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Strive For Privacy: A Brief History Of Toilet Cubicles

Toilet Cubicles

In modern society, most people take the comfort and privacy of public restroom for granted. But it was not always convenient and private in restroom like the way we can easily enjoy today. It took a long time and many people’s endeavor that public toilet had evolved. Toilet cubicles are the result of progress of social civilization and people’s  striving for restroom privacy.

The evolutionary history of public toilet and cubicles

1. Simple pits in the ancient time

In ancient Roma and Asian societies for example, public toilets were part of the Sanitation system, often in proximity to or as part of public baths. At that time, bathing and toilet facilities were shared. There was no privacy to say. For the poor and middle classes, these facilities left much to be desired. The wealthy enjoyed cleaner and more pleasant facilities but the bathroom experience was still communal. You got to know your neighbors very well.

When the Roman Empire fell, the bathroom experience only got worse. Eventually public facilities had to be closed down somewhere in the 16th century, blamed for widespread sickness. The toilet made in ancient Asian was very simple and crude with a deep latrine pit in the ground, let alone cubicles. It was not safe for people because it was easy to fall into the pit. There was a record that once someone fell into there and died.

2.The first flushing toilet in England

It wasn’t until the end of the 16th century that the first flushing toilet was invented in England. It was installed in a separate room in the castle to allow the Queen of England privacy but, unfortunately, the toilet didn’t flush well and wasn’t a big hit with the queen. In that time, it was just designed and installed in a private place. Ordinary people can not enjoy this kind of toilet. And it was not convenient to be set in public places.

Underground public toilets were introduced in the United Kingdom in the Victorian era, in built-up urban areas where no space was available to provide them above ground. The facilities were accessible by stairs, and lit by glass brick on the pavement. Local health boards often built underground public toilets to a high standard, although provisions were higher for men than women. Most have been closed as they did not have disabled access, and were more prone to vandalism and sexual encounters, especially in the absence of an attendant. A few remain in London, but others have been converted into alternative uses such as cafes, bars and even dwellings.

3.The early toilet cubicles in early 20th century

The public toilet evolved further during the Industrial Revolution and early 20th century. As more and more women shopped and worked out of the home, private retiring rooms with cubicles were developed to accommodate their needs and afford additional privacy.

In 1904, Frank Lloyd Wright, the great American architect and innovator came up with an innovative way to make it easier to keep toilet enclosures clean. While working on the design of the Larkin Building in Buffalo, NY, he designed the first ceiling hung toilet partitions as well as suspended toilet bowls and sinks.

The American architect Frank Lloyd Wright claimed to have "invented the hung wall for the w.c. (easier to clean under)" when he designed the Larkin Administration Building in Buffalo, New York in 1904.

Toilet Cubicles

Early toilet cubicles: Just ensure the basic privacy but not durable

With the attention of bathroom privacy arising, people attach important to toilet cubicles. In the last century, toilet cubicles have played an important role in ensuring bathroom privacy. At that time, some sample materials had been used for cubicles to ensure the basic privacy. The first and basic cubicles are made of wood or powder-coated steel, to a range of cubicles developed over the last 40 years, such as baked enamel, laminate, phenolic and stainless steel. Unfortunately, these materials don’t stand up to the wear and tear of today’s public bathroom and present many disadvantages, like easy to be scratched and deformed, easy to moisture and humidity, not easy to clean, with bacteria growing and hard to maintain.

New toilet cubicles: Enhance privacy and durability

Nowadays, more new kind of toilet cubicle materials have been discovered and all of them can play excellent performances in different environment no matter wet and dry. There are various kind of materials for choice, including HPL compact laminate, stainless steel, solid plastic, particle board and so on. The most suitable and durable must be HPL compact laminate cubicles.

Jialifu compact laminate board also called HPL, which is made of decorative colored paper that contains leaching melamine resin. In addition, stacking multi-layer black or brown kraft paper that contains phenolic aldehyde or urea-formaldehyde resin up. Then, using steel plate to suppress on the state 150 Celsius degree 1430 psi.

That makes HPL partitions highly resistant to moisture and humidity, therefore, these partitions never rust, corrode or need painting. They are resistant to mold and bacteria, resist dents and scratches, and graffiti easily wipes off. Finally, HPL can be made. The thickness can be adjusted according to the quantity of kraft papre sheets. Jialifu bathroom partitions offer a unique combination of sophisticated aesthetics, innovative design, superior privacy and outstanding durability.


Public restrooms have come long way since the “communal experience.” Today, we expect public restrooms to provide a high degree of privacy, cleanliness, as well as high design. Jialifu offers a range of options that include sleek, modern design and the ultimate in privacy, making them the best choice for today’s public bathroom environments.

To learn more about Jialifu toilet cubicle options, contact our sales specialists today. You can also download one of our product brochures for more detailed information.