The Ultimate Guide: What Are Toilet Cubicles Made Of? | NETC

Toilet cubicles are an essential aspect of our daily lives, providing privacy and convenience in communal bathroom settings. At North East Toilet Cubicles, we specialise in providing bespoke bathroom solutions for commercial use across multiple different sectors.

But, what are toilet cubicles made of?

This is a question that often goes overlooked, but the materials chosen for their construction are vital for durability, aesthetics, and overall user experience. We’ll delve into the various materials used in cubicle construction, examining their benefits and drawbacks, and how they hold up under the pressures of a busy bathroom environment.



Common Materials Used in Toilet Cubicles

Toilet cubicles come in various materials, each with its unique characteristics.

The most commonly used materials include:

  • Melamine Faced Chipboard (MFC): MFC is a popular choice for its cost-effectiveness and wide range of finishes. It consists of a chipboard core laminated with a melamine resin, which is durable and easy to clean. Check out our Apollo and Olympic ranges for high quality MFC toilet cubicles.
  • Compact Grade Laminate (CGL): CGL is a heavy-duty material that’s completely waterproof and vandal resistant. It’s one of the most durable options available, ideal for areas with high moisture or heavy usage. Check out our impeccable Ambassador Range for high quality CGL toilet cubicles.
  • Solid Grade Laminate (SGL): Similar to CGL in terms of durability, SGL is also a solid choice for high-traffic restrooms, providing excellent resistance to moisture and wear. Check out our Warrior, Fusion and Summit ranges for high quality SGL toilet cubicles.
  • Metal: Stainless steel or powder-coated steel can also be used, particularly in environments requiring robust materials, such as prisons or industrial settings. Metal cubicles are hard-wearing and provide a modern look but can be costly.
  • Glass: Tempered glass offers a sleek, contemporary aesthetic and is easy to clean. It’s often used in high-end commercial spaces but is less common due to its higher price point and potential for damage.


Pros and Cons of Each Material

Each material used in the construction of toilet cubicles comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Here’s a closer look:


Melamine Faced Chipboard (MFC)


  • Cost-effective: MFC is one of the most affordable options on the market.
  • Variety of finishes: It comes in a range of colours and patterns, making it versatile in design.
  • Easy to install: Lightweight and straightforward to handle, MFC can be fitted with ease.


  • Durability: It may not hold up as well against heavy impacts or scratches compared to other materials.


Compact Grade Laminate (CGL) and Solid Grade Laminate (SGL)


  • Waterproof: CGL and SGL are impervious to water, making them ideal for wet environments.
  • Vandal-resistant: Their solid construction makes them tough against abuse.
  • Longevity: These materials have a long lifespan, even in harsh conditions.


  • Price: They are at the higher end of the cost spectrum.




  • Strength: Metal cubicles are incredibly strong and can endure significant force.
  • Hygiene: Metal surfaces are non-porous and easy to sanitise.
  • Fire resistance: They offer superior fire resistance compared to other materials.


  • Expense: Metal is typically more expensive than laminate options.
  • Cold feel: Metal can give a restroom a sterile, cold ambiance, which might not be desirable for all settings.




  • Modern look: Glass provides a high-end, contemporary appearance.
  • Ease of cleaning: Its smooth surface is simple to maintain and doesn’t stain easily.
  • Light transmission: Glass can create a sense of openness and light in a space.


  • Fragility: While tempered, glass is still more prone to damage than other materials.
  • Privacy concerns: It requires careful design to ensure adequate privacy, which may limit its use.


Understanding the Durability & Maintenance of Different Materials

The longevity and upkeep requirements of toilet cubicle materials are critical factors in their selection. A material’s resilience to wear and tear, coupled with how effortlessly it can be maintained, will significantly influence its suitability for a particular setting.


  • Durability Considerations

The durability of a material is determined by its ability to withstand physical impacts, moisture, and chemical cleaners. Compact Grade Laminate and Solid Grade Laminate, for example, are renowned for their robustness in high-traffic areas.

They are less likely to suffer damage from impacts and are highly resistant to moisture, preventing the warping and deterioration that can occur with less durable materials like Melamine Faced Chipboard.

Metal, while strong, can be susceptible to dents and scratches if not properly maintained. Glass, although aesthetically pleasing, can shatter upon hard impact, despite being tempered for increased safety.


  • Maintenance Needs

Maintenance involves both routine cleaning and the repair of any damage that might occur over time. High-Pressure Laminate and Phenolic Core materials offer ease of cleaning due to their non-porous surfaces, which do not allow bacteria or mould to take hold.

However, if subjected to scratches or gouges, these materials may require professional repair or replacement.

Melamine Faced Chipboard, while initially more cost-effective, may incur higher maintenance costs in the long run if installed in an inappropriate setting. Its susceptibility to moisture can lead to swelling, de-lamination, and the need for premature replacement.


  • Assessing Material Suitability

In assessing the suitability of a material for a particular environment, one must consider the level of use, the potential for abuse or vandalism, and the ambient conditions of the restroom.

For instance, in a school or sports facility where usage is high and the risk of damage is greater, a more durable material like Compact Grade Laminate would be prudent.

Conversely, a low-traffic office restroom may not require such heavy-duty materials and could utilise Melamine Faced Chipboard or High-Pressure Laminate without issue.


Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right Material for Your Toilet Cubicles

When it comes to selecting the ideal material for toilet cubicles, several factors come into play. It’s not just about what the cubicles are made of, but also how those materials align with the specific needs and constraints of the project.

Here are some of the key considerations:

  • Budget: The financial aspect of a project often dictates the choice of material. While it’s tempting to opt for the most affordable option, it’s important to consider the long-term costs associated with maintenance and replacement. Investing in a more durable material might result in lower expenses over the lifespan of the toilet cubicles.
  • Usage: The expected level of use and the type of facility are vital in determining the appropriate material. High-traffic areas, such as public transportation hubs or shopping centres, will require materials that can withstand heavy usage without deteriorating quickly.
  • Aesthetics: The visual appeal of toilet cubicles can influence the ambiance of a restroom. Materials offer a range of colours, textures, and finishes, allowing for customisation to match the design ethos of the building. The chosen material should complement the overall aesthetic while still being practical.
  • Environment: Toilet cubicles are often exposed to varying degrees of moisture and humidity. Materials must be chosen based on their ability to resist these conditions without warping, swelling, or fostering mould growth.
  • Compliance and Regulations: Building codes and regulations may stipulate certain requirements for materials used in public restrooms. These can include fire resistance, accessibility, and hygiene standards that must be adhered to.
  • Sustainability: More than ever, environmental considerations are influencing material choices. Eco-friendly options, such as recycled plastics or sustainably sourced wood products, are becoming increasingly popular.


Tips for Maintaining and Cleaning Toilet Cubicles Made from Different Materials

Maintaining and cleaning toilet cubicles is essential for hygiene, longevity, and user satisfaction. Each material has its own care requirements, and adhering to these can prolong the life of the cubicles.

Here are some tips for maintaining different materials:


Melamine Faced Chipboard (MFC)

  • Clean with a damp cloth and mild detergent, avoiding excessive water that can seep into seams and cause damage.
  • Address spills and moisture quickly to prevent swelling or de-lamination.
  • Use touch-up pens or laminates to repair minor scratches.


Compact Grade Laminate (CGL) and Solid Grade Laminate (SGL)

  • These materials can withstand stronger cleaning agents, but always test in an inconspicuous area first.
  • Disinfectants and bleach solutions can be used for a deep clean, especially in high-traffic or healthcare settings.
  • Check that all edges and fixtures are sealed correctly to maintain water resistance.



  • Stainless steel can be polished with special cleaners to maintain its lustre and prevent fingerprints.
  • For powder-coated steel, use a soft cloth and gentle cleaners to prevent chipping the coating.
  • Lubricate hinges and locks regularly to keep them functioning smoothly.



  • Use glass cleaners or a mixture of vinegar and water for a streak-free finish.
  • Squeegees are effective at removing water spots and maintaining clarity.
  • Regularly inspect for chips or cracks, which can compromise the strength of the glass.


Choosing the Right Material for Your Toilet Cubicles

In conclusion, the materials used in toilet cubicles play a crucial role in their performance, durability, and aesthetics. At North East Toilet Cubicles, we understand the significance of selecting the right material to ensure your cubicles meet the demands of your environment while maintaining a pleasing appearance.

Whether you prioritise affordability, durability, or a modern aesthetic, we offer a range of options to suit your needs. From cost-effective Melamine Faced Chipboard to heavy-duty Compact Grade Laminate and Solid Grade Laminate, as well as robust metal and sleek glass, we have solutions to cater to various preferences and requirements.

Now that you’ve gained insight into the materials used in toilet cubicles and their respective pros and cons, we invite you to explore our diverse range of cubicles at North East Toilet Cubicles. Our expert team is on hand to provide guidance and assistance in selecting the perfect cubicle solution for your commercial space.


Experience the durability, functionality, and style of our cubicles firsthand. Contact us today or visit our website to discover the perfect toilet cubicle solution for your needs.