Holiday blues

You want your washrooms refurbished during the holidays, right?

As we head ever closer to the school holidays, you may be feeling you’ve missed the boat on getting your washroom refurbished during your down time. It is undeniably easier to refurbish your school washrooms while the kids are on holiday, but it is possible and even advantageous to consider refurbishment during term-time.

I need it now!

If your washrooms become victim to vandalism or suffer a mechanical or structural failure, it may not be desirable, prudent or practical to wait until a holiday for the refurbishment to commence. At Focus Washrooms, we have many years experience of conducting this process during term-time. All of our operatives are DBS checked and we keep site teams to the minimum number required to get the job done on time, and to the highest standards.


This applies to both your staff and ours. Do you have someone available to be on site or on call during the required holiday period? Equally, holidays are our busy time so you may have more choice on installation dates outside this period.


As we offer a total washroom refurbishment with guaranteed completion times, you can rest assured that you will have a Project Manager in charge of the whole job from start to finish and a single team on site. We know that our job can be noisy, messy and distracting to the children. We aim to keep disruption to the absolute minimum and will work with you to plan the schedule of works around your school day. Particularly intrusive works can be completed at a time that works for you, such as after the children have left for the day. Mess will be kept to a minimum with as little interference with your cleaning routines as possible.

Questions and concerns?

If you feel a term-time refurbishment would benefit you but you have some questions or concerns, please give our team a call and they will be happy to discuss this with you.

Focus Washrooms have been refurbishing school washrooms for over 20 years. Please view our testimonials page to hear what our customers have to say.

For more information, or to arrange your free site visit,
please call our sales team on 01362 699 944.

Call and arrange your free site survey:
01707 254 170

How to specify a washroom refurbishment

Do you need to specify a washroom refurbishment but don’t know where to begin? It’s not hard if you know where to start. Let us help.

There are many variables within a standard washroom refurbishment and most of them are influenced by several factors, such as:

Sector We cater for all sectors but knowing which one you’re in helps us immensely. Education, Business, Healthcare, Retail, Sports & Leisure and Public Toilets.
Budget The sky is the limit! We tend to avoid the lowest price items as we believe that quality will tell but you tell us what you want to spend, and we’ll provide the best options for your budget.
Aesthetic Colour and finish selection can make or break your new washroom, that’s why we offer predesigned colour schemes to make this process easier. Of course, you if you have a clear idea of what you want you can select the individual colours yourself.
Timescale School holidays, quiet periods, annual shutdowns… Our unique control of the laminate manufacturing process means we can guarantee your project completion date!

Within the typical washroom refurbishment the following areas will usually be addressed:

Furniture – Cubicles, duct panelling and vanity units

Sanitaryware – WC’s, basins, urinals, taps etc

Surfaces – Floors, walls and ceilings

Colours and finishes

We can then break this down into easier to digest chunks:

Cubicles, duct panelling and vanity units are available in various finishes, but we manufacture all our products from Solid Grade Laminate (SGL) as we believe that this is the best product for the job. SGL is a robust product, water resistant and suitable for high use areas, which enables us to offer a full 15-year product warranty. We do not use High Pressure Laminate (HPL) and Melamine Faced Chipboard (MFC) as these materials have a timber core and therefore do not have the longevity of SGL.

Sanitaryware choices can seem overwhelming, do you want back to wall, wall hung or close coupled WC pans? Concealed or exposed trap urinals? Inset, semi-recessed or wall hung basins? Wash troughs? With a free site visit, we can talk you through all the options and come up with the best plan for your washroom. And then there is the brassware to consider. Different budgets will often determine what taps and flush systems are selected and we can advise on all the available options.

Walls offer a vast array of options, from ceramic or porcelain tile finishes, wipeable eggshell paint to the more modern alternative of Hygienic Wall Cladding (HWC). Different finishes have different budget implications in the short and long term. Harder wearing, low maintenance finishes will generally be more expensive to install but have much lower ongoing cleaning and maintenance costs.

Floors are generally limited to vinyl flooring and porcelain tiles. A non-slip finish to meet UK regulations is essential in a washroom and can be accommodated through both these products. If you have a specific finish in mind, then talk to us and we can advise on whether this is achievable.

Ceiling choices are important in areas with high moisture content such as washrooms and even more so in shower rooms. Standard finishes include suspended ceilings with PVC coated wipeable tiles and painted plasterboard. Fans and lighting also need to be considered when choosing your ceiling.

Focus Washrooms offer a free, no obligation, site visit where we can run though all your options in relation to your washroom refurbishment project. We will then supply you with a quotation with a full breakdown of items so you can see exactly what is required and what the costs will be. We endeavour to complete all works in the minimum time possible at a time that is convenient for you.

For more information, or to arrange your free site visit,
please call our sales team on 01362 699 944.

Call and arrange your free site survey:
01707 254 170

Four of the most common washroom problems…

…and how to fix them.

Over the 22 years that we have been refurbishing washrooms, we’ve seen a few things. We often get asked to solve problems and we always try to include intelligent and practical features when designing a new washroom for you.

Here are the top four washroom problems and how to fix them:

Poor lighting. Dark, dingy washrooms are more prone to vandalism than bright, clean washrooms.

Update the lighting and include sensor operation where possible.
Low energy lighting which does not cast shadows is recommended.

Broken flush/taps/dispensers.

Install sensor operated flush, taps and soap dispensers.
Use stainless steel dispensers instead of plastic.
Ensure correct fittings are used and that the substrate is appropriate for the installation. ie chipboard cubicles will be more likely to suffer damage due to misuse of attached equipment.

Missing tiles.

Replace tiled walls with hygienic wall cladding. Add an image to enhance room appeal.


Water seepage into chipped tiles and grout.

Install hygienic wall cladding. Waterproof and easy to clean with great longevity.

Standing water on vanity tops, basins and floors.

Install wash troughs with effective drainage so soap and water are not left stagnating.
Ensure appropriate floor drains are installed to allow water to escape.


Provision of proper heating and ventilation will help to reduce the amount of condensation.



Clip-on duct and vanity unit panels allow easy access to repair leaks.

Use of incorrect cleaning products.

Ensure the correct cleaning products are used, as recommended in the Operation and Maintenance manuals for your products.


Clip-on duct and vanity unit panels allow easy access to repair leaks.

Standing water and lack of ventilation.

Ensure drainage is appropriate and install mechanical ventilation if natural ventilation is not sufficient.


Standing water and lack of ventilation.

Install floor drain and tap so that floors can be washed and scrubbed down.
Make sure the washroom has adequate ventilation. Install mechanical ventilation is natural is not sufficient.


Install sensor flushes.

Old duct panels/cubicles.

Urine and grey water can soak into unprotected paneling. Check joints and install new paneling, if appropriate.
When renewing panelling, consider a product which is impervious to fluids, such as Solid Grade Laminate.

If you’re experiencing any of these problems and would like to know more about the solutions, then please get in touch. We offer a free site survey to help you make your washroom customer friendly!

Call and arrange your free site survey:
01707 254 170

General Procedures for School Hygiene During Covid-19

With the school calendar year commencing once again, schools across Britain are having to adapt their classrooms and procedures to provide a safer and hygienic environment for their pupils and staff and prevent the ongoing spread of the COVID-19 epidemic.

With the school calendar year commencing once again, schools across Britain are having to adapt their classrooms and procedures to provide a safer and hygienic environment for their pupils and staff and prevent the ongoing spread of the COVID-19 epidemic.

Focus Washrooms is a hygiene specialist provider which has been helping schools, hospitals and other high traffic areas for over 20 years. Our products include wall cladding, doors and panels which limit the spread of germs and are easy-to-clean.

Currently, we are helping schools across the UK to implement the best hygiene products and below we have comprised the complete guide for school hygiene requirements in light of COVID-19, in line with UK Government guidelines.

Key Points For School Hygiene During COVID-19

  • Washing hands often
  • Cleaning more regularly
  • Limited use of shared objects
  • Actions if cases break out at school
  • Keeping within bubbles
  • Face masks not a necessity
  • Shielding vulnerable children
  • Pick-up and drop-off
  • Funding COVID-19 procedures


COVID-19 can be reduced and killed from surfaces, objects and hands if the right cleaning products are used and procedures are implemented.

When preventing the spread of COVID-19, we are looking at direct transmission (coming into contact with sneezing and coughing) and indirect transmission (such as touching contaminated surfaces).

Studies show that the virus spreads from person-to-person and by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then by touching your own mouth, nose or your eyes.

The spreading of infection can be reduced and killed by regular cleaning and disinfecting of areas and surfaces that people frequently touch.

Three Main Symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • A new continuous cough
  • A high temperature
  • A loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)

Hand Washing

Keeping your hands clean and washed regularly can be one of the most effective ways to protect yourself against the coronavirus.

When the virus is still on an individual’s hand, it risks getting passed on to another person or surface. Germs can enter the body through the mouth, nose or eyes and this can cause the contraction of COVID-19. A good hand washing session should last at least 20 seconds using soap and water or hand sanitiser which carries at least 60% alcohol.

Alcohol sanitisers should be available where hand basins are not easily fitted, such as doorways, classrooms, gyms and shared surfaces.

Teachers and staff should teach and reinforce the importance of hand washing, in the school toilet facilities or through hand washing stations on campus. Teachers should incorporate hand washing in the daily routine such as bathroom breaks, before and after lunch and when children have been playing outside.

Some pupils should be supervised when washing hands and extra time should be given to accommodate those children that are social distancing.

Children under the age of 6 should be closely supervised when using hand sanitisers or alcoholic gel to avoid swallowing the substance or getting contact with the eyes.

Hand hygiene should be promoted throughout the school by placing visual cues such as posters on doors and walls, stickers and other materials in highly visible areas.

Cleaning More Regularly

Schools should use disinfectants to reduce germs and bacteria on clean shared surfaces such as tables, doors and other areas, using ready-to-use sprays, concentrates and wipes.

Schools should allow for cleaning staff to work more regularly and clean classrooms sometimes more than once per day e.g lunch breaks and after school

Window ventilation should be used where possible and on a regular basis.

If professional cleaners are not available, students and staff should attend to cleaning shared surfaces and should have adequate accessibility to cleaning and disinfection supplies in each classroom such as cleaning sprays, paper towels and gloves.

School staff should anticipate how much they need in terms of cleaning supplies and should have excess supplies available on the school grounds.

Limit The Use of Shared Objects

There are a number of shared items and objects in a school and classroom environment, which may be carrying the virus if not cleaned or disinfected regularly. This includes, toys, games, computer devices, gym equipment or art supplies.

Pupils should be discouraged from sharing items that are difficult to clean such as books, learning aids, electronic devices and erasers.

Soft and porous materials such as rugs and bean bags may be removed from classrooms due to the challenges involved with sanitising them.

Pupils are encouraged to label any of their own personal items and keep them in labeled containers, lockers or cubbies to avoid shared usage.

Teachers should be responsible for reducing the need to share or touch materials, limiting pupils to their own items or offering equipment to one group of students and disinfecting in between use.

Actions if COVID-19 Cases Break Out at School

Schools should be prepared to implement short-term closures (e.g 1 week or 2 weeks) if there has been an infected person in the school building.

Schools may need to send an entire class or year group home, or depending on the number of cases, temporarily shut down the entire school.

It is advised to close off the potentially infected areas for a significant amount of time and use alternative classrooms where feasible.

Where possible, wait up to 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting the infected area and open any outside doors and windows to increase air circulation.

Areas and surfaces should be disinfected including offices, bathrooms, tables, doors and other shared equipment.

If a Child Develops Symptoms of COVID-19

If a child develops the three main symptoms of COVID-19 including high temperature, loss of taste and smell and a continuous cough, they should do the following:

  • Be sent home and put into isolation for a minimum of 2 weeks
  • If awaiting collection, they should be put in an isolated room with open ventilation and supervised by an adult
  • If an isolation room is not available, they should be outside or in an area that is 2 metres or more apart from other individuals
  • If the child needs to use the bathroom, they should use a separate school bathroom which should be cleaned and disinfected after use
  • PPE (gloves and mask) should be worn by any staff member that is caring for the child. The staff member does not need to go home and isolate but should wash their hands for at least 20 seconds.
  • If the child’s life is in danger or at risk, please call 999 but do not take the child to a doctor, GP, health centre or pharmacist

Keeping Within Bubbles and Consistent Groups

Whilst it is hard to keep small children 2 metres apart, especially in a classroom or playground, pupils should be assigned to consistent groups, otherwise known as ‘bubbles.’ These consistent groups should be organised and overseen by teachers. Where possible, teachers should look to halve class sizes or reduce class numbers, although this may be restricted with teacher shortages.

Teachers should ensure that different groups or bubbles do not mix during the day. Where possible, pupils should use the same classroom, the same seating or area throughout the day, with a thorough cleaning of this room at the end of each day.

Face Masks ‘Not a Necessity’

Staff members do not require PPE assuming that they are maintaining a 2 metre distance from other individuals and pupils. Unless staff members can regularly change masks and gloves, PPE may not be fully effective.

In addition, if teachers and pupils are distancing, keeping within organised groups, cleaning regularly and washing their hands, these should be effective measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The only occasions where PPE such as face masks and gloves may be necessary are when dealing with a child who is showing symptoms of COVID-19 or with a child who may be deemed vulnerable.

Shielding Vulnerable Children

Those issues with recurring health issues, vulnerabilities or deemed high-risk should not be expected to attend school or college.

A small minority of children will fall into this category and parents should follow medical advice if their child is in this category.

Pick-up and Drop-off

Schools need to ensure transport arrangements cater for any change in start and finish times. If schools are responsible for school buses and coach rotas, they must ensure that any drivers are not exhibiting any symptoms, there is adequate distancing between passengers (2 metres) and that ample ventilation (either windows or devices) is provided.

Schools should encourage parents and children to walk or cycle with their children to school and avoid rotas which have multiple children and households in one vehicle. Larger vehicles could be used to create distance between pupils or parents should run 2 vehicles rather than one.

Allocated drop-off and pick-up areas may be designated depending on social groups and bubbles.

Funding COVID Prevention Measures

Schools can apply to their local authority to help fund any measures needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

A further £1 billion has been allocated by the UK government to assist with 2 million disadvantaged children whose education may have been affected by COVID-19. Known as ‘catch up activities’ funding will be available in the form of tutors, educational technology and personal coaches. Schools can apply for funding here.

If education or childcare administrators cannot obtain the PPE they need, they can approach their local authority (LA). Local authorities should support them to access local PPE markets and available stock locally, including through coordinating the redistribution of available supplies between settings according to priority needs.

Other Recommendations

Use Outdoor Spaces – Teachers are encouraged to use outdoor spaces for learning where possible, especially for PE.

Classroom Lunch Breaks – To avoid overcrowding in lunch rooms, schools should consider bringing food into classrooms and allowing pupils to eat at their desks, rather than creating a cross-contamination of bubbles and groups in a main lunchroom.

Office Space – Teachers should avoid congregating in shared office spaces and staff rooms and these rooms should be well ventilated and at half capacity or less.

External Resources

Dedicated helpline
There is a dedicated helpline number for education and children’s social care related queries for anyone working in early years through to universities, plus parents. Please call 0800 046 8687 – 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday) or 10am to 4pm (Saturday to Sunday) – for any specific question not covered on this page. – Coronavirus (COVID-19): implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings – Funding for Coronavirus

Call and arrange your free site survey:
01707 254 170

Education spotlight: A fresh new look for Oliver Goldsmith Primary School washrooms in London

With over twenty years of experience working closely with the education sector, our team understand the pressures that schools, colleges, and universities are under.

With increasingly tight budgets and exceptionally high standards to maintain, it can be a challenge to strike the right balance of where to allocate precious funds. However, our education clients find that working with Focus Washrooms helps to simplify the process of washroom refurbishment as our expert team of specialists provide advice and guidance from at every step from concept to completion.

In this blog, we take a look at one of our recent education projects where we completed an innovative washroom refurbishment with stunning results which was completed on time and under budget for our delighted client.


The Oliver Goldsmith School in the Brent Cross area of London is a community school that caters for students of nursery age, up to Year 6. It is a vibrant and engaging place of learning where each member of staff is committed to providing excellence in all aspects of the children’s development.

The school approached Focus Washrooms with a requirement to refurbish their tired washrooms and bring them up to date with bright colours and the latest in school washroom design. They wanted the refurbishment to offer value for money whilst being more practical, low maintenance, hygienic, high quality and easy to keep clean.


The original space wasn’t being used effectively so we redesigned the areas to provide better efficiency and considered optimum user flow. Our team visually ‘split’ the one of the washrooms to distinguish between the Infants and Junior areas which were in the same room, by using contrasting colour schemes of patterned laminate products. The walls were clad with robust and easy to keep clean Trovex Diamond Hygienic Wall Protection that also offers bacteria-fighting qualities for ultimate hygiene. It was also decided to use Hygienic Wall Protection to make a vibrant feature wall above one of the wash troughs.


For the hand wash facilities, each area included vanity units at optimum heights for convenience for the pupils. Solid surface wash troughs, complete with sensor taps were installed for easy hand washing and for their water-saving benefits. The wash troughs are specially formed so that every area has a slight slope to ensure that water runs off, and is not left sitting on vanity tops to stagnate and grow bacteria. The finishing touches included unique laminate radiator covers that perfectly match the cubicle colour scheme and high-quality fixtures and fittings throughout.


Our client was delighted with the end result and commented on how smoothly the project ran – they even shared it on their official school website! 

If you’re thinking of refurbishing your school, college or university washrooms, get in touch with us and we’ll provide you with expert advice.

Call and arrange your free site survey:
01707 254 170