129 Genius Solutions To Various Restroom Problems

Good design is practical, functional, puts the user first, and is intuitive in how it works. So it’s only natural that we have high interior design expectations for the most important room in public areas and businesses. Let’s not beat around the bush, we’re talking about the restroom!

Call it what you will—the bathroom, the John, the powder room, the Iron Throne, or even the Chamber of Secrets—you really can’t downplay just how vital this space is, whether you’re at a restaurant, cafe, hotel, shopping center, or elsewhere. Everybody pees. Everybody poops. Everybody knows how awkward (and sometimes even icky) using public restrooms can be. So privacy and hygiene are areas of huge importance.

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Fortunately, the world’s full of genius designers who love making life better, simpler, and more enjoyable for us all. Below, you’ll find some of the very best design solutions to the problems that restrooms have, all collected by Bored Panda. Remember to upvote the design decisions that you think are just spot-on and should be the standard everywhere.

Bored Panda reached out to the American Restroom Association to learn more about the need for good design solutions to public bathrooms, how there’s a split between the interests of the government and that of businesses, and how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected restroom designs. Tim Pyle, the Executive Director at the ARA, said that the core reason why hygiene, privacy, and other issues aren’t addressed are financial. You’ll find the full interview below.

#1 This Door In My Hotel Bathroom Can Close Off Either Of 2 Doorways

Image credits: Jave85

#2 These Bathroom Stall Doors Have An Overlap To Avoid That Awkward Crack

Image credits: Won_and_dun

#3 My School’s Bathrooms Have Pedals Instead Of Handles

Image credits: allygator314

Tim, the Executive Director at the ARA, explained to Bored Panda that finances lie at the core as to why public restrooms might not be up to suitable standards. “It has been easier and less expensive for municipalities (cities, counties, states, etc.) to allow the for-profit sector to fill the gap. If a national coffee shop chain or fast food establishment has a bathroom, why do we, the government, need to build and maintain one?” Tim explained the way that the US government thinks in this case.

Meanwhile, he highlighted the fact that businesses have “a vested interest in improving the customer experience,” citing a study that a whopping 95 percent of patrons are less likely to be return customers if they had a bad bathroom experience. “However, this leaves gaps in the restroom infrastructure. The designs are there; the will of government to fill the gap or ensure access is not,” Tim showed Bored Panda where a large part of the problem lies.

#4 This Toilet Lock That Doubles As A Tray So You Can’t Leave Without Taking Your Stuff

Image credits: notanaijin

#5 This Café Has Lights Above The Toilet Signs So You Can See If They Are Occupied Without Getting Up

Image credits: Patat0man

#6 Urinals That Protect Your Shoes From The Splashback

Image credits: Ukleon

There have been some advancements in the need for good design solutions for restroom hygiene issues since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Tim from the ARA had this to say: “We’ve seen particular interest in antimicrobial materials for high-touch surfaces as well as automation to reduce the ‘touch’ factor. Also, the way coronavirus is transmitted has put a focus on improving ventilation and air cleaning systems. More simply, better scheduling for regular cleaning is a low-cost way to improve hygiene. Just having a user see that someone is cleaning puts them more at ease,”

#7 This Restaurant Has Mother’s Day Cards In The Bathroom In Case You Forgot To Get Your Mom One

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Image credits: chillaxitout

#8 The Janitor’s Area In This Bathroom Is Behind A Hidden Wall

Image credits: EvTheSmev

#9 This Sushi Restaurant Has Two Soaps In The Bathroom. One For Before You Eat And One For After

Image credits: Allformygain

According to Tim, it’s very important that the public has access to clean, comfortable, and well-designed restrooms outside of their own homes. “Since 2004, it’s been the reason for the existence of the American Restroom Association. Everyone needs a restroom—it’s a fact of life. One that, for whatever reason, people just don’t like to talk about,” Tim pointed out that it’s a still a slightly taboo topic.

“The Federal government requires the availability of restrooms in the workplace, yet there is no such coordinated effort for public spaces. That is something we are advocating for. Until then, it’s a crapshoot (pun intended) as to whether a restroom will be there when you need one,” he said.

#10 This Brewery Has A Sign In The Bathroom That Offers A Backup Plan In Case Your Date Isn’t Going So Well

Image credits: daffydubs

#11 This Zoo Has A Complimentary Sunscreen Dispenser In The Bathroom

Image credits: hotdee7

#12 This Airport Bathroom Has Lights To Show You Which Stalls Are Free

Image credits: bellz2

There are several main issues afflicting public restrooms, including hygiene standards, comfort through privacy, and vandalism. Violate any one of those three and customers are less likely to have a great time using your other services. Meanwhile, provide them a safe, clean, beautiful environment in which to errr ponder the nature of life and the multiverse and you’ll make them feel right at home.

While a lot of potential issues could be solved by throwing more money at the problems, hiring more staff to clean more often, etc., the crux of everything is seeing the potential pitfalls before getting bogged down by them. That’s where design solutions come in. With them, you’re basically investing into solutions upfront and cutting off potential issues before they even show up.

#13 This Movie Theater Has Screens In The Bathrooms So You Don’t Miss Any Of The Action

Image credits: FPS-

#14 Emergency Alarm Chords Running Along The Floor Of The Disabled Toilet In Berlin Airport In Case Someone Falls Over And Requires Assistance

Image credits: EGPL21

#15 This Restaurant’s Restrooms Change Lights When Occupied

Image credits: CliffbytheSea

For instance, touching surfaces at most public restrooms can be a strong yuck factor for adults and kids alike. Throw in the danger of a global pandemic and you’ve got some people seriously worried and extremely anxious. They’d rather hold it in and be in pain than use a disgusting toilet that looks like the villain of a low-budget horror movie.

#16 This Japanese Toilet Refills Through A Sink In The Top So You Can Rinse Your Hands And Re-Use The Water

Image credits: Flupsy

#17 The Bathroom At My Doctor’s Office Has A Discreet Way For Victims Of Abuse, Violence, Or Human Trafficking To Get Help

Image credits: theryanfight

#18 Every Restroom Needs One

Image credits: TimeVendor

So minimizing the ick factor and maximizing cleanliness becomes a priority. How this problem gets solved depends on the designer. Some might opt for designs that let us use and flush the toilet while making absolutely minimal contact with surfaces. Others might go for self-cleaning or easily-cleaned surfaces or go for something that’s the perfect solution that nobody’s thought of yet.

#19 Whoever Invented This For When I’m Taking A Crap In A Public Restroom To Hold My Child In Place Is A Genius

Image credits: ThatStinksWeAllLikePicklesAndBananas

#20 This Chic-Fil-A Has A Mouthwash Dispenser In The Bathroom

Image credits: LHOW27

#21 All Of The Toilet Lights In My Town Have Been Changed To Fluorescent Blue, In An Attempt To Prevent Heroin Users From Being Able To Find A Vein To Use

Image credits: sorryimanorwichfan

Meanwhile, let’s talk a bit about privacy and comfort. Odds are, you know somebody in your life who’s wary of using any restroom in public. It might be a friend or a family member. It might even be you. Some people simply think that going to the bathroom is embarrassing, even though it’s an absolutely natural and unavoidable part of our existence as human beings.

#22 Japanese Toilets Often Have A Button That Plays White Noise/Water Sounds So You Can Poop Without Other People Hearing Your Business

Image credits: mikieliza

#23 Diaper Dispenser For Men With Babies In A Walmart’s Men’s Restroom

Image credits: gospizzy

#24 This Boat Has A Hidden Bathroom Behind The Glovebox

Image credits: SUCCsess-story

However brave or cowardly we might be in public bathrooms, it’s nonetheless a good idea to give people some privacy. Make sure that nobody can accidentally peek at you through the gaps in the stalls, have some sort of sound-dampening solutions, and generally give people the ability to relax.

#25 Real-Time Bathroom Display In Taipei

Image credits: Hadouken617

#26 In Tallinn Airport, One Of The Men’s Bathrooms Has Step By Step Instructions On Tying A Tie

Image credits: Suslik1415

#27 This Bathroom Door Handle Has A Built-In Hand Sanitizer Dispenser

Image credits: Whippity

We’re not in Roman times with public bathrooms anymore (for better or for worse) and we need modern design decisions for modern restroom problems. Thankfully, some designers have already digested some of these issues and provided genius responses. Yes, everybody pees and poops, but will everybody implement smart designs after they learn about them? That’s an important question for another time.

#28 This Sports Bar Has One Way Glass In The Bathrooms So You Don’t Miss Any Of The Game

Image credits: rearle

#29 The San Francisco Airport Has A Bathroom For Your Dogs

Image credits: NIKONandCANONuser

#30 This Bathroom Has A Touchless Door Control

Image credits: Doctor_McKay

#31 This Restroom Has Drains Under The Urinal For Those Who Miss The Mark

Image credits: Cordsofmemory

#32 My Office Flipped All The Women’s Restroom Vending Machines To Be Free

Image credits: ScoopOKarma

#33 The Elevator In The Hotel I’m Staying At Has An Emergency Toilet

Image credits: BadHaycock

#34 These Gender Neutral Bathroom Signs

Image credits: co1063

#35 Sign In Chick-Fil-A Bathroom

Image credits: BigJCD1

#36 This Bathroom Stall Door Has Bristles To Cover Up The Cracks

Image credits: D4Bama

#37 This Bathroom Sign Lets You Know Which Stall Is Empty Before Going In

Image credits: rcsebas0920

#38 This Bathroom Has Three Different Types Of Toilet Paper To Try Out

Image credits: drmcnaughty

#39 The Bathroom I’m In Has Red/Green Lights Above Them To Show If The Stall Is Vacant Or Occupied

Image credits: fuze57

#40 I Have A Gender Neutral Bathroom At My High School

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#41 The Bathroom Door At My College Has A Foot Door Opener

Image credits: rodrigo2220

#42 This Bathroom Tells You How Many Stalls Are Available And Has Indicators Above Each One To Tell You If It’s Occupied

Image credits: between_ewe_and_me

#43 The Bathroom I Was In Had A Switch To Let An Employee Know It Needed Attention

Image credits: PMW11

#44 My Hotel Room Had A Heated Panel Behind The Bathroom Mirror To Stop It From Steaming Up After A Shower

Image credits: -smish-

#45 The Wet Floor Sign In My Schools Bathroom Had A Little Fan On The Bottom To Dry The Water

Image credits: WFS12

#46 Pet Bathroom At The Burbank Airport

Image credits: disneyway

#47 The Backside Of This Men’s Restroom Door Reminds You To Check Yourself Before Exiting

Image credits: bastite

#48 In Belgian Train’s Toilets, There Is An SOS Button Close To The Ground In Case People Fall And Can’t Get Up

Image credits: zotket

#49 This Toilet In Japan Has A System Of Occupied/Vacant Toilets Information

Image credits: youknowitalktoomuch

#50 The Toilet At My Work Has A Wall Of Strong Scented Wood To Replace An Air Refresher. It Works Surprisingly Well

Image credits: Marivahlio

#51 The Urinal In This Restroom Has A Ledge To Rest Your Shopping Bags

Image credits: CreedBratton82

#52 These Kids Toilets In A London Museum Whose Sinks Slope To Cater For Progressively Shorter Children

Image credits: cuttyranking

#53 Public Toilet At Shopping Centre Has A Extra Smaller Toilet Seat For Little Humans

Image credits: im-Scary-Terry-bitch

#54 The Female On This Restroom Sign Isn’t Wearing A Dress

Image credits: bucherman7

#55 My School’s Bathroom Has A New “Wash Your Hands” Sign

Image credits: ImAPlebe

#56 This Disabled Bathroom Has A Sign To Say It’s Ok For Anyone Of Any Disability To Use It

Image credits: p5-f20w18k

#57 University Gym Girls’ Bathroom Has Not Only Free Condoms, But Free Lube

Image credits: DES8111

#58 The Bathroom At This Restaurant Has A Foot Pedal For The Tap

Image credits: halcyon627

#59 My Hotel Bathroom Mirror Had A Build In Bluetooth Speaker

Image credits: Limerific

#60 This Gas Station In Netherlands Charges 50c For The Bathroom, But Also Gives You 50c Discount For Something You Buy There

Image credits: Chewbakistan

#61 My School Put Free Pad And Tampon Vending Machines In The Girls’ Bathrooms

Image credits: KabobsterLobster

#62 Auto Glass Repair Shop Men’s Bathroom Has A Full Blown Standalone Changing Table

Image credits: ihatedisney

#63 This Card In A Restaurant Bathroom So You Can Alert Somebody Subtly If You Clogged A Toilet

Image credits: IHeartFraccing

#64 LED Bathroom Handles At Train Station In Sweden Change Colors Based On Occupancy

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#65 This Bathroom Mirror Has A TV In It

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#66 These Signs Tell You Whether Or Not Each Restroom Is Occupied

Image credits: XV_Crosstrek

#67 This Toilet In Japan Has A Place To Put Your Child

Image credits: SH4Z4M

#68 This Czech Pub Has A Designated Puking Station Outside The Restrooms

Image credits: 405freeway

#69 The Restaurant I Went To Has Lights On The Restroom Floor That Turn Red When Occupied

Image credits: lojo313

#70 There’s A Privacy Button That Plays Sound In The Toilet In The Background In Japan So Your Bombing Sound Wouldn’t Be Heard

Image credits: Natsumi_xy

#71 Public Restroom Has Self-Retracting Step Installed Under The Sink So Children Can Reach To Wash Hands

Image credits: KindofCrunchy

#72 This Japanese Toilet Has A Button To Flush And A Button To Make It Sound Like It’s Flushing

Image credits: RegionFree

#73 This Restaurant Has Shaving Supplies In The Men’s Room

Image credits: Dis236

#74 Japanese Bathroom Door Has A Porthole So You Can See If The Light Is On Inside

Image credits: lyonhead

#75 I Told My Dad That Buying An LED For Our Toilet Was Dumb. I Was Wrong

Image credits: HunterTC

#76 I Have A Toilet In The Corner

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#77 The Variety Of Soaps In The Bathroom

Image credits: Unsung-torpidity

#78 The Airport Bathroom Let’s Me Know When My Hands Are Dry

Image credits: TresComasTequila

#79 This Mcdonalds Have This Sticker On Their Bathroom Mirrors

Image credits: UguetQ

#80 Urinal In My Univeristy’s Bathroom Has It’s Own Stall

Image credits: jchamps2

#81 This Bathroom Has An Electronic Rating Machine

Image credits: Tarynntula

#82 My University Has A Sign Directing People To Another Bathroom If This One Is Too Busy

Image credits: riverotterr

#83 Fully Enclosed Bathroom Stalls

Image credits: offensivename

#84 This Concert Hall Has Cough Drops In The Bathroom So You Don’t Cough During The Performance

Image credits: illadvisedinertia

#85 A Drinks Holder In The Toilet

Image credits: Handcuffsandcheese

#86 Found This Restroom For Nonspecific Genders At Sand Diego Airport

Image credits: Juannaman

#87 This Restroom I Visited Has “Electro Chromic Glass”, Which Is Transparent When Unlocked, And Turns Matt When Locked

Image credits: xxStefanxx1

#88 The City Placed Sidewalk Signs For The Nearest Public Restrooms And The Times They Were Available For Use

Image credits: ruskimaster

#89 Japanese Public Toilets Have These “Changing Boards” So You Can Change Clothes Without Getting Your Feet Dirty

Image credits: lushico

#90 The Faucet In This Public Bathroom Can Be Controlled With Your Knee So You Don’t Get Germs On Your Hands

Image credits: NotoriousNick1

#91 My New Office Has A Urine Color Chart In The Restroom To Check If One Is Hydrated Or Not

Image credits: Apostjustforthis

#92 My Church Has A Spring-Loaded Shelf For Drinks While You Pee. It Doesn’t Allow You To Forget Your Things Because It’s Right In Front Of The Door

Image credits: jonniethm

#93 This Mall Has A Big And Small Toilet In The Same Cubicle So You Can Take A Deuce With Your Kid

Image credits: YESWAYHONEY

#94 My Cousins Have A Glow In The Dark Toilet

Image credits: TheJoeyGuy

#95 The Most Well Stocked Women’s Toilet In A Restaurant I’ve Ever Come Across

Image credits: Zombieeham

#96 Unusual Gentleman’s Toilet Shape

Image credits: DanAbb

#97 Brilliant. This Bathroom Has A Place For The Other Kids To Sit While You Change The Baby

Image credits: Thedaveabides98

#98 My Work’s Bathroom Handle Dispenses Hand Sanitizer When You Open It. So You Can’t Leave With Dirty Hands

Image credits: Catacomb-Slug

#99 This Toilet’s Cistern Fills Using A Tap And Sink So You Can Wash Your Hands With No Waste

Image credits: herzeleid22

#100 This Granite Was Cut To Make Space For The Toilet Lid

Image credits: heyimnotalex

#101 The Toilets In These Bathrooms Flushes With Rainwater

Image credits: Dark-Child99

#102 This Bathroom Stall Has A Tiny Mirror So You Can Check Yourself After Wiping

Image credits: ptlepore

#103 This Map Of The Bathroom As You Enter The Bathroom

Image credits: TheMXJW

#104 There Are Power Outlets In The Stalls At My Work’s It Department Restrooms

Image credits: drrhrrdrr

#105 The Bathroom Stalls Here Are Fixed To The Ceiling For Ease Of Cleaning The Floor

Image credits: triforcednostalgia

#106 This Bathroom Vanity Sink Has A Clear P-Trap

Image credits: NotLyingHere

#107 Can We Make This A Common Thing In Public Restroom Technology?

Image credits: jb69029

#108 This Toilet In Milan That You Flush With Your Foot. I Wish All Public Toilets Would Follow Their Lead

Image credits: FavoriteJackson

#109 The Way You Can Open This Public Bathroom Door

Image credits: leaveatrail

#110 The Fan Switch In My Bathroom Is Next To The Toilet

Image credits: zp7393085

#111 This Bar Has Sinks Located Just Outside Of The Bathrooms So Everyone Can See If You Didn’t Wash Your Hands

Image credits: Urgadur

#112 Hands-Free Men’s Room Exit Door Handle I Found In NJ Diner. Nice Idea

Image credits: TwowolvesMatt

#113 Husband Brag. He Installed A New Toilet, Bidet, And Lighted Toilet Seat For Mid-Night Bathroom Trips. Bonus: Squatty Potty. I Call It My Pregnancy Throne

Image credits: katekim717

#114 Water Saving Handle In Public Bathroom

Image credits: lukefrew

#115 This Hotel In Ireland Has A Bottle Opener In The Bathroom

Image credits: Lecrae_is_bad

#116 Restroom At A Bar In Minneapolis That Has A Splash Guard For Your Shoes And A Mini Shelf For Your Drink

Image credits: Th3B055

#117 This Restaurant Has Signs That Help Show You The Way To The Restrooms

Image credits: Scottyv17

#118 Toilet Reinforcement For Extra Weight

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#119 My Chick-Fil-A Has Diapers And Wipes Near The Changing Table – In The Men’s Room

Image credits: Daddoo05

#120 In The Europa Park Hotel In Germany There Is A Tiny Children Bathroom In The Bathroom.

Image credits: AndiMacht

#121 Durham, Nc Hotel’s Response To The “Bathroom Bill”

Image credits: Shdiggy

#122 This Urinal With Actual Walls Next To It

Image credits: slipperyuser00

#123 This Restaurant Bathroom Has Two Different Handles Depending On If You Washed Your Hands

Image credits: RockinJack18

#124 Men’s Restroom At Church Today

Image credits: dkmackay

#125 The Most Helpful Restroom I’ve Ever Been In

Image credits: Costner_Facts

#126 This Public Restroom Has A Passage In Between Stalls To Pass Toilet Paper In Between

Image credits: MrComet101

#127 These Gender Neutral Bathroom Doors

Image credits: smokeontheslaughter

#128 Bathroom At The Dentist Had Free Pads And Tampons For Those Who Needed

Image credits: SpicyChiliRamen

#129 Cupholders In A Vegas Bathroom

Image credits: Pupperoniboi

Source: boredpanda.com

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