Technical Spotlight #6
Prefab Bathroom Pods: No Impact on Overall Building Floor Space
When pre-fab skeptics picture a modular bathroom pod, they likely envision a bulky, boxy structure that takes up valuable space. Given the prevalence of this belief, Bill Seery, VP of business development for SurePods, touches on this constructability myth in Busting the Myths of Pre-Fab Modular Bathrooms.
Since the misconception remains so common, we’re dedicating our sixth “Technical Spotlight” to tackling this question head-on:
Question: Won’t I lose usable room space because the pod wall adds to the thickness of the demising wall?
Fortunately, the answer is a big N-O! Prefabricated bathroom pods’ walls consist of wallboard glued and screwed to steel stud framing. At SurePods, we use a stud and track roll former to produce custom-sized studs as slim as 1-5/8.” Building with 1-5/8” studs allows contractors to make up for doubling up against the demising wall. This means clients can capitalize on the time, labor and cost-saving benefits of using bathroom pods without losing valuable floor space.
While SurePods uses 1-5/8” studs for many projects, we are still able to adjust and produce various widths with no loss of strength. Bringing the roll former in-house also allows us to customize the locations of punch holes to accommodate plumbing, electrical and blocking within the stud space.
This keeps the overall modular bathroom profile sleek and slim, enabling the prefabricated pod to fit exactly into the surrounding hotel, hospital or multifamily room. General contractors and hotel owners don’t have to worry about excess thickness when it comes to installing modular bathrooms on the demising wall. The finished look is nearly flush, adhering to strict aesthetic guidelines.
With thinness established, the next question is often:
If prefabricated bathroom walls are so thin, doesn’t that mean they’re also flimsy?
This is a reasonable concern. Fortunately, size does not equate to performance when it comes to SurePods. For example, our steel rolled studs are high performance, and it is possible to customize the gauge or material thickness to meet exact project needs.
Additionally, USG gypsum AQUA-TOUGH panels are used to sheath the walls, and the material is built to withstand the wear and tear that comes with heavily-trafficked areas. As the UGS’s submittal sheet states, “engineered to provide increased resistance to abrasion, indentation, and penetration, this panel outperforms paper-faced or glass mat-faced panels, with no paper face to tear or scratch.” The Courtyard by Marriott in Hagerstown, Maryland, is a case in point. Even after seven years, there are no scratches, tears, dents, breaks or punctures present in the modularly constructed hotel bathrooms. Take a look at the video for proof!
SurePods steel screws also contribute to strong and durable framing. Considered one of the strongest materials in the building industry, the alloy ensures long-term structural integrity for the bathroom pod’s overall assembly.