Not Your Traditional Commercial Washroom

Not Your Traditional Commercial Washroom

Interior designers are well aware that no matter how laid-back, open, and inviting your company workspace maybe if your staff or guests step into the loo to find your bog-standard, cold washroom, it breaks the mental flow and understanding of your business.

Similarly, you could end up owning a restaurant with all the trappings of an immersive, relaxing atmosphere, only for the illusion to be shattered when the toilet feels like an echoey motorway service station. The home bathroom is never overlooked on home remodelling, so why are office and foodservice washrooms often so cold and out-of-touch with the rest of the business?

Décor and furniture

Furniture is most definitely your friend and can be used to bring a more welcoming touch to your washroom. In a spacious restaurant or member club washrooms, it is sometimes common to find a sofa, particularly in the female washrooms. However, the side-board or console table can also work very well. A place to display photos, place a lamp, or what’s increasingly popular with interior design, house plants.

Designer white goods

You might think a toilet is just a toilet, that all sinks look the same. But not all bathroom fixtures are created equally. Of course, you have the option of free-standing washbasins and pedestals, wall mounted numbers that fix to the wall with a sturdy bracket, and those that are countersunk into a vanity unit. However, there are a number of designer toilets and washbasins that can add a certain element of luxury to the room. The Glink sinks are a lay-on basin design that comes in a wide array of vibrant colours.

These can be matched with Gloo urinals and either run in a colour scheme or can be added in mismatched colours to add energy and life to the room. At the other end of the designer spectrum, are the Scoop and Sonk sinks.

Gloo Designer Urinal Pack

Also of a lay-on design, these curvaceous bowls break free from the conventional shapes and straight lines normally found in the washroom and instead offer an off-set, exciting alternative that works particularly well in restaurants, spas, and hyper-modern offices.

When choosing lay-on washbasins, many interior designers choose to fit a large mirror that rises from the vanity unit up the wall, rather than tiles or a splash-back. That’s because the light reflection instills a feeling of openness and allows the shapely washbasins to stand out more. But there is another popular choice when it comes to hand washing and one that offer’s some pretty outstanding aesthetics…

Custom wash troughs

We carry many off the shelf wash troughs that feature a broad range of designs. Some will have sidewalls, while others have a gentle sloping toward the drain inlet. Wash troughs have become very popular lately due to their simplicity. Rather than having to install several sinks, you fit just one unit, usually with just one waste trap, which keeps things simpler from a maintenance and cleaning point of view, but also means less unsightly pipework to conceal.

There’s a move towards custom wash troughs too, with concrete being a particularly trendy option in health-conscious cafes and restaurants. We’ve been installing some pretty special custom wash troughs in high-end, minimalist washrooms that are integrated with no-touch functionality and designed to keep the aesthetics of the washroom looking slick.


Repurposing items has been an integral principle in bespoke washroom design. In some cases, we have been asked to keep and restore original timber cubicles and doors, whilst still updating the other fixtures and surfaces. This was the case for the Newbury Corn Exchange. This needs to be done with great care to ensure you get a seamless, respectful finish. While original features are one way of capturing character in the wash space, another option is to salvage items from other parts of the property. We have done this on numerous projects taking things such as old bells and making them into light fittings.

Re-Purposed Toilet Cubicles - Newbury Corn Exchange

However, you can mimic this look with some items like the Timber Pale Ale Urinal, which is made to look like an old tin bucket. This is completely functional and hygienic and lends itself particularly well for restaurants and bars of a similar setting.

Creature comforts

It’s all in the detail and as many of you will be aware, the little finishing touches can make all the difference. The choice to shun hand dryers and paper towels has been made by many high-end establishments that have instead opted for a basket of rolled fabric hand towels, with another basket to place soiled ones. This can be labour intensive with machine washing and drying, but undoubtedly delivers a luxurious edge to your washroom and is now considered essential in high-priced members clubs. Another detail that can make all the difference, is the addition of soft, diffused lighting and the hanging of photography or artwork. 

Gone are the days when the office washroom had to feel like a public convenience, today savvy business owners are adding a touch of homeliness to their washrooms without having to compromise on durability or ease of cleaning.

If you would like to talk about contemporary commercial washroom design, and how to integrate it properly into your workspace, pick up the phone and get in touch on 01202 650900.

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