I’ve always wondered why they open inward. Isn’t this kinda counter-intuitive? By having the doors open inward, you have to squeeze into the stall and manuever around the door. The same thing happens when you open the door to get out. Why not have the stall doors open outward, like the handicapped stall does? Most restrooms aren’t so crowded that space is an issue outside of the stall. I can’t think of any reason why opening inward would be better.
So you can hold them shut with your foot when the lock is broken.
So when you swing it open you don’t smack someone in the face.
When the stall is unoccupied, the door usually hangs in a half-open position. This doesn’t matter if it opens into the stall. But if it opens out, now it’s an obstruction (especially for wheelchair users).
I’ve never had any problems with this. But I’m just a little thing.
Seriously, I don’t think hitting someone when opening the door is that big of a problem…doesn’t happen with regular doors too often.
As for the squeezing in the stall, this is a bigger problem when I’m at school with my backpack (BTW, it’s real annoying when they don’t have a hook to hang your bag or coat).
Good points about holding the door closed and letting the door hang open, SmackFu and GuanoLad. But really, do they design doors with the expectation in mind that the locks will be broken? And if they angle the doors right, they will fall in instead of hanging open…but I suppose that’s too much to ask.
I’ll stop wasting my brain power on this stuff and go end world hunger or something worthwhile.
I’m with Sue on this (as I am with most things).
When you are on the outside of the stall going in, you know with a 99% certainty that there is no one on the other side of that door.
When you are on the inside going out, you don’t know. And restrooms are generally small with foot traffic right past the stall door. If it is a small bathroom, the sinks may be right across from the stalls and you have another potential impact. Plus, no matter what the condition of the door and how much it hangs open when unlocked, it will never impede traffic in the restroom.
It may be a small problem, but if given a choice between 99% and 60% why not take 99%. Plus, with all those other doors you use, traffic flows both ways and rarely perpendicular to the door.
If you notice all doors tend to open into a room (the main exception are exit doors in public places, for obvious reasons). Take a look at the door to your own room right now – it opens in.
So restroom doors merely follow standard practice.
Why do it that way? My guess is security. If the door opens out, the hinges have to be on the outside. Someone with a screwdriver could remove them (or break them off) and the door can be opened.
This wouldn’t be a problem if they made all bathroom stalls an adequate size. But I’ve been in stalls where I had to stand over the $#!% toilet to open the door. (and while I’m not a supermodel, I’m not exactly gargantuan either)
GuanoLad that’s another reason to always carry duct tape. Never leave home with out it.
A very common bathroom setup is for sinks to be directly opposite the stalls. If the doors open outward, they might hit people standing in front of the sink if the sinks are close enough. Additionally, if space is a big issue, you can put the door closer to the sink when it opens away from the sink.