22 votes

Why Can’t We Have Decent Toilet Stalls?

11 comments

  1. cptcobalt Link
    I've been traveling a lot these past few months, and the US does have some pretty terrible toilet stalls. I joke that my office has bathrooms worthy of LAX Airport in the 1970s—cream colored tile,...

    I've been traveling a lot these past few months, and the US does have some pretty terrible toilet stalls. I joke that my office has bathrooms worthy of LAX Airport in the 1970s—cream colored tile, stained grout, loose steel hardware, and stalls with gaps so large you can make eye contact (via the dirty, scratched up mirror) with the person washing their hands.

    I spent about a month in Ireland last year, and bathroom stalls were consistently better there, more often like mini-rooms with walls that went floor to ceiling, which just felt consistently luxurious, even though they were just plain bathrooms.

    14 votes
  2. [3]
    Tlon_Uqbar Link
    This (and cost) is the answer to the headline's question, I assume. Personally, I never considered the ease of mopping, but it makes sense. Though I would definitely prefer floor-to-ceiling...

    The design makes it easier to mop beneath them.

    This (and cost) is the answer to the headline's question, I assume. Personally, I never considered the ease of mopping, but it makes sense. Though I would definitely prefer floor-to-ceiling privacy.

    On a side-note, I'm also calling for a global ban on trough-style urinals. Those things are nasty and unpleasant in every way.

    9 votes
    1. [2]
      sys Link Parent
      I had to google to know what they look like, as I never saw one myself. I don't even know if it's a step up from peeing in a sink. I do not look forward to seeing one.

      trough-style urinals

      I had to google to know what they look like, as I never saw one myself. I don't even know if it's a step up from peeing in a sink. I do not look forward to seeing one.

      1 vote
      1. cadadr Link Parent
        I saw them for the first (and the last, thank goodness) time in the UK, in a few places. Looks like that thing the cattle drink water from. Disgusting. Even the London Burger King I went had one.

        I saw them for the first (and the last, thank goodness) time in the UK, in a few places. Looks like that thing the cattle drink water from. Disgusting. Even the London Burger King I went had one.

  3. vakieh Link
    Toilets in the US are just plain fucking weird to me as an Aussie. You fill the toilet with water before you use it - why? You completely eliminate the ability for the toilet to force the stuff...

    Toilets in the US are just plain fucking weird to me as an Aussie. You fill the toilet with water before you use it - why? You completely eliminate the ability for the toilet to force the stuff down it when it flushes, like it's a suggestion that the shit goes down. Then yeah, you have that whole 'we have the world's worst carpenters' construction. (We do have the floor gaps in places here to allow for easier cleaning, but they're much smaller than you find in the US and only in the cheap places like shopping malls).

    4 votes
  4. [5]
    themadfarmer Link
    I don't know if it's a regional thing (Midwest), but we didn't even have doors on the stalls in the boys room elementary through high school.

    I don't know if it's a regional thing (Midwest), but we didn't even have doors on the stalls in the boys room elementary through high school.

    2 votes
    1. alyaza Link Parent
      i presume regional/varies on a school-by-school basis. in my limited experience the only places that do that seem to be places where they don't trust the students to not fuck up the stalls or...

      i presume regional/varies on a school-by-school basis. in my limited experience the only places that do that seem to be places where they don't trust the students to not fuck up the stalls or shoot up drugs or do other illicit things, and so they take off the doors so that people are less likely to get away with those things.

      2 votes
    2. [3]
      Silbern Link Parent
      What did they have instead of doors?

      What did they have instead of doors?

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        userexec Link Parent
        Nothing at all. The high school I went to didn't even have dividers. Showers on one side, toilets on the other. I assume at one point in their history that was normal and they were used, but...

        Nothing at all. The high school I went to didn't even have dividers. Showers on one side, toilets on the other. I assume at one point in their history that was normal and they were used, but nobody even once used either when I was there. The girls' locker room was more standard with stalls (with doors) around showers and toilets.

        I should note this was only in the gym. The school building itself was newer and had more standard restrooms.

        4 votes
        1. Silbern Link Parent
          Jesus christ. Forcing kids to shit without any manner of privacy sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen. That's frankly unacceptable :/

          Jesus christ. Forcing kids to shit without any manner of privacy sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen. That's frankly unacceptable :/

          10 votes
  5. thedima Link
    When I lived in Canada, I took it for granted that toilet stalls were a last-resort emergency usage situation. You could indeed accidentally make eye contact through the gap between the door/wall...

    When I lived in Canada, I took it for granted that toilet stalls were a last-resort emergency usage situation.

    You could indeed accidentally make eye contact through the gap between the door/wall with anyone coming in to wash their hands or walk by into the adjoining stall.

    The more I traveled and experienced the wonders of full-partition, bidet-enabled public toilets, the more I realized how "uncivilized" North American toilets are.

    I suppose most people don't give it much thought, apart from the desire to avoid using a stall whenever possible.

    If you forced every person in North America to spend a week using public stalls, there'd be a sea change the week after.