Cost-Friendly, Touch-Free Restroom Solutions for Businesses

When a business wants to retrofit its restrooms with new technology, one of the questions is cost.

By Laurie Luebbert, Contributing Writer  
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Elevating Restroom Hygiene with IoT InnovationsPt. 2: This Page

When a business or public entity wants to retrofit its restrooms with new technology, one of the questions, of course, is cost. 

“Touch-free restroom options are becoming more widely available and can fit within most budgets,” Oltmanns says. 

Options abound, as large facilities such as sports stadiums can go with faucets that can be engraved with team logos, while smaller entities might choose simpler faucet designs that offer touch-free handwashing. For managers with tight budgets, flushometer retrofit kits are available, allowing the transformation to water-saving devices with no need for wholesale renovations. 

“Going touch-free doesn’t have to break the bank and has become the default in institutional and commercial restroom settings,” Oltmanns says. 

A small restroom renovation project could cost approximately $5,000, which would cover both parts and labor, McLennan says. 

“A new construction build would cost considerably more, as the project would touch everything in the space, including sinks, toilets, mirrors, lighting, flooring, and more,” he says. 

Of course, bigger spaces also would cost more. It’s difficult to pinpoint an estimate, as the range of updates varies, but businesses should view renovation as an investment. 

“There can be a cost increase to move from metered or manual products to touchless; however, over the life of the product, the costs are negligible, and the benefits will outweigh the costs,” Haas says. 

That realization is one reason why a surge in the prevalence of touch-free restrooms dates to before the turn of the 21st century. The pandemic, though, hastened the changeover. 

“In our estimation, we believe a majority of public restrooms have transitioned to sensored products,” Haas says. “Smart technology represents a much smaller share in the commercial space, but we see a significant uptick in several market verticals like aviation and convention centers.” 

Based on 2022 data, more than 80 percent of urinal flush valves, more than 72 percent of flush valves, and more than 45 percent of commercial faucets were upgraded, McLennan says, citing the BRG US commercial report. 

Oltmanns expects that trend will keep inching upward, with estimates indicating that sensor technology is expected to grow by 20 percent to 25 percent. 

“Patrons often make the decision to revisit a business based on the restroom,” he says. “As the standard for commercial restrooms has defaulted in favor of touch-free technology, manual fixtures tend to look outdated and messy. Even with good restroom maintenance, expecting patrons to touch a manual faucet, soap dispenser, hand dryer, or flushometer handle is now considered unsatisfactory.” 

Laurie Luebbert is a freelance writer with Advantage Informatics.

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  posted on 8/10/2023   Article Use Policy

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