Perhaps you're a restaurant owner looking to redesign the bathroom with updated sinks, toilets and divider walls.
Or, you're an entrepreneur interested in the culinary arts, wanting to invest in a small cafe and researching the necessary elements needed to make renovations.
Regardless of your circumstances, knowing what material suits your needs will help you financially in the form of a smart investment that will last a long time and contribute to the respectability of your business. Upgraded dividers will give your restaurant a certain look that will impress customers with a sleek, new design.
There are five common types of divider walls, all with unique advantages and disadvantages. Each is designed for certain things, and depending on your restaurant, you might need strength in one aspect compared to another. Ask yourself these questions: "Will I have many guests coming and going?" and "Is my restaurant fancy or casual?" and "What's the best color scheme?"
That said, let's dive into the different types of restroom divider walls for restaurants.
This first option is the most commonly used and is derived from a panel of honeycomb cardboard, making it lightweight and durable. Each side is covered with thick sheets of metal, then coated in a colored powder baked into the applied metal.
Powder-coated steel partitions are easy to install and better for low-traffic environments. They're also largely fire-resistant. Powder-coated dividers are often seen in restaurants since they're affordable for the size and quantity you order.
However, there can be limited color options depending on what company you employ, and it doesn’t hold up well in damp areas. Regardless, this option is rust- and corrosion-resistant, making it a strong contender.
The second pick comes from particle boards covered in laminate and a thin steel sheet. It's an improvement from the former and is equally popular, available in multiple colors and patterns. It's one of the more customizable options on this list and remains inexpensive.
You'll be able to place the plastic laminate in pretty much every space, but it won't perform well in rooms exposed to excess water or humidity.
Compared to the previous option, solid plastic can handle a lot of damage in various environments and is resistant to mold and moisture.
These dividers are composed of solid panels of thick polymer plastic, making them durable and resistant to scratches or graffiti. Solid plastic panels are easy to clean and won't hold noticeable odors. Plus, they're durable, so they'll provide you with many years of service.
Nonetheless, solid plastic has a high cost and is a considerable investment.
This variation of restroom divider walls has layers of paper pressed together and soaked in a phenolic resin coating (a synthetic polymer). Its composition makes phenolic core resilient and able to hold up well throughout its long lifespan. Not only is the phenolic core restroom divider resistant to impact, but it's also easy clean and does well in damp spaces.
Furthermore, phenolic core divider walls prevent bacterial growth and are ideal for places where people consistently come in and out. Despite all the positives, one negative would be the price range. Phenolic core dividers can be expensive.
Finally, stainless steel is high-quality and classy. This look gives your restroom a smooth and sophisticated ambiance. You can also engrave it with patterns for an aesthetic approach to your restroom. It’s durable, rust and scratch-resistant, and can suit any environment.
Nonetheless, stainless steel can cost about twice as much as powder-coated dividers. If you favor looks and durability, stainless steel will last you many years into the future, despite its hefty investment.
While there is no definitive answer to which material is best, seeing that it depends on the scale of your restaurant, hopefully, this article helped answer your questions and elaborate on the choices you can opt for.
Whether you need durable HDPE for bars or high-traffic restaurants or stainless steel for high-end restaurants, something out there can perfectly match your vision. Your price range also factors in with what you're able to afford.
Each option has good and bad qualities. It's up to your preference, your industry, and what will work best in your restaurant. Overall, stainless steel is a solid choice for anyone redesigning, but the price range is high, and not everyone could invest that amount solely for restroom dividers.
Another piece of advice is to consider the thickness of each option. Bathroom stall dividers vary between ½-inch and 1-inch, depending on the material. This matters because customers like to feel safe and private, reflecting the image of your business overall.
The biggest recommendation to take away is to find dividers that can hold up for several years down the road, so you won't have to spend additional money replacing them. Being easy to clean and resistant to damage is a plus, too. Be sure to ask about warranties because knowing that you're protected if anything does happen within a specific year timeframe is important.
With the insight you gained from reading this article, you now have a better understanding of what differentiates each divider wall. Hopefully, the upcoming project of renovating should feel less intimidating. Keep in mind that practicality is a huge part of divider walls, and you want your customers to have a good experience at your restaurant all around.