Already familiar in domestic kitchens and bathrooms, the trend for black fixtures and fittings is now spreading to commercial washrooms. Specifying black sanitary ware, that matches the water controls and accessories, is a sure-fire way to bring style to washrooms. A timeless, classic look, offering retro-chic with an industrial edge.
However, non-domestic washrooms face very different challenges to the domestic setting. Aesthetics are only one element of the specification mix, and other factors to take into account are intensity of use, vandal-resistance, user safety and hygiene. Specialist products are required that will withstand high footfall and cleaning routines.
Intensive use and regular cleaning in highly frequented washrooms quickly degrade surfaces. Stainless steel is well-established as a durable and unbreakable alternative to porcelain sanitary ware. Even in its natural state, the surface can withstand any impact from daily use, as well as regular and thorough cleaning. It remains hard and smooth, with reduced dirt retention due to its uniform, non-porous surface.
Specifying sustainable products
To achieve the matte black finish, Teflon® is applied to the stainless steel. Teflon® or PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) is a chemical-resistant material, and one that is already familiar, since it is the same finish found on the pots and pans in domestic kitchens. Its non-stick properties means there is very limited scale adhesion, supporting improved hygiene. Cleaning is easier and more sustainable, requiring less cleaning product. And, since washbasins, WCs and urinals are not subject to the same challenges as kitchen ware i.e., high temperatures or sharp knives, the black finish remains intact over the long term.
As the trend for black fixtures and fittings gains in popularity, it is possible to bring a whole new aesthetic style to commercial washrooms. Rather than rely on service contracts and value-for-money accessories to complete the washroom specification, washrooms can be equipped with products that are stylish, on trend, and that meet the needs of the public domain. Manufacturers now offer complementary product ranges that coordinate, allowing specifiers to choose their decorative style: adding a black waste for a totally black ensemble, or a chrome-plated waste for a black/chrome mix-and-match look.
Design for accessible washrooms
This design trend includes products for people with reduced mobility. There is a whole new generation of assistive products that are more attentive to comfort and well-being, which erase the medical aspects of accessible washrooms with ergonomic designs, fluid shapes and a strong aesthetic sense. Designed to adapt to every stage of life, and to provide safety and comfort, these accessories also contribute to making the shared use of sanitary washrooms pleasant for all.
Washrooms in non-domestic environments no longer need to compromise on aesthetics. It is possible to incorporate stylish designs that will withstand intensive use while upholding user safety and hygiene standards. In environments subject to intensive use, attractive products and well-maintained fixtures with easy-to-clean surfaces are more likely to elicit respect and care from users. There is no need compromise on form or function.