In today’s commercial environment, restrooms are an opportunity. Retailers and restauranteurs use them to extend their brand, gain customer trust and insure repeat business. Bad restrooms hurt business, as some 94% of adults will not go back to an establishment with a dirty restroom. But restroom pride is not just for retail and foodservice establishments. Dingy, smelly facilities are unacceptable anywhere: medical buildings, offices, and schools too. That’s why a “start clean stay clean” maintenance approach is the best way to maximize your restroom investment.
High End Real Estate
Yes, restrooms are an investment. “Looking at the per-square-foot cost, the restroom is the most expensive part of our restaurants,” says Mike Snyder, senior director of development and facilities for the Dallas-based Corner Bakery Cafe chain in an article in Restaurant Development + Design. He estimates that upgraded wall, ceiling and floor finishes add $10,000 to the overall costs, but even no-frills restrooms are expensive. Plumbing, ventilation, partitions and a variety of costly fixtures add to the price tag.
Not only are they expensive to build, restrooms are expensive to maintain. They must be deep cleaned daily and, depending on use, stocked and spot cleaned several times a day, adding hourly costs to you bottom line
Restore No More
Sometimes cleaning schedules fall by the wayside and the results are costly. A restroom floor that hasn’t been properly cared for might benefit from restorative maintenance but you will pay a premium. Vinyl tile floors must be stripped and re-coated. The process is harder for ceramic tiles with grout. Porous or rough tiles will require more work to clean than smooth ones. The grout, however, will be challenging no matter what. Grout is extremely porous, holds on to dirt and bacteria and is the prime source of unpleasant odors. Hiring a contractor to clean grout lines or replace it all together will eat into the bottom line.
Start Clean Stay Clean
Regular cleaning is the only way to keep restrooms looking and working their best. But the most robust maintenance schedule is meaningless if your staff cleans with tools that leave soils behind. Cotton string mops, for instance, deposit soiled water back into grout lines causing unpleasant odors and discoloration. They also leave a dirt line, also known as the five o’clock shadow, on restroom walls and partitions. Choose a no-touch cleaning system instead. Technology like this removes soils from floors, fixtures and touchpoints and leaves surfaces dry and looking as clean as the day they were installed.
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Amy Milshtein covers design, facility management and business topics for a variety of trade publications and consumer magazines.
Her work has won several awards, most recently a regional silver Azbee Award of Excellence.
She lives in Portland, OR with her family and Clyde, a 15-lb tabby cat. Once an avid hiker, these days she finds herself on the less-challenging -but-still-exciting 'creaky knees' trails.