Six Ways the Pandemic Is Changing Bathroom Design

Jon Dommisse and Michelle Kempen of the Milwaukee-based architectural firm Kahler Slater predict COVID-19 concerns will lead to at least half a dozen revisions in bathroom design. Their July 7 forecast in Bath & Kitchen Pro covers these areas:

  • No-Touch Fixtures. Sensing controls are common now, but voice command and Internet of Things technologies will soon join them. In addition, expect more automatic door openers.
  • Better, More Robust Ventilation. In particular, bathrooms are likely to get more ventilation with outdoor air.
  • European Influence. In this case, we’re talking about the layouts in gender-neutral European restrooms, in which stalls form a perimeter around communal washing stations. “This design can help facilitate one-way traffic and minimize cross-traffic,” Kempen says.
  • All-in-One Fixtures. Combining faucet, soap, and dryer keeps water in one place. It also can reduce slips and falls caused by water dripping from peoples’ hands while they walked to the paper towels.
  • Antimicrobial Finishes and Materials. Kempen is seeing increased interest in inherently antimicrobial finishes, such as copper.
  • Sink Materials and Design. Think smooth, nonporous sinks in solid surface and quartz. At the same time, multi-unit sinks are likely to be spaced further apart.

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