Dec 20, 2012

A Guide to Changing Room Design

If you're planning to revamp the changing facilities at a gym, in a school or even in a workplace, there are some fundamental design principles you should bear in mind, as well as a few pieces of furniture that you'll certainly require.
To help you get started if this is the first such project you've undertaken, here's a guide to what you'll need to be aware of when you design a changing room.

Firstly, measure your changing room to find out how much space you have to play with and then decide what sizes and types of furniture you'll want. Lockers and benches will probably be among the essentials, although you may also like to include pegs hanging on the walls (or as part of the seating units) to this setup as well.

Think about how many people will be using the space at the same time to help you determine how many lockers and benches you'll require during the busiest periods. Even if you rarely find that your changing rooms are full, it's better to have slightly too many lockers than too few.

When you've determined what pieces of furniture you want, don't order them straightaway. Instead, go back to the room with your tape measure and design a floor plan that shows where everything will be positioned.

You need to be mindful that people will be moving around one another while using the changing area - some may need to get into lockers, while others will be getting dressed - so take this into account when you are working out where to position large items of furniture and how much space you leave between them.

For example, in a gap between two rows of lockers where there is also a bench on each side, you'll require a minimum of 1.5 m between the fronts of the lockers. Alternatively, if you use a central bench between two sets of lockers, at least 2.1 m will be required to ensure there is enough room.

Locker height
While it may be tempting to use as much of the vertical space in your changing room as possible, especially if the area is a little cramped, don't forget that not everyone will be able to access high places.

This can certainly be true in a school setting, where kids won't be as tall as adults. You should avoid buying stacks of lockers where the top one could be out of reach, as this encourages people to take risks by standing on benches or other pieces of furniture to get to their possessions.

Aside from the inconvenience, it could result in someone having an accident if they slip or miss their footing.

This may not be something you initially think of when you start looking at designing a changing room, but the flooring you select is important in more ways than one. Firstly, if you will be installing freestanding pieces of furniture, is the floor stable and level?

Secondly, is it easy to clean? This is especially important if you're using it for a work setting and people will be removing the dirty clothes they've been wearing to do their jobs and replacing them with clean garments.

Finally, is it safe? What I mean by this is will it become slippery when wet and could this lead to people falling over and injuring themselves? This is likely to be a particular concern in and around shower rooms, so consider purchasing a non-slip floor covering and supplementing this with mats in areas that you feel there is a genuine risk of people slipping.

Do you have any advice for anyone who's setting up their own changing room? You can find out more about some of the best products available to kit out this kind of space here.
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