How to Start Your Commercial Restroom Interior Design Project

Do you have a new interior design project on your radar? Well, first, congratulations! Secondly, you might be a bit overwhelmed with the idea; but don’t worry! Remember what Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “Plans are nothing. Planning is everything.”

So, no matter how big or small is your project, it should follow four basic elements:

Project Site

A client usually finds a designer after already deciding on a space.  Either the client or the physical space can generate the need for a program. If the client already has a couple of ideas, the designer’s job is to work with the client to determine the best options for the functionality and form of their space. If the space is the one generating the program, the designer’s have a bit tougher challenge to decide the best layout within those constraints.


This is the first and most important phase to develop any project. It might be exhausting, but trust us… It will pay off! This is the time to ask your client questions such as: What are the features of this space? What attributes do you have to add to increase its functionality or add more character to the space? Who would be using this space? Does the project must be LEED compliant? (Click here to find out more information on how to build LEED complainant restrooms)

The programming phase should describe the needs, wants and goals of the project. Do not leave anything behind! Remember that during this phase, you are basically writing the core map that will describe the design objectives, building constraints and spatial adjacencies. Want to be more organized about it? Divide into three central categories: gathering, analyzing and documenting information.

Documenting all this information will be instrumental to avoid miscommunication, manage expectations and avoid cost overruns during the construction phase.


Now that you know exactly what you are doing, it’s time to create a schedule for your project, which should specify the designer’s responsibilities, when important decisions should be made by the client and the role of the contractor. Do not underestimate the power of a checklist to describe milestones and assign primary tasks to key members of your team. Also, include the duration of local regulatory and approval process. They might take longer than you can expect!


It can be divided in two categories;

Hard costs, which includes the cost of construction, equipment and fixtures (Take advantage of the LAWDP water rebates, and get the latest water technology through our free water rebates processing. Learn more about it here)

Soft costs, which consists of designer’s fees, project management fees, insurance, consultant’s fees, permitting fees and project contingencies.

Remember at the end of the day, your job is prioritize wish lists and create meaningful but functional spaces! Keep an open mind and have fun!

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