fixtures Used

Will your design use the good, better, or best materials available? Good materials are often low in price but may require frequent maintenance or provide a low level of durability. The best materials, on the other hand, typically provide a higher initial cost but require less attention in terms of maintenance and repairs. HDPE, for instance, is extremely durable and long lasting, making it a popular material for commercial bathroom projects.

9.    Local Codes

Before you start designing a commercial bathroom, you want to know what the local codes and regulations are. This will significantly impact what you can and can’t do in terms of design. Failure to consider the local building and occupancy codes could result in denied building applications and potential legal issues in the future.

Learn more about the many HDPE products available for your commercial bathroom design.

How to Remodel a Commercial Bathroom

Remodeling a commercial bathroom is a big job that’s best left to a professional contractor. After all, the new design and materials chosen will significantly impact the efficiency, security, and privacy of the restroom.

A facility that’s been carefully designed not only improves the experience of those using it but also those who operate the facility. Not to mention that a properly remodeled bathroom can help keep initial and reoccurring costs down.

When considering a commercial bathroom remodel, here are some things to keep in mind.

1. Design Your Facility’s Bathroom’s Entrance and Exit Flow

If part of your commercial bathroom remodeling projects includes the entrance, now is a good time to consider how the entrance is affecting traffic flow and queuing.

For example, a bathroom that can be locked from the inside may cause unnecessary queuing.

Here’s how: A locked bathroom may have one person in the stall and two waiting by the door. Meanwhile, an unlocked facility could have one person in the bathroom stall, one washing their hands, and one drying their hands. In the second scenario, queuing is at a minimum and the facility is operating at optimal efficiency.

Many commercial bathrooms implement a labyrinth-style entrance, which gets rid of the door altogether. This style of entrance is preferred for several reasons:

  1. Limits the spread of germs by reducing the number of surfaces patrons come in contact with.
  2. Reduces misuse since the sound of criminal activity is more likely to be detected and there’s no door to serve as a warning that security personnel are entering.
  3. Improves traffic flow, assuming that the width of the walkway is wide enough to allow two lanes of traffic.
  4. Allows management to intervene if occupant fails to respond after an excessive period of usage, something that is more difficult when dealing with a bathroom that’s locked from the inside by the occupant.

For maximum efficiency, you may consider using a separate entrance and exit. This allows traffic to flow in and out without patrons having to squeeze by or accidently bump into one another.

2. Coordinate Bathroom Fixtures

The selection and placement of the many fixtures is an important part of your commercial bathroom remodeling project.

Mirrors, for example, will need to be placed strategically to provide maximum privacy and security. A properly placed mirror can give occupants a direct sight line to the back of the restroom. A mirror that’s place thoughtlessly, on the other hand, could accidently give a clear view from outside the bathroom to an area that was intended to be private, like the urinals in a men’s restroom.

While placement is certainly worth considering, material is also an important factor when selecting the right fixtures for your bathroom. A well-made bathroom vanity that’s resistant to damage could help to lower your operational costs and protect your remodeling investment.

HDPE material is a high-grade plastic that’s resistant to scratches, dents, corrosion, mildew, and graffiti. This durable material is easy to clean and can be used for vanities and bathroom partitions.

Plus, HDPE can be designed in a wide variety of colors and textures to best match the décor of your facility.

Contact Scranton Products to learn more HDPE and their collection of cost-effective commercial bathroom fixtures.