What Are the Different Types of Commercial Washroom Designs?

Tara Barnett

Commercial washroom designs are as varied as the many different types of commercial facilities in the world. Commonly, stalls of some sort are used to separate toilets, or a number of urinals are placed against a wall. There are designs of varying luxury among commercial restrooms, although perceived luxury is in part a matter of cleanliness. Different cultures have different ideas about what is appropriate for a commercial washroom as well. As such, commercial washroom designs may vary according to these ideals, as well as in terms of theme and architectural qualities.

Faucet and sink designs are types of commercial washroom designs.
Faucet and sink designs are types of commercial washroom designs.

One of the most common differences between commercial washroom designs is whether they are private or partitioned rooms. Many commercial facilities place a number of toilets in relatively close proximity and divide the fixtures with partitions. The sturdiness of these partitions makes a large difference in terms of perceived privacy, and many customers like to use individual or fully partitioned toilets more than those with flimsy plastic walls. This is primarily a problem in women's restrooms, as there are no urinals, but men's restrooms may also have partitioned sections. Commercial spaces that use an individual bathroom often do not designate bathrooms for different genders, as only one person is in the bathroom at a time.

Stalls are usually used to separate toilets in commercial washroom configurations.
Stalls are usually used to separate toilets in commercial washroom configurations.

Besides the use of different partitioning strategies, there are other differences between commercial washroom designs as well. Many different cultures have quite different bathroom rules, some involving different toilet structures entirely, making commercial washroom design very different in these areas. Certain groups might expect the fixtures in a washroom as well as the overall design to adhere to a certain environmental policy, such as using less water than other fixtures. Sink designs are often an opportunity to demonstrate artistic taste, using elaborate fixtures and sometimes even lights to give the illusion of colored water.

Some commercial washrooms will have a toilet and sink partitioned off together.
Some commercial washrooms will have a toilet and sink partitioned off together.

The basic elements of commercial washrooms typically involve toilets, urinals, and sinks, but in certain facilities, other fixtures may be needed as well. Some washrooms include showers, particularly if the bathroom is for employees. Certain vending machines, furniture, and other items may be necessary for some groups, although these are often optional. Many aesthetic and practical elements can be included in a commercial washroom to make it more comfortable, but all designs require toilets and sanitary equipment at the bare minimum.

In general, businesses attempt to accommodate the needs and desires of their customers and clients in every aspect of the business. This means that a washroom available to these groups will be designed in a way that meets their needs and expectations. If a business serves a group that has wildly unusual bathroom expectations or could be impressed with an unusual washroom design, it is likely that the washroom will be very different from common designs. A washroom is an opportunity to say something about a business, and many business take advantage of the chance to express their particular personality.

Only men's restrooms have urinals.
Only men's restrooms have urinals.

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