In this expert guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about urinals before you buy.
If you’re fitting or refurbishing toilets in a commercial space, it’s highly likely that urinals will be on your shopping list. Whether you’re installing toilets for staff in an office, warehouse or factory, or for members of the public in a café, restaurant, school, leisure centre, community hall or pub, urinals are an ideal way to save on space and increase the toilet facilities in your space.
In this buying guide, we’ll explain what urinals are, why they’re a good choice for commercial toilets, what to look out for when buying and which accessories you may need.
Simply click on any of the links below to jump to a relevant section.
- What is a urinal?
- What should you look out for when buying a urinal?
- Why are urinals a good choice for commercial toilets?
- What about waterless urinals?
- What urinal accessories do I need?
- Shop urinals
What is a urinal?
A urinal is a basic form of toilet used by men, mainly in Western countries of the world. Suitable for urination only, it allows the user to remain standing. Urinals come in many forms, from the most basic (like a simple gutter in the floor) to more sophisticated designs made from ceramic or metal, complete with flushing mechanisms.
Several urinals can be fitted into a smaller space than a standard toilet cubicle, which is why they are commonly used in public toilets.
What should you look out for when buying a urinal?
When purchasing a good quality urinal, it’s best to look out for the following features:
Whilst urinals can be made from a wide range of materials, high quality glazed ceramic is one of the best as it is durable, easy to clean and resistant to stains and scratches.
2. Flushing mechanism
Unless you’re looking to boost your eco credentials with a waterless model (which I explain about below), your urinal will need a flushing mechanism. The most effective urinals come with a timed flush from a cistern fitted above the urinal. One cistern can often be used for multiple urinals. In the UK, it is very rare for a urinal to come with a manual flush—most Brits aren’t used to it and simply ignore it, meaning it is rarely effective.
When buying wall hung urinals, you do need to be aware of the distance between individual units and between obstructions like walls and toilet cubicle partitions. A comfortable distance should be left between urinals for the privacy of the user. If you are adding partitions (see accessories below), you will need to factor this on too. Of course, if mounting anything to the wall, you must ensure it is strong enough to cope.
You will need to carefully plan out your pipework, so that you know exactly where the cistern is to be positioned, not to mention the waste pipes.
This may not be top of your list, however, it pays to bear in mind the overall look of the toilet when choosing a style. A simple white urinal bowl will work well in all types of settings.
Why are urinals a good choice for commercial toilets?
There are many good reasons why urinals are used in commercial toilets:
- They save on space—several urinals can be fitted into the same footprint as a standard toilet cubicle
- Efficient—they are quick and easy to use, especially in high volume commercial premises
- Hygienic—with no doors or seats to handle, they are more hygienic than toilet cubicles and can be cleaned more easily
- Water-saving—they use less water than conventional toilets and you can even buy waterless urinals (see below).
What about waterless urinals?
Waterless urinals are a great way to save water and improve the eco credentials of your business. But “how do they work?”, I hear you ask? The key to the design is a replaceable cartridge, which typically lasts somewhere between 4 and 6 months. The cartridge also contains a fragranced ring which helps reduce the build-up of offensive smells.
The major advantage of a waterless urinal, aside from the fact that no cistern or water inlet is required, is that it can potentially save up to 87,000 litres of water over the course of a year. Why not find out more about waterless urinals?
What urinal accessories do I need?
Urinal waste and trap
Much like plumbing a basin, your urinal will require a waste and trap. Look out for wastes which prevent solid particles like chewing gum being dropped down them, as these help reduce the need for maintenance further down the line.
Partitions (also known as dividers) offer the user a certain degree of privacy when fitted between urinals. It is also a good idea to fit a partition where a urinal is positioned closely to a hand wash basin.
More ideas and advice for commercial bathrooms and toilets
At Victoria Plum, you’ll find plenty of help and advice on commercial bathrooms and toilets. As part of our series of expert articles, we explain how many toilets you need in a commercial property, how to install toilet cubicles using the easy-fit system from Pendle and everything you need to know about fitting a disabled toilet.
If you’re a business owner or simply looking for inspiration, we’ve got some great commercial bathroom ideas and tips on improving hygiene in the workplace, which, in these testing times is more important than ever.
At Victoria Plum, you’ll find a wide selection of high quality urinals designed to meet your needs. Kirke urinals are made from tough glazed ceramic with a stylish, modern design and variety of layout possibilities for toilets of all sizes. The RAK waterless urinal is ideal if you’re looking to boost your green credentials and save money in the long run.
Click on the image below to browse our full range of urinals and accessories.