The Rationale for Some Public Restrooms’ U-shaped Chairs

You may have observed that public restrooms abroad differ greatly from those in your native country when traveling.

For Hygiene and Sanitary purposes

The bathrooms we have at home typically have a cozy oval or circle-shaped seat.

The difference between a public restroom and the one in your home is in the design of the chairs, not the fragrance. The so-called open front toilet seats, which resemble the letter u and feature an aperture at the front, are found in nearly all public toilets. In contrast, the majority of private restrooms feature circular or oval toilet seats that completely round the bowl. Why the space?

The majority of public authorities in the United States have adopted the two-prong, open-front seat as a requirement. According to California’s state plumbing code, “All water closet seats, except those within dwelling units, shall be of the open front type or have an automatic seat cover dispenser.”

Dan Cole, Technical Services Manager of the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, claims that the rule was initially incorporated in the American Standard National Plumbing Code in 1955 and the Uniform Plumbing Code in 1973. (IAPMO).

According to Lynne Simnick, senior vice president of code development at the IAPMO, open-front toilet seats are primarily made to make it simpler for women to wipe.

According to her, the aperture is made to “enable ladies to clean the perineal region after using the toilet without contacting the seat.” In essence, front-wipers are intended to use open toilet seats. (It is obvious that the women in question have not received advice on how to avoid UTIs.)

Since they require less material, U-shaped chairs are also less expensive. Roger Barry, the managing director of Healthmatic, a UK-based business that develops and operates public bathrooms, claims that they are also less likely to be stolen.

He claims that theft is a significant issue, even though I wonder why someone would want to steal a seat from a public restroom. In the UK, he claims, “the appearance of u-shaped seats is something that has dampened,” mainly because public restrooms are no longer equipped with toilet seats at all to deter thievery.

However, if you haven’t already noticed—and we strongly advise you do the next time you use a public restroom—not all of them have that conventionally formed seat.

Some public restroom chairs have an unusual, unfinished U form that, to put it bluntly, sounds unpleasant.

However, there is a good reason for the shift, and it mostly has to do with hygiene.

It appears that women were also considered when designing the toilet seat. The open seat, according to Lynne Simnick, senior director of code development at the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, was created to allow women to “clean the perineal area after using the water closet” without using a potentially filthy seat, according to Slate.

Simnick further stated that the open-front seat removes the user’s genital contact with the seat and “eliminates an area that may be polluted with urine.”

Before this, a lot of people conjectured as to why the toilet seat had such a strange appearance. In fact, the existence of toilet seats in public restrooms should be a source of gratitude.