Interior wide shot of a school bathroom.

School washrooms are a prime area for vandalism and accidental damage, here we explore methods to mitigate the risks.

The school toilets have been a space that’s endured various acts of vandalism as far back as we care to remember. From mindless destruction to accidental damage the fact remains that school washrooms need to be designed with rigorous durability in mind.

With a wealth of experience in the design, specification and build of educational washrooms, LAN Services has developed intimate knowledge in what works, lasts and endures in this space. The durability needs sometimes change depending on location, and also across settings that span through nursery, primary, secondary and higher education environments.

Sanitary ware

Good, hard-wearing vandal resistant sanitary ware is an absolute must in any commercial washroom environment. You need materials you can rely on in busy toilets, so be sure to lay the proper foundations. Vandal resistant toilets come in all styles, including back to wall toilets, wall hung toilets and close coupled units. Stainless steel is an option for some, but material development in ceramic materials, as well as composite and even plastics, has meant urinals, wash basins and toilet pans don’t have to be stainless steel to benefit from anti-vandal properties.

Tackling water damage

One of the most common problems in traditional school washrooms is water damage from flooding. However, this can be mitigated by selecting non-concussive push taps, or those that are operated by a sensor control. These taps only emit water for a set period of time, meaning water can’t be left on absent-mindedly or on purpose.

We have also largely seen a move away from paper towels over the past decade or so. This has been done for two key reasons. Firstly, it means dispensers no longer need to be refilled, but more importantly, the age-old pastime of throwing wet paper towels on the ceiling has become a thing of the past.

Climbing and integrated plumbing systems

In primary school settings, one problem that comes up time and again is damage from climbing. Many a washroom design can be scuppered when you look at it through the eyes of a climbing child. Ledges and edges become footholds and sadly, even bits of waste pipe become damaged from young users trying to climb on windowsills.

Full height DUCT sets help with this significantly. By creating a thin service void, all the mains water and waste services, as well as cisterns and controls are hidden behind a false wall. This keeps all these important services protected and out of sight, but also delivers a very smooth, sharp and slick finish to your washrooms.

DUCT sets can also be used for urinals, creating what is known as an integrated plumbing system, meaning all your plumbing and services is concealed within DUCT sets and custom built vanity units.

Full height cubicles are utilised in many schools as an anti-bullying measure, but this also means users cant climb up to look over into the next cubicle. This means it’s less likely for toilet seats of wall mounted toilet roll dispensers to get broken through climbing.

Stainless steel or integrated dispensers

For complete endurance and durability, stainless steel dispensers are often the standard for school washroom designs, as are options that integrate them into the fabric of the room. Custom vanity units are good for this as liquid soap reservoirs can be located underneath behind a locked panel, feeding several hard-wearing dispenser pumps on the counter.

If you would like further advice on vandalism prevention in school toilets, or to speak with one of the team about your refurbishment needs, please get in touch on 01202 650901