What You Didn’t Know About Installing Bathrooms

It’s not glamorous, but sometimes we get called to install bathroom stalls. But it’s trickier than you’d think.

Just need to put a divider by the urinal

This bathroom was in an office building for a high-end car company, and had 2 toilets and 1 urinal that needed doors and dividers. A job like this takes about 4-5 hours…although some contractors could easily soak that job up into 2 days (by laying out the walls on the first day and doing the actual install on the second day).

Getting the divider wall up--- in progress

What’s a little tricky is that the Americans with Disabilities Act says that all bathrooms must be up-to-date and that the bathroom door locks and hand rails in the handicap stall must be 28″ off the ground. This is so they can get in and use the bathroom with their wheelchairs. The railings in the handicap stalls must be on 3 of the walls. Side note: The same goes for fire extinguishers which must be 28″ off the ground from the bottom.

But otherwise the install was a pretty normal one, I had to put toilet seat cover holders on the walls (I call them “ass gaskets”), and there was one guy who I think was the office comedian who kept bugging me. All in a day’s work.

Almost done

The parts and labor for a job like this runs about $6000-$7000. One special reason for that is that there is this $78 assortment of drill bits that you have to get special from only one supplier (Grainger) that meets bathroom security standards. If you’re in a bathroom stall you might notice that the screws holding the stalls up and to the wall look strange. It’s because the heads of the screws are “security screws” so that no one can unscrew them to intentionally damage anything, steal anything, or bust in on someone. This assortment of bits is expensive!

And at the end of the day the office comedian guy convinced me to take a picture of him pretending to model the urinal.  I repeat (with eyes rolling), all in a day’s work.

The guy who just had to pretend-model the urinal


Comments

What You Didn’t Know About Installing Bathrooms — 8 Comments

    • Hi Andrew – Yeah, that’s exactly it. You can only remove those screws with special bits. And you can only get those special bits if you’re a licensed contractor.

  1. To do your job effectively requires more than just knowing how to do the usual maintenance and required repairs. You also have to be educated about the law. As someone who doesn’t know a thing about doing bathroom or any other types of installation work, I never would have thought to factor in the Americans with Disabilities Act. It comes to show that you really have to be on top of the legal matters when taking on certain jobs as well.
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