The Envoplan Guide To School Washroom Refurbishment
When it comes to school budget allocation, it is clear to see that school washrooms are at the bottom of the pile. School washroom refurbishment often only occurs when they absolutely have to, yet these spaces have a profound effect on student concentration, morale and wellbeing.
School toilets are hot spots for bullying and other antisocial behaviour. Aside from inadequate hygiene levels, supervision can also be limited in these areas so some students avoid using them. This leads to dehydration, discomfort and poor concentration at the very least.
A recent study by the Journal of School Health found perceptions of school toilets as a cause for irregular toilet habits among schoolchildren aged 6 to 16 years In this 2005 study, children aged 13 to 16 years had the most negative perceptions. Twenty-five percent (overall 16%) of older children reported never using the school toilet to urinate, and 80% (overall 63%) never used it to defecate, which makes it clear just how important school washroom refurbishment can be.
So we are on a mission to improve the toilet experience in schools throughout the UK. After all, your washrooms are still part of your learning environment…
Cubicles and general décor
The cubicle design in your school washrooms needs to offer the users adequate privacy. Panels need to be manufactured from a durable, hygienic material that can easily be wiped clean and disinfected regularly. HPL (High pressure laminate), CDF (compact density fibreboard) or SGL (solid grade laminate), are all excellent options for school washrooms.
Flooring in your school toilet areas needs to be a non-slip, hygienic flooring. Vinyl or ceramic tiled flooring is easy to maintain, and will stand up well to high levels of traffic.
Lighting in your school toilets is one of the most important aspects to consider. Use a clean, bright light, as close to daylight as possible. LED panels will give you the most energy efficient lighting. Where you may have windows to allow in some daylight, it is important to ensure that toilet cubicles and urinals are not visible from outside.
By choosing good quality ironmongery in your school washrooms, you can ensure that your space will be less subject to vandalism, and will also last longer.
Lack of supplies in school toilets is one of the top complaints from students of all ages.
Liquid soap, paper towels, toilet paper and air fresheners all need to be regularly topped up to ensure that your school’s toilets are kept up to standard.
High pressure air-dryers, whilst more environmentally friendly than using paper towels, but according to some research, may increase the spread of germs.
Regular waste removal will also help to keep your school washroom a more pleasant environment.
Away from the teacher’s eye, some school toilets are prime destinations for bullying, vandalism and graffiti.
Many schools are opting for open plan washroom areas in corridors. These spaces utilise full-height cubicle doors, giving privacy to the users, whilst giving supervisors full view of the immediate area.
Giving your students say in the design of the space will also help to give them ownership of the space. Ask your students to research the best washroom refurbishment options, and let them help with choosing the colours and finishes.
Maintenance and management
The ongoing upkeep of your toilet block is very important. Schedule regular checks, and ensure that staff visit the washroom areas regularly.
Asking staff to use the student toilets will help you to find out what they are really like! If the toilets aren’t good enough for staff to use, then how can you rightly expect students to enjoy using them?
Change is possible!
Take a look at a couple of school washroom refurbishment projects that we have recently completed for our clients: