Choosing the right materials for your washroom.
It is easy to get caught up in the overall design of your commercial washroom, but style and luxury don’t always equate to practicality. Using the correct materials will not only have a large impact on the longevity of your washroom, but they will also improve the aesthetic of your design, and ensure that it remains durable for the foreseeable future.
Commercial buildings often see a great deal of foot traffic, so it is always advisable to consider your options in the early stages of planning. Your choice of materials is a good place to start. Doing your pre-design research will assure you that your washroom can withstand long-term use and maintain functionality and durability, without compromising the look and feel of your design.
A good starting point is to consider the footfall of your washroom area, as this will have an impact on your options. For example, Melamine Faced Chipboard (MFC) is the material of choice for areas with a lower footfall, and is an affordable option. It is only suited to drier environments, so would be ideal for offices or restaurants. For busier environments, we recommend Solid Grade Laminate (SGL); the most durable of materials. It is fully resistant to water, so well suited to busy schools or shopping centres. High Pressure Laminate (HPL) is perfect for reasonably robust areas, but less so for wetter areas such as swimming baths or gyms. It can, however, withstand a high footfall.
Aside from the usage and footfall of your washroom, there are other factors to consider when planning your design.
While some commercial washrooms operate fastidious cleaning schedules, others may prefer something that is maintained in-house, thus requiring a lower-maintenance material. Once you have defined your overall requirements as an organisation, your choices will be much simpler.
A clean washroom is vital; a sophisticated restaurant with a poor washroom is likely to put customers off, and encourage them to question the hygiene of the business as a whole. Dependent upon the area, it is sensible to choose a material that is easy to clean and maintain, so you don’t start losing custom. Our durable, customisable and bespoke laminate, SGL and MFC panels can be used to create both style and functionality. Plus, due to their anti-fingerprint properties, cleaning is minimal. For flooring, we recommend clean, neutral shades with no patterns or designs. This will ensure that it remains clean-looking and timeless.
The health and safety of your staff or visitors is equally vital. Though a certain amount of water on any washroom floor is inevitable, a soaked floor can be damaging to the material, not to mention hazardous to users! While a carpeted flooring can look attractive, it is impractical for germ-harbouring and long-term use, so we recommend solid flooring with an appropriate material.
For cubicles, MFL’s anti-bacterial grade laminates are ideal for ensuring that hygiene levels remain minimal, and long-term water damage is negated due to their moisture resistant core material.
Cracks and dents can also look unattractive, and certainly don’t portray a strong image as far as care and cleanliness is concerned. Cheap, sub-standard materials can cause issues such as these, and the costs quickly begin to rise when you need to pay for regular maintenance. This issue can be easily averted by choosing sensible materials that can withstand your organisation’s usage requirements, without having to ruin the aesthetic. MFL’s impact-resistant laminates are a superb choice for their durability, while flooring will benefit from a smooth, sturdy material.
Many companies are now opting for a coordinated washroom that offers continuity with the rest of the workplace. This not only presents your organisation in a good light, but also enables staff a sense of pride and comfort. Floors, walls, colour schemes and even low-cost refurbished accessories can be utilised to achieve this, and it ensures that the area isn’t overlooked.
When choosing the appropriate materials for your commercial washroom, you will need to consider practicality, durability, budget and aesthetics. MFL’s range of laminate panels provide you with all of these, so please get in touch today to find an ideal solution for your washroom.