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Locker Rooms: It’s the Details that Matter

locke rooms

Health club design is about nailing the details that have an impact on your members. A good example of this is the sink area of your locker rooms. We’ve all walked into a locker room or restroom and thought “Wow, this is nice!” — as well as had the opposite reaction. However, once you get past the beautiful finishes and design, it quickly boils down to how it works.

Start with lighting. Many people groom while in a gym locker room, therefore you ideally would like to have warm lighting running vertically alongside of the mirrors. The light then hits both sides of the face and minimizes shadows. If possible, stay away from light from above because it casts shadows down the face. In addition, a light that is in the 2700-3000 Kelvin warmth is preferable over a 3500-4500 Kelvin lamp because it gives a warmer, healthier appearance to the members.

Ease of cleaning is another detail that allows you to maintain a great presentation in your locker rooms.  For example, under counter mounted sinks make keeping the counters clean much easier because your staff can wipe right into the sink as opposed to a drop-in, which has a lip and over time begins to look grungy. Positioning soap dispensers so that any excess drops into the sink versus onto the counter or floor keeps the counter area neat and clean.

Recognizing how a person will dry their hands is also a key detail to a successful sink area. If you are providing paper towels, then the closer proximity to the sink the less water you will have on the floor.  By integrating trash cans in or below the counter, you can minimize water on the floor and hopefully lessen the number of dropped paper towels. If you provide electronic hand dryers, the same rule applies — the closer they are to the sink, the less water you will have on the floor from people walking to them with wet hands.

If you are providing toiletries like mouth wash, lotion, etc., consider a shelf to get them off the counter, again allowing your staff to quickly clean the sink area without having to move things out of the way.

Placing outlets where members can quickly and easily plug in devices and are intuitive are oftentimes appreciated. However, you need to decide if you would rather provide them at a dry vanity to minimize the congestion at the sink area during peak times.

The key to developing a great locker room experience for your club is really as simple as putting yourself in your members’ shoes — figure out the details that would make your life and their lives simpler!


Bryan Dunkelberger is a principal for S3 Design and has designed health clubs for over 20 years. His firm specializes in designing clubs that maximize the member’s experience. For more information email bdunkelberger@s3design-inc.com, call 781-848-8804 or visit www.s3design-inc.com.


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