Toilet Paper Orientation: Over or Under?

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toilet paper orientation

A heated debate took place at the JAM Paper offices last week regarding toilet paper orientation. It began when someone who definitely wasn’t me exited the bathroom and complained about the roll being in the “under” position (where the toilet paper is closest to the wall). This sentiment was met with very different opinions. Below I will break down the pros and cons of both orientations, followed by a survey. We will get to the bottom of this.

The Over Orientation

Pros:

  1. Over makes it easier to locate and grab the loose end.
  2. Over reduces the risk of the toilet paper or hands touching the wall or cabinet, thus improving cleanliness.
  3. Over gives hotels and other establishments the option to fold over the last sheet to show that the room has been cleaned.
  4. Over is preferred by manufacturers, who tailor their branding in that direction.

The Under Orientation

Pros:

  1. Under makes it harder for young children and pets to unravel the roll by batting at it.
  2. Under is tidier because the loose end is neatly tucked away behind the roll.

The tidiness argument seems to be the main talking point for under enthusiasts. Gene Weingarten, a two-time pulitzer winning journalist, once said,  “The main reason is aesthetic. It looks better. I will warrant that 80 to 85 percent of artists, architects and interior decorators have it spool out from below, with the overage hanging against the wall, not flapping down from the top into the middle of the room. I am so right. I am inarguably correct. I cannot even believe we are having this discussion.”

Strong words from Gene there. I even agree with him. Toilet paper does look better tucked away behind the roll. But since when are we supposed to treat bathrooms like aesthetic masterpieces? Bathrooms are for taking care of business. Some people even refer to their bathroom as “The Office.” Efficiency trumps all in my humble opinion. Over for life.

So, are you an over person, or an under person?

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Author: Steve Levine

Self-proclaimed stationery guru. Maybe my words can help you solve a problem.

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