Often overlooked, commercial bathroom design is an important part of modern commercial office fitouts. Owing to the extraordinary events we have experienced in the year 2020 (and continue to experience in 2021), we now live in a time of ever-increasing emphasis on personal hygiene and physical distancing. Are these new paradigms likely to influence commercial bathroom design for, at the very least, the foreseeable future? And what about creating attractive spaces that integrate well with your overall commercial office look and feel?
Continue reading to learn more about commercial toilet design ideas and considerations for modern fitouts or, if you need help with an office design and fitout project, call Future Fitouts – Brisbane’s leading office fitout professionals – now on 1300 368 461 or request a project proposal online, to get started today.
Rethinking Commercial Bathroom Design
Here are a few ways in which bathroom designs for commercial spaces may have to change in the more immediate future.
Touch-Free Bathroom Fittings
There are several very good reasons to include touchless fixtures in commercial bathrooms. First, whatever the visitors to a commercial office carry on their hands is easily transmittable to the various handles and touch surfaces. Eliminating the need to touch the bathroom fixtures to activate them, reduces the number of opportunities for germ transmission. Bacteria and viruses are not the only considerations here however, touchless fixtures are less challenging to use for the elderly and those who are handicapped by arthritis. Beyond health concerns, there are also environmental benefits to touch-free fittings – automatic shutoff can conserve water by turning it off and eliminating the risk of accidentally leaving it running.
Ventilation and how ambient air travels through commercial bathrooms is also likely to require more thought in the future. Good ventilation is important not only to keeping the air in a commercial bathroom fresh, but it also plays a part in removing airborne contaminants from these spaces, making them more sanitary and safer for everyone to use.
Next Generation Surfaces
While installing touch-free fittings can certainly reduce the number of opportunities for surface transmission of contaminants, it is practically nigh-impossible to make a commercial bathroom completely touch-free. Things such as door handles, grip surfaces and toilet seats, very often unavoidably, need to be touched to be used. Some high-touch restroom surfaces are now available in antimicrobial coated variants and we expect to see further developments in this direction in the future.
Updated Commercial Bathroom Design Layouts
If privacy and personal space were not an issue before, we now need to begin considering the need for physical distancing in designing commercial bathrooms. Traditionally, space utilisation in the layouts of commercial restrooms was most often thought of in terms of maximising the room’s utility by taking advantage of every available square meter of space to provide as many facilities as practical. Even if we were to forego concerns of maintaining one’s intimate privacy in considering the practicalities of a bathroom’s layout, we are now facing the challenges of potentially having to provide more room for physical distancing and even managing path finding in having to minimise cross traffic by providing one way entrances and exits.
Modern Commercial Toilet Design is Not Just Responding to Infection Control Requirements
While the recent events have certainly created a significant paradigm shift in the contemporary commercial toilet design practices, infection control is not the only factor to consider when researching commercial toilet design ideas that respond to the needs of the times. It is far too easy for those of us who live without any handicap to forget about one exceptionally crucial area of commercial toilet design – inclusiveness.
Commercial Toilet Design Ideas for the Era of Inclusiveness
Ambulant toilets are laid out for visitors with handicaps that do not require additional room for wheelchair turn space. This may include those challenged by impaired vision or arthritis as well as individuals who may need the support of a walking frame.
Accessible toilets account for visitors who may require more space for wheelchair access and help when transferring off and back to it. Typical accessibility features may include (but are not limited to) lowered basins and mirrors as well as rails to hold on to.
Not limited to physical handicaps, people do also have children and they may bring babies to your commercial spaces as well. It may be important to include parenting rooms in your commercial bathroom design plans. Inclusion of a parent room typically provides baby change facilities and privacy for breastfeeding mothers to name only a few key benefits.
Aesthetic Considerations in Commercial Bathroom Design
Far be it from us at Future Fitouts to create spaces that are just practical and compliant, we believe that aesthetics play equally as significant a part in designing a commercial bathroom. Consider how the bathroom exists as an integral part of your commercial office space and how it will have to integrate with its overall look and feel. A few aspects to think about may include:
A commercial bathroom is not a clinical space and does not need to look like one. Do not be afraid of colour – creating a welcoming, bright restroom space can go a long way to enhancing the overall atmosphere of your entire commercial office.
How you use light can effectively set-up the ambience of a bathroom. Not forgetting that we are talking about a utility room and that lighting needs to be not only attractive, but also practical in providing enough illumination to be useful, bathroom lighting design still allows you to experiment with features and fixtures. Wall mounted fittings and discrete accents applied to individual stalls and basins is efficient way of creating atmosphere that plays well with the overall design your commercial office.
There are so many surface material and wall covering options available these days, that it just begs to not limit the surface materials used in designing a commercial bathroom to plain white tiles and benches. Laminate wall panels are equally as easy to clean while providing variety in both texture and colour – to give only one example!