Chris Beattie, Marketing and Sales Director at Dolphin Solutions, gives his top tips on how to create the perfect, high footfall washroom that visitors will remember …
Washrooms are an increasingly important aspect of workplaces, schools and public buildings, and the design of these locations can not only improve washroom hygiene but also the overall experience for the user. A Harris Poll survey found that 86% of people are more likely to return to an establishment with a clean and pleasant smelling washroom, so it’s imperative that your washroom represents your business too.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS ARE KEY
There are many elements to consider when designing a public washroom. Every aspect must be carefully considered, from the start of the user’s journey, right until the very end.
Lighting in a washroom is key to creating the right atmosphere, whilst being functional. Accent lighting should be used to enhance the washroom and its features, as well as ambient lighting as this acts as fill light, illuminating the whole washroom. Task lighting at the mirror of the vanity is crucial and should be mounted at eye level to provide shadowless illumination, creating the best light for checking appearances and makeup application. Full-length mirrors should also be installed on the way out of the washroom so the user can check their appearance without having to cross paths with those washing their hands at the vanity.
Washrooms should look clean and streamlined. Consistency in fixtures and colour schemes will give a sense of luxury and style. Automatic air fresheners are also recommended to keep the washroom smelling fresh constantly throughout the day. Hooks should also be installed on the back of the cubicle door or on the wall, so the user can hang their belongings, rather than putting their coat or bag on the floor of a public washroom. The coat hook should be placed at a convenient height for all users.
In high traffic environments, facilities not only need to be long lasting and durable but also have to resist misuse and vandalism. All of our Excel range dispensers are vandal resistant while looking stylish and offering great value for money. In addition, all of our dispensers are manufactured onsite, giving us the capacity to customise your products with logos and branding.
CREATE A PATHWAY AND UTILISE YOUR SPACE
In a busy washroom with high footfall, it is beneficial to create a streamlined path, making the facilities efficient and easy to access. Narrow spaces, such as corridors should be avoided as this can cause queuing and disrupt the user’s exit pathway. Maintenance staff should also be considered and must be able to enter and exit the washroom at all times.
Designers must also make sure that room within cubicles is not cramped; ensuring users have space to close the door without being forced to lean over the toilet. The space within cubicles should allow for the user carrying bags or having children with them.
A clever utilisation of space is the use of a modular system. This washroom solution combines taps, soap dispensers and hand dryers behind a mirror. Dolphin Solutions Alavo range is available in a choice of up to eight hand wash stations, and gives design flexibility where excellent, outstanding or platinum ratings are being sought. The Alavo range is also ideal as it addresses usual public washroom issues such as water mess on the floor, queuing to dry hands and general clutter.
Infrared taps, soap dispensers, hand dryers and flush valves are becoming more popular than ever as they help to maintain hygiene levels, as users don’t touch the facilities with dirty hands. Instead, hands are placed in front of the device meaning bacteria are not passed between users.
The use of high-speed hand dryers is also worth considering. Users will not only gain the advantage of increased hygiene but their time in the facility will be minimised, allowing for higher footfall and reducing queue time. Our Velocity range consists of 21, high speed, high performance hand dryers and is a great consideration for a busy public washroom.
SUSTAINABILITY IS KEY
All modern washrooms must include green credentials and should be at the forefront of any design criteria. Our Alavo system delivers water savings of up to 65% just through using infrared taps. Additionally, our paper system dispensers reduce paper waste by up to 30% and our Velocity hand dryers use up to 70% less energy than ordinary hand dryers. Selecting stylish, yet sustainable fixtures that suit your needs and the user’s requirements will greatly enhance washroom appeal making it both ergonomic and tick the sustainability box.
KEEP MAINTENANCE IN MIND
An ideal washroom would have basins 600-900mm apart and taps mounted on the splash back of the vanity to avoid creating small corners and spaces that are difficult to clean.
If paper towel dispensers are installed, bins should be positioned close to any dispenser to encourage waste disposal, preventing towels being discarded on the side of the vanity or the floor. Ideally a hole in the counter using a bin ring or bin chute is the neatest way of disposing hand towels.
It is also recommended that in a public washroom, a double toilet tissue dispenser or a system that holds multiple rolls should be installed. This ensures there is always enough toilet tissue and the cleaning operative is not constantly replacing empty dispensers. Spare toilet tissue rolls can also be kept in the cubicle on a shelf on the back wall or on a holder.