Commercial Restrooms 101

As a company, you want to put your best foot forward, make a lasting impression, cultivate employee satisfaction, and customer loyalty. A well-executed entry, whether a great retail display or an inviting reception area, can set the tone for the rest of your space (read more about that here). A successful interior design concept carries that same image portrayed in your entrance further throughout the space, cultivating a certain atmosphere, employee culture, or customer experience. More often than not, however, businesses focus singularly on these highly visible areas and fail to address one space in particular – THE RESTROOM!

Minimal design showcasing Scranton- Stainless Steel 55" Eclipse partitions. Source:  Scranton Products

Minimal design showcasing Scranton- Stainless Steel 55" Eclipse partitions. Source: Scranton Products

Public Perception

Your public restroom can have a negative effect on your company image if not carefully designed and well maintained. If I walk into a fast food establishment, for example, to use the restroom and find it in a disgusting state and disrepair, I’m not likely to stick around and order a quick bite to eat.  If the restroom is neglected, what’s going on in the kitchen where they’re cooking my food?  We formulate opinions of an establishment based on the environment. The same idea can apply to any business, be it retail, hospitality, corporate, healthcare, etc.  A clean, well-maintained, updated restroom can have positive effects on how the public perceives your company.

Appropriate Finishes

Live edge wood countertop with epoxy sealant

Live edge wood countertop with epoxy sealant

A good janitorial crew and cleaning schedule is a given to improve restroom appearance, but careful attention to material selection and application plays a vital role in how a restroom wears over time.  Consider the amount of use a particular restroom will receive, as well as its users, and select finishes accordingly.  For instance, restrooms are susceptible to mold and mildew growth, so avoid using wood products unless properly sealed, or be aware that stainless steel is subject to scratches, or that black granite countertops are bound to show water marks. Even something as simple as choosing a dark colored grout for floor tile can have a more lasting appearance compared to a light grout that is hard to keep clean and maintain its original appearance.

Company Branding & Image  

That doesn’t mean that restrooms must be strictly utilitarian.  Think about your business, your clientele, and employees and the message you want your company to portray.  If you’re a hotel or sit-down restaurant maybe consider more high-end materials that feel more like home.  If you’re a manufacturing facility, consider branching out from the typical concrete floor, stainless steel partitions, and painted block wall.  Something as simple as incorporating the company’s branding colors now ties the restroom in with all aspects of  the building and public image of the business.

Form + Function

Beyond aesthetics and material durability, how the restroom functions can have an even more lasting impression on its users. Proper clearance and space allocations, ADA requirements, toilet accessory locations, water usage, odors, sound transmission, and lighting all are deciding factors that make for a successful commercial restroom layout and design.  Interior designers are here to assist clients with these areas of concerns and develop creative design solutions tailored to your company’s needs.

Are you having trouble getting started and looking for restroom design help?  Reach out to us and we can help you make important decisions regarding your next project.