Washrooms form a key part of any new build or major refurbishment project and as they’re often used as a way to judge the rest of the building, the pressure is on architects to create washrooms which will stand out and make the right impression on visitors.
In this blog, Trevor Bowers, director at leading washroom designer, manufacturer and installer, Washroom Washroom, offers his top five tips for architects to create washroom spaces that break the mould.
1. Add a splash of colour
While there is a place for completely minimalist, all white washrooms, adding a splash of colour allows designers to include corporate branding or create a washroom which complements other common areas of the building. And thanks to advances in materials technology, colour can be incorporated effectively into the washroom area as a whole, from toilet cubicle doors and duct panelling to vanity units and lockers.
Solid surfacing materials such as Corian and Silestone, which are ideal for vanities and duct panelling, come in a wide range of different colours from soft pastels to vibrant shades. Likewise, laminates including Formica, Sonae and FENIX NTM are available in a wide array of shades, while glass can be back-painted to almost any RAL colour. Such options offer a world of possibilities for architects looking for cubicles, vanities, duct panelling, lockers and benching in specific colours.
Washroom has created numerous colourful washroom designs which are as unique as their clients – with no two projects ever the same. Whether it’s the vibrant orange solid grade laminate Forte toilet cubicles installed at a new Trampoline and Play park, or calming light sky blue and pale grey Formica Marcato toilet cubicles installed at a London college, there’s no need to compromise on finding the perfect shade for your next project.
Specifying a selection of complementing shades rather than opting for just one colour can also be an effective way to use colour within a washroom or changing area, as this eye-catching new office cycle centre featuring Washroom’s Forza solid grade laminate lockers in four different shades from Sonae demonstrates.
2. Make a statement with designer accessories
Washroom accessories including door handles, locks, door pushplates, washroom door signage and hooks as well as taps, soap dispensers and mirrors can all play a key part of any washroom design, and not just for practical reasons. Accessories can be used to make a statement just as easily as other elements of a washroom from vanities to toilet cubicles.
As a result, architects and designers are increasingly specifying different finishes including brass, copper, bronze and powder-coated matt black effect in a move away from more traditional stainless-steel accessories. With unique options like crafted oak door handles and architectural ironmongery also available, architects now have a range of solutions at their fingertips to create washrooms that perfectly suit the building they’re in – whether it’s a contemporary creative workspace or period property.
On a recent office refurbishment project completed by Washroom, all the accessories including the wall-mounted taps, cubicle locks and handles, were specified in a contemporary brass finish, to complement the marble, oak and white Corian used in the rest of the washroom area.
3. Build washrooms to last
Considering the lifecycle of the washroom space is essential as well-maintained washrooms create a positive impression on visitors.
One way to ensure washrooms are low-maintenance is by installing an integrated duct panelling system behind the WCs, urinals and under the vanity units. This not only makes access for cleaning and future repairs more efficient and less disruptive for end users, it also creates a smooth finish and conceals any unsightly pipework.
The materials specified will greatly impact on the longevity of a washroom design, ensuring the space will continue to look its best and create the right impression on visitors for years to come. FENIX NTM for example, is a highly durable acrylic resin surface material which is perfect for commercial washroom environments as it’s easy to clean, mould resistant, scratch resistant and boasts enhanced anti-bacterial properties. With its ultra-flat matt finish and choice of 15 colours, it can be used to create a contemporary look without compromise.
4. Tailor made with bespoke features
Washroom offers bespoke washroom design solutions so whether an architect has a trend to follow or wants to set their own, the team can create the perfect washroom. The addition of bespoke design features, such as integrated handbag shelves or duct panelling which doubles up to offer concealed storage, enable architects to create a space tailored to their clients’ individual needs.
Digital screen-printing is another great way to inject some personality and style as part of a washroom design, adding corporate branding or just to reflect the heritage of the building the washrooms are housed in. As part of the washroom refurbishment at the iconic Borderline Club in Soho, Washroom installed a series of bespoke digitally screen-printed graphics on the Concerto duct panels behind each WC. Each cubicle has a different graphic and all of which were specially designed by the architect to reflect the history of the club as a music venue.
5. Make sure it’s a clean and clutter-free space
Essential washroom consumables such as soap and paper towels, can make it difficult to keep washrooms clean and tidy at all times. But this is where integrated consumable units come into their own. The Alavo unit from Dolphin Dispensers or Washroom’s own Tego mirror system both provide a new solution to an age-old problem and ensure washrooms are kept hygienically clean and clutter-free.
The innovative Alavo system from Dolphin, which fits neatly behind a mirror to maximise available space, has been designed to save water and soap as well as energy thanks to the use of infrared sensor taps and LED lighting.
For more information on the range of services and products offered by Washroom Washroom, please visit www.washroom.co.uk, call 0800 999 8888 or email sales(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)washroom.co.uk.