Hotels seek to provide their guests with the most positive, convenient experience possible. Many details go into ensuring a good stay, and hoteliers have to pay adequate attention to every one of them
Oftentimes, some of the traits of a successful hospitality business are literally “built” into the hotel itself, in the form of a beautiful, functional layout. When guests feel that their space is “right” in terms of comfort and design, they will be more at ease and have an overall better opinion of their stay.
While this is true of every room in a hotel, it is especially true of hotel bathrooms. Much study has gone into the best ways to design and build hotel bathrooms because they are in many ways the most important part of a hotel room.
The Importance of Modern Bathrooms
Bathrooms, due to their intimate nature, tend to draw more scrutiny from guests than most other components of a hotel room aside from the bed. Bathrooms are judged for cleanliness, convenience, and comfort. They are also judged on lighting, warmth, and water temperature/pressure.
Hotels also have to take into consideration that bathrooms consume a great deal of attention from the maintenance staff. Cleaners, plumbers, and electricians all tend to focus on that space of a hotel room, and for good reason.
Taking all this into view, companies that are contracted to install/build hotel bathrooms need to weigh the pros and cons of modern bathroom construction, choosing whichever one will best serve the business for which they are building.
Bathrooms: Modular or On-Site Build?
While traditional on-site building methods for hotel bathrooms are still used in some cases, many builders have moved toward the convenience of utilizing pre-built and semi-pre-built bathroom configurations. These off-site building methods allow for easier, quicker installation.
While this piece focuses on hotel bathroom units, the information included here can be applied to other types of public bathrooms, whether in restaurants, convenience stores, or other establishments.
In this article, we will briefly look at the pros and cons of modular bathrooms and address the basics of their features, installation, and economical aspects. First, let’s look at what exactly we mean when we say modular bathrooms.
Modular Bathrooms: Brief Description
A bathroom pod is a prefabricated bathroom unit that includes most components necessary for a full bathroom; usually a sink, toilet, and tub/shower. These pre-built units fit into place and require only a small amount of finishing. Bathroom “pods” are the most commonly used type of modular bathroom.
A bathroom kit, rather than being one piece, comes in several flat-pack pieces and needs more work to put together. Both are increasingly being used in modern hotel – and other public bathrooms – construction, but pods are the more popular choice.
Modular Bathroom Units vs. Traditional Construction
- Needs little work to finish the installation
- Slides into the space easily in a standard shaped building area (pods) or can be quickly assembled on-site (kits)
- Less waste than traditional construction
- Can be customized to some extent
- Work takes less time, causes less mess, and makes less noise
- More cost-effective
- Don’t always conform to disability codes without modification
- Often need higher ceilings/door frames for installation
- Could leak if improperly installed
- Not fully customizable
Details of Modular Bathroom Installation
In this section, we will focus on prefabricated or modular bathroom pods, since they are the most common. Installation of flat-pack kits is performed differently and won’t be covered here.
Modular bathroom units are assembled in a factory according to the specifications required by the customer.
As mentioned previously, not all modular bathroom units are fully customizable, but many companies do offer a good variety of options for size, configuration, and luxury. In some cases, the units or pods come pre-equipped with the toilets, tubs, and sinks already installed, while in other cases, these items are added in later. To make things even easier, paper and wallpaper can also be added to the unit before shipping.
The modular unit, once assembled, is shipped in a truck to the location. This takes place during the stage of construction where the facade of the building is still open. This allows the crew to use a crane to lift the modular unit off the truck and up to the appropriate floor. From here, the crew will slide the unit into place using a “scoot”. Once the unit is in place, it then just needs to have basic finishing. A small crew will get the plumbing and lighting hooked up, apply drywall to the outside of the unit as the rest of the room is being built, and the job is done.
Cost-Effectiveness of Modular Bathrooms
Modular bathrooms can be a more cost-effective option than on-site construction for many reasons.
The most obvious reason is that it cuts down on the costs of hiring workers. Bathroom construction requires several different kinds of professionals to handle various tasks from tiling to plumbing and electricity. When you purchase a pre-built bathroom unit, the majority of the work has already been done in the factory, and the remaining tasks can be accomplished with a relatively small number of workers.
A smaller number of workers can also mean less of a risk of on-the-job claims. There are fewer worries about inclement weather or other conditions holding back work or affecting workplace safety.
The ability to purchase in bulk is another plus when it comes to modular bathroom units. When preparing a budget for a build, the bathrooms often end up being the most expensive rooms to have built and finished. By choosing modular bathroom units, you can choose your styles and sizes and, oftentimes you can get a discount when buying multiple units.
Modular bathrooms can be an excellent choice for hotels and other businesses that offer bathrooms to their customers. There are many things to consider when deciding on whether modular bathrooms are right for your business, and if so, which type of modular bathroom best suits your needs.