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Old 03-22-2017, 03:11 PM
edwardcoast edwardcoast is offline
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Why so many restroom stalls don't center the toilets?

Why is it that in many restroom installs the toilets aren't properly centered in the stall? The result is, you have the stall so far to one side that you are almost leaning on the stall wall while on the throne.

I've not worked in construction and or plumbing, so I don't get why this is a problem.
I'm going to guess, the plumber puts in the toilets according to building code, and someone else puts in the stalls and orders the wrong size?
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Old 03-22-2017, 03:15 PM
Ethilrist Ethilrist is offline
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My guess is that the people who put the pipes in don't install the walls. The plumbing (particularly in larger buildings) might go in weeks or months before the walls get installed, and they may have to switch to a different model in the intervening time, so all the pipes seem to be off-center.
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Old 03-22-2017, 03:17 PM
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Darren Garrison Darren Garrison is offline
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Maybe for people who like to ride sidesaddle?
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Old 03-22-2017, 03:22 PM
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All it takes is one person to read a blueprint wrong and for no one to catch the error.

Or the plumbing designer and the partition designer didn't bother talking to each other.

Or an uncalibrated measuring tape.

Or a stupid mistake.

Or something else.

Take your pick.
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Old 03-22-2017, 03:26 PM
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The real botheration is why the wall-mounted TP dispensers are at knee level, so a) you can't sit comfortably [especially in a narrow stall], and b) it's a devil of a time getting TP out.
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Old 03-22-2017, 03:41 PM
SmellMyWort SmellMyWort is offline
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I'm guessing that to make one stall larger to be ADA compliant it throws off the spacing of the walls for the other ones. Or there may be other factors in play like which way the doors open and what obstructions there might be in the room.
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Old 03-22-2017, 04:04 PM
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My guess is that the partitions are an after thought.

The building is designed and framing, plumbing etc. are all planned out.

Say the plan calls for 4 toilets in a row. The plan will call for the last toilet in the line to be 2 feet from the side wall and every other toilet to be 4 feet from its neighbor (for instance).

Now when the partition crew goes to install the partitions they find that the studs in the wall in no way line up against the equidistant line between toilets. The crew has to have a solid place to anchor. So they do the best they can within the limitations of places to attach the partitions and the degree of variability designed into the partition system itself.
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Old 03-22-2017, 04:07 PM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is offline
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While we're fixing the "centering" problem, maybe we can find a way to either have 1) larger stalls, or 2) have the doors open outward, so you don't wind up brushing up against the toilet once inside in order to close the door.

Maybe there used to be thousands of serious injuries every year in public bathrooms from people flinging open the stall door and hitting passersby, but I kind of doubt it.
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Old 03-22-2017, 04:28 PM
bump bump is offline
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I can't say I've seen a lot of new construction with this problem, but it seems fairly common in older buildings, where the toilets may have been put in in 1970, and they subsequently put in replacement partitions that are of standard sizes, as opposed to the bespoke ones that were original to the building.

So you get the situation where the toilets aren't quite centered.

Last edited by bump; 03-22-2017 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 03-22-2017, 05:32 PM
jtur88 jtur88 is offline
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In an airport stall, I was always glad if they were not centered--it gave me a wider space on one side to set down my carryon. Maybe they were designed by somebody who had actually experienced using them, who said "Hey, let's leave wider space on one side for people to set down whatever they might be carrying".

It's increasingly obvious that more and more things seem to be designed by people who have never used them, from laundromats to websites to highways

Last edited by jtur88; 03-22-2017 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 03-22-2017, 05:44 PM
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How old is the building?
Does it predate the ADA?

When I've seen misaligned stalls, it was because one was widened to comply with ADA and the new partition pushed the rest aside a bit.

But, for a newly-built building, somebody changed something after the plumbing system had been extracted from the design and forgot to update the plumbing schematic.
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Old 03-22-2017, 05:49 PM
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If you want "really screwed up restroom (not bathroom - no bathing facility) design" - look at all the large public buildings with exactly the same number of seats in the women's rooms as seats + urinals in the men's rooms.
For those who miss the obvious - it takes a woman a bit longer to use the facility than it takes a man.

It was once common for long lines to extend from the women's room and none from the men's.

Last edited by usedtobe; 03-22-2017 at 05:49 PM.
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Old 03-23-2017, 03:46 AM
edwardcoast edwardcoast is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bump View Post
I can't say I've seen a lot of new construction with this problem, but it seems fairly common in older buildings, where the toilets may have been put in in 1970, and they subsequently put in replacement partitions that are of standard sizes, as opposed to the bespoke ones that were original to the building.

So you get the situation where the toilets aren't quite centered.
Come to think of it, it has been in older buildings. I don't recall anything new like a medical building having this problem.

Seems like a good carpenter would be able to fit the installs to move them and change their sizes so they are more accommodating. I find it really uncomfortable to be leaning against one side of the stall door. I guess management for the building doesn't care because they likely have private restrooms. I'm guessing it is far more expensive to move plumbing once it is installed.
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Old 03-23-2017, 06:01 AM
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And while we're at it... HOOKS. Nothing worse than going into a stall in winter, and having no place to hang your coat.
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Old 03-23-2017, 06:11 AM
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Nope, I'm gonna guess the opposite!

My wildass guess is some genius thought they'd save some time and install the stalls before the lavatories were installed! They thought they had the plumbing right and went ahead. But then, it turned out the plumbing wasn't quite right, and things needed shifting. In the end, they decided as long as the lav was in the stall, no matter how poorly centered, it was Aokay!
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Old 03-23-2017, 07:43 AM
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Why so many restroom stalls don't center the toilets?

They're playing Head games.



panache wrote:

Quote:
And while we're at it... HOOKS. Nothing worse than going into a stall in winter, and having no place to hang your coat.

We've had at least one thread about this in the past. It's annoyed the heck out of me for years, because in many cases the mounting screw holes are already there. It was suggested that a.) people stole them, and b.) It was seriously suggested that they were removed so that they wouldn't be stolen.
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Old 03-23-2017, 08:14 AM
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I would bet it on retrofitting to ADA throwing things off as well. Moving the drains would be a major job. If you do any remodeling in a commercial building, you have to come up to code on ADA.

We put a restaurant in an old building and ended up with 2 bathrooms that are almost as big as the kitchen. The location of the toilet, grab bars, and even toilet paper holder were very specifically called out. The toilets are close to the wall (but not uncomfortably so) so someone can easily grab the grab bars.

Last edited by moldmonkey; 03-23-2017 at 08:15 AM.
  #18  
Old 03-23-2017, 10:04 AM
mack mack is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardcoast View Post
The result is, you have the stall so far to one side that you are almost leaning on the stall wall while on the throne.
This actually came in handy the time I had a terrible stomach virus. Leaning against the wall was sweet relief in between waves.


I assume in most cases toilets are off center to accommodate the toilet paper dispensers. If you have one of those big bulky jobs it's going to be a hassle getting in and out if there isn't some kind of compensation like the wall being further away on the dispenser side.
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Old 03-23-2017, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moldmonkey View Post
I would bet it on retrofitting to ADA throwing things off as well. Moving the drains would be a major job. If you do any remodeling in a commercial building, you have to come up to code on ADA.

We put a restaurant in an old building and ended up with 2 bathrooms that are almost as big as the kitchen. The location of the toilet, grab bars, and even toilet paper holder were very specifically called out. The toilets are close to the wall (but not uncomfortably so) so someone can easily grab the grab bars.
"Moldmonkey Restaurant" - with a name that bad, it's gotta be good!
  #20  
Old 03-23-2017, 01:57 PM
gnoitall gnoitall is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
We've had at least one thread about this in the past. It's annoyed the heck out of me for years, because in many cases the mounting screw holes are already there. It was suggested that a.) people stole them, and b.) It was seriously suggested that they were removed so that they wouldn't be stolen.
Don't remember the thread, so can't tell if this possibility was suggested, but c) broken, removed, but not replaced. For reasons of c1) too cheap to buy replacement parts, or c2) assuming a new one would also get broken later, so just skipping it

In the case that the stalls had to be re-aligned, you can sometimes see the evidence in the mounting holes left in the floor or wall at the old spacing.

Last edited by gnoitall; 03-23-2017 at 01:58 PM.
  #21  
Old 03-23-2017, 02:15 PM
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I'll vote for disability retrofitting as well. Although I don't think that "many" restrooms are misaligned because I think I've only seen it once or twice and both were not in the "regular" stalls but in the handicapped stalls. Far more often is when the handicapped stalls are the only ones available I find that their toilet height is so high that my legs fall asleep, but I'm sure that people who are much shorter than me have that happen under regular circumstances so I can't complain too much.
  #22  
Old 03-23-2017, 08:17 PM
alphaboi867 alphaboi867 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panache45 View Post
And while we're at it... HOOKS. Nothing worse than going into a stall in winter, and having no place to hang your coat.
Really? What about not noticing the toilet paper dispenser is empty until after the fact?
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Old 03-23-2017, 10:04 PM
edwardcoast edwardcoast is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
They're playing Head games.



panache wrote:




We've had at least one thread about this in the past. It's annoyed the heck out of me for years, because in many cases the mounting screw holes are already there. It was suggested that a.) people stole them, and b.) It was seriously suggested that they were removed so that they wouldn't be stolen.
I'm trying to imagine someone stealing something that requires a tool to remove them. OK, you just stuff off from Home Depot with your new tool set and decided to use it to steal the hooks. Or they looked so good, and after all, they might cost $1.00 new from Home Depot, so you carry around a tool with you to use so that next time you use that bathroom you steal the hooks. Or in a fit of rage, you see these hooks and you must have them and now, and pull them off with your bare hands.

But what is someone going to do with these hooks? Unless they are missing from bathroom installs in your own building? I'm going to go out on a limb, and guess that they aren't installed because they were lost at the time of putting the stalls together.
  #24  
Old 03-23-2017, 10:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardcoast View Post
I'm trying to imagine someone stealing something that requires a tool to remove them. OK, you just stuff off from Home Depot with your new tool set and decided to use it to steal the hooks. Or they looked so good, and after all, they might cost $1.00 new from Home Depot, so you carry around a tool with you to use so that next time you use that bathroom you steal the hooks. Or in a fit of rage, you see these hooks and you must have them and now, and pull them off with your bare hands.

But what is someone going to do with these hooks? Unless they are missing from bathroom installs in your own building? I'm going to go out on a limb, and guess that they aren't installed because they were lost at the time of putting the stalls together.
Is there a tool for taking off those screws they (mostly) use? The slot only spins the screw one way.
  #25  
Old 03-24-2017, 12:48 AM
Tim@T-Bonham.net Tim@T-Bonham.net is offline
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People who work in the building likely won't notice missing or damaged hooks, because they don't use them -- they leave their coats in their offices or desks all day.

And visitors to the building who would notice (because they want to use the hooks to hang up their coat) -- but they won't know who to tell among the building maintenance staff. And they might be shy about mentioning problems in the restroom to building occupants.
  #26  
Old 03-24-2017, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
We've had at least one thread about this in the past. It's annoyed the heck out of me for years, because in many cases the mounting screw holes are already there. It was suggested that a.) people stole them, and b.) It was seriously suggested that they were removed so that they wouldn't be stolen.
The ones I've seen typically look like they're missing because they're broken. I'll do whatever I can to not put anything other than the soles of my shoes on a public bathroom floor. Computer bag? Yup it gets hung up. A bag to change from work clothes to afterwork clothes? Yup, that gets hung up, too. If they're not mounted well, all of that weight might pull them out.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mack View Post
I assume in most cases toilets are off center to accommodate the toilet paper dispensers. If you have one of those big bulky jobs it's going to be a hassle getting in and out if there isn't some kind of compensation like the wall being further away on the dispenser side.
I'd bet this is the reason too. OP, is the john centered between the stall walls or between the stall space (taking into account the TP holder)?
  #27  
Old 03-24-2017, 01:59 PM
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Doctor Jackson Doctor Jackson is offline
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Why so many restroom stalls don't center the toilets?

Some men dress left and some dress right, but damn few hang straight. By offsetting the toilet either direction one is bound to accomodeate more men than by centering.




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