Guest Column - February 2011
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Locker Rooms

Locker Room Design Strategies
Durable Fixtures Enhance Image, Reduce Operational Costs

By Jon Villwock


Showers: Durable, Low-Maintenance Options

For high-traffic areas used mostly for rinsing off near swimming pools, column showers offer a cost- and space-efficient option. Choosing commercial-grade shower fixtures with vandal-resistant features will help keep order in locker rooms and deter vandalism, which will minimize repairs and maintenance costs.

Column showers with vandal-resistant features, such as security screws, usually perform better than other types of showers better suited for less traffic. An added benefit to column showers placed in the center of the shower room is that they minimize water sprayed on the outside walls, making the shower area easier to keep clean. Further, column showers can be configured with two to six user stations.

To maximize the number of showerheads in high-traffic locker rooms, combine column showers and wall showers to utilize available space. Today's newest fixtures offer a wide variety of valves, showerheads and options.

When wall showers are preferred, look for a streamlined, pre-assembled design, which will reduce installation time, since it's not necessary to mount the unit into the wall, as is typical of other showers. Because the valve bodies and components of this type of shower are easily accessible from the front or by unscrewing the unit from the wall, they are particularly suited for tight spaces. This compact version accommodates both exposed and concealed piping so there is no need to cut into the shower room tile during renovations.

Hinged pivoting wall showers can also be quickly installed. The hinged door simplifies installation and ongoing maintenance, saving time and money. By removing vandal-proof fasteners from one side of the shower panel, the unit swings away from the wall, providing easy access to components.

Finally, keep in mind that low-flow showerheads can reduce water use by 50 percent or more—these fixtures save about 14 gallons of water during a seven-minute shower. Today's low-flow showerheads can use as little as 2 gpm (gallons per minute), and since they reduce the flow of water, they also generate energy savings because there is less water to heat.

Locker rooms with quality fixtures like plastic lockers and sturdy showers will not only have a longer life span and cut maintenance and replacement costs, they will reflect positively on the recreational facility, staff and management.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jon Villwock is a senior product manager for Lenox Lockers at Bradley Corporation, a leading manufacturer of plumbing fixtures, washroom accessories, partitions, emergency fixtures and solid plastic lockers. For additional information, visit www.bradleycorp.com.