When it comes to designing or renovating a commercial restroom facility, selecting the right materials for toilet partitions is crucial. The choice of materials not only impacts the durability and aesthetics of the partitions but also influences maintenance requirements and overall user experience. In the Canadian market, there are several options available, each with its own set of benefits and considerations. In this guide, we will explore the best materials for commercial toilet partitions in Canada to help you make an informed decision for your restroom project.

What Are Toilet Partitions?

Toilet partitions are panels or walls used to divide a restroom into individual stalls, typically surrounding each toilet. They provide users with privacy and comfort while using the facilities. These partitions can vary in height, width, and design, depending on the specific needs of the restroom and the level of privacy desired.

Importance of Toilet Partitions

The importance of toilet partitions in commercial restrooms cannot be overstated. They serve several key functions:

  • Privacy: The primary function of toilet partitions is to offer privacy to users. They create a personal space that allows individuals to use the restroom comfortably and with dignity.
  • Organization: Partitions help organize the restroom by dividing it into distinct, functional areas. This organization can improve the flow of traffic and enhance the overall user experience.
  • Hygiene: By providing individual stalls, toilet partitions can help reduce the spread of germs and bacteria, contributing to a cleaner and healthier restroom environment.
  • Aesthetics: Well-designed partitions can enhance the overall appearance of the restroom, contributing to a positive impression of the facility as a whole.

Materials Used for Commercial Bathroom Partitions

Toilet partitions come in a variety of materials, each with its own set of advantages and considerations. Some of the most common materials include:

  • Metal: Durable and cost-effective, metal partitions are a popular choice for high-traffic areas. They are typically powder-coated or stainless steel, offering resistance to corrosion and vandalism.
  • Laminate: Laminate partitions provide a wide range of color and design options, allowing for customization to match the restroom’s decor. They are lightweight and relatively inexpensive, though not as resistant to moisture and scratches as some other materials.
  • Solid Plastic: Ideal for high-humidity environments, solid plastic partitions are water-resistant and low-maintenance. They are also resistant to graffiti and scratches, making them a good choice for schools and public restrooms.
  • Phenolic Core: Made from multiple layers of resin-impregnated kraft paper, phenolic core partitions are extremely durable and resistant to water, impact, and vandalism. They are suitable for high-end restrooms where longevity and aesthetics are priorities.
  • Composite: Composite partitions are made from a blend of materials, such as resin and wood chips, offering a balance of durability and cost-effectiveness. They are often used in commercial settings where moderate traffic is expected.

Styles of Washroom Partitions

Toilet partitions come in several styles, each offering different levels of privacy and space utilization:

  • Floor-Mounted Overhead-Braced: This is the most common style, offering stability and easy maintenance. It is suitable for most commercial restrooms.
  • Ceiling-Hung: These partitions are suspended from the ceiling, providing a clean, unobstructed floor for easy cleaning. They are ideal for restrooms with low to moderate traffic.
  • Floor-to-Ceiling: Offering maximum privacy and stability, floor-to-ceiling partitions are anchored to both the floor and ceiling. They are suitable for high-end restrooms and areas requiring enhanced privacy.
  • Full-Privacy: Also known as “no-sight” partitions, these offer full-height doors and panels for complete privacy. Made popular in Europe, they are becoming increasingly popular in upscale commercial settings throughout Canada. (i.e Aspen Series Full-Privacy Toilet Partitions)

Best Materials for Commercial Toilet Partitions in Canada

Stainless Steel Partitions

Stainless steel partitions are a popular choice for commercial restrooms due to their durability, corrosion resistance, and modern aesthetic appeal. These partitions are known for their longevity and ability to withstand high-traffic environments. Maintenance of stainless steel partitions is relatively easy, requiring regular cleaning with mild soap and water to maintain their luster. Compared to other materials, stainless steel partitions may have a higher upfront cost but offer long-term value.

Plastic Laminate Toilet Partitions

Plastic laminate toilet partitions are an economical choice for businesses looking to balance budget and style in their commercial restrooms. These partitions are made by bonding a thin layer of plastic laminate to a particleboard or medium-density fiberboard (MDF) core, resulting in a durable and attractive finish.

One of the key advantages of plastic laminate partitions is their design flexibility. The laminate surface is available in a wide range of colors, patterns, and textures, allowing for customization to complement the existing decor of the restroom. This versatility makes it easy to create a cohesive and visually appealing space that aligns with the overall aesthetic of the facility.

In terms of maintenance, plastic laminate partitions are relatively easy to care for. The smooth laminate surface is resistant to stains and can be wiped clean with standard cleaning products. This ease of maintenance is particularly beneficial in high-traffic areas, where the partitions are subject to frequent use and require regular cleaning to maintain a hygienic environment.

Solid Phenolic Partitions

Solid phenolic toilet partitions are renowned for their superior performance in demanding environments. Constructed from layers of kraft paper impregnated with phenolic resin and compressed under high pressure, these partitions boast remarkable resistance to water, impact, and vandalism.

The water-resistant nature of phenolic partitions makes them an excellent choice for areas with high moisture levels, such as shower rooms, poolside restrooms, and locker rooms. This resistance ensures that the partitions maintain their structural integrity and appearance over time, even in the presence of constant humidity and water exposure.

In addition to their moisture resistance, phenolic toilet partitions are highly durable and can withstand significant wear and tear. Their impact resistance is particularly beneficial in high-traffic areas, where the risk of dents, scratches, and other forms of damage is elevated. This durability extends the lifespan of the partitions, reducing the need for frequent replacements and repairs.

Maintenance is another area where phenolic partitions excel. Their smooth, non-porous surface is easy to clean and resists the growth of mold and mildew. This low-maintenance characteristic is especially valuable in commercial settings, where cleanliness and hygiene are paramount.

Aesthetically, phenolic toilet partitions offer a wide range of color and finish options, allowing for customization to match the overall design of the restroom. This versatility, combined with their functional benefits, makes phenolic partitions a popular choice for architects and facility managers looking to balance performance and style in commercial restrooms.

Powder-Coated Steel Partitions

Powder-coated steel partitions combine durability, cost-effectiveness, and customization options. These partitions are constructed with steel core material coated with a durable powder finish, offering a sleek and modern look to commercial restrooms. Powder-coated steel partitions are easy to maintain and resistant to scratches and corrosion. When compared to other materials, powder-coated steel partitions provide a balance between affordability and aesthetics, making them a popular choice for various commercial settings.

Solid Plastic Toilet Partitions

Solid plastic partitions are lauded for their resistance to moisture, graffiti, and impact damage, making them an ideal choice for high-traffic public restrooms. These partitions are constructed with durable plastic materials that offer longevity and minimal maintenance requirements. Solid plastic partitions are also compliant with ADA regulations, ensuring accessibility for all restroom users. When choosing solid plastic partitions, consider the installation requirements and customization options to best suit your commercial restroom needs.


Selecting the right materials for commercial toilet partitions in Canada is a crucial decision that impacts the functionality, aesthetics, and maintenance requirements of your restroom facility. By considering the benefits and considerations of stainless steel, plastic laminate, phenolic, powder-coated steel, and solid plastic partitions, you can make an informed choice based on your budget, maintenance needs, and aesthetic preferences. Whether you prioritize durability, cost-effectiveness, or design versatility, there is a material option that aligns with your commercial restroom project requirements.

About Boreal Architectural Ltd.

Based in Toronto, Boreal Architectural Products is an internationally recognized, award-winning full-service manufacturer specializing in commercial millwork fabrication, commercial toilet partitions, custom retail displays, custom woodworking services, and architectural wood products. Our expertise extends across a wide range of offerings, including commercial millwork, custom woodworking, custom retail fixtures & displays, toilet partitions, wall cladding & finishing, wood tabletops & counters, custom wood doors and frames, display cabinets/units, wood slat walls & bulkheads, and architectural accent pieces. With a commitment to precision and creativity, we bring your vision to life through our complete supply, delivery, and installation services. Trust Boreal Architectural Ltd. to elevate your space with unparalleled craftsmanship and design.