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Designing Your Restroom Facilities

This is the third in a 10 part series on building better buildings. Your rest room facilities say a lot about your overall facility and ministry.

When you are at an event and nature calls there are a couple of things that become really important.

The first and most important is where are the restroom located. I can't count the number of times that I have gone on a scavenger hunt trying to locate the “little boys” room. I now make it a habit when I enter an establishment to scan to see where the restrooms are and if I can't locate any signs that point me in the right direction, I usually ask the first person from the establishment that I spot, where the restrooms are located.

This is not because I expect an “emergency situation,” it's just that if nature does call I do not want to miss a large part of what is going on looking for them.

Another thing that your facilities say about your facility and overall ministry is how much you care about your building and congregants.

Right or wrong people will have a reaction and judge your overall ministry by the care and quality of your restrooms.

Previously I have written about this in an entry entitled, "Why Your Church Needs An Ambassador of the Throne." The cliff note version of the entry is KEEP YOUR RESTROOMS CLEANED AND STOCKED AT ALL TIMES.

Unfortunately restrooms are expensive to build and renovate, believe me I know as I am in the middle of renovating a residential restroom to accommodate 8 men. When planning or renovating restrooms it is important to remember the first two articles in this series.

Function and form need to go together and the room needs to flow well. In the case of the residential bathroom that is in the processing of being remodeled, space was at a premium. We had to get very creative to be able to incorporate 2 showers, 2 commodes and a dual sink.

Additionally, by using pocket doors we separated the sink area from each commode and shower area. To do this took a major amount of plumbing work, involved moving walls and most importantly involved figuring out how the traffic flow was going to work.

We also spent a lot of time researching surface types, making sure we had durable easy to clean surfaces. Also we looked at heat, heated floors, colors, lighting and so much more as we wanted to make sure that form and function went together hand in hand.

An important lesson that I learned in this process was that durable does not have to be equated with an “institutional look”. With today's newer products a “commercial” restroom does not have to look and feel sterile and institutional. In our remodel we aimed for commercial quality as we know the room will experience very high usage. We also wanted to space to be well lit and feel very “homey”.

We decided to use warm colors and wood tones along with warm lighting to accomplish the “homey” feel. The nice thing was that it really did not cost us that much extra to get that comfortable feel that we were looking for.

When it comes to your facilities make sure that they are up to date and represent your ministry in a positive light.

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