Today’s Commercial Restroom Design Trends Speak to User Wants and Needs

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By Kris Alderson, Bradley Corporation

Some trends in commercial restroom design come and go but those that provide meaningful benefits to both building and facility decision makers – and restroom users – are standing the test of time. Today’s public restrooms feature forward-thinking products and materials that have stylish, sustainable, durable, low-maintenance, hygienic, safety, and water- and energy-saving qualities, such as:

Integrated design. The key to commercial restroom design is using products that strike the balance between practicality and attractive styling. Newer quality restroom products, such as lavatory fixtures and washroom accessories that use 

finely-crafted, sculptural elements, can create a common aesthetic to integrate the look of the room. For example, when used throughout a restroom, the sleek and modern design of newer stainless steel accessories (towel and toilet paper dispensers, waste receptacles and hand dryers) can create a completely uniform aesthetic.

Sustainable materials. More manufacturers are incorporating sustainable materials into restroom products, which can increase the maintainability and life span of these products. In addition to recycled stainless steel, solid surface lavatory countertops made of recycled materials and rapidly renewable material also help ensure long-term durability, ease of cleaning and long-term maintenance. Likewise, plastic toilet partitions made from 100% post-consumer recycled High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) plastic is another example. The solid plastic material is ideal for heavy usage, especially in wet humid conditions and is easy to maintain.

Touch-free fixtures. There is a continued preference among consumers and building owners for touchless fixtures in restrooms. They are extremely convenient and easy for users to activate and for facility owners to clean and maintain, and they cut down on transmission of germs and bacteria from user’s hands. Some newer touchless fixtures use 0.38 GPM faucets vs. 0.5 GPM, which achieves a 24% water savings.

Safety concerns in restrooms
Wet and slippery floors are all too common in public restrooms. In addition to being a big issue for businesses, they are also a big turn-off too customers and restroom users. Bradley’s annual survey of Americans’ hand washing preferences in public places revealed that wet and slippery floors cause restroom users the highest amount of aggravation. While 68% of Americans say that water collecting on the floor is extremely/very aggravating, almost 50% are extremely/very uneasy about walking across a wet restroom floor.

A new “all-in-one” hand washing fixture – with soap, faucet and hand dryer in the same unit – eliminates dripping water on the floor and safety in commercial restrooms since the user’s hands stay within the sink area until they are dried.  



The future of hand washing has arrived. Bradley Corporation has just introduced the very first commercial hand washing fixture to provide a sink, soap, faucet and dual-sided dryer all in one touchless and sleek unit: the Advocate® Lavatory System.

Bradley's innovative “all-in-one” touchless design simplifies the art of hand washing — as users intuitively move their hands from left to right using soap, faucet and hand dryer. The design minimizes washroom cleaning and maintenance, and creates a safer restroom environment because water goes down the drain – not on the floor or down the walls.

The Advocate also promotes sustainable restroom design, because it features a 0.38 gpm faucet, which reduces water usage by 24%, a high-efficiency hand dryer, which also cuts paper towel waste, and uses recycled solid surface material, which is GREENGUARD-certified.

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Kris Alderson is a Senior Marketing Manager at Bradley Corporation, a leading manufacturer of plumbing fixtures, washroom accessories, partitions, emergency fixtures and solid plastic lockers. She can be reached at Bradley Corp., W142 N9101 Fountain Blvd., Menomonee Falls, Wis., 53052-0309. For more information, call (800) BRADLEY or visit



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