A bathroom partition is a divider that is typically installed inside a public bathroom separating the space into individual cubicles. Bathroom partitions act as a barrier for every individual that uses the toilet – mainly for privacy. These are currently installed in restrooms with high foot traffic such as in schools, malls, workplaces, and other areas of public interest.
Bathroom partitions are a regular part of our industry, so learning about them as much as possible is necessary.
The History of Bathroom Partitions
Bathroom partitions were founded in the 16th century, and it has been a common and basic necessity for bathrooms in Europe and other civilized societies. During this era, toilets were typically remote to single rooms. Builders started grouping the toilets in the Victorian period and into the 19th century, and most are installed in public areas.
However, with the bathroom design before, preserving and keeping the nooks and corners of a bathroom area clean was quite a big challenge. Fortunately, in 1904, Frank Lloyd Wright, the great American architect, and innovator invented an innovative way to keep a clean toilet enclosure easier. He constructed the first bathroom partitions hanging on the wall and even suspended bowls and sinks. As can be seen with the Larkin Administration Building in Buffalo, Wright designed wall hanging toilets and ceiling-hung partitions laid flat on the concrete. Mops and brooms could be passed under each nook and corner. The bathroom partitions we are using in public places these days originally started in that era.
Types of Bathroom Partitions
Architects have been continually conceptualizing and designing new and groundbreaking concepts for a better public bathroom these days. There are some common types of partitions built for toilets nowadays.
• Floor-mounted bathroom partition
This is the type of bathroom partition that is commonly installed with pilasters supporting the floor. It can also be connected to the overhead or an intermediate bar attached to the walls adjacent to it.
• Ceiling hung bathroom partitions
This type of bathroom partition is usually built by hanging it from the ceiling of the washroom and creating a noticeable gap between the partition and floor. These are made to allow the most access for cleaners and maintenance staff.
• Urinal Screens
This a small bathroom partition that is either mounted on the floor, full height, or a wall to separate men’s urinals.
Types of Materials used in Bathroom Partitions
The bathroom partition types are also using different materials; it varies mostly if you are looking for a budget-friendly divider, a highly customizable partition, or something that is easy to clean. Below are the common types of bathroom partition materials.
• Metal or Stainless Steel
This is what most business owners prefer. It is composed of a material that is durable and economical. We typically see these kinds of products in the restrooms of malls and other business places that have high traffic.
• Laminate plastic
This type of material is highly customizable, cost-effective, and can be used in several different designs. Laminate plastic is widely used in classrooms and offices.
• Solid plastic
This is considered as the best material for a bathroom partition. It is easy to clean and maintained. Strong plastic is durable and robust and ideal for public bathrooms prone to getting wet (such as in pools and resorts).
It is a mixture of laminate plastics and solid plastics. Phenolic is also waterproof and is customizable. It is an excellent alternative for metals or plastics.
Things to Consider in Designing a Bathroom Partition
When making a layout design for your toilet, some matters need to be considered. When designing a toilet partition, the most significant factors include customer traffic, reliability, the amount of privacy it can provide, water savings, and the ease of cleaning and maintenance. The initial running costs and the regulations, building codes, and materials should also be addressed.
• First consideration should be given to the number of people expected to use the restroom.
Understanding the expected amount of demand or usage can help you determine how large the restroom should be, how many public bathroom stalls or urinals are required, and how many sinks or hand-drying fixtures you will need.
• The second consideration should be durability.
One crucial factor is the longevity of the materials used in a toilet. It is recommended to opt for products that are not particularly prone to damage that is caused by leaky pipes, scratching, and vandalism.
• Next would be the serviceability or accessibility of the toilet area.
For example, the toilet room should be conveniently accessed in case there would be an emergency or maybe an issue with water plumbing. The pipes and wires should be placed on places that are readily accessible when there are issues.
• Knowing the initial cost is crucial.
By understanding the project’s initial costs, it is easier to determine how the bathroom should be designed. Those initial costs would also help determine the project budget, which may influence the toilet’s final configuration. For example, it could be more cost-effective to add more urinals and lesser toilets to the men’s bathroom.
• Operating costs should be considered as well.
The initial installment costs should be kept in mind, and the extended operating costs should be taken into account next. The costs of providing lighting and electricity, repairs, repair costs (if any harm occurs), and water can be included in the bill. This expense can be lessened by using high-quality materials.
• Consider the materials to be used.
Cheap materials are often of poor quality, need routine maintenance, or provide a poor durability level. By contrast, the best materials typically have a higher initial cost but require less maintenance and attention to repair.
• Know the local codes regulation for compliance.
Before designing the bathroom partitions, it is best to know what the local codes and regulations are. So far as architecture is concerned, this will have a significant impact on what can and cannot be achieved. Failure to obey local building and occupancy codes could lead to denied building applications and potential legal issues.