Paper Towel Considerations in Commercial Restrooms

  March 12, 2012

With design, sometimes it's the little things that matter. In restroom design, you think about the big things, like the lavatories and toilets. The partitions or the flooring. These, of course are all important, but don't forget the smaller things, like paper towel.

At the Scottsdale Center for Performing Arts in Scottsdale, Ariz., their renovated restrooms brought beautiful finishes and more capacity to accommodate their guests during intermissions. But the little touch of placing paper towel dispensers between the sinks as well as on the walls has been very well received as well.

If you choose to have paper towels in your restrooms, you have to think about how users are going to get to it. If the dispenser is on a wall behind them, they will end up dripping water all over the sink and the floor as they move to the paper towel dispenser. Not only is this annoying for the user, but it creates a slip hazard and an unsightly restroom.

At the Field Museum in Chicago, Ill., they debated whether to put paper towel in their renovated restrooms or just go with hand dryers. In the end, they went with both, leaving the decision to their patrons. However, they did put up a sign educating patrons that by not using paper towels, they could help conserve X number of trees. This simple strategy led to a decrease in overall paper towel consumption, while still offering their patrons the convenience of a choice.

To learn more about the specific restroom renovations projects mentioned here, check out the March 2012 issue of Building Operating Management.


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