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Why are toilets and sinks in Poland always separated by a door?


daim 5 | 24
10 Oct 2015 #1
For example, a small 2 m2 toilet will often be separated by a door from a small 1 m2 room with a sink. Rather than a comfortable 3 m2 space with sink and toilet. I've never seen this in any other country. Why does Poland do this?
terri 1 | 1,665
10 Oct 2015 #2
I don't understand it either. A person walks out of the toilet touching the door handle to open the door leaving his germs on the handle. Then goes and washes his hands. Another person opens that same door, touching the germ ridden door handle, the germs are transferred onto their hands. They walk out and wash their hands, but if during their 'occupation of the toilet', they happen to touch another part of their body, e.g. face or arms, the germs are transferred there.

Anyone that can tell me that this is hygienic - gets my vote.
Sparks11 - | 335
10 Oct 2015 #3
It's so one person can use the toilet while the other pees in the sink :)
Wulkan - | 3,251
10 Oct 2015 #4
Seems obvious to most but not to everyone :-)
Nathans
10 Oct 2015 #5
Some Poles like to read or watch TV there ;). But seriously, I feel it's mostly about privacy (and the fact most homes in Poland have only one bathroom - when someone is taking a long bath another person doesn't have to wait to use toilet).. Some newer homes don't use regular doors, but prefer to install sliding doors instead.
Gaucho 2 | 49
16 Oct 2015 #6
I'm actually ok with having the toilet in a different room. One can have a shower if the other has a bad stomach day :P
Marsupial - | 886
17 Oct 2015 #7
Gaucho...I am with you on this one.
Wulkan - | 3,251
17 Oct 2015 #8
Just like any other person with common sense. Some people are close-minded and think that if something is not the same as in their country then it must be wrong.
Chemikiem 6 | 2,226
17 Oct 2015 #9
Some people are close-minded and think that if something is not the same as in their country then it must be wrong.

Actually this thread proves your point.
Personally I can't see what the problem is in having the toilet separate from the bath/shower.
In the general scheme of things, it's not exactly that important is it?
terri 1 | 1,665
17 Oct 2015 #10
This thread concerned PUBLIC toilets, not the bathroom arrangements in your own home. Obviously, some people missed the whole point, or they do not know about the arrangements for public toilets in Poland.

Whenever I enter public toilets, I open the doors with my forearm and put my foot out to stop the wc door from opening once I am inside.I do not wish to touch the germ and bacteria ridden door handles which never get wiped by the attendants.
Wulkan - | 3,251
17 Oct 2015 #11
Personally I can't see what the problem is in having the toilet separate from the bath/shower.

Indeed, I can only see the benefits of it, but strangely people from the country of 2 taps (UK) have a problem with it :-)
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
17 Oct 2015 #12
country of 2 taps

Dunno if this is another urban legend or not, but somewhere along the line I heard Churchill was amazed and impressed by the single-tap bathroom sink arrangement in Tehran or Yalta where he was conferring with Uncle Joe and Roosevelt.

BTW Ameircans visiting Poland are often surprised by light switches outside the bathroom. Seems to be part of the building code -- maybe it got started so no-one would reach for the light switch with wet hands?
OP daim 5 | 24
17 Oct 2015 #13
Half the time I use a public toilet I need to wait because somebody else is using the sink and then there's another person coming in trying to squeeze into the toilet. It's a disorganized mess. When a toilet area is so small it should not be shared.
Chemikiem 6 | 2,226
17 Oct 2015 #14
Obviously, some people missed the whole point, or they do not know about the arrangements for public toilets in Poland.

I am well aware that the thread concerns public toilets Terri, and I have used plenty of public toilets in Poland to know what the arrangements are.

I simply don't see it as being a problem.
It might not be ideal from a hygiene point of view, but it's no different from many public toilets in the UK. You still have to open the toilet door to get to a sink to wash your hands.

Indeed, I can only see the benefits of it, but strangely people from the country of 2 taps (UK) have a problem with it :-)

I am from the country of 2 taps! Let's not start about the taps ;)
johnny reb 24 | 4,766
17 Oct 2015 #15
Why does Poland do this?

It was a concern of roaming eyes of homosexuals.
It has cut bathroom violence in half since they started doing it this way.
kpc21 1 | 763
18 Oct 2015 #16
Seems to be part of the building code -- maybe it got started so no-one would reach for the light switch with wet hands?

Probably. But there is also a simpler explanation. You don't have to look for the switch in darkness.

In normal rooms it usually happens that you are there and it gets dark - then you need to turn on the light. Since you are inside then, it would be impractical to have a switch outside.

In case of a bathroom, it rather doesn't happen. You enter it for a moment (ok, an exception might be when you want to have a bath) and leave. So it's just practical to have a switch outside. In addition, it's safer - generally it's recommended to avoid electrical devices in bathrooms. I don't know whether it's true, but I've heard that in the country of 2 separate taps they really don't use electrical devices in bathrooms, maybe except a hair dryer and a shaver, and, for example, washing machine is usually located in the kitchen (in Poland it happens only in flats with so small bathrooms that there is no space for a washing machine there).
delphiandomine 85 | 18,359
18 Oct 2015 #17
(in Poland it happens only in flats with so small bathrooms that there is no space for a washing machine there).

Yes, absolutely true. Vincent on here (one of the mods) will be able to explain exactly why, but it's my understanding that it's not actually legal there to put electrical outlets in the bathroom unless it's a significant distance from a water source.

For me, it still makes no sense for the washing machine to be in the bathroom.
Wulkan - | 3,251
18 Oct 2015 #18
For me, it still makes no sense for the washing machine to be in the bathroom.

I don't see why having it in the kitchen is better either.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
18 Oct 2015 #19
In case of a bathroom

It's mainly a question of available spacce. In th USA the typcial one-family detached house usually has the washing machine and dryer in the

basement utility room. That's where the wash tubs, furnace and hot-water heater, maybe a do-it-yourselfer's work bench and junk cupbpard are usually located. The rest of the basement is a furnished TV/rec room. I presume that if Polish flats had super-tiny bathrooms and kitchens but large entranceways (vestibules), that's where the washer would go.
Roger5 1 | 1,458
18 Oct 2015 #20
For me, it still makes no sense for the washing machine to be in the bathroom.

Why not? The bathroom is for washing. The kitchen is for cooking, not dirty clothes. Our machine is in the boiler room, a happy medium, where the noise doesn't disturb us.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
18 Oct 2015 #21
I have washer in bathroom (was already installed when I bought flat) but in other places (in Poland and elsewhere) I had washer sometimes in kitchen and no difference to me. People do mostly because of space. As to Poland, most flats are very tiny and people have to manage.
Wulkan - | 3,251
18 Oct 2015 #22
Why not? The bathroom is for washing. The kitchen is for cooking, not dirty clothes. Our machine is in the boiler room, a happy medium, where the noise doesn't disturb us.

Totally agree with you.
Chemikiem 6 | 2,226
18 Oct 2015 #23
it's my understanding that it's not actually legal there to put electrical outlets in the bathroom unless it's a significant distance from a water source.

I think you're right, which appears to make sense as water and electricity aren't a very good mix, but I have a double socket in my kitchen, not very far away from the sink......

For me, it still makes no sense for the washing machine to be in the bathroom.

Probably because in the UK we have grown up with them in the kitchen,so that seems normal to us, plus most UK bathrooms aren't that big, so it wouldn't make sense to have a washing machine in there.
Vincent 9 | 821 Moderator
18 Oct 2015 #24
Yes, absolutely true. Vincent on here (one of the mods) will be able to explain exactly why, but it's my understanding that it's not actually legal there to put electrical outlets in the bathroom unless it's a significant distance from a water source.

We have very strict electricity laws in the UK, which states, there should be NO electrical (rocker) switches or outlet sockets in the bathroom. Lights, fans or electric showers are controlled by corded pull switches, and these must be out of reach from small children. A shaving outlet is permitted but this is different from the usual three prong inlet, having only two prongs and a low voltage. It's just not a good idea to touch anything electric with wet hands.

Bathrooms tend to be small in the majority of houses in the UK, so there won't be room for a washing machine in most. I have never seen one in any large bathrooms either. Kitchens are usually larger, and they are designed with a place for the so called "white goods" fridge, cooker and washing machine.

As for two taps, most new builds now have the mono bloc taps in the kitchens and bathrooms. The reason for the two taps was contamination. In older houses the water supply always went directly to the kitchen tap (to supply) fresh drinking water) then it was piped to the "cold" bathroom taps, and finally to a storage tank in the roof space, to feed the hot water system. With this system it it would have been possible for contamination to take place if the the hot water and cold water came in contact with each other in the same pipe. Now a days it is not so much a problem with the introduction of anti syphon valves and direct feeds to the boiler.
kpc21 1 | 763
18 Oct 2015 #25
In Poland the norms determine some zones around the bath and the shower, in which there should be no electrical devices and outlets, but noone really cares about it. Which is definitely not good - cases of death due to a powered hair dryer falling down to the bath (which would be almost impossible if no sockets around) or due to a broken washing machine with a case under voltage, powered and standing near the bathtub (and the lack of not only RCD, but even the earth wire in the electrical system at all) are not so rare here. It's not difficult even to meet a bathroom with a power outlet just above the bathtub, which is definitely stupid and dangerous.
johnny reb 24 | 4,766
18 Oct 2015 #26
In the U.S. code calls for a G.F.I. (ground fault interrupt) in all bathrooms.
They pop the breaker rather easily when shorted.
kpc21 1 | 763
18 Oct 2015 #27
GFI is exactly the same what is called RCD in Europe.

In Poland it's been obligatory for years, but it's theory which doesn't have a lot in common with the reality.
Lolek222 - | 80
18 Oct 2015 #28
Avoid confusing and let distinguish between toilet and a sink.
OP daim 5 | 24
19 Oct 2015 #29
I had no idea this thread would be so popular. I'm pleased to report that the tiny sink room isn't mandatory. Some newer places put the sink and toilet in the same room.
Vox - | 175
19 Oct 2015 #30
Some newer places put the sink and toilet in the same room.

Gross! LOL!


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