Toilet Cubicles – Designing a Good Layout
The design of toilet provision is important. Research has demonstrated that a washroom which is seen as welcoming and comfortable will lead to the entire premises being viewed in a positive light, and will promote employee engagement and customer satisfaction.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to toilet cubicle design. Every building will have its own distinctive features, and often sanitary facilities need to be fitted in to an existing space. The needs of the building’s users will also have an impact on the layout.
Building Regulations and Beyond
What Makes a Good Layout?
- Privacy is an important issue when considering the layout of washroom facilities in public spaces. Many people experience embarrassment if they are forced into close proximity with other users, or if there is inadequate sound insulation. People will avoid washrooms in which they feel uncomfortable, and this avoidance can even extend to the building itself. Conversely, a toilet facility which is reassuringly private will attract users to the building.
- Room to Move – a cubicle which will be used by people wearing light indoor clothing, for example in an office building, can be smaller than one designed to accommodate users who will arrive in heavy coats, and encumbered by luggage or shopping bags, as they might be in a railway station or department store. Users with special needs may require more room.
- Unobstructed Entrances – for a facility which will be heavily used, a wide access, and possibly separate entrances and exits, should be considered. In public areas, thought should be given to the possibility of queuing, and where the queue will form.
- Disabled and Family Access – the building regulations pertaining to disabled toilet access should be regarded as a minimum standard. Provision should be made for the widest possible range of needs, including families with small children, and those with sensory impairment.
- Ease of Maintenance – the size and shape of the cubicles will influence the ease with which they can be cleaned. Inaccessible corners, for example, will run the risk of a decreasing level of hygiene. The design of a washroom can have a big impact on the resources needed to keep it clean and attractive.