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30 November 2011

A Toilet Partition or Washroom Equipment Item is Only as Good as Its Fixings

To me, this is the most important aspect of product selection. After all who wants to drive a top of the line Mercedes if it disintegrates in the rain?

It comes as no surprise to me that almost every time I view a situation where durability has been compromised, that it has  nothing to do with the  product, but simply how it has been fixed to the wall. 

The ability to be able to install toilet partitions and washroom equipment with stability is a simple concept. It can be split into three key areas to avoid unwanted expense, danger and inconvenience.

Provide solid timber fixing at junction points in wall framing

Whilst it is possible to fix brackets and channels to the wall with no fixing in behind by way of hollow wall anchors, this is fraught with danger and diminshes the overall durability of the system markedly.

Best practice is to have 100 x 50 dressed timber fixings running vertically at all centre lines of  divisons and fascias in wall framing. A good toilet partion manufacturer should advise the specifier where these should be placed and at Hale Manufacturing we provide shop drawings to accompany this.

With washroom equipment items – most specifically shower seats and grab rails – the same concept applies. With load pressure applied to these items and no timber fixings in behind, it is inevitable that these products will seperate from the wall.

Best practice is to use double thickness timber blocking at all points where the product is fixed to the wall. Make sure you have accurate dimension drawings to guide this process.

Use the appropriate fixing for the product and wall lining

It is vital that a partition or washroom equipment item is fixed with screws that are suitable for both the wall substrate and the product itself.

Keep these points in mind:

  • Use the correct screw material. If it is a stainless steel product, use stainless steel screws. Using, for instance, zinc plated screws on a stainless steel product causes material re-action, leading to an unsightly staining effect and also difference in colour.
  • Screw Gauge must be correct. Using a screw head that is either too small or too large will cause the product to become loose over time. Make sure it is nice and snug with the countersunk hole.
  • Screw must be of correct length. As a guide, make sure that there is at least 25mm of screw into fixing in framing. (ie. if the wall has 13mm tile and 6mm villaboard, make sure a screw that is at least 45mm long is used).

Specifying the correct product for the environment

This is where I encourage you to talk with Hale Manufacturing to acsertain the most suitable product to use on your project.

Certain products provide better stability, for example the Hale 995 Folding Shower Seat. As discussed previously, the use of some materials in the wrong environment can be very problematic.

View more information on Hale Manufacturing, including contact details.
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