Alternative Seating Solutions for Changing Rooms and Accessible Showers

18 May 2017

 

Mark works with architects and construction companies to achieve bathroom design objectives. He works for Hale Manufacturing.

Changing room seating as we have been used to, has been constructed from timber lengths individually fixed to support brackets. This necessitates each length of timber being finished with a material such as varnish or paint which can be time consuming and costly. This is further compounded by the need to secure each piece of timber mechanically to the supports being used. Over time and use these finishes deteriorate and require regular maintenance to ensure the functionality and hygiene of the seating. 

Degradation of the applied finish can lead to the seating becoming uncomfortable — cracks allowing for pulled leg hair, pinched skin and so on. And this doesn't take into account the surface now allowing bacterial and fungal growth on and in the exposed substrate. All of this comes at a monetary and time expense through having to close the facility to refurbish the seating. 

To prevent these situations, we recommend using a seating material that offers antimicrobial protection and a vastly reduced maintenance schedule, to save on lifetime expenses. 

Antimicrobial and anti-fungal treatments for compact laminates inhibit growth of unhygienic microbes and fungi. Combined with this, the water resistance of the compact laminate ensures water cannot damage the seating, making it ideal for showers, saunas, changing rooms and so on.

To minimise installation time and therefore expense, Hale offers antimicrobial compact laminate seats in up to 3m lengths and 500mm wide lengths to be installed as one piece. These are installed onto the supplied support in one go, making this an extremely quick process. Hale supports are either a 90° bracket that allows for easy cleaning or a bracket with feet to support the front edge. When it comes to water and other fluids, these are removed through slots machined into the seating to provide drainage.

Freestanding Changing Seats:

Maximising space in a changing room is an important usability factor. Rather than fixed bench seating, freestanding units solve this issue by allowing space flexibility. Hale has developed a changing seat that is movable and is constructed from antimicrobial compact laminate, for longevity and hygiene performance.

Showers Seats:

Another area that requires thought is the shower cubicle. Being restricted in size, a normal seat will restrict access and the ability to comfortably dry yourself and change. To alleviate this, a foldable seat can be used. Hale's foldable sheets fix to a wall with timber nogs and then flip out of the way when required.

When necessary, we supply the seat to comply with NZS4121:2001 Design for Access and Mobility. This allows for seats in accessible units to be a minimum of 800 x 450mm and at a height of 500mm. Again, compact laminate is the ideal material for these, to offer durability, colour and function.

comments powered by Disqus