When it comes to designing a bathroom, the fixtures are one of the most important aspects to consider. It can be tricky to choose the correct fixtures for a variety of reasons. Are you working with a commercial bathroom or a residential bathroom? How many people will be using the bathroom regularly? How many fixtures do you need? All of these questions are incredibly relevant, and it all comes back to the quality of the fixtures needed. So do commercial grade fixtures really matter? This guide will cover everything you need to know about commercial grade fixtures and where they should be implemented.

Commercial Bathrooms vs. Residential Bathrooms

Commercial Bathrooms vs. Residential Bathrooms
Commercial Bathrooms vs. Residential Bathrooms

First of all, the differences between commercial and residential bathrooms need to be noted. Each of these bathroom designs focus on different layouts and fixtures. These two designs feature different types of fixtures and accessories, as well as different methods of functionality. Below are the main differences between commercial and residential bathrooms that you should know. Hotels, restaurants, retail stores and other similar spaces should all have commercial grade fixtures.

Automatic Fixtures in Commercial Spaces

Commercial bathrooms in 2021 have put a heavy focus on automatic fixtures and accessories. This is mainly to keep the area as clean as possible. They can also be used in residential areas, but are much more common in bathrooms being used by many people through the course of the day.

Don’t Overlook Shower Systems

Unless the bathroom is in a gym or similar circumstance, showers will only be located in residential bathroom designs. Due to this, residential shower designs will be quite unique when compared with commercial designs. Shower heads and valves will be important fixtures in this case. This is especially important in spaces such as hotels. Hotels need to prioritize and optimize comfort.

A Bathroom Layout is Crucial

A commercial bathroom and residential bathroom will be laid out differently. Commercial bathrooms need to accommodate several people at once. On the other hand, residential bathrooms are designed to fit the needs of certain specific individuals. In commercial areas such as retail stores, hotels and restaurants, the layout of a bathroom is crucial. For example, a restaurant bathroom must be easy to access and comfortable to use. The same ideas must be used for hotels, stores, etc.

Different Fixtures are Needed

Commercial bathrooms and residential bathrooms will require different fixtures. This is due to the necessary requirements in each design. Of course, each design needs sinks, faucets and other typical fixtures. However, residential designs will not need things such as paper towel dispensers or stalls. On the other hand, commercial bathrooms will not need personal use items such as soap dishes. Hotel bathrooms may have additional accessories. However, more commercial bathrooms in areas such as stores and restaurants can be much more standard.

Where are Commercial-Grade Bathroom Fixtures Needed?

Where are Commercial-Grade Bathroom Fixtures Needed?
Where are Commercial-Grade Bathroom Fixtures Needed?

To keep it simple, commercial-grade bathroom fixtures should always be located in a commercial bathroom design. Commercial bathroom designs are designed to accommodate multiple people coming from various locations. Due to this, commercial fixtures typically optimize functionality and cleanliness. They do this by incorporating automatic features and easy to operate systems. Some of the most common automatic features include sensor faucets, sensor hand dryers and automatic flushing toilets. Commercial bathroom fixtures are absolutely necessary in hotels, retail stores and other areas that see frequent traffic.

When working with a residential bathroom, you have a bit more freedom as to what type of fixtures you want to use. If you want to, you can incorporate some commercial-grade bathroom fixtures in a residential design. Because residential designs are much more personal than commercial designs, you can choose essentially any fixture you want. However, do remember that these fixtures must be compatible with your design in terms of electrical and plumbing specifications.

Commercial-Grade Fixtures to Know

Commercial Bathroom Sinks

Bathroom sinks are essential to every single type of bathroom design. Commercial bathroom sinks are built to withstand the high traffic of a commercial bathroom design. Because of this, they will generally be made of very durable material. Expect commercial bathroom sinks to be composed of ceramic or porcelain. These materials are very durable and easy to clean. Other materials can be used as well, such as stone or stainless steel.

Automatic Soap Dispensers Help With Efficiency

Soap is essential in a commercial bathroom. The most effective way to incorporate it is through automatic soap dispensers. These are necessary for two main reasons. First, they are needed to keep the area as clean as possible. It is a hands free way to limit the spread of bacteria from person to person. Secondly, they dispense a set amount of soap each time. This will give us the proper amount of soap, while helping to limit the amount of soap potentially wasted. They can dispense either liquid or foam soap. These are must-have fixtures in restaurants and other commercial spaces that see frequent traffic.

Automatic Flushing Toilets

A mainstay fixture of a commercial bathroom in 2021 is the automatic flushing toilet. This can either be a toilet or a urinal, as both will function relatively similarly. A sensor detects when an individual leaves the area, prompting a flush of the toilet. This is incredibly beneficial for the cleanliness of the area. In addition, some commercial toilets also offer a self-cleaning seat. This is one of the newer and uncommon features however. As a side note, the tanks of commercial toilets will often be built into the wall.

Sensor Faucets are Now the Standard

A high quality and durable faucet is needed to be paired with a commercial bathroom sink. These faucets will typically be set at a constant temperature. Much like a soap dispenser, the faucet will dispense the exact amount of water needed. This will save water and money in the long term, making them a necessary investment. In addition, sensor faucets are yet another contributor to keeping the area as clean as possible in a passive manner. In spaces such as restaurants, sensor faucets are now the standard.

Do Commercial-Grade Bathroom Fixtures Really Matter?

To answer this question, several things must be taken into account. First of all, it is important to understand that there are differences between commercial fixtures and residential fixtures. It is true that some of these fixtures can be used interchangeably. However, it is also important to understand which fixtures can do this. Commercial bathroom fixtures can be composed of different materials and include specific features. In addition, some of them are necessary to follow ADA compliance regulations. Remember, commercial fixtures are basically necessary in any commercial project (hotel, store, restaurant, any public space).

Commercial Bathroom Fixture Materials

Because commercial bathroom designs will see a decent amount of traffic, the fixtures need to be solidly built. Some of the most reliable materials for commercial bathrooms include ceramic, wood, metal and stone. Ceramic is an incredibly reliable material for commercial bathrooms because it is both durable and easy to clean. It isn’t indestructible, but it won’t break very easily at all. Ceramic is commonly used in fixtures like sinks and toilets, due to how often they are going to be used by many different people.

Another material that is very easy to clean and very strong, is stainless steel. Stainless steel is commonly used in smaller accessories and fixtures. For example, you will commonly find stainless steel soap dispensers or faucets. Because it is so easy to clean, it is perfect for these types of areas. Other materials such as wood or stone are commonly used in vanities in order to create a stable environment for years to come.

What Fixtures Shouldn’t be Used in Commercial Bathrooms?

Commercial bathrooms need to prioritize safety, durability and cleanliness. Because of this, several things need to be considered. First of all, fixtures need to be built of reliable materials. This means that materials such as crystal or glass are not recommended for the average commercial bathroom. Other fragile materials should be avoided as well. Plastic should try to be avoided as well, unless it is extremely high quality.

In addition, commercial bathrooms also need to prioritize health and cleanliness. Sensor fixtures are great at optimizing this. In a commercial bathroom, limit the amount of fixtures and accessories that have to be touched by hands. This will undoubtedly spread bacteria quickly and efficiently. Handles and levers should be avoided, especially in larger commercial bathrooms that see many different people on a daily basis.

Importance of Longer Lasting Commercial Fixtures

One of the main features of commercial-grade fixtures is the long lasting build design. In general, commercial-grade bathroom fixtures are built using durable materials. These materials include ceramic and stainless steel most commonly. In addition to being durable, these materials are also easy to clean. This is an important thing to note because they will not have to be replaced as often. The combination of all of these factors make commercial-grade fixtures necessary for healthy commercial bathroom designs. In addition, it is incredibly valuable for increasing bathroom longevity.

Local Laws, Local Regulations and Federal Guidelines

There are several factors in regard to legal issues that need to be taken into account as well. Local laws and state regulations are critical to abide by for commercial bathroom fixtures. Whenever you are going through a remodel, it is important to review your local and state regulations. This will help ensure that your fixtures meet all applicable guidelines. Local laws and local regulations are very important to follow due to accessibility and safety. State guidelines will vary from state to state. Do some research to figure out what your state requires in terms of local laws, local regulations and state regulations.

ADA Compliance and Commercial-Grade Bathroom Fixtures

Commercial bathrooms need to follow ADA compliance guidelines in order to accommodate those with disabilities. If not, liabilities and lawsuits are sure to cause problems. Several aspects of a commercial bathroom design need to fall within these guidelines. Bathroom sinks should be ADA compliant in most cases when designing a commercial bathroom. In addition, Bathroom stalls should have ADA compliant grab bars and toilets. In general, most of the area should fall in line with ADA Compliant guidelines. For more information, check out our article on ADA compliant guidelines.