Minimising disruption during term time school washroom refurbishment

Minimising disruption

A well-maintained and modern washroom plays a crucial role ensuring the health and comfort of pupils and staff alike. However, undertaking washroom refurbishments during term time can cause significant disruption.

Focus Washrooms, a leading specialist in school washroom refurbishment, has developed a range of strategies to minimise disruption and maintain safety while executing these projects. In this article, we’ll explore how Focus Washrooms navigates these challenges while working within a live school setting.

Pupil safeguarding
Protecting pupils and staff from construction hazards is of paramount importance. Focus Washrooms achieves this by safely segregating work areas from the live school environment. Temporary barriers, clear signage, and restricted locked access points are utilised to ensure that ongoing construction does not pose a risk to the school community.


Efficient routes and safe travel
One of the first steps in minimising disruption is to establish efficient routes for the refurbishment team to move around the school safely. By liaising with the school, Focus Washrooms identifies the most convenient and least disruptive pathways. This strategy reduces the impact on pupils and staff by ensuring that the team avoids high-traffic areas and navigates the school with minimal disturbance.


Collaboration with school
Close collaboration with the school is essential to minimising disruption throughout the refurbishment project. By maintaining open lines of communication and keeping the school informed about the project’s progress, Focus Washrooms can quickly address any concerns or schedule adjustments. This cooperative approach enables the team to adapt to unforeseen circumstances, ensuring that the project runs smoothly and efficiently.


Before starting the refurbishment, Focus Washrooms works with the school to carry out comprehensive site surveys. These surveys help identify potential challenges and constraints, such as the location of water / electricity lines, structural elements, and any unique requirements of the school. This information allows Focus Washrooms to develop a tailored project plan, which takes into account the specific needs and limitations of the school environment.


Out-of-teaching-hours work and noise management
To reduce noise disruptions during school hours, Focus Washrooms schedules particularly noisy tasks for non-teaching periods. As a result, activities like drilling, cutting, and demolition occur outside of regular school hours, significantly lessening their impact on the learning environment.


Delivery scheduling
Finally, careful planning of deliveries is crucial to avoiding disruption during peak school hours. Focus Washrooms coordinates with suppliers and our transport to ensure that materials and equipment arrive outside of busy times, such as morning drop-offs or afternoon pick-ups.


By prioritising safety, minimising disruption, and working closely with the school, Focus Washrooms has established itself as a leader in term time school washroom refurbishment. By implementing these strategies, the company ensures that each project is completed efficiently and with minimal impact on the school.

A school toilet in need of refurbishment

5 considerations when planning school toilets refurbishments

5 considerations when planning school toilets refurbishments

With so many rules and regulations, along with child safety, health and wellbeing being top priorities in schools, naturally, there are lots of things to consider when planning new school toilets. 

Perhaps you’re a headteacher, facilities manager, business or finance manager and you’re tasked with procuring new washrooms.

Teacher considering what is required when refurbishing school toilets

You may be wondering where to start, what to ask, what to research and so on, so we took a moment to sit down with our school washroom expert, Anthony Dunham to give you the lowdown on everything you need to know.

Anthony Dunham

Questions we asked Anthony

  1. What should teachers consider when planning new school toilets?
  2. When’s the best time of year to refurbish the school toilets?
  3. How often are school toilet facilities refurbished?
  4. What does the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) look for during their school toilet inspections?
  5. Are there new trends appearing in washroom design?

Q1. What should teachers consider when planning new school toilets?

All of the considerations for refurbishing a washroom

“As you can imagine, there are lots to consider at the planning stage from safety, style, durability, hygiene, design, cost, timings and so on.

Most schools will opt for a company that can manage the process from concept to completion as it’s just much more convenient and you have fewer moving parts.

The service we provide at Focus Washrooms spans from the design, manufacture, project management, and

final installation of complete washroom solutions for schools.

This end to end service that we offer makes the staff and pupils’ lives easier when a school washroom company provides what we refer to as a turnkey service.

In simple terms, schools hand over the washrooms to our team and we agree on a guaranteed completion date where we hand them back in fantastic new condition, ready to use.

Q2. When’s the best time of year to refurbish the school toilets?

“We get asked this a lot because many schools believe that toilet refurbishment has to be done out of term time in school holidays. This actually isn’t the case and our team is working in schools and other education settings across the UK all year round installing new washroom solutions. 

Our experienced team have a wealth of experience and 

because we manufacture our own toilet cubicles, wall cladding, fixture and fittings, and so on, we can bring materials on to school premises as and when needed.

What this means is that our team doesn’t take up much space and we can work safely and discreetly even during term time. We can support you in coming up with

solutions for alternative washrooms to minimise any disruption whilst we carry out work.

Depending on the size and scope of the project, typically, Focus Washroom refurbishment projects will take between 2 – 4 weeks.

It’s worth noting that for peace of mind and school safety, all our team are DBS enhanced checked.”

When to refurbish school washrooms calendar and clock

A school toilet in need of refurbishment

Q3. How often are school toilet facilities refurbished?

“From our experience, school toilets should be refurbished every 10-15 years, although, of course, this will need to be done more often if the schools’ needs change.

Washrooms will last a good 15 years in schools if they’re taken good care of, as we use only the best quality

products that are built to last, here in the UK at our manufacturing site.

We understand that school washrooms must be robust, durable, hygienic, safe and long-lasting so everything is built with these critical factors in mind.”

Q4. What does the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) look for during their school toilet inspections?

“Ofsted inspections are very important to schools as they’re a deciding factor for parents when choosing a school and with over 32,000 schools in the UK, Ofsted has their work cut out!

Ofsted’s main concerns tend to be around the safety and well-being of children so they’ll look out for anything damaged or broken in school toilets. They’ll also want to see that school toilet areas can be supervised effectively without compromising privacy. 

The Advice on Standards for School Premises dated March 2015 is particularly helpful. This guidance sets out the various requirements

for the number of school toilets, basins, showers etc. per number of pupils and this is split into various age categories. 

It also sets out clear guidance for unisex facilities and changing and shower provisions for years 7 and upwards if there is physical education. Adequate ventilation and lighting must be installed as well and you’ll also find regulations regarding toilet facilities for staff, visitors and persons with disabilities.

It’s a good idea to read through this guidance paying special attention to pages 5 and 6 but of course, our team is here to help so feel free to just get in touch with us.

Tick all the boxes required by Ofsted

Q5. Are there new trends appearing in washroom design?

“One thing we’re seeing a lot more of is unisex toilets in schools. There are special considerations with unisex toilets, the main consideration being privacy and safety. That’s why unisex toilets must always be full height and fully enclosed for 8-year-olds and over.

Unisex toilets tend to be designed in rows of enclosed toilet cubicles and the washbasins or wash troughs will be communal in a central, well lit, open space. Of course, as the toilet cubicles must be totally

enclosed, special attention must be paid to adequate lighting and ventilation. 

Not a trend as such, but since the arrival of COVID, we’re seeing an increased focus on hygiene in school toilets. I’d say around 80% of our customers are choosing hygienic wall cladding for their surfaces and there’s an increased focus on handwashing. We’re also finding that more and more schools are opting for centralised wash troughs and automatic sensors to flush toilets and dispense water and soap. “

How can we help?

or call and arrange your free site survey.
01707 254 170

Why workplace facilities are vital to attracting and keeping talent

For businesses that are focussed on attracting and keeping talent, the look and feel of the workplace plays a vital role in employee engagement and creating positive experiences for team members.

These positive experiences should occur throughout the working day and include various aspects such as a welcoming reception area, open spaces for collaboration, break out spaces, natural sunlight and bright and clean washroom facilities.

All of these elements help to make your team feel valued and engaged, and this positivity results in greater motivation and productivity for mutual benefit to your team and your business. In this latest blog post we discuss the various ways that businesses can simply and effectively update their facilities to attract new talent and keep existing talent.


The workplace has come a long way from the dreary office cubicles of the 80’s and 90’s, and today’s modern practices include more personality and freedom for expression.

Open plan spaces have replaced work cubicles and collaboration is encouraged in forward thinking and successful businesses. Of course, workplace design is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach and along with open spaces, there should also be areas for quiet contemplation and concentration, along with break out areas where teams can build relationships and learn how to better work together.


In recent years, there is a growing trend that is taking workplace design by storm called biophilic design. This design trend quite simply incorporates natural materials, natural light, vegetation, nature views and other experiences of nature into workplaces which have been proven to lower stress levels, improve mood and encourage productivity and motivation.

We know that natural light is one of the most important things to health and wellbeing, and according to the World Green Building Council, employees working near sunlit windows have a 15% higher production rate proving its importance to your workplace design.


Washrooms are an important area in workplaces that can be sadly neglected. Cleanliness, hygiene and easy to keep clean are the most important elements in designing and maintaining washrooms, and a lack of these will reflect badly on your business – even calling into question your brand values, the standards you set, and the quality of the service you deliver.

99% of people are reported to have said that they believe an unhygienic washroom reflects badly on a business itself, with a further 58% stating that washroom hygiene was ‘very important’ to their perceptions.

An unsatisfactory washroom may lead your team to develop feelings of negativity about the business they work for, impacting their morale, their productivity in the workplace, and, of course, the bottom line. By working with Focus Washrooms, we can ensure that your washrooms are in great shape helping to keep your team happy and motivated day in, day out.


Get in touch with us to discuss your how we can help you to improve your workplace to help you attract and keep talent in an ever-changing and competitive jobs market.

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How designing great washrooms can help to prevent bullying in schools

A report from YMCA England and Wales released earlier this year found that half of children aged 11 to 16 have been bullied in some way, with 40% targeted at least once a week. These worrying findings mean that now more than ever, schools have a responsibility to provide a safe and engaging place for children to learn and they must be committed to stamp out bullying.<

Bullying can take place anywhere in schools – from the classroom to the playground, but we know that school washrooms can be a trouble spot for bullying, with some children even avoiding them for this reason.

In our 20 years working within the education sector, we understand the challenges that schools face. Our role in schools is simple – we deliver safe washroom environments designed in a way to help prevent bullying.


Hidden areas like corners could potentially be a place for intimidation out of sight, so our designs incorporate bright and open spaces for children. Our hand washing stations are also open without any dividing walls, for example at The Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle in London and at The Chauncy School in Hertfordshire where we fitted a communal hand washing fountain station. These kinds of design formats enable staff to keep an eye out for antisocial behaviour and ultimately helps children to feel safer using the washrooms.


Fresh colours and engaging designs are key to creating a safe and pleasant washroom environment. Along with a wide range of colours, Focus Washrooms also offer many graphic designs that have various themes ranging from fun to educational.
At Hallsville Junior School we incorporated a colourful and sporty theme on the cubicle doors, whilst at Duncombe Primary School in London, and at the Children’s Centre in Gainsborough, we used fun underwater designs with fish, frogs and cartoon figures which children would find engaging.


For older children, another important factor to consider when designing to help prevent bullying is privacy, and helping children feel that they can use facilities without risk of intimidation. In this case, there may be a requirement to have floor to ceiling cubicles like we fitted at Queenswood Boarding School in Hertfordshire which offer the privacy older children require.


Finally, hygiene and cleanliness must be a priority for schools when refurbishing washrooms. A recent report from YouGov found that around 44 per cent of children avoid using the toilet at school each week due to poor hygiene so it’s important that this issue is addressed by schools. Focus Washroom’s products are of easy to keep clean, excellent quality, highly robust, offer value for money and they’re designed specifically for the education sector.

Having specialised in school washroom refurbishments for over two decades, our vast experience and expertise have led us to successfully refurbish over 200 washrooms in the last year alone. Our deep understanding of the unique demands of school washroom refurbishments makes us the go-to partner to manage your next project.

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Washrooms in Sports & Entertainment Venues: Everything you need to know

Sports and entertainment venues offer unique challenges when it comes to washroom design.

The nature of these venues means that washrooms will see a large influx of users in short periods of time, like intervals at theatres and concerts, and half-time breaks at sporting events. This means that more than ever, washrooms need to be robust, hard wearing and hygienic.

The importance of washroom design

The UEFA ‘Guide to Quality Stadiums‘ states that “one of the most important public facilities in a stadium are the toilets.” Long queues and dirty washrooms can ruin visitors’ venue experiences and stop them from returning to your venue meaning a loss of potential revenue.

With some simple solutions and following the recommended guidelines, you can ensure that your visitors’ washroom experiences are as bright and sparkling as your live events.

High traffic washroom environments

Advice from UEFA ‘Guide to Quality Stadiums’ recommends that the minimum provision is as follows:

For males, 2 WCs per 250 males; and 1 for every additional 250 males or part thereof. For females, the recommendation states 2 WCs for up to 20 females; plus 1 for every additional 20 females or part thereof up to 500 females.

For urinals, it’s 2 for up to 50 males; plus 1 for every additional 50 males or part thereof. And finally for washbasins in male washrooms, it’s 1 washbasin per WC and in addition, 1 per 5 urinals or part thereof. For females. it’s 1, plus 1 per 2 WCs or part thereof.

Make a positive statement

Exceptional quality and high levels of cleanliness and hygiene are vital for your washroom areas as they make a statement about the other facilities in your venue. The design, layout and finish will impact on the overall experience and impression to your visitors so its essential you strike the balance between hygiene and design.

The Focus Washroom experience

Take a look at our project with Glyndebourne Opera House where we successfully managed this stunning refurbishment for theatregoers with durable and stylish solutions.

Our team at Focus Washrooms pride ourselves on exceptional service from design and specification through to supply and installation. Our high-quality products are robust and durable – perfect for high traffic areas.

Please get in touch with us to discuss your next project.

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01707 254 170

Your Facilities Reflect your Brand Values!

Good facilities can affect staff engagement, brand performance and customer’s satisfaction.

Cleanliness and hygiene are human practices that throughout history have undergone different adaptations in their social and cultural contexts. Archaeological investigations indicate the existence of plumbing systems in ancient times. The baths and various other personal hygiene methods were quite common in Egyptian and Chinese societies.

The Greeks and Romans were the forerunners of hydraulic systems, channelling rainwater and river water, leading them to homes and to spa. And in the public baths happened meetings, conversations and agreements that drove both politics, arts and sciences.

In public areas, progress has been great through increased investment in technology and design. Today we have amazing washrooms in malls, restaurants, bars and leisure centres. Architects and designers have proven increasingly creative and resourceful to idealise these areas. In business offices, however, concern for the comfort and well-being in these areas is still modest. Business owners and managers still consider that this place should be restricted to ‘in and out’ place, where the employees should not stay for a long time.

Washrooms and coffee areas, considered great villains of productivity are now seen as partners of sociability and communication. Areas of relaxation, including places for reading, games, chat and even sports, are increasingly requested by the HR. So why not use the toilet as a nice and rewarding experience for your staff and customers?

No matter your company style, your facilities must reflect your brand narrative. It is an opportunity for a great experience between your customers and your brand.

There are many ways to make your washrooms so fantastic that staff and customers will appreciate your brand even more. You can use photographic, colourful and informative wall cladding and panels to replace tiles and resort to a warm and beautiful lighting, that at the same time can be economical.

Next to the care of architects and designers, there are a wide range of inventive and modern solutions to be explored that can improve hygiene. Hygienic finishes, creative wall cladding and automatic doors have been used for a long time, and the initial investment returns as a health benefit.

Fortunately, many companies have been pioneers in the exploration of the washroom space, making these areas an alternative space to implement actions aimed at stimulating expression of ideas and opinions.The guiding principle of this approach is that people are more spontaneous in these environments. And it is already possible to see in research on organisational climate, which changes were noted in the companies that paid attention to the opinions collected in their bathrooms. Some, more daring, are riding the wave to get honest reviews of the managers and executives.

Our relentless pursuit of quality of life and humanisation of corporate spaces becomes part of the company’s brand strategy. The Age of Taylorism brought us a lot of learning, but it is time to be aware that sobriety and rigidity are not necessarily great productivity motivating. In addition, there are the ergonomic aspects, favouring communication and aesthetics as great motivators of buyers, not to mention still feelings of recognition and commitment to fidelity, promoted by the nice and cosy shopping environment.

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How do we meet promised project completion dates?

When scheduling your washroom refurbishment project, we always agree a completion date with you. How do we know we can achieve this?

For your projects, we prefer to specify products which we know can be delivered to site and installed on time.

Focus Washroom has a dedicated cubicle manufacturing plant at our Norfolk Headquarters. This means we manufacture all the laminate components for your washroom refurbishment, in house, at the right time.

We also stock a large range of sanitary ware which is ready for distribution to your washroom refurbishment project.

Third parties suppliers are rarely relied upon for the delivery of products – so your products arrive on time.

We have a great team to carry out works.

Each site has a dedicated project manager, responsible for smooth delivery and an excellent finished result.

You can find out more about Mark, one of our project managers here.

We have 21 years of experience.

In the first summer holiday of 1998 in which Focus existed, we refurbished 25 washrooms. In the summer holidays of 2018, we refurbished 110 washrooms. We know what it takes to complete a good washroom refurbishment.

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Reducing germs and bacteria in Washrooms through Washtroughs

Let’s face it, schools in particular often have a problem with illness and germ exchange. However, washrooms in any establishment are an area which are likely to be responsible for aiding bacteria growth and spread.

Inevitable stagnant water and moisture around sink areas can carry and transmit bad bacteria, causing sicknesses to be contracted. This inevitably impacts attendance.

Focus Washrooms have developed a solution to combat poor hygiene in washrooms: the solid surface Washtrough.


As with our toilet cubicles, the Washtrough is designed and manufactured in house. Its design ensures that standing water is eliminated. The design also ensures there are minimum joints for bacteria to grow and all areas of the trough have a slight angle, to ensure proper water runoff. Plus, the troughs are wide and deep so therefore provide a good space to encourage young and older users to practice proper hand washing.

The material we use to make the washtroughs is Krion K-life – a highly durable material with many useful properties such as anti-bacteria and which aid easy cleaning.

Incorporating our Washtrough into your washroom refurbishment will transform your students, customers or employees hand washing experience, encouraging them to wash their hands more thoroughly, more tidily and more often. In reality, who wouldn’t like a brand new shiny Washtrough to wash their hands in?


Whether in an education or commercial settings, we understand how important it is to keep your customers, staff or pupils happy and well with clean and tidy washrooms which is why we’re your number one choice to help you with your upcoming project. Oliver Goldsmith Primary School opted to include these durable troughs due to the sloping nature.

We’d love to help you with your next washroom project and our highly skilled design team will work closely with you to define the right specs, design and colour schemes.

Watch out for our next blog in which we’ll be discussing troughs in more detail…

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Using Colour in Washroom Design

Colour is a powerful element in washroom design and here at Focus Washrooms, we have over 20 years’ experience of working with our clients to create the perfect design scheme.

Whether in education, corporate or healthcare settings, we understand how to use colour to bring your washroom to life. In this latest blog post, we discuss the principles of washroom design using colour and why we’re your number one choice to help you with your upcoming project.


Light and bright colours can help to make a washroom space look larger and more reflective by maximising the natural light in the room.  White is a natural choice for smaller washrooms and can also help to create a clean, sleek and modern look that’s often paired with blues and greens in healthcare settings for example. We worked with Summerfields school who opted who opted for a sleek white finish with contrasting blue cubicles which helped to open up the space and create an impressive result.


Many businesses are becoming increasingly aware that their washrooms must be kept in great condition because people often judge a place by the levels of cleanliness and design when visiting a washroom.  To create a positive impression on staff, visitors and potential clients, businesses are putting more thought into the facilities and we’re seeing more and more customers incorporate brand colours into design schemes to reflect their overarching brand values to a positive effect. In this recent project for Shell, we included a branded visual on the washroom wall to reference the providence and history of this iconic brand.


From primary and secondary schools, all the way through to colleges and universities, we have a range of design schemes. Research has proven that yellow is the ultimate colour for positivity and creativity – both of which are perfect for learning environments. Purples, greens and blues are said to promote a sense of calm which is also helpful in schools where pupils may experience anxiety. A great combination for schools to encourage washroom use is to pair bright colours with fun digital prints like we did at Duncombe Primary & Nursery School.

We’d love to help you with your next washroom project and our highly skilled design team will work closely with you to define the right specs, design and colour schemes.

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Is it time you updated your Washrooms?

Focus Washrooms has over twenty years in the industry working across the education and commercial sectors here in the UK. We’re experts at what we do, and our team have the knowledge and experience to create the perfect washroom for your school or business.


Washrooms can sometimes be overlooked and they can be the last place in buildings to get a well-needed upgrade. Tired, shabby washrooms give a bad impression and create a poor experience for visitors, staff or pupils. Cracked tiles, grubby sanitaryware and outdated design schemes are all telltale signs your washrooms need an upgrade.

There are also minimum requirements to adhere to if you are a school or business so you should ensure that at the bare minimum, you’re complying with government guidelines. For schools, for example, there are key factors that Ofsted will be reviewing including hygiene, safety, privacy and design. For more information on Ofsted inspections, visit our Ofsted blog.


Modern washrooms will now include clean lines, hygienic finishes on surfaces and stylish colour palettes. A great example of a modern washroom transformation is Didcot Wave Leisure Centre where our team developed a sleek design scheme. Colours and finishes were chosen to match the centre’s modern facilities and corporate colour theme, and the S3:60 cubicle system was chosen for its robust, hard-wearing and vandal proof properties. Check it out here


Similarly, the focus to improve washrooms in nurseries, schools and higher education facilities has shifted from purely functional areas to bright and engaging spaces like this recent refurbishment at the Oliver Goldsmith Primary School in London using colourful graphics and striking colour matches.


We take pride in creating washrooms that are hygienic, robust and will stand the test of time, and using our in-depth industry and product knowledge we’ll ensure that your new washrooms look the best they can be.

Call and arrange your free site survey:
01707 254 170