The summer holidays are the season of school toilet refurbishment projects in Kent and London. Among other common areas of a school, the toilets receive the highest footfall and therefore undergo the most wear and tear. As a result, schools across Kent and London contact JBH Refurbishments to spruce up their tired washrooms throughout the months of July, August and early September.
Post lockdown the demand for school toilet refurbishments accelerated. For good reason too. Due to the pandemic, Schools are constantly looking for ways to improve hygiene. Thus, preventing further spread of Covid-19 and other seasonal illnesses.
The school washroom is notorious for harbouring nasty bacteria that can be transmitted from one person to another. That’s why one primary school in Maidstone, Kent was determined to create washrooms for their students that would optimise hygiene levels for cleaning and personal care.
Here’s how JBH Refurbishments transformed the school washrooms at St Michael’s Church of England Infant School on Douglas Road in Maidstone, Kent.
St Michael’s CoE Infant school is steeped in history. Built in 1872, it has all the classic Victorian architecture that you would expect of a school of its era. However, its modern facilities are constantly being reviewed to ensure they offer the best possible education in a healthy and pleasant environment.
As a school refurbishment contractor in Kent, London, Surrey and Sussex, JBH Refurbishments was an obvious choice to carry out the work.
Upon the initial site survey we viewed two washrooms – one male and one female. They were very dated and very tired. In the male washroom the stainless-steel urinals were odorous and unhygienic. The school was clear, the urinals had to go! This meant we had to make some minor changes to the layout. Aside from that, the school simply requested modern, hygienic, and vibrant washrooms that would be suitable for their infant students.
The school toilet refurbishment required a modern and sleek design. There was no room for stereotypical pinks and blues here. This is a school with contemporary facilities and values.
As a result, the team at JBH Refurbishments created a gender-neutral washroom design with contrasting colours; orange and green. To break up the bold colours, we introduced accents of grey and white.
The walls in school washrooms need protection from water, scuffs and scraps. Fortunately, JBH Refurbishments is an approved installer of Hygienic Cladding. This is a tough, impervious surface that comes in large sheet form and can be fitted to walls with specialist moulding equipment to reduce seams where dirt and bacteria can build up. Thus, increasing the life span of the washroom walls and improving the overall hygiene.
Traditionally, schools have used tiles on the walls and floors in their washrooms. But, the small grout crevasses are not easy to clean, meaning a lot of the grim gets left behind. Hygienic cladding however, covers a large area without multiple joints. One straight seam now and again (depending on the area size) is covered with a purpose-made strip. This drastically reduces areas where dirt can build up.
Due to its impervious surface, Hygienic Cladding can be cleaned with strong detergents and remain in excellent condition. When used from floor to ceiling, the entire washroom can be frequently cleaned.
Hygienic Cladding comes in multiple colours and patterns. So, we were able to introduce the orange accents on the walls in the female washrooms. While in the male toilets we used the contrasting green.
As well as Hygienic Cladding, we also recommend the use of IPS (Integrated Panel Systems) units behind the toilets. These units hide the toilet cistern and encase the pipework, making it easier to clean around the toilet and the floor.
For St Michael’s CoE Infant School, we used the IPS units to introduce the neutral grey and the contrasting colour to the walls from the initial design. For instance, the female washroom walls were clad in green, so the IPS units were orange, and vice versa for the male toilets.
The toilet cubicles and vanity unit mirrored the colours from the IPS units in each washroom to continue the bold design.
Again, the water-resistant surfaces of these products enables the use of detergents, making cleaning easy and effective.
Remember we mentioned the old and fragrant urinals? Well, they were removed and replaced with individual toilets. The use of urinals is becoming less desirable in schools these days. Neither do they encourage hygienic habits, nor privacy. Therefore, the latest trend is to remove them entirely. The individual toilet cubicle is far more fitting of today’s school culture.
Back to the vanity units now. We fitted trough-style sinks with non-concussive taps, which automatically switch off between use. These remain a more affordable option to sensor taps, and still provide the water-saving function.
Considering this was a school toilet refurbishment intended to improve hygiene, we couldn’t forget the floor. Therefore, we used a hard-wearing, non-slip vinyl.
We advised against regular skirting because you cannot effectively clean up to the floor edge. Instead, we used a cap and cove fitting, which gently curves the floor vinyl up to the wall, where it is fixed into place. As a result the floor has been optimised for thorough cleaning.
The school toilet refurbishment at St Michael’s CoE Infant school has been transformed into a bright and easy-to-clean space that the pupils can enjoy.
From our point of view, it was a pleasure to support the school throughout the design and fit out process. We look forward to helping them enhance their facilities in the future.
JBH Refurbishments is a commercial fit out contractor for schools, businesses, healthcare, and retail clients. We work throughout Kent, London and the wider South East.
It is always our intention to put your needs first and find solutions that will enhance the way you work and learn. Therefore, if you have a project that needs a considerate and future-focused approach, please contact our project team on 0333 207 0339 or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.