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9 Reasons Why the Doors in Public Toilets Don’t Reach the Floor

A public restroom surely isn’t the most pleasant place we have to visit. When using a public toilet, you have probably wondered why the doors don’t reach the floor and why they prevent you from doing your private business privately? The answer is, it’s not done to embarrass you. There are actually several very good reasons for it and we at Bright Side wanted to tell you about them.

1. It’s easier to clean.

Due to the demand for public toilets, it’s necessary to wash them several times a day. The gap at the bottom makes the bathroom stalls much easier and faster for the custodians to clean.

2. In case of an accident, you can get help easily.

In a fully enclosed stall, if a person fainted or had a health problem that left them unconscious, it would take a long time before someone noticed it. Instead, it would be easier to notice a person who passed out in a stall with a gap at the bottom. Also, a first responder can slip through the gap and unlock the door from the inside without having to break it down.

3. It helps curb inappropriate behavior.

The lack of privacy in public toilets also prevents people from doing things in the stall that they shouldn’t be doing. The characteristics of the doors allow for a higher level of surveillance and prevention of inappropriate behavior.

4. The construction is cheaper.

Building partitions that extend from the floor to the ceiling requires a more precise design and the use of various materials, which would increase the total cost. For a business owner, it will always be more cost effective to buy and install doors with gaps.

5. There’s better odor ventilation.

In a fully enclosed bathroom it becomes difficult for unpleasant odors to disappear. With gaps above and under the bathroom stalls, air circulates much better and bad smells disappear faster.

6. It’s easy to see if it’s available.

If the stall is fully enclosed, we always risk experiencing an awkward moment when trying to open a stall that is occupied or having to hold it from the other side, whichever is worse. With the gap below the door, a person can see if the toilet is vacant or not.

7. It’s a possible escape route.

Imagine that the lock jams: if the stall is fully-enclosed and the place is too noisy, you would spend hours waiting for someone to notice. However, if there’s a gap under a bathroom stall, you can easily escape by crawling under it.

8. It keeps the line moving.

When the doors aren’t fully enclosed, the lack of privacy makes the visitors feel like they have to do their private business faster, which speeds up the traffic.

9. You can share toilet paper easier.

We all know that awful moment when we suddenly realize we ran out of toilet paper while going to the bathroom. If it happens in a public restroom you can at least ask the person in the stall next to you to pass you some toilet paper, but if you run out of paper in a fully enclosed stall, no one can save you.

What is your experience with public restrooms? Tell us in the comments.

Illustrated by Natalia Tylosova for Bright Side