Interior materials and finishes

– Floor. Smooth concrete, quarry tiles or wooden boards are all suitable materials for flooring. Whatever the material, it should be easy to keep clean by hosing and sweeping. Tiles are the best because of their durability and appearance, although they are probably the most expensive. They should rise up the walls slightly as a skirting, and end flush with the paving or path material outside, with no step.

– Walls. Boarding should be left bare, stained or sealed but not painted, unless the building is of a traditional or vernacular form. Melamine-faced board in earthy colours can also work, especially behind urinals. Cinderblock walls, emulsion painted in matt pale earth colours, are a fireproof alternative.

– Ceilings or roof linings. These should be timber boarding or spaced wooden slats to let light in. Light-coloured stains or natural finishes look good.

– Doors. Traditional close-boarded, framed timber construction looks better and is stronger than panel doors or flat plywood finishes. Brighter colours such as reds or oranges frequently help to signal where the entrances are, and give variety and accent points to the design. Handles of wood, zinc-coated steel or chunky plastic look better than some aluminium ones. Self-closing mechanisms are usually essential.

Updated: October 3, 2015 — 7:55 am