Tips for improving your public restroom experience
Previously we’ve covered designing restroom exteriors or how to glamorize restroom interiors. Today we’ll share some easy ways to boost the overall user experience of your restroom.
This article borrows heavily from suggestions made by Linda Wright in her excellent book Skip to the Loo. We recommend it highly as it can serve as a user manual for anything you’d ever need to know about creating a quality restroom experience for your visitors.
One of the best things you can do to increase the pleasantness of any room is to make it smell nice. This is different from simply covering bad smells. Fragrances have a subconscious impact on how we perceive our environments, and the right fragrance can breathe life into any room. There are plenty of ways to accomplish this: air fresheners, potpourri, scented candles or even scented paint. There are pros and cons to all these approaches, but for a publicly used restroom the most recommended option would be to seek a battery operated fragrance dispenser.
These dispensers produce a very high quality of fragrance and can be programed. It is very important to check them regularly (perhaps once every month or two) as batteries and fragrance cartridges will both eventually run out of juice if not given attention.
There are a lot of different scents to choose from, so it might be best to try a few that seem nice and test them out to see which one is the best fit for your restroom. It’s also important to avoid fragrances that are too strong and overpowering (avoid gel based fragrances, etc).
For the many perks urinals offer, they do have one drawback. They tend to splash. Small amounts of urine might splash on the floor or even the user.
A common solution to this is the use of splashguards. Ekcos Innovations offers splashguards that effectively eliminate splash completely, while also emitting clean smells for up to 60 days.
Floor covering options include indoor-outdoor rugs, vinyl rugs, bamboo slat rugs, floorcloths, and floor graphics. Floor coverings make for an easy accent to a room, especially rooms where space for furnishings is limited. Floor coverings can prove handy for masking blemishes in the event that there are cracks or stains on the floor that you’d wish to cover up. And a good a rug should prove to be non-slip, which could be handy as bathroom floors are no stranger to moisture especially right after a cleaning.
If you are looking for a good balance of appearance, durability, and low-maintenance, vinyl rugs are a solid choice.
Is a surprisingly common answer to the question “what would you bring with you if stuck on a deserted island.” The kind of commodity we take for granted, until we don’t have it, and then it’s a horror show.
Generally speaking you should avoid 1 ply toilet paper as it will wipe out much of the goodwill the rest of the restroom creates. Protests have happened over 1 ply versus 2 ply. Toilet Paper is a big deal.
Despite being less common, foaming soap dispensers have several advantages over liquid soap both for the restroom owner and for users. Foaming soap dispensers mix the soap with air as it is produced, producing soap with similar consistency to shaving cream. Users consume much less soap per washing as a result, and it also saves users time since foaming soap does not need to be lathered the way that liquid soap does. And since foamy soap is much lighter weight than liquid soap, it is less likely to create problems dripping from dispensers.
This isn’t to say that other forms of soap aren’t excellent. In fact, most high end restrooms use scented liquid soaps contained in fancy sink-side bottles. But if you are going the more industrial wall mounted dispenser route, the foaming soap option offers excellent efficiency and utility.
Baby Changing Tables
While easily ignored by most bathroom visitors, baby changing tables are of great relief to traveling parents with infants. Before baby changing tables became a common find in recent decades mothers were often reduced to changing babies on bathroom floors. Not all restrooms are likely to be visited by parents with infants, but if they are, baby changing tables strongly recommended, otherwise the lack of them will be the only thing those visitors remember about your bathroom. Parents with young children might even avoid traveling to places that don’t have them.
Paper Towels for Hand Drying
When it comes to hand drying, the public has a clear preference for paper towels over air dryers. The reason seems to be rooted in convenience. Older air dryers require 35-45 seconds to do the job, a paper towel only takes about 12 seconds on average, and public bathroom visitors are typically in a hurry. Newer hand dryer models are more competitive in terms of time spent, but are very loud. Bathroom visitors will often flat out avoid using air dryers, instead going for whatever they can get their hands on: toilet paper, seat covers, clothing, etc. Many will just walk out with dripping hands, and some even decide the hassle isn’t worth washing their hands at all.
Going with air dryers isn’t there worst thing in the world- there are some advantages to air dryers such as having lower maintenance and no mess. But if creating the most visitor friendly restroom experience is your goal, go the paper towel route.
If you do choose paper towels, it is recommended to purchase them with care. People will take more towels if they are flimsy, less if they are sturdy. Paper towels that lack strength will tear when grasped by wet hands, and these now useless towel pieces are often left discarded on the floor. Ironically, a cheaper paper towel will likely cost you more money in the long run, and also be more of a hassle too.
Clean Restrooms often
The last suggestion is the most obvious but d positive impression with visitors, only to have it all undone by having the restroom fall into a state of dereliction. It would be a waste to put so much care and attention into your restroom to create a profounen if your restroom is very humble and basic, it can still make a positive impression if it smells nice and feels clean.