What Are Commercial Building Restroom Requirements?

Many people believe it’s a personal hygiene mistake to use public restrooms, but  these facilities have to be in line with local and international standards just like any other public facility. You may be thinking that a public toilet is often just toilet stalls, urinals, sinks, conventional hand dryers — in other words, the minimum essentials. It’s not like the bathroom at home that’s made for maximum comfort. Commercial building restrooms nonetheless can’t design a public bathroom as they wish. They need to comply with specific public restroom requirements to ensure the space is functional, accessible, and allows users to take care of their hygiene needs. 

 

Staff vs Public Restroom Requirements

Ever went into a store and had to use the bathroom, but the only one available was the staff toilet? You feel frustrated that they don’t let you use it in case of an emergency, but as a matter of fact, employee toilets are often made to a different standard than public bathrooms. This is why you aren’t allowed into the staff toilet unless the standards are also in line for public use. So, are businesses required to have a public restroom? The law is different in every country and even state or province. However, there may be locations where the business such as a clothing store or a supermarket is not required to have a restroom for public use. 

Here are the answers to a few frequently asked questions regarding this:

 

How many restrooms are required in a commercial building?

The amount of restrooms is not as crucial as the number of amenities: stalls, toilets, sinks, and hand dryers. This being said, there must be accessible restrooms for members of both genders or the restrooms must be unisex. There can’t be an uneven number of restrooms between the genders if the bathrooms are gendered. For employees, the restroom requirements for commercial buildings is: at least 1 toilet for every 16-35 employees, at least 2 toilets for every 36-55 employees, and at least 3 toilets for any number greater than that.  For public bathrooms, there needs to be at least two toilets minimum and then one extra toilet for every 250 people who enter this public establishment. Keep in mind that this is the bare minimum and more amenities will guarantee you less traffic in the bathrooms.

 

What are restroom requirements for commercial building?

Apart from the availability of toilets, there are certain standards that all restrooms need to meet in terms of privacy. The toilets need to be closed from 3-4 sides with walls and a functional door to open and close the stalls. Additionally, hand washing and drying amenities must be present for users to be able to maintain their hand hygiene after use of the toilet. All restroom requirements for businesses or public restrooms include the presence of soap, running water, and means for hand drying. Hand dryers in Australia are available in a variety of sizes, shapes, and features that each facility owner can select from. 

 

Public Restroom Hygiene General Requirements

To ensure restroom hygiene, restrooms in commercial buildings or all public restrooms are recommended to maintain the following:

  • Regular cleaning of the restroom. Depending on foot traffic, it may be cleaned more or less often.
  • The presence of a sanitary bin in the common areas in the stalls. 
  • Presence of coat hangers in the stalls. 
  • Presence of hand drying amenities such as paper towels, conventional hand dryers, or toilet paper in stalls and common areas. 


There is always the constant debate of paper towels versus high-speed hand dryers in public washrooms. It is largely based on preference, but you need at least one or both available in each bathroom. Typically, high-speed hand dryers are better hand dryers for business since they have a much faster drying time than warm-air hand dryers. Please make sure to refer to hand dryers installment instructions and maintenance if you opt for this in the public restroom.

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