The toilet paper experiment

by Cellobella on Friday, October 31, 2008 · 12 comments

If there’s one thing that annoys me is racing into a stall to go to the loo and finding – after you’ve started – that there is no toilet paper!


I noticed that it happened quite often in my stall of choice at work while other stalls seemed to be well supplied.

It occurred to me that my toilet stalls are very likely not equally used and I wondered which ones were used more often.

Knowing the popularity of the stall position would inform my choice and give me a greater chance of getting a stall with paper.

Up there for thinking – right?

Last night I was at work late – there was a quiz night on site – my table won – and I realised that now was the perfect time to see which stalls get the most use.

I snuck upstairs to the ladies and took a photograph in each stall and this is what I found.

Our facilities have a mirror/washbasin area followed by four stalls in a row. 

Stall 1

Stall 2

Stall 3

Stall 4

Now as you can see Stall 1 has the least toilet paper. For some reason… laziness(?), urgency(?)… people choose the stall closest to the door.

Stall 2 has the most.

Stall 3 still has quite a bit

Stall 4 had already gone through a whole roll and nearly finished another two.

From this I concluded that people feel more comfortable at the extremities of the room.  Perhaps it was the fact you only have one shared wall.  Stalls 1 and 4 were definitely the most used.

For those who don’t mind the middle stalls, I’m guessing they choose to leave a gap between them and the occupied toilet – most likely to be stall 1 – you know for privacy.  Not that you can’t hear EVERYTHING.

Which means, if you want to be guaranteed a better chance of being able to wipe your bum – choose stall 2.

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Over to you

Does your experience back my conclusions? Why not do the same experiment and compare results?

And by the way, what is the etiquette when you are caught short in a public loo?


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