A guide to choosing commercial washroom design and bathroom partition materials.

toilet partition materialsWhen designing a washroom, there are several partition materials that can be used, each with its own strong point, depending on its particular application.

The least expensive option is a product composed of baked enamel painted steel over a paper honeycomb core. Usually, this is the type of partition that you would find in schools, office buildings, some restaurants and religious facilities. This option comes in a huge variety of colors and can be painted to match just about any decor you choose. Initial cost savings with this type of partition does, however, come with a downside. The life expectancy of the enamel painted steel partitions can be limited by rust due to exposure to moisture. At Young Equipment Sales, we offer one option that comes with a perma-seal edge. This product is produced by the Bradley-Mills company, comes in 18 different colors, and carries a 15 year warranty.  In addition to rust, graffiti, scratches, and impact damage are other issues to consider with the enamel painted steel products.

Another option often preferred by architects, is solid phenolic core. This is a dense, very compressed product, which is made up of layers of material in a resin matrix, similar to the construction of fiberglass. This material is highly impact, and scratch resistant, and is a great choice for schools. To strengthen this option even further, we recommend full length mounting brackets. Solid Phenolic Core partitions can be fabricated in any color or finish from Formica, Wilson Art or Trespa, including wood or speckled pattern choices, making it idea for blending with overall design. This option has a cost factor of 1.6-2.4 over baked enamel steel, and is susceptible to paint or ink graffiti, but the variety of finishes, edges, colors and overall durability can make up for that difference in cost.

Solid plastic, or high density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic partitions are yet another option you may consider for your washroom design. This material is 1” thick, solid throughout, and is highly graffiti, scratch, mold and mildew resistant, making it a common choice for schools, restaurants, and hospitals. The material is highly durable, particularly when used with continuous wall brackets. Young Equipment Sales offers HDPE partitions from a company called Comtec Scranton, a leader in the industry, and they offer over 20 different colors and textures, including designer colors, making them an easy fit for any design concept. These style of partitions come with our industry leading 15 year warranty.
Yet another product choice for bathroom partition design is stainless steel. This material has a higher cost factor than the plastic or steel coated options, and you may have seen them used in hotels, sports clubs, and higher end establishments. The strongest points for stainless steel are the look, and the durability you get with the product. This product looks very clean and modern, and is available in classic brushed steel, stipple, faux leather or even diamond plate finish. This material is steel over a wood core, so it is highly impact resistant. With continuous brackets, this material will last an extremely long time. On the down side, this material shows smudges and fingerprints easily, particularly on the brushed finish, so regular cleaning is a must.

The final material we’ll discuss here is a fairly new material solid color reinforced composite (SCRC.) This material is commonly found in high traffic areas such as schools, municipalities, train stations, or any other area which will receive a heavy amount of traffic. SCRC has the durability of the solid phenolic core material, but it is solid throughout, making it much easier to repair scratches and gouge marks.  It is one of the most durable and graffiti resistant materials on the market today. Graffiti is very easy to remove from this material, leaving behind no ghosting. On the downside, this material currently has a limited color selection, and has a higher cost point than either solid plastic or stainless steel. There are only 4 colors available at the moment, but these are neutral shades that will blend into most design schemes without an issue. Even with limited color choice and the higher price point, the durability of this product is a big plus, and once installed with full length stainless steel brackets, this is a partition that will last a lifetime.