Bathroom Ergonomics 101

June 24, 2013 09:59 – 09:59

I’m at the Comfort Suites in south Grand Rapids. I prefer Comfort Suites because a) they’re totally non-smoking and b) the point system gives me free rooms from time to time. But, they’re not perfect.

Can we discuss hotel bathroom ergonomics for just a moment? One of my pet peeves in hotel bathrooms is the leaning-tower-of-towels-over-the-toilet thing. Have the folks who designed these ever used an actual bathroom? I guess this provides an added incentive to keep the toilet lid closed.

Just about every hotel I’ve been to recently had precariously poised the towels over the toilet bowl. Not infrequently, carelessly grabbing a hand towel topples the tower… and aren’t you glad they gave you more than one!

The next item deals with this hotel in particular. They’ve generously made the bathtub/shower child-proof. You certainly don’t want kids being able to reach the soap dish or the shower massage control ring. Below, you see that the soap dish has been relocated from the original position, which made it reachable if you were taking a bath to face level for most adults. Good job!

And, finally, some smart engineer decided that 3″ from the ceiling was the perfect location for the shower head. Here, in this bathroom with a standard 8′ ceiling, the bottom of the shower massage head is 7.5 feet from the tub floor. This left me wondering if perhaps the plumber’s assistant might’ve been a basketball player who was working a summer job.

So, how would I change this? I’d mount the shower head (with a flexible hose) on a vertical bar so that it can be adjusted up and down to accommodate the height of the user. Then, I’d instruct housekeeping staff to make sure to adjust it to an accessible height when preparing the room for the next guest, whose height is an unknown.

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