This is part three of a three-part article on customizing restroom fixtures.

Although customization is still a bit new for facility managers, manufacturers are already looking for future restroom trends. To stay ahead of the next big thing in restroom dispensers, manufacturers track trends in industry publications, attend conventions and seek customer feedback.

“We talk with our sales reps that are out in the marketplace working with customers, and then likewise to distributors in an effort to get ideas from some of their top end users,” says Renner.

One trend he has noticed over the past two years is increased interest in using technology to monitor hand washing, especially in healthcare facilities.

“There’s a big push for facility managers to monitor, control and improve hand washing because poor hand hygiene is one of the leading causes for healthcare infections,” says Renner.

To meet this need, manufacturers are testing ways to include dispensers in health care monitoring systems. Some systems already control utilities such as temperature and lighting and, in the future, could monitor hand washing using employee badges and their proximity to dispensers. Manufacturers are just waiting to see whether this dispenser technology is something facility managers will invest in.

What facility managers are currently looking for are more upscale dispenser options, plus greater surface area for messaging.

“What’s next in customizing includes dispensers with faux finishes such as stainless, marble or granite to further match surrounding décor,” says Fox. “Other options include more ‘real estate’ on the dispenser cover surface for marketing or cross selling.”

Facility managers are definitely looking for more flexibility in terms of the messaging and customized options.

“It does feel like we’re in the age of customization and I think the demand and interest will continue to grow,” says Thompson.

Technology has made its way into restrooms with automatic soap dispensers and motion sensing faucets. But will digital displays become the next branding method? Manufacturers aren’t ignoring that possibility.

“The thing to keep in mind is that that level of customization is going to come with a price tag, so it’s a matter of pushing for the customization but realizing you have to balance that with the cost component,” says Sheridan.

The bottom line is, manufacturers are willing to work with facility managers to customize the restroom experience. Today, that customization includes colors, logos and messages on dispensers. What the future holds for these options remains unseen, but it will likely be driven by demand.  

SUSAN THOMAS SPRINGER is a freelance writer based in Sisters, Oregon.

previous page of this article:
Branding Restrooms Supports Facility Goals