23 March 2023
Reading time: 6 minutes
When it comes to commercial washroom projects, there are two approaches: save money on the upfront cost or save money on the long-term costs.
While it may seem intuitive to choose the latter option, building owners often prioritise immediate savings over long-term benefits.
If you are a washroom designer looking to save money on the initial cost of washroom products, there are several practical ways to achieve this goal. By implementing these approaches, washroom designers can successfully save money on a commercial washroom project while still creating an attractive and functional commercial washroom.
In this blog post, we will explore ways to save money on a commercial washroom project, from selecting alternative washroom products to optimising the space and considering water and energy-efficient solutions.
1. Opt for a behind mirror system
Choosing a simple behind mirror system is a great way to save money on a commercial washroom project as it simplifies the design and reduces installation time and labour costs.
Simplified design and space utilisation
Behind mirror systems with built in washroom products give you the opportunity to utilise the space that would otherwise be empty. A behind mirror system eliminates the need for extra space in the washroom to accommodate separate appliances, such as hand dryers, paper towel dispensers, soap dispensers, and taps. It also saves on the cost of accommodating plumbing and power requirements for these appliances, which can be expensive. Even placing a bin chute or waste bin flap within the vanity unit underneath the mirror system saves space.
By neatly concealing all of the handwashing essentials behind the mirror, you can effectively reduce the size of the washroom. This allows for more lettable space in the building, which can help you make and save money on a commercial washroom project.
Reduce washroom labour costs
Installing a modular behind mirror system is often quicker and easier than installing separate washroom products throughout the washroom. This can save on labour costs, as less time is required to install a modular, interconnecting system, rather than just a washroom cupboard with mirror doors.
2. Integrate SMART washroom technology
By integrating SMART washroom technology, businesses can save money on a commercial washroom project by reducing water usage, energy, waste, and maintenance while also providing a more efficient and comfortable washroom experience for users.
What you measure you can manage, and what you manage you can improve.
Save costs on water usage
Monitoring water flow time in a tap and adjusting the shut-off delay accordingly can help conserve water and save costs on your water bill. Similarly, reviewing flush time in toilets and adjusting the duration of manual flushes can lead to significant water and cost savings.
Save energy costs
SMART washroom technology can monitor water usage in sensor taps, leading to actions that reduce water wastage. By reducing the shut-off delay and minimising the time for water to come out of the tap, you can save energy and reduce costs on your energy bill.
SMART washroom technology can also help to reduce waste costs by monitoring the usage of consumables like soap and paper towels. This allows for more efficient restocking and reduces the likelihood of overuse and waste, thus saving money on washroom consumables.
Save washroom maintenance costs
SMART washroom systems can save money on commercial washroom projects by reducing maintenance costs through the provision of real time data on usage patterns and maintenance needs. For instance, sensors can detect when a soap dispenser is running low and send an alert to the maintenance team to restock it.
Save cleaning time and costs
To make the most efficient use of your resources, you can analyse data from the smart washroom system to determine the frequency of washroom usage.
Due to the increasing prevalence of hybrid working models in many businesses, buildings may not be fully occupied every day of the week. Therefore, it may not be practical to have cleaners tend to every washroom on a daily basis.
By utilising the data obtained from the smart washroom system, you can allocate your cleaners’ time more strategically and effectively to other cleaning services throughout the building.
3. Exclude finishes and special coatings
Opting for a washroom product without a special coating is sometimes a cost-effective choice to save money on a commercial washroom project, especially for those looking to minimise ongoing maintenance costs or those on a tight budget.
Lower initial cost
Washroom products that do not have a special coating tend to be less expensive than those that do. This is because the cost of applying a special coating can increase the manufacturing cost of the washroom product.
Lower maintenance costs
Washroom products with special coatings may require specific maintenance and cleaning procedures to ensure the coating remains intact. This can involve using specific cleaning products or tools or hiring specialised cleaners.
Washroom products without special coatings may be easier to clean and maintain, which can lead to lower maintenance costs over time.
4. Choose a paper towel dispenser
While the initial cost of a paper towel dispenser may be lower than that of a hand dryer, there are several other factors that make this a practical option to save money on a commercial washroom project.
Lower the Initial cost of washroom products
The initial cost of a paper towel dispenser is generally lower than that of a hand dryer. A paper towel dispenser requires a one time purchase and installation cost, while a hand dryer requires a higher initial investment in terms of purchase, installation, and electrical work.
Save washroom maintenance costs
Paper towel dispensers generally have lower maintenance costs than hand dryers. Paper towels are a consumable product that needs to be restocked regularly, while hand dryers require periodic maintenance and repairs.
Save energy costs
Paper towel dispensers do not require any energy to operate, making them a more cost-effective washroom solution in terms of energy consumption.
While opting for paper towel dispensers can save money on a commercial washroom project, it is important to carefully consider the running costs involved. These include ongoing labour for refilling dispensers, the constant need to purchase paper towels, and waste bin servicing and disposal. Read more about which hand drying appliance is best suited for your commercial washroom.
5. Manual operated washroom products
While sensor activated washroom products offer greater convenience and hygiene benefits, manually operated products are often specified to save money on a commercial washroom project, particularly for small businesses or facilities with limited budgets.
Manual operated washroom products, such as manual soap dispensers or manual taps, include much simpler components than their sensor activated counterparts. This makes them easier and cheaper to manufacture.
Since manual operated washroom products are simpler to manufacture, the production costs are lower. This allows manufacturers to offer them at a lower price point which helps you save money on a commercial washroom project.
Save washroom installation costs
Manual washroom products are generally cheaper to install as they do not require an electrical supplier.
6. Choose a close-coupled toilet
Another option to save money on a commercial washroom project is to choose the most cost-effective WC pan, such as a close-coupled toilet.
The simplistic design and easier access to a close-coupled toilet make it a more affordable and practical option for maintenance and repairs or projects on a tight budget.
Save washroom installation cost
Close-coupled toilets are installed directly on the washroom floor without requiring additional mounting materials accessible IPS panels, frames, brackets, etc., which makes them a more cost-effective option with a simpler installation process.
Note* Consideration should be given to suitability of an exposed cistern in any given application.
Save washroom maintenance cost
Close-coupled toilets are generally more affordable and easier to repair as their parts and components are widely available. Since they are commonly used in residential applications, they have standardised parts that can be easily sourced and replaced.
7. Select individual washroom appliances
If you are looking to save money on a washroom project, selecting individual surface mounted hand dryer, paper towel dispenser, and waste bin units can offer more flexibility and cost-effectiveness than choosing a surface mounted or recessed combination unit, for example.
Flexibility in product choice
When selecting individual surface mounted washroom products, you have more flexibility in choosing the specific models and brands that best suit your needs and budget.
Save washroom servicing costs
If, for example, the hand dryer component of a combination unit breaks down, the entire unit may need to be removed, replaced, or repaired. However, this also depends on how the unit was made. In contrast, with individual washroom appliances, only the hand dryer would need to be fixed or replaced.
Choose the most cost-effective washroom solution
There are numerous ways to save money on a commercial washroom project. By implementing these strategies, not only can you reduce initial costs, but you can also promote a cleaner and more hygienic environment for customers and employees.
Integrating SMART washroom technology is an effective way to save money on a commercial washroom project as it helps you make informed decisions about where to reduce water consumption and lower utility bills.
Another way to save money on a commercial washroom project is to include paper towels, as they help cut down on initial costs, and keeping the washroom clean and well-maintained also lowers the likelihood of costly repairs or replacements.
Saving money on the initial capital expenditure (CapEx) of a commercial washroom project is very important. However, it is crucial to consider the ongoing cost of maintenance and the time spent on poor quality washroom facilities. It is also important to consider how this impacts the environment if less expensive items need to be replaced, and they are not recyclable or part of a circular economy.