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Reclaiming the Costs of Restroom Products Investing in quality leads to greater ROI, more satisfied customers


he nation’s improving economic outlook is slowly but surely impacting the commercial building and construction industry. That’s not to say, however,

that plumbing contractors and specifiers have a blank checkbook when it comes to designing and specifying products for commercial restrooms. Budgets remain tight and influence every decision relative to restroom retrofits or new construction. Due to these financial constraints, it’s important to eval-

uate which restroom materials and products will achieve the greatest return on investment. Increasingly, project managers are asking tougher questions about the products they specify and insisting on longer durability and greater performance. Just years ago, the expectation for the life- cycle of restroom fixtures was about five to seven years. The bar is now raised to 10 to12-year performance lives and, in certain cases, up to 20 years.

Durable products get pay-back Investing in high-quality durable restroom furnishings,

such as lavatories, partitions, toilets and other washroom accessories, will pay back in a number of ways. For one thing, sturdier and higher-quality washroom fixtures translate into less upkeep and maintenance. This not only saves costs over time on maintenance and repairs but it also frees up time for staff to focus on other duties. Such resilient products typically have superior design,

making them more aesthetically appealing to end-users, consumers and other stakeholders. This attractiveness and feeling of quality, in turn, helps to create a good impres-

Page 48/Plumbing Engineer

By Kris Alderson

sion of the overall business and management. Additionally, sturdier fixtures ward off vandalism and

don’t break down as much as their cheaper counterparts. Encountering graffiti on counters and partitions or blocked-up faucets or toilets can be frustrating and dis- turbing for a consumer, even raising doubts about a facil- ity’s security.

The negative impacts of restroom problems Research conducted in 2010 by Bradley Corp., manu-

facturer of restroom and plumbing fixtures, found that 60 percent of Americans have had an unpleasant experience in a public restroom due to the condition of the facilities. The survey, which looked at American’s handwashing habits in public facilities, uncovered that the most com- mon action taken due to a negative restroom experience is simply leaving the facility without completing their intended business. Further, one-fourth suggested that they would spread negative word-of-mouth about the business. These findings underscore that attractive, functional

and well-maintained public restrooms offer significant benefits. For the facilities manager and the building owner, they encourage repeat users. And for the health of the community and general public, they can foster hand washing and prevent flu and other serious infections.

Durability aligns with aesthetics The days of restrooms furnished with plain industrial-

looking products are long gone. One manufacturer of restroom products offers washroom fixtures that are as Continued on page 50

April 2011

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