Chapter 7: Toilet Partition Trends by Industry

Just about any type of business that has a multi-stall restroom uses partitions. This includes restaurants, stores, schools, theaters, gyms, transportation hubs and much more. Within these businesses, restroom partitions play a vital role in providing privacy and comfort. For this reason, the demand for effective toilet partitions remains high. The U.S. toilet partitions market was worth over $690 million in 2018, according to Grand View Research, and is expected to grow 4.4% annually until 2025.

Even though most businesses with large restrooms use partitions, not all partition materials serve the same purpose. In this chapter, we’ll explore the different industries that use bathroom partitions and provide recommendations for each. If you have any questions about partition design for your business, our experts are ready to help.

Restaurants and Bars

If you own a restaurant, the type of partition you choose depends on several factors, such as your budget, how many people regularly use your bathroom, how much time you have for cleaning and the style you want to create. Customers really care about restaurant bathrooms, and it can affect their overall experience. For example, according to a Procter and Gamble survey from 2017, 73% of consumers say that a smelly bathroom is worse than receiving the wrong order. About half of the customers agree that if a restaurant bathroom is spotless, they are more likely to overlook poor service.

You can help create a positive dining experience for your customers by installing clean, sturdy bathroom partitions that fit your restaurant’s style and theme. Here are some partition ideas for different types of restaurants to help you make the right choice:

Casual Restaurants

A survey provided by Nation’s Restaurant News found that cleanliness is the second most important quality to casual restaurant customers. In other words, easy-to-clean partitions can make a difference, even if your restaurant doesn’t have a dress code. But, that doesn’t mean you have to choose the most expensive partition material out there. It’s just important that you select a partition made of quality materials that is easy to keep clean.

For example, solid plastic can be a great low-maintenance choice for a busy, quick-service restaurant. You can also find a color that fits your brand or current color scheme if you choose solid plastic partitions.

Laminate and powder-coated steel are popular options for tight budgets and where moisture isn’t a concern. If most of your customers use delivery or drive-thru services, you might consider powder-coated steel partitions, which is our most affordable option. Laminate may be the best choice if you’re looking for a diverse color selection.

Upscale Restaurants

Upscale restaurant-goers, in general, have high expectations, and every detail counts. This includes the food, service, atmosphere and restrooms. Therefore, you’ll want to make customers feel valued at all times and choose the highest quality partition materials.

For example, phenolic is a premium material that can be used to add warmth and style to a restaurant bathroom. Highly durable and resistant to moisture, phenolic partitions are an excellent choice if your restaurant is located in a humid region. Consider installing Washed Knotty Ash or Weathered Ash phenolic partitions to give your restrooms a natural feeling.

You might also consider stainless steel, which is a timelessly elegant choice and that will give you long-lasting results. Textured stainless steel partitions, in particular, add luxury to an upscale restaurant restroom.

Bars

If you own a bar, the type of partitions you choose depends on how busy your business gets, as well as customer behavior. Just like a restaurant, customers expect your bar and its restroom to be clean.

Consumer behavior may be more unpredictable in a bar, so it could be worth investing in higher-quality partitions that can stand up to moisture, are easy to clean and are tough against graffiti. Solid plastic can be an excellent choice for mid-range prices, while phenolic offers superior quality and the ability to stand up to years of frequent use.

You’ll also want to consider the style of your bar. If you own a posh cocktail lounge, for example, consider sleek and elegant stainless steel partitions. If you manage a sports bar, you might choose laminate partitions, which are available in a wide range of hues to match your favorite team’s color.

Offices

If you manage or own an office building, you need to consider how your bathroom makes an impression on visitors, clients and employees. Choosing a high-quality material for your office restroom shows you appreciate your workers and guests.

To select the right material, consider who will be using your bathroom and how partitions can fit your brand. You’ll also want to think about sustainable options when shopping for partitions. Sustainability is a commercial restroom design trend that’s not going away any time soon.

Stainless steel, for example, is a sustainable material for several reasons. First, it’s extremely durable without the need for added chemicals, which means you won’t have to replace it with new materials often. Stainless steel is also 100% recyclable with no reduction in quality and can be used as the same product again and again. As a bonus, stainless steel partitions increase the elegance of an office bathroom, so you can choose sustainable materials that are also visually stunning.

For a sustainable option with more color choices, consider phenolic partitions. Phenolic partitions are built to last a long time, so you won’t need to replace them too soon, and you’ll prevent waste as a result. They are also available in earthy designs to create a warm, nature-inspired atmosphere.

Hotels

Cleanliness is crucial to hotel guests. Thirty-eight percent of travelers check a hotel’s cleanliness reviews before booking a room. Attractive, clean partitions are part of a positive bathroom experience for hotel customers and employees.

Like office managers, hotel owners are also embracing sustainable design and the use of natural elements. To appeal to today’s travelers, choose high-quality, long-lasting materials like stainless steel or phenolic partitions.

If you want more budget-friendly options that are available in a wide range of colors, consider laminate or powder-coated steel partitions. Laminate and powder-coated steel are still durable materials, but they are also affordable. However, you’ll want to choose a different material if you need partitions for bathrooms near the pool, gym or any highly humid area.

For bathrooms located in a high-moisture part of the hotel, choose a partition material that can handle various humidity levels, like stainless steel, phenolic or solid plastic.

Churches

Churches may need to accommodate many people at once. Therefore, restrooms should be clean, comfortable, inviting and accessible. Partitions that are durable, easy to clean and colorful can help create a restroom that makes all individuals and ages feel welcome.

One way to choose partitions for a church is to consider current color trends. By incorporating new, vibrant colors, you can give your restroom an instant upgrade. Current color trends include cheerful hues like sunny yellows, rich greens or bold blues — colors that may appeal to all ages. Soothing natural shades like sage and pale blue add a sense of calm.

Laminate partitions are available in vibrant colors as well as calming shades. Phenolic partitions are a premium option if you want neutral colors or interesting patterns that can hide dirt and stains well.

If your church is on a tight budget, you can still opt for a high-quality partition at an affordable price. Our most budget-friendly partitions are our powder-coated steel bathroom stalls. These are available in warm and inviting colors like Burgundy and Red or comforting shades found in nature, such as Almond, Sage and Azure.

Lastly, you’ll want to think about durability. If your church receives many visitors, you may want to choose solid plastic partitions. Solid plastic partitions are easy to clean, durable and available in a range of colors.

Schools

School restrooms see a high level of traffic, so they require sturdy, low-maintenance partitions. Color plays an important role in school design, as well. Colors can impact a student’s attention span and can be used to create positive and nurturing learning environments. It’s recommended to incorporate colors from nature in your school’s bathroom design and try to balance various shades.

For example, phenolic partitions can outlast other materials and are resistant to graffiti, moisture, bacteria and impact. You might choose Washed Knotty Ash to bring elements of the great outdoors inside, or a light color like Almond or Silver Gray – the perfect backdrop for colorful and inspiring posters.

Consider the age range of the students using the restrooms as well. In general, children ages 5 to 8 prefer red, orange, yellow and violet. Children ages 13 to 14 prefer blue, ultramarine and orange. Solid plastic partitions in colors like Caramel, Azure, Blue or Burgundy might be ideal for busy school bathrooms, especially if humidity is a concern. Most children do not prefer black, white, gray or brown. However, you could still choose partitions in any of those colors and add child-friendly hues to the walls or artwork.

Overall, aim to use fresh, light colors in the restroom with bold contrasting elements. For example, a neutral-toned bathroom with bright blue partitions features a stimulating pop of color students will love.

Gyms and Locker Rooms

Gym restrooms and locker rooms may see a lot of moisture, especially if there’s a pool or shower area nearby. This means you’ll need to prioritize material over color. Solid plastic and phenolic partitions are the best choices for high-moisture areas. If you’re concerned about budget, go with solid plastic. If you’re interested in choosing a premium product, know that phenolic is a long-lasting material that will stretch your investment further.

When choosing partition colors, try to balance intense hues with neutral tones. For example, you might pair energizing colors like red or orange with neutral walls to encourage movement. If you want to create relaxing restrooms for gym guests, choose blue or green partitions. You might also consider wood-inspired phenolic partitions to give your gym’s restroom an eco-friendly vibe.

Public Bathrooms

Large public restrooms in transportation centers, malls and parks are busy places that see a lot of wear and tear. For this reason, durability, vandal resistance, accessibility and maintenance requirements must be considered when choosing partitions. Stainless steel, solid plastic and phenolic partitions make long-lasting choices that can stand up to frequent use and are easy to keep clean.

You should still consider aesthetic appeal when choosing partitions for a public restroom. After all, the restroom is another opportunity to impress customers. For a sleek, contemporary look, consider stainless steel or phenolic partitions. For easy-to-maintain, durable and colorful options, consider solid plastic partitions.

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