Not all paint colours or even washroom surfaces such as cubicles, vanity units, flooring or tiles are created equal. As well as being made from a multitude of different materials, you also need to consider the colour use of each of these aspects too.

That’s because the colours used in your washroom can have a huge impact in terms of how inviting the space is, not to mention how friendly it is for those with accessible needs. The term most associated with paint colours to grade the light reflectiveness of the shade is called light reflective value.

If you are considering upgrading your washroom or undertaking any renovation work, then here’s an overview of light reflective value as a concept, along with the impact it can have on any washroom space.

What Is Light Reflective Value?

Light reflective value (sometimes referred to as ‘light reflectance value’) is a measurement of the percentage of light that a paint colour reflects. The scale runs from 0% to 100%, and on diagrams that explain light reflective value, the scale moves up in increments of 10%.

At the darkest end of the scale is 0% which stands for absolute black, and at 100% is pure reflective white. However, true 0% or 100% doesn’t tend to exist because these are extreme examples.

So, if a paint colour had a light reflective value of 10%, we can safely assume that if the entire room was painted in this colour, it would make it very dark, especially if there was an absence of natural light and strong artificial light. However, if a paint colour with a 90% light reflective value was used, then the room would feel much lighter and brighter.

In summary, LRV is considered as follows:

0%-40% - Dark tones

40%-60% - Mid tones

60%+ - Light tones

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Light Reflective Value And Your Washroom

If you’re familiar with the Inspired Washrooms blog, then you’ll know we often cover aspects relating to how to upgrade your washroom, along with how to make your washroom more inviting.

One such consideration is the colours used throughout your washroom. While you might assume that colour choice is based on personal preference, in commercial spaces, there’s a science not to mention psychology behind colour choices, especially those which reflect rather than absorb light.

Quite simply, when your users enter your washroom, they want to be greeted with a space that feels light and inviting. The paint colours used on the walls, along with all the other fixtures and fittings, will determine whether this is the case or not. If lots of dark tones are used, and these aren’t balanced out by lighter colours or strong natural light, then the space can feel not only uninviting or unsafe but in some cases unclean too.

On the contrary, when crisp, clean colours are used or even bright pops of colour - these lighten the space and help to create a more inviting atmosphere.

Accessible Friendly Washrooms

As we hinted at within our introduction, light reflective value should also be a consideration for those with accessibility needs too.

If a washroom uses extremely dark tones throughout, this can make it difficult for those with a range of disabilities, especially those with any sight impairments. This is why it’s essential to design a washroom with the needs of all users in mind, including those who may struggle to see or generally navigate certain features.

See more: Disabled Toilet Refurbishment

However, on a generalised level, there is also the health and safety of any employees or the general public to consider too. If the light reflective value is high, this helps to ensure everyone can see how to navigate the space, including if any hazards may cause them to trip or slip much more easily, versus if a low reflective value colour has been used.

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Commercial Toilet Refurbishments

We know there’s a lot to think about when it comes to refurbishing your washroom, whether the project is related to school toilet refurbishment or general commercial washroom refurbishment.

Not to worry, as here at Inspired Washrooms, we have over 15 years of experience in the design and installation of commercial washrooms and toilets. When you enquire about a new project with us, we can run you through everything you need to know to ensure that your installation will be a success.

We’re based in Derbyshire, installing across the East Midlands and the wider UK. Are you interested in starting a project with us? Download our Inspired Washrooms Brochure to view our full range of products and services.

For help and advice with anything we’ve mentioned above, please get in touch on 0115 811 4242, and our friendly team will get back to you.