The Real Reason There Is A Gap Under Bathroom Stall Doors

By Dave Basner

February 10, 2023

Photo: Getty Images

Anyone who has ever walked into a public bathroom stall and found a door that goes all the way to the floor probably feels like they are in a very fancy place. So often, the doors on public bathroom stalls have a gap under them, taking away that sense of privacy. However, it turns out that there are a few good reasons the stalls were made that way.

TikToker MattypStories posted a video explaining just why it's done, and it does make sense. He stated, "First off, if there's ever an emergency, it’d be pretty easy to see what happened and get the person some help. Secondly, it makes it way easier to clean. Public bathrooms are used quite often, meaning that they need to be cleaned many times throughout the day, and having the space under the door makes it a lot easier. And finally, it's a lot cheaper to buy a door that has part of it cut off than the full door itself."

There's also another important reason that the gap exists. What happens in those stalls can often lead to some stinky odors, and the gap allows for air circulation that will get rid of those smells faster than if they were trapped in a closed space.

In addition, having the gap helps to prevent bad behavior and long, lingering occupants. According to one toilet company, "When individuals sense others can listen to their business that easily, they are prone to wrap up quickly." Also, being slightly visible to people in the bathroom helps others to refrain from doing anything they shouldn't be doing in there.

Some feel that the gaps also make it easy to tell if someone is in the stall or not, but a simple "Occupied/Vacant" sign connected to the lock is usually a better solution for that.

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