Bathroom Doors

Discussion in 'The OT' started by Rich, May 15, 2016.

  1. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I don't think we've ever explored this subject. Recently, one of our family members who resides in a nursing home was left in the bathroom unattended. She got up (from the throne) and fell and broke her hip. When she fell she landed against the closed door. The attendants had a terrible time getting into the bathroom because the door opened into the bathroom.

    My question seems too simple: Why are bathroom doors almost always the "opening in" type? I've never lived in a house that had doors that opened out. And I know, with my luck, if I were to fall and be unable to arise without assistance I would be against the door. This is really bothering me. I don't remember ever seeing a door that opened out except for some hospitals, but certainly not all hospitals. This seems like a recipe for disaster that I had never considered. I just had both bathrooms redone (at outrageous prices) a couple of years ago and never gave the doors any thought. I'm seriously considering changing the doors now.

    Rich
     
  2. gpg

    gpg Well-Known Member

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    Typically doors open in for all rooms in a house I believe. Exceptions are doors leading to a stairway or some outside entry doors. I think they open in because hallways in average homes probably are not more than about 3 feet wide, and if someone opened a door that swung out while another person was passing by, there's a good chance a collision might occur.

    Commercial establishments and institutions like nursing homes or hospitals usually have wider hallways and could ( and maybe should) have doors opening out without as big a risk of hitting a passer by.
     
  3. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Commercial doors opening out for a "clean exit" (as one regional retailer states on signs on the door).

    If there is more room in the hallway than the bathroom an out door makes sense.

    People seem to feel more secure when the door opens in. But the "falling against it" problem exists.
     
  4. RBA

    RBA Well-Known Member

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    For fire protection most EXIT doors must open outward but all states can have different laws. My personal rental home does have an outward opening door. But both front and back doors open inward.
     
  5. trh

    trh This Space for Sale

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    Our two bathrooms have doors swinging into the bathroom. But in the master bath that has a separate WC room, the door opens out.
     
  6. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    it's easy for emergency response and law enforcement people to break-in with such door opening inward
     
  7. billsharpe

    billsharpe Hall Of Fame

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    Our main bathroom has two doors -- one opens out to our bedroom, the other opens in from the hallway. So far neither of us has fallen in the bathroom.
     
  8. dmspen

    dmspen Hall Of Fame

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    We had our bathroom done a few years ago. We changed the swing in door to a pocket door. We were fortunate we had space I guess.
     
  9. Beerstalker

    Beerstalker Hall Of Fame

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    Like gpg said it's a safety thing. Think about it this way, most of the time if there is a person inside the bathroom with the door closed that door will be locked. That means there is little chance for someone to open the door and hit the person in the bathroom. If the door opened out into a hallway or bedroom there would be a much greater chance that someone inside the bathroom exiting would hit a person walking by with the door when they exit. The same is true for bedroom doors, etc. You don't want doors opening out into a hallway because a hallway usually has more traffic and it is easier for someone to get hit with the door.

    The exception to this tends to be stairways. You don't want a door opening towards the stairs because you could hit the person on the stairs and knock them down the stairs. It is better to take a chance that the person exiting the stairs can open the door and not hit a person in the hallway. Except in commercial buildings where they normally have a window on the door going into the stairwell, and a landing between the stairs and the door. This way they can avoid having the door open into the hallway, but they can also help take precautions to keep the door from knocking people down the stairs. So most commercial doors to stairways will open in toward the stairs, except the one on the ground floor will usually open out, to make exiting in the case of a fire or other emergency easier.

    If you are really worried about this possibility you would probably be better off getting pocket doors installed if possible. That way you avoid the chance of hitting people walking by with a outward opening door, and avoid the chance of falling against the door and people not being able to get in to assist.
     
  10. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    "Open toward the exit path" would be best, and required in some areas. If you are on an upper floor or basement and jammed up against the door you should be able to push it open to get into the stairwell and head toward the exit. On the exit floor (usually ground floor) you should be able to push the door out from the stairwell so people do not get jammed inside. Doors open toward the building exit.

    At home I have a door that opens in over the basement stairs (to prevent hallway clobbering but dangerous on the stairs as one has to reach up to turn the knob then step back down the stairs to open the door). The homes that I have had with stairs going up have doors opening out ... without a landing the door swings away from the stairs.
     
  11. trh

    trh This Space for Sale

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    James - my understanding of the residential building code is that your basement stairs door doesn't meet current code in that the door is not supposed to swing over the top step.

    Nothing to worry about unless you went to sell your house and the buyer hired a building inspector to check out the house.
     
  12. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    That was gonna be my suggestion for those bathrooms that have doorways in close hallways. I could do that, shoulda done it when we upgraded our bathrooms. The bathroom in the master bedroom just needs a new door put in that would swing out. Probably have to change the frame too. Might do that.

    Rich
     
  13. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Again, my main concern was caused by a family member falling and breaking her hip and then being against the door and unable to move. I find this situation to be pretty hard to understand since she was in a nursing home at the time. I'd think nursing homes would have doors that open out, no? Doesn't the ADA have something to do with this?

    Also, I see no reason a door opening out can't be locked.

    Rich
     
  14. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I was going to mention that too.
    If a door opens "out" there should be a landing at the same height.
     
  15. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    My bathroom door does in fact open out.
    Not sure this was planned or simply due to having almost zero room for opening in.

    It also locks.

    I'm sure you can find a contractor to rehang your doors to open the way you prefer, as I'd done the work myself.
     
  16. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Yup, I've got a guy that can do it. My MB bathroom cries out for one. The other bathroom opens into a hallway and has a large air return where a pocket door could be placed. Getting that return moved across the hallway could be a big PITA. But, nothing's ever easy in the life of a homeowner.

    Rich
     
  17. bobnielsen

    bobnielsen Éminence grise

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    One house I had used a pocket door for the bathroom off of the master bedroom. It was ideal in that situation.
     
  18. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    One house I didn't buy didn't have a door on the bathroom off of the master bedroom. There was a half wall separating the bedroom from the bathroom area. While it would have been good for the situation that started this thread, I prefer more privacy for my privy.
     
  19. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    Pocket door is best for every door IMHO.

    I can't believe how many people put doors in places so close to toilets that if someone where to fall off it they'd block the door. That is even worse then it just being inward opening.

    Makes a good case for two doors into a bathroom or a big window too...
     
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  20. Phil T

    Phil T Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    All the bathroom doors in my house open inward and I share your concern. Dumb design.

    Thanksgiving morning I got sick and passed out in the bathroom. It was food poisoning I think. I fell and hit my head on the countertop and came to in a pool of blood. My wife heard me fall and was able to get to me ok, but I did lay on the floor for 30 minutes before I felt good enough to get up. :blackeye:

    :rant:
    My wife called my HMO but was told urgent care was closed on a holiday and to take me to the ER. I required 6 stitches.
    When the bill came it was for $13,000 over $2,000 per stitch!! Love our affordable healthcare! :backtotop


    If it happens again my wife may just shut and lock the door! :bang
     
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