white bathroom public restroom partition

Nearly 60% of Americans say they use a public restroom one to five times a week. 21% of Americans visit a public restroom more often,  at least six, if not 15 or more, times a week. Almost every public building in the U.S. has toilets. 

The American Restroom Association dedicates an entire page to regulations and laws regarding toilets. This page includes rules for toilet partitions as well as handwashing stations, air exchanges, and more. Square footage and turning radius for ADA, materials, and sanitation for health, sturdiness and slip resistance for safety, etc.

Need to choose the right toilet partitions for your restroom? You’ve come to the right place. Commercial Builder Solutions have a lot of experience modernizing public spaces, including commercial restrooms. Read on for the information you need.

Factors to Consider

Your site determines the particular regulations you need to follow. Some jurisdictions are very picky about the width, depth, and height of toilet partitions. For example, airport terminals in the U.S. have a stringent set of expectations. 

Related: Public Restroom Rules Regulations

The fire code and the health codes are big determinants. Your choice of materials may be regulated. Beyond that, you need to consider ADA-compliance.  After all the rules and regulations, you get into three critical factors:

  • durability and resistance to malicious damage
  • ease of maintenance and cleaning
  • cost-efficiency

Given the practical nature of partitions, design and style often get shortchanged. However, you have many choices.

Types of Toilet Partitions

There are several types of toilet partitions in the market. Consider the type and quantity of traffic in the restroom when you make your selection. A little-used executive washroom in an office building has different needs than a busy bus terminal. 

Here are some of the most prevalent toilet partition types, their pluses, and minuses.

Solid Color Reinforced Composite 

Solid color reinforced composite partitions are made from cellulose fibers, dyes & resins with a graffiti-resistant surface coating.  They can withstand cleaning materials for environments that have low to medium traffic. The solid colors look sleek and hygienic.

Solid color reinforced composite is durable, almost as durable as laminate, but less sensitive to moisture. It stands up to vandalism, use, and is budget-friendly.

High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)

Although HDPE resin partitions look like Solid Color Reinforced Composite partitions, they are many times tougher. They can withstand harsh cleaning chemicals, scrubbing, and even an occasional pressure washing.  Solid resin partitions are more expensive than laminate or powder-coated metal options but have a much longer expected lifespan.

They come in a wide selection of colors. Choose cool neutrals or warm, upbeat tones. Solid partitions give you the right balance of style and durability.

High Pressure Laminate

Versatile laminate comes in more than 30 different colors and patterns. It's budget-friendly and easy to clean. It is ideal for low-moisture environments such as offices or other low-traffic areas.

Like powder-coated steel, it consists of a thin layer of material glued around honeycomb cardboard or particleboard core. It can chip or peel under heavy use. It can absorb odors more readily than other materials.

Laminate is lightweight and easily installed. For a quick change in style, laminate bathroom partitions are a low-cost way to add color or a modern look. Laminate does not rust. However, it does not stand up to heavy-duty cleaning chemicals or moisture.

Compact Laminate

blue toilet stall public restroom partition

These types of partitions feature a solid resin core topped with sturdy melamine. They offer the color and versatility of laminate partitions with complete moisture resistance.  They are germ-proof and resistant to paint, inks, and scratching. 

They can withstand vigorous scrubbing and harsh cleaning routines. They are an excellent choice for schools and other high-traffic restrooms. The solid core means that compartment accessories stay put.

Compact laminate is more expensive than solid resin, but it comes in a wider variety of colors and patterns. It does not dent and is resistant to scratches. It is ideal for shopping centers, restaurants, and other public gathering spaces

Powder-Coated Metal 

Powder-coated metal partitions are the most common and economical option available for restrooms. The most popular type is textured powder-coated steel. There are many colors available. 

This tough finish starts as textured sheet metal over a honeycomb cardboard interior. Pigment powder is applied then baked to form a sturdy, scratch-resistant surface. The process is similar to painting a car.

The quality of the metal and powder coating make a big difference in the durability of the partition. Grab bars or other compartment accessories depend on both the cardboard core and sheet metal for stability. 

Powder-coated metal is the lowest cost choice of toilet partition materials. It is not the most durable choice, however. Metal doors dent and can be vulnerable to rust.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel partitions in matte, satin or textured finishes offer durability, sleek good looks, and understated style.  It is ideal for high traffic restrooms and an elegant feel.

It is easy to clean, sanitary, and durable. It works in almost any style restroom. High-quality stainless steel is invulnerable to rust and staining, so it is ideal for some humid areas. Stainless toilet partitions are suitable for pool installations, for example. 

Stainless steel is easy to maintain, although some finishes show fingerprints more than others. Stainless steel can be scratched or dented; however, these types of damage are easily repaired. It is the most expensive option, and it is cumbersome in comparison to other types of toilet partitions. 

Related: ADA Bathroom Requirements 2020

What Is the Right Choice?

There are many more options for toilet partitions than the ones listed above. Budget, expected bathroom traffic, and bathroom layout make a difference. Take into consideration the laws and regulations for public restrooms before you make your choices.

ADA compliance, health, and safety regulations or local customs can affect your materials choices. If you are installing your partitions in a low-traffic office space, you have a range of options. For airports, schools, or other high-traffic areas, your choices are narrowed. 

The best choice for your restroom is the one that meets your standards for durability, style, and ease of maintenance. Let our experts show you the full range of options available. Choice Builder Solutions makes public restrooms accessible to everyone and ensures they don’t just meet ADA standards, but meet all your specific needs and decor standards. Contact us today.

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