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What do You Need to Know When Designing Public Toilets?

A well-designed bathroom may not be at the top of your list when planning the layout of your site, but it should be. Public washrooms that are hygienic, welcoming, and above all, provide a high level of privacy to ensure all users feel comfortable, can have a huge impact on visitors’ experience of the rest of the building.

Not only are they a significant financial investment, but there are many considerations and checklists to acknowledge along the way. Whether they be legal requirements or design decisions, these all make a huge difference to how the public will experience and rate public washrooms.

The Legal Requirements

You must comply with the following regulations:

1) Separate facilities

Separate facilities for men and women should be made available where possible. Where this is not possible, washrooms should be designed for just one person at a time and must have a door that locks from the inside to ensure privacy.

2) Disabilities facility

If a public washroom contains more than four cubicles, it must be designed as suitable for people with disabilities. This means that the cubicle should be larger (minimum width of 1200mm) and have an outward opening door. A horizontal or vertical grab rail should also be included in the washroom design.

3) Disposal points

Adequate waste disposal facilities should be provided in public washrooms and that includes sanitary bins for women’s public washrooms. As well as waste disposal, your public washroom design should ensure it is easily maintained and kept clean. This will affect your choice of materials and surfaces, as they will need to be easily cleaned on a regular basis.

4) Proper ventilation

Public washrooms must also be designed in a way that ensures they are well ventilated to prevent lingering odors, not only in the washrooms themselves but also to prevent odors from spreading to outside areas.

5) Hot and cold running water

Finally, public washrooms must be provided and stocked with necessary supplies and consumables such as soap and toilet paper and must have both cold and hot running water.

It is vital to remember that complying with regulations should always be the number one priority when designing public washrooms.


Clean, well-maintained toilets are a legal obligation for employers, but the provision of privacy is a high priority for many people. The availability of clean, private-public toilets are essential for a number of reasons:

1) Taboo

Across the world, the basic need of humans to void is still very much a taboo subject, treated with embarrassment and humor. From a young age, humans are taught that going to the toilet is a private thing one does on one’s own, and as such a need for privacy is a priority throughout our lives. Creating a space that allows humans to feel comfortable in their need for privacy should be a basic requirement when designing public washrooms.

2) Layout

The issue of privacy is of particular concern when it comes to the layout of washroom facilities in public spaces, specifically the layout regarding men’s urinals. A number of studies have found that men can experience shy-bladder and discomfort when forced to stand too close to another man when at the urinals, particularly when there are no physical barriers between urinals. What’s more, it is important for designers to consider the layout of the bathroom in relation to urinals, cubicles, and sinks. Ideally, urinals should be placed at the back of the room, so that men do not have to pass behind others to access cubicles or sinks.

However, creating privacy where you can is still a worthwhile investment for your employees and customers to leave with a good impression. Even adding adequate urinal screens, or ensuring that cupibals are floor to ceiling, even if they are not solid walls, at least give the user that little bit more reassurance.

Facilities and Amenities

Sometimes less really is more and the most important amenities and facilities to have are items such as toilet roll holders, working soap dispensers, good quality air dryers, and even waste bins for hand towels. They are all items that perhaps go unnoticed on a daily basis but make a noticeable difference when they’re absent. You may read here the 7 must-haves items you should consider for a better toilet experience.

Once you know you have the basics, adding personal touches to the washroom is optional, but can make the washroom experience feel that little bit more luxurious and certainly make visitors take notice and feel more valued.


If you want to go the extra mile when designing a washroom, a design that prioritizes privacy, comfort, and ease of use will always be a huge hit with anyone that visits and may even go as far as to earn you a mention on social media.

Dcubicle Sdn. Bhd. are a leading provider of washroom installations, having provided our quality services to a range of clients in the education, medical, public, and leisure sectors.

We’ve worked on a number of large-scale projects, creating an expert design that takes every important aspect of a large public washroom into consideration. If you’d like to discuss your washroom refurbishment or interior design requirements, contact us today at 03-33623813 or click this link to WhatsApp or email us, our experienced advisors will happily advise you on the best solution for your needs.

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