Installing, managing, and maintaining any public restroom can be a challenge. However, when you consider high-traffic restrooms in places such as amusement parks, convention centers, and airports, the sheer number of people who utilize the facilities can be staggering. As an engineer specifying the type and number of sinks, toilets, urinals, faucets, and other features of a high-traffic restroom, you’ll want to make sure the following items are on your short-list.
Touchless toilets are a must-have in high-traffic restrooms as they can detect motion or body heat, which can then initiate an automatic toilet flush. These fixtures mean a higher level of sanitation in public restrooms that see a great deal of regular traffic.
The Geberit Sigma80 offers a touchless flush plate with dual-flush LED bars, which allow individual selection of a full or half flush. This can also be programmed to automatically flush upon the user’s departure. Also, the Geberit Sigma10 flush plate gives an individual more control over water usage with its stop-and-go flush function. Users can interrupt a standard flush cycle.c.
In addition, be sure the toilet is rated for heavy use with extra bolts, sanitary guards, remote monitoring, and self-cleaning features.
An obvious companion to the touchless toilet is the installation of durable faucets. One of the best faucet features to look for is a touchless operation. The fewer things that users touch in a high-traffic restroom, the greater level of cleanliness and sanitation. The EQ Touchless Faucet from Chicago Faucets promotes better hygiene along with a modern look, durability, and reduced maintenance.
Conventional brass faucets that are built for commercial usage can be durable and long-lasting as well.
Phenolic Core Partitions
Although several different kinds of materials are available for bathroom partitions, one of the best for high-traffic restrooms are phenolic core panels. Made from a synthetic polymer, these panels last a long time and are very durable. They withstand a great deal of wear-and-tear from high usage and are reasonably easy to clean. If your high-traffic restrooms have other considerations such as aesthetics, you can consider any of the following popular options suggested by One Point Partitions:
- Powder-Coated Steel. As the most affordable option, powder-coated steel partitions are a good choice for facilities on a tight budget. These panels are made from honeycomb cardboard encased in a powder-covered metal sheet and are a common choice for many public restrooms.
- Plastic Laminate. Unlike powder-coated steel partitions, plastic laminate is available in a wide range of colors and patterns for those seeking particular designs in their restrooms. These are not as water-resistant or durable as other materials.
- Solid Plastic. Made from solid panels of polymer, plastic partitions are excellent for durability, water resistance, and regular wear-and-tear. They are easy to clean and less expensive than phenolic core options.
- Stainless Steel. These top-of-the-line partitions are the most expensive but can offer a beautiful look of sophistication to a restroom. Still durable and long-lasting, stainless steel is usually selected for its aesthetic appeal.
Large No-Touch Dispensers
Keeping high-traffic restrooms stocked with supplies such as toilet paper, paper towels and soap can be nearly a full-time job for some maintenance departments during peak seasons.
Engineers specifying restroom equipment should consider soap and paper product dispensers that are commercial-size and commercial-grade as well as touchless when possible. Besides increasing sanitation, touchless soap and paper dispensers can control the amount of product being used by each individual, potentially saving money in the long-run.
In addition, you may want to consider ABS plastic dispensers with double-thick walled construction and a contoured design with no hard corners. These dispensers withstand greater impact if hit, are less likely to attract cigarettes, and are available with locking mechanisms.
Unfortunately, vandalism can be a major problem in high-traffic restrooms. According to a study conducted by Kimberly-Clark, more than 75% of respondents said that broken or vandalized items in public restrooms would negatively affect their overall opinion of the facility.About 82 percent reported that they would think the restroom was neglected by management and more than half said they would see the restroom as unsanitary.
Consider polished stainless steel mirrors instead of traditional glass, which are less likely to be shattered. You may also look into shatter-resistant or laminated glass or even placing a plastic shield over a conventional mirror for protection.
Durable Doors, Caulking, and Flooring
If you’re adding or completely remodeling a high-traffic restroom, you may want to consider installing fiberglass, reinforced plastic entry doors. These lightweight doors are durable and resistant to graffiti and damage while also being resistant to bacteria, mildew, and rust. Look into 18- or 20-gauge options.
Waterproof caulk or grout with a glass-like finish is an excellent choice for high-traffic restrooms. This material is difficult to write on and doesn’t get absorbed or bleed into crevices. Finally, choose a vinyl floor with nylon facing for a durable, stain-resistant, and easy-to-clean option.
High-traffic restrooms have additional needs and considerations when it comes to durability and design. Engineers specifying the construction materials, panels, dispensers, toilets, sinks, and other features should pay special attention to the durability, cleanliness, and maintenance levels of these items. Touchless dispensers, long-lasting faucets, heavy-duty toilets, and vandalism-proof materials are just a few components to consider for high-traffic restrooms.