4 FM quick reads on Restrooms
1. Supplies Costs Are Overlooked in Restrooms
For restrooms that use paper towels, avoid installing the traditional, folded towel dispenser. Too often these dispensers are improperly loaded or are overstuffed, making it difficult to get the product out of the dispenser, or resulting in users getting more towels than they actually need. Large roll dispensers, particularly those that are touchless and dispense product automatically, can cut supplies costs while reducing the chances that towels will be dropped on the floor. Large-capacity dispensers also decrease the frequency with which they must be restocked.
The same holds true for tissue dispensers. Large capacity dispensers will reduce labor requirements by requiring less frequent restocking of the dispensers.
If you are about to undertake a major renovation project, don't cut corners. Make certain that the specifications and details presented in the design are sufficient to result in the finished project meeting all design requirements for reducing long-term operating and maintenance costs. Require that all fixtures to be installed are third-party certified in meeting the required flow rates.
Some of these measures are best implemented at the time of a major restroom renovation project. Others can be implemented at any time, although costs may be higher if they are added in a piecemeal manner. Even then, the benefits and cost savings typically will outweigh the additional first costs.
2. Facility Design Important Facet of Maintaining Cleanliness of Restrooms
Too many facility designs ignore the implications of that design on cleaning requirements. To be effective, all elements of the restroom must be considered, from the ceiling to the floor, including fixtures, surfaces, and finishes. Every design decision made must consider its impact on cleaning labor and materials, or a restroom that is difficult to clean won't be clean.
For example, fixtures such as waste containers and paper and soap dispensers should be positioned to minimize cleaning requirements. Soap dispensers positioned over counters rather than sink bowls tend to leave material on the counters, which increases both cleaning efforts and frequency.
Even something as simple as selecting the right colors and finishes can reduce cleaning requirements. Light color countertops are better at hiding water stains than dark countertops. Similarly, surfaces and fixtures with a high polish finish show dirt and stains more readily than satin or dull finished ones. Medium- to dark-color ceramic floor tile will require less frequent cleaning. Selecting larger size floor tile will reduce the frequency and the difficulty of cleaning grout.
Restroom floors should have a positive slant towards multiple floor drains to ease the task of cleaning the floor. Fixtures, partitions, and trashcans that are attached to the walls or ceiling rather than the floor also reduce cleaning requirements.
Don't forget the custodial closet. Closets should be conveniently located within individual restrooms or within one of a cluster of restrooms. Wet closets must include the necessary plumbing systems, including a boxed-in floor drain to contain spills. Other equipment installed in the closet should be selected to match the specific cleaning requirements of that restroom or restrooms. Closets also should be properly sized in order to store an adequate supply of consumables for the restroom.