What is a Toilet Partition?

If you had been to a public toilet, you would have seen toilet partitions. A toilet partition is a structure that encloses toilets in public places. The primary purpose is to provide the toilet user their privacy.

Partitions are found in a variety of shapes and sizes, as well as a variety of materials. So, in this article, we will explore the types of toilet partitions, their installation configuration, and the materials employed in the production of these partitions. 

Purpose of Toilet Partition

Bathrooms are an important part of any business facility, whether it’s public, corporate, or somewhere in between. And humans want them to be secure, private, and easily accessible.  The toilet partitions are the most effective method to do this.

Basic Parts/Components of a Toilet Partition System:

Each toilet partition system is built up by a combination of a few components, like panels, doors, pilasters, headrails, and hardware.

Toilet Partition
  • Hardware: Hardware includes some small mechanical parts like screws, locks, brackets, hinges, jackets, hooks, hatches, and pilaster shoes.
  • Panels: Panels are the real partition between the two compartments. They are available in different materials and sizes, which are discussed later in the article.
  • Doors: Doors come in different colors, materials, and designs.
  • Pilasters: Pilasters are the vertical columns that attach doors to the respective panels. They provide stability and strength to the structure.
  • Headrails: Headrail is in the form of an Aluminium bar, placed on the top of the door. It is placed to increase the strength of the overall partition structure.

Types of Toilet Partition

Now, based on your locality, you would find three different types of partitions; Standard Partition, Full Height (European) Partition, and Single-Use Room.

  • Standard Partition: You would commonly see this partition in the US. It has a 12″ gap at the bottom and sightlines at the door edge.
  • Full Height (European) Partition: These are small rooms with a small gap at the bottom for wheelchairs to move their feet, but no gaps in the line of sight. In this case, the bathroom partitions usually connect to the ceiling, but not always. But still, they are much taller than standard US partitions.
  • Singe Use Rooms: These are entirely enclosed bathrooms with no gaps or sightlines. However, you will most usually encounter these in a single toilet facility, like the toilet in your house.

Materials Used for Making Toilets Partitions

In the United States, the manufacturers usually use five different materials for making bathroom partitions. Price points, colors variation, and guarantees will vary by material type. So, let’s talk about the pros and chemical composition of each material employed in making the partitions.

Powder Coated Steel:

Powder Coated Steel is mostly employed in toilet partitions; widely used in the US. Electromagnetic heating is used to make an enamel powder finish on steel panels. The coated steel toilet partitions are the new standard for long-lasting durability. The majority of manufacturers provide 3 years warranty.

Coated steel sheets resist discoloration and scuffing. They may be washed with mild soap. In addition to the non-toxic adhesive, it is secured with a molding and brazed corner. Powder Coated Steel is the cheapest choice among other materials.

Stainless Steel:

Stainless steel toilet panels are highly resilient and always shine. These sheets are made of #304 stainless steel with a #4 satin textured coating and a honeycomb core. The manufacturers usually offer 5 years warranty for these steel units. Stainless steel has a distinct look. The clean, classic design works in every bathroom. Stainless steel components complement any design plan, whether new or renovated.  It is the priciest, yet most aesthetically beautiful material.

Solid Plastic:

Solid plastic is stylish, eco-friendly, and sanitary. It is unaffected by steam, high humidity, or corrosive conditions. It is durable and anti-mildew. Commercial cleaning products can be used without causing damage since it is made up of High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE). It is guaranteed to last more than 15 years. It is made for busy public places like parks and schools.

plastic laminate toilet partition
Image from Partition Plus

Plastic Laminate:

Plastic Laminate costs around 10% more than the powder-coated steel partition. These partitions are composed of highly-pressurized laminated sheets, that collectively form a solid and impact-resistant material. These sheets meet all NEMA specifications in their construction. Most manufacturers provide a 5-year warranty.

A selection of designer colors is available to compliment tiling, vanities, and countertops in conjunction with all four mounting options of plastic laminate partitions. These partitions are a choice when you consider both beauty and affordability.

Phenolic Plastic:

Phenolic partitions are made of solid phenolic material by pressing a resin into many layers of kraft paper. This method of making toilet walls produces extremely sturdy and lightweight panels. Phenolic Plastic further has two types, black core solid and color-thru solid. Both, Black and Color-Thru, have similar characteristics. However, the color thru employs resin and Kraft paper that match the surface color. Similarly, the name “black core” is because of its black edges,

Different Mounting Styles of Toilet Partitions

So, based on how partitions are mounted in the restrooms/public toilets, there are mainly four types of partition mountings. Namely, overhead/headrail mounted, floor mounted, floor to ceiling, and ceiling-hung partition.

Prior to choosing a mounting system, think about the needs of your restroom. Consider how much space you have, how much traffic you expect these bathrooms to get each day, how much aesthetic or customization you want, and how concerned you are about vandalism. Then, based on the nature of your industry, decide about partition material and mounting style.

Overhead-braced Mounting:

The prevalent type of mounting, due to its sturdiness and ease of installation, is overhead-braced mounting. It can be easily installed at any place since they don’t require any modification to the floor.

In this mounting style, an overhead brace/headrail holds the partition. Collectively, the system has two attachment points, one with the brace and the other with the floor. This style of mounting is recommended for high-volume areas like a restaurant.   

Floor Mounted Partition

Since commercial buildings have a variety of shapes and sizes, it’s not unusual for a restroom to have a range of sizes. These irregularly shaped rooms are well-served by floor-mounted partitions. When the ceiling height is low or high, a floor-to-ceiling partition mounting is not a viable option. In such a case, these partitions are the perfect solution. A strong concrete floor is recommended for anchoring these elegant separation systems.

ceiling hung toilet partition

Ceiling Hung Partition

The ceiling-hung partition is exactly opposite the floor-mounted partition. They are mounted against the ceiling and the wall. You need strong structural steel support for mounting these systems. Since the partition is hung from the ceiling instead of the floor, the cleaning becomes easier. And more easier, if you use powdered coated steel or stainless steel. This mounting style is not recommended in restrooms that receive a high volume of people.

Floor to Ceiling Partition

Floor-to-ceiling partition mounting systems are ideal for high-traffic areas. These incredibly solid walls are great for public gathering areas such as theatres, lecture halls, and exhibition halls, as well as other spaces which receive a huge amount of visitors each day.

I hope by now, you would have got an idea about the purpose of the toilet partition, its multiple types, the choice of materials used, and the installation patterns. Based on your space, you can choose the best mounting style and material.

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