Spend Less on Cleaning Costs with These Design Tips

The results of cleaning are visible to the public, customers, and employees, especially if cleaning is done poorly. Building tenants consider the cleanliness of a building and its common areas a significant criterion in assessing the effectiveness of building management. 

Cleaning costs are not only ongoing, but grow continually as wages and other costs increase. In order to spend less on cleaning costs, the design of new buildings and renovation of old buildings should take into account these two areas.
  • Flooring Surfaces
  • Restroom Equipment & Fixtures


Flooring surfaces are the most difficult to keep clean. The amount of people that enter into a building with dirty or wet shoes can ruin the finish and stain of a poorly chosen flooring option. 

For example, the most expensive color of vinyl tile is white; the most difficult color of vinyl tile to maintain is white. Better options for flooring surfaces are mixed-color tiles and carpets, especially tweed carpets with three or four colors and a low, dense loop pile are easy to maintain and are relatively inexpensive.

If you have chosen or are having to work with a less desirable flooring option, maintain a comprehensive carpet care program. This includes vacuuming, spot cleaning, and thorough cleaning can significantly increase the life of a carpet.

Restroom Equipment & Fixtures

The cleanliness of restrooms is very important to building occupants; restroom maintenance is therefore an especially noticeable part of the cleaning effort. The selection of equipment and fixtures and the layout within a restroom directly affect its efficient use and effective cleaning.

Here are some tips when selecting restroom fixtures.
  • Wall-hung toilet partitions, toilets, urinals, and wash basins are estimated to cost 25 to 30 percent less to clean than restrooms with floor-mounted fixtures. This is because the floor can be cleaned without having to maneuver the mop around the fixtures.
  • When placing floor drains, make sure that the floor is sloped to account for proper drainage.
  • Although electric hand dryers decrease litter and maintenance, they have not been popular in office buildings because of the time necessary for this equipment to dry people’s hands. Opt to have both electric hand dryers and paper towel dispensers in the restroom.  
  • Purchase larger soap, paper towel, and toilet paper dispensers. This reduces the frequency of supplies running out and subsequent calls for refilling.
A clean building promotes good public relations and creates a positive first impression and working environment. Properly chosen surfaces and fixtures can help ease the cleaning process and save money in the long-run.

This article is adapted from BOMI International’s course Building Design and Maintenance, part of the SMA® designation program. More information regarding this course is available by calling 1.800.235.2664. Visit BOMI International’s website, www.bomi.org.


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