Four trends in commercial bathroom door design

Improving the occupant experience is an important factor across all components of building design. Commercial bathroom door design is no different. Although less flashy than lobbies or entryways, adding efficient, accessible and aesthetically pleasing doors to these often tightly cramped, heavily used spaces can help make the user feel more comfortable. The use of sliding doors in a bathroom can help create more space in these confined areas.

While there is always project variability in design, there are four trends right now in commercial sliding bathroom door design that can help achieve this overall goal: space savings, accessibility, increased privacy and a homier feel. Follow along below to find out more about why these elements are so important to the overall building occupant experience.

Add space savings

At peak traffic times, commercial bathrooms can turn from underused to overcrowded spaces in the span of a few minutes. Anyone that has ever been in or seen the lines in an arena or school bathroom can attest to this. As a result, space preservation is of the utmost importance in these highly variable, but necessary rooms. One way to buy back critical square footage is through the use of sliding doors in commercial bathroom door design. By simply removing the arc of space needed for swing doors to open, design teams can provide an additional 30 square feet of usable room for occupants in a bathroom. Doors like AD Systems’ ExamSlide™ doors are solid, sturdy and reliable, and can help reduce congestion and improve wayfinding in commercial restrooms of all sizes.

As commercial spaces look to reconfigure existing spaces or build new facilities, incorporating single occupant and gender neutral restroom facilities or family restrooms is often standard practice. The space savings offered by a sliding door can be critical to achieving this objective; simply put, the space savings can allow for more single occupant or flexible facilities within the facility.

Improve accessibility

Space efficiency in bathrooms also impacts accessibility compliance within commercial bathrooms. Think about the space needed for occupants in a wheelchair to maneuver around a traditional swing door. A single wheelchair must be able to rotate freely and a door must leave a 30-inch by 48-inch access to the sink, according to ADA compliance laws. The law also states the door can’t swing into this 30-by-48 inch space. As stated above, sliding door systems eliminate this swing path, making it easier for the doors to align with accessibility requirements. The ease of opening, size and AD Systems’ ability to specify automation also plays a large role in helping with accessibility requirements. Automated doors used largely in hospitals now have the option to provide hardware that will automatically open with the push of a button, allowing the door to open with little trouble to the patient. New AD Systems’ sliding door hardware also offers a bed-lift, enabling immobile patients to go through the sliding door entryway with ease.

Accessible hardware is, of course, key to the AD Systems product offering for restrooms. Thumbturn privacy locks that are ADA accessible (requiring no pinching, twisting, grasping or special knowledge to operate), as well as single action egress hardware are both available. If required, cipher locks or access by card reader can also be achieved. Additionally, because AD Systems provides a complete assembly, you can be assured that clearances around hardware will be maintained.

Increase privacy

Privacy is a factor for most people when it comes to going to the restroom. In healthcare centers, privacy is especially important to patients and medical professionals that could be handling sensitive matters, especially during visitor hours. Sliding doors can help building design teams balance accessibility and space savings with acoustics. AD Systems ExamSlide™ doors have the option of providing acoustic seals on four sides of the door to help enhance privacy and reduce indoor noise. Sliding glass door systems can also further increase privacy for private conversations by providing NIC values up to 39. The high level of sound attenuation of these doors systems are well-equipped to reduce outside noise transmission through spaces making for a more enjoyable interior environment.

Create a homier feel

Design professionals are currently looking to create commercial bathrooms that feel more like home. They are doing this by combining a mix of commercial and residential designs. One way to do this is through commercial barn doors for bathrooms. A good example is AD Systems’ ExamSlide™ doors.  The rich grain of the large wooden doors adds beauty to a space, enhancing the aesthetic without taking away from the function of these barn-door style doors. ExamSlide™ doors are heavy-duty, and top-hung on a roller system for a smooth, maintenance-free operation. And because the doors were originally designed to be easily cleanable for healthcare applications, they can work very well in commercial restroom settings as well.

To learn more about AD Systems commercial door options, visit