Best practice toilets and sanitaryware

Reviewed August 2018


Do not


Lever taps
Lever style taps fitted with ceramic discs must not be used. They are expensive and create maintenance problems.



Lever taps
Lever style taps are normally required only in a unisex or disabled facility or where specifically requested by the Oxfordshire County Council Corporate Landlord (OCCCL).

Non concussive taps
Non concussive taps are more expensive than either traditional or lever taps and will present an additional maintenance requirement for schools. Where vandalism/ abuse is a particular problem they might be a sensible option.
They may not be appropriate for toilets to nursery or foundation stage classrooms due to the additional force required to operate them.

  Traditional screw taps Lever taps
Pupil toilets tick (see Note 1) tick (see Note 2)
Changing room sinks tick (see Note 1) tick (see Note 2)
Staff toilets tick  
Disabled person toilets   tick (see Note 2)
Science areas tick (see Note 3)  
Resource areas   tick
Kitchens (all sinks)   tick
Food technology areas   tick
Cleaners stores tick  
All other areas tick  

Note 1: Discussions to take place with head of establishment and OCCCL to consider the use of non concussive (push down) taps. Due to the additional force required to operate non concussive taps they are not appropriate in toilets serving nursery or foundation stage classrooms.

Note 2: Where an ambulant disabled cubicle is included within pupil toilets or changing room areas only one of the sinks is to be fitted with lever taps. This should be the sink nearest the door or nearest to any ambulant disabled facility provided. If an ambulant cubicle is provided that includes a sink within it then this should be the sink fitted with lever taps.

Note 3: With fixed swan neck outlets.

Cisterns and waste pipes

Concealed panel systems should be considered for all new projects. Waste pipes to toilets and changing rooms must not be exposed unless the materials used are sufficiently robust to withstand the wear and tear in such locations.


Washbasins in toilets that are too small can result in flooding to the floor when used, especially in schools.

Drop down support rails
Boyco drop down support bars have been found to be more stable than other makes.

Do / ensure

Accessible toilets

The initial design specification may not require the installation of a changing bed and/or hoist, but the designer must take into account that these may need to be provided at some point in the future.  The accessible toilet facility must be planned with these fittings in mind, both in the layout of the room and for the structure to provide adequate support to the hoist and changing bed.  This may include, but is not limited to, provision of structural members at ceiling level for joist attachment and loadbearing walls to support a changing bed.  Typical weights should be taken as those of an adult user to provide for long term flexibility of the space.


Use standard adult height cubicles for all toilet provision. This allows high level fixings to be used which provides for adequate stability of the units. Where it is agreed that adult supervision will be necessary (ie. nursery / junior schools) the door height should be such to provide privacy from juniors but low enough to allow for adult supervision.


The floor to shower facilities in all changing rooms should be dished to a suitable drainage outlet.
The water must be contained within the wet area without introducing complex falls to the floor which would make standing or manoeuvring a wheelchair difficult.

The shower facilities in all changing rooms are to be provided by individual shower cubicles with full length screens.

A larger shower facility should be included in all changing rooms for use by ambulant disabled people. The dimensions, fittings and layout of this facility to be as detailed in Sport England - Access for disabled people Figure 23.


Toilet seats

When providing toilet seats for the elderly or disabled one of the following or similar approved is to be used:

Big John Bariatric toilet seat

Toilet roll holders
Ensure that they can be reached from the toilet. Especially an issue in disabled persons toilets.

Toilet accessories
Liaise with OCCCL to obtain advice and assistance when choosing soap dispensers etc.