Designing a commercial bathroom may not seem like a priority, but you’d be surprised at how much patrons notice a business’s facilities. Many customers will closely regard the cleanliness of a public restroom, and likewise, the bathroom’s overall aesthetic will be hard to miss. Finding that fine line between a bathroom design that’s convenient, neat and open can be a tough job. Luckily, we’ve put together a thorough guide to help you with your commercial restroom design.
Questions to Consider
Before you start studying commercial bathroom designs and layouts, you first need to establish some basics about your commercial bathroom. These include how much traffic it’s expected to see, what sort of materials you want to use and how to make the best use of the space available. Here are seven questions to ask before getting down to the nitty-gritty of your commercial bathroom layout:
- How many people will your restroom need to accommodate?
- What do you want your design to express?
- How durable do the fixtures need to be?
- How much can you afford in water usage?
- How will you control bathroom odor?
- What local codes do you need to observe?
- Does your bathroom meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements?
How Many People Will Your Restroom Need to Accommodate?
The first thing you’ll need to factor in is how many people will be using your facilities. This requires you to consider both your peak and non-peak business hours. For retail stores that offer commercial bathrooms, the restroom capacity will likely mirror the store’s capacity, which will change based on busy times and seasons.
The goal is to ensure your commercial bathroom is big enough to accommodate all patrons without making them wait in long lines. At the same time, you also want to make sure your restroom isn’t so big that it’s empty more often than not.
However, it’s important to note that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has unique guidelines for bathroom size based on the number of employees in your company.
What Do You Want Your Design to Express?
Aesthetics can make or break your bathroom, which is why it’s important to consider what you hope to express. The restroom is still a part of your business and should reflect its high standards. For example, commercial bathroom layouts for high-class hotels should express the same luxury as the rest of the hotel. You can do this by using design elements like wood grain or warmer colors.
On the other hand, if you’re designing a bathroom for a fast-paced restaurant, you’ll want to make sure it gives off the appearance of cleanliness and neatness. This is easiest with materials like stainless steel and brighter colors.
How Durable Do the Fixtures Need to Be?
Your fixtures’ durability directly relates to how much traffic you expect your commercial restroom to see and what your overall budget is. If you’re designing a bathroom for a high-traffic business, such as an amusement park or popular cafe, you’ll want to make sure your fixtures are sturdier and more durable than for a small business with less than 20 employees.
When it comes to the cost, some may want to opt for low-cost options, which may be alright initially, but the return on investment (ROI) should be at the top of your mind. If you opt for low-cost fixtures but then need to spend money on repairs or replacements constantly, you’ll likely end up paying more than you need to. If you do invest more money in your fixtures, make sure they aren’t high-maintenance, like wood grain, which is of high quality but more prone to water damage.
The good news is you don’t have to pick only low-quality or high-cost materials. By doing some research, you can find fixtures that both fit your budget and have a reputation for durability.
How Much Can You Afford in Water Usage?
Water usage is a tricky thing to consider because it requires a fair amount of estimation. Simultaneously, you also need to think about water conservation — something that can be difficult to monitor in commercial bathrooms — since that’s an excellent way to save money and the environment. But how do you conserve water and budget for the amount of water use your restroom will likely see?
The amount of traffic you expect your restroom to see once again becomes relevant since it will directly relate to how much water is used from the taps and toilets. Make estimates of how many people you expect to use the bathrooms and average one or two flushes per person. Then, add in the average amount of tap water usage you expect.
An easier way to do these calculations is to invest in water-conserving bathroom fixtures, such as waterless urinals, motion-detecting sink faucets and self-flushing toilets. These all help reduce water waste while keeping bathrooms fairly clean and inviting.
You also need to keep in mind the commercial bathroom layout as a whole. If you’re designing a brand-new bathroom, you can create a design around water conservation. But if you’re remodeling an existing bathroom, you’ll want to consider whether replacing older toilets or sinks is worth it in the long run. In some cases, paying a little more for water-conserving toilets or sinks will bring in a better ROI.
How Will You Control Bathroom Odor?
Depending on your public restroom dimensions, you’ll need to consider the best way to control odor. Good ventilation is the best way to do this since a suitable ventilation system will also keep the bathroom from being too humid or moist, which can lead to bacterial and fungal growth.
The type of flooring you pick for your commercial bathroom will also help with odor control. If your floors have grout, you should be prepared to give them regular thorough cleanings to remove the dirt. If you have floor drains, make sure they’re always filled with a bit of water, since that is what prevents sewer gasses from escaping out and into the bathroom itself.
Another way to deal with bathroom odors is by using odor-eliminating products. However, the ones you see on TV for residential bathrooms may not be enough, so make sure the goods you choose are designed for commercial restrooms.
What Local Codes Do You Need to Observe?
One thing you cannot neglect when designing a commercial bathroom is local codes and regulations. Each area has different codes for public restrooms that you must adhere to and, if you don’t, you could end up paying heavy fines — not to mention sustaining a blow to your reputation. Adhering to local regulations is crucial, especially for brand-new constructions. Working with a knowledgeable contractor is the best way to ensure you have all the guidelines in mind during the design process.
Remember that OSHA has specific guidelines, including commercial bathroom dimensions, for restrooms based on the size of the company and the number of employees.
Does Your Bathroom Meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Requirements?
Because your commercial bathroom will be open for use by the general public, it will need to adhere to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements. The ADA regulations are precise and describe how your commercial bathroom should be designed to make it accessible to all people, including those with disabilities.
The regulations dictate how big an accessible stall should be, how high the toilet and grab bars must be and even what amount of space you should make available so people in wheelchairs can easily navigate your bathroom. The act also dictates how many of your stalls need to be big enough to accommodate wheelchairs, which direction the stall doors should open and how high sinks should be.
How to Make a Commercial Bathroom Seem Spacious
Chances are, you’ve got less space than you’d like to work with. Though there’s no specific size for how big a public restroom should be so long as it adheres to ADA regulations, a smaller bathroom can look cramped or stuffy. Even an adequate-sized bathroom overloaded with furniture and fixtures can turn patrons off, so making your commercial bathroom look spacious and welcoming is crucial.
Here are five clever ways to make your commercial bathroom seem larger than it is:
- Mirrors: Mirrors, especially those installed opposite each other, are a well-known way to create the illusion of space in any room. In a commercial bathroom, mirrors have the bonus of being readily available for patrons to give themselves a quick once-over and fix any disheveled clothes or makeup. You can also add more reflective surfaces in your commercial bathroom to get the same effect. Stainless steel bathroom partitions, high-shine flooring or high-gloss countertops are all good options.
- Space: It may sound strange at first, but leaving the space underneath the sink empty can make the restroom seem much bigger than it is. This visual space helps patrons feel like there is a bigger capacity even if they don’t use that extra room themselves. However, if you do opt to leave the area under the sinks empty, make sure you also keep it clean and free of clutter.
- Lighting: There are two ways to use lighting to your advantage when trying to make a bathroom look more spacious. Natural light is the best way to do it. To preserve the privacy that people expect in a bathroom, use opaque or stained glass windows to let in light. The other option is to use artificial recessed lighting. By recessing the lighting, you’ll save on precious space while still providing adequate illumination to make the room look bigger.
- Colors: Softer colors are the way to go when you want to make sure your bathroom looks spacious. This is because soft colors reflect light, while darker hues absorb it.
- Molding: Crown molding is an aesthetically pleasing way to make your space look bigger because it creates the appearance of a high ceiling. As a bonus, crown molding is also a great way to add a touch of luxury to your commercial bathroom.
Which Countertop Surface Should Commercial Restrooms Use?
Commercial bathroom countertops are a crucial element in bathroom design, and the material you use should complement your bathroom style while being durable. There are tons of different public restroom countertop materials from which you can choose, but the following three are some of the most popular choices:
Natural stones are a common choice for commercial restroom countertops because they provide a touch of luxury at an affordable price. Granite is one type of natural stone surface that comes in a wide variety of colors, with each slab bringing a unique pattern that can range from bold to subtle.
Granite is an excellent choice for public bathrooms since it’s extremely durable and scratch-resistant and requires very little maintenance. On top of that, granite is also one of the more cost-effective options around.
Another popular choice for public bathroom countertops, quartz is one of the world’s most abundant minerals.
Quartz is incredibly tough, making it highly durable — it is even tougher than granite. It’s also naturally resistant to moisture, bacteria and stains, which makes it an ideal choice for high-traffic commercial bathrooms.
3. Solid Surface
Solid surface countertops usually consist of acrylic and polyester particles and are shaped to resemble stone. They are remarkably versatile and available in various sizes, shapes and colors. This material is low-maintenance and resists stains, making it a great cost-effective option for high-traffic public restrooms.
Commercial Restroom Design FAQ
When it comes to restroom design and layout, you’re bound to have tons of questions. While a professional is the best person to ask specific questions about your project, we can answer several frequently asked questions for you here.
How Big Should a Commercial Bathroom Be?
A commercial bathroom can be as big as you want as long as the stalls and sinks follow ADA guidelines. Knowing what the precise regulations for accessible stalls are and how much of your existing space they will cover is the first step. These stalls require specific measurements and proper knowledge of the requirements.
You also have to consider how deep you want the stalls to be — both accessible and standard models. Factor in the required amount of space every commercial bathroom should have for a wheelchair to move around easily.
What Are the Required Dimensions for a Handicap Bathroom?
According to the ADA, at least one handicap bathroom stall is required for all commercial bathrooms, and it needs to be at least 60 inches wide and 59 inches deep. The stall door should open outward, and the doorway must be between 34 and 36 inches — wide enough for a wheelchair to pass through with ease.
How Do You Layout a Bathroom?
When it comes to laying out the bathroom design, there are three things to keep in mind:
- Function: Is it a multi-stall bathroom or a single-stall one?
- Traffic: How many people do you expect to use your restroom? The answer to that question will determine how many stalls you’ll need, including at least one handicap stall for every six standard stalls.
- Aesthetic: What sort of materials will you use? What type of partitions, flooring, lighting and countertops will best suit your company’s look?
Based on these three points, you can quickly and easily summarize your main requirements for your bathroom and begin designing it.
How Do You Choose the Right Countertop for a Commercial Bathroom?
When choosing the best countertop for your commercial bathroom, you need to factor in several points, including:
- Maintenance: There’s a good chance you won’t be able to clean your commercial bathroom regularly, so it’s important to choose low-maintenance materials that won’t leave the bathroom looking messy in-between cleanings. Durable and water-resistant materials like quartz are good options.
- Decor: Your countertop should match your bathroom’s and business’s aesthetic. The bathroom is an extension of your company, and it should reflect that with the materials used. This also includes ensuring the colors you choose will complement your overall appearance.
- Durability: Public bathrooms, by definition, will see a lot more traffic than a personal or residential restroom, so the countertop should be durable and resistant to wear and tear. Quartz and granite are both excellent options when durability is top of mind.
Get Top-Quality Countertops From H. H. Ross
With more than 60 years of experience, H. H. Ross is proud to offer high-quality countertops you can trust. We offer customization for all our countertops by using state-of-the-art technology, and our close-knit team will work with you and treat you like family to ensure you get the results you want.
Get in touch with us and request a free quote by calling 717-626-6268.