Feature Article - May 2009
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Down & Dirty

Dress Up Your Locker Rooms & Restrooms

By Richard Zowie

The Little Extras

What's inside the locker will also have an impact on your patrons' comfort and consequential perception of your facility. One Hillsboro, Oregon-based designer of wood and plastic laminate locker rooms features these extras in its lockers:

  • Mirrors that can be attached to the back of the locker door.
  • Drawers.
  • Protective rubber mats that protect the locker's floor from damage due to things like golf cleats.
  • Caddy with towel bar attached to the back of the locker door to provide a place for small items like keys, watch, deodorant, etc.
  • Chrome closet pole so suits and other garments can be hung up.
  • Removable shelf and adjustable shelves.
  • Hooks for coats, hats and more.
  • Security lock-box to protect valuables.

And, of course, what locker is complete without a name plate? The company also features solid brass nameplates with copper-toned holder. The holder is attached to locker door with two screws, and the nameplate slides in.

Locker Room Use & Abuse

When locker rooms are for public use, it's standard for the lockers to be securable. Springs of Brinkley Sargent said that open niches are more common outside the locker room where the user can observe them, such as a shoe cubbie in a group exercise room.

Often facilities take their commitment to their patrons' comfort a step further by including the "ownership" of a locker as part of membership. This is very convenient, Springs said, since those using the lockers can store regularly used items like toiletries in them rather than bringing them back and forth for every visit. Some lockers have mirrors installed in them for grooming purposes, while some staff lockers even have power connections used for charging walkie-talkies.

One-size-fits-all is not an approach one finds these days in lockers as they come with various hooks and shelves and customized installation depending on the specific purpose. Locker rooms for ski lodges and hockey rinks might differ significantly from those for aquatic facilities, fitness centers and golf clubs. Some lockers have simple padlock hasps, built-in combination locks and even electric locks.

"Each carries with it pros and cons that need to be well understood by the operator before specifying," Springs said.

Colors play a role in locker facilities, but one immutable factor is cleanliness. A regular maintenance schedule is critical to ensure your facilities remain clean. Periodic staff sweeps will also help prevent vandalism or graffiti.

"There is no such thing as a locker room or restroom that is too clean," Springs explained. "This applies to all five senses."