This pandemic has changed the public’s relationship with bathrooms. With a hyper-focus on things like sanitized surfaces and clean hands, here are some ways bathrooms are evolving to meet current (and future) needs.
Touchless fixtures have been a fixture of many bathrooms for years now, but now they’re more important than ever. According to a recent Bradley Corp. survey, 91% of Americans believe public restrooms need touchless fixtures. Voice command technology is becoming more widespread, as well as automatic door openers for the sake of limiting contact instead of purely for accessibility.
Because not everything in a bathroom can be touchless (like grab bars), there is a rising demand for using antimicrobial finishes on high-touch surfaces. When possible, copper, an inherently antimicrobial material, is also being considered as replacements for existing door handles. One company in Traverse City, MI has been offering copper coverings for the past few months.
Jon Dommisse, director of strategy and corporate development at Wisconsin’s architectural firm Kahler Slater, said “For sinks, using smooth and nonporous materials with seamless construction like solid surface and natural quartz helps prevent bacteria, mold and delamination accumulation.” He also mentioned new wash basin designs with more space between hand washing areas to allow for social distancing.
With more people washing their hands, at home and at work, the importance of water and energy efficiency is growing. Kris Alderson, senior marketing manager with Bradley Corp., said there is now a focus on using more sustainable bathroom solutions such as efficient faucets, hand dryers, and recycled building materials.
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