As one of the most utilised areas of any building, having toilets that are clean and pleasant to use matters. In a school environment, children and staff will use the entirety of the building for most of the day, not to mention the majority of the year. Therefore, the ability for everyone to have good access to toilets plus handwashing facilities is key. For some schools, there may also be a need to have working showers too.
It’s also essential that your school toilets are designed and installed by qualified professionals so that your toilets are in good working order, as well as ensuring that they comply with health and safety plus Ofsted regulations. As a school, it’s also vital that any building work offers value for money, so there’s definitely a lot to consider before undertaking a school toilet refurbishment project!
Here at Inspired Washrooms, we install school toilets across the UK. Here are some of our top tips to ensure your project is a success and to let you know more about what the process entails.
Creating A Project Brief
The first step with any washroom installation is to establish your needs as a client. All school toilet installers differ, but here at Inspired Washrooms, we’ll work with you to outline everything your new look toilets need to have. By ensuring that both parties are on the same page from the start, we feel this is the best recipe for project success.
Look To Remedy Any Current Pain Points
One of the biggest benefits of installing a new washroom is it gives you ample opportunity as a school to address anything that’s currently not working with the space. Every school is unique, but as an example, pain points could include a poor layout, not enough toilets to meet demand, plumbing issues, a lack of accessible features or simply sanitaryware that is not fit for purpose.
Identify Target Users
In terms of your school, we would ask things such as how many pupils use the facilities, plus whether the staff toilets also need updating.
As noted above, you may also need to cater to pupils or staff with additional accessibility needs.
The age of your pupils will also help determine the general direction of the design, i.e. printing the alphabet or numbers on cubicles (see our ‘Kaleidoscope cubicles’ in our brochure) would be suited for primary school children, but may feel out of place in a secondary school.
Onto arguably the best part of any washroom installation, and that’s choosing the colours and finishes of your school toilets. Compared with regular domestic bathroom installations, there’s far more flexibility to let your creativity run wild with the design of school toilets!
If you take a look at our project image gallery, you’ll see that our school toilet installations span practically every colour of the rainbow. There are so many different colours and finishes we can incorporate into the design, from integrating the tones of your school colours to making a truly inspiring design that will help encourage good hygiene practices without losing the fun factor.
The typical time it takes to refurbish school toilets is between 3 to 4 weeks. Of course, the true timeframe will depend on a number of factors, including the size of the facility, the amount of work involved, the level of spec etc.
While the work is taking place, the toilet block in question will be out of action. It’s for that reason that most schools choose to refurbish their toilets during the summer holidays.
However, a point to note here is that as this tends to be a busy time for washroom installers such as ourselves, schools should endeavour to book in their installations as soon as possible, especially if they don’t have alternate facilities that pupils or staff can use while the work is underway.
Once your needs have been accessed, the budget can be outlined and quoted. The typical washroom installation for schools costs in the region of £20,000-£25,000 + VAT. However, the true cost is going to depend on the size of the facility, the amount of work involved, plus the specification of all the fixtures and fittings. We will, of course, run you through all of the costs involved before work commences and help you work to any budgets your school may have.
School toilets should be built with user-friendliness and longevity in mind. That means when designed and installed to a good specification, so long as the washrooms are well maintained, they should provide a long lifespan.
On the contrary, by using inferior materials or substandard contractors, the school would have to spend more to put these issues right and replace their washrooms much sooner. Therefore, it’s actually most cost-efficient to choose a professional installer for your school toilets from the offset.
It’s easy to assume that all toilets and sinks are the same. However, any type of sanitaryware designed to be placed in commercial environments such as schools needs to be able to withstand heavy use, plus be health and safety compliant.
The good news is that in the modern age, there are plenty of designs to choose from, meaning that although your sanitaryware must meet certain standards, it’s also possible to integrate a sense of style into the look, all while catering to your younger users.
Toilet Cubicles And Panelling
As well as choosing a colour or design for your toilet cubicles and panelling, consideration also needs to be paid to the material used. For example, if your washroom has a shower, then the panelling must be able to withstand humidity.
Also, some panels are more scratch-resistant than others, meaning they are better equipped to handle heavy use. Don’t worry if you’re not sure which material is best for your toilet cubicles and panelling, as if you undertake a school toilet installation here with us at Inspired Washrooms, rest assured we’ll guide you through the entire process.
The tricky aspect of toilet floors is that they need to be durable enough to withstand constant pairs of shoes walking over them, plus they need to be super easy to clean and disinfect. All the while, the floor surface must also be non-slip, especially as within a school toilet environment, water dripping on the floor from wet hands is a common occurrence.
Two of the best options for the job include non-slip vinyl or non-slip floor tiles. The decision will also be based on budget.
Don’t forget to look up when refurbishing your school toilets! Ceilings don’t always need work, though a coat of paint is advised at a minimum just to freshen up the look.
That said, many schools take the opportunity to address any issues they do have with their ceiling or simply to ensure that the ceiling matches the snazzy new look of the refurbished space.
Aside from a coat of paint, some of the options for ceilings include putting in a suspended ceiling or installing plasterboard to paint over the top. For any washrooms that contain showers, a specialist ceiling will need to be installed that can withstand the humidity of the showers.
The walls of your school toilets have different requirements to that of your classrooms. The main difference is that the walls will be exposed to moisture and possibly humidity and may even be prone to the odd scuff.
Some of the options for school toilet walls include wall tiles, wall cladding and wall panelling systems. The more durable the wall type, the greater the cost. However, it is worth the investment since sturdier wall types will require less maintenance and will last much longer.
Having any kind of major refurbishment works take place in your building is also a good time to check the electrics are in working order and to make any changes to aspects such as downlights or hand dryers.
The paintwork in the room (i.e. on the walls and ceilings) will need to be primed and then painted. This stage is a nice finishing touch that always makes any installation look fresh, clean and ready to use.
School Toilet Refurbishment Design & Installation UK
Are you in search of toilet installation for your school? Inspired Washrooms is a leading installer of commercial washrooms in the UK. Based in Long Eaton, Derbyshire, we serve areas across the East Midlands, including Derby, Nottingham and Leicester, as well as 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 671 3850, and our friendly team will get back to you.