Last month, I made the 2.5-hour drive to picturesque Grand Haven, Michigan, located right on the shores of Lake Michigan. It was a great little weekend getaway to the beach, except for one minor detail that drove me insane — the hotel bathroom sink and faucet.

The faucet sat so far back from the sink, that when the water was running, it flowed down almost directly against the back edge of the sink. The problem, you see, is whenever I tried to wash my hands, brush my teeth or essentially use the sink in any way, water would go everywhere — all over the countertop, onto the floor, basically everywhere but the sink. It made a huge mess every time it was in use. Take a look at the accompanying photo for reference. 

I couldn’t help but think of the person who thought these two products would be a good design? I realize these types of products are in style — they look great together! But this is not the first time I’ve encountered this problem in a hotel, just the most extreme. A plumbing engineer’s job should not only be to specify trending products to make owners happy, but to design with end users in mind — especially for businesses in the hospitality industry.  

So the next time you’re designing anything — restaurants, hotels, hospitals or just a plain old office building, take a moment and really think how the space will be used. When you’re specifying products, such as faucets and sinks, think about how people will use them every day. Make sure your designs are both functional and trendy. Your customers will thank you for it. 

I know that hotel probably did not appreciate my feedback, but, in the words of Disney’s “Frozen,” “somebody’s got to tell them.”

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