Think back to the first time you visited your company’s washroom. Were you impressed by its aesthetic? Did it feel clean and fresh? Did you have a seamless experience? If you answered no to these questions, the likelihood is that your visitors thought the same.
At Interfix we strongly believe that positive impressions last, whereas a neglected washroom can be jarring for people new to your business and negatively affect the brand image you aim to project.
In this post, we first explore the importance of getting your washroom right and then outline six telltale signs that it’s time for a refurbishment.
Your washroom represents your brand
Your commercial washroom matters more than you think. As the saying goes: you can tell a lot about a person from their shoes – the same applies to your washroom.
Think of your company bathroom as the shoes of your business. A clean, fresh, stylish one suggests that you’ve taken the time to consider the needs of your visitors and employees, and you pay attention to the finer details. A tired, un-clean and frankly tasteless washroom will suggest the opposite.
Why commercial washrooms become an afterthought
Less-than-ideal bathrooms are commonly overlooked. People get used to the rooms they visit frequently, and more pressing matters take priority. What once may have seemed like an issue, slips from our conscious thought over time.
If you’re struggling to work out whether your washroom could use an update, here are the telltale signs to look for:
This is when materials begin to separate into their constituent layers due to water from outside making its way inside. This can lead to wall panels peeling away, revealing the chipboard core beneath. When this happens, water can further penetrate the material, leading to an unsightly appearance.
This may also affect the hardware in your bathroom. For example, hinges may begin to deteriorate and stop working correctly.
Signs indicative of water damage:
- Yellow/ brown stains
- Damp patches – you can often feel dampness present on walls by simply touching them
- Peeling walls
- Swollen panels
- Cracking of the surface laminate
Interfix can fit out commercial bathrooms with a range of attractive and durable composite panelling products that minimise water ingress. What’s more, these modern bathroom refurbishments last longer than traditional materials and look better too.
Dated fittings and fixtures
When chosen tastefully, certain brands can get away with dated, old-fashioned fittings and fixtures, so long as they’re overtly fashionable. But this is difficult to get right, and without proper style consideration, dated fittings and fixtures just look run-down and detract from brand appeal.
Dated fittings also lead to higher water usage. Leaking taps and traditional WCs are less efficient than high-quality, modern bathrooms and ultimately increase your costs.
- Leaking taps
- Traditional toilet flushes
Thankfully, washroom technology has evolved rapidly since the invention of the first modern flush toilet. For example, waterless urinals don’t require flushing, instead, urine passes through a sealing liquid (usually some sort of oil) and, flows straight into the sewage system. This can save up to 100,000 litres of water per urinal, per year.
Another great innovation has been the invention of sensor taps, offering both improved hygiene and efficiency. These work using solenoid valves; when a sensor detects an object under the faucet, it triggers the valve to open allowing water to flow. Water continues until the user removes their hands, meaning only the amount of water needed is used. It’s estimated that this can reduce water usage by 70% compared to traditional manual faucets.
Dated bathrooms may also have poor layouts. For instance:
- lack of room forcing visitors to navigate the space one at a time
- lack of privacy due to poorly placed urinals
Improved configuration of your bathroom design will make visiting your facilities more seamless and user-friendly. Creating additional space and installing screens to improve privacy are two solutions we can help with.
Poor regulatory compliance
Regulations for public washroom design have changed considerably over the years. Today there is a range of requirements that you need to fulfil. Use the following items as a checklist to assess whether your commercial washroom meets regulatory standards:
Sanitary waste facilities:
- Regulations state that companies must provide sanitary waste bins in female WCs.
Hand washing facilities:
- All commercial bathrooms must offer hand washing facilities as standard.
- Bowls must be large enough to submerge both forearms.
- Soap and drying facilities must be provided.
- The number of sinks must equal the number of WCs.
- Commercial bathrooms must have adequate lighting so that users can see what they are doing and where they are going.
- There should be plenty of ventilation to allow air to circulate and prevent mould and mildew.
- Bathrooms should be regularly cleaned and tidied throughout the day.
- Where possible, separate facilities for men and women should be provided in bathrooms with more than one WC.
- Shared single bathrooms must have a lockable door.
- Bathrooms must be in close proximity to where staff work and easy to access.
- Outhouses are not ideal.
Meeting all these requirements may be challenging, but Interfix can help. We ensure that all necessary regulatory boxes are ticked, making it easy for your organisation to remain compliant.
Poor interior design choices:
Whilst it’s impossible to cater to everyone’s personal taste, there are ways to satisfy the majority of users when choosing the colour palette and overall design of your washroom.
Colour psychology suggests that the colour scheme you opt for will directly impact the experience of those using it. ‘Warm colours – such as red, yellow and orange – can spark a variety of emotions ranging from comfort and warmth to hostility and anger. Cool colours – such as green, blue and purple – often spark feelings of calmness as well as sadness.’ – The Art Therapy Blog.
Additionally, clever colour usage can make smaller spaces feel bigger. According to The Home Edit, ‘darker colours such as espresso brown, royal blue and charcoal grey can make your room feel smaller. While lighter, neutral and soft pastel colours can create an illusion of space and height.’
Finally, a dated washroom can affect your workers too. 75% of workers report that the quality of their workplace washroom has an effect on their well-being and comfort at work. And a further 64% say that it impacts their job satisfaction.
It’s worth asking your team members what they think of your commercial bathroom to help you decide if it’s time for a refurb.
Some questions you might want to ask your employees are:
- Have you noticed signs of water damage in the washroom?
- Do you think there is adequate lighting in the washroom?
- Would you describe your experience of using the washroom as comfortable?
- Are you able to thoroughly dry your hands in the washroom?
- Do you find visiting the washroom to be pleasant?
With almost three decades of experience in the field, our team can carry out whatever washroom project you are planning. If you’d like to enquire about our refurbishment services, contact us today and we’ll be in touch shortly.