The Power of a Family Restroom in Your Business

Updated on August 25, 2023

The Rise Of The Family Restroom

The rise of the family restroom reflects a long-needed shift towards recognizing and celebrating diverse family structures

Family restrooms acknowledge that families come in various forms and may include single parents, same-sex parents, and families with accessibility needs. 

They also acknowledge that parents and caregivers want to be present in public spaces – they want to go shopping, eat out at restaurants, enjoy a concert, all without having to stress and worry about diaper changes, breastfeeding, and washroom breaks. 

Family restrooms go beyond the facilities offered – they reinforce the idea that everyone deserves equal access to restroom facilities, regardless of who they are, what their health status is and what their unique family composition looks like. 

Today, providing a family-centered washroom is becoming a matter of urgency as legal requirements for accessibility have changed, and there is a growing demand for gender-inclusive, accessible spaces. The search volumes for this keyword – places near me with family restroom, shows that more and more people are not looking for places or stores and businesses with family restrooms.

family restrooms for businesses

Scroll down to learn:

  • What a family restroom is and how it differs from traditional public washrooms 
  • Why more businesses are upgrading their washroom facilities to provide family restrooms
  • The business benefits to having a family restroom 


What is a family restroom?

A family restroom, also sometimes known as an inclusive restroom, universal washroom, or all gender restroom, is a designated facility specifically designed to accommodate individuals of any gender, including families with children and those with accessibility or assistance needs. 

Family restrooms are typically a private, lockable restroom with a single toilet. 

They often come equipped with features such as:

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Family restrooms are designed to be barrier-free spaces with the goal to improve accessibility and inclusiveness. 

Universal washrooms provide people of all ages and stages, identities and abilities, dignity and privacy. The purpose of a universal washroom is to create a space that can accommodate the needs of many, without special designations. 

Family restrooms are a safe space for anyone who is not comfortable using a multi-stall restroom. 


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Who can use a family restroom?


While family restrooms don’t discriminate, there are unique circumstances and types of people that these public washroom facilities should be reserved for. 

Family restroom or universal washroom users typically include:

  • Those who have accessibility needs, such as wheelchair users
  • People who need assistance, such as someone who has an ostomy bag
  • Parents, grandparents or guardians who are with young children 
  • Parents, grandparents or guardians who need to change an infant’s diaper
  • Women who are pregnant 
  • Transgendered or non-binary persons 
  • Mothers who need to nurse, pump or breastfeed 
  • Anyone requiring a higher level of privacy 

It’s important to note that not every parent, trans person or individual with a mobility device wants to use a universal washroom – and that’s okay. 

ALSO READ: Dirty Diapers: Get the Smell Out of Your Restroom 

What kind of signage indicates that a washroom is a family restroom?

At the moment different countries, states, provinces and regions have their own signage requirements – there is no consistent signage for family or universal washrooms. However, most gender-inclusive, accessible, family restrooms include signage with the following features:

  • All gender icons
  • Accessible icons 
  • Child-friendly/family-friendly icons

Why are family restrooms so important?

Creating accessible, family-friendly, and gender inclusive restrooms sends a powerful message to your customers and employees. It shows that you prioritize their health and safety, comfort and well-being. 

Family restrooms are critical to any business – public or private – for a multitude of reasons including: legal compliance with accessibility laws and regulations, safeguarding your brand reputation and providing customer service excellence. 

All too often families struggle to find a clean, accommodating space to change diapers for their little ones. When a space isn’t child-friendly, simply put – families avoid them. 

By providing a welcoming environment for families with young children, you can easily alleviate the stress and challenges that parents face when trying to navigate public spaces. 

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“1 in 2 Americans reported they are likely to spend more money at a business that has clean, well-maintained restrooms and the same percent will make a point of stopping at a location that offers pleasant facilities.” 

Bradley Corporation, Healthy Handwashing Survey


Below are 5 business benefits that come with providing a family restroom:

1. Attracting and retaining top talent

Gender inclusive and family friendly restrooms are critical to successfully employing talent from diverse backgrounds. Today, people want to bring their authentic selves to work, and a big part of making employees feel comfortable is providing the facilities they need to be comfortable, while at work and with their family. A family friendly restroom can make or break employment for a working parent. 

2. Promoting diversity and inclusion

Companies and organizations can lead the charge and demonstrate they don’t just tolerate workers’ differences and needs, they affirm them by ensuring their infrastructure – like family restrooms – reflect and represent their values. Family and universal restrooms are critical to ensuring everyone has a space to feel safe, valued and affirmed – no matter who they are. 

3. Increased foot traffic and a better bottom line

Family restrooms can have a direct impact on your bottom line as they often attract a wider customer base including families, individuals with accessibility needs and those who prefer gender neutral spaces. Installing a family restroom is often a strategic investment that yields positive returns in terms of customer satisfaction and financial success. 

4. Enhanced customer loyalty 

Your customers are increasingly conscious of the values and social responsibility of the businesses they support. Safe and inclusive spaces can have a significant impact on customer loyalty and retention. When individuals and families feel comfortable and respected, they are more likely to return, recommend your business to others and become loyal customers. 

5. Improved sanitation and public health 

Family restrooms improve bathroom sanitation and enhance public health by promoting better hygiene practices through the provision of proper facilities such as hygienic diaper disposal units and change tables. Accessible washrooms are designed with cleanliness in mind and make cleaning and maintenance easier. They also encourage caregivers to practice proper hygiene, reducing the transmission of infections and diseases. 


Regardless of the business benefits that come with providing a family friendly restroom, it’s critical that you are meeting all of the accessibility and inclusion requirements mandated by the government for your region. 

If you operate out of the United States, ensure your restrooms are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Consult state specific accessibility standards. 

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If you operate out of Canada, ensure your restrooms are ADA compliant in Canada, and within the province you are located. 

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In conclusion: take action now to create a family restroom in your business space today! 

Upgrading your public bathrooms and workplace washrooms to include a family restroom doesn’t need to be overwhelming. 

By choosing to work with a washroom hygiene expert like Citron Hygiene, you can outfit your family restroom with the right amenities – like change tables and infant care solutions – while ensuring your restrooms stay clean, sanitary and maintained. 

From installation to routine, reliable servicing, our Citron Hygiene certified technicians will take care of it all, so you don’t have to! 

Take the next step to create a family friendly restroom today and contact us


Common Questions

Q: What does a family restroom mean?

A family restroom is a designated facility specifically designed to accommodate individuals of any gender, including families with children and those with accessibility or assistance needs. Family restrooms are typically a private, lockable restroom with a single toilet and provide amenities such as changing tables, breastfeeding stations and diaper disposal bins. 


Q: Why is it called a family bathroom?

A family bathroom or restroom is a designated space designed to support the needs of families. Unlike traditional gender-segregated restrooms, family washrooms provide a space that can be used by any gender. Family restrooms are often equipped with amenities such as changing tables, diaper disposal bins, larger stalls and child-friendly facilities. 


Q: What is the difference between a bathroom and a restroom?

While bathroom and restroom may be used interchangeably to refer to facilities where people can use the toilet and wash their hands, there are unique differences between the two depending on specific contexts and regional differences. For example, restroom is commonly used to refer to public washroom facilities found in spaces such as restaurants, and shopping centers. Bathroom is typically used to describe private facilities found within the home. 

Find out how we can elevate your washroom experience today.