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Things to Remember When Installing a Public Restroom

5 Things to Remember When Installing an Office/Public Restroom

You expect your employees to be productive, and this expectation is reasonable. The human body can produce incredible physical and mental feats. However, it also produces some unpleasant byproducts.

As the title of the famous book declares: Everybody Poops. Everybody pees. From time to time, everybody gets sick. Employers must provide restrooms where employees can "flush" these bodily byproducts.

Installing an office or public restroom that is comfortable, clean, and safe involves special considerations. Read on to ensure that your project proceeds with these five points in mind.

1. Gather Your Bathroom Reading Material and Do Your Homework

Before installing an office or public restroom, educate yourself on OSHA standardsADA requirements, and local building codes. These specify the minimum number of facilities for each sex and accommodations for individuals with disabilities. They also provide cleanliness standards and require certain supplies, including toilet paper, soap, and towels or driers.

Like nationwide and local regulations, Austin's building codes are publicly accessible. Employers and building managers are responsible for knowing and following them.

2. Involve the Experts

Besides building your own knowledge, it's important to draw on the experts. They will ensure that your restroom project meets all government regulations. They'll also help you balance and meet your own expectations.

As you plan your project, you'll need to answer several questions. How will you balance durability and quality with cost? How will the choices you make now affect your estimated water usage? Will the layout and design elements you choose be functional? Will they allow access for ongoing maintenance? Experts can help you answer these and other questions.

In restroom remodeling projects, experts can also identify any upgrades you'll need to make to meet codes and include proper safety features. They'll also be able to tell you if your current system can handle new fixtures.

Whether you're installing or remodeling an office restroom, Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Austin can help. Mr. Rooter's licensed, insured, and bonded plumbers offer a full range of commercial plumbing services.

3. Pay Attention to Timing

Restroom facilities take up a relatively small portion of your business's real estate. However, their importance and complexity demand that you take a "big" picture approach to their design and installation.

In fact, any restroom installation or remodeling project is likely to involve experts across many trades, including plumbing, electrical, lighting, flooring, and carpentry. By mapping out the project, you ensure that jobs are completed in a logical order. Plus, you can often sidestep any unforeseen but avoidable issues, which tend to mean unforeseen -- and avoidable -- expenses.

In restroom projects, industry experts generally advise scheduling plumbing work early in the process. This means after rough carpentry work, including walls and base floors, but before electrical work, flooring, and of course, visual design elements. 

4. Make Restroom Visits Pleasant with Small Touches

Okay, so you probably don't want your employees to describe your restroom facilities as the "best seat in the house." However, you do want them to feel comfortable, safe, clean, and yes, valued even there.

The quality of restroom facilities affects employees' job satisfaction, too. In fact, employees see restrooms as part of the "investment" employers are willing to make in their employees. This means that attention to the "small" touches can make a big difference in employee satisfaction. Employee satisfaction can, in turn, make a big difference in employee productivity.

So splurge on the good toilet paper and soap. Consider offering lotions, mouthwash, or other "extras." In the women's restroom, provide feminine hygiene products. 

Also think about employees' full sensory experiences. Install an air-freshener or leave out a bowl of potpourri. Decorate with plants. Pipe in soft music.

Finally, as you work on your restroom project, pay attention to its appearance. Consider soft and low lighting rather than dim or harsh fluorescent lighting. Put some thought into colors, patterns, and even materials for walls, floors, and partitions. Ultimately, remember that workplace restrooms need not appear industrial. 

5. Work to Prevent Long-Term Problems

Once your restroom installation or remodeling project is complete, your work isn't. Maintaining a safe, clean, and pleasant restroom for your employees requires ongoing maintenance. You should begin planning for long-term maintenance during the installation process.

With foresight and simple plumbing tools, you can handle some maintenance issues in-house: 

  • Checking and replacing simple parts, like sink faucet aerators, can improve water flow
  • Clearing P-traps of hair, dirt, and soap can prevent more serious clogs and backups that need expert help
  • Investing in a simple psi gauge to test water pressure can protect valves, pipes, and floors
  • Knowing where shutoff valves are can limit damage when water leaks and other issues arise, especially when those issues need expert help

Certain warning signals suggest significant plumbing problems requiring expert help

  • If you notice signs of a water leak, like dampness on ceilings, walls, and floors near pipes, it's important to have an expert investigate
  • If your employees report low water pressure, a professional plumber can pinpoint the source of the problem
  • While low water pressure is frustrating, high water pressure (over 80 psi) is also a problem that requires expert help
  • Finally, if you smell sewer gas, call an expert immediately

Some of these issues are downright dangerous. Others can be minor at first. Left unchecked, however, they can lead to major damage to the same restroom facilities you worked so hard to design, install and furnish. For that reason, it's always best to take action sooner rather than later.

Inputs Determine Outputs: Put in Your Best Efforts and Our Best Experts

As an employer, you know better than most that inputs determine outputs. The output you want is employee productivity, so it's important for you to pay attention to inputs. This includes the investment your employees see you making in them.

Commercial restroom improvement projects can be part of that investment. Such projects require attention to the five considerations above. It also requires the work of experts like Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Austin. 

Contact Mr. Rooter for an estimate today!

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