How To Design Workplace Bathrooms For The Office, Warehouse & More
How To Design Workplace Bathrooms For The Office, Warehouse & More
Table of Contents
- How To Design Workplace Bathrooms For The Office, Warehouse & More
- Government standards
- Types Of Office Bathroom
- Recommended Fixtures
- Cubicle Types
- Accessible Supplies
If you are a business owner or facilities manager, then you need to know how to design a workplace bathroom. Plus, if you’re a workplace bound employee, then it’s useful to know what you should expect from your environment.
You may be wondering if there even is a difference between a workplace bathroom and a home bathroom, and yes, there’s quite a few.
Let’s dive in and investigate exactly what you need to know to design a workplace bathroom that’s approved by the government and loved by your employees.
First of all, let’s address the government regulations.
There are a few things to keep in mind:
- The amount of basins and toilets per employee
- Every singular bathroom/cubicle being lockable
- Hot & Cold Running Water
- Facilities For Hand Drying
- A Consistent Supply Of Toilet Paper
- Adequate Disposal Facilities For Feminine Hygiene Products
- Clean, Well Lit & Ventilated Facilities
- A Shower If Employees Are Likely To Get Dirty
(This list was sourced from the official gov.uk site, linked above.)
With These needs in mind, let’s address how you can tackle each and every one!
The Number Of Toilets & Basins In A Workplace Bathroom
You will require by law a different minimum amount of toilets and basins. This is decided by what is seen as appropriate potential traffic, as you don’t want your employees to have to wait for prolonged periods of time to use the bathroom, especially if they are experiencing an emergency.
Here is the amount of toilets and basins you need per employee:
Number Of Employees
Number Of Toilets
Number Of Basins
Safety and privacy are top concerns when ensuring people are comfortable. To do so, you should make sure that any single occupancy bathroom is lockable and any toilet cubicle in a multi-person bathroom is lockable. A simple bolt lock should suffice and can easily be attached to the interior of any toilet door with screws.
Hot & Cold Running Water
Having access to both hot and cold running water is crucial for any workplace bathroom. This is so that your employees have access to hot water for cleaning and cold water for rinsing. The simplest way to achieve this is to install monobloc taps in your bathroom. Monobloc taps are singular taps that can summon both hot and cold water. The use of these saves space and means you can cut the amount of taps you need of buy in half, saving you a lot of money.
Naturally, as water is heavily represented in the bathroom, you also need a tool for drying yourself once you are done interacting with the water. The simplest and most cost effective option is the humble towel. If you install a towel rack in your bathroom, you can hang multiple towels off of it for people to use, these can then be regularly washed to avoid germ build up and will prevent you spending lots of money on paper towels or a hand dryer.
Toilet Paper Supply
If you have lots of employees, you will need lots of toilet paper. This cost can spiral out of control very quickly if you do not invest wisely. We recommend you forego the traditional toilet paper and instead embrace the modern man’s bidet. A bidet gently washes the user and allows them to completely forego the use of toilet paper. If you install one per toilet, you will have a lot of happy employees and a lot of saved cash. It is worth keeping in mind, you should keep at least one pack of paper in the restroom, in case anyone doesn’t wish to use the bidet.
Hygiene Product Disposal Facilities
This is a simple one! Invest in a nice, discreet bin. We recommend one with a lid, so people don’t have to look inside when disposing of any waste. In fact, to really win your employees over, we recommend having multiple bins with lids, so you can place one in each toilet cubicle. That way all waste can be disposed of efficiently, effectively and privately.
A Good Environment
To ensure you foster a good environment in your workplace bathroom, you must make sure all bathrooms on the premisses are cleaned daily. We recommend employing a dedicated cleaner, but companies have also been known to have existing employees take on cleaning duty in exchange for extra compensation. As well as this, make sure the bathroom has an openable, frosted window to let in light and ventilation. It is worth emphasising that the window must be frosted, to ensure no one can look inside. You should also use good quality LED lights and an extractor fan to make sure the room is as personable as possible.
Finally, in some workplaces, the employee gets dirty. This is typically the case in construction or manufacturing. If your employee is likely to get dirty on the job, it is important that you provide them a safe and secure way of cleaning themselves. Some companies opt for communal showers, but we recommend frosted glass shower enclosures, so that everyone can keep their privacy.
Now you know how to make sure your workplace is up to governmental regulations, let’s look at how to design the right workplace bathroom for you and your employees.
Types Of Office Bathroom
When it comes to the actual bathroom space itself, you have two major choices to make.
Single Occupancy Bathrooms VS Multiple Occupancy Bathrooms
Your first major choice to make more than likely depends on the size of your workplace. You must choose whether your bathroom(s) will be single occupancy or multiple occupancy. What does this mean? A single occupancy bathroom can only have one person in at a time. An aeroplane bathroom is a perfect example of this. Meanwhile, multiple occupancy bathrooms are where multiple people can use the bathroom space simultaneously. Naturally, the toilets still need to be partitioned by cubicles to ensure there is some level of privacy.
Single occupancy bathrooms suit small buildings and small headcounts. If you have 60+ employees, only one single occupancy bathroom won’t cut it and having four single occupancy bathrooms dotted around the building could be inconvenient. In the instance of having a middling to large size company, you are best choosing a multiple occupancy bathroom. Just make sure you have enough space in your building for one!
Gendered bathrooms VS Unisex bathrooms
Secondly, you need to decide whether you will divide your bathrooms by gender or provide a shared, unisex bathroom. Typically, in the UK, most places provide three bathrooms, a bathroom designated to men, a bathroom designated to women and a bathroom designated to people with disabilities. Typically, as the disabled toilet is often single occupancy, it is unisex.
However, as biological sex and gender identity are not one and the same, not everyone feels comfortable using the bathroom designated to the gender assigned to them at birth. Because of this, there is a rise in multiple occupancy unisex bathrooms that accommodate all sexes and genders.
By UK law, all public buildings must have at least a male bathroom and a female bathroom, and are allowed to have a unisex bathroom, but this isn’t required. The logic behind this law is that women may need more time in the bathroom and may need to utilise it more often due to sanitary needs and pregnancy, so if there was only a unisex bathroom, this could cause a situation where a woman was prevented from accessing the bathroom during an emergency. Check if your workplace is affected by this law before making a concrete decision.
This decision is ultimately up to you and how much space you have. There are a lot of benefits to having a unisex bathroom, as it prevents anyone having to feel uncomfortable. Keeping in mind the extra needs of women, it is also worth having an extra bathroom designated for women that can essentially act as an overflow, so there is always space for everyone.
Now you understand the basics, let’s cover some fixtures that could take your bathroom to the next level.
The toilet with a sink on top is a great, cost effective way of meeting your legal toilet and sink number requirements, as it combines the two. That way you can just install several toilets with integrated sinks and your company bathroom will be ready to go. Plus, it will save you water and money by using the basin water in the cistern.
As stated prior, a bidet is a great addition to any company bathroom. The gentle cleaning properties will help keep employees relaxed and save you the costs of toilet paper. We recommend having one bidet available for every toilet.
Freestanding basins can be a godsend for those with large amounts of dead space in your bathroom. As some pedestal basins can be plumbed through the floor, they make for the perfect central basins, freeing up the walls for other fixtures like toilets and bidets.
Equally, double sinks maximise space by having enough room for multiple simultaneous users. This can help promote efficiency in the bathroom but might be too close for comfort for some workers!
Cloakroom basins are small by design. Their compact forms are perfect for fitting into a smaller office bathroom. However, they are also ideal for filling a larger bathroom in bulk. Take our 300 x 215mm ceramic bathroom sink for example, you could easily fit a vast number of these into one shared bathroom, immediately improving your employee’s quality of life.
Mixer Taps & Monobloc Taps
Much like we said before, we recommend monobloc taps as your go to office bathroom tap. However, mixer taps are also great! The primary difference between the two is that monobloc taps only have one tap lever, while mixer taps have two tap levers. Ultimately, whichever is right for you is your decision, but monobloc taps are more compact and able to fit into smaller areas.
Bottle Traps & P Traps
To help ensure maintenance and cleaning goes smoothly, we recommend you install bottle traps onto your basins and that you buy toilets with large P Traps. Large P Traps ensure larger refuse is flushable and bottle traps prevent clogs, while also catching any lost debris. Both of these types of traps are perfect for a busy environment with lots of people.
Now, if you have lots of basins, you need lots of basin wastes. But which should you pick? Captive wastes are the ideal choice if you have a lot of unaccounted for foot traffic, as they can’t be removed or tampered with. However, if you trust your employees then a pop up waste plug or click clack waste plug is perfect as they are easy to use. Plus, a pop up waste plug is more accessible than most.
As previously stated, your cubicles must be lockable to ensure the safety and privacy of employees, but there is also another factor to consider. You must consider whether you want regular cubicles or full height cubicles.
Regular cubicles have a gap beneath them, so that people looking for a stall can at a glance see whether one is in use or not by the presence of feet.
Full height cubicles however go down to the floor to increase privacy and prevent drafts.
As most cubicles have an indicator to show whether the cubicle is in use or not anyway, there is no major difference between the two. Go for whichever you feel will make your employees happier!
Now we know what fixtures to fit out our company bathroom with, let’s look at what supplies you should have accessible to your employees in the bathroom.
A toilet brush is a must, as it encourages employees to keep their environment clean and provides them with the tool to do so. You should have one accompany every toilet!
Feminine Hygiene Products
Any bathroom that women can enter should have relevant feminine hygiene products readily available in case they are caught without the necessary tools. Put them in a readily available basket that’s easy to spot in the bathroom, so employees always know they have options.
It’s always useful to have an excess of toilet paper, especially if you have lots of employees. As stated, prior, you can cut down on this cost by installing bidets. It is always helpful to have some though.
Whether it’s a towel, paper towels or a hand dryer, you need a method of drying your hands readily available in every bathroom!
The company bathroom should be cleaned daily. When it is being cleaned, make sure wet floor signs and cleaning in progress signs are visible, so that employees don’t get caught aware. Also, spray some air freshener to keep the place smelling nice!
There is a lot of work to be done when creating the ultimate workplace bathroom. Hopefully you now understand the steps you need to take to keep the government and your employees happy. If you want in depth explanations of different fixtures, or helpful how to guides covering installation processes and design philosophies, check out the rest of our blog.