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Example of a Poorly Designed Public Restroom

A real rookie mistake when designing a public restroom is trying to design a restroom that is similar to your private restroom at home. Public and private restrooms are very different, yes the same business is taken care of, but their are many more people who will use your public restroom. In a public restroom you have no idea how hygienic your customers are in the restroom. They just don't have the same rules as you might have in your home, many times the patron of the public restroom really doesn't have concern about keeping your public restroom clean and hygienic for the next customer. That is where the business owner must come in and set the restroom up to be the most hygienic and easy to clean and maintain.

On a recent trip to a local chain sandwich shop I ran across a restroom that made me stop and take pictures. I do not stop and take pictures of public restrooms for fun. This is not what I do in my spare time. But this attempt at designing a public restroom really showed the rookie mistake of trying to make a public restroom seem like home, which it just can't happen.

Example of a Poorly Designed Public Restroom

Problems and Solutions:
The solutions to clean up this public restroom are relatively easy and inexpensive. A well designed public restroom does not have to cost a lot of money, it just needs to be thought out and not over thought, just keep the idea of hygiene in mind an you have a much nicer public facility.

A badly placed hand sanitizer is place right by the toilet. ICK!!! Place the hand sanitizer near the sink - no one wants to use a hand sanitizer on the John
Toilet Bowl brush out in the open - this is actually a violation of health code. Toilet brush is unhygienic and ICK!!!! Put the toilet brush up. These cleaning supplies should never be placed in public view.
Toilet paper stand by commode. This is just a bad idea. The stand 1) does not hold very much toilet paper - one standard roll, which means a maintenance worker will have to continually replace the paper. 2) and most importantly the stand is not covered, which means the stand could be easily knocked over and then become unhygienic Get rid of the toilet paper stand. Don't use this in a public restroom - period. Mount a covered dual roll toilet paper dispenser to the wall and there is no fear of the toilet paper falling over and there is an extra roll to cut down on the amount of replacement time and make sure that a customer is never without toilet paper.

Not everything in this restroom was bad. There were a two items that stood out as being a good design.

Figure D shows pipe protectors

The first is the wrapped pipes. Figure D shows the pipe protectors. These are used to protect handicap customers in a wheel chair from hurting themselves at the sink with the pipes and valves. This is a great use of these protectors and I wish we would see this more often in public restrooms.

The second item is important to point out. Figure E shows the signage that states "Employees must wash hands". I know it seems self explanatory, but all businesses must have signage reminding employees to wash their hands before returning to work.

Figure E shows "Employees Must Wash Hands" signage

So to wrap it up there were several problems with this restroom that could easily be solved with just a few inexpensive solutions. While there were problems there were also so good practices outlined above. All in all this restroom is clean and functional and can easily be made to comply and function like a public restroom. Remember, your public restroom is not the same as your restroom at home!