Guest Column - February 2011
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Locker Rooms

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

By Jon Villwock

Locker rooms may be relatively small spaces in recreational centers, but they are notorious for making big impressions with clients and visitors. The total sum of the style, functionality and condition of the lockers, showers, washrooms, flooring, tiling, lighting, etc., can make or break patrons' overall satisfaction with a facility.

When you factor in the high traffic and repeated use these facilities endure on a daily basis—especially in an environment that can be affected by moisture, humidity and salt from pool areas—it becomes a real challenge to keep such fixtures in good working order and looking like new.

Vandalism is another obstacle to keeping locker rooms in good repair. Unfortunately, graffiti on lockers, benches, counters and lavatory partitions, and tampering with showers, faucets, toilets and accessories are facts of life in recreational and sporting areas. The resulting damage not only looks unattractive, but can also raise questions about a facility's safety.

The best solutions for locker room furnishings are not only attractive but possess a solid level of quality and durability that withstands daily wear and tear. Initially it may cost more to choose higher-quality and vandal-resistant products, but down the road a facility will reap the financial benefits. Lower-cost products oftentimes require repairs and incur replacement costs sooner than expected.

Using sturdier and higher-quality locker and washroom fixtures also translate into less upkeep and maintenance, freeing up time for staff to focus on other duties. And that's not to mention the good impression quality fixtures make on patrons.

Whether you are updating an existing locker room or planning to build a new one, consider the following selection strategies for two major locker room elements: lockers and showers.