More Privacy Wanted in Commercial Bathrooms: Survey

A survey conducted by Bradley Company revealed that people would like additional privacy when using public washrooms.

A survey conducted by Bradley, a company that manufactures washroom accessories and partitions, revealed that adults want additional privacy when using restrooms.

According to the Healthy Handwashing Survey, which was conducted this year, a total of 70 per cent of respondents in the U.S. feel that public restroom stalls lack sufficient “coverage” while 58 per cent would like the gaps around stall doors and walls eliminated.

A total of 40 per cent of respondents said they choose the stall that’s furthest from the entrance and 35 per cent admitted to being annoyed when someone selects the stall next to theirs, despite others being available.

According to findings from the survey, a total of 45 per cent of respondents said they’d appreciate stall doors that extend all the way to the floor while 74 per cent of respondents said they have used the gap under the door to determine whether the stall was occupied.

A whopping 96 per cent believe it would be helpful if there were visual indicators on stall doors to show if it is occupied.

Bradley executed its first survey in 2009, and asked over 1,000 American adults about the state of public restrooms, their handwashing habits and concerns about seasonal viruses. In 2024, they asked them what they thought of restroom conditions in comparison to 15 years ago. Bradley noted that this year’s findings are encouraging because 43 per cent of respondents believe the overall condition of public restrooms has improved.

While this is promising, a total of 68 per cent of respondents said they’ve had a “particularly unpleasant” experience due to the condition of the facilities. When asked to share their restroom pet peeves, 62 per cent of respondents pointed to used paper towels left on the floor or around the sink, 46 per cent mentioned splashed water on countertops and floors and 41 per cent noted careless or reckless behavior that damages the facility.

Bradley noted that approximately one out of four adults have dropped their phone, keys, wallet or purse in a public restroom toilet, and 74 per cent of women say they’ve had to use their foot to keep a non-working stall door closed.

The company also noted that cleanliness, better stocking of soap and towels and touchless fixtures topped the request list.

“The state of a restroom can have a measurable impact since we’ve found that consumers will avoid a business if it has poor restroom facilities,” said Jon Dommisse, vice president of marketing and corporate communication for Bradley. “Our goal with this research during the past 15 years has been to better understand handwashing behavior and identify restroom pain points to help facilities better serve the public.”

The annual Healthy Handwashing Survey from Bradley queried a total of 1,003 American adults between January 4 to9, 2024. Participants were from around the country and were fairly evenly split between women (51 per cent) and men (48 per cent). One per cent of survey respondents selected other.