New technologies improving public bathrooms


For a modern bathroom to be comfortable, it has to have sufficient heating and cooling, up-to-date hardware, quality materials, and amenities. Buildings that aren’t properly ventilated or have rusted hardware lose their appeal quickly.

But it doesn’t have to stay that way. Many businesses need renovations to meet government guidelines. Businesses that aren’t compliant face the risk of alienating patrons, as well as incurring hefty fines.

Besides, there are the benefits of improved sanitation, greater comfort, improved HVAC ventilation, easier access for all, and lower operating costs. Read on for some of the best improvements technology is making today for public restrooms.

Resource-Saving Features

One of the surprising effects of renovating washroom facilities is how new technology and improved hardware reduces overall operating costs.

A single air hand dryer in a small business that is used 50 times per day can save a small fortune per year versus using paper towels. Touchless water faucets as well can save over 30 to 50 percent in water bills.

Waterless urinals are another huge saver. A small office can save up to 200,000 litres per year of water while a restaurant may save closer to 300,000. When you add up the additional savings of not having to send in janitorial staff to clean up after an overflowing urinal floods the floor, we’re talking real money here.

With new technologies such as touchless toilets and sensor urinals, your washroom can be kept much cleaner. And this is of benefit not only for aesthetic reasons but for health reasons, particularly for employees.

Estimates show that a single employee being called out sick can cost the business 320 quid per day. So in effect, sanitization, and lower operating costs per employee go hand in hand.

Improved Comfort

Many businesses such as doctors’ offices, law offices, plastic surgeons, high-end spas, and 4 and 5-star hotels spend thousands, perhaps even millions of dollars on decorative artwork, fountains, chandeliers and more.

The last thing a customer expects is to enter into a business that is projecting a 5-star environment and then enters the restroom only to find it projects a 2-star experience.

Even if the restroom is cleaned every hour on the hour, the perception is likely to be that “deep down, this business doesn’t care. What else do they do sloppily?”

In high-end businesses, patrons expect either an odourless or a pleasantly scented environment, proper ventilation from a good HVAC unit, washroom bathroom partitions that are pleasant (most high-end businesses use patterned, stainless steel), and touchless toilets, faucets, hand air dryers, and soap dispensers.

Also, the walls should be pleasant and pastel-coloured, there may be touchless lighting around the mirrors for women to touch-up their make-up, and floors should have a bright, inviting pattern.

Intelligent Graffiti Prevention

If a facility manager discovers graffiti in their washrooms, they frequently have no choice but to replace the entire restroom partition, which could add up.

However, there are highly affordable anti-graffiti bathroom partitions that are available and easily remove most graffiti with ordinary solvents that are available in any janitorial supply company. You can consult with partition experts from about the best graffiti-resistant materials.

In places where “tagging” an issue, anti-graffiti restroom partitions can be a great alternative to replacing partitions, which can get rather expensive, as well as take time to replace.

Touchless Technology

We’ve already spoken briefly about how touchless technology can save a business a lot of money. But there is, of course, the bigger factor, which is the fear of unknown germs when using the restroom.

There are indeed a lot of germs that can be built up in public restrooms, and touchless technology significantly reduces the need for people to touch any surfaces in the washroom.

Also, air hand dryers, water faucets, the soap dispensers may all be touchless. This makes using the restroom significantly more pleasant and sanitary for everyone.

More Comfortable Environment Controls

Heating and cooling in a bathroom is paramount. Public washrooms already tend to be rather uncomfortable as they are—why make it worse? In particular, a good air conditioning unit ensures ventilation is sufficient. If you sense there isn’t enough ventilation in your building’s bathrooms, you’ll need to consult an HVAC contractor.

Automatic odour misting machines are, of course, the number one technology used by many businesses. A fine mist with a pleasant, scented deodorant keeps all odours under control. Automatic misting machines are like Glade plug-in air fresheners on steroids.

Automated room temperature controls, dehumidifiers, and ventilation control systems that are available and may be needed to control humidity. These gadgets may seem futuristic today, but will undoubtedly be the standard tomorrow.

Smart Toilets

Smart toilets mean different things to different people. To many, it just means sensor toilets that flush themselves. However, in Europe or Japan, a smart toilet may mean a toilet lid that flips up and down via sensor, and it may have heated water jets to act as a bidet after a person does their restroom business.

Smart toilets can virtually eliminate 90 percent or more of the need for toilet paper.

And particularly appreciated in cold climates, smart toilets will have a seat warmer, making sitting down comfortable and cosy.

You won’t see smart toilets in schools and industrial sites as they are quite costly, but many 5-star hotels and luxury-oriented businesses are now experimenting with installing smart toilets in their locations.

Handicap-Compliant Hardware

Finally, one of the least recognized facts for business owners and facility managers is that there are nearly 1.2 million people in the UK who need a wheelchair.

To make appropriate accommodation, sinks must be only so high, restroom stalls must provide sufficient turning radius, and door handles must be up to code.

Stalls must be wide enough for a wheelchair user to use and must have grab bars enabling a handicapped person to manoeuvre within the stall.

There are heavy fines for not being compliant, so facilities managers should take this into account whenever they are updating their restroom.