Bathrooms often provide hygiene challenges. In a previous blog I wrote (3 reasons to take your bathroom from better to best) I noted that within 30 seconds of entering a customer has already decided whether or not they wish to stay at your establishment. Your bathroom often tells people a lot about the way in which you care for your business - hence the importance of first impressions.
Bathroom design can play a huge role in whether a person feels comfortable or not using your restroom. The primary aim of course is ease of use, but one should also keep good traffic flow in mind, as well as being easy to maintain and clean and having all the equipment needed to allow for customer comfort.
In this blog I take you through some of the do’s and don'ts of designing a public toilet that will help enhance your customer experience.
- For a high-traffic bathroom I’d advise a wide entrance/exit that has no door; this is because bathroom doors are a known germ hotspot.
- Cubicles, urinals and mirrors need to be away from the line of sight from the main entrance, alternatively have doors that you can push without needing to touch the handles.
- Ensure that the bathroom has proper ventilation to help circulate air therefore reducing odours and airborne bacteria.
- Place bathroom appliances in order of use, this will help with traffic circulation and help visitors keep their time spent in there as short as possible.
- When designing the women’s bathroom I would recommend making the female cubicles slightly bigger than the male's as you need to include a feminine hygiene unit (sanitary bin) comfortably.
- Avoid placing urinals and appliances such as air hand dryers too close to one another as this creates a hygiene and privacy problem.
This is usually the first step in anyone’s trip to the bathroom and I would say it's the most important step in making visitors feel comfortable with using your facilities.
- Ensure that toilet cubicles are big enough so one don't feel claustrophobic.
- For optimal hygiene and peace of mind ensure that toilets have sanitisers installed to fight against bacteria and limescale build up with every flush.
- Install toilet seat spray. Too often I find cubicles that don’t have seat cleaners present.
- In the blog “Are your toilets making employees sick?” we learn that bacteria can spread through a toilet’s sneeze effect
- Feminine hygiene units (sanitary bins) in the women’s bathroom ensure that visitors dispose of feminine hygiene waste in a safe, sensitive and environmentally friendly manner.
- I also recommend adding a hook on the door so female visitors can place their bags and other belongings there elevated and away from the possibly dirty floor.
- Always ensure that cubicles offer visitors privacy: working locks are a necessity!
- Don't place toilet roll holders or FHU's too far from the user as this could ruin the visitors experience.
The last step in a visitor’s journey through the bathroom is washing their hands. The more sensitive you are to their hygiene needs the easier you make it for them to partake in proper hand hygiene practices.
- Provide "clean" access water: wherever possible try and opt for "no touch" appliances, including sinks and soap dispensers or hand sanitisers (these work well for areas that have a water crisis), paper hand towel dispensers, or for a paperless solution - air hand dryers.
- To help keep the bathroom clean waste bins are a must-have for your visitors.
- Avoid using store bought 'pump bottles' for public restrooms. This is because in high-traffic public restrooms the bottle tops inevitably get grimy and become a hotspot for bacteria and dirt.
- NEVER run out of soap and hand paper! It's important for visitors that these are always available. The easiest way to ensure this is to have a dedicated hygiene company like Initial Hygiene to help service and resupply your bathroom regularly.
Our sense of smell plays a big part in how we perceive an environment. Bad smells and unpleasant odours are often associated with poor hygiene and upkeep, therefore to help elevate a visitors’ bathroom experience here are the do’s and don’ts of air care:
- Use air fresheners and air purifiers strategically to reassure visitors that your bathroom is clean and well taken care of.
- The use of a unique fragrance will ultimately enhance the image of your business as it leaves a lasting impression while creating a memorable and welcoming experience for the visitor.
- Do not use store bought air fresheners (commonly used for the home) as this poses an additional hygiene problem if visitors are meant to use it themselves (an additional touch point for germs). Plus, they aren’t designed to cover large areas like public restrooms.
Keeping bathroom layout and the different bathroom appliances in mind when designing a bathroom will help elevate the visitor's experience and impressions of your business. A well designed bathroom can quickly moment wow a potential customer, while a poorly designed one can ruin your reputation just as quickly.
Contact our team to find out more about bathroom design from the experts in hygiene, and how to equip your bathroom. You can also subscribe to our blog and receive more insights straight to you inbox.