Reasons Why Toilet Stalls Don't Go All the Way to the Floor 

Candice Darden
Updated August 6, 2019 965.2k views 9 items

Ever sat on a toilet seat on a restroom, and had that uncomfortable moment of accidentally locking eyes with a stranger through the crack in the stall door? Did you wonder immediately afterward, "Why aren't bathroom stalls fully enclosed? This awkward moment could have been completely avoided!"

There's actually a set of logical reasons why toilet stalls don't go to the floor. Some of these facts are obvious (they're easier to clean and are cheaper to construct), while others are not so easily guessed. Read on to discover these unknown bathroom facts about why stalls don't touch the floor and why that's actually a good thing.

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It Allows For Better Aeration
Walking into a fully enclosed stall after someone has gone #2 is a truly gag-inducing experience. Walking into an open stall, by comparison, it's immediately obvious why better aeration is preferable (arguably essential) for public restroom stalls. The smell, while still bad, is considerably better because of air circulation.
It Helps Keep The Line Moving Because You Can Easily See If A Stall Is Occupied
According to AmericanRestroom.org, the official answer to this is: "To prevent unnecessary queuing, anyone entering the restroom should be able to easily determine the state of occupancy of stalls. This can be done with doors that do not fully close when not in use or by other devices that signal occupancy." This definitely isn't an option in the case with floor-to-ceiling enclosed stalls.
If A Lock Jams, You Can't Be Trapped Inside
A stall door or lock can easily become jammed, trapping its occupant inside. However, with a stall gap, you can still escape by crawling underneath, if need be.
It Encourages People To Take Care Of Business Quickly
When using the restroom, if someone is isolated from the flow of noisy bathroom traffic by a full-length stall, they lose the sense of people waiting for their turn and are likely to take longer. When a stall isn't enclosed, people have a tendency to feel more rushed, and therefore take care of business quicker, speeding up the flow of restroom traffic.