Restroom Traffic Management for Public and Commercial Spaces

Women standing in line due to lack of restroom traffic management in a public bathroom

Whether you're designing a new facility or renovating an existing structure, restroom traffic management requires solutions that address the heavy use of these spaces. From durable fixtures to regular inspections, you must manage these facilities properly.

Many people don’t enjoy using a public restroom. High-traffic lavatories are particularly undesirable because they are often difficult for facility managers to maintain adequately. 

So, what can you do to manage the traffic in your facility's public and commercial restrooms? Here are some tips that will help with your restroom traffic management.

Key Takeaways:

  • Automatic fixtures are cleaner than manual ones, and since people won't have to touch them (even in heavy use), they don't get damaged as often.
  • Prepare your public restroom for vandalism by installing vandalism-proof mirrors, handles, and other fixtures.
  • Check for leaks, control odors, and perform regular inspections to ensure your facility's high-traffic restroom meets all rules and regulations and is comfortable for your patrons.

8 Tips for Better Restroom Traffic Management   

The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation wants to make finding a lavatory easier for everyone to bring awareness to the limited access to public and commercial restrooms. 

In February 2022, We Can't Wait launched a campaign that lists over 45,000 public restrooms available around the country. If your facility's lavatories are on the list, you'll want to ensure these spaces can meet the demands of high-traffic restrooms.

1. Install Automatic Fixtures  

According to the Mayo Clinic, viruses that cause colds, the flu, and other serious illnesses can live on surfaces for several hours. People will do almost anything to avoid touching contaminated surfaces.

Infographic of what people will do to avoid touching bathroom surfaces.

Therefore, reducing the need to touch restroom surfaces is a must, and the new “wave” in public restroom hygiene and convenience is touchless actuators (pun intended). 

Automatic touchless fixtures help keep these spaces cleaner and reduce the risks of touching contaminated surfaces. These fixtures include:

  • Touchless toilets
  • Dual-flush actuators
  • Touchless faucets
  • Soap and towel dispensers

2. Mount Sturdy Partitions 

Partitions take a lot of abuse. People may close the doors too harshly. Some people will even push them open with their feet to avoid touching them. All this wear and tear makes them less sturdy and can affect their ability to close and lock securely. 

Not only must you have sturdy partitions, but you should install partitions made from sturdy materials like phenolic core panels. Other partition material options include:

  • Solid plastic
  • Plastic laminate
  • Powder-coated steel
  • Stainless steel

3. Add Industrial-Sized Dispensers   

Restrooms that get a lot of use experience supply outages often. Keeping these spaces stocked is a challenge for even the most highly staffed facilities. 

By adding industrial-sized dispensers, custodians and maintenance staff won't have to restock these items as often. You will also want to ensure these dispensers are commercial-grade for high-traffic durability.

4. Prepare for Vandalism  

Unfortunately, high-traffic public restrooms encounter vandalism. Even facilities with heightened security experience vandalism. 

According to a survey conducted by Kimberly-Clark, 75% of the respondents stated that vandalized and broken public restroom fixtures and fittings impacted their opinion of the facility. Many also believed that the restrooms were neglected and poorly managed. 

Image of a broken mirror in a public restroom

To avoid this, install vandalism-proof mirrors, handles, and other fixtures in your facility's commercial restrooms. 

It will help keep the space cleaner and more convenient to use. Patrons will also feel safer when using the lavatory. 

5. Check for Leaks Often 

High-traffic spaces often require regular checks for leaks or damage. The more a sink gets used, the higher the likelihood it will need repair or maintenance.

Faucets aren't the only fixture that could leak from excessive use (or abuse). Make sure that you check other fixtures for leaks that could cause damage like:

  • Toilets
  • Showerheads (if applicable)
  • Pipes
  • Drains 
  • Soap dispensers

6. Control Restroom Odors 

Public and commercial restrooms incur various odors from several different sources. Even the cleanest bathrooms will experience issues with odors. You'll need to understand what causes these abhorrent smells so that you can eliminate them. 

Proper maintenance and regular cleaning will help to get rid of most public restroom odors. However, you will also need to inspect to see if the unpleasant smells are related to another issue. 

Leaks are one source. Deteriorated seals and caulking are another. That leads to the next tip for better restroom traffic management. 

7. Perform Regular Inspections

You must perform regular inspections in your public and commercial restrooms. You should do a thorough inspection at least twice a year. Quarterly would be better.

These inspections go above and beyond a simple check for leaks and damages. They should be detailed and cover every inch of the lavatory, not just the fixtures and fittings. Your inspection should also ensure that your facility meets the OSHA sanitation standards

Make a checklist. Inspect everything, including:

  • Connecting bolts and screws
  • Hinges
  • Handles
  • Door tracks 
  • Grout
  • Floor and vanity tiles
  • Caulking
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Locks

If your restroom has furniture items like a bench, shelving, or other décor, examine these items as part of your regular inspection. Repair or replace anything that is damaged. Make detailed notes of anything that you didn't fix. Remove anything that might be hazardous to patrons.   

8. Keep the Design Simple

When designing a public or commercial restroom, keep the design as simplistic as possible. That will make the space easier to clean and maintain. It will also encourage people to get in and out quickly to reduce wait times during high-traffic periods.

Not only should you incorporate a simplistic design for enhanced convenience, but you should also consider the location of your facility's restrooms. If an architect or designer is developing a new floor plan, make sure there are enough restrooms throughout the facility to accommodate the amount of traffic the building will get. 

Find Durable Fixtures for High-Traffic Restrooms at Chicago Faucets  

At Chicago Faucets, we know that your high-traffic restroom requires high-quality fixtures that are made to last no matter how much use (and abuse) they receive. So, we have dedicated our manufacturing process to developing durable and sustainable fixtures, fittings, and plumbing products for commercial restrooms. 

Is it time to renovate the restrooms in your high-traffic facility? Contact us today to learn more about our high-quality plumbing fixtures.

Topics: healthy buildings, restroom traffic management