Why most public toilet doors open inwards




open door

We’ve written blogs in the past on the topic of the toilet door. The toilet door is an important element of any given facility. Doors are designed with the ability to open or give way for people to enter or exit a given room or property. Some doors are automatic which makes our life easy when proceeding or exiting a building.

Automatic doors are rarely found in public toilets as this will infringe on a user’s privacy. It is generally believed that toilet doors tend to open mostly inwardly rather than outwardly. We will briefly explore why these public toilet doors are installed with that orientation. 

The common reason why most public toilet doors open inwards 

The keyword in this section is ‘most’ and not ‘all.’ As there is the assumption that you may have used a portable unit or standard public toilet with doors that open outwards. Let’s explore why most toilet units are constructed with doors that open inwards. 

 1) Safety reasons: A door that opens inwards or that is pulled to exit reduces safety concerns. This is because people will have to break their strides to open the door on their way out of the facility.  In this scenario, installing doors that open outwards or push to exit can prove dangerous to those waiting in the hallway. As someone exiting the toilet in a hurry may easily push the door into individuals approaching to enter the facility at the said time.  

2) Prevents the build-up of the crowd:  We are not saying your whole fans will come and wait for you by the door for an autograph or to take a picture for social media. Doors that are pushed to enter reduce crowding around the toilet entry point and its vicinity. This toilet door installation pattern favours a faster entry into the facility and a more cautious and measured exit. 

3) It is suitable for toilet doors that are close to a staircase: Public toilets in multi-floor pubs, bars or restaurants tend to have toilets located on the ground or topmost floor. When this happens, the toilets can be found as one arrives at the given floor. In this case, it will be no surprise to realise the toilet door is located close to the stairs. This necessitates the installation of doors that open inwards. 

4) Enhances toilet privacy: We want to maintain some element of privacy when using public toilet facilities. When doors open inwards, a user waiting or walking through the hallway will have a restricted or obscured view of users in the toilet fastening their belts, applying their make-up, changing their top or simply washing their hands. 

5) Reducing the transference of odour: Toilets are expected to smell. Albeit, to varying degrees. Most property owners or business staff make efforts to restrain the toilet odour by all means possible. Air freshener, regular cleaning and the use of baking soda are some of the ways this goal is achieved. Doors that open inwards can assist in curtailing the smell released from public toilets. 


These are some reasons why public toilet doors open inwards. 


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