What is your best public toilet experience

Why do public toilets have large gaps (no privacy) in the US?

I can't find a definitive link, but there are a few reasons, many of which have already been covered in the comments.

First, the style in your picture makes it easy to clean the entire room. You can hose down the floors at once, and there aren't so many connections between the walls and floors that dirt builds up. ( TO EDIT : In your picture you can see that the toilets don't even connect the floor. For this facility, I'm pretty sure that this will make it easier to clean.)

Second, so that people can see what you are doing there. It discourages drug use or people having sex in the cubicles because it's obvious what's going on. Even if someone passes out in the toilet (for whatever reason), people will find it easier to notice - in a completely covered stall, someone could lie there for a long time. It can also prevent people from sitting there longer than necessary.

After all, it's cheaper and easier. Such departments can be used in any room regardless of the flatness of the floor or the height of the room, etc. Building departments that actually fit floor-to-ceiling may require custom cutting and fitting, which is the case in a large building with dozens may be of identical toilets, but for one or the other public toilet, cheap and easy is the route people will go.

To get the comment from choster to supplement, it tends to vary widely in the United States. I've seen toilets that have even less privacy than this picture - like a door that you can see through when you get up. Toilet misuse concerns tend to be more important than privacy, especially in public places. But you are right, in many private places they will be more sealed. And there are many places in the world where you are lucky enough to find a door at all - or many people who care that there is no door there.


One thing to add is why these factors play a bigger role for airports than anywhere else: International airports are typically open to customers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. At most other venues, once the building is closed, the booths are empty and the cleaners can do a thorough cleaning, force open any mysteriously closed booths, etc.

OR mapper

This only answers half of the question (or, as I noted in my comment on the question, one of the two questions) as it doesn't explain the (IMO unusual compared to other continents) large gaps depicted on the sides of the doors .

Space dog

@ORMapper I would imagine that large gaps on the sides also serve to prevent illegal activities in the stable. Or it could simply be cheaper, less material, poor workmanship.

OR mapper

@SpaceDog: I'm really not convinced of the earlier suggestion; The gap between the door and the floor makes it possible to detect illegal activities without restricting privacy to such an extent that, for example, private parts are visible without significant additional effort. By contrast, because of the side gaps, the efforts required to detect illegal activity and perform voyeurism in the bathroom are roughly the same, which makes this a completely different topic. The other speculation may be true, of course, but it warrants an analysis of whether it is really specific to North America or the United States

Space dog

@ORMapper, the truth is I don't really know, and I'm not sure if we will get a specific answer if someone who knows their stuff shows up. As I say in my answer, things are very different around the world. Without proper research, it would be impossible to confine trends to countries.