BATHROOMS & KITCHENS
THE LID ON
Joe Bell, Formica Group, talks public toilets and the most pressing
concerns when it comes to the most personal of space.
34 BUILDING PRODUCTS | APRIL 2018
The loo, the restroom, the powder room,
the washroom – call it what you may – we
all spend a lot more time noticing them
and talking about them than you think.
To understand opinions and to uncover how the
washroom needs to be optimised, we conducted
our own survey to specifically gain views on toilet
use – inside and outside of the home. As a result,
we’ve developed a detailed white paper which lifts
the lid on British toilet habits to help us create the
washrooms people want.
Familiarity clearly wins the day, with 70% of adults
admitting they are either somewhat or very reluctant
to use any other loos, apart from those in their own
home. A whopping 68% believe no other toilet but
theirs is as hygienic. Other reasons to refuse public/
workplace loos include lack of paper or soap (54%),
lack of privacy and the smells they encounter (68%).
Even though Brits are reluctant about using public
toilets, most can’t avoid them, with 46% saying they
are either sometimes, or often, caught short and so
need to put their prejudices aside.
Such is the desire for cleanliness, 20% of people
admit to using a disabled loo in the belief they are
cleaner. It’s perhaps little surprise that hands-free
flushing is the technology most people (60%) want
to see, followed by better ventilation (46%). In
terms of the décor of choice, 75% of respondents
selected a neutral and light aesthetic as they believe
it impacts cleanliness.
As unisex toilets are becoming more common
(but not necessarily more popular) workplaces
are starting to embrace the concept of a genderneutral
But not everyone is excited about the prospect of
doing ‘their business’ with the rest of ‘the business’.
In fact, 68% of Britons say it would be awkward to
share unisex toilets with their clients, customers,