Emergency Toilet Door-My Solution

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Blog entry by Grumpy posted 08-01-2009 03:21 AM 13797 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Some time ago I posted a blog asking if anyone had any ideas on a two way opening door system for a toilet entry.
I got some good ideas from that & also chased the World wide web. Many thanks to those who responded.
There are manufacturers that make systems just for this purpose but they are generally expensive & some require considerable modification to the door jamb structure which was what I wanted to avoid.
After a lot of thinking & not much doing I had an idea that was simple, cost effective & practical.
I used a bi-fold door mechanism which was pivoted at the top & bottom of the door (no hinges). I used the track & the pivots from this kit.
This allowed the door to open in both directions.
Next came the issue of a door stop to allow the door to open & close internally under normal use & to open outwards in an emergency. The door was free to swing in either direction because I had reduced the width so that it fitted inside the jamb. I needed something to act as a stop that could also be moved in an emergency to allow the door to open out.
The kit for the bi-fold door system had a spring loaded overhead plastic runner for a second door. This was not needed because there is only one door. But it had a use as a door stop. I cut the runner so it had one flat side & the rest was the original circular section. The flat side was to act as a door stop.
In an emergency the stop could be pushed in so it was flush with the jamb allowing the door to open out. The red was added graphically for effect.
There was one more problem Grrrrrr @#$%$%%^^&&(*&(
The door needed about 1/4” gap between it & the jamb to allow it to pivot both ways. This resulted in a privacy issue because there was some limited view of the inside.
To overcome this I added a privacy strip either side of the jamb. It allowed the door to pivot but blocked any view of the inside.
This is the profile.
This photo is with strips fitted to the jamb
As you can see the project is not finished yet but the idea is the important part.
The total cost was $50Aus (about $41.50US)

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

10 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile (online now)


117090 posts in 3574 days

#1 posted 08-01-2009 03:43 AM

Interesting aproach

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Bureaucrat's profile


18339 posts in 3648 days

#2 posted 08-01-2009 05:17 AM

I can see why you have done more thinking than doing. There are a few issues to deal with but it looks like you have this project licked.

-- Gary D. Stoughton, WI

View jim1953's profile


2735 posts in 3838 days

#3 posted 08-01-2009 05:27 AM


-- Jim, Kentucky

View patron's profile


13603 posts in 3337 days

#4 posted 08-01-2009 05:30 AM

good save !
an interesting fix .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14172 posts in 3979 days

#5 posted 08-01-2009 05:55 AM

for ten bucks you could of hung a blanket over the door … >grin< ... just kidding …
glad you got something to work for you … hope all is well

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4157 days

#6 posted 08-01-2009 12:01 PM

work those brain cells.. work those brain cells :D

glad you found a solution.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Karson's profile


35120 posts in 4397 days

#7 posted 08-01-2009 02:32 PM

Grumpy: A great solution. I knew you could do it.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6855 posts in 3976 days

#8 posted 08-01-2009 03:57 PM

Hey Buddy;

Nice solution, very creative.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Grumpy's profile


23916 posts in 3847 days

#9 posted 08-02-2009 12:03 AM

Thanks everyone. If it inspires somene else to a similar job & it potentially saves a life thats great.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View TomFran's profile


2957 posts in 3991 days

#10 posted 08-02-2009 02:28 AM

Way to improvise, Grumpy! It’s gratifying to come up with good solutions.

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

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