Commercial Bathroom Layouts
Many important decisions go into designing a bathroom, including deciding which tile to put on the floor, which material to use for your partitions and what type of entryway to design. All of these choices, however, are secondary to the overarching questions of your bathroom’s basic structure. Before you can even begin to decide the more minor details, you’ll need to make some larger choices about the bathroom’s layout as a whole.
Initially, you might assume that bathroom layout isn’t something of huge importance, particularly if you’ve never had the experience of building or re-doing a bathroom before. You might expect that all bathrooms are basically the same and that it doesn’t matter where you position your different components.
But of course, it’s a lot more complicated than that. There’s a lot to take into consideration and a lot of different possibilities you’ll need to sort through and choose between. To help you navigate this potentially confusing new world, we’ve created this guide to everything you need to know about commercial bathroom layouts — what they are, why they’re important, how to choose them and more.
When Is It Important to Think About the Layout of Your Commercial Bathroom?
Most of the time, we probably don’t think much about the layout of our bathrooms, provided they work well and aren’t actively causing problems. Thinking about your bathroom layout in and of itself is almost a bit of a contradiction because if the design is good, you shouldn’t have to think about it at all. It should merely fade into the background.
So when should you be thinking about these design elements? Really, the only time you want to be thinking about a bathroom design is when you’re preparing to tinker with it. If you’re building a new bathroom from scratch or breathing new life into an old bathroom through a re-design, these are the perfect times to give some thought towards your design. During these times, it’s important to think about how you want your layout to function and how to use your various design elements to best achieve these goals.
What Should a Successful Bathroom Layout Achieve?
You may have personal goals for your bathroom design that are unique to your situation. Perhaps you’re looking for a space that will accommodate an unusually high number of accessible stalls. Maybe you’re designing a bathroom for a luxury hotel, and you need space for an elegant sofa as well as all the ordinary bathroom necessities. Everyone has a few unique goals that they’ll need to consider.
When it comes to goals that are relatively common across the board, however, it’s easy to pick out the common threads. This means that when it comes to designing a bathroom layout, you should think about achieving the following goals:
First and foremost, before you can even begin to layer in any extra concerns, your bathroom needs to work as a functional space. This means having the correct number of stalls, sinks, mirrors, trashcans, soap dispensers and more. If your bathroom doesn’t work as a functional space, then none of the other design elements matter at all. Make this your priority and build everything else around this.
2. Traffic Flow
While this should be included in any discussion of functionality, it’s also so important and potentially enough of a roadblock that it’s worth mentioning separately. One of the worst things that can happen in your bathroom is for there to be no clear flow of traffic. This will result in people colliding, crashing into one another and not having enough room to wash their hands or walk through the bathroom without bumping into one another.
Your bathroom needs to have plenty of floor space between different bathroom features. It means planning your stall layouts so that the doors don’t bump up against one another when they’re all open. It involves positioning the stalls so that the doors won’t open directly into someone standing in line to wash their hands. It also means making sure your bathroom layout is ADA-compliant. All these items are things that you’ll want to consider carefully as you plan your space.
While functionality and practicality should be your top priorities when designing a space as crucial as a bathroom, aesthetic should not be entirely forgotten. After all, just because a space functions well doesn’t mean it can’t also look beautiful, and just because a space is a restroom doesn’t mean it has to be ugly.
As you decide how you’ll lay out your space, think about what will look nice. Where can you add a few flourishes that will take your space from boring to beautiful?
Different Commercial Bathroom Design Options Available
As you set about designing your bathroom, think creatively and brainstorm the many different ways you could fit all your requirements into your designated amount of space. As long as you’re meeting the ADA requirements, there are no limits to the way you can design your stalls. If you think of a brilliant design that’s never been used before, there’s no reason you should hold back from carrying it out.
That being said, certain restroom layouts have become popular and common is because they work, and they work well. Because they’re so tried and true, it can be helpful to study these designs. Whether you choose to draw inspiration from them before doing your own design with a twist, or you choose to use a direct copy of one of these designs is up to you. Either way, it can be helpful to learn these basic layouts.
1. The Alcove Design
This design usually features a stall or stalls set into alcoves with bathroom walls on three sides and a partition on the remaining side with a door offset at the end of the partition. This layout is commonly used for the accessible stall in an ADA commercial bathroom.
The advantage of this design, particularly if it’s only for one stall, is that it allows this stall to be tucked neatly out of the way without otherwise obstructing the flow of traffic in any way. The disadvantage is that it requires your bathroom to naturally have this alcove built into the structure of the room itself. If you’re building a bathroom from scratch, this may be easy to design. If you’re simply re-furnishing a bathroom, however, this may be more difficult to achieve.
2. The Between-the-Walls Design
This design typically is centered between two bathroom walls that jut out into the center of the bathroom, forming a square ‘U’ shape that has solid walls on three sides. Depending on how much space you have, there can be as many stalls as you like in this space. It can be two, three or more if you can fit them. These stalls are separated from each other by partitions, but the outside walls and the back are solid. Each stall also has a door opening from the front into the rest of the bathroom.
The advantage of this design is the added stability and privacy of the solid outer walls. The disadvantage, again, is that unless this is already built into your bathroom, it can be more difficult to attain. Additionally, the nature of the walls jutting out into the center of the bathroom can be disruptive, depending on the rest of your design.
3. The Corner Design
This design has a lot in common with the between-the-walls layout. The only difference here is that this layout is backed into a corner, meaning that there are solid walls on one side and the back, while the front and other side are made up of your partition material of choice. Again, you can link as many stalls as necessary together in this design.
The primary benefit here is how neat and tidy this layout is, with the stalls tucked away into the corner and out of the way. This lessens the overall amount of dead floor space being wasted. The disadvantages include less stability and privacy given the increasing number of partitions and the decreasing number of solid walls.
4. The Free-Standing Design
This design features partitions on all sides, except the back. As many stalls as you like are linked together, with partitions on three sides and doors in the front and solid walls at the back.
The major reason this design is popular is that there are no special requirements. You can place these stalls wherever you like, and they don’t require any pre-existing designs of the walls themselves. You can simply place them along the middle of a wall space, and they’ll fit great. The main disadvantage is that because there isn’t an anchoring wall on one side, there’s a greater possibility for wobbles and a little less privacy overall. Additionally, these can be a little more obstructive of traffic because they aren’t tucked out of the way against a wall.
As you think about whether or not to directly adopt one of these styles, to morph several of them together or to craft something new and entirely your own, here are a few additional points to take into consideration.
1. Maximize Your Space
There’s nothing worse than ending up with a design that features tons of dead space — that is, space that exists, but isn’t big enough or conveniently positioned enough to actually make it useable. Instead, it just sits there, going to waste and not being good for anything.
Ideally, your bathroom design will minimize the amount of dead space present. Strive to make every inch of space count for something, even if that something is just a wider walkway to allow for a clear flow of traffic.
2. The More Open, the Better
While there are exceptions, open space almost always equals better traffic flow and less congestion. In other words, the more open an area is, the less likely it is that people will be bumping into one another and having to stand extremely close to one another as they wait in line.
This means working to position your bathroom features against walls as much as possible, to reduce the number of things taking up space in the center of the floor. It means working to eliminate narrow spaces that naturally lead to bottlenecking and crowding.
You can also implement various tricks into your bathroom to make it seem larger and more open than it is. While these won’t actually do anything to reduce crowding, they can help people feel more comfortable and like they have more room to breathe. For example, you might opt for a higher ceiling, or place plenty of mirrors around the space.
3. Think Creatively
Maybe the shape of the bathroom you have to work with is a little unconventional. If that’s the case, you might need to get a creative with your thinking as you try to figure out how to use your space most effectively. Test the limits of what’s expected and see what new ways you can devise to use your space the best.
Ask yourself what might be possible in your space. After all, who said sinks have to be attached to the walls? Maybe for your space, it makes more sense to have them freestanding. And whoever said that all your stalls need to be attached to one another? It’s up to you to find the best solution for your bathroom and sometimes, that means being willing to try creative solutions.
4. Work With What You Have
If you aren’t building a completely new bathroom and instead are just remodeling an existing space, then don’t be afraid to work with what you already have. If one wall juts out awkwardly, leaving you with a small corner of dead space, maybe try to fit an extra stall or sink there. On the other hand, don’t be afraid to get rid of what’s already there. If there’s nothing stopping you from tearing down that odd section of the wall, and you think it’s hindering the perfect layout, then get rid of it.
What Role Do Toilet Partitions Play in Your Commercial Bathroom?
Bathroom partitions are an enormous part of any bathroom layout. Without these handy tools at your disposal, designing a bathroom would be almost impossible. Essentially, they enable you to divide up your space any way you want, creating privacy, security and order in your bathroom.
Here are just a few of the ways bathroom partitions play a crucial role in your bathroom layout:
1. They’re Temporary
Bathroom partitions come in a wide range of different materials and styles, ranging from highly affordable to extremely durable and quite expensive. Even at the most expensive end, however, these partitions are designed to be temporary.
We don’t mean to say that they’re temporary in the sense that they’re placeholders until you get “the real thing.” Rather, they’re temporary in the sense that they aren’t designed to be there forever. This means that when you want to re-do the bathroom again in 10 years, they’re easily removed and replaced. Compared to a solid wall, which is a fairly enormous task to remove and replace, toilet partitions are quite easy to pull out. From there, you can change the layout and purchase new ones or, potentially, reinstall the old ones in a new location.
2. They’re Practical
When designing a bathroom in particular, one of your main goals is to chop the space up into small, usable pieces, each with a different purpose. Partitions are unquestionably the best way to do this. They’re a fantastic way to erect a barrier without going to all the trouble of building an actual wall. This allows you to create separate stalls as well as other privacy barriers throughout the bathroom.
You have many more options when it comes to planning your layout than you would have if you were simply restricted to planning around solid walls.
3. They Help You Accommodate More People
It goes without saying that if there are no privacy barriers, only one person can be in the restroom at one time. While one-person restrooms have their place and are used in many public establishments, they quickly become a problem if the bathroom is heavily trafficked. If large numbers of people regularly need to access the bathroom at the same time, this creates issues.
Privacy barriers are the answer. These allow you to expand your restroom, fitting multiple stalls all in the same space and thus allowing more people to access the facilities at any given moment.
4. They Add Aesthetic Value
Earlier, we discussed how bathrooms don’t just need to be functional, although this is certainly important. They should also look lovely. This means picking an attractive tile, painting the walls a color that complements the fixtures and finishes well and giving some attention to your bathroom partitions.
Bathroom partitions come in a wide range of materials and colors, all of which can add aesthetic value to your bathroom. From the bright colors and heavy-duty appearance of solid plastic partitions to the sleek and shiny finish of stainless steel partitions, there’s a bathroom partition out there for everyone and every design. Used correctly, these partitions can help take your design to new heights.
5. They’re Durable
Bathroom partitions aren’t just a flimsy barrier thrown up for a little bit of privacy. They also pack some serious strength in terms of durability, reliability and longevity. While every partition is different and certain materials are more durable against different hazards than others, most partitions are built to last. And while again, every partition is different and you’ll want to do your research, most partitions are designed to be easy to clean.
This is an enormous advantage for you as you plan your layout. It helps you spend less energy worrying about things like potential graffiti and dirt, and allows you to spend more energy planning things like effective walkways and a correct number of stalls. With partitions, you’ll simply be able to install them and stop worrying.
Contact One Point Partitions and Shop Bathroom Partitions Today
Are you looking to build a new bathroom, or perhaps restructure and re-design an existing bathroom? If so, bathroom partitions are just one of the purchases you’ll need to make. For all your partition shopping needs, we’d like to invite you to shop with us here at One Point Partitions.
We take pride in supplying our customers with high-quality partitions in all of our distinctive styles. Choose from a variety of different materials such as powder-coated steel, plastic laminate, solid plastic, phenolic core and stainless steel, and from a range of colors and finishes. To make your shopping experience the best it can be, we also offer free delivery, free quotes, free samples and affordable prices.
Not quite sure what you’re looking for in a bathroom partition yet? That’s all right. Here at One Point Partitions, our team members will work with you to provide a free design consultation where you’ll work together to come up with a mock-up and a quote that satisfies everyone concerned. Browse our full selection of bathroom partitions today and set your bathroom re-design experience into motion by requesting a quote from us today.