Although similar in form and purpose, residential and hospital bathrooms have several notable differences. While you may design the former based on convenience, the latter needs to be built while taking the special needs of patients into account. This remains the case even when choosing the best material to use for the hospital bathroom’s floor and walls.
There are several wall and flooring materials to choose from when building hospital bathrooms. Here are some of the most common options and why they can be the bathroom wall solutions that you need:
Tiles are among the most popular wall and flooring materials for bathrooms. They come in various designs and colours and can be made of ceramic, marble, porcelain, and many more. The biggest advantages tiles have over other options include their low cost and their wide variety. For one, some tiles have a rough surface that makes them excellent, non-slip options for bathroom floors.
Between tiles are gaps filled with grout. Unfortunately, grout stains easily and makes tile walls and floors very hard to clean. It is also porous, which means it is likely to harbour mould and bacteria that could be very dangerous to patients with weak immune systems. Sealing in tiles and grout is a good way to reduce the risk of harbouring hazardous micro organisms.
Many bathrooms use acrylic because of their low cost and quick installation time. There are many acrylic designs available, but most are coloured white or off-white, which looks great in hospitals. Walls made from this material are easy to clean, and because no grout is used, they are not likely to harbour dangerous moulds and germs. Installing supportive features, such as handles and bars, on walls is also easy.
However, acrylic walls are less tough than tiles. Once a part of the wall is damaged, you won’t be able to repair it quickly, which means you may have to take apart the entire wall. This can be very disadvantageous if your original goal in choosing acrylic is to save on installation and maintenance costs.
Also known as Corian, solid surface is a man-made material that’s used extensively in countertops and other kitchen surfaces. It is relatively inexpensive, comes in many colours and designs, and is easy to fabricate. Solid surface does not use grout and is strong enough to withstand the impact of high-pressure washers that are often used to clean surfaces in hospitals.
The problem with solid-surface walls is that, more often than not, they need to be installed professionally. When not installed correctly, they can end up producing the same problems as traditional bathroom tiles. Leakages are also a possibility.
In the end, building hospital bathrooms means having the initiative to think not just of patients’ convenience, but also their health and safety. It’s essential that you take these factors into account, especially as you plan and select which fixtures to install and what wall and flooring materials to use. Consult an expert if you need any help.