Why Do American Public Bathroom Stall Walls and Doors Have Gaps?
Who in the world thought bathroom doors and walls that don't cover the entire opening of a public bathroom stall was a good idea? How did this become the standard in America? More importantly, why?
The legs and feet of a stranger, the smells, the sounds...from a complete stranger. All happening while you and that stranger are engaged in the most intimate of all human activity...bathroom potty time. And all because Americans build bathroom stalls with only a partial door and walls that don't touch the ceiling or the floor.
I had to find out why our country builds public bathroom stalls that only hide part of you. So, like any decent private investigator, I took to the internet for answers.
- The partial bathroom stall door is designed specifically for you to see if the stall is occupied. If you see legs and feet, you immediately take to the next stall. This moves people in line for the bathroom as a roundabout does for traffic on a busy stretch of highway.
- Partial walls and doors also allow for easy cleaning by custodians. A regular-sized person can reach the entire area when cleaning.
- Air circulation is provided by the openings.
- Another reason for gaps in public bathroom stall walls and doors is safety. If the walls and doors were solid and a doorknob malfunctioned, a person would have no way out. The partial walls and door allow for someone to escape.
- If a naughty person wanted to do something bad like spray paint the stall walls with graffiti, the partial door may deter a person from doing such an act. Other people in the bathroom could peer through the cracks and identify the culprit.
- American designed public bathroom stalls allow individuals to share toilet paper. Don't laugh, this is an important feature.
- And finally, cost. It's much cheaper to build public bathrooms with walls and doors that don't go from ceiling to floor.
So the next time you find yourself in an American public bathroom stall wondering why passersby can see you through the cracks, now you know!